For this weekend’s escapist, light-hearted superhero post here at Balladeer’s Blog, I will review the 1970-1974 crossover stories involving DC’s Justice League and Justice Society. For my review of their 1963-1969 crossovers click HERE.
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA Vol 1 #82 (August 1970)
Title: Peril of the Paired Planets
Justice Society Roster: Dr. Fate, Sandman, Dr. Mid-Nite, Wildcat, Starman, Mr. Terrific, Superman (original), Batman (original), Wonder Woman (original), Flash (original), Green Lantern (original), Hawkman (original), and the 2nd Red Tornado (android)
Justice League Roster: Green Arrow, 2nd Superman, 2nd Batman, 2nd Flash, 2nd Hawkman, 2nd Green Lantern, 2nd Atom, and the 2nd Black Canary (daughter of the original)
Synopsis: A powerful alien called Creator2 plans to force Earth-One and Earth-Two to merge, thus freeing up a lot of material for the being to indulge their whim to create other planets. However, the merger will destroy both Earths.
Creator2 is using the 2nd Red Tornado, an android successor of the original female Red Tornado, as a conduit to merge Earths One and Two. Red Tornado can be used this way because of his ties to both Earths – he was created by Earth-One’s villain T.O. Morrow to replace Earth-Two’s Red Tornado. (see previous installment)
The troops of Creator2 are putting his plan into action, and an early side-effect is that it causes the defeat of the Earth-Two originals and their Earth-One successors to fall – as in both Supermans fall, both Hawkmans fall, both Flashes fall, etc. The 2nd Atom, a physicist, discovers that the fallen superheroes are being caused by a merger of the two Earths.
When the 2nd Atom and 2nd Green Lantern theorize that the merger is being caused by using someone from both Earths, the 2nd Black Canary secretly thinks to herself that she must be causing the damage, due to recently relocating from Earth-Two to Earth-One. (see previous installment) She resolves to sacrifice herself to save both planets.
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA Vol 1 #83 (September 1970)
Title: Where Valor Fails, Will Magic Triumph?
Synopsis: Havoc continues to be unleashed on Earth-One and Earth-Two as the dual planets continue merging. On Earth-Two, the Justice Society members who are still conscious continue trying to save the worlds.
At length, Dr. Fate decides it is time to call upon the JSA’s most powerful member the Spectre, so he teleports himself, Johnny Thunder and the Thunderbolt to the graveyard in which the Spectre’s mortal host body Jim Corrigan is buried.
The Spectre answers Dr. Fate’s mystic summons, and whisks them all away to the theoretical space between Earth-One and Earth-Two. While the Spectre tries to undo the merger-in-progress, the other heroes discover Creator2 and his spaceship.
The good guys succeed in defeating Creator2 and his troops and trash his high-tech equipment, thus ending the merging of the two Earths before the 2nd Black Canary can go through with her plan to give up her life, mistakenly thinking it would help.
In the aftermath, both Earths return to their normal dimension and it is revealed that the strain of holding off the interdimensional planetary merger ruptured the Spectre’s being, destroying him. The Spectre returns to Heaven to finally rest in peace as the JSA and JLA mourn his passing.
NOTE: Naturally, the Spectre was not gone for good.
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA Vol 1 #91 (August 1971)
Title: Earth – The Monster Maker
Justice Society Roster: Superman (original), Flash (original), Green Lantern (original), the Atom (original), Hawkman (original), and Robin (original – now an adult)
Justice League Roster: The 2nd Batman, the 2nd Superman, the 2nd Black Canary, the 2nd Atom, the 2nd Hawkman, the 2nd Flash, the 2nd Black Canary and Green Arrow
Villains: A-Rym and Teppy
Synopsis: An alien named A-Rym and his otherworldly pet Teppy are traveling between dimensions and accidentally get separated. A-Rym winds up on Earth-Two, while Teppy winds up on Earth-One. The atmosphere of each Earth causes the interdimensional travelers to mutate into rampaging monsters.
On Earth-One, Teppy clashes with JLA members and on Earth-Two, A-Rym battles JSA members. When A-Rym defeats the original Green Lantern (above right), he steals his Power Ring and spreads some of the heroes to the Earth of their counterparts.
