All Star Comics is an American comic book series from All-American Publications, one of three companies that merged with National Periodical Publications to form the modern-day DC Comics. While the series' cover-logo trademark reads All Star Comics, its copyrighted title as indicated by postal indicia is All-Star Comics, with a hyphen. With the exception of the first two issues, All Star Comics told stories about the adventures of the Justice Society of America, the first team of superheroes, and introduced Wonder Woman.
|All Star Comics|
All Star Comics #3 (Winter 1940–1941)
Cover art by Everett E. Hibbard
|Schedule||Quarterly #1–4, 18–27|
Bimonthly #5–17, 28–57:15
|Publication date||(Original run) |
Summer 1940 –
February–March 1951 (Revival)
January–February 1976 –
|No. of issues||(Original run) |
|Main character(s)||Justice Society of America|
The original concept for All Star Comics was an anthology title containing the most popular series from the other anthology titles published by both All-American Publications and National Comics.:13–14
All Star Comics #1 (cover-dated Summer 1940) contained superhero stories that included All-American's Golden Age Flash, Hawkman, Ultra-Man, as well as National's Hour-Man, Spectre, and Sandman. The adventure strip "Biff Bronson" and the comedy-adventure "Red, White, and Blue" also premiered with the Summer 1940 cover date.
Issue #3 (Winter 1940–1941) depicted the first meeting of the Justice Society of America, with its members swapping stories of their exploits which were subsequently illustrated in the comic's array of solo adventures. In addition to the Flash, Hawkman, Hour-Man, the Spectre, and the Sandman were Doctor Fate from National's More Fun Comics; and the Green Lantern and the Atom from All-American's flagship title All-American Comics. The Justice Society of America (JSA) was originally a frame story used to present an anthology of solo stories about the individual characters,:43 with each story handled by a different artist.:43 Comic historian Les Daniels noted, "this was obviously a great notion, since it offered readers a lot of headliners for a dime, and also the fun of watching fan favorites interact." The anthology format was dropped in 1947 and replaced with full issue stories featuring the heroes teaming up to fight crime.:43
All Star Comics #8 (cover dated January 1942) featured the first appearance of Wonder Woman in an eight-page story written by William Moulton Marston, under the pen name of "Charles Moulton" with art by H. G. Peter. The insert story was included to test reader interest in the Wonder Woman concept. It generated enough positive fan response that Wonder Woman would be awarded the lead feature in the Sensation Comics anthology title starting from issue #1. That same issue saw the induction of Doctor Mid-Nite and Starman as members of the Justice Society as well. Starting with issue #11, Wonder Woman would appear in All Star Comics as a member of the Justice Society as their secretary.
With issue #34 (April–May 1947), Gardner Fox left the series and a new super-villain, the Wizard, was introduced. The Injustice Society first battled the JSA in issue #37 in a tale written by Robert Kanigher. The Black Canary guest starred in issue #38 and joined the team three issues later in #41.
All Star Comics increased its frequency from a quarterly to a bimonthly publication schedule, and the JSA lasted through March 1951 with issue #57 in a story titled "The Mystery of the Vanishing Detectives".
Superhero comics slumped in the early 1950s, and All Star Comics was renamed All-Star Western in 1951 with issue #58. In this issue, the "Justice Society of America" feature was replaced by Western heroes.
In 1976, the name All Star Comics was resurrected for a series portraying the modern-day adventures of the JSA. The new series dismissed the numbering from All-Star Western and continued the original numbering, premiering with All-Star Comics #58.:194 Starting with issue #66, a hyphen was added to the title and the words "All-Star Comics" became a much smaller part of the cover; while the words "Justice Society" became much larger. The 1970s series introduced the new characters Power Girl and the Helena Wayne version of the Huntress. This series ran for seventeen issues before it was abruptly canceled with issue #74 as part of the DC Implosion and the JSA's adventures were folded into Adventure Comics.
After 23-year-old Gerry Conway became an editor at DC Comics, long-time JSA-fan Roy Thomas suggested to Conway that the JSA be given their own title again. Conway offered Thomas a chance to ghostwrite an issue of the revived All-Star Comics, but he declined as Thomas was under an exclusive contract with Marvel Comics at the time. However, in 1981 Thomas moved to DC and was able to work with the characters.
DC took the 'greatest hits' premise of the comic to its logical conclusion in All Star Comics #3 by teaming the Flash, the Atom, Doctor Fate, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Hourman, Sandman, and the Spectre under the banner of the Justice Society of America for an ongoing series.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
Mayer and Fox cooked up one of the biggest ideas in superhero history: What if the varied stars of All-Star Comics actually met and worked together?
