The original Justice League of America series is probably best remembered for its multi-issue JLA/JSA crossover and the forgettable seemingly never ending JLA Detroit saga. There are some real single issues gems in the series though, and #14 is my favourite as it is pure Fox/Sekowsky goodness. Of course, it’s the Murphy Anderson bowling–motif cover that catches your eye. Bowling covers are a favourite of mine too, but that’s a whole different story.
Open up this book and you’ll soon find that everything that is so lovable about the DC Silver Age (in all of its implausible goofiness) is present. To a certain degree the actual story is almost an afterthought as the entire premise is to set up a scenario wherein the Atom can prove his worthiness to validate his selection into the Justice League. The JLA is on the ropes as the combination of amnesia and a team of second-string villains (Sea Thief? Doctor Davis?) was just too much for them to handle.
Luckily instead of simply killing our heroes; the mystery villain keeps everyone on ‘pins’ and needles, by packing the Atom into an explosive ball to ‘strike’ the JLA. Luckily, he escapes without a second to ‘spare’ and sends the villain’s plans right into the gutter. Yup – it’s corny, but it’s a lot of fun – and as a bonus we get a surprise twist at the end and a one panel appearance from Superman to satisfy contractual obligations, no doubt.
In the end, we have a nice moment in the JLA Meeting Room as the team shows that it’s willing to go above and beyond to accommodate their new diminutive member. It’s great stuff all around. This story can be found in the DC Showcase Presents Justice League collection as well as Volume 2 of the JLA Archives.
Groovy Christmases Past: 1974
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