Thursday, February 13, 2014

The All-Winners Squad!


This is one for the bucket list. With the purchase of the Marvel Masterwork volume above, I've fulfilled a longtime promise to myself. Since I first started reading and collecting comics, I've wanted to have handy readable copies of the All-Winners Squad canon, all two issues of it. I've talked about the impact of the All-Winners Squad on me before. All I can say is that I was mesmerized by this vintage team of heroes, even goofy blokes like The Whizzer. The team appeared in just two comics in their original form, issues nineteen and twenty-one of a comic called All Winners Comics. Before that the book had featured only single hero adventures, but this was something fresh, a team up of these classic characters, something DC had done quite successfully with the Justice Society of America long before.



In the first adventure they face ISBISA in the adventure called "The Crimes of the Century" written by Bill Finger. Finger was a writer who received virtually no credit for his contributions to comics during his career. That has been somewhat rectified by the creation of the Bill Finger Award given to top writers in the comics field at every Comi-Con since 2003. The art was by a who's who of the Timely Bullpen led by penciler Al Avison. 



In the second appearance they dealt with "The Riddle of the Demented Dwarf" battling Future Man and his ally Madame Death. This one was written by Otto Binder. Binder was a winner of the Bill Finger Award in 2010. Again a gaggle of artists handle the duties, this time behind Syd Shores. 


The first story was reprinted in the tenth issue of Fantasy Masterpieces.



The second adventure was reprinted in two parts in the seventeenth and eighteenth issues Marvel Super-Heroes, but with no true cover advertising.


Nearly fifteen years ago Marvel reprinted the first adventure in full in a grand one-shot comic. Sadly sales did not apparently justify a second issue reprinting for the first time under a single cover the second and final original All-Winners Squad adventure.

Now at long last I have them both in full, in an expensive but to me priceless tome. Sadly it wasn't discounted, but I wasn't going to walk away from this.  Sure it's pure nostalgia that drives me to these, but it's a warm experience to finally at long last have these vintage yarns in a sturdy permanent format.

I consider it a little Valentine's Day present my wife has allowed me to buy for myself. Tomorrow's Valentine's Day and it should a great day to tell her she did that. I hope she loves me. 

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5 comments:

  1. Thanks for the passion, Rip. I've also always wanted to read those stories. Nostalgia, indeed, but certainly a large part of those childhood imaginings. When the Whizzer returned in the pages of the Avengers, the Liberty Legion got rolling... all of that contributed to my curiosity about the All-Winners Squad.

    Doug

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    1. For me it was the reverse. Seeing these so early in my comics reading life imprinted them powerfully and the eventual development of the Invaders and Liberty Legion was like seeing once lost gold mine rediscovered and getting mined again, with exceedingly good results.

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  2. Like you, I waited for Marvel to reprint the second outing. I purchased the Masterworks volume about 6 months ago for around $20.

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  4. Spam on a blog? Is nothing sacred anymore?

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