JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA

All-Star Squadron

Created by Roy Thomas and Jerry Ordway

Special thanks to Aaron Severson and John Wells

» FIRST APPEARANCE: Justice League of America #193 (Aug. 1981)

» SERIES: All-Star Squadron, 67 issues (1981–87)
Young All-Stars, 31 issues (1987–89)

All-Star Squadron
The open call, from All-Star Squadron #31 (May 1984). Art by Rick Hoberg and Mike Machlan.

History

The All-Star Squadron was a World War II assembly of heroes that went far beyond the membership of the Justice Society. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt called all costumed heroes into America's service. The Squadron was initially chaired by Hawkman and the JSA members participated freely. The core of the Squadron, however, was made up of lesser-known heroes like Liberty Belle, Firebrand, Johnny Quick, Hawkgirl, Commander Steel, Robotman and the Shining Knight.

The Squadron was on-hand when the Justice Society was called into a higher level of service, as the Justice Battalion. (All-Star Squadron #21) Such an army of heroes was necessary not only because of the scope of the war, but also because Hitler had acquired the Spear of Destiny. This legendary artifact allowed him to erect a "Sphere of Influence" around Europe and other Axis territories. If any metahuman entered the Sphere, they would immediately fall prey to Hitler's evil.

Thanks to the Ultra-Humanite, the Squad and JSA unwittingly met their own children and successors, Infinity, Inc. The Infinitors traveled back in time to try to stop Ultra, who was working with his own past-self in 1942. (#21-26, Ann. #2)

In February 1942, the All-Star Squadron held their first full meeting in the Perisphere, the former site of the New York World's Fair. The massive gathering was interrupted by Uncle Sam, who told the All-Stars how he and his comrades had tried to stop the attack on Pearl Harbor. Sam then assembled a group of new heroes called the Freedom Fighters. (#31-35)

Team pages from Young All-Stars #29 and #31 (1989); art by Lou Manna and Bob Downs.

The Squadron operated throughout the war and in April 1942 even inspired its own spin-off group: the Young All-Stars. This group of young heroes was anchored by the obscure All-Stars Dyna-Mite and Neptune Perkins, and joined by new heroes Iron Munro, Flying Fox and Fury. This group distinguished themselves by defeating Axis Amerika (Young All-Stars #1-6) and saving Albert Einstein from kidnappers. (#21)

Behind the Scenes

Special thanks to Dennis Hager and <John Joshua>

Exerpts from Amazing Heroes Preview Specials, published by Redbeard, Inc.

Roy Thomas has revealed a lot of behind-the-scenes information about the All-Star Squadron. These can be found in the (out of print) All-Star Companion series published by TwoMorrows.

The fanzine Amazing Heroes published various "Preview Specials" that featured advance write-ups about comic book series. In five issues — Amazing Heroes #39 (Jan. 1984), Amazing Heroes #62 (Preview Special, Winter 1985), and Preview Specials #1-3 (Summer 1985, Winter 1986, Summer 1986) — Roy Thomas outlined some of his plans. Not all of them came to pass, and are interesting to note:

  • Before the Crisis, the Quality Comics heroes were intended to migrate to Earth-X at the points in time when their original Golden Age continuities came to an end.
  • Some origin stories printed in Secret Origins were originally planned for All-Star Squadron.
  • The proposed "Bride of Robotman" didn't appear in the #44-50 slot, but was probably the basis for the Mekanique story (#58-60).
  • Kid Eternity was scheduled to make an appearance, with a revised power-set (conjuring characters from the past to serve as advisers rather than actual figures).
  • Prior to the Crisis, there was to be a 45th anniversary JSA special, 72 pages long, which would have been illustrated by multiple artists.
  • Thomas desperately hoped to find a way to keep his continuity intact in post-Crisis continuity, saying the earlier stories "still happened" but moving forward he would have to essentially ignore Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.
  • One JSA member would have returned from being "Shanghaied Into Hyperspace" as an alien impostor.
  • Stories would shift to focus on a smaller cast, individual characters, and more homefront stories.
  • He hints at the Young All-Stars … his 'replacement characters' for those lost in the Crisis. He names Fury, but not the series.

» SEE ALSO: Books and Magazines

List of Members

Notes for inclusion:

  • This membership list includes heroes who were featured in the pages of All-Star Squadron.
  • It includes heroes from the pre-Crisis Earth-X (Quality heroes) and Earth-S (Fawcett heroes) who, in post-Crisis continuity, became part of mainstream DC continuity.
  • Heroes who wore modified military clothing and whose operations were limited to the military/OSS (like Speed Saunders) were never considered members of the All-Star Squadron. » SEE: DC Golden Age CharactersGolden Age DC Magicians
  • This list may contain some heroes who are only assumed to have been members.
  • Color codes — the following information reflects the final statuses of the pre-New 52 universe. That universe may no longer exist:
LIVING AND/OR ACTIVE DECEASED GONE WITH THE CRISIS

