Welcome back, for the second part of a rare, two part RETRO REVIEW. Last week I looked and wrote about Justice League of America # 21, cover dated August, 1963 and this week I’ll be featuring the next comic book in the series, Justice League of America # 22, cover dated September 1963, which has the conclusion of the first cross over ever, between the Justice League of America and the Justice Society of America (the DC Comics Golden Age team that was the forerunner of the Silver Age Justice League of America team).
Issue # 22’s cover was also drawn by Mike Sekowsky and inked by Murphy Anderson (as was issue # 21). It features the two Green Lanterns freeing their captured teammates in space. Take a peek:
Maybe this cover isn’t as striking as the one on issue # 21, but with the bright blue background, it is eye catching. Again, the story title is clearly shown on the cover; “Crisis on Earth-Two!”. The writer of this comic is Gardner Fox, with the pencil art done by Mike Sekowsky and the inks provided by Bernard Sachs, the same creative team as in Justice League of America # 21.
The splash page provides a nice long recap of the previous issue, along with just the heads of the League and Society members, as well as, the heads of the six villains, the so called Crime Champions of Earth One and Two. Then as you turn the page the action begins anew! The two Green Lanterns fly to release the captured two Flashes. Hourman and the Atom tackle the Fiddler both literally and figuratively!
Doctor Fate takes on the Icicle and defeats him. Hawkman and the Black Canary come out on top of the Wizard. All this in the first chapter! The second chapter shows the Martian Manhunter and Green Arrow besting Felix Faust with a little help (pun intended) from the Atom. Then it’s Wonder Woman and Batman’s turn to face off against Dr. Alchemy, where they also come up roses! Then a quick cut away to see the two Green Lanterns trying to free the two Flashes to no avail. Then it’s back to Superman and Aquaman to defeat Chronos.
Then another quick cut away to the two Green Lanterns, who have now successful figured out a way to free the Flashes of both worlds! But when they do, all the heroes vanish leaving the captured villains free once again! The heroes reappear, but in jail cells tethered together in space. Each of the cells hold two heroes, for example the two Green Lanterns, the two Flashes, the Atoms, Wonder Woman & the Black Canary, Batman and Hourman, Superman and Aquaman, Martian Manhunter & Hawkman and finally Green Arrow & Dr. Fate. Each of the heroes take turns trying to escape their prison cells, but to no avail.
Eventually, the Atom of Earth One (Ray Palmer) tries to shrink down between the atoms of his cell, but he can not do so, but he suggests that the Green Lanterns use their rings to try the same trick on their cell. And they succeed and quickly free their fellow League and Society teammates.
Then in two pages, the combined heroes make short work of ‘mopping up the floor’ with the six Crime Champion members, winning handedly! Then the two teams vow to keep in touch and thus quickly wraps up the first JLA/JSA crossover in history!
As I said in my earlier, part one post, these two issues might be my favorite DC Comics of all time. I bought and read when them I was about nine years old and they really made an impression on me. I make no bones about preferring Marvel Comics over DC Comics, but I truly have a soft spot for individual DC comics of the sixties and these are definitely two of the best and fondest remembered comics in my collection.
These two comics also began a yearly tradition of Justice League and Justice Society crossovers each summer for many years to come. I recommend them all if you don’t already own them. So that wraps things up here, but please come back next week for a new Fabulous Find and I’ll be back in two weeks with yet another new RETRO REVIEW. Til then, I’ll be seeing you …