The contents of All-Star Comics #75 were split into a two-part Justice Society story published in Adventure Comics #461–462.
Notable events of 1941 in comics. See also List of years in comics.1942 in comics
Notable events of 1942 in comics. See also List of years in comics.All-American Publications
All-American Publications is one of three American comic book companies that merged to form the modern day DC Comics, one of two largest publishers of comic books in the United States. Superheroes created for All-American include the original Atom, Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, and Wonder Woman, all in the 1940s' Golden Age of Comic Books.All-Flash
All-Flash, originally published as All-Flash Quarterly, was a comic book magazine series published by All-American Publications and later National Periodicals (DC Comics). The series was the first solo feature given to the comic book character The Flash, who also appeared in the anthologies Flash Comics, All-Star Comics, and Comic Cavalcade. The book ran for 32 issues from 1941 to 1947. The series was originally published on a quarterly basis before changing over to a bi-monthly schedule with issue #6. Each issue regularly contained several stories featuring The Flash, as well as minor back-up features like Hop Harrigan, Butch McLobster, The Super Mobster, and Fat and Slat by cartoonist Ed Wheelan and, in later issues, Ton-O-Fun by Flash co-creator Harry Lampert.All-Star Squadron
The All-Star Squadron is a DC Comics superhero team that debuted in Justice League of America #193 (August 1981) and was created by Roy Thomas, Rich Buckler and Jerry Ordway.Black Dragon Society (comics)
The Black Dragon Society are currently a group of fictional DC Comics ecoterrorists originally introduced in 1942's All Star Comics issue #12 (August 1942) as Japanese saboteurs. They were created by Gardner Fox and Jack Burnley.Comic Cavalcade
Comic Cavalcade was an anthology comic book published by DC Comics from 1942 to 1954.
Most American comic book publishers in the 1930s and 1940s Golden Age of comic books published anthology titles that showcased a variety of characters, usually with one star—such as Green Lantern in All-American Comics or Wonder Woman in Sensation Comics. Comic Cavalcade, however, featured both those star characters as well as the Flash, a star in his own namesake title as well as the spin-off All-Flash.
At 96 pages initially, Comic Cavalcade was about one-and-one-half-times the length of the average comic book of the time. It was priced at 15 cents, when the average comic cost a dime.
Many stories in Comic Cavalcade were scripted by other than the characters' regular writers, for deadline reasons. Batman writer Bill Finger, for example, would occasionally write Flash stories for Comic Cavalcade when regular Flash writer Gardner Fox was preoccupied with other projects.
One non-superhero ongoing character introduced in Comic Cavalcade was newspaperman Johnny Peril. His roots, prior to his first appearance, came in the one-off story "Just a Story" in issue #15 (July 1946), by writer-artist Howard Purcell. With issue #22 (Sept. 1947), the anthological "Just a Story" series gained Peril as, generally, a witness or narrator rather than as an integral part of the narrative. With this issue, the series title became "Johnny Peril Tells Just a Story", eventually changed to "Johnny Peril's Surprise Story" as Johnny became the series' two-fisted hero until the series ended with issue #29 (Nov. 1948). The character went on to appear in his own feature in All-Star Comics, Danger Trail and Sensation Comics through 1953. He returned in the Silver Age of Comic Books in 1958, in The Unexpected.Initially published quarterly, the title went bi-monthly beginning with #14 (April–May 1946). It was revamped completely with #30 (December–January 1948), becoming a funny-animal humor book when superheroes faded from popularity in the post-war era. Featured were animator Frank Tashlin's movie-cartoon duo The Fox and the Crow, along with cartoonist Woody Gelman's creations, The Dodo and the Frog and Nutsy Squirrel. The book's length by this time had been reduced to 76 pages.
The title would later be referenced with DC's 1970s Cancelled Comic Cavalcade series.Hercules (DC Comics)
Hercules (also known as Heracles and Herakles) is a fictional Olympian god in the DC Universe based on the Greek demigod and hero of the same name.
