Thursday, March 29, 2007

Two Week Hiatus

For a host of reasons, most of them personal but also the fact that I am not as caught up on the reading as I should be, I'm taking two weeks off from posting here. Things in my personal life are not horrific, but there is a lot going on that I may relate here at some point. I apologize if anyone is disappointed, but these things tend to happen to me from time to time. I hope to take the two weeks and come up with some new material for the site that will make up for the time off.



Thursday, March 22, 2007

Update 03-21-2007: Almost Sick

I don't know if I am coming down with a cold or if my allergies are kicking in but I feel like crap right now. I almost "called in" for this week, but after seeing another comment I decided to keep to my schedule. If people are starting to check out this site/blog I want to keep it going along smoothly.

Still, feel like crap right now.

So this week I cover issue eight, which introduced one of my favorites members of the All-Star Squadron; Steel the Indestructible Man, soon to be called Commander Steel. I've read the first four issues of Steel's original series (for some reason issue five eluded me until recently) and it was one of the best books DC put out in the late eighties. Hopefully DC will reprint that series at some point.

In addition to that I have the usual Golden-Age Books for this week list. Light week, but issue four of Justice Society of America came out and it was really freaking good. I mean if that was the only book that DC put out this week that I buy I still would have been happy.

Until next week.

Golden-Age Related Books for Comic Week 03-21-2007

Another week, another batch of comic books from DC Comics.

Disclaimer: These are the books DC has posted on their site as coming out on March 21, 2007. There is a slight chance that these books might not be at your local comic shop because, let's face it, DC has not been batting a thousand lately with getting their books out on time. This is not meant as a slam against DC, it's just how things have been for the past year or so.

I also claim no responsibility if your local comic shop sells out of the book if you wanted to buy it. Hold/Reserve boxes are your friend.

Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #50
Batman Confidential #4
Birds of Prey #104
Checkmate #12
Detective Comics #830
Fifty-Two #46
Flash #10
Justice Society of America #4 (Two Covers)
Showcase Presents: Hawkman Volume 1 TPB

Another light week Golden-Age wise, though if you haven't read Justice Society of America #4 yet I suggest you do do right now. It's ok. I'll wait.

Read it?

Wasn't that so freaking awesome?

Yeah, I thought so too.

I was very amused that DC used the Variant Cover for the solicitation and on their site. I understand why. It would have ruined the surprise from the end of issue three.

Still, this series is bar none the best DC is publishing right now, and that is a die-hard Superman fan saying that.

To see the non-variant cover to Justice Society of America #4 click HERE. I do warn you, if you are waiting for the trade it will spoil something major.

All-Star Squadron #8

Cover Date: April 1982
Cover Price: $0.60
Release Date: January 28, 1982

Story Title: ”Afternoon of the Assassins!” -24 pages

Cover Artist: Joe Kubert

Writer: Roy Thomas/Gerry Conway (Steel sequence)
Penicller: Adrian Gonzales/Don Heck (Steel sequence)
Inker: Jerry Ordway
Colorist: Carl Gafford
Letterer: John Costanza
Editor: Len Wein

Heroes: Atom I, Firebrand II, Hawkgirl I, Johnny Quick I, Liberty Belle I, Robotman I, Shining Knight I, Steel I

Villains: Baron Blitzkrieg, Black Assassin (Scwarzer Meuchelmorder in German), Kung, Zwerg

Supporting Characters: Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Dr. Allison, Major Morton, Dr. Gilbert Giles, Gloria Giles

Memorable Quote: “I was fighting for my life- -the lives of two British commandos - - and the lives of million people I’d never know!” – Steel, The Indestructible Man


A Nazi agent called the Black Assassin attacks Winston Churchill while the Prime Minister gives a speech at the Halls of the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa. Liberty Belle and Shining Knight leap to Churchill’s defense but the Assassin manages to slip free and get a clear shot at his target. Suddenly the hero known as Steel comes out of nowhere and makes quick work of the Assassin. In a final attempt to kill the Prime Minister the Nazi activates a bomb belt but Steel takes the full brunt of the explosion.

Despite his wounds Steel manages to give Churchill a book before the Shining Knight takes him away to get medical attention. After finishing his speech Churchill visits Steel in a nearby hospital where Belle is trying to find some information about Steel from her fellow All-Stars. During that conversation Belle is informed that the President wants Steel brought back to Washington as soon as possible. Soon afterward a special train rockets from Canada bound for the United States.

