"The Man Who Murdered Santa Claus!": The Key returns and engineers the murder of the Santa Claus scheduled to appear at an orphans' Christmas Party with Superman and Batman, thus issuing a challenge to the Justice League. John Stewart, Hal Jordan's official substitute, stands in for a temporaril
- 1 Synopsis for "The Man Who Murdered Santa Claus!"
- 2 Appearing in "The Man Who Murdered Santa Claus!"
- 3 Synopsis for "The Plight of a Nation!"
- 4 Appearing in "The Plight of a Nation!"
- 5 Synopsis for "Z—as in Zatanna—and Zero Hour!"
- 6 Appearing in "Z—as in Zatanna—and Zero Hour!"
- 7 Notes
- 8 See Also
- 9 Recommended Reading
- 10 Links and References
Synopsis for "The Man Who Murdered Santa Claus!"
The Key returns and engineers the murder of the Santa Claus scheduled to appear at an orphans' Christmas Party with Superman and Batman, thus issuing a challenge to the Justice League. John Stewart, Hal Jordan's official substitute, stands in for a temporarily incapacitated Green Lantern, as the JLA heroes enter a death-trap, a dilapidated building in a St. Louis ghetto. One by one, the members sacrifice them-selves in a gauntlet of traps, so that the others can go on to defeat their foe, first Superman, then Black Canary, Batman, and Green Arrow. Red Tornado and John Stewart also seem to perish, but actually all the members are saved by the intervention of the Phantom Stranger. The Key, having learned that he has only a short time to live, and having vowed to destroy the JLA before he dies, now escapes, and the heroes must evacuate an entire city block, which the villain's devices are set to destroy. The substitute Green Lantern immediately recreates the old ghetto buildings, repairing them in the process.
Later, Red Tornado is presented with his Christmas gift—a new and more colorful costume.
Appearing in "The Man Who Murdered Santa Claus!"
- Green Lantern (John Stewart)
- Justice League of America
- Phantom Stranger
- Santa Simpson (Only appearance; dies)
- Barry Allen
- Iris West
- Eric Russell
- Fran Russell
- Ralph Dibny
- Sue Dibny
- Kathy Sutton
- Hal Jordan
- Jesus Christ (Mentioned only)
- Caribbean Sea
- United States of America
Synopsis for "The Plight of a Nation!"
This story is reprinted from All-Star Comics #40.
At a meeting of the Justice Society of America, Hawkman urges the other members to take on Claw and his Crimson Claw Gang, who have been pulling off a series of daring crimes. Their only clue for finding the Claws is a letter written by a member of the Junior Justice Society, containing only a meeting time and place. Green Lantern and Black Canary go to the rendezvous, finding a young boy named Don Brent. Don tells them that his brother is in the Crimson Claws. He starts to tell the pair about the Claws next job at "Tony's", but before he can provide any details, he is knocked out by a thrown object. Green Lantern and Black Canary take the boy to a doctor, then bring him home. Setting out to find Tony's, they find a gang of youths wearing Crimson Claw emblems robbing a Tony's market. To figure out what's happening, they confront the kids, then pretend to be knocked out by the kid's slingshots, so they can follow them. The Junior Crimson Claw gang heads to a rival gang's clubhouse to start a fight. Green Lantern and Black Canary break up the fight, but not before a Junior Crimson Claw sets fire to the other gang's clubhouse. Hearing news of the fire over the radio, Hawkman and Flash decide to investigate, but see a night watchman knocked out on the sidewalk in front of a factory, first. They go inside to investigate, and find the real Crimson Claw gang breaking into the factory safe. They start to round up the gang, but are knocked out when a vat of hydrocyanic acid is pierced by a bullet. The Claw has them put into an electrolysis bath and turns it on, leaving them for dead.
Concerned about kid gangs, Green Lantern and Black Canary set out to tackle the problem; Green Lantern meets with the police and a social worker to discuss the issue of 'Juvenile Delinquents', while Black Canary discusses the issue with Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman sends Doctor Mid-Nite and the Atom to enlist the help of the Junior Justice Society. The Junior Justice Society suggest infiltrating the Junior Crimson Claw gang by using Don Brent as a double agent. Black Canary and Green Lantern return to the Brent's house, to confront Chick Brent, a Junior Crimson Claw they recognized from the gang fight, but his older brother Eddie Brent, a member of the real Crimson Claw gang, knocks out the Green Lantern and Black Canary with a wooden chair. Before Eddie can shoot them, Flash and Hawkman arrive and knock him out. As they explain how they escaped from the electrolysis bath, Eddie slips out. Later that day, Don is exposed as a spy, so the Junior Crimson Claws tie him to a railroad track, then set off to break windows on their rival gang's turf.
The Flash catches and trails Eddie Brent to the Crimson Claw's hideout, and contacts the JSA. He attempts to engage the entire gang, but gets knocked out. Eddie Brent explains how the Crimson Claws have been so successful: they've been using the Junior Crimson Claw's activities to draw police attention, then they start their robberies. As they start their next job, however, they are surprised to see the Justice Society waiting for them, thanks to Flash's message. The Junior Justice Society find and rescue Don from the railroad tracks, then confront the Junior Crimson Claw gang in their hideout, where JJSA soundly beat them in a fight. The Justice Society arrives, and watches the fight, impressed. Once the Junior Claws give up, Wonder Woman shows the Junior Claws their future, using her Magic Sphere. They are shown being sent to the electric chair for their crimes, and their remorse at having joined a gang in the first place. Not wanting that fate, all of the Junior Claws renounce the gang, and promise to become worthy citizens and treat other people with respect.
Appearing in "The Plight of a Nation!"
- Justice Society of America
- Junior Justice Society of America
- Don Brent
- Crimson Claw Gang
- Eddie Brent
- Junior Crimson Claw Gang
- Billy Peters
- Chick Brent
- Dr. M. S. Vine
- Julia Brent
- Mr. Jennings
- Mr. Peters
- Mrs. Peters
- Oriole Gang
- Civic City
- Ajax Chemical Company
- Crimson Claw Cellar
- Don Brett's House
- Elm Street Railroad Tracks
- Gotham Bridge
- Gotham Central Palace
- Granite Heights Station
- Hastings Street
- JSA Headquarters
- Junior Justice Society Clubroom
- Oriole Clubhouse
- Riversend School
- Safeway Armored Car Company
- Tony's Vegetable Market
- Civic City
- Bracelets of Submission
- Green Flame of Life
- Green Lantern Ring
- Lasso of Truth
- Mental Radio
- Nth Metal Wings
- Wonder Woman's Magic Sphere
- Wonder Woman's Tiara
Synopsis for "Z—as in Zatanna—and Zero Hour!"
This story is reprinted from Justice League of America #51.
Zatanna has summoned Batman, Green Lantern, Atom, Hawkman, and Elongated Man to the Justice League Headquarters in order to tell them that she had succeeded in finding her father, the magician Zatara, thanks to their help. However, all the heroes recall all their adventures with Zatanna as failures, and Batman has never met Zatanna at all, so far as he can remember.
She explains that she finally tracked down a way to travel to the magical realm which her father has been kept prisoner by the evil Allura. Summoning mystical duplicates of the Justice League members (and Elongated Man) she has encountered to help in her fight, she is unaware that she is being tricked into a trap. As she tells her story, Zatanna explains to Batman that they have met previously when she traveled to Gotham City and disguised herself as a witch who was then used by his foe the Outsider during one of his cases with Robin.
Zatanna keeps telling the story and informs them that Zatara, knowing that his daughter is approaching to their own doom, summoned his old foe Amen-Hotep, to create a distraction in order to keep Zatanna and her mystically created JLA members at bay while Zatara sends the good side of Allura to stop her evil half.
With Allura defeated, Zatara and Zatanna are finally reunited and they return to Earth. Finishing her story, Zatara appears and thanks the heroes gathered for helping his daughter free him.
Appearing in "Z—as in Zatanna—and Zero Hour!"
- Sword of Paracelsus (Flashback only)
- Bell, Book, & Candle
- Red Tornado is gifted his new costume in the epilogue to this issue. The costume was designed and woven by Black Canary.
- The Key mentions Superman's threat in Justice League of America #63 to keep him in perpetual suspended animation in the Fortress of Solitude. The courts ruled that this would be unconstitutional and instead sentenced him to 20-to-life, although a diagnosis of fatal poisoning by his own psycho-chemicals caused him to be paroled to spend his final months as a free man. That leads into the Key's motivation in this issue, to destroy the JLA to seize final victory over the team before he dies. He mentions that the doctors did not expect him to live through New Year's Day, but the Key goes on to appear as a regular Justice League villain for many years.
- Cover gallery for the Justice League of America series
- Images from Justice League of America Vol 1 110
- Justice League Recommended Reading
- Justice League of America (Volume 1)
- Justice League of America (Volume 2)
- Justice League of America (Volume 3)
- Justice League of America (Volume 4)
- Justice League of America (Volume 5)
- JLA (Volume 1)
- Justice League (Volume 1)
- Justice League (Volume 2)
- Justice League (Volume 3)
- Justice League (Volume 4)
- Justice League International (Volume 1)
- Justice League International (Volume 2)
- Justice League International (Volume 3)
- Justice League Europe (Volume 1)
- Justice League America (Volume 1)
- Justice League Task Force (Volume 1)
- Justice League Quarterly (Volume 1)
- Justice League Dark (Volume 1)
- Justice League Dark (Volume 2)
- Extreme Justice (Volume 1)
- Justice League Elite (Volume 1)
Links and References