Slay Bells Ring! The Justice League Gets a Lock on Santa’s Killer

JLA No. 110
Ring in the holidays – with one dead Santa.

It starts with Santa Claus being blown up.

It ends with one of the most garish gifts in the DC Universe.

It features six super-heroes behaving criminally stupid in an Agatha Christie-style caper that climaxes with a ridiculous deus ex machina simply because the story had only so many pages and just had to end.

So why is “The Man Who Murdered Santa Claus” such a fun story – and yes, even important?

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When You’ve Caught the Great White Whale, What’s Next?

cover of Justice League of America No. 21
When the Justice Society dropped in on their Silver Age substitutes.

Every collector has one.

That one comic book that somehow remains out of reach.

For some, it’s “Detective Comics” No. 27, or “Amazing Fantasy” No. 15, or maybe “The Walking Dead” No. 1.

For me, for just about forever, it has always been “Justice League of America” No. 21.

If you have even a passing familiarity with the Silver Age of Comics, you understand the significance of that issue.

This August 1963 issue was insanely important for DC and for readers.

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Why Can’t Batman be a Hero?

Batman No. 32 cover.
Blood on his hands: Batman is worse than his adversaries these days in the DCU.

In the new DC Comics miniseries, “Batman: White Knight,” the Caped Crusader’s vigilante methods have turned so brutal, an apparently sane Joker vows to defend Gotham City and stop his reign of terror.

In the current arc playing out in “Detective Comics,” a Batman from the future has stepped back to the present convinced he can prevent his timeline from ever coming into play by murdering Batwoman.

In the “Dark Nights: Metal” series, powerful, sadistic versions of Batman have escaped from the dark universe to destroy earth.

What do all these stories all have in common?

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Gold in the Dollar Bin

My local comics shop is a rarity in the Boston area.

It has massive tables loaded with dollar boxes, ones that are replenished regularly.

I’ve been spending a lot of time there, much more than at the new arrival shelves.

I’ve recently come across great runs of such titles as “The Warlord,” “Night Force,” “The Outsiders” and “West Coast Avengers.”

Most of the comics are from the ’80s and ’90s, but I often find books going as far back as the ’60s, such as a “Sub-Mariner” or a Gold Key “Zorro.”

And then there was the latest gem I came across:

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