During the journey Churchill explains that the book Steel had given him was a journal that reveals that Steel is actually Hank Heywood who joined the Marines after the German attack on Poland. In November of 1939 Heywood was returning to camp when he spotted some saboteurs trying to blow up the ammo dump. An accident caused the explosives to go off and Heywood was gravely injured. Only the brilliant researcher Dr. Gilbert Giles and his experimental medical procedures saved Heywood. In fact the process enhanced Heywood, making him stronger and faster than a normal man.

On a visit in London Steel stopped the Black Assassin from his first attempt to kill then First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill. Steel agrees to go on a mission for Churchill to kidnap Adolph Hitler. Heywood’s journal goes blank after describing an aerial battle that ended with Steel getting shot down over Germany. Elsewhere Baron Blitzkrieg and Zwerg listen in on the story as well. Blitzkrieg is pleased with how things have gone thus far and feels that his back-up plan cannot fail.

Back on the train the assassin known as Kung lands and uses his ability to transform into animal form to become a tiger. He is surprised by Hawkgirl who attacks the Japanese agent. Kung manages to overcome her and it is only the timely arrival of Johnny Quick that saves her life. Robotman takes on Kung next, but the assassin manages to slip past him and get to his intended target; Winston Churchill. Kung stalks the Prime Minister but Steel comes around just in time to once again save Churchill’s life. Kung escapes but the All-Stars and Churchill are relieved that the man known as Steel has revived.

Meanwhile Baron Blitzkrieg is incensed at Kung’s intrusion but is still satisfied that his plan is still on track, especially with his special agent. A special agent named Steel!


-The Black Assassin was a once and done villain and is never seen again.

-The speech Churchill gives before the Canadian Parliament after the assassination attempt did happen. The reason that the Parliament looks so much like the US Congress is that reference material could not be found at the time.

-Canadian Prime Minister William Lyons MacKenzie King is referred to in a caption on page seven but never shown in the comic itself.

-Steel, the Indestructible Man first appeared in the aptly named Steel, The Indestructible Man #1 (March 1978). This series came out as part of what has become known as the DC Explosion, where DC Comics released a large number of titles and back-up features all at once. Gerry Conway wrote the series with art by the underrated Don Heck and much like Conway’s Firestorm the Indestructible Man read like a Marvel book set in the DC Universe. It was a fantastic series and had the usual romantic conundrum and crazy villains. Steel, The Indestructible Man was cancelled after issue five during the DC Implosion. Issue six appeared as part of the privately circulated Cancelled Comics Cavalcade.

-Pages nine (possibly eight) through seventeen of this issue were originally intended to be part of that sixth issue. Roy decided to incorporate much of Don Heck’s penciled art and Gerry Conway’s script into the narrative. On page nine we’re given narrative captions that are “excerpts” from Steel’s journal, which was a staple of the original Steel series.

-The journal reveals that Steel was in London in his Hank Heywood identity as an aide to Major Morton. He was rather happy to be there too since he had been engaged to Dr. Giles’ daughter Gloria and was forced to end that engagement at the insistence of Giles when he found that Heywood was also the man called Steel.

-Steel was added to the series because Roy Thomas and editor Len Wein felt that a “Captain America” type character was needed for the World War II setting.

-In addition to creating Firestorm and Steel Gerry Conway also created the Punisher and has done a lot of work for the Law and Order series, particularly Law and Order: Criminal Intent where he served as co-executive producer.

- Kung first appeared in Wonder Woman #237 (November 1978) during a storyline that took place in 1943. This issue backdated Kung to 1941.

Oh my God. I really don’t know what to say about this cover. Wow.

-A Fact File page featuring Shining Knight, Robotman and Johnny Quick appeared before this issues installment of All-Star Comments.

-This month’s All-Star Comments, featuring the second logo, began with this note:

SPECIAL SQUADRON NOTE: Few DC heroes have been as much requested for “membership” in the purposefully amorphous All-Star Squadron by the letter-writing hordes as has the man called Steel, whose magazine had its own five-issue run a few years back, under the aegis of creators Gerry Conway and Don Heck. In fact, a sixth issues was completed when STEEL, THE INDESTRUCTIBLE MAN was cancelled as part of a temporary DC cutback at the time…and in many ways, it was one of the best and most important of the series. Thus Len and Roy decided to take the majority of the pages of that sixth issue---previously unprinted except in Xerox format for a very limited audience—and have it partly rewritten and totally relettered and re-inked to fit into issues 8 and 9 of ALL-STAR SQUADRON. Especially after you’ve read the conclusion of Hank Heywood’s war-diary next month, we think you’ll see why we did it. Let us know how you feel about Steel as an All-Star, okay—not that we ever doubted you would!

