:jsa_book_club: Stealing Thunder: May 1-15 :jsa_book_club:

Hello again members of the @JSABookClub! Good to see you all again.

This session we will be going back to the 1999 JSA series. This sessions selections see Batman lurking around, Johnny Thunder returning and the Ultra-Humanite causing trouble. The main story here is called Stealing Thunder.

So lets get this meeting started and dig into these issues shall we?


Club Leaders

@JasonTodd428 & @Aurora

Standing Members

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Please give them a warm JSABC welcome!

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* JSA #31-37


  1. What did you think of Batman’s analysis of the JSA members here?

  2. The Ultra Humanite is a crafty one isn’t he?What did you think of his plan here?

  3. How about Icicle’s role in this? Never thought I’d see him helping out heroes.

  4. If you found yourself in the same situation as the JSA here what would you do?

And that’s all for this session folks. Join the JSABC at our next session when we return to the 2007 Justice Society of America.


I am currently on Thy Kingdom Come in my re-read through of the Johns run, so I read this recently.

I quickly had memories of disappointment at the cover for 31. I was hoping to see how Stargirl (I will call her that for simplicity’s sake) got the staff, and instead she is just in the end holding it. DC Database to the rescue. The rest is not good, and I would call this the most forgettable issue Johns wrote. The whole Batman thing is the very generic I do not trust the new guys, and think this team is bad. A little later he changes his mind to the opposite. It is just forgettable.

At least it had that good scene with Hawkman and Sandman. Black Canary is my least favorite member of the team by far, so I am glad she is gone. I do like that when Power Girl arrives everybody but Wildcat has a smile except Black Adam who just looks bored.

Issue 32 was my favorite of these. I really liked this slice of life issue. The part that really stuck with me the first time was the Stargirl-Atom Smasher- Black Adam scene. That completely caught me off guard the first time. I can see it is Atom Smasher shooing her off that makes her angry- good foreshadowing there. Speaking of foreshadowing the Johnny returning thing has been foreshadowed for several issues before the readings.

Again some great Hawkman and Sandman scenes. I really wish they had another major arc together, as they are depending on the day my 2nd, 3rd, or 4th favorite members of the team of like 50 guys.

Here is the question I kept asking. Since this is when Jakeem is trying to win Star over (as a date or friend) I am surprised he never wished her teeth to be fixed and get the braces removed. That probably wins him quite a few points.

For the actual discussion question this is a really good plan. The only flaw is some of these older guys really should be suspicious of everybody by now, but I can see everybody falling for this, and his words seem natural for Johnny too.

  1. I was actually discussing this on the Stargirl subreddit quite a bit recently and took a screenshot to post there in the future.

    I am overall not very entertained by “Stealing Thunder,” but I love the Sandman/Icicle rivalry. That is a very cold way of Icicle to make it clear who he is- a proud villain who is stuck helping heroes for his own preservation. Sandman sees his genuine concern for his teammates and tries to use this to save him to no avail.

In case anyone is wondering if this continues it does in JSA All-Stars #1, which is sadly not available on the site.

  1. They did a great job at making it seem hopeless, but like most dictatorships it really was just holding on by a thread. All they really had to do was get Dr. Fate back (the Ted/Hector scenes were my second favorite) or free Green Lantern. I think either would have worked.
    As Wildcat said in issue 35, “Well, that was easier than I thought. Maybe Humanoid’s streched a little thin.”

My favorite fight was definetly Wildcat and Hector vs the Hawks.

I think they waited too long betwen the introduction of Crimson Avenger trying to kill Wildcat and its resolution. When I first read it I completely forgot about that part by issue 52.

I do prefer Kirk’s artwork to Sadowski and Snejberg’s art. On my reread I was happy to get to it.


Stargirl has been renewed for season 3. :stargirl: Between this and the JSA movie our team is getting some real love.


