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: 31108

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Issues 41-42

 

Isn't the villain's name somewhat unfortunate at this remove?

 

And isn't it unfortunate that the venerable old Yankee statesman-looking dude wrapped in the stars and stripes calls him 'boy' - a term I've never seen used towards a towering 8 foot cyborg despot before?

 

And then Black Barax uses highly advanced technology - a fleet of robotic unmanned attack aircraft, no less - to terrorise innocent people of a less technologically advanced society, who are just going about their business.

 

Finally, this is a story set in 2002 about a drone-happy warlord from the future stepping back in time.

 

Extraordinary.

The Baron said:

I distinctly remember a story in which BIlly bought Cap a Christmas present, kind of an odd activity if they were the same guy.

I remember that story too--if I recall correctly, Billy bought Cap a tiddly-winks set (which the Big Red Cheese enjoyed immensely), while Cap bought Billy a loud tie.  That could mean they were separate entities, or it could mean they were maintaining their cover story that Billy & Captain Marvel were friends, even tho no one ever sees them together.  It's no odder than Superman having a Clark Kent room in his Fortress along with those of his other (actual) Daily Planet friends.  I have no idea why this is in Italics...

I don't think anyone was ever certain about Billy and Cap--whether they were separate persons or the same. There's always been debate about that. 

Geoff Johns might have considered them the same person, but Jerry Ordway I think had a different attitude. I think Ordway hinted that Cap was really the personification of Billy and Mary's dead father. Since Mary also aged (somewhat) in the Ordway version, I think she was meant to have a connection with their mother.



Figserello said:

Issues 41-42

 

Isn't the villain's name somewhat unfortunate at this remove?

 

And isn't it unfortunate that the venerable old Yankee statesman-looking dude wrapped in the stars and stripes calls him 'boy' - a term I've never seen used towards a towering 8 foot cyborg despot before?

 

And then Black Barax uses highly advanced technology - a fleet of robotic unmanned attack aircraft, no less - to terrorise innocent people of a less technologically advanced society, who are just going about their business.

 

Finally, this is a story set in 2002 about a drone-happy warlord from the future stepping back in time.

 

Extraordinary.

 

 

Sometimes pople beocme prophets by accident.

JLA/JSA Secret Files & Origins #1 (January 2003)

1)Profile Pages: The Ancients, Aquaman, Captain Marvel, the Crimson Avenger, Faith, Firestorm, Hourman, Power Girl, the Star-Spangled Kid.

 

2)"The Day Before" - Largely super-heroes farting around waiting for the next story-line to start. Shazam warns Billy about some unspecified upcoming threat. Billy: "Got to bed, old man!" or words to that effect. Bruce shows Michael the Batcave. Jay, Wally, Eel and Rick go to a hockey game. Ray and Pieter tell Alan that he's composed of Starheart energy. Kyle objects to this for some Kyle-ish reason or other. Courtney, Diana and Karen talk about what boys they like while watching Clark beat up Bizarro. Zatanna borrows a book from Hector, and we end with the Seven Deadly Sins taunting Shazam!

 

3)"Home Again" - Tempest has to leave his wife and kid to go find Aquamn for some reason. Also, Atlantis has Thought Police, for some reason.

 

4)"Stormchasers" - Jay and Clark each try to get the Red Tornado to join their respective teams, but he prefers to continue guiding Young Justice. Smart machine.

 

5)"The Ghost of Stagg Manor" - In which Metamorpho comes back to life.

 

6)"Telephone" - In which Mister Bones starts a rumor to test whether there's a mole in the DEO. There isn't, they all just talk too much, the way members of secret organizations tend to do.

 

7)And the last page of the book was an ad for JLA/Avengers.  Remember that book? Remember how we waited for it for years and years and then we got it and it turned out to be OK, but maybe not quite so all-fired amazing as we had hoped?

 

Overall: An OK book - it serves its purpose of teasing upcoming storylines.

Jimmm Kelly said:

I don't think anyone was ever certain about Billy and Cap--whether they were separate persons or the same. There's always been debate about that. 

Geoff Johns might have considered them the same person, but Jerry Ordway I think had a different attitude. I think Ordway hinted that Cap was really the personification of Billy and Mary's dead father. Since Mary also aged (somewhat) in the Ordway version, I think she was meant to have a connection with their mother.

I believe in Ordway's version, Billy's subconscious longing for his parents causes him to assume the image of his father.  Likewise, Mary, not an orphan but still adopted and recently confronted by her father's lookalike, assumes the image of her mother.  Sadly, I don't think many creators did the research to realize this when using Mary, (something we talked about here). 