-After that came three letters regarding issue four.

Mark Walden of Northridge, California wrote that the series was getting better and better and that Buckler and Ordway’s art made him feel like he was re-living the Golden-Age. He then requested that Aquaman, Green Arrow, Speedy and Captain Marvel make appearances in the book. Roy replied that since it had been established that Captain Marvel had been active in the World War Two of Earth-S he would fit right in.

John K. Austin of Cheney, Washington was impressed with the level of characterization put into the characters with the possible exception of Superman, who John felt should have been cockier. His final comment was to not cancel the book. Roy informed him that there was almost no chance of that happening since the book has proven to be one of DC’s top-selling titles.

Finally, Wally Podrazik, c/o McGraw-Hill Paperbacks in New York, New York wrote in to comment on how television was presented in the title and to either directly or indirectly plug a book he had written. He wrote that while TV did exist in 1941 the programming “beast” was different than that of 1981. Coast-to-coast hook-ups were still a decade away and experimental programming was spotty at best ranging from stock film filler to cooking tips. Despite this Podrazik felt that on Earth-Two it was quite possible for Libby Lawrence to have a television news show but added that it was probably a simul-cast of her radio program. He also mentioned that broadcasting hours were cut back tremendously during 1942 and 1943. Podrazik’s final thought was to recommend that Roy play with TV in Nazi Germany where sets were quite common in public places like hospitals and carried propaganda broadcasts through 1943 in Berlin and 1944 in Paris. Roy thanked Podrazik for the ideas and the verification that Libby’s TV broadcast was possible.

-The back cover of this month’s issue contained an advert for Monogram’s Snap Tate (trademarked) models of Mattel’s famous Hot Wheels vehicles. I think most kids were issued one of those Hot Wheels Trans-Ams when they came out so I can see where a model of it would do quite well.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Update 03-14-07: So, Thursday Good For Everyone?

Seems good to me. Weekends are becoming busier and busier for me, so getting the Index done works a lot better during the early part of the week. I've also taken on the task of reading reviews for the Superman Database's podcast on a weekly basis, so there's that too.

I didn't get the new dossiers done like I wanted, but I tried to make it up by having more graphics in the entry for issue #7 because I figure y'all would be too distracted by the pretty pictures to notice the lack of substance.

I have no shame. I really don't.

I did get to update the Atom dossier, so check that out if you wish too.

So between that, the entry for issue #7 and this week's list of Golden Age related books with my supposedly humorous commentary you should have a good ten, maybe fifteen minutes of content to go through.

See you next Thursday. Supposedly.

Golden-Age Related Books for Comic Week 03-14-2007

Yes, it's that time of the week again. The new comics are out. Here are the ones I think are important.

Another week, another batch of comic books from DC Comics.Disclaimer: These are the books DC has posted on their site as coming out on March 14 2007. There is a slight chance that these books might not be at your local comic shop because, let's face it, DC has not been batting a thousand lately with getting their books out on time. This is not meant as a slam against DC, it's just how things have been for the past year or so.

I also claim no responsibility if your local comic shop sells out of the book if you wanted to buy it. Hold/Reserve boxes are your friend.

Crisis on Multiple Earths: The Team-Ups Vol. 2 TPB
Fifty-Two #45
Flash: The Fastest Man Alive TPB
Green Arrow #72
JLA Classified #36
Robin #160
Robin: Wanted TPB
Superman #660
Superman/Batman: The Greatest Stories Ever Told TPB
Tales of the Unexpected #6
Teen Titans #44
Wonder Woman #5

Kind of a light week actually. I mean it's kind of pricey if you buy all the trades but still, light week all around.

So what's on the schedule this week? Did Crisis on Multiple Earths: The Team-Ups Vol. 2 come out? I didn't see it in my box nor at Titan Games and Comics. If it came out I need to get it.

Superman #660 came out to as DC gets that line caught up. If you are inclined to listen to such things I will be reviewing this book for the Superman Database podcast, which should come out on Sunday. Download and listen to my "dulcit" tones as I talk up this latest issue of Superman.

How's that for a plug? I mean I'm reviewing JLA Classified #36 for the Superman Homepage (which should be up on Monday) as well, just in case you were interested.

