All-Star Comics #3
Original Air Date
November 28, 2016
The first superhero team! ...that spends all their time sitting around telling stories.
Linkara: Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn, and the final episode of this year's "Secret Origins Month".
("Secret Origins Month" title is shown)
Linkara: The last few episodes, I failed to find a reason why those characters were made. Fortunately, that's not the case here. I know exactly why the Justice Society was created: (throws out arms) money!
(Cut to a shot of the Justice League)
Linkara (v/o): To be more specific, what happened was that superheroes became the most popular genre in comics, to the point where it was realized that they could make more money by having multiple books featuring the same character.
(Cut to a shot of a series of covers of Deadpool comics)
Linkara (v/o): (sarcastically) A practice that I'm sure doesn't still exist today or anything.
(The montage of shots of the Justice League continues)
Linkara (v/o): Some characters, however, while popular, didn't really justify getting a title all to themselves, like Superman or Batman had gotten. All-American and National Comics put together an anthology featuring a bunch of their most popular characters. It wasn't uncommon to have multiple superheroes in the same comic, but for whatever reason, it was decided in the third issue, well, if they're all gonna be in there, they might as well hang out together. And thus was born the first comic book superhero team, the Justice Society of America.
Linkara: Many have been asking why I haven't covered the Justice League yet, and this is pretty much the reason why. I feel like we should tackle what came first, much like how I've looked at the Golden Age versions of The Flash or Green Lantern before their modern counterparts.
Linkara (v/o): And when it comes to the idea of a team of superheroes together, a shared superhero universe, the Justice Society is where you start out. For better or for worse, this is who you have to blame whenever someone asks, "Hey, how come this character doesn't come help him out in this story if they're friends?" Now, a lot of these characters I have not covered yet, and that's for a very simple reason: nobody knows who the hell they are. Oh, sure, I've mentioned a few of them before, and those of you who actually are comic readers know them, but the average person on the street isn't gonna know who Hourman, the Spectre, or the Sandman is.
(Cut to a shot of the Marvel Sandman)
Linkara (v/o): Erm, no, not that Sandman.
(Cut to the Sandman, a very different one, in the Justice Society)
Linkara (v/o): This one.
Linkara: Sorry to say it, guys, but I don't just pick superhero names out of a hat to decide who I cover for Secret Origins Month. I usually have pretty good reasons for doing so: (points to his fingers) they're well-known already, I'll be covering more of their adventures later, or because they have a movie coming out or a TV show that I like to tie in what's happening.
Linkara (v/o): As such, here's a quick rundown of characters I haven't talked about before. First up, The Atom. Unlike our old Great Disaster-stoppin' pal, Ray Palmer, the Golden Age Atom's name is meant to be symbolic. He's a short guy with no superpowers, who is trained by a boxer to punch people really, really hard. And just to give the middle finger to anyone who would make fun of his height, the dude's shirt opens up to show off his pecs. The Sandman: As indicated before, this is not the Lord of Dreams, but a guy by the name of Wesley Dodds. Like The Atom, he has no superpowers, but in this case, it's because he was more of a pulp character, with his signature crime-fighting tools being that gas mask he wears as well as a gun that shoots out sleeping gas. For whatever stupid reason, he would at some point lose that terrifying and awesome gas mask...
(Cut to a shot of a later version of the Sandman)
Linkara (v/o): ...and instead put on a boring, dime-a-dozen, basic-character-creation-and-city-of-heroes outfit.
(Cut back to the "All-Star Comics" cover)
Linkara (v/o): The Spectre I've mentioned a few times. Basically, Police Officer Jim Corrigan, murdered by gangsters, is brought back as a ghostly force of vengeance and killed people in gruesome, horrific ways.
Linkara: So, you know, what he really needs is to unite alongside a short guy who knows how to hit people.
Linkara (v/o): I kid, especially because it's good to have varying power levels in your team book. Sure, you run the risk of having one character do all the heavy lifting, but it also shows that different problems require different solutions. And symbolically, it shows that even if one guy can juggle planets and another guy can juggle M&Ms, they're equals alongside each other in the mission to do good. Hawkman has a long and complicated history in comics, with many retcons to this character. Him and Donna Troy could write a book together about backstory changes. However, in the Golden Age, he was a guy named Carter Hall, a museum curator who was also the reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian prince.
