Superman & Batman: The Original Super-Friends

'Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice'
‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’

The world waits with bated breath for the opening of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” on March 25.

The Dark Knight meets the Man of Steel for the first time in a live-action film, and it looks to be a brawl for the ages.

And that got me thinking. How did the comics – you know, the source material for just about every blockbuster film keeping the major studios afloat these days – handle the first meeting of DC’s greatest titans?

What threat could possibly be dire enough to bring the two champions of justice together?

The Anti-Monitor? Darkseid? The Joker and Lex Luthor together?

Would you believe … a cruise ship vacation?

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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.

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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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