Wonder Woman #5 comes out. This is so freaking weird. I mean really freaking weird. This issues doesn't wrap up the storyline that has been running through the past four issues, but is, in fact, a fill in before the whole Amazon Attacks stuff starts to come down the pike. The only time I've ever seen a storyline not get resolved like this was New Universe's Nightmask. Let's hope it doesn't take twenty years for that story to finish, though with the Dodsons you never can tell.

And I will throw down my bulls#$% card for the week and say while it wasn't all that bad I don't think that Superman/Batman Annual #1 is one of the greatest Superman/Batman stories ever told.

So, DC plays catch up and releases a bunch of trades. Weird week.

All-Star Squadron #7

Cover Date: March 1982
Cover Price: $0.60
Release Date: December 24, 1981

Story Title: “Carnage For Christmas”- 5 pages
“Chapter II: In Battle Joined!” - 6 pages
“Chapter III: Divided We Stand” – 8 pages
“Chapter IV: Tragedy and Triumph!” – 8 pages

Cover Artist: Joe Kubert

Writer: Roy Thomas
Penicller: Adrian Gonzalez
Inker: Jerry Ordway
Colorist: Carl Gafford
Letterer: John Costanza
Editor: Len Wein

Heroes: Atom I, Firebrand II, Hawkgirl I, Johnny Quick I, Liberty Belle I, Plastic Man (Earth-2), Robotman I, Shining Knight I

Villains: Baron Blitzkrieg, Zwerg, Members of the German-American Bund

Supporting Characters: President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Fala, Winged Victory, Prime Minister Winston Churchill

Memorable Quote: “This is a strange Christmas Eve; almost the whole world is locked in a deadly struggle. Let us cast aside for this night, at least the cares and dangers which beset us, and make for the children an evening of happiness in a world of storm. Let the children have their night of the fun and laughter; let the gifts of Father Christmas delight their play. Let us grow-ups share to the full in their unstinted pleasures, before we turn again to the stern task and the formidable years that lie before us…resolved that, by our sacrifice and daring, these same children shall not be robbed of their inheritance…or denied their right to live in a free and decent world. And so, in God’s mercy…a Happy Christmas to you all!” –Prime Minister Winston Churchill


On a dark and cold December night two figures walk down the streets of Washington D.C. They bump into Private Al Pratt and though there words are exchanged between them they continue on their separate ways. The two men duck down a side street and after saluting the wall and giving a Heil Hitler Baron Blitzkrieg doffs his trench coat and complains about the soldier. He and Zwerg meet with members of the German-American Bund and they go over their plans to kill both President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill by using a robot double of the Prime Minister when Churchill visits his American ally.

Meanwhile Al Pratt changes into the Atom and meets with President Roosevelt. After reminiscing about their first meeting when the Justice Society formed the Atom briefs the President on what his fellow Justice Society members had been doing since they disbanded the team and enlisted into the military. Roosevelt asks the status of the non-JSA members, but the Atom does not know them quite as well. Melodramatically the President has the Atom wheel him into the next room and the Mighty Mite is shocked to see the very heroes the two were just discussing. The teammates catch up with one another before Roosevelt reveals the reason he called them together. A plan has been uncovered to kill the British Prime Minister who is bound for America on a British destroyer.

The next day the All-Stars patrol the surrounding area of the U.S. Naval Base at Norfolk, Virginia. Hawkgirl, Shining Knight, Winged Victory and Liberty Belle search the skies over the Atlantic while Johnny Quick and Firebrand patrol the surrounding road and Robotman and the Atom stand firm at the Naval installation itself. They spot the Duke of York, the destroyer that Churchill is traveling on and once it pulls into port there is a tremendous explosion, which Robotman suspects to be the result of a German electric torpedo. Robotman and the Atom charge into action but are mistaken as enemies and are attacked by the British sailors.

After the mistake is cleared up Robotman spies a German U-boat and with the help of Liberty Belle, the Shining Knight and the Atom he lassos the sub and begins to pull it onto the beach. Meanwhile, in the Prime Minister’s quarters Winston Churchill is shocked when confronted by Baron Blitzkrieg and his robot double.

Back on the beach Robotman succeeds in beaching the U-boat and when the Nazis come out fighting the All-Stars are there to take them on. Once the battle is over the All-Stars stick around to see the historic meeting between Roosevelt and Churchill. Liberty Belle tries to engage the Prime Minister in conversation based on their history but Churchill doesn’t respond. She realizes something is wrong and urges Johnny to do something. He is too late, however, and the Churchill robot explodes. When the dust clears the All-Stars realize that Plastic Man had been impersonating the President all along and that both men were sage.

