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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.

15 Comments

nice was hoping this one made the calander for not only the look on mas face when she learns she is now no longer having to hide but also the jsa saying they still need her. given how the character is proably not known and long forgotten by dc now a days

I know very little about the original JSA but this was very well done.

Earth-2 is not Earth-Two. I’ll stick with old school comics that are fun to read and re-read. Like this one. *No*, that’s just a little dust in my eye…

Me too Dave, me too.

I have some old Red Tornado episodes from the Smithsonian Comic Book Book of Comics, but wish I could find more. I’ve tried looking, but I don’t think DC has actually collected these. :-(

Wow, that Geoff Johns guy can write a solid JSA story. I wonder if he’s still keeping busy.

This is the first story I voted for that’s shown up. It’s a highlight of one of my favorite runs, and I re-read it every December. I enjoy the new Earth 2 book and all, but I really miss the classic JSA.

Just one more reason why I love the JSA so much more than the JLA. Ma Hunkle!

I have no interest in a DC universe without the JSA or the Legion.

This reminds me once again, of why I am reading very little DC these days. I miss the JSA

I miss this version of the JSA terribly as well. Earth 2 is fine for what it is, but it’s an Elseworlds to me.

Sedula said it: the new is all Elseworlds and not particularly great Elseworlds. I’d take going back in time and reading old issues over DC52 any day.

sniffles* Raises the Holiday cocoa mug in tribute to golden ‘oldies’.

Well, yeah, that makes no sense (the witness protection program stuff/not seeing her kids) because Jay says right there on the last page “the last one who could have hurt you or your children ” (emphasis added). If this mob still knew where her kids were, why wouldn’t they have hurt them, or alternatively, why wouldn’t she insist that her kids go into witness protection with her too?

Ah, it’s comic books. The only place other than soap operas where faking your death is a sensible life choice.

Johnny Sarcastic

December 29, 2013 at 9:57 am

This run on JSA was incredible. In fact, the entire JSA series is one of my most prized possessions. I miss it desperately – I’m glad to see there’s others on here that feel the same way.

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