Wednesday, September 23, 2020

All Star Squadron, by Roy Thomas, Jerry Ordway, et al.

 So, since early in the COVID quarantine, my buddies and I have been doing weekly video calls to talk some classic comics. We've read Geoff Johns's initial FLASH run, THE NEW TEEN TITANS by Wolfman & Perez, and the QUESTION by Denny O'Neil and Denys Cowan. Now, we're reading Roy Thomas's paean to DC's golden age, ALL STAR SQUADRON. This week, we're reading issues 14-20, plus JLA 207-209, and I wanted to share some panels from these comics that brought a smile to my face. 

From All Star Squadron #17, by Thomas, with art from Adrian Gonzalez & Rick Hoberg.

This issue was a trial to determine if Robotman was human or merely a mechanical facsimile that should be melted down for slag. The turning point comes when the courthouse begins to collapse and Robotman must break from his chains and use his super strength to save those within, most especially the lawyer who brought suit against him. Revealing his humanity, he is deemed human and free to go. But how can he speak to the judge at his bench when the building collapsed????

From All Star Squadron #15, by Thomas, art by: Gonzalez & Jerry Ordway

Per Degaton, the villain of this 5-part crossover with the JLA, is going to "conquer an earth!" Melodrama aside, I love the reactions of the henchmen in the background -- genuinely funny stuff. I wish there was more of this in these comics.

From All Star Squadron #16, by Thomas, Gonzalez & Hoberg. 


I gotta give points to Nuclear, the Magnetic Man (no, I'd never heard of him before either) using Robotman's arm as a weapon against the other All-Stars. Well played!

Another from All Star Squadron #15: 

Luckily, Superman and Dr. Fate have super voices and are able to utilize the very, very few oxygen molecules in space to speak with one another. 
I . . . don't know if that's how that would work. But, it's comics!

And, from JLA #209 by Gerry Conway & Don Heck, more fun with oxygen


If Per Degaton is without oxygen (read Zatanna's spell backward, to see what she did to him), then how is he still speaking?!!? 

Another from JLA 209

This should have been the opening page, rather than a couple of pages of backstory exposition. (I know, I know! It was a different time, when exposition was the way things were done in comics . . . except that Larry Hama was doing it with far more aplomb in G.I. Joe, the same year this was published, and Alan Moore was beginning his legendary run on Swamp Thing that same year as well. So, there were other ways of doing it.)

Again, from All Star Squadron #16

Wonder Woman claims she's never needed the help of other heroes. But, she worked with the JSA and All Stars in issues 1-3 of this series. AND THERE'S AN EDITOR'S NOTE TO THAT EFFECT. Why doesn't she remember?!!? And why does Roy Thomas, who wrote all these comics, make her not remember?!!? What the hell is going on?

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