The JSA and JLA heroes across both Earths team up against the monsters. On Earth-Two, A-Rym tips the scales in his favor by recruiting the supervillain Solomon Grundy to fight at his side.
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA Vol 1 #92 (September 1971)
Title: Solomon Grundy – The One and Only
Villains: A-Rym and Teppy
Synopsis: The battles between the superteams and the three monsters on the loose continue. When the original Green Lantern at last has his Power Ring returned to him he leads the heroes in once more imprisoning Solomon Grundy in his swamp.
A-Rym is taken down next, but is near death, as is Teppy on Earth-One. The heroes manage to figure out that A-Rym and his pet need reunited in order to heal.
The two interdimensional beings are cured and returned to normal. Other members of their race arrive to take them back to their place of origin. The JSA and JLA members each return to their own Earth.
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA Vol 1 #100 (August 1972)
Title: The Unknown Soldier of Victory
NOTE: For this 100th anniversary issue of the JLA series, the story was used to bring in several guest stars and to clarify the in-continuity status of even more of DC’s older characters from the Golden Age – the Seven Soldiers of Victory – among them the original Green Arrow, making their first appearance in years.
This is similar to the way that DC Comics used Earth-One and Earth-Two to reconcile the continuity of their Golden Age and Silver Age stories. (see previous installment)
Justice Society Roster: Hourman, Wildcat, Dr. Fate, the 2nd Red Tornado, Starman, Sandman, Dr. Mid-Nite, Wonder Woman (original), and Johnny Thunder
Justice League Roster: Metamorpho, Zatanna (at right), Martian Manhunter, Elongated Man, and the 2nd versions of the following – Superman, Batman, Hawkman, Flash, Aquaman, Black Canary, the Atom, Green Arrow, Hawkman and Diana Prince (This was during the years when DC had stripped Earth-One’s Wonder Woman of her superpowers, so she was just Diana Prince, a normal but martial arts-savvy adventurer.)
Seven Soldiers of Victory Roster: The original Green Arrow, the original Speedy, the Vigilante, the Crimson Avenger, Stripesy, Star-Spangled Kid and the Shining Knight
Villain: The Nebula Man
Synopsis: When Earth-Two faces destruction from a cosmic villain called the Nebula Man, the Justice Society proves unable to stop him. The JSA summons the JLA to their Earth but not even both teams are powerful enough to defeat the menace.
Dr. Fate combines his own magic powers with those of Zatanna and Johnny Thunder’s Thunderbolt, thus enabling contact with a powerful entity called Oracle (NOT the later Barbara Gordon character). Oracle determines the problem: long ago, the Seven Soldiers of Victory, a team of Earth-Two heroes who did not join the Justice Society saved the world from the Nebula Man through unknown means.
The aftermath of the Nebula Man’s temporary destruction stranded the Seven Soldiers of Victory (SSV) in various past eras of Earth-Two’s history. Oracle uses his powers to send various trios consisting of a mix of JSA and JLA members back to those past eras to retrieve the SSV and learn what weapon they used to stop the Nebula Man.
Dr. Fate, Elongated Man and the 2nd Atom locate the Crimson Avenger in the days of the Aztec Empire, rescue him and restore his memory. Elsewhere, this issue’s cliffhanger ending comes from us readers (but not the heroes) seeing that the SSV’s old supervillain foe Iron Hand is helping the Nebula Man in his efforts to destroy the world.
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA Vol 1 #101 (September 1972)
Title: The Hand That Shook the World
Villains: The Nebula Man and Iron Hand
Synopsis: Earth-One’s Diana Prince, coordinating both groups’ activities from Justice Society headquarters, sends the JSA’s Mr. Terrific, Robin (original) and Green Lantern (original) to render aid during the latest natural disaster caused by the Nebula Man.
Meanwhile, Oracle has sent Sandman, the 2nd Superman and Metamorpho to retrieve the Shining Knight from the age of Genghis Khan. They do so and restore his memory. Elsewhere, Oracle’s trio of the 2nd Hawkman, Dr. Mid-Nite (at right) and the original Wonder Woman (Diana Prince-TREVOR, who still has her superpowers) to rescue the original Green Arrow from a castle during the time of Robin Hood.