Main Membership

Member (Real Name) Joined Status & Info
The Atom (Albert "Al" Pratt) All-Star Squadron #1 Deceased Zero Hour #3
Doctor Mid-Nite (Dr. Charles McNider, Starman II) Deceased Zero Hour #2
Hawkman (Carter Hall) Active in adventuring
Johnny Quick (Johnny Chambers) Deceased Impulse #11
Liberty Belle (Elizabeth "Libby" Lawrence Chambers) Retired
Plastic Man (Patrick "Eel" O'Brian) Active in adventuring
Robotman (Dr. Robert Crane, aka Paul Dennis) Retired
Phantom Lady (Sandra Knight) All-Star Squadron #2 Retired
PEARL HARBOR: THE ORIGINAL FREEDOM FIGHTERS
Hourman (Rex Tyler) All-Star Squadron #31 Semi-retired
Invisible Hood (Kent Thurston, Invisible Justice) Murdered by the Icicle and the Mist, Starman #2
Magno (Tom Dalton) Deceased All-Star Squadron #31
Miss America (Joan Dale Trevor, Miss Cosmos) Active in adventuring
Neon the Unknown (Tom Corbet) Presumed deceased All-Star Squadron #31; revealed alive Uncle Sam & the Freedom Fighters #5
Red Torpedo (Jim Lockhart) Active as a civilian.
Uncle Sam (Patriot) Active in adventuring
PEARL HARBOR (Dec. 7, 1941)
Batman (Bruce Wayne) All-Star Squadron #3 Deceased Adventure Comics #462
Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson, Nabu) Deceased Book of Fate #1
The Flash (Jason Peter "Jay" Garrick) Active in adventuring
Green Lantern (Alan Wellington Scott, Sentinel) Active in adventuring
Johnny Thunder (Johnny Thunder II & Yz) Active in adventuring, as the Thunderbolt
Robin (Dick Grayson) Deceased Crisis #12
Sandman (Wesley Dodds) Deceased JSA Secret Files #1
Sandy the Golden Boy (Sanderson Hawkins, Sand) Active in adventuring
The Spectre (James Brendan Corrigan) Deceased Spectre #62
Shining Knight (Justin) Active in adventuring
Starman (Ted Knight) Deceased Starman #72
Superman (Kal-L, Clark Kent) Deceased Infinite Crisis #7
Wonder Woman (Diana Prince) Deceased Infinite Crisis #5
Firebrand II (Danette Reilly) All-Star Squadron #5 Presumed deceased, Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #12
Hawkgirl (Shiera Sanders Hall) All-Star Squadron #6 Deceased Zero Hour #3; resurrected Blackest Night #8
Commander Steel (Hank Heywood) All-Star Squadron #8 Murdered, Eclipso #13
THE SEVEN SOLDIERS OF VICTORY
Crimson Avenger (Lee Walter Travis) All-Star Squadron #13 Deceased in DC Comics Presents #38
Green Arrow (Oliver Queen) Gone with the Crisis
(Alias) The Spider (Tom Ludlow Hallaway) Killed in Shade #3
Speedy (Roy Harper) Gone with the Crisis
Star-Spangled Kid (Sylvester Pemberton, Skyman) Deceased Infinity Inc. #51
Stripesy (Pat Dugan, S.T.R.I.P.E.) Active as S.T.R.I.P.E.
Vigilante (Greg Sanders) Deceased Seven Soldiers #0; returned Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen Special #1
Wing (Wing How) Deceased Justice League of America #102
The Guardian (Jim Harper) All-Star Squadron Annual #1 Killed, as shown Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen Special #1; succeeded by a clone
Wildcat (Ted Grant) Active in the JSA
Tarantula (Jonathan Law) All-Star Squadron #18 Presumed deceased Nightwing #90
Amazing-Man (Will Everett) All-Star Squadron #25 Deceased Justice League America #87
Sargon the Sorcerer (John Sargent) All-Star Squadron #28 Deceased Helmet of Fate: Sargon
OPEN CALL — THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS, part deux
Air Wave (Larry Jordan) All-Star Squadron #31 Killed DC Comics Presents #40
Black Condor (Richard Grey, Jr., a.k.a. Senator Thomas Wright) Deceased
Doll Man (Darrell Dane) Semi-active in adventuring
Dyna-Mite (Daniel Dunbar) Semi-retired
Firebrand (Rod Reilly) Deceased Cancelled Comics Cavalcade #2
Human Bomb (Roy Lincoln) Killed by Bizarro, Infinite Crisis #1
The Jester (Chuck Lane) Retired in Opal City
Manhunter I (Donald "Dan" Richards) Murdered Manhunter vol. 2 #7
Manhunter II (Paul Kirk) Deceased Detective #443
Midnight (Dave Clark) Status Unknown
Mister America (Tex Thomson, Americommando) Presumed deceased National Comics vol. 2 #1
Mister Terrific (Terry Sloane) Deceased Justice League of America #171
The Ray (Langford "Happy" Terrill, Neon II) Semi-active in adventuring
Red Bee (Richard Raleigh) Deceased All-Star Squadron #35
TNT (Thomas "Tex" N. Thomas) Killed Young All-Stars #1
The Whip (Rodney Elwood Gaynor) Revealed deceased JSA #55
Zatara (Giovanni Zatara) Deceased Swamp Thing #50
Aquaman (Arthur Curry) All-Star Squadron #59 Gone with the Crisis
Dr. Occult (Richard Occult) Active in adventuring

