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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Figserello said:

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 '?'

 

 

WTF are you talking about?



Figserello said:

 

So is Daniel then Hector Hall(Dr Fate)'s brother?  Cousin?  Nephew?  Uncle? 

 

 

All of which somehow brings this to mind.

That's the problem with JSA All-Stars: it was OK but nothing special. What it added was never mentioned again so what's the point?
 
The Baron said:

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.

That's the thing - some of the stories are interesting, but I don't feel like it justifies having this whole separate mini-series. They could just as easily have bene back-up stories in the main title.

To enjoy a good story, if you did enjoy it. Not everything has to have lasting ramifications.

Philip Portelli said:

That's the problem with JSA All-Stars: it was OK but nothing special. What it added was never mentioned again so what's the point?
 

That's true, Travis but they revealed some very important and/or personal information about these characters, some that should have had long term ramifications yet they didn't. This series was supposed to explain the newer heroes to the readers and delve deeper into the legacy aspect with the back-ups yet those back-ups were negligible in their impact.
 
Travis Herrick (Modular Mod) said:

To enjoy a good story, if you did enjoy it. Not everything has to have lasting ramifications.

Philip Portelli said:

That's the problem with JSA All-Stars: it was OK but nothing special. What it added was never mentioned again so what's the point?
 

We really enjoyed the Youtube link.

The Baron said:

Figserello said:

 

So is Daniel then Hector Hall(Dr Fate)'s brother?  Cousin?  Nephew?  Uncle? 

 

 

All of which somehow brings this to mind.

JSA #54 (January 2004): "Virtue, Vice & Pumpkin Pie"

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

 

2)JLA Line-Up: The Atom, Batman, Firestorm, the Green Lantern (John Stewart), the Martian Manhunter, Superman, Wonder Woman.

 

3)Other Guests: Impulse (Bart Allen), Jennie-Lynn Hayden, Jesse Chambers, Joan Garrick, the Liberty Belle (Libby Lawrence Chambers),  Molly Scott, Oliver Queen, Todd Rice.

 

4)I'll say again how much I hate the way Batman was portrayed in those days, as an obnoxious paranoid.  Worse still is that he ends up being right.

 

5)Of course, the whole issue is taken up with our heroes getting together for Thanksgiving dinner. I wonder how this story reads in countries without a Thanksgiving tradition. Is the holiday well-known enough in other parts of the worlds to be understood?

 

6)Wonder Woman brings up the whole "How do you suppose the Indians feel about Thanksgiving?" issue.  I've never actually known anyone to do this in real life. Has anyone here ever encountered this phenomenon in their own lives?

 

7)Pieter and Dinah try to clear the air while Libby tries to nudge Jesse towards Rick. Ain't love grand?

 

8)Oliver asks why they're all in costume for Thanksgiving dinner - a valid point, somewhat undercut by the fact that he himself brought his bow and arrows to dinner. Perhaps he anticipated being able to shoot a drumstick out of Hawkman's hand.  I forget, is this the period where they were caliming that the "Hawkman" in the JLA had actually been the GOlden Age Hawkman?

 

9)Stargirl moans about being put at the kids' table, something which I can well empathize with.

 

10)The proceedings are interrupted by the arrival of the Warlock of Ys and Kulak the Sorcerer (Interestingly, the latter looks more like he did in his Golden Age appearance than the way he appeared in his previous modern appearance.). These two comedically realize that they've bitten off more than they can chew:

 

"There's quite a few more of them than we thought, aren't there?"  "Maybe we should excuse ourselves. They were sitting down to eat."

 

11)With dinner ruined, our heroes send out for dinner. In the most credibility-straining moment in comics hositry, they turn down their free breadsticks!

 

Overall: A fun issue, seeing our heroes getting caught up in the good and bad parts of getting together at the holidays. Although to be really complete, there should have been at least one alcohol-fueled emotional meltdown and a fat guy passed out on the couch.*

 

*Note: I have been this last.

9)Stargirl moans about being put at the kids' table, something which I can well empathize with.

I never minded being at the kids' table. That was where my friends and/or family my age was. Plus depending on where we were eating that table was in a completely different room, so we could get a bit rowdier.

Yes the Golden Age Hawkman was still supposed to have been a JLAer too. But he still had his problems with Green Arrow though it was more "Conservative Vs. Liberal" here.

Plus he didn't approve of Ollie being with Dinah in a sort of "Grumpy-Uncle-With-A-Big-Freakin'-Mace" kind of way!

JSA All-Stars #7 of 8 (January 2004): "Fair Enough"

1)Mister Bones tells Michael Holt that since the JSA is now the most powerful group of super-humans on the planet, naturally the DEO is going to take an interest in their leader.   He also tells him that his wife was pregnant when she was killed. That's about it, really.

 

2)The second story is "The Strange Case of Mr. Terrific and Doctor Nil", by Michael Chabon, of whom you may have heard. It's actually quite good, introducing Terry Sloane's brother Neddy, who has had trouble living up to his "perfect" brother.  Interesitngly, Neddy manages to defuse a threat to his brother's life - becasue he is unhappy and resents his brother, he is able to spot another man who feels the same way. We don't actually see Terry in action as Mister Terrific, but we do see him in costume at a party, looking rather alot like Ozymandias from Watchmen!   Good stuff - I've never read any of Chabon's stuff, but this seems promising.

Good stuff - I've never read any of Chabon's stuff, but this seems promising.

I've read 3 of his novels, and I liked them all.

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