Another of the trios dispatched by Oracle, consisting of Hourman, Starman and the 2nd Batman save Stripesy from his captivity in ancient Egypt. Back at Justice Society headquarters, Iron Hand has broken into the place and is about to kill Diana Prince.
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA Vol 1 #102 (October 1972)
NOTE: For the first time, the annual team-up story of the JSA and JLA runs for three issues.
Title: … And One of Us Must Die
Villains: The Nebula Man and Iron Hand
Synopsis: In Justice Society headquarters on Earth-Two, Diana Prince successfully outfights Iron Hand, who reveals that he is really the one behind the danger threatening the world. He was running a bluff that it was the Nebula Man, intending to at some point demand control of the world in exchange for saving it.
With Iron Hand’s control device destroyed during the fight with Diana Prince, the only hope of saving Earth-Two is for the Seven Soldiers of Victory to be able to reconstruct the weapon they used against the real Nebula Man long ago.
Back in America’s Old West, Johnny Thunder, the 2nd Black Canary and the 2nd Green Arrow rescue the Vigilante (at right) and restore his memory. Wildcat, the 2nd Green Lantern and the 2nd Aquaman likewise recover the Star-Spangled Kid from prehistoric times and bring him back to 1972.
Zatanna, the 2nd Flash and the 2nd Red Tornado retrieve Speedy from the days of the ancient Greek heroes. With all Seven Soldiers of Victory now on hand in 1972 with their memories restored, the SSV reveal that the Crimson Avenger’s old sidekick Wing was the one who used the weapon against the Nebula Man in the past.
The complication is that using the weapon kills the user, like it killed Wing, so when the SSV reassemble that weapon, the heroes argue over who among them will get to give up their life to save Earth-Two. The 2nd Red Tornado steals the weapon and uses it to save the world before anyone can stop him, seemingly ending his existence.
NOTE: You know comic book writing, so it should be no surprise that the Red Tornado was not gone for good.
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA Vol 1 #107 (October 1973)
Title: Crisis on Earth-X
NOTE: Another “crisis” title, this time to incorporate the Quality Comics superheroes whose copyrights DC Comics had purchased from that defunct company. In this case, rather than Earth-One or Earth-Two, etc, DC designated the alternate Earth where the former Quality Comics superheroes lived as Earth-X.
I give the creative team credit for the clever way they went about introducing this latest Earth into the multiverse. Because the Quality Comics superheroes had only really been popular during the 1940s, the writers pretended that those heroes were still fighting Nazis because on Earth-X, Germany won World War Two and conquered the world. Therefore, the freedom fighting Quality superheroes were still clashing with those villains to the present day.
Freedom Fighters Roster: The Black Condor, Phantom Lady, the Ray, Uncle Sam, Doll Man and the Human Bomb
Justice Society Roster: Hourman, Dr. Fate, Sandman, Starman, Flash (original) and Superman (original, with gray streaks at his temples)
Justice League Roster: Elongated Man, the 2nd Batman, 2nd Black Canary, 2nd Flash, 2nd Green Lantern, 2nd Green Arrow and 2nd Red Tornado
Villains: The Nazis of Earth-X
Synopsis: The 2nd Red Tornado, revealed to still be alive, tries to use the Justice League’s transmat cube to teleport himself back to his homeworld of Earth-Two. The device malfunctions, causing some Earth-One and Earth-Two superheroes to get teleported to Earth-X.
On Earth-X, the assembled heroes are attacked by the Nazi Army that has invaded America. The heroes are on the verge of being overwhelmed when they are saved by the arriving Uncle Sam, Black Condor, Phantom Lady (at left), Human Bomb, Doll Man, and the Ray.
The Earth-X heroes orient the JLA and JSA members to the fact of Nazi domination of their world. In flashback, we are shown some of the other Quality Comics superheroes getting killed during the war, like the original Plastic Man, the Blackhawk Squadron, Midnight and others.
