Justice Society Presents – Christmas and JSA #55

Santa Claus is coming to town and he's bringing with him a holiday themed episode! The Irredeemable Shag and Paul Kien discuss the classic Christmas issue JSA #55 (2003) by Geoff Johns & Leonard Kirk. Plus, we share some of our own holiday family traditions, and favorite Christmas-themed comic books. Download some holiday cheer in your stocking with this episode!

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14 responses to “Justice Society Presents – Christmas and JSA #55

  1. Good show; haven’t read this issue (or any of that newer JSA material), but any story with Ma Hunkel – the real Red Tornado as far as I’m concerned – plays a major role is tops by me.
    My favorite Christmas comic would probably be the Giant Superhero Holiday Grab Bag (Marvel Treasury Edition #13) from 1976, with those wonderful framing sequences featuring the Marvel heroes having a snowball fight and otherwise just shooting the breeze in Central Park – about which I waxed nostalgic in the comments to Treasury Cast #30.
    But yeah, Alan Brennert’s Deadman story with the mysterious guest star is now legendary and possibly one of the best single superhero Xmas stories ever.

    Anyway, best holiday wishes to you both and the entire network.

  2. Great show . And shag go easy on Jay he’s probably just excited I mean it’s his daughters first Christmas back home in who knows how long .
    Not mention all the side kicks gosh I bet it’s a busy Christmas in the brow stone. Maybe you can get lady bug in to doctor who . Dragon fire should do the trick followed by delta and the banner men .

  3. Great show. The first Johns run on JSA is probably my favorite comic series of the 2000’s. The newest series is enjoyable too. The Jay Garrick mini is probably my favorite of the three current solo series. Jeremy Adams is on my short list of writers to take over JSA once Johns’ exclusive contract with Ghost Machine at Image kicks in. Robert Venditti would also be on that list. His Wesley Dodds: Sandman is very good and Riley Rossmo’s art fits that book perfectly IMO.

    My favorite Christmas comic? I like Mark Waid’s Flash story “Present Tense” in which Wally searches far and wide for Linda’s present and his Impulse tale “No, Bart, There Is No Santa Claus” from DC’s Holiday Bash Specials about 25 years ago. But my favorite would have to be the Teen Titans “Swinging Christmas Carol”. I think that I had it in a digest as a kid and it’s just a classic.

  4. Will you be doing any “Meanwhile”-type episodes for the new direction? I can think of one that would also be a bit of a “Where are they now?” for the JLI.

  5. Thanks for a fun listen, I remember this issue, it was so sad to learn that the entire freaking superhero community couldn’t sort out Ma Hunkel’s problems within a single crime family in 50 years. Sheesh. Still, it has some great character bits and lovely art. As for whatever happened to Leonard Kirk, he’s drawing the current Avengers Inc mini-series at Marvel, where his work is flattened horribly by drab colouring.

    That story A Day Without Sirens is nodded to by Sholly Fisch in the best festive story this year, ‘Wonderful Toys’, in this month’s ‘Twas the Mite before Christmas. It’s by Sholly Fisch (that man again!) and She-Hulk’s Juan Bobillo. Find it on DC Infinite now.

    (This issue is also notable for revealing, in an It’s a Wonderful Life nod, that Bunker is absolutely vital to the DCU. Of course he is.)

    Also worth reading this year, and on DC Infinite, is Jeff Parker, Michele Bandini and Trevor Hairsine’s Batman – Santa: Silent Knight.

    As you were asking, I have some classic faves over at my Blog Thing: https://dangermart.blog/?s=Dc+comics+presents+Santa

  6. Ma Hunkle DID appear in between her last Golden Age appearance (All-American Comics 59 in 1944) and JSA #55 (in 2004), but it perhaps depends on what you consider an appearance. Let’s discount Easter Eggs (like her appearing in a photograph in JSA #53!) and her Who’s Who page as “not a story”, but that still leaves a tangible cameo in Hero Hotline #4 (1989, if cameos count, some might even say this series isn’t canon) and her origin in Secret Origins #29 (1988). Ahhh but it’s back in the past, so is Johns saying this is her first appearance since then CHRONOLOGICALLY? I think he is. Because we still have 1998’s DCU Holiday Bash that features her in a story set in 1944.

