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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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.

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The Iron Hand That Shook the World: The Summer Comics Event of ’72

 

That's right, 33 super-heroes in the best JLA/JSA team-up ever told.
That’s right, 33 super-heroes in the best JLA/JSA team-up ever told.

The Big Two in comics – DC and Marvel – use the summer to declare war and blow up universes.

Just a way to help readers pass school vacation.

While DC’s “Convergence” and Marvel’s “Secret Wars” are currently laying waste to continuity and wallets through their multiple, mediocre tie-ins, the summer comics event isn’t a new thing – but conversely, it was far more enjoyable and less painful to the wallet.

Continue reading “The Iron Hand That Shook the World: The Summer Comics Event of ’72”