Young All-Stars Members

A few Golden Age characters appeared on the covers of Young All-Stars #5-6 (1987) that never appeared in any All-Star stories: Speed Saunders, the Gay Ghost, the Ghost Patrol, and Little Boy Blue. Art by Brian Murray. More about them here.
THE YOUNG ALL-STARS
Flying Fox Young All-Stars #1 Unknown
Fury (Helena Kosmatos) Active in adventuring
Iron Munro (Arnold Munro) Active in adventuring
Neptune Perkins Deceased Infinite Crisis #3
Tsunami (Miya Shimada) Retired
Quicksilver (Max Mercury) Young All-Stars #2 Lost to the Speed Force
The Gay Ghost (Keith Everet) Young All-Stars #6 (cover only) Unknown
The Ghost Patrol Unknown
Little Boy Blue (Tommy Rogers) Unknown
Hop Harrigan Young All-Stars #8 (Jan. 1988) Unknown
Tigress II (Paula Brooks) Young All-Stars #9 Retired
Fireball (Sonya Chuikov) Young All-Stars #22 Unknown
Kuei (unrevealed) Unknown
Phantasmo (Jean-Marc de Villars) Unknown
The Squire (Percival Sheldrake, the Knight) Killed by his arch-enemy, Springheeled Jack
Judomaster (Sgt. Ripley "Rip" Jagger) & Tiger (Tiger Tanaka, Avatar) (Charlton) Who's Who Update '87 #1 Judomaster deceased Infinite Crisis #7. Tiger now a villain, per The L.A.W. #1

Post-All-Star Squadron

These heroes were shown to have involvement, retroactively…

Wonder Woman III (Hippolyta) Wonder Woman vol. 2 #133 Active
Red Tornado (Mathilda Hunkel) All-Star 80-Page Giant #1 Retired
Merlin (Jock Kellogg) All-Star Comics vol. 2 #1 Killed All-Star Comics vol. 2 #1
Tor (James "Jim" Slade) Killed All-Star Comics vol. 2 #1
The King ("King" Standish) Star-Spangled Comics vol. 2 #1 Unknown
THE HEROES OF FAWCETT CITY are Generally considered All-Stars (Only Bulletman was shown)
Bulletman (Jim Barr) Starman vol. 2 #39 Retired
Bulletgirl (Susan Kent Barr) Power of Shazam! #12 Deceased, revealed PoS #43
Commando Yank (Chase Yale) Unknown
Ibis (Prince Amentap) Inactive, Helmet of Fate: Ibis
Minute-Man (Jack Weston) Deceased, per Justice Soceity of America vol. 3 #3
Mister Scarlet (Brian Butler) Retired
Phantom Eagle (Michael "Mickey" Malone) Unknown
Shazam (the Wizard, Jebediah of Canaan) Deceased Day of Vengeance #6; returned JSofA vol. 3 #25
Spy-Smasher (Alan Armstrong) Retired
Active heroes seen in group settings (and ACTIVE AFTER THE WAR)
Blue Beetle (Dan Garrett) Secret Origins vol. 2 #2 Deceased, Blue Beetle vol. 1 #18
Captain Triumph (Lance and Michael Gallant) The Golden Age #1 In prison, Titans #36
Merry, Girl of 1,000 Gimmicks (Merry Pemberton) Starman vol. 2 #62 (Feb. 2000) Active

Golden Age Hero Chronology

Many of DC's heroes ended their runs because of reduction in page counts, or canceled or rejiggered titles.

When I graphed the titles of Quality Comics, it revealed something unexpected. I was curious to see if there were any such trends at DC in the Golden Age of heroes. There's nothing terribly surprising, but you can see that…

  • With June 1943 issues, page counts dropped from 68 to 60 in some books. The King, Tarantula, and Sargon were axed.
  • In August 1944 issues, pages went from 60 to 52. One super-hero from every anthology was dropped: Crimson Avenger, Mr. America, the Whip, Dr. Fate, Red Tornado, and Manhunter.
  • A few features — Johnny Quick, Aquaman, and Green Arrow — survived an editorial change in More Fun Comics and moved to Adventure Comics with #103 (April 1946).
  • Some JSA members (Flash, Hawkman, the Atom) survived the end of Flash Comics (#104, Feb. 1949) and continued a bit longer, along with Green Lantern, in the pages of All-Star Comics (through #57, Feb./Mar. 1951).
  • As is fairly well-known, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman remained in continuous publication. Aquaman and Green Arrow survived well into the Silver Age as well. All of these heroes become anchors of the Justice League when that team debuted in 1960 (along with two reinvigorated Golden Age properties, the Flash and Green Lantern).
  • It's interesting that some of the heroes from the Seven Soldiers of Victory (Vigilante, Shining Knight, Star-Spangled Kid, and Green Arrow) were generally around for longer, despite the team having lasted only 14 issues in Leading Comics (ending in mid-1945).

» SEE ALSO:

Elsewhere: