For those coming in late, part one covered the humble beginnings of what became a treasured annual tradition: the JLA-JSA team-ups. Part two chronicled the expansion of the concept, as ever-greater threats were met with ever-increasing numbers of superheroes. We now find ourselves in 1973, as the superhero head count just keeps going up!
Justice League of America #107-108 (1973)
JLA: Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Black Canary, Green Arrow, Elongated Man, and the Red Tornado (now a JLA member).
JSA: Superman, Flash, Hourman, Sandman, and Dr. Fate.
The Freedom Fighters of Earth-X: Uncle Sam, the Human Bomb, Doll Man, Phantom Lady, Black Condor, and the Ray. Flashback cameos of Plastic Man and the Blackhawks.
Villains: The Third Reich of Earth-X.
Summary: When a new dimensional transporter malfunctioned, three JLA members and three JSA members were mistakenly sent to yet another alternate earth, where they were immediately attacked by high-tech Nazi troops. Just when things were looking grim, our heroes received an assist from the Freedom Fighters, the native superheroes of the nightmarish "Earth-X". Following the battle, Uncle Sam (yes, that Uncle Sam) gave the JLA and JSA a quick history lesson, explaining that the German Third Reich of Earth-X had won World War II, and now controlled the entire planet using mind control devices stationed in various locations.
Wasting no time, the three teams combined their forces to hunt down and systematically destroy each of the mind control devices, and met with heavy resistance along the way. When the final device was smashed, the JLA & JSA suddenly attacked the Freedom Fighters, indicating yet another mind control machine was in operation. Free of the device's control, the Red Tornado discovered it orbiting around the planet. After an encounter with "Adolph Hitler" (actually just an android), Reddy smashed the satellite and freed his teammates. Following a round of handshakes and back-slapping, the repaired dimensional transporter returned the JLA and JSA to their respective worlds.
Highlights: Wow...where to begin? This one definitely makes the Top Five cut, since there's so much to like here.
When I'm not reading fiction, I enjoy reading history..and occasionally I blend the two by reading "alternate history" fiction, so obviously the victorious Third Reich of Earth-X is a fascinating concept in and of itself. Add to that the revival of Golden Age characters originally published by Quality Comics along with the generous number of battles with high-tech Nazis, and you've got yourself one heck of a story.
Dick Dillin's artwork never looked better than when Dick Giordano was inking it (as he does here), evoking the work Giordano did with Neal Adams around the same time period. Oh, and you'll be happy to learn that the Earth-2 Superman finally received his own subtly distinctive look with this story (the graying temples and Golden Age "S" symbol I was going on about in Part II).
Lowlights: None come to mind. This really is one of the very best.