JLA/JSA: Virtue and Vice

1)JLA Line-Up: The Atom (Ray Palmer), Batman, Captain Atom, Firestorm, the Flash (Wally West), the Green Arrow, the Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner), the Martian Manhunter, Plastic Man, Superman, the Vixen, Wonder Woman, Zatanna the Magician.

 

2)JSA Line-Up: Atom-Smasher, Black Adam, the Black Canary, Captain Marvel, Doctor Fate, Doctor Mid-Nite, the Flash (Jay Garrick), Hawkgirl, Hawkman, Hourman, Jakeem Thunder, Mister Terrific, Power Girl, Sand, Sentinel, the Star-Spangled Kid, Wildcat.

 

3)In which Johnny Sorrow and Despero meet in Limbo and use Doctor Bedlam to possess Luthor in order to free the Seven Deadly Sins who possess various super-heroes in order to destroy the world so that Despero can rule it.  Kinda convoluted.

 

4)For the record, the heroes are possessed thusly:  Batman (Anger), Captain Marvel (Gluttony), Doctor Fate (Sloth), the Green Lantern (Envy), Mister Terrific (Pride), Power Girl (Lust), Plastic Man (Greed).

 

Overall: For all the trouble that they went to to make this a hard cover special and all, it was OK but it wasn't that all-fired amazing of a story, The scenes of the two teams socializing were fairly amusing.

JSA #43 (February 2003): "Yesterday's War"

1)Line-Up: Captain Marvel, Doctor Fate, Hawkgirl, Mister Terrific.

 

2)You'd think that one of the JSAers might take note that this guy looks jus tlike Metamorpho.  They all seem mystified by her.

 

3)Meanwhile, in Gemworld, Fate is duped like the moron that he is.

 

4)The rest of the issue is taken up with our heroes helping Khufu and his pals get ready for Savage's attack.

 

Overall: An OK issue, I enjoyed the interaction between the ancients and the moderns.

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

1)Line-Up: Black Adam, Captain Marvel, Doctor Fate, Doctor Mid-Nite, the Flash, Hawkgirl, Hawkman, Mister Terrific, Power Girl, Sentinel, the Star-Spangled Kid, Wildcat.

 

2)So, the battle was wrapped up in the end with a literal deus ex machina. Vaguely disappointing, somehow.

 

3)I did like the scene towards the endof the book between Cap and Adam - they do not kiss and make up.

 

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

 

Overall: An OK issue, but nothing amazing.

The body of Doctor Fate is the child of Hank (Hawk/Monarch/Extant) Hall and Dawn (Dove II) Grainger while his soul is Hector Hall (no relation; at least I don't think so but you never know), the son of Carter (Hawkman) Hall (though about one reincarnation ago) and Shiera (Hawkgirl) Hall but she's has been possessing the body of Kendra (Hawkgirl III) Saunders though she still thinks of herself as Kendra (mostof the time anyway!)

I swear you need a flowchart or guidebook by this point!

JSA #45 (April 2003): "Princes of Darkness: Prologue"

1)Line-Up: Atom-Smasher, Black Adam, Captain Marvel, Doctor Fate, Doctor Mid-Nite, the Flash, Hawkgirl, Hawkman, Hourman, Jakeem Thunder, Mister Terrific, Power Girl, Sand,Sentinel, the Star-Spangled Kid, Wildcat.

2)More with Dove, again. Was she that popular of a character? It seems to me as though she was pushed alot back in the day.

3)A brief glimpse of the Crimson Avenger - if she's got a misison to kill Wildcat, what's she waiting for, the right moment dramatically?

4)Also in Subplot Land, we see Alex Montez becoming Eclipso.

5)The main storyline is the trial of Kobra, in which he escapes by threatening to have his followers commit mass suicide. Al and Adam stalk off together in disgust.

6)We end with "Doctor Fate" revealed to be Mordru!

Overall: An OK issue. Mordru and Kobra again. Between them and the Injustice Society, I'd forgotten how much this book used the same heels over and over again.

Regarding Cap and Billy, I seem to remember co-creator C.C. Beck being pretty adamant that Billy and Cap were two separate people. Or maybe I'm remembering it that way because that's what I want to be the case, because it makes the character's history easier to swallow, and his interactions with adult women less creepy. Also, there are some problems with a minor being allowed to go into combat, if people know that's what he is, and some of the JSA are aware of his double identity. Also, if he's a kid, then Black Adam ought to be able to beat him rather handily. So I prefer to believe that Cap is a separate, adult identity, so that all of these problems evaporate.

But I think the current version doesn't even have any ambiguity: There's only one personality, and it's Billy's. I find that a weird storytelling choice, but I found a lot of that story to have weird storytelling choices.

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