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August 13, 2008


Thomas Aylesworth

I loved Roy Thomas's All-Star Squadron. It remains one of my favorites that I pull out to reread occasionally.

Mark Engblom

Roy definitely had me for the first 35 to 40 issues. After that point, the lousy pencils of guys like Richard Howell and Arvell Jones really sunk the experience for me...and Roy's stories seemed to follow suit, unfortunately. Add to that the killing blow that Crisis on Infinite Earths dealt All-Star Squadron, and you've got yourself a pretty dreary final two years of the series.

But the glory days of the series (issues #19 through the mid-30's) remain some of my favorite comics.

De Baisch

So what did you think of Young All-Stars, Mark?

Excuse me while I duck ;-)


what a bunch of nancy boys Flash and GL are... not only losing a sprint to a woman but a woman running in high heeled boots! hang your head in shame Jay Garrick!

seriously though, Mark, i'm with you on All Star Squadron... i bought the first 50 off the newsstand/comic rack and recently bought the last 17 for completion's sake. huge dropoff after Ordway left but really went into the toilet with the abundance of Vince Colletta and Tony Dezuniga inked issues...


I loved the old All Star Squadron series! And I remember this race sequence during the "introduction" to the Squadron characters, but I don't remember making the connection to that old Comic Cavalcade cover. (Of course, I probably hadn't ever SEEN that cover way back then, so...)


Roy Thomas is one of those writers I'm just beginning to appreciate. His Avengers stuff, in particular, I really enjoy. I also just got a couple of those Alter Ego collections from Twomorrows, which are really great.

Mark Engblom

"So what did you think of Young All-Stars, Mark?"

Not much, I'm afraid. Roy tried making lemonade out of the lemons the Crisis left him with, but it didn't really gel for me. Having "cosmic stand-ins" for the Earth-2 Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman only served as a constant reminder of what was lost with Earth-2 disappearing down the rabbit hole. I did get a kick out of the Iron Munro character and his connection to the Hugo Danner character of Gladiator fame (the book that many point to as a big influence on Jerry Siegel)...but as for the rest of them, not enough to sustain my interest. I think I dropped it after only a handful of issues. I also recall the art being pretty disappointing as well. As much as I like Thomas' writing, his tastes in artists (when he edited titles) often didn't match up well with my own. I think in some odd way, Thomas actually preferred art that wasn't as competent or slick as modern comic book artwork for his WWII stuff...since it seemed to evoke a more "authentic" Golden Age aesthetic (at least that's my guess).

Mark Engblom

"Roy Thomas is one of those writers I'm just beginning to appreciate. His Avengers stuff, in particular, I really enjoy. I also just got a couple of those Alter Ego collections from Twomorrows, which are really great."

Every bit a "disciple" of Stan Lee, I see Thomas as the "glue" that kept Marvel trucking along into the 1970's as Stan gradually left his writing chores to become more of a public figure/ambassador for Marvel. True, his official stint as Editor-In-Chief was fairly short, but I think his unofficial role as Stan's right hand man lasted much longer (at least since the late 60's), ensuring the "personality" Stan established for Marvel would continue after The Man left the helm.


I've been filling the gaps in my All-Star Squadron collection, and happened across *another* callback to these GL-Flash-Wonder Woman covers in Annual #1.

This one, to be precise:

They're doing this stunt at a war bond rally/circus as the story begins, which they spice up by having GL cause the wire to break "accidentally," which leads into some acrobatics and a trapeze stunt. I figured the trapeze bit must have *also* been a Comics Cavalcade cover gag, but in fact it looks like goofing around with trapezes is the only thing they *didn't* get around to doing on those covers....

Dr. Retro

Yes, Earth-Two "disappearing down the rabbit hole" was a big mistake. I quit reading comics after that, but started again when the JSA came back in 1999. Now that Earth-Two is back (sort of)I'm interested to see what happens now.

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