Blitzkrieg escapes, but is chased down by Robotman. Much to Robotman’s surprise the Baron knocks him down. The rest of the All-Stars arrive and the Baron tries to fly away with Churchill. Realizing he can only escape alone he drops the Prime Minister, who is rescued by Hawkgirl. After hitting Winged Victory with a powerful eye blast Baron Blitzkrieg is able to get away clean. Soon after Roosevelt and Churchill finally meet at the Capitol Airport.

Two days later the All-Stars are present when Roosevelt lights the White House Christmas tree and listen to a stirring speech given by the Prime Minister.


-This issue kicks off with a quote from Winston Churchill. “So we had won after all! ...I went to bed and slept the sleep of the saved and thankful.” This was taken from Churchill’s writing and was his reaction to hearing the news that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor.

-A letter writer in issue #11 would point out some discrepancies with the photo of the Justice Society that appears on the front of the Washington World from the first page of this issue. Hourman is there though he was, by the time, no longer a member and the Sandman was wearing his gas mask and suit costume. It is very likely that the editor on the World went with a file photo which showed the charter members of the JSA minus the Spectre.

-On page three Baron Blitzkrieg and Zwerg stop before a wall that bears a poster for the MGM film Nazi Agent. The film featured Conrad Veidt who plays twins, one of which is a Nazi (Baron Huge Von Detner) and the other an American (Otto Becker) forced to help a group of German spies. Eventually Otto kills his brother, assumes his identity and exposes the spy ring.

-Not only do the members of the Justice Society, including honorary members Superman and Batman, appear in the flashback detailing the group’s origin but they also appear as the Atom, who had been training to be a Tank-Corpsman in Virginia, details how his former members were doing now that they’ve joined the armed services. Hawkman had joined the Army Air Corps on the West Coast, the Sandman was trained to use a 37mm Anti-Aircraft Cannon, Dr. Fate became a paratrooper, Dr. Mid-Nite joined the Army Medical Corps, Starman was in flight training at Fort Randolph near San Antonio, Johnny Thunder joined the Navy, the Spectre has been keeping busy at home and even Green Lantern enlisted.

-The Atom refers to Hawkman as a tyro or “dodo”. A dodo was a flyer in the Army Air Corps who had not yet soloed. The term tyro (alternatively spelled tiro) means novice or beginner and is taken from the Latin word tiro meaning a young soldier or recruit. The dodo handle is amusing when you consider all the solo flying the character had done.

-The Spectre couldn’t join a branch of the armed services because he was, well, dead.

-The Hostess Ad from this issue had Batman taking down a perp who was dressed like a giant dog in an effort to steal a group of canines from the Gotham Dog Show via a hypersonic whistle. The Dark Knight Detective distracts the would be Pied Piper (the guy from the story, not the Flash villain) with some Twinkies. In all honesty this is the weirdest Hostess Ad that has been used in this series. It’s a guy in a dog suit who believes that prize winning dogs are his key to Money Road but apparently suffers from some sort of emotional disturbance that makes him stop everything to eat Twinkies. I mean I like me some Twinkies. I really do, but I would be more likely to stop because I didn’t want Batman to use that martial arts he knows to put a serious hurt on me. Between the lame dog catcher joke and the fact that this guy looks like that weird dude from The Shining I have to say that I lost sleep because of this ad.

-This also appears to be the last Hostess Ad, at least for the next five months or so. Sad. Very sad.

-The Shining Knight and Hawkgirl discuss Liberty Belle’s swimming of the English Channel. This occurred in 1940 when the boat she was traveling on to escape the Battle of Dunkirk was shot out of the water.

-When the two leaders greet each other Roosevelt refers to Churchill as “Former Naval Person,” which was the Prime Minister’s codename in their correspondence in 1940. Churchill called Roosevelt “POTUS,” which is short for President of the United States.

-Churchill would make his Marvel Universe version of this trip in Giant Sized Invaders #1 (June 1975). That book was written by Roy Thomas. Go figure.

-All Star Comments featured a new logo and two letters this month, plus a decent sized footnote section.

Mike Christensen of Rockford Illinois gushed about the atmosphere of issue three and lent his voice to the question of where Hourman was. Roy told him to keep watching and mentioned that while the first three issues dealt directly with the war the pendulum would soon swing the other way.

