[JSA Book Club] JSA/JLA Team Ups Part 2 [8/16-8/30]


Hello all! Hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy. This week we return to the time when the JSA would have annual team ups with the JLA. Those were fun times weren’t they? Let us begin with the Roll Call and bring this meeting to order!


Club Leaders

@JasonTodd428 & @Aurora

Standing Members

AggressiveIntellectual219, bigblock66, Brenticus_Rex, CassTheStreet, CrazyQuilt, Daffern, dave_worrell, DCUniverse, december360, dj.ganon, Don-El, frankie.lacy79, Frostbite30, ganaoque, harrist, HombreDeMaiz, hotstufflouie, jacksonjakebova.2, Jay_Kay, Jflow, jlevin, kaliym, lunalane, mbpbinder, _meegs, Meisaj, mgeiler, Midnitehour, MisfitCMJ, ,msgtv, PaintEater, ProActress2O, ralphsix, Ravenrifft, Reaganfan78, Remember5NovEveyHammond, rlynchfamily, rspezzano, rwm, TheCosmicMoth, TK52, TurokSonOfStone, waddup, YolandaMontezz, ZacharyLee1995

This week’s selections feature a lot of interesting characters.

Red Tornado

T.O. Morrow

Earth-Two Robin

This Week’s Issues

Discussion Questions

JLA #55-56

  1. What did everyone think of the fights between the Black-Sphered Villains and the JSA? What about the ones between the combined JSA/JLA teams?

  2. Green Lantern, Flash, Wonder Woman and Hourman took a huge risk when they volunteered to be irradiated with the Negative Radiation. Was this a wise decision on their part? What did you think of the way they were able to show the others the weakness of their foes even though they had been turned evil?

  3. Jonny Thunder and his Thunderbolt end up being the ones that ultimately face the four Black-Sphered Villians without any back up. What did you think of his distraction method here that enabled his Thunderbolt to remove the black spheres?

JLA #64-65

  1. Red Tornado’s return in these issues was marked by disaster. Every attempt he made to help the JSA in their initial fight ended up backfiring. Why do you think that was?

  2. At one point Red Tornado wonders if he has been put under someone else’s control but then he discounts it. Should he have taken a closer look at that thought?

  3. What did you think of all of T.O. Morrow’s plans in these two issues?

  4. Anyone else feel badly for Red Tornado here when T.O. Morrow said he was nothing?

JLA #73-74

  1. What did you all think of Aquarius?

  2. What did you think of the fight scenes in these issues?

  3. At the end of JLA #74, Black Canary decides to leave Earth-Two. Do you agree with this decision?

And that’s all for this week folks.

If you’d like to join the JSA BOOK CLUB please do so.

  • Next month: @Aurora will start covering the JSA (1999) series again starting with JSA #13 while I move forward to the New 52’s Earth 2. See you all then.


Bubble for memory.

I know I posted a lot of questions there but you don’t need to answer all of them or even any of them. Just an FYI for @JSABookClub members. I got a little carried away because I was trying to distract myself from RL things. I had a good friend pass away after a long illness.

I’ve read the first double header, and will jump in on those. Will get to the others in a bit. So far today, fixed part of my fence, saw WW 84 panel, Gotham Knights game and Suicide Squad (wow on all) all while watching the Bucks destroy Orlando. Now, gotta go for a run.
*Just in case anyone was wondering *

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All of that sounds cool @msgtv.

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Justice League of America #55-56 was everything great and a little frustrating from this time era. First, it was always so cool to see the JSA pop up on Earth 1. Sure, your friends knew the JLA from Super Friends, but the had no idea about Earth 2. Now, you can hear yakking heads on tv talk about Earth 2 or the multiverse where X thing didn’t happen. The story itself is something of a formula. Bad guys do stuff, heroes respond get their heads handed to them, regroup, beat bad guys. What made this more interesting was the bad guys.

This guy just really hates sports now, which is just funny.
sports smasher

Some of heroes taking a turn toward EVIL made the final fights much more interesting. Of course, it’s been done before but still it was fun.

Now of course, this scene really doesn’t appear in the book, but worse the idea that Robin stands alone was entirely misleading. Ten year old me is upset by this. Also, I like grown up Robin’s later costume the incorporated his colors better than this Batmanish blue grey outfit.


@JasonTodd428 My condolences.

Yeah that was pretty hilarious especially his name. That got a chuckle out of me.