Linkara: And I know you expect me to do the standard (shakes fist) Ancient-Egypt-and-Imperial-March gag, (holds up index finger) but not so. Clearly, Hawkman opposes the dark, terrible threat of Ancient Egypt and its continued efforts to destroy the modern day, so... enjoy.
Linkara (v/o): The wings are a product of a mysterious metal that could negate gravity and allow him to fly. And star in embarrassing commercials.
(Cut to a clip of a Baby Ruth commercial featuring Hawkman)
Hawkman: My vision is not what it used to be.
(He crashes into a building. Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Dr. Fate here is Kent Nelson, son of an archaeologist who discovered the tomb of Nabu the Wise.
Linkara: The only time that the word (makes "air quotes") "Nabu" is associated with wisdom.
Linkara (v/o): After Kent's father is killed, the spirit of Nabu raises him for the next twenty years as a powerful sorcerer, fighting crime and supernatural evils with powerful magics. And the last character we haven't met before is Hourman, who is a scientist by the name of Rex Tyler. As a biochemist, he created a vitamin that he called Miraclo that enhanced strength, speed and vitality.
Linkara: Making him basically the human version of Underdog.
Linkara (v/o): The only downside is that the enhancements only lasted for an hour, and he decided that this kind of thing really couldn't be trusted with anybody else, so he fought crime with it. Some have said that it's kind of stupid to advertise your Achilles' Heel in your name, but honestly, it's not like he was shouting, "I will fight crime and injustice, but only from ten to eleven tonight!" Or maybe he did. I admit, I've never read any of his original stories.
Linkara: But let's definitely read one story featuring him, as we dig into "All-Star Comics #3" (holds up index finger) and the first appearance of the Justice Society of America.
(AT4W title theme plays, and the title card has audio from the Baby Ruth commercial featuring Hawkman playing in the background)
Hawkman: (audio from commercial) That's why I eat Baby Ruth! It's got all the energy in there to put me...
(Cut to the cover of the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): I love how this is one of those iconic comic covers because of what it symbolized: the first time all these characters were joined together in one image, and really, all it is is a bunch of guys sitting at a table on stools. Seriously, can you see any backs to their chairs? Hawkman sure as hell doesn't have one. Hell, they couldn't even get their logo centered on the table. I especially adore the expressions on their faces, the ones we can see anyway. Their body language all screams, "I thought someone else was supposed to bring the food." Speaking of Hawkman, I have no idea when I'll be covering him for "Secret Origins Month", so allow me to say "Yeesh!" to that mask! Did he accidentally put that thing in the wash? Why the hell doesn't it fit his head right? Yeah, he can probably see out of it fine, but when the hawk beak doesn't cover his mouth, it just makes it look like he doesn't have it on straight, or he got the child-sized mask by mistake.
(The comic opens to the first page)
Linkara (v/o): The opening page even proves they're all on stools. I'm just saying, people, if I was getting together a bunch of superheroes, I'd spring for better chairs.
Text: All Star Comics Presents– the First Meeting of the Justice Society of America!
Linkara: Most of it will be spent arguing over who pays for the pizza.
Linkara (v/o): Okay, there are actually two more members of the JSA that aren't shown on the cover, one I'll explain here and one I'll get to later... and how they are sort of a member, but not really. The first here is Johnny Thunder. Johnny is more of a comedic character in the old days. Long story short, he was granted a magic pen that held within a genie-like creature called a Thunderbolt that would grant him wishes and allow anything he said to come true... even if he wasn't intending to make something happen, usually bringing him about by saying magic words that sounded like, "Say you!" In the early days, he didn't know it was the Thunderbolt doing it for him. So we truly open here with Johnny being upset that he's left out of the first meeting of the Justice Society...
Linkara: (confused) Which I guess is just something they announced? (shrugs)
Johnny: The Flash – Spectre – Hawkman! All members of the Justice Society! Say, you'd think those guys would invite me, too! But no – nobody ever thinks about me!
(Cut to the Mystery Science Theater 3000 gang watching Warrior of the Lost World)
Tom Servo: Whiny man!
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): He wishes he could go to the meeting... aaaand immediately is teleported off to the meeting, flying there alongside Dr. Fate.
Narrator: The hotel where the Justice Society meeting is beind held–
Linkara: The annoying thing is that the hotel insists that they use wristbands before they use the elevator.
Linkara (v/o): Inside the hotel lobby are a bunch of people asleep in chairs.
Johnny: Gosh, what a dead place! Everybody's fast asleep!
Dr. Fate: I have a hunch the Sandman's been busy again!
Linkara: (as Dr. Fate) Oh, that loveable scamp! (laughs) He even stole all their wallets.
Linkara (v/o): And suddenly, the Sandman is standing there. Ah, the Golden Age, when panels didn't have to actually from one to the other. It's less sequential art and more "Here's a bunch of crap that happens and maybe it's in order."
Johnny: So you're the chap that goes around putting people to sleep! Why did you put these people to sleep? Is the meeting a secret?
Linkara: (as the Sandman, wearing his gas mask) It wasn't me. We're actually holding this at the same time as the International Narcolepsy Conference.
Linkara (v/o): And so things proceed like that, with him meeting each member and hijinks ensuing, like making The Flash extraordinarily cold or shrinking his own head down.
Johnny: What's happening to me?
Linkara: (as Johnny, feeling his head) Oh, my God, I'm a Fletcher Hanks drawing!
Linkara (v/o): After accidentally making their food disappear – and then reappear again – Johnny suggests that each member of the gathering tell their most exciting experience they'd ever had.
Atom: It's a good idea – but where's Superman, Batman and Robin? They'd have some good stories to tell!
Linkara: (as Superman) Well, let's see... There was the time I teamed up with the Quik Bunny to stop the Weather Wizard. Oh! There was also the time I lectured a guy about Henry Thoreau. (as Batman) That's nothing! There was this one time that OnStar helped me catch the Riddler! (as Robin, clutching at his stomach painfully) I feel sick from all the yellow paint I accidentally ate... (as Batman, sharply) Shut up and eat your rat, Robin!
Linkara (v/o): In-story, the reason is that with all of them gathered in one place, somebody's gotta be out there fighting crime. But the real reason was an in-house rule that they had established: any character who had their own title would not be on the team anymore, only moved to "honorary member" status, which was the case for Superman and Batman. It was probably to prevent oversaturation of the characters. After all, kids were the main demographic here and they only had so much money to buy comic books, so don't try to force to pick between books and thus lower the readership per book. Anyway, each member recounts a story of their own escapades. And here's the thing that's kind of irritating about this book. You see, in these early days, in these early days, they're not actually gonna team up to fight anybody. Most of the sixty-page comic is each of them telling a solo story.
Linkara: I mean, what's the point? Their team-up is just them sitting down to dinner? It's not like the Avengers movie had all of them going out to a restaurant to eat.
(A clip of the movie is shown, showing the Avengers doing exactly that)
Linkara (v/o): That doesn't count!
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): But yeah, the story is mostly made up of short solo stories, so I apologize if we skip through them a bit. This comic is about sixty pages long and we're only at page 4 so far. So yeah, Flash's story...
The Flash: My story has to do with sunken treasure – and how I helped a poor man escape a crowd of swashbuckling cutthroats!
Linkara: Dammit! The Crimson Permanent Assurance strikes again!
Linkara (v/o): He talks about a sunken Spanish galleon full of Aztec gold and jewels that had fallen off the coast of Panama that many had been looking for.
The Flash: (narrating) One day last summer Joan Williams and I were dining in the Sandglass Club... I was in street clothes and using my regular name, which is, as you know, Jay Garrick...
Linkara: (as The Flash) As you know, here is my home address, Social Security number and bank account information...
Linkara (v/o): I mean, yeah, it's possible they all know each other's secret identities already, but Johnny Thunder wasn't even supposed to be at this meeting, and if they already know each other, why did they take over a hotel for their meeting when they could just go out to a restaurant together in plain clothes? A friend of theirs asks for help in raising funds for her father's expedition to search for the sunken ship, since a group of thugs have been smashing their equipment. In addition, they're clearly spying on them to try to steal the treasure once her father finds it.
Linkara: (sarcastically) Yeah, and I'm sure they'll find it in a big hurry after you've smashed all their equipment! (shrugs in confusion)
Linkara (v/o): Later, Jay decides to go investigate on his own.
Jay: I guess it wouldn't hurt for me to trot down there and give the situation the once-over...
Linkara: (as Jay) If I have time, I'll try to prance and cavort down there as well. But not scampering. (strokes chin) Not after last time...
Linkara (v/o): Jay traveled to Panama with his super speed... and then super-swam as well, outrunning the father's boat. Also, he can talk underwater.
Linkara: But then again, Aquaman revealed a couple weeks ago that breathing underwater was just something you needed to teach yourself. So I guess talking underwater is something you can take night classes for.
Linkara (v/o): Frankly, more impressive is how he encounters a shark with a thought bubble.
Shark: (thinking) Am I seeing things-- or wasn't there a nice juicy man just here?
Linkara: (as shark) Damn it! Every time I meet a guy, it's a super-speedster! Is it just me?
Linkara (v/o): And then The Flash proceeds to grab the shark... and spin him around rapidly while its thought balloons call out for its mother.
Linkara: Man, the remake of Jaws is really weird.
Linkara (v/o): From there, Flash proceeds to help the father find the treasure and push the cutthroats' ship into Arctic waters to keep them from attacking the guy again. Later, he met the two women for dinner again, bringing the guy's daughter a telegram about what happened.
Woman: So, Mr. Flash! That's what you've been doing all afternoon! Why didn't you tell me?
Jay: You'd have wanted to come along! I needed to make a quick job of it because I'm so busy – and you'd have gotten into trouble and had to be fished out!
Linkara: Aaaand instantly breaks up with him.
Linkara (v/o): With the story over, Johnny exclaims how heard about the treasure, but not The Flash's involvement.
The Flash: Well, there are lots of things we fellows do that nobody knows about! Am I right Hawkman?
Linkara: (as Hawkman, arms crossed) Indeed. And that reminds me, I still need to bury that body.
Linkara (v/o): Hawkman's story has to do with Krakatoa, or Krakatao, as the comic refers to it. Hawkman's assistant Shiera Sanders, who would later become Hawkgirl, was heading there to investigate reports of the volcano becoming active again... until a man tried to attack her at night. Fortunately, Carter is able to knock the guy on his ass.
Attacker: Shiera Sanders is going to Krakatao! She had better stay away or the Fire Ghosts will get her.
Linkara: (as attacker) Stay away, or the Fire Ghosts will kill you! That's why I have to kill you first! (stops himself suddenly and becomes confused) Wait...
Linkara (v/o): He was right, too. Clearly, the two are melting into one another in this panel. Anyway, he didn't want her to go there because of forbidden knowledge or something. Shiera decides to go anyway, and Carter steps up as Hawkman, gathering weapons in preparation of following her.
Hawkman: The Hammer of Thor!
Linkara: (as Hawkman, holding up Thor's hammer) Why does it say, "For a good time, call Freya"?
Hakman: He was a blacksmith. So this hammer should do all right.
Linkara (v/o): One, no, he wasn't. Two, that is clearly a mace and not a hammer. Three, where the hell did you get Thor's hammer? Four, if you have Thor's hammer, why the hell would you need anything else?! But whatever. He flies to Krakatoa, spots the Fire Ghosts... in their fireproof shorts... weird... and works with Shiera to get inside the volcano, wearing asbestos suits.
Linkara: Good thing they put those on. I was concerned for their health and safety.
Linkara (v/o): Also, Shiera's has a skirt, because, you know, she's a girl. And for crying out loud, they're not even wearing anything to cover their heads. Well, except for Hawkman's ridiculous mask, but somehow, I doubt that's made of asbestos, too. It's a wonder it took these characters so long to die. Anyway, they fight the Fire Ghosts... except they might not actually be ghosts, but some scientist who wanted to use the energy of the volcano to make himself powerful. It's weird and random and some of this comes out of nowhere. Point is, the story is really kind of dumb. Next up is the Spectre's story, which begins with a night watchman getting killed by some monstrous figure. Jim Corrigan was on the scene the next morning.
Jim: Incredible! He was strangled by super-human strength!
Linkara: Yeah, he was really strangled by those bullets in his chest.
Linkara (v/o): We see the figure killing more people each time there's a full moon.
Chief: Jim, these moonlight murders have got to stop! Get the killer!
Jim: I'll certainly do what I can!
Spectre: That night-- another full moon!