Bill D. Middleton of Clovis, New Mexico complimented the writing and art but also mentioned the fact that the book meshes well with what Bill considered the newfound patriotism of the early eighties. Roy comments that DC never been ashamed of its heritage and that despite dealing with America’s lapses as well as successes this would be the direction the series would continue in. He finishes by writing that jumping on bandwagons or indulging in nostalgia was never their intention; just telling fun comic book stories.

And then there was Roy’s Fabulous Footnote:

FABULOUS FOOTNOTE DEPARTMENT: Remember how we told you in our first issue that we were going to relegate most “historical” or “nostalgic” footnotes to our letters page? Well, we haven’t been doing all that much of it so far, in the interest of printing more letters, but here are a few quickies, following this issue’s page number to which they refer:

Page 3: By coincidence, the MGM film, “Nazi Agent” with Conrad Veidt was released nationwide on Jan. 21, 1942. How’s that for timing?

Page 4: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill did indeed arrive in the U.S. on the new battleship Duke of York on December 22, 1941…and was met at Washington Airport by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt that evening, after dark. We added the fog that pops up later—just as we added the Nazi U-boat and, of course, the All-Star Squadron itself. We’ve gotta have some leeway, don’t we? (And, as in out story, FDR actually served as President for over twelve years without most people ever realizing how really crippled he was. Time have changed…not in every way for the better.)

Page 6: Dala, FDR’s Scottish terrier, was the most photographed dog on earth during most of World War Two.

Page 27: Excerpts from Churchill’s speech on the While House lawn of Dec. 24, 1941, are authentic, of course.

Oh, and by the way—since those adventures didn’t occur until mid-1942 or later, this encounter with Baron Blitzkrieg is the earliest yet recorded, and precedes both those in the tabloid-sized Superman-Wonder Woman clash in ALL-NEW COLLECTORS’ EDITION Vol. 7 (1978) and the baneful Baron’s two solo clashes with out amazing Amazon in the pages of WORLD’S FINEST COMICS.

-This month’s back cover features an advertisement for Monogram’s super scale plastic truck kit, molded in authentic color even.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Update 03-07-07: It's Not My Fault

My schedule got really thrown off this week so the updates were small and late this week. I really wanted to get it out on the schedule I was trying to keep, but it just didn't work out that way.

Oh well. I'll try harder for next time.

Next week I hope to have more dossiers, updated dossiers and issue seven of All-Star Squadron.

I make no promises, but I'll give it a go.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Golden-Age Related Books for Comic Week 03-07-2007

Another week, another batch of comic books from DC Comics.

Disclaimer: These are the books DC has posted on their site as coming out on March 7, 2007. There is a slight chance that these books might not be at your local comic shop because, let's face it, DC has not been batting a thousand lately with getting their books out on time. This is not meant as a slam against DC, it's just how things have been for the past year or so.

I also claim no responsibility if your local comic shop sells out of the book if you wanted to buy it. Hold/Reserve boxes are your friend.

All-New Atom #9

Detective Comics #829

Fifty-Two #44

Helmet of Fate: Zauriel

Justice League of America #6

Manhunter #29

Nightwing #130

Nightwing: Brothers in Blood TPB

Shazam: The Monster Society of Evil #2

Superman/Batman #32

Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #8

Wow, Superman/Batman! It came out. It actually came out. Surprise heaped upon surprise.

Ok, I'll stop. DC seems to be trying. Maybe it's time to cut them some slack.

This is a rare week for me as I actually went to the comic shop on Wednesday. Usually I hit Titan Games and Comics on Thursday or Friday because of how my schedule works, but this was a weird week as far as that kind of thing goes, so I actually got to go on the day the books came out. Which was nice otherwise I wouldn't have gotten a copy of Captain America #25.

Yeah, I know, that's a Marvel book, but hey Cap's a Golden Age character and it was such a big deal that I had to get it.

Anyway, pretty solid week so far. 52 #44 was amazing. Simply amazing. I can't say enough how much I enjoyed it. Justice League of America #6 and Superman/Batman #32 were both great reads as well, especially Justice League which had a really sad ending. I'm reviewing both books for the Superman Homepage this week, so look for that on Monday or Tuesday. Manhunter #29 was great. I am so glad that the book is getting another chance. I'm looking forward to getting to Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters. It started out kind of fifty/fifty for me but the last two issues have really sold me on the concept and I'm looking forward to the next mini-series when it comes out.

So go. Buy comics. Have fun. Mourn Steve Rogers.

I mean they'll bring him back, but for now give the guy his due.