Yeah. I remember being upset by that as well. I really wanted to see Robin kick some villain butt but alas.

You mean this one?

I can’t say I’m very fond of either one to be honest. That’s just my opinion though.

Thank you @dave_worrell. She was a good friend and had been sick for several years.


To clarify the “wow” I stated, I’m referring to the fact that these are among my favorite issues of the Silver Age Justice League!

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I love these issues too @Don-El. I was just concerned that all those questions might be off -putting to some.

I just read JLA 55-56.

  1. It almost reminds me of Smallville where it’s a freak of the week. The Black-Sphered villains were just a little wacky. Of course it was a little dated.
  2. It was not a wise decision to put essentially evil aliens into super powered beings. I guess because the have stronger willpower they could show their weaknesses.
  3. Laughter is the best medicine!!

JLA 64-65
4. Obviously knowing that T.O. Morrow created the Red Tornado I figured he was sent in to infiltrate and take care of them without his knowledge.
5. I guess in this issue he still is a robot but this builds the groundwork that he does have a soul.
6. To have two worlds war with each other and essentially destroy each other while he wanders the multiverse. Why not just go to Earth Two and become the World’s Greatest Man.
7. He was only a machine created to infiltrate the JSA. Pretty much he gave him life and he wasn’t meant to even survive. Morrow was just throwing him away. Morrow in these stories was just messing things up for pure destruction. What a jerk!


That is the truth and it certainly worked against these particular ‘villains’.

That’s a good point. And in essence because he has a soul he is therefore alive as well. Something more than a mere machine.

He probably wants more than just that even if that would be plenty to be getting on with.


  1. Aquarius seemed like a throw away villain to me.

  2. I liked seeing the teams against each other but it’s weird to see Superman of Earth-One and Earth-Two look pretty much the same. Batman is always prepared to fight. He puts in those red lenses to fight Dr. Midnight.

  3. She just up and leaves pretty quickly instead of trying to face life with any of his or her family. She didn’t have any proper time to grieve before she says I’m out!

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@JasonTodd428, I’m sorry for your loss! I hope you’re doing well!

@msgtv, I honestly really like the first Earth-Two Robin costume. It’s like he took an old Batman suit and stuck a Robin decal on it. Does it look good? No. But I think it’s really funny and it kind of signals that he’s assuming Batman’s legacy in the JSA.

Now, onto the questions:

  1. I think the Black-Sphere villains beat the JSA a bit too easily, but they had to be identified as a legitimate threat worthy of challenging both the JSA and JLA at once. Seeing them tear through the JSA definitely distinguishes them as a threat. The hero vs. hero fights were a little more fun.

I also think it’s odd that they only gave one of the Black-Sphere villains a super-villain name: Gem-Girl. It was funny reading the heroes refer to the others by their Christian names. Couldn’t be bothered to think of more code-names, Fox?

  1. I think irradiating Green Lantern, Flash, Wonder Woman, and Hourman with black-sphere energy was a really bad idea all-around. “This black sphere energy turned four normal people into unstoppable villains, so let’s irradiate four of our most powerful friends with it. How could that go wrong?” They even knew how it was probably going to turn bad, and they still did it anyway… In fairness, it did lead to them learning how to defeat the black-sphere villains. I enjoyed the gimmick where the Black-Sphere irradiated heroes dropped clues to the others about how to defeat them during the fight. That’s classic Garner Fox…

  2. I loved how Johnny Thunder beats the black-sphere villains by telling dad jokes. Best part of the story, really. Johnny also doesn’t get a lot of great hero moments, so I’m glad he got this one.

  3. I think Red Tornado was programmed to inflict disaster upon the JSA while he was helping. It’s sad because, in his head, he was really trying to help. But he was programmed to blunder.

  4. Should Red Tornado have looked a bit closer into the theory that he was being controlled? Yes. But, again, he’s an android. Maybe he was programmed no to.

  5. I’m never sure of what T.O. Morrow’s actual goal is when he strikes. At first, he’s carrying out heists, so you’re like: “Okay… dude’s just trying to get rich.” Then he moves on to trying to start a cataclysmic war between Earths One and Two. Okay… how are you going to spend all those riches you stole if you’re destroying the worlds you can spend them on…? Still, a war between Earth-One and Earth-Two would make a great crossover.

