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.

Continue reading “When You’ve Caught the Great White Whale, What’s Next?”

Vandal Savage Wars on the JSA – and Wally Wood Saves Us All

With one mighty leap, the Golden Age Superman shatters a castle wall.
With one mighty leap, the Golden Age Superman shatters a castle wall in “All-Star Comics” No. 64.

A strong creator can make you rethink everything you thought about a character – and even an art medium.

Until “All Star Comics” Nos. 64 and 65 hit the drug stores in late 1976, I had never given much thought to artwork.

Now that must sound insane considering we’re talking about comic books, a form dependent on art expression. But I was – and am – a reader who places a premium on the story, the plot, the characters. A comic today can have the most dynamic, muscular art today, but if the story is dumb, I will feel as if I wasted my money.

Continue reading “Vandal Savage Wars on the JSA – and Wally Wood Saves Us All”

Make Way for the Super Squad! Oh, and the Justice Society, too!

The return of All Star Comics - and the Justice Society!
The return of All Star Comics – and the Justice Society!

Super-hero team names are tough.

Have you ever tried coming up with one?

All the good ones are taken.

You have your Justice League, Avengers, Defenders, Teen Titans, Fantastic Four, Doom Patrol, X-Men, Inhumans, Secret Six, Mighty Crusaders, Legion of Super-Heroes, Legion of Substitute Heroes and Legion of Impossibly Silly Twits. (OK, I made that one up.)

And, of course, the first and greatest of them all, the Justice Society of America.

Continue reading “Make Way for the Super Squad! Oh, and the Justice Society, too!”

The JLA/JSA Nightmare: When Nazis Rule an Earth

The Justice League and the Justice Society meet the heroes of Earth X
When the JLA and the JSA met the Freedom Fighters of Earth X!

Len Wein had a problem: He was too good.

The writer for “Justice League of America” had marked the 100th issue of DC’s premier team book in 1972 with a rousing, riveting three-part JLA/JSA team-up that brought together 33 heroes to save Earth 2. It was a time-spanning epic that re-introduced the Golden Age heroes the Seven Soldiers of Victory and an old-school story so much fun, it sent a generation of comic book lovers into orbit.

A year later, Wein was ordered to do come up with something even better.

Continue reading “The JLA/JSA Nightmare: When Nazis Rule an Earth”