All-Star Squadron #6

Cover Date: February 1982
Cover Price: $0.60
Release Date: November 26, 1981

“Mayhem in the Mile-High City!” -27 pages

Cover Artist: Rich Buckler and Jerry Ordway

Writer: Roy Thomas
Penicller: Adrian Gonzales
Inker/Embellisher: Jerry Ordway
Colorist: Carl Gafford
Letterer: Ben Oda
Editor: Len Wein

Heroes: Atom I, Doctor Mid-Nite I, Firebrand II, Hawkgirl I, Hawkman I, Johnny Quick I, Liberty Belle I, Robotman I, Shining Knight I

Villains: Feathered Serpent, General Saukel, Unnamed German Soldiers, Unnamed Hypnotized Minions, German Ambassador to Mexico, Herr Blume, Zwerg, Baron Blitzkrieg

Supporting Characters: President Manuel Avila Camacho

Memorable Quote: “Those bumbling fools in Berlin! They spurned my advice - - and now their plans for Mexico lie in ruins. But tonight I shall carry the war to the United States itself - - and if any verdammt masked “heroes” rise against me - - they shall be smashed by the might of Baron Blitzkrieg!” –Baron Blitzkrieg


The Feathered Serpent continues to rage about his plans to sacrifice Shiera Sanders and to become the master of Mexico. Both the Shining Knight and Hawkman threaten the Serpent, who views this as their attempt to stall him. Because the stars are not in proper alignment for sacrificing he tells his captives how he came to become the Feathered Serpent. He claims to have been born on the peninsula that they are now on but was educated in the United States and Europe between the wars. He returned there months ago as an archeologist and discovered the hidden temple of Kukulkan and what he considered his heritage. He found that he could read the ancient pictographs and control those who had kept their bloodlines pure.

After a short, heated exchange with General Saukel the Feathered Serpent finally gets around to the sacrifice. Shiera surprises him and manages to kick free of her restraints. Chaos reigns as Hawkman and Shining Knight finally break their bonds as well and begin to fight not only the minions of the Feathered Serpent and the Nazi soldiers. In the tumult Shiera manages to change into her guise as Hawkgirl and joins her fiancé in battle. The Feathered Serpent takes advantage of the battle to kill General Saukel as his sacrifice and gains the powers he had been boasting about. Realizing that Mexico City is in danger the heroes quickly follow the villain as he races towards his conquest.

In Mexico City the citizens are shocked to see an ancient Aztec pyramid burst from the ground. Those of pure blood also fall under the Serpent’s sway and begin to march up the pyramid. With weapons supplied by the Nazis the mesmerized pure bloods open fire on those who try to stop them. The Nazis are surprised to see Dr. Mid-Nite, Firebrand, the Atom and Johnny Quick start to fight against the spellbound pure bloods. Not far away at the National Palace the Feathered Serpent arrives to slay President Camacho and assume his place as ruler of Mexico. Liberty Belle and Robotman are there in disguise as well and protect the President after he defies the Feathered Serpent. After ringing Mexico’s proud bell of freedom Liberty Belle feels the same adrenal surge as when the Liberty Bell rings out in Philadelphia and quickly the battle turns in their favor. The Serpent charges at Belle after tossing her aside, but she manages to use his momentum against him and he falls to his death. Suddenly the real Feathered Serpent flies by and the heroes realize that the Serpent they fought was a fraud.

At the German Embassy the Feathered Serpent confronts the Nazi agents who sent the imposter to kill Camacho for their own ends. After informing them that he has is the true ruler of Mexico Hawkman, Hawkgirl and Shining Knight arrive. As the Hawks tussle with the Nazis the Shining Knight chases the Feathered Serpent back to the pyramid. He manages to take out Johnny Quick before grabbing Firebrand. Firebrand proves to be a poor hostage and uses her newfound abilities to set the Serpent’s armor and wings on fire. The two begin to fall but Firebrand is rescued by the Shining Knight. As the hypnotized pure bloods begin to come out of their trance the All-Star discover that the Feathered Serpent is really German and that he wanted to be his own power after discovering the secret of Kukulkan. He makes one last ditch effort to kill the All-Stars with a hidden bomb but Robotman and a revived Johnny Quick waste no time in getting rid of it. Afterwards President Camacho holds a celebration in honor of Mexico and the All-Star Squadron.

Later that night Baron Blitzkrieg and his friend Zwerg discuss how it is now his turn to carry the war to the United States itself and woe to any hero that gets in his way.


