Thursday, August 2, 2012

Shanghaied into Space

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"Shanghaied into Space" from All-Star Comics #13 (All-American, 1942) by Gardner Fox and Jack Burnley

All-Star Comics (specifically #3) is one of the most important comics in all of comics because it invented the probably inevitable concept of the superhero team. And yet, it didn't go all the way with it, and the original Justice Society of America remains an anomaly when it comes to teams. Each issue, team members would meet at their club house, but then would be called to action separately against a common threat. They were solo stars in their own strips, so that was their element. More importantly, it created the idea of a shared DC Universe, though obviously, its stars were not yet DC's until later issues. My choice of splash is informed by Roy Thomas' tribute to this story in several issues of All-Star Squadron, the series that made me fall in love with the Golden Age in the first place.

All-Star Comics ended with #57 (1951), became All-Star Western until #119 (1961), and then returned to All-Star Comics #58 in 1976 for two and a half years of Earth-2 action, during which time it introduced Power Girl and the Huntress, characters still very much with us today.

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