(Linkara is staring at his copy of the game Pokemon Moon)
Linkara: (as Spectre) I'm watching you, Lunala! (points back and forth between his eyes and the game)
Linkara (v/o): Some sort of gargoyle creature emerges from what's supposed to be a statue and attacks Corrigan, but fortunately, he turns into the Spectre. This creature identifies itself as Oom, the Mighty.
Oom: Oom, from the dark side of the moon!
Linkara: (as Oom) I just moved here. Rent on the dark side of the moon is insane.
Linkara (v/o): And here's where things get... (hesitates) weird. See, Oom is an ancient creature who has been sleeping for forever, but feeds on death. The Spectre challenges Oom to leave the planet, but Oom counters with an idea of whoever fails to grab the Red Moon Stone of Yzgartyl will leave Earth forever.
Linkara: (rolls eyes) Ugh! That old superhero cliche?
Linkara (v/o): (sounding confused throughout) And so, they actually fly off into space and... uh, the Spectre gets flung off via dimensional currents before he grabs onto a star, which is... literally shaped like a star... and rides it to the Red Moon Stone. Oom sends out a dragon to distract him...
Linkara: As you do...
Linkara (v/o): ...and eventually, it leads to Oom getting turned into a statue and the Moon Stone flung back into space. The murder case goes unsolved, and the world is safe again for green plaid suits.
Linkara: You know, it's always been the Spectre's problem as a character: his stories are too conventional and by-the-book.
'Linkara (v/o): Next us is Hourman's story, which begins with his boss calling him into his office.
Boss: There's a costume ball at the Durant estate tonight! I want you to take my niece!
Linkara: Can CEOs really order chemists to take their family members on dates?
Rex: But sir--! I haven't a costume! Besides, what could I go as? (narrating) My remark angered the boss...
Linkara: (as Rex's boss) You don't have a costume?! You know this company has a strict cosplay policy that necessitates at least two different characters!
Linkara (v/o): He decides to dress up as Hourman since, well, of course. However, when he gets there, he spots a whole other group of people dressed like Hourman. They mistake him for a part of their group, revealing that they're actually a group of crooks intent on stealing the diamonds the estate was holding the costume ball for. They get away with the diamonds, Rex pursuing, since he's also mistaken by the cops to be a part of their group. He eventually manages to track them down and defeat them. He discovers that the whole thing was plotted by the owner of the diamonds, which were actually fakes, to collect on the insurance money.
Hourman: ...and that, gentlemen, was the tightest squeeze I was ever in!
Linkara: Yeah, that's cool, Hourman, but the Spectre literally grabbed onto a star and flew through space! I think things are a little disproportionate here.
Linkara (v/o): Before we get to Sandman's story, we have our introduction of the other kinda-sorta team member I mentioned before: the Red Tornado. The Red Tornado is a superhero... sort of. She's actually one of the first superhero parodies, an older woman by the name of Ma Hunkel, who puts a cooking pot on her head and fights crime. Here, she shows up only to leave almost immediately because she accidentally tore her pants coming up the window to join the meeting and, well, it's kind of embarrassing to have to keep your cape covering yourself the entire time. The character would actually be given new life in 2004 for a while, becoming the caretaker of the Justice Society's headquarters. Anyway, the Sandman's story. He and his love interest were driving along the road when they encountered a man who was twenty feet tall, and clearly also glowing, based on that weird circle of light behind him. The twenty-foot man collapses, dead, and Wesley Dodds finds a broken hypodermic needle on him.
Wesley's love interest: He might be a doctor but I'm sure we have heard of a doctor– who was twenty feet tall!
(Cut to a clip of an episode of Scrubs)
J.D.: (standing twenty feet tall) Welcome to Sacred Heart, home of the world's most giant doctor!
(Back to the comic again)
Wesley: I'm going to notify the police – and start my own search for the clew to this mystery!
Linkara: Dammit, Sandman! How is sailing involved in this?! (beat) See, because they-they misspelled "clue" a-as "C-L-E-W" instead of... "clue"... (suddenly shouts in frustration) SHUT UP! IT WAS FUNNY!
Wesley's love interest: And I'm with you! Wow – a man that big oughtn't be able to die!
(Linkara stares, utterly dumbfounded, then cut to a clip of The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra)
Dr. Armstrong (Larry Blamire): (to Betty Armstrong) It's all right, Betty, you were just doing some very stupid things.