    So from our perspective, no, not her first appearance in 50 years. From the heroes’, it might seem like she disappeared for all that time, yes.

  7. Fun show gents! It was great to see Ma officially folded into the JSA family, after she’d been more-or-less dismissed as a party crasher to the JSA’s first official meeting in All-Star Comics #3. It’s also a nice nod to Ma’s creator, and the JSA’s original editor Sheldon Mayer, who of course helped to co-create the JSA too! I didn’t even mind that at this point in the timeline, Ma should probably be dead or VERY elderly, since she wasn’t there to suck up all that glorious Ian Karkull juice I know Shag loves to read about. By the time this JSA series rolled around, I just rolled with the continuity wobbliness. Look at comic’s now. They make now sense whatsoever, timeline-wise. Why worry?

    Looking forward to the coverage of the 90s JSA series!!!

  8. Fun show, Paul and Shag. Like Shag, this era of JSA was “mine” and this issue was a good reason why. A lot can be said of the DC Comics circa 2002-2011. Some good. Some bad. Some terrible. Some amazing, and the Johns (sometimes with Goyer, sometimes without) was, more often than not, amazing. And this issue was a good example why for all of the reasons y’all listed.

    As far as Christmas movies that are part of family tradition, there are a few of the cheesy made for cable ones that are part of the Bailey Christmas rotation. One that I would recommend to the group is Love Under The Christmas Table.

    Hear me out. I know the title is cheesy but this is the most geek friendly made for cable Christmas movie ever. Not only does it feature Lea Thompson, but there are numerous Lord of the Rings and, believe it or not, Conan the Barbarian references.

    And it’s good cheesy fun.

    Looking forward to the 90s JSA coverage, for a variety of reasons. And if you do decide to do a one off covering the new stuff I’ll throw my hat into the ring.

  9. Cool podcast. I never read this issue, but it seems cool. Ah Red Tornado. Liked her granddaughter in the Black Adam movie. Guess she didn’t know about her at this time. Still cool episode. Ah most of my action figures are 6 inches. So could not hid them in the nativity scene. Sides the people in my home would know who the action figures are. Heck there a tartus and sonic screwdriver on the tree.

    And a Vader nut cracker in the house. I have hiden Kill Switch from my Action Force figures in the tree. And a modified GI Joe Classified Out Back in the tree. I made him a gillies suit I sowed together for him. I made with cloth and fake leaves. Kill Switch I just put her far back in the tree. Be hind the Santa on a Harley motorcycle decoration that’s on the tree.

    But if I put the 7 th Doc action figure or a Jawa in my nativity scene. I’d just get an eye roll. Every one here would know who they are. Some would even call the 7 th doc professor since they’d remember Ace calling him that. Anyway Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays ane all that. Can’t wait till the next episode.?

  10. Great show, Shag and Paul! I loved this issue of JSA, right in the heart of the best run of Justice Society comics. The Norman Rockwell inspired cover is a thing of beauty. It was really nice to re-visit it on this podcast a week after Christmas, because children.

    Regarding your Christmas, traditions, as a kid, I was also a big fan of inserting my action figures into the nativity scene. I would put together elaborate GI Joe adventures that would use Baby Jesus as the McGuffin that Cobra was after to take over Christmas, or Pennsylvania or something. And Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow would always have an epic battle atop the roof of the manger. My Nana wasn’t thrilled with sacrilegious scene when she came to visit for the holidays, but she got over it after an egg nog or two.

  11. Not really familiar with the original red tornado. But wasn’t she kind of a bit of an inventor as I seem to remember in a secret origins story . She was an able to trick people with a life size inflatable doll she must made her self . I’m more familiar with cyclone and like how she was done in the black Adam movie. The movie wasn’t great but the JSA was great in that movie .

  12. I don’t know match about the original red tornado as I’m more familiar with cyclone her grand daughter. Who I thought was on of the few things they got right in the black Adam movie .
    Wonder show and host was sent her by my pal
    Bucky749 .


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