-This issue was the late Adrian Gonzales’ first one as penciler.

-Another reference to Indiana Jones is made in this issue, this time a direct mention of the famed archeologist himself. One has to wonder what the Earth-2 Indiana Jones would have been like. This reference is interesting also because Marvel would eventually publish the Further Adventures of Indiana Jones.

-The Hostess ad this month has the Flash fighting against Dr. Sorcery who’s plan to mess with a police department marathon is halted by the Flash’s use of Hostess Cup Cakes. After Sorcery is in police custody everyone celebrates with more Cup Cakes. Because that’s what I want to do after running a marathon; eat a bunch of snack cakes.

-The Liberty Bell that Liberty Belle rings in this story first rang out in 1810 to announce Mexico’s independence from Spain.

-President Manuel Avila Camacho was President of Mexico from 1940-1946. While he was certainly soured on the Nazis after this issue’s adventure on Earth-2 it wouldn’t be until May 22, 1942 that Mexico would declare war on Germany when German U-boats sunk two ships carrying oil.

-Nearly a decade and a half before this issue saw print Roy Thomas introduced a super-villain named Kukulcan in the pages of X-Men, who wore an outfit very much like the Feathered Serpents.

-The supposed Feathered Serpent once again claims that he will be no Quisling and adds that he won’t be a Petain either. French general Marshal Petain, who served in World War I, tarnished his reputation with the British and the Americans by heading the government of the “Vichy France” from 1940 to 1944. Vichy was the capital of the one-third of France that while unoccupied by the Germans after their invasion in June of 1940 became politically subservient to the Third Reich.

-The last page of this issue introduces Baron Blitzkrieg into the series. On a very personal note I think that outside of Axis Amerika in the pages of Young All-Stars Baron Blitzkrieg is the best villain the All-Star Squadron ever faced.

-After Len Wein explained the gaff made with the Firebrand arrow on the previous issue’s cover and suggested that the reader could cut the arrow out of this issue and paste it over the mistake (if anyone actually did this let me know) the following letters were printed in this installment of All-Star Comments:

“War Correspondent” Dave Elyea of Cheboygan, Michigan wrote in praise of the use of Per Degaton as well as re-telling the JSA’s bomb defense formula story. He also requested that the story should be retold in a special all-new ALL-STAR DIGEST. Roy let Dave down gently by telling him that outside of the JUSTICE SOCIETY DIGEST there were no plans to reprint old DC and Quality stories.

Andy Glaess of Northglenn, Colorado started out with nothing but compliments but ended his letter by pointing out that the plane the All-Stars flew in issue two was not in use until 1944. Roy copped to the mistake and, as was covered in the entry for issue two, explained that there wasn’t enough time to fix the boo-boo once they caught it.

Dan Springs of Alt Springs, Florida begged to bring Hourman into the series and ended his letter with a play on the MAKE MINE MARVEL saying from old Marvel books. Roy caught the bit and explained that they are trying to figure out the story to explain how the Hourman worked with the JSA after he quit the team.

The Comments ended with two Nostalgic Notes from Roy. They are as follows:

NOSTALGIC NOTE: We just realized that, when we listed the origins and/or first appearances of all the various heroes and heroines who appeared in the first few issues of ALL-STAR SQUADRON we forgot to include Firebrand (Rod Reilly), because he didn’t appear in costume…so just for you completists out there: There was no origin story for Danette Reilly’s non-super powered brother, but his first appearance (like that of Plastic Man and Phantom Lady) was in POLICE COMICS #1, August 1941. Now are we friends again?

ANOTHER NOSTALGIC NOTE: We just wanted to make sure that no loyal fans of ALL-STAR SQUADRON and/or the original Justice Society of America accidentally miss out on our special JUSTICE SOCIETY issue of our THE BEST OF DC/BLUE RIBBON DIGEST series, now on sale! Editor Len Wein has packaged two JSA tales which form an integral part of the background of these first few issues of DC’s newest hit—namely, “The Day That Dropped Out of Time” from ALL-STAR COMICS #35, 1947 (the deathless adventure which introduced the time-altering Per Degaton to a waiting world) and the exciting, all-important, “Untold Origin of the Justice Society” from DC SPECIAL #29, back in ’77! See? Who said you had to fifty years old in order to understand what’s going on in an issue of ALL-STAR SQUADRON? As somebody once said—we do it all for you!

-Here’s the cover to that digest. Neat, huh?

-The back cover of this issue is the same from the last one. But here it is again anyway.