Sunday, July 17, 2005

 

Number Three of "DC Comics' Influential Five!"


I don't think I'll have ANY trouble defending this pick.

The All-Star Squadron.

Set during World War 2, reading this book was like getting a monthly lesson in comics history. A history I couldn't wait to learn. Sporting one of the most iconic covers in comics, All-Star Squadron #1 was a welcome mat to new DC fans everywhere and a "Thank You" note to those who stuck around. History oozed from every page of this book, introducing this then very young reader to the concept of "Earth 2," a world populated with the original Golden Age versions of Superman, Batman, Hawkman, etc.

Above all, this comic taught me legacy. Legacy is what makes Geoff Johns' JSA and Hawkman runs "sing" to many a fan. Without Roy Thomas' writing on All-Star Squadron, I seriously doubt we'd take so much delight in Johns' work today.



I swear, I learned more about WW II in the pages of All-Star Squadron than any kid, pre-History Channel, probably had a right to. I learned of The O.S.S. Hitler's mad quest for The Spear of Destiny. America, pre-Civil Rights Movement. Oh, yeah! I learned some comics history, as well, while reading All-Star Squadron. Did you know The Red Bee sucks? I learned THAT in All-Star Squadron. This book gave these once-perfect heroes a learning curve. It was so cool watching the original Hawkman and Hawkwoman flirt with each other, not knowing that someday they'd have a son Hector (Better known today as Dr. Fate) who'd fall in love with Fury, the then-daughter of The Golden Age Wonder Woman and husband, Steve Trevor. We were in on their future, watching these wonderful characters rise towards greatness and that makes for good comics reading.

Tune in tomorrow for "The Final Two" of "DC'S Comics' Influential Five!"

Comments:
Dude, are we the same person? I loved BLue Devil, and my subscription to Captain Carrot was switched over to All-Star Squadron when CC&AZC was cancelled with ish 20. ASS (hee) was the first series I ever boasted a complete run of. I even wrote a book report in the third grade on issue 30. God bless you, Roy Thomas.
 
The All Star book was great. That book and Secret Origins were when I realized comics had a history.
 
What jhunt said, except I was never down with the Blue Devil (I'd probably stick Ambush Bug in that spot). Roy rules.
 
All-Star Squadron was a fun book, but man, did it ever get bitchslapped by Crisis or what? I think this book had as many (if not more) intra-title retcons as the LSH or the Superman books.
 
I loved All Star as a kid, even though I didn't really understand the whole Earth Two thing then. All I knew was it had cool characters and was set in WWII. And it was written very well (hell, even kids know good writing from bad).
 
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