Greetings from the Odinson,
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the meat in the sandwich which is the Holiday Season that begins with Halloween and ends with Christmas. This time of year brings about many traditions – Trick-or-Treat, turkey dinner, mistletoe, etc. Comics History is not without its own traditions. One of the greatest traditions in comics is the annual JLA/JSA Team-Up.
In the landscape of modern day comics, fans have become used to annual big story events that bring together the greatest heroes in the universe, events like Axis and Forever Evil. It is true that Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars is the Grandfather of Big Event stories and Crisis on Infinite Earths is the event that set the standard for what these events would and should be, but it was the annual crossovers featuring the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes and the World’s First Super Team that started it all.
It all started in the summer of 1963, right in the heart of the Silver Age of Comics. Justice League of America #21 marked the first meeting of the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes of Earth-1 and their Golden Age predecessors of Earth-2. The Flash of Two Worlds may have been the birth of the DC multiverse, but this titanic team-up marked the birth of the annual Big Event! These are the events that feature a threat too big for any single hero, major adventures that will feature a gathering of heroes so titanic that the tale becomes a Must Read.
Top 5 JLA/JSA Crossovers
Crisis on Earth 2 & 3 – In this inaugural Crisis, a cadre of villains from two worlds concoct a diabolical plan to switch Earths and commit crimes on different worlds. The villains from Earth 2 imprison the Justice League who mystically contact their Earth-2 counterparts, and through various team-ups, take out their villainous adversaries. Soon afterwards, the Justice League and Justice Society come face-to-face with their evil doppelgangers of Earth-3, the Crime Syndicate of Amerika! Yes, the same sinister evil-doers behind the recent event – Forever Evil.
In Search of the Seven Soldiers of Victory – During this suspenseful team-up, the JLA and JSA assemble to solve the mystery of a missing group of legendary heroes scattered throughout time. And, in order to stop the world-threatening evil, one hero will have to make the ultimate sacrifice! It is easy to see that Modern Master Grant Morrison is a real fan of these classic team-ups. They not only inspired his entry on this very list, but they also inspired his epic Final Crisis and ground-breaking tale The Seven Soldiers of Victory.
Crisis in Eternity – This crossover begins when the barbaric conqueror from the past, King Kull, imprisons the wizard, SHAZAM, and his power within the Rock of Eternity. The JLA and JSA set out to stop him, but things go downhill real fast when the ruthless man-brute uses Red Kryptonite to turn the Man of Steel against his allies. As the heroes begin to fall before the unparalleled might of the Last Son of Krypton, only one hero remains that may be able to turn the tide of battle – Captain Marvel!
Crisis Times Five – In this Post-Crisis, modern take on the annual JLA/JSA Crossover, Earth is invaded by the immeasurably powerful beings that inhabit the 5th Dimension! That’s right, the homeland of Superman’s mischievous little nemesis, Mr. Mxyzptlk, cause a planet wide crisis. Not only did this Grant Morrison and Howard Porter masterpiece renew the annual JLA/JSA Crossover, but it also brought comic book’s first super team out of retirement and set the stage for the classic take on these classic heroes in the pages of JSA by Geoff Johns!
The Thanksgiving Story – This particular annual JLA/JSA crossover is the Odinson’s personal favorite. Not only does it feature a particularly unique take on the team-up, it also features an extremely eye-catching cover by Carlos Pacheco (Avengers Forever, Superman/Batman). In the quiet follow up to the previous year’s harrowing Virtue and Vice caper, the World’s Greatest Super Heroes and DC Comics First Super Team take a moment to relax and celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s a humorous and character-driven piece where the entertainment comes from the interactions between the different and oft times polarizing personalities of these two premiere super teams. The absolute gold comes when a revenge-seeking villain plots an ill-fated attack on his enemies. As the villain suddenly appears amongst the gathered heroes and boldly declares his vile intentions, he quickly realizes his mistake as he stares out at not just one team of legendary heroes, but two.
It’s a great issue and a great way to cap off this look at the long, distinguished run of classic annual JLA/JSA Crossovers.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell