All-Star Comics #3 (Winter 1940):

1)I expect that if you've only read one Golden Age adventure of the JSA, this is the one.  It's not bad, but this first issue is more like an anthology than a team book, per se.

 

2)Line-Up: The Atom (Al Pratt), Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson), the Flash (Jay Garrick), the Green Lantern (Alan Scott), the Hawkman (Carter Hall), the  Hour Man (Rex Tyler), the Sandman (Wesley Dodds) and the Spectre (Jim Corrigan), with gate-crasher Johnny Thunder and the Red Tornado (Ma Hunkle), to whom Hourman says "Why, we meant to inviite you but we heard you were busy!" All white guys, of cours,e but only to be expected in those less progressive days. Nowadays, things are much different, since when the Justice League was recently revamped, the founding members were just mostly white guys. That aside, I have no real beef with the membership except the inclusion of Johnny Thunder, a character I've always loathed. If they had to have a "comedy" character on the team, I would've much preferred the Red Tornado.

 

3)The JSA gathers for a dinner. Johnny Thunder crashes the party and offers the suggestion that they each narrate an adventure to pass the time. During the dinner, the Flash is summoned to Washington, DC, to meet with Madam Fatal the head of the FBI.

 

4)No origin is given for the team - they all just sort of seem to know each other, already. Johnny Thunder is aware of the meeting, but the Sandman later says that the meeting is a secret. Although knocking out everyone in the lobby actually seems like it be more likely to draw attention than discourage it.

 

5)Doctor Fate: ""The Spectre and I do not touch food." Just as well, Doc, I wouldn't want to see you try to eat with that helmet on.

 

6)Superman, Batman and Robin and the Tornado are described as being "busy".  I find I don't miss Supes and Bats from the team.

 

7)The art is generally OK - nothing exceptionally good or exceptionally bad.

 

8)The Flash tells how he battled some pirates. A light-hearted story, particularly his encounter with a shark. Comics are far too serious these days to have a scene like that in it.

 

9)Hawkman tells of his battle with some fire people. Moldoff draws his wings REALLY HUGE.

 

10)The Spectre tells of his battle with Oom the Mighty, the goofiest demon ever.

 

11)Hourman tells of his battle with jewel thieves who all dress as Hourman.  Amusing because in the end, everyone thinks Rex Tyler was posing as Hourman when he actually was Hourman!

 

12)We have a brief interval where the Red Tornado drops by long enough for it to be revealed that she tore her pants. The Flash is aware of her as a comics character.

 

13)The Sandman tells of his battle of a mad doctor who creates giants in a particularly creepy tale.  I notice alot of these guys, their girlfirends know their secret ID's, with out it being the end of the world.

 

14)Doctor Fate introduces himself thusly:  " I am not human...I never was a child...I had no youth. The elder gods created me just as I am now, and placed me here on Earth to fight evil sorcery!"  I'm pretty sure this is the only place I remember the character's provenance being set out in this manner. anyhow, Fate tells of his battle with an evil sorceror.  Probably the most distinctive art style on this one.

 

15)Johnny Thunder, having suggested story-telling, says he's too shy to do it, "So the editors have written a story about something that happened to me."  So, he knows he's a comic book character, too. Anyhow, his adventure is a text pice about some silly damn thing he did.

 

16)The Atom battles a gang of gold thieves.  Whenever I see the Golden Age Atom's original costume I wonder why the crooks don't all just laugh themselves to death.

 

17)Green Lantern tells of his battle with some racketeers.

 

18)Cliffhanger: The Flash returns with the message that the head of the FBI wants to meet with them all!

 

Overall: This first issue holds up pretty well, all things considered. I still find it a fun read.

 

Views: 31423

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Agreed. It looked like she should have a giant bottle of bubbles to go along with it!
 
Randy Jackson said:

Thankfully, the changes to the cosmic rod were quickly forgotten.

JSA #51 (October 2003): "Princes of Darkness Coda: Justice Eternity"

2)Hector demoralizes Mordru by confronting him with his own future: In a thousand years' time, he will be regularly beaten up by a gang of teenagers and will have taken to wearing a really silly hat. Then he seals him in the Rock of Eternity.'' The JSA celebrates.

I thought it was interesting that they provided a basis for Mordru's psychosomatic weakness by making it a conditioned response to being trapped in the Rock of Eternity for an extended period.

JSA #52 (November 2003): "BrandNew Day"

1)Line-Up: Captain Marvel, Doctor Fate, Doctor Mid-Nite, the Flash, the Green Lantern, Hourman, Jakeem Thunder, Mister Terrific, Power Girl, Stargirl, Wildcat.

 

2Lots of plotline setting as:

  • Jesse Chambers is hired as the JSA's new business manager.
  • Dove leaves to go find a new Hawk.
  • Cave Carson is brought in to figure out what happened to Sand.
  • The Green Lantern and Jade visit Jade in the facility where he is recuperating.
  • Jakeem and Johnny notice Cap and Courtney getting all chummy.
  • Black Adam recruits Alex Montez.

 

3)We get down to business as Wildcat and Power Girl go after some terrorists. However, the Crimson Avenger shows yp and kills the terrorists, then shoots Karen and Ted!

 

Overall: An interesting transitional issue - always good to see Cave Carson again!

The Baron said:

The Green Lantern and Jade visit Jade in the facility where he is recuperating.

Huh?



Richard Willis said:

The Baron said:

The Green Lantern and Jade visit Jade in the facility where he is recuperating.

Huh?

 

 

Sorry, should read:  The Green Lantern and Jade visit Todd in the facility where he is recuperating.

JSA All-Stars #5 of 8  (November 2003): "An Hour At A Time"

1)Rick Tyler tries to talk down a jumper and comes to a relaization about his own personality. An interesting little look into Rick's character.  His mom does not look old enough to be the wife of a Golden Age super-hero. Perhaps she's managed to hold on to more of the energy they all absorbed during the business with Ian Karkul than some of the others have.

 

2)The back-up story is "...conduct unbecoming...!" by Howard Chaykin.  Rex Tyler  stops a rogue officer from killing a young Dwight Eisenhower.  Interesting. Almost a Roy Thomas type story having a hero save someone that the reader knows will go on to be important.

 

Ovrerall: Another OK issue.

Rick's mom, Wendy Harris Tyler, was introduced in one of the 1965 Showcase issues that teamed up Dr. Fate & Hour-Man.  That makes her one of the few Infinity Inc. mothers young enough to believably have a child in that age range, instead of a grandkid.

JSA #53 December 2003): "Blinded"

1)Line-Up: Doctor Mid-Nite, the Flash, the Green Lantern, Mister Terrific, Power Girl, Wildcat.

 

2)The Crimson Aveger goes after Wildcat, shooting Power Girl some more in the process and taking a few more of Wildcat's lives.  We learn the origin of this business of WIldcat having nine lives - he crossed a sorceror who intended to turn him into a cat in revenge, Zatara intervened and Wildcat somehow ended up with a cat's nine lives. Yeah, OK, Steven Moffat would be proud. More seriously, Wildcat once framed a guy, which is why the Crimson is after him. He explains that the guy he framed was bad, which somewhat improbably fills the Crimson with angst and causes her to self-terminate, although we see her alive again later, so maybe she knew it wouldn't work and blowing her brains out is for her a viable means of escaping awkward situations.

 

3)Doctor Mid-Nite lost his license to practice?  News to me.

 

4)GL dumps on Jesse Chambers in a way that seems excessively d***ish, somehow. Maybe Jennie-Lynn and Todd didn't miss out on so much by being given up for adoption, after all.

 

5)We end with Black Adam recruiting Nemesis, pointing that since he has slaughtered all of her enemies for her, she now has nothing better to do.  That's kind of an anticlimactic end to the whole "Council" storyline - "..And after our heroine had fought many fierce battles, some guy who had nothing to do with her killed everyone she had dedicated her life to fighting - off-screen, yet - so that he could pull her into his storyline."  It almost seems impolite. "You killed my father? But how am I supposed to resolve my journey as a character now?"

 

Overall: Another OK issue, although it does seem dedicated to resolving long-running plot-lines rather abruptly.

The HOURMAN series by Tom Peyer and Rags Morales had a flashback to what happened with Wendy. Good stuff.

Dave Elyea said:

Rick's mom, Wendy Harris Tyler, was introduced in one of the 1965 Showcase issues that teamed up Dr. Fate & Hour-Man.  That makes her one of the few Infinity Inc. mothers young enough to believably have a child in that age range, instead of a grandkid.

The Baron said:

JSA #44 (March 2003): "The Tears of Ra"

 

4)We end with the big reveal that "Lyta" is actually Dove! Dove, again?  Wait, what was her connection with the JSA, again?

 

This was just horrible. Why should we care? The only people who would be gagging to see Dove are people who were following the Rob Liefield series and who thought Armageddon 2000 and Zero Hour were amongst the finest works of Sequential Narrative ever produced by DC. If you weren't following those 'lowest common demnominator' fare of between 7 and 10 years previously, then the fanfare that the final full-page reveal is going to be a puzzler. Yes, she's a character that can be used, and you can work her into the broad tapestry of what you are doing, but don't alienate readers by presenting her reappearance as if it's the most astounding thing since Dirty Den came back from the dead on Eastenders.*

Way to alienate casual readers.

Looking at the next few issues t gets worse though.

 

She was an avatar of peace in contrast to Hawk's more aggressive attitude, not that I or a good portion of the readership would have known at this time. The writers were hoping that those 'in the know' would see the humour in the fact that that the first thing she does when Dr Fate approaches her, is to kick him in the teeth. LOL.

This is right in the middle of a series of storylines where the creators are trying to give weight to their comicbook stories by referencing the so-called War on Terror, just then heating up into prolonged actual wars in various countries. That's a kick in the teeth for those stupid peace-niks.

Layering bad taste upon bad taste, we get a nice shot of her gynecological bits as she does so...

AAAAaaand keep that shot in mind, as it gets EVEN worse after that.

 

The readers are treated to the information that she was raped by her crime-fighting partner, Hawk, in the most demeaning and unnatural circumstances possible, she asserts, whilst assumed to be dead twice over (comics!), and that she gave birth the the physical form of the guy she's just kicked in the teeth.

 

Then she says that she actually liked Hawk really, but if only he hadn't been possessed at the time, or something.

 

I can't believe I'm writing this actually.  This is bad taste layered on worse taste.  Who thought all this was a good idea?


*"Wha...?" you may say. Precisely.

Figserello said:

The only people who would be gagging to see Dove are people who were following the Rob Liefield series and who thought Armageddon 2000 and Zero Hour were amongst the finest works of Sequential Narrative ever produced by DC. If you weren't following those 'lowest common denominator' fare of between 7 and 10 years previously, then the fanfare that the final full-page reveal is going to be a puzzler.

To be fair, any of those rabid Hawk and Dove fans were probably not too fond of Armageddon 2001, as it basically shuffled the characters off to limbo in a completely senseless less than thought out manner.  (Actually, I thought a number of the Armageddon 2001 annuals were quite good even if the overall story was daft.)  Got to admit though, for a continuity minded reader the Dove reveal was kind of shocking... in a what were they thinking, head shaking kind of way.  But I guess it worked for Hawkman, so...

I actually did get Armageddon 2001 and enjoyed it well enough, partiucularly the one-off stories.  I was stil processing how the monthly/ongoing fare was falling short of the really good couple of books that were out there.  I sincerely think that DC did not best capitalise on the interest their high-quality books generated for good accessible superhero tales.

 

I'm sure the pay-off of Armegeddon 2001 meant nothing to me though, in terms of the story they were telling.

 

As mentioneed before it is mind-boggling that we've now got someone called Hall whose superhero persona is based on a hawk now set up as a rapist-father of a 'child' who is also somehow the child of another unrelated guy called Hall whose superhero persona is also based on a hawk.

 

Seeing how this story is colliding these two characters together, perhaps the 'Hawkish' (ie warmaking) qualities of Hawk are being projected onto Hawkman, (granted he's never been behind the door when the use of force is being discussed)?

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Welcome!

No flame wars. No trolls. But a lot of really smart people.The Captain Comics Round Table tries to be the friendliest and most accurate comics website on the Internet.

SOME ESSENTIALS:

RULES OF THE ROUND TABLE

MODERATORS

SMILIES FOLDER

TIPS ON USING THE BOARD

FOLLOW US:

OUR COLUMNISTS:

Groups

© 2021   Captain Comics, board content ©2013 Andrew Smith   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service