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Later, the newspaper boys were announcing something else weird.
Newsboy: (holding up a newspaper) Read all about it! Huge bag of human flesh found – with man's bones inside it!
Linkara: (as newsboy, pretending to hold up a newspaper) Popeye's Chicken denies any involvement!
Linkara (v/o): Also, isn't technically any human being a huge bag of flesh with bones inside of it? Investigating as the Sandman, Dodds recalls a colleague who talked about experimenting on pituitary glands, even discovering a giant rat and cat on the way to said colleague's home. Inside, he discovers a would-be victim of the guy. Basically, they're using some chemical he injected into the pituitary gland to transform them into giants. Eventually, the chemical would wear off... but their skin wouldn't, making their bodies collapse and die.
(Cut to the obligatory shot of "Superman At Earth's End", showing the Hitler Clones)
Hitler Clone: Of course. Don't you know anything about science?
(Back to the "All-Star Comic" again)
Linkara (v/o): The animals they saw before were escaped test subjects, and the Sandman manages to defeat the guy. Turns out the scientist who did this was only in it for money, killing the guys with his growth formula for their insurance to fund his growth experiments, even though I'm pretty sure something like this would earn him some fame and fortune without needing to murder people.
Linkara: So, you know, this story was perfectly fitting for the Sandman's pulp and noir sensibilities.
Linkara (v/o): So then it's time for Dr. Fate's story.
Dr. Fate: As you know I am not human... I never was a child... I had no youth – the elder gods created me just as I am now...
Linkara: (as Dr. Fate) Sexy and smooth, baby.
Linkara (v/o): Yeah, thing is, Dr. Fate's origin story was not actually told until the year after this comic came out, so that's the reason for the whole "never was a child not human" thing. Fate tells about his own interest, Inza, getting a mysterious box from an antique store. The box contained a mist that knocked her out, leading to an ancient Egyptian priestess speaking to her in a dream.
Priestess: You and the world are in deadly danger!
Linkara: (as priestess) You must join the Battle City Tournament and defeat Marik Ishtar!
Linkara (v/o): She gets help from Dr. Fate about what the spirit told her, concerning some danger on the coastal moors. The two fly there together.
Dr. Fate: That's an odd perfume you wear! Reminds me of the scent-stealing Chevergris used by the Olden Priests of Khem!
Linkara: Time and place for flirting, Doc!
Linkara (v/o): It turns out it was a trap. The mist was that Chevergris that Fate mentioned, and the whole thing was to try to kill him. Fortunately, they escape the danger there, and Fate goes on to fight several creatures summoned up by a sorcerer who wants him out of the way. Such creatures include the Squiggly Line Monster, cheap plastic unicorns molded in green, and of course, the Three Witches of Endor!
Linkara: (looking up and stroking chin) I always figured the Ewoks were up to no good.
Linkara (v/o): But yeah, Fate defeats the guy and he asks Johnny Thunder to tell a story himself.
Johnny: Aw, shucks, I'm kinda modest... so the editors have written a story about something that happened to me... It's on the next two pages...
Linkara: (as one of the other heroes, sotto voce) Doc, what the hell is he talking about? (as Dr. Fate, also sotto) Not sure. Maybe his brain didn't return to size along with the rest of his head.
Linkara (v/o): After the prose story that Johnny broke the fourth wall to inform us of, we get a story from The Atom.
Atom: You probably all know that I am called The Atom because I'm so small, and I'm the only one of us who does not have supernatural powers.
Linkara: (as Sandman, wearing his gas mask) Dude!
Linkara (v/o): The Atom's story concerns a group of criminals who steal a bunch of army uniforms to break into one of the gold caches of the U.S. government.
Linkara: Ah, yes, in their ongoing war against the Cybermen.
Linkara (v/o): Once inside, they manage to steal a bunch of gold from the vault, although considering the truck they stole already had gold in it... Not sure why they felt the need to steal even more... The Atom had earlier been knocked out after a failed landing on the truck and is found by his love interest. There's actually some brief character stuff in this story as he asks the girl what she thinks of Al Pratt, but enough of that. The Atom manages to get onto the truck properly this time and beats up the goons, saving $20 million in gold.
