Posted - November 26, 2017


All-Star Squadron No. 1
The World On Fire



All-Star Squadron No. 1

Roy Thomas, whom I know primarily as a Marvel scribe (thank you for all the Conan the Barbarians Roy), is a big fan of the golden age DC team the Justice Society of America. I haven't seen the letters but they say Thomas was a fan who wrote in and who got published in the letters pages.

Around the early 80s Roy managed to go over to DC, and so, beside the more popular Justice League, we get the Justice Society. Well, sort of, the All-Star Squadron is sort of the backup team for the Justice Society. I don't quite know why Thomas couldn't straight-up write about the main team but there are enough JSA cameos to satisfy. Aside from that, the particular feel of the All-Star Squadron is very JSA.

For those of you who love the JSA like I do All-Star Squadron is a gift. Let's go unpack these goodies . . .

All events in All-Star Squadron are set in Earth-2.

Fast fact: Hawkman can make it from Washington D.C. to Manhattan in about 1 hour. That's pretty fast.


hawkman flying

Hawkman literally bumps into Plastic Man in the JSA headquarters.


hawkman and plastic man

Hawkman is JSA while Plastic Man is FBI. The headquarters is rented by the JSA from Wesley Dodds, the Sandman. No satellite headquarters, no imposing mansion or expensive tower; just a bunch of rented - note 'rented' - rooms where the JSA meet once very couple of months. I love it.

Where's the rest fo the JSA? They're 'busy' . . .


report on the jsa

'non-member Wonder Woman', there's no getting around the fact that the golden age of dc was a gender equality nightmare.

Here's more about the other members.


batman report

And this.


spectre report

The villain depicted is Wotan. It's jaw-dropping. He managed to capture Dr. Fate (albeit half face plate therefore not full power) and the Spectre.

The last update.


johnny thunder report

These last three JSAers managed not to be captured.


atom, hawkman and dr. mid-nite

Explaining Hawkman's presence at the HQ.

A little chitchat between Hawkman and Plastic Man.


hawkman and plastic man

Read it the right way (or is it the 'wrong way') and this conversation is pretty naughty.

Hawkman and Plastic Man get attacked by someone calling himself King Bee and some flying insect men.


hawkman punching an insect man

Hawkman and Plastic Man manage to fight them off very easily. The strange thing is their foes start to vanish with King Bee himself exploding into nothingness.

The explosion knocks out Hawkman and when Plastic Man moves to save the Hawk they both hit the ground it knocking them both out.


hawkman and plastic man falling

The nth metal belt not working when Hawkman is unconscious doesn't make much sense to me. Shouldn't it just keep Hawkman floating in mid-air?

Meanwhile, in the White House.


harry hopkins

Harry Hopkins was a close adviser of FDR and was instrumental in the New Deal program before the war and the Lend Lease program during the war, among many other things. He tragically died of cancer at just 55 years of age, but by that time he had already accomplished enough to become a permanent part of American history.

December 7, 1941 is the day of the Pearl Harbor attack.

We look into the Shining Knight who gives us a capsule history of himself.


history of shining knight

He's flying over Hawaii. This Arthurian figure and Hawaii is sort of like putting ketchup on your ice cream, but apparently, we ordered it . . .


flying knight over hawaii

The Shining Knight meets Danette Reilly.


shining knight and firebrand

These are two future members of the All-Star Squadron with Danette inheriting the mantle of Firebrand from her brother. The pair explore a cavern and encounter Solomon Grundy.


solomon grundy attacks

With Grundy is Professor Zodiak


professor zodiak

In the comics the pseudo-sciences of alchemy and astrology have real power and Professor Zodiak embodies this.

Both the Shining Knight and Danette are captured.

The Shining Knight awakes to the sight of Wotan.


wotan

And a moment more, the leader of the group introduces himself and his allies.


per degaton and his allies

Per Degaton reveals that the failed attack on Atom, Dr. Mid-Nite and Hawkman and the later attack on Hawkman and Plastic Man was also by his group.


per degaton and his allies

And the reason we're in Hawaii is that Pearl Harbor is about to happen.


planes attacking pearl harbor

Dr. Mid-Nite and the Atom are informed of Pearl Harbor and meet yet another future member of the All-Star Squadron: Robotman.


robotman reveals himself

Robotman gives both heroes a 'ride' to the White House revealing something about just how powerful he is.


atom and dr. mid-nite riding the robotman express

Of course, shortly before this run he took down a steel door.

Soon, with the White House at its center, we are witness to a confluence of costumed individuals. First, Atom, Dr. Mid-Nite and Robotman.


heroes arriving at the white house

Then Hawkman and Plastic Man.


heroes arriving at the white house

Two reporters with alter egos are near the White House and they decide to join in.


heroes arriving at the white house

Liberty Belle and Johnny Quick.

The group meets up with FDR.


fdr and the squadron

FDR decides to create an all-star squadron.


fdr talking

And here they are.


the all-star squadron

All-Star Squadron has been incorporating elements of history but what's the fun of a comicbook if we can't "jump off the trail" and let our imaginations fly? In line with that, beneath the waters near San Francisco:


underwater aircraft carrier

An underwater aircraft carrier launching underwater planes. Yes, something that never happened. An attack on the American mainland but not by the Japanese or any other Axis power - by per Degaton.

Next: All-Star Squadron 2 The Tyrant out of Time




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