A Golden Age Christmas Reunion with the Justice Society and Santa’s Surprise Identity

As part of our annual Comics Should Be Good Advent Calendar, we’re delving into the greatest Christmas comic book stories ever told. Today, let’s unwrap the surprising and heartwarming tale of the Justice Society of America’s unexpected Golden Age reunion during Christmas.

The Countdown Begins: “Be Good for Goodness Sake” (#16 on the List)

Our countdown brings us to the 16th spot on the list with the 2003 gem, “Be Good for Goodness’ Sake,” found in JSA #55. Crafted by writer Geoff Johns and an artistic team including Leonard Kirk, Keith Champagne, Wade Von Grawbadger, Hi-Fi, and Jared Fletcher, this festive story unveils a unique Christmas mission for the Justice Society.

Setting the Stage: Justice Society’s Evolution in 2003

To appreciate this festive reunion, let’s take a quick trip through the Justice Society’s history. Originally the first DC superhero team, the Justice Society’s adventures began as intercompany crossovers. Over the years, they faced changes, including a parallel Earth existence and a hiatus due to low sales.

The 1990s saw their return with a revised aging factor, leading to the formation of a new team mentored by original members. Fast forward to JSA #55 in 2003, and our four elder heroes embark on a secret Christmas mission.

The Plot: Justice Society Meets Santa Claus?!

The story unfolds in a small New England community, where a mysterious Santa Claus becomes the target of thieves. Enter the Justice Society, who, as tradition dictates, meet up with Santa every Christmas. Amidst the chaos, Santa’s true identity is revealed in a surprising twist – an old woman named Ma Hunkel.

Rediscovering Ma Hunkel: The Red Tornado’s Origins

During the Golden Age, even humor comics embraced superheroes, giving rise to Ma Hunkel’s alter ego, the Red Tornado. A recurring character in Scribbly’s comics, Ma Hunkel became an honorary member of the Justice Society. Geoff Johns brilliantly resurrects this character, having her appear as a man just as she did during her Red Tornado days.

Santa’s Secret: Ma Hunkel’s Witness Protection Tale

It turns out Ma Hunkel faked her death to enter witness protection after testifying against a criminal organization. The Justice Society, privy to her secret, visited her annually, updating her on her children’s lives. Now, with the criminals gone, Ma Hunkel joins the JSA as their museum curator.


“Be Good for Goodness’ Sake” not only celebrates the holiday spirit but also pays homage to the Justice Society’s Golden Age legacy. Geoff Johns weaves a tale of unexpected reunions, showcasing the enduring bonds that make Christmas truly special.

Stay tuned as we unwrap more timeless Christmas comic stories on our Comics Should Be Good Advent Calendar journey!

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