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.

 

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JSA #76 (October 2005): "In Search Of..."

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

 

2)This is a "The OMAC Project" Tie-In. Another one I didn't follow.

 

3)So, Al goes on trial and pleads guilty. Adam and Luthor observe this. The Calculator phones in and says he has new dirt on the heroes, potentially bigger than what they did to Doctor Light. I don't recall what that was all about.

 

4)Back at HQ, Fire and Metamorpho come to tell Power Girl about Ted Kord's death. It's a nice scene, although I thought it was a mistake to kill off Ted.

 

5)Rick goes to look for Jakeem, Nabu offers to help.

 

6)Outside the courthouse, an OMAC attacks the JSA for no obvious reason.

 

7)We end with Al in prison, approached by Amanda Waller, presumably to join some iteration of the Suicide Squad.

 

Overall: Another transitional issue, bogged down a bit by the intrusion of the OMAC storyline. OMAC was a mildly interesting character when the King of Comics was working on him. No one that I've seen since has made the character  remotely interesting.

I can live with that, and the people on John's list. There is a glut of characters anyway, and if I have to live without Fire and Ice or Jesse Quick so I don't have to see Maxima again? Fine. It's bad enough the New Gods are back again.

Philip Portelli said:

Not counting Power Girl and Hawkgirl II, these are (more or less) the female heroes who joined the Justice League Post-Crisis:

  • Doctor Light II
  • Fire
  • Ice
  • Huntress
  • Maxima
  • Crimson Foxes
  • Silver Sorceress
  • Maya
  • Mystek
  • Tomorrow Woman
  • Big Barda
  • Jade
  • Jesse Quick
  • Faith

Guess what? A lot of them are deceased and the majority have suffered terrible losses and eleven of them ignored by the DCnU.

I don't necessary "miss" them either, Travis but there were so many deaths among the female characters that it can't help but make you wonder.

One day, you're the next big female character, the next, you're cannon fodder!

I realize that, my point was that these incarnations of the characters that had joined the Justice League in the late 1980s were killed off.  I saw that as part of the point of Philip's list, certain JL members were killed off.  Jamie Reyes wasn't automatically a member of the League by becoming Blue Beetle.

The Baron said:



John Dunbar (the mod of maple) said:

Not to be replaying the list but Blue Beetle, Captain Marvel, Green Lantern, Doctor Fate, Mister Miracle, Booster Gold, Rocket Red, Captain Atom, Orion and the Ray HAVE shown up in the DCnU  in new incarnations.

 

Ted Kord and Kent Nelson have shown up?  Where?

 

 

Not Ted Kord and Kent Nelson - Doctor Fate (Khalid Ben-Hassin) and the Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes).  

 

Doesn't make me wonder at all. Dead, terrible loss, or ignored seems to be just about all comic book characters lot in life.

Philip Portelli said:

I don't necessary "miss" them either, Travis but there were so many deaths among the female characters that it can't help but make you wonder.

One day, you're the next big female character, the next, you're cannon fodder!

And there weren't "so many deaths" among male characters?  Come on.  Those cannon fodder scenes saw the demise of several C-listers and D-listers of both genders.  I'm with the Baron:  I'm not a fan of the times where they try to show a heel is a badass by having them taking out a bunch of mid-carders.  The creators are trying to elevate a villain, and at the same time they get rid of what they see as lame characters.  I agree with Travis: there's a glut.

It can't help but make you wonder?  Death and other bad things happen to characters of both genders in comics all the time.  I personally don't get too upset when it happens, when, let's be honest, it can all be reversed, explained away, or retconned so that it never happened.  When a headliner dies, they always come back.  When a B-lister dies, they come back 99% of the time.  Heck, Vibe is back and is a member of the Justice League of America, so there's hope for even the lamest of D-listers.

Philip Portelli said:

I don't necessary "miss" them either, Travis but there were so many deaths among the female characters that it can't help but make you wonder.

One day, you're the next big female character, the next, you're cannon fodder!

Yes, Vibe is back and I have to ask, "Why him?" Was there a big clamor for the return of the Bold Breakdancer?

And yes, there is a glut of characters that are periodically culled as seen especially in Infinite Crisis and more recently in Avengers Arena.

And you're right. When an A-list character dies, he/she will be brought back. A B-lister or C-lister, if you're male, may be brought back or have another version replace him.
But a woman C-lister? Not likely, it appears though it can happen. They did bring back Looker! In a completely different interpretation, of course!

That's what makes horse races, right?  Here's where we differ:  I don't think it's any more likely for a male C-lister to be brought back than a female.  They are C-listers because they don't have much of a following in the first place. 

 

 

 

Except somehow Nova keeps getting a series from Marvel.  photo tongue.gif

John Dunbar (the mod of maple) said:

That's what makes horse races, right?  Here's where we differ:  I don't think it's any more likely for a male C-lister to be brought back than a female.  They are C-listers because they don't have much of a following in the first place.    

 

Exceptions to every rule.

To be serious, though, I think it's a bit of a leap to suggest there's some sort of nefarious agenda based solely on gender behind a few minor characters not being brought back from the dead.  From Philip's list, that would be Maxima, the Crimson Foxes, and Silver Sorceress.

Not a nefarious agenda but an editorial fiat, John. What about Maya, Mystek, Jade, Jesse Quick and Faith? Even those who were not killed on-screen have been ignored or "undone".

As an example, there's Faith who I have no particular attachment to. She was introduced as being someone that Batman thought should be in the JLA if something happened to the main eventers. She was supposed to be special with vast power and incredible charisma. A major player, if you will.

Now, gone without even a whimper.

But Vibe is back. With his own book!

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