Dr. Fate’s magic lets him detect the fact that the Nazis are only able to maintain their hold on the world via mind-control projectors scattered at a few locations around the planet. The three superhero teams break up into assorted smaller groups to destroy those mind-control devices and thereby liberate the planet.
In Paris, the Ray, the Human Bomb, the 2nd Batman and Dr. Fate fight their way past monstrous creations of the Nazis to destroy one of the mind-control projectors, while the other heroes prepare to do the same to the others.
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA Vol 1 #108 (December 1973)
Title: Thirteen Against the Earth
Villains: The Nazis of Earth-X
Synopsis: In Japan, Phantom Lady, Doll Man, the original Superman, and the 2nd Green Arrow fight their way to the next mind-control device, hidden inside a volcano, and must also save Japan from sinking beneath the waves as a side-effect of that device’s destruction.
At Mount Rushmore in America, Uncle Sam, Black Condor, Sandman and Elongated Man overcome Nazi soldiers to reach and destroy the third – and presumed to be final – mind-control projector. Even after it is destroyed, however, nothing changes on Earth-X.
A fourth mind-control device went undetected by Dr. Fate because it is not on the planet, but in an orbiting satellite. That fourth device goes into its emergency protocols, controlling the minds of the JSA & JLA members, then makes them fight the Earth-X superheroes.
The 2nd Red Tornado is not affected by the mind control beam because he is an android. He traces the beam to the satellite and destroys it, plus an android Adolf Hitler that the artificial intelligence was using to head the Nazi government of Earth-X.
With that destruction, all the minds on Earth-X are freed, and it turns out even the Nazi forces were being controlled by the A.I. on the satellite, which secretly took over the world, Skynet style, upon Adolf Hitler’s death years earlier. With everyone now liberated from the mind control, peace is declared and the JSA and JLA part company with the Freedom Fighters and return to their respective Earths.
NOTE: For my examination of all the other Quality Comics superheroes click HERE.
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA Vol 1 #113 (October 1974)
Title: The Creature in the Velvet Cage
Justice Society Roster: Sandman, Hourman, Flash (original), and Wonder Woman (original, Diana Prince-TREVOR)
Justice League Roster: Elongated Man, the 2nd Batman, 2nd Green Lantern and 2nd Superman
Villain: The mutated version of Sandy
Synopsis: When the Justice League members are visiting the Justice Society members on Earth-Two as part of their annual get-together, a massive humanoid creature composed of soil and sand escapes from a Top Secret compound and begins striking at assorted spots around the world.
Sandman and his JSA colleagues inform the JLA that this being is the mutated form of Sandman’s former teen sidekick Sandy. Long ago, when Sandman was experimenting with a new weapon he called a silicoid gun, an accident caused Sandy to be transformed into this monstrous form and go berserk.
For years, the Sandman had kept the creature in a state of sleep while attempts at a cure were made. The renegade Sandy somehow regained consciousness during an earthquake that just struck the place where he was being held, and has now gone on a rampage.
All of the JSA and JLA members work together to battle Sandy, who at last regains enough of his human mind to explain that he is sane now and was using his silica-particle powers to save the world from a series of tremors unleashed by the big quake which freed him.
The heroes help Sandy save Earth-Two from the seismic disturbances and Sandy goes off to come to terms with his new form, leaving behind a guilt-wracked Sandman.
NOTE: In the future, Sandy would join the Justice Society, wielding his new powers, which were more like the Marvel Comics Sandman character.
FOR MY LOOK AT DC’s NEGLECTED 1930s and 1940s SUPERHEROES CLICK HERE.
FOR MY REVIEW OF THE JUSTICE SOCIETY’S WORLD WAR TWO-ERA STORIES CLICK HERE.
9 responses to “JUSTICE LEAGUE AND JUSTICE SOCIETY CROSSOVERS: 1970-1974”
Well written and amazing fun pictures.
Thank you very much!
You’re welcome 😊
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Great post! I enjoyed reading about the crossovers between the Justice League and Justice Society in the 1970s. I particularly found the crisis on Earth-X interesting because of how DC incorporated the Quality Comics superheroes into the story.
Thank you very much! Always good to hear from you!
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