That’s great news and our team does seem to be getting the love lately. It makes me really happy. :stargirl:


We might get to her being renamed “Starwoman.”

  1. Batman was a little harsh with his anslysis. It was funny to see them find the villain as quickly as he could.
  2. I never realized the Thunderbolt was so powerful. The Ultra Humanite certainly put his powers to effective use in creating his world.
  3. As for Icicle, even a villain will work for good sometimes.
  4. I would like to believe I would keep fighting like the JSA. I need some powers or training first, though :joy:

The best training is throwing yourself to the wolves and throwing caution to the wind.


I just finished my reread of the entire Johns run (I think I got every crossover during that time). Ten years of comics in one month, so… Got to find something else to read now when I am done with work.


There is so much out there to read out there. Sometimes I don’t know what to read next because I have quite a long list of things I want to read.

1 Like

I am thinking Hawkman after the John’s run, rereading Forever Evil, or rereading Green Lantern Rebirth.


Typical Batman… He starts by insinuating the Justice Society is not what it used to be. Then he jumps to the fearing the worst in people (Sand), the smarmy “I know more about this dude than he knows about himself” routine (Dr. Mid-Nite), and mistrusting the unknown (Mister Terrific). At the start, he only seemed to respect Sentinel out of the lot of them. I’m glad the JSA showed him up a bit and changed his mind in the end. Bruce has got to lighten up…

Typical Ultra Humanite… I went back and read his earliest appearances in Action Comics (Vol. 1 #13-14, 17, 19-21), and it helped give me some insight on to just why he follows this formula. When he first appeared, Ultra Humanite was weak and wheel-chair bound. This probably convinced him to start the trend of putting his mind in other peoples’ bodies. His initial bouts with superheroes ended in failure which is why he’s always trying to get them out of the way. I wondered why he didn’t just wish for all metahumans to disappear, but then I remembered that Thunderbolt can’t kill. Thunderbolt is the key to this plan and the genie’s power is what made this one almost succeed when every other Humanite plot has blown up in his face. Still a pretty devastating plan from one of comics’ first supervillains.

I don’t know… I’ve always had the feeling that Icicle, Jr. isn’t THAT bad. I mean, he’s a criminal, yes, but… he’s not really one of those “force of evil” kind of villains. I read it like he’s a career criminal because he really doesn’t think he can be anything else. His family history kind of locked him in a path that he can’t see any alternative to. Which is funny because he does prove that he can be a hero here. Heck, he probably could’ve joined the JSA after serving some time… He just can’t picture that out of himself.

Run and hide? I mean, this was a pretty bad situation. Humanite had an army of the most powerful heroes and metahumans working for him. I would probably favor a strategy that avoided tangling with an army that contained Superman and Wonder Woman. From what I’ve read about the Ultra Humanite, his plans tend to fall apart as soon as you confront him directly. I probably wouldn’t have tried to free any minds beforehand and would’ve gone straight for Humanite himself. I also probably would’ve been incinerated by heat vision, so…

Fun story! Can’t wait for next week’s reading!


In JSA All-Stars#1 (not on this site) Icicle claims your whole discussion about him is false, but I have trouble believing him.


Yeah… I just wouldn’t buy the notion of him being some irredeemable sociopath… he just doesn’t come off that way.


Watch him become one on Stargirl.


Pretty much. This is one of those times I found his smug attitude annoying.

I agree with you there. I’ve always read him as being more akin to the Flash’s Rogues then to someone like the Ultra Humanite or Joker.

I’m more of a go straight for the source type of person myself. I also would have gone straight for Humanite hoping that by doing so I could free the rest.


I liked seeing that as well.

That’s something that I think gets lost in the shuffle due in part to the somewhat comedic way the original Johnny Thunder was portrayed in the past. While I like that about him it is a double edged sword really. I’m not even sure Johnny realized the power he held and Jakeem doesn’t seem to either to be honest. Thunderbolt is one powerful entity.