Hercules first appears in All Star Comics #8 (December 1941) as part of a Wonder Woman story, and was created by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter, in the first of several incarnations. Later versions appeared in Superman #28 (May 1944), created by Jerry Siegel and Ira Yarbrough, Wonder Woman #105 (April 1959) and Hercules Unbound #1 (October 1975) created by Gerry Conway and José Luis García-López.Hop Harrigan
Hop Harrigan (also known as The Guardian Angel and Black Lamp) first appeared in All American Comics #1 created by Jon Blummer (Fighting Yank, Little Boy Blue) as one of the first successful aviation heroes in comic history (Hop appeared after Tailspin Tommy, Barney Baxter, Connie Kurridge and others). Hop Harrigan was technically not a true superhero (as he had no costume or special powers) though he did meet the Justice Society of America in All-Star Comics #8, and he did eventually become a superhero from All American Comics #25 (April 1941) to #28 (July) as the costumed Guardian Angel.Huntress (Helena Wayne)
The Bronze Age Huntress, also known as Helena Wayne, is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character is the daughter of the Batman and Catwoman of an alternate universe established in the early 1960s (Multiverse) where the Golden Age stories took place. In the comics, Helena Wayne assumes the Huntress identity.Jerry Bails
Jerry Gwin Bails (June 26, 1933 – November 23, 2006) was an American popular culturist. Known as the "Father of Comic Book Fandom," he was one of the first to approach the comic book field as a subject worthy of academic study, and was a primary force in establishing 1960s comics fandom.John Broome (writer)
John Broome (May 4, 1913 – March 14, 1999), who additionally used the pseudonyms John Osgood and Edgar Ray Meritt, was an American comic book writer for DC Comics.Justice Society of America
The Justice Society of America (JSA) is a superhero team appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The Justice Society of America was conceived by editor Sheldon Mayer and writer Gardner Fox. The JSA first appeared in All Star Comics #3 (Winter 1940–1941), making it the first team of superheroes in comic books.
The team was initially popular, but in the late 1940s, the popularity of superhero comics waned, and the JSA's adventures ceased with issue #57 of the title (March 1951). JSA members remained absent from comics until ten years later, when the original Flash appeared alongside a new character by that name in The Flash #123 (September 1961). During the Silver Age of Comic Books, DC Comics reinvented several Justice Society members and banded many of them together in the Justice League of America. The Justice Society was established as existing on "Earth-Two" and the Justice League on "Earth-One". This allowed for annual cross-dimensional team-ups of the teams between 1963 and 1985. New series, such as All-Star Squadron, Infinity, Inc. and a new All-Star Comics featured the JSA, their children and their heirs. These series explored the issues of aging, generational differences, and contrasts between the Golden Age and subsequent eras.
The 1985 Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series merged all of the company's various alternate realities into one, placing the JSA as World War II-era predecessors to the company's modern characters. A JSA series was published from 1999 to 2006. A new Justice Society of America series ran from 2007 to 2011. As part of DC Comics' 2011 "The New 52" relaunch, an unnamed version of the team appears in the Earth 2 Vol 1 (2012–2015), Earth 2 World's End (2014–2015), and Earth 2: Society (2015–2017).List of Justice Society of America enemies
This is a list of fictional characters from DC Comics who are or have been enemies of the Justice Society of America. In chronological order (with issue and date of first appearance).List of Justice Society of America members
The Justice Society of America is a team of comic book superheroes published by DC Comics.
JSA members are listed here only once—in order of their first joining the team. Retconned members are listed only where they historically took part in the stories. Only official members are listed. No unofficial, reserves or honorary members.
Note: In the wake of DC Comics' Flashpoint event, the history of the JSA has been rebooted. Many of the characters have been reintroduced with new histories while others have yet to reappear. Characters' last known status is listed below. An alternate version of the team appears in the series Earth-2.Power Girl
Power Girl, also known as Kara Zor-L and Karen Starr, is a fictional DC Comics superheroine, making her first appearance in All Star Comics #58 (January/February 1976). Power Girl is the cousin of DC's flagship hero Superman, but from an alternative universe in the fictional multiverse in which DC Comics stories are set. Originally hailing from the world of Earth-Two, first envisioned as the home of DC's wartime heroes as published in 1940s comic books, Power Girl becomes stranded in the main universe where DC stories are set, and becomes acquainted with that world's Superman and her own counterpart, Supergirl.
In common with Supergirl's origin story, she is the daughter of Superman's aunt and uncle and a native of the planet Krypton. The infant Power Girl's parents enabled her to escape the destruction of her home planet by placing her in a rocket ship. Although she left the planet at the same time that Superman did, her ship took much longer to reach Earth-Two. On Earth, as with other Kryptonians, Power Girl discovered she possessed abilities like super strength, flight, and heat vision, using which she became a protector of innocents and a hero for humanity. Though the specifics of how vary over subsequent retellings, Power Girl is later stranded on another Earth when a cosmic crisis affects her home of Earth-Two, and later carves out a separate identity for herself from her dimensional counterpart Supergirl once they are forced to coexist.
Though they are biologically the same person, Power Girl behaves as an older, more mature, and more level-headed version of Supergirl, with a more aggressive fighting style. She also adopts a different secret identity from her counterpart. These changes are reflected in their differing costumes and superhero names as well; Power Girl sports a bob of blond hair; wears a distinctive white, red, and blue costume with a cleavage-displaying cutout. The name Power Girl reflects that she chooses not to be seen as a derivative of Superman, but rather her own hero and this choice is reflected in the strong independent attitude of the character. Over various decades, Power Girl has been depicted as a member of superhero teams such as the Justice Society of America, Infinity, Inc., Justice League Europe, and the Birds of Prey.
Power Girl's origin has gone through revisions, but over time has reverted to her original conception as the Supergirl of Earth-Two. The 1985 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths eliminated Earth-Two from history, causing her to be retconned as the granddaughter of an Atlantean sorcerer known as Arion. This was an unpopular change and writers depicted the revised Power Girl inconsistently. The 2005–2006 Infinite Crisis limited series then restored her status as a refugee from the Krypton of the destroyed Pre-Crisis Earth-Two universe. Following DC's 2011 "Flashpoint" storyline and New 52 reboot, Power Girl's origin was retold as the Supergirl of "Earth 2", cousin and adopted daughter of Superman, who during evil New God Darkseid's invasion of Earth 2 becomes stranded in the main continuity of Earth 0, subsequently adopting the name Power Girl to hide her true identity. She returned to her source Earth in the story Earth 2: World's End (2014–2015).Sensation Comics
Sensation Comics is the title of an American comic book anthology series published by DC Comics that ran for 109 issues between 1942 and 1952. For most of its run, the lead feature was Wonder Woman, a character which had been introduced in All Star Comics #8 (December 1941). Other characters that appeared included the Black Pirate, the Gay Ghost, Mister Terrific, Wildcat, Sargon the Sorcerer, Hal Mason, the Whip, the Atom, Little Boy Blue, Hop Harrigan, Romance, Inc., Lady Danger, Doctor Pat, and Astra.
The series briefly became a romance title starting with issue #94 (November 1949). Johnny Peril became the lead feature with issue #107, when the theme of the comic changed to a supernatural/mystery format. The title was changed to Sensation Mystery with #110 and ran for another seven issues. The retitled series ended with issue #116 (July–August 1953).Wizard (DC Comics)
The Wizard is a fictional DC Comics Golden Age supervillain.Wonder Woman (Earth-Two)
Wonder Woman of Earth-Two is a fictional DC Comics superheroine retconned from original stories by Wonder Woman writer and creator William Moulton Marston and his wife Elizabeth Holloway Marston. This version of Wonder Woman first appeared in All Star Comics #8 (December 1941). This was after DC Comics established a multiverse in their published stories to explain how heroes could have been active before (and during) World War II and retain their youth and (subsequent) origins during the 1960s.
The Earth-Two Wonder Woman was first featured as a character separate from Wonder Woman (known as Earth-One Wonder Woman) in the second Jay Garrick and Barry Allen comic. Earth-Two Wonder Woman had appeared several months earlier in one comic-book panel.Like most of the older Earth-Two incarnations of the DC characters, this version of Wonder Woman was semi-retired when she reappeared in later stories (with gray hair and wrinkles in later Justice League stories). She appeared in many later Earth-Two features, including the multigenerational Infinity, Inc. series featuring her daughter Fury.
She (and her version of earth) were eliminated in a company-wide storyline, Crisis on Infinite Earths. After this series she ascended to her world's Mount Olympus with her husband, General Steve Trevor, reaching godhood. Although Diana Trevor was eliminated due to the storyline's outcome, her daughter was not. Fury (Lyta Trevor) was later revealed as the child of Helena Kosmatos, the New Earth World War II Fury. The Earth-Two Diana Trevor reappeared in mainstream DC Earth in Infinite Crisis as an apparition, fading away after speaking to new counterpart Wonder Woman.
Another storyline, 52, was created; in its aftermath, alternate versions of the pre-crisis Earth-Two characters were introduced. Although distinct from their pre-crisis Earth-Two versions, similarities persisted. Post-crisis Earth-Two Wonder Woman was mentioned by her daughter Fury, but appears only in a picture taken before the death of Bruce Wayne and the disappearance of their Superman. Post-crisis Earth-2 Wonder Woman retired from her Earth's Justice Society team, and the comic suggests she is the current Queen of the Amazons; this did not happen to Earth-Two Diana Trevor before she ascended Mount Olympus to become a goddess with her husband.
A parallel character was scheduled to appear in the 2012 series Earth-2. The post-flashpoint Earth-2 Wonder Woman was the sole surviving Amazon of her source Earth, but the fate of the other Amazons of post-flashpoint Earth-2 is unknown.