Linkara: You know, just a thought, but maybe we should've started with this one and worked our way up to the mad scientists creating colossal men, and sorcerers unleashing unicorns?
Linkara (v/o): Before Green Lantern can begin his story, a mailman shows up at the meeting with a message for the Justice Society.
Johnny: How'd you get in? Only the finest in the country can come in here!
Linkara: A better question would be, "How the hell anybody knew when and where this meeting would be?" Or did the Sandman really not have to knock anybody out at all, and he's just kind of an asshole?
Linkara (v/o): The message is from the director of the FBI, asking for a representative of the Society to meet with him. They send The Flash out, since he'd be the fastest to get there and back, and listen to Green Lantern's story in the meantime. His story concerns a crime wave that gets people into a frenzy, decrying the failures of the police to stop the criminals and calling for a new police commissioner. However, it turns out that a lot of the fury for a new commissioner is being caused by the same criminals responsible for the crime wave, hoping to get someone on their payroll as commissioner. It's actually quite clever, especially when they frame Commissioner Mason for receiving a bribe, and their man, Lacy, gets put in and the crime wave suddenly stops. Crime itself doesn't stop, instead just increasing smaller stuff, like gambling dens, minor rackets, and other things that wouldn't get as much public attention. Alan Scott, the Green Lantern, decided to investigate the charges against Mason.
Green Lantern: (narrating) Stepping to the window, I launched myself up into space!
Linkara: (as Green Lantern) And quickly turned around again when I saw the Spectre flying up there with Oom. Didn't want any part of whatever the hell that was.
Linkara (v/o): He sets a trap for the goons, making them come to someone who claims to know how Mason was framed, then uses his ring to hypnotize the crooks into revealing the truth. After a battle with the crooks' main muscle, the Green Lantern helps expose Lacy as the one responsible for all this, getting him arrested. The Flash returns to the meeting.
The Flash: I had no trouble getting in to see the F.B.I. Chief – and, incidentally – he's one swell guy!
Linkara: (as The Flash) J. Edgar Hoover! (gives a double thumbs-up) He's one swell guy!
Linkara (v/o): He wants all the JSA members to come down and see him together.
The Flash: I told him I thought next Tuesday night would be okay! Is that all right... Can you all make it?
Hourman: Suits me fine!
Atom: That's swell!
Linkara: This is probably the most unrealistic thing about this comic, that you could get nine people to make plans that they're all free for.
Linkara (v/o): So, what is it that he wants to meet them for? Well, that's revealed in the next issue, fighting Nazis and saboteurs and all that. And so, our comic ends with the editors thanking all the kids reading the book and that they hope to turn "All-Star Comics" from a quarterly magazine to a bi-monthly one. And who knows what will happen next with these heroes?
Linkara: Because of how long this comic is, I had to rush a lot of it, but honestly, this is damn good Golden Age superhero stuff.
Linkara (v/o): The artwork is... well, the Golden Age, so not exactly the most impressive stuff out there, but what really shines through is good old superhero fun. And the thing about it is that while we don't see all these characters joining together to fight villains at once, each story shows off very different sorts of superhero stories: cosmic stuff, basic crime dramas, a little bit of character stuff. They're great stories for kids, exciting and varied, and shows off what's great about all these heroes. Honestly, as I said earlier, my only critique of this is that the scope of these stories vary so much that it feels like we're getting less exciting stuff after something awe-inspiring. It'd be better if stories like the Atom's and Green Lantern's were near the beginning, and the Spectre's and Dr. Fate's more towards the end. Build up to the massive scale of some of this stuff, but start off with basic crime stories.
Linkara: Next time, it's December, and so we start off the holidays... with some festive horses with magical powers.
(End credits roll)
Actually, the FBI Director's call to arms for the JSA comes across as more than a little paranoid and creepy, especially when he talks about colleges "overrun with alien teachers and students." Swell guy indeed.
"Oom" from the Moon. Shouldn't he be named "Noom?"
(Stinger: The panel showing Wesley Dodds and his love interest finding the broken hypodermic needle is shown)
Wesley's love interest: He might be a doctor but I'm sure we have heard of a doctor– who was twenty feet tall!
(Cut to the MST3K gang watching War of the Colossal Beast)
Glenn Manning's sister: Glenn was sixty feet tall.
Joel: Think there's a connection? Nah! (waves dismissively)