The Greatest Christmas Stories Ever Told! – #14
The countdown continues with 2003’s “Be Good for Goodness’ Sake” from JSA #55 by Geoff Johns, Leonard Kirk, Keith Champagne and Wade Von Grawbadger…
The issue opens with the veteran members of the Justice Society traveling on a Christmas mission to a small town in New Hampshire that they apparently visit every year.
The person they’re visiting is dressed up as Santa Claus. We first meet this mysterious person when this person rescues a stranded family in the snow. We then see this Santa show up for work where this Santa has been the department store Santa for over forty years (when the owner of the store died, he insisted that this person always be Santa Claus).
But then some bad guys interrupt the holiday festivities…
I love the descriptions the mysterious Santa gives of the four JSA members there. But who IS this stranger who knows the JSA members so well?
Yep, this is Ma Hunkle, the original Red Tornado. Johns reveals that she faked her death years ago to go into witness protection after testifying against a criminal organization. Only the Justice Society (she was an early member of the team, albeit in a sort of unofficial capacity) knew her secret, so they would visit her every year and fill her in on what was happening with her children (it is a BIT odd that she can trust the JSA but not her own children, but eh, I guess you just have to buy into the conceit).
However, they have a happy surprise for her this Christmas…
That last panel is beyond heartwarming. What a great job by Kirk and associates.
This set up Ma Hunkle as a fun supporting character in the JSA for the rest of the book’s run. Boy, I sure do miss the old school JSA set-up.