  6. I never stop feeling bad for Red Tornado. I feel bad for the Ma Hunkel version who had to endure the boy’s club bullying of the JSA. I feel bad for Reddy here as he’s being put down by his own creator. I continue to feel bad for Red Tornado as he tries so hard to impress and help both the JLA and JSA. Still, everyone keeps giving him a hard time. Red Tornado is the true whipping boy of the Satellite era.

  7. The first time I read this story some years back, I didn’t think much of Aquarius. His power and origins seemed a bit vague, and he felt like a throw-away villain. In this read through, I liked him a bit better. He’s an agent of chaos for the sake of chaos. This is driven by his own mental health issues. His mind works differently, so no one understands him and he gets punished for it. In response, he just wants to burn everything down.

  8. The fights against Aquarius are not much to speak of. However, this story contains Earth-One Superman against Earth-Two Superman which was awesome (in fact, I think this was the debut of the concept of Earth-Two Superman). These early team-ups sure do love pitting the JSA and JLA against each other, though…

  9. To start, thank god Black Canary does decide to leave Earth-Two for Earth-One. The meta, editorial reason for her decision was to give the JLA a new female member since Wonder Woman had just been de-powered so she could do her secret agent shtick. Also, Black Canary leaving Earth-Two would eventually lead to the romance with Green Arrow, the Birds of Prey, and Dinah as we know and love her now (after a retcon or two). Still, her decision is a bit rushed in the end. Larry is fresh in the ground and she’s rushing off to another reality? You can blame it on the grief, but it is a bit fast.

Also, it was always kind of strange to me that this version of the Black Canary would have been well into her 40’s and maybe even pushing 50 by this point (if you check out Larry’s gravestone, he was 49 when he died). This is something that is not really discussed when Dinah starts flirting with Green Arrow (and then is retconned later). Strange, but… hey, you go after those younger men, Dinah… Do your thing, girl.

I’m going to end this with a conspiracy theory: The REAL Earth-Two is destroyed in Justice League of America #73. Aquarius sends Earth-Two and everyone living on it to a spirit realm effectively destroying the planet and killing its inhabitants. We are told that Earth-Two now only exists in the memories of the surviving JSA members. When Larry Lance is killed by that massive energy sphere, the resulting blast gives rebirth to Earth-Two.

But, again, while it was gone Earth-Two only existed in the memories of the JSA. I submit to you that Earth-Two was rebuilt from these memories. Therefore, it wasn’t the real Earth-Two that came back, but a version of the planet cobbled together from the memories of the JSA. Granted, Earth-Two Superman was one of these surviving JSA members. If he is like Earth-One Superman then he has Super-Recall which makes his memory almost perfect… almost. Still, who knows what is missing from the new Earth-Two due to memory lapses or incomplete knowledge.

These were fun reads! Can’t wait to move on to new material!

Yeah that was a little strange that the rest didn’t really have villain names that stood out. It was almost as if the others we more intent on their respective acts of villainy and couldn’t be bothered with thinking of decent names. Gem Girl had the whole package though: snazzy name and the crimes to go with it.

True and I also think that maybe the heroes were somewhat less susceptible to it’s influence. Not entirely so of course but just enough that it allowed them to show the others how the villains here could be defeated even while under its influence.

Johnny’s heroics here was my favorite part of this. As you say he doesn’t get many so this one was fun to see.

It’s horribly sad. Here’s someone who honestly wants to help but keeps making a bigger problem than the one he is trying to help fix.

Yeah I’m pretty sure he was programmed not to look to hard into things here.

That could be interesting.

Those two things have a similarity don’t they? In both cases Red Tornado is being put down. It’s not fair to either of them honestly.

He certainly is at that and he’s not the only villain who goes that route.

It was awesome to see that. It’s so rare to see that happen so I appreciate it when I do see it.

Grief does strange things to people and it’s likely Dinah simply wanted a change of scenery because everything on her home earth would have only reminded her of Larry.

It is odd to think about the age difference between her and Ollie at this point though especially when they start getting together. There may have been several retcons and reboots since then but I always can’t help thinking of Dinah as being older even when she’s not. It’s a weird thing.

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Interesting conspiracy theory there and actually something very similar happen with the N52’s Earth 2. It’s been a long while since I read that story though so I can’t remember the exact details. Some of the heroes were stuck in what appeared to be a vast void of nothingness that was then favorite transformed into what, at first appeared to be their world but it was brought back wrong because their memories weren’t accurate. I think a villain was involved too.

Anyway I look forward to reading through some newer material myself.

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