Saturday, September 12, 2015

All-Star Comics - Justice Society!

Al Milgrom and Jack Abel
After learning the untold story of how the Justice Society of America came to be, we are treated in the very next issue of All-Star Comics to a dust up between classic team and the "Super Squad". That name had been dropped a few issues before but nonetheless there was a distinct feeling that the JSofA was new and shiny despite some vintage villainy still to confront. One of those baddies was the Psycho-Pirate who first took control of Green Lantern. The team made up of Power Girl, Star-Spangled Kid, Dr.Fate, Flash, Wildcat, and Hawkman face off against their former ally.

Al Milgrom and Jack Abel
Meanwhile the police commissioner of Gotham City, a man named Bruce Wayne, seems to think the Society itself is a menace to the city and tries to use his authority to bring them to heel. We'd seen Wayne behind the scenes growing suspicious of the activities of the team and he called up former Society members to confront the threat. But when Power Girl is wounded the team battles back until we learn that Wayne himself was under the sway of the Pirate.

Al Milgrom and Jack Abel
In the next issue we formally meet The Huntress as she joins up with a diminished JSofA alongside Power Girl and the Star-Spangled Kid with Wildcat alone holding the fort for the veterans. A new menace in Gotham called Strike Force gives the JSofA all it can handle and ends up kidnapping the Kid.

Joe Staton and Dick Giordano
The JSofA battles furiously and renders the ultimate defeat of the Strike Force, but the issue also results in the resignation of Star-Spangled Kid when secrets about the enemy strike close to his own home.

Joe Staton and Dick Giordano
In the next story an old enemy The Thorn returns and Wildcat falls in battle, near death. With members Dr.Fate and Hawkman absent dealing with a mysterious enemy who will reveal itself later, the Justice Society members are hard-pressed to defeat the Thorn and her ally the Sportsmaster.

Joe Staton and Joe Giella
It's furious battle as the original Huntress enters the fray to pick a bone with the new heroic incarnation. With the Sportsmaster, the Thorn and her the team needs all its resolve to win the day, though Wildcat lives, it's a closer deal than any of the membership likes.

Joe Staton and Dick Giordano
The All-Star Comics run comes to an end when the shadowy threat which Dr.Fate and Hawkman have been confronting reveals itself. In peculiar twist which calls into harness nearly the full membership of the team (minus the retired Batman, the injured Wildcat, and the inscrutable Spectre) the team find that fighting against a magical foe across the globe is not the best tactic and they can only save the world by refusing to fight the good fight. In support of the greater good, they have to allow small evils to unfold. It's an ironic ending for a team so long dedicated to doing good.

Brian Bolland
But the battles of this new Justice Society incarnation are not over yet. While All-Star Comics have been cancelled again, the team will live to fight another day in the pages of the venerable Adventure Comics.

More on that next time. 

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4 comments:

  1. This was one of my favourite comics that year. I was a huge fan of the Huntress and Dr. Fate and I had never seen that incarnation of the Thorn before.

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    1. I'm a big fan of Dr.Fate, his look one of the sleekest in comics. It's remained largely unchanged in decades though they do try to fancy it up from time to time. Blue and yellow is not a common combination for superheroes.

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  2. These are great Bronze Age memories, Rip! I think I know what needs to be on the to-read list now.

    Joe Staton was perfect for this title. He really fit the tone of the series. It's a pity Marvel never assigned Kirby to the interior work on the Invaders. That book might have then held a position of esteem with me akin to these JSA stories.

    Doug

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    1. I envy you getting to read these, they were mucho fun as the summer waned. That's the sad part of finishing really fine comics work, the wait to read it again is painful sometimes. But it's been almost long enough for me to read some of the crossovers again, maybe next summer.

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