Power of Fishnets 15: Christmas with the Justice League

T'was the Friday before Christmas and Ryan Daly felt like reviewing a holiday story with Black Canary or Zatanna. Luckily the Blonde Bombshell appeared in the story "The Man Who Murdered Santa Claus" originally published in Justice League of America #110 and reprinted in Christmas with the Super-Heroes #1. Other festive features this episode include:

  • Ryan's thoughts on Red Tornado and why he'd make a better villain for the Justice League than teammate.
  • Ryan's thoughts on the Green Lantern named John Stewart and why he should be one of DC's most high-profile characters in light of recent political events in the United States.
  • WARNING: Ryan goes on a bit of rant towards the end. If you're a white supremacist, you might be offended.

Let us know what you think! Leave a comment or send an email to: RDalyPodcast@gmail.com.

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Music: “Santa Bring My Baby Back to Me" by Elvis Presley; "Father Christmas" by Cary Brothers.

Thanks for listening! Evah a ecin yad!

11 responses to “Power of Fishnets 15: Christmas with the Justice League

  1. Hell-to-the-yes! JLA #110 was the first comic book I ever bought. I have always been a big fan of Dick Dillin and think the he is vastly underrated.

    Unlike Ryan, I’ve always loved Red Tornado in the JLA granted he’s not on the level of the trinity or even on the level of Black Canary or Hawkman, but I’ve always dug him. It just seems none of the writers have figured out how to write him.

  2. When I first got into DC w/ Batman in the late 80s/early 90s, I had an offhand appreciation for GL being a corp of heroes and Hal, Guy, and John as the Three Musketeers. Of the three, John definitely came in third but I found new appreciation when he was chosen to be GL in the animated JL cartoon.

    This was a time when GL in the comics was “too cool for old school” but still raked in the benefits of his predecessors’ acquaintances (see “Big Seven”). The worst insult IMO was shoehorning Kyle into the then defunct grandeur of the Silver Age breed in S:TAS. When the JL cartoon came out, Hal was still sidelined as the Spectre. While a lot of posters griped about affirmative action and tokenism, my view was that the right man was chosen for the job since here was the Lantern cut from the same SA cloth.

  3. This was one of my first JLA issues, and still fondly remembered. It was also my intro to both the JSA and Zatanna in the reprints. As you pointed out, the story doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but it’s still fun. Looking back, it almost seems like a prototype for the CUBE movies, with deathtraps in every room. The Phantom Stranger as deus ex machina

    Reddy DID become a villain of sorts, after being blown up in the Crisis and becoming Earth’s Air Elemental, mostly in Ostrander’s later Firestorm issues. His new costume, as well as her 80’s outfit, proved that Black Canary was no Janet van Dyne or Paul Gambi.

    As for John Stewart, I really don’t care for military John, just like I don’t like drill instructor Kilowog. If you think about it, architect is a perfect career for a GL, since putting up a building is very much like imposing your will on the world. Just imagine John as Ayn Rand’s Howard Roark, refusing to compromise his vision, but with the power to back it up.

    Have a safe and happy generic winter solstice festival, and don’t kill any of your family, it’s tough to podcast from jail.

  4. Great episode.
    I must admit if I had done this issue all I would have talked about is Hal knocking himself out. Glad you had a higher theme to cover.

    I do love the sacrifice of the Leaguers, willing to save their teammates and the mission.

    And like you, Reddy is pretty meaningless to me.

  5. Great review, and great comments about the characters. I always loved this story, but understood it to be totally stupid, for all the reasons you mentioned. Besides, I’m from St. Louis so I had an affinity for the story. Nobody could possibly STAND on top of the Gateway Arch, though.

    I actually based one of my home-made JLA stories on this story. I would be interested in hearing what you think about it. I tried to address some of the more glaring plot holes in my version….

    I agree with you totally on John Stewart and Hal Jordan. Hal was *my* GL for years, but now I think I like John more. It seems to me that Hal had everything too easy, whereas John had to face down so much more. John may not have been “fearless” like Hal, but his will power was just as strong, if not stronger.

    And I would buy the hell out of a John Stewart Green Lantern series set on Earth.

    I disagree with you about Red Tornado, however. I always liked him. I *can* see him as a bad guy, though, if DC had gone in that direction. I think of him as a pseudo Vision or Data of the DC Universe. I liked him in the JLA Group Shots; the character I always thought looked like he didn’t belong was The Atom.

    By the way, although Black Canary claims she designed Red’s new costume, I read that it was actually done by Len Wein. Black Canary was also given design credit for Amazo’s “new” look (from JLA #112 onward). I’m guessing that was also really Len Wein.

  6. Interesting observations. I mostly agree with you about Red Tornado. I never liked him as a member of the JLA, but I did like one JLA story focused on him: issues 192-193, which in fact sees him go berserk, proving your point that he would have functioned better as a villain. However, I did enjoy his appearance in the Batman: Brave and the Bold cartoon – I found that that iteration of the character really worked for me.

    As to John Stewart as GL, couldn’t agree with you more. Like you, Hal Jordan will probably always be the default image of GL that I have in my head, but I really like John. In fact, I don’t know why he didn’t just step up to become the main GL when Hal became evil and then became the Spectre or whatever all that was about (I was on a pretty lengthy hiatus from comics reading at that time). Neal Adams apparently agrees as well: about a year or two ago I was listening to one of his interviews with Kevin Smith in which he was lambasting the use Hal Jordan for the movie GL instead of John Stewart.

  7. Great story, and great podcasting angle from which to look at it from.

    I read this story for the first time in digest form, and even though I knew intellectually that the JLAers weren’t really dying for good, the story was well done enough that I got carried away. And then the whole “give the poor kids new homes” thing was perfect button the whole adventure.

    And yes, it would be perfect for DC to put Jon Stewart GL front and center. We’ll need all the heroes we can get. Oh, and f*ck Steve Bannon.

  8. This was my introduction to John Stewart when I read it in The Best of DC Blue Ribbon Digest #22 back in the early 80s. It’s one of those perennial Christmas comics, and I’d never thought of the huge gaping logic holes in it…until you pointed them out. Thanks Ryan. 😉

    I’m all for more John Stewart. I think there’s enough room for him and Hal, and Kyle.. and Guy, I guess. But it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if John was the GL in the Justice League film franchise, but it looks like he’s not going to be. I honestly think it’s the best way to go since so many remember him from the JL cartoon, and the Hal-centric movie tanked.

    Great episode!


  9. I like Reddy as a JLA member, more for the costume and whirlwind visual than anything else – did you ever read the issues in which he became the Tornado Tyrant? There is you’re evil android right there!

    I like the original John Stewart a lot – not super angry, but certainly not the boring ex-marine of today. A superhero who is also an architect, that’s so cool. And he had better there in the old days, too.

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