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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Here's a run-down of what exactly was going on with Dove in the 90s.  I only read down to the bit where she appears here.

 

It looks like the rapiness was the fine work of Johns and Goyer.  Well done, boys.  It's also just all so strange.  Yes, Dove looked like Lyta Hall at the beginning, who was somehow involved in Gaiman's Sandman (we won't go there) but clearly they want to revisit Sandman in some way, because Dove goes through the same rapey event as a character there, and ...wasn't Hector's wife Lyta Hall the mother of Daniel the new Dream?  So is Daniel then Hector Hall(Dr Fate)'s brother?  Cousin?  Nephew?  Uncle?  So they took the unconscionably unfathomable piece of continuity veeblefetzing that Gaiman had done in Sandman and made it even more unconscionably unfathomable?

 

There's a common acronym used on the internet for these situations, which begins with the letter 'W' and then 'T' and ends with a '?'

BTW, here are the links to my thoughts on JSA #41 & 42, and JSA #43 & 44.  I went off-piste as I didn't want to derail the Baron's thread with too many facts.  :-)  I was genuinely amazed when all this relevant, contemporary, worthwhile stuff started to come into focus as part of what JSA was saying.  So much for my claim that these comics have nothing to do with anything in the real world.  Goyer and Johns certainly showed me!

 

Part 3, on issues 45-51, to follow.

It seemed to me at the time that Goyer and Johns were driving down a lonely dirt road to Gaimantown, when a mysterious stranger appeared in their high beams, waving legal papers and gesturing that they should turn down another path.

Ah!  Now that is starting to make sense...

 

Dove certainly flew in out of nowhere, and it explains the perplexing parallels with Lyta's story and the Sandman plot devices.  Lyta wasn't raped whilst unconcscious in Sandman though, (I don't think?) so they are kind of highlighting where they are coming from.  Their unconscious seems to be running this show.

Lyta was already pregnant by Hector before he became a soulless thing, and died the first time.  After that, his ghost became the third or fourth Sandman, replacing Garrett Sandford, who killed himself off-panel somewhen, and he finally married Lyta (despite being a ghost who resided in the Dreaming), who then went with him to live in the Dream Dome.  Cut to the Morpheus Sandman's series (Morpheus being both the most recent character to use the Sandman's name, fourth in a series, and retroactively the original, of whom all the others were just reflections), which revealed that Hector (& Garrett before him) had been pawns of some rogue nightmares, and Morpheus dispatched ghost-Hector without a second thought.  Lyta was still pregnant, having been so in the Dreaming for years, and Morpheus returned her to the waking world with some cryptic comments about her child's future.  The upshot was that, because Daniel Hall had gestated in the Dreaming for so long, he was primed to become the next incarnation of Dream when Morpheus' time was done.  None of this did anything nice for Lyta's mental health.  Thus, the current Dream of the Endless is the son of Fury II & Silver Scarab/Sandman III/Doctor Fate (I've lost track--do Eric & Linda count as one or two Fates?  Was Inza a separate Fate, or just a manifestation of what Fate should have been in the first place?  Does the nut with the knives count as a "Doctor" Fate at all?), and the grandson of the original Wonder Woman & Hawk-Couple.

I'm not explaining this again! I CAN'T! And I WON'T!! And you can't make me! ;-)

However, Dove is important because she's part of Order's grand experiment and she is Monarch/Extent's secret weakness!

I'm not explaining this again! I cant! I won't!

:-)  Dave gives it a good go, anyway.  I understand it all now, but tomorrow it will be as the spring snows on a July afternoon!

 

However, Dove is important because she's part of Order's grand experiment and she is Monarch/Extent's secret weakness!

Now you are SPOILing, methinks!  Jimmy or someone mentioned it earlier, but the way that Johns just moves his pieces around the board like this in a rather soulless fashion is one of the qualities of his writing that many of us have problems with, and find offputting.  It's not quite writing, insofar as there's nothing there to engage us ordinary folk.  The Lords of Order etc don't really exist, and I'm not sure what all that points to in real life, or in my life.  Where's the hook?

No, I think that the Hawk & Dove's true purpose was explained in their own series before Armageddon 2001 as a way to unite Chaos and Order. Of course, that was easier when Dove is a woman! ;-)

And I think Hawk and Dove was a specific character creation utilized by someone with a very specific agenda and that should have been left alone and forgotten after that creator moved on.



Jimmm Kelly said:

It seemed to me at the time that Goyer and Johns were driving down a lonely dirt road to Gaimantown, when a mysterious stranger appeared in their high beams, waving legal papers and gesturing that they should turn down another path.

 

 

Now that's writing!

Oh, and may I say that I've been really enjoying the conversations this thread has provoked.  What an interesting bunch of minds we've got collected here!

JSA All-Stars #6 of 8 (December 2003): "Out of the Shadows"

1)We focus on Doctor Mid-nite as Pieter Cross delivers the baby of a woman who was hurt in a subway crash and diverts her by talking about a woman who was accidentally killed in a car crash he was involved in, which strikes as perhaps not the best choice of topics in the situation.

 

2)"Blind Spot" by Brain Azzarello telss the story of Charles McNider going after some jewel thieves and being fooled by a woman he saw as a victim.

 

Overall: Another issue that's OK, but nothing special.

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