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World War II continues to rage throughout Europe and the Pacific leaving virtually nothing untouched by its wake, including American comic books and the JSA... Represented here are the adventures of the Justice Society of America from the pages of All Star Comics of 1944 through the first half of 1945, perhaps the most grim of the war years, which may explain the time-trav World War II continues to rage throughout Europe and the Pacific leaving virtually nothing untouched by its wake, including American comic books and the JSA... Represented here are the adventures of the Justice Society of America from the pages of All Star Comics of 1944 through the first half of 1945, perhaps the most grim of the war years, which may explain the time-travel story containing a strident saber-rattling indictment of the entire country of Germany (something almost uncomfortable to look at with today's sensibilities). Also we have a sympathetic, yet exciting adventure revolving around the plight of the "physically handicapped," a twenty-year-old murder mystery, an alien robot invasion, and a world-spanning tale of (shudder) living paint! Add to all this the "mystery of issue 24," as delineated by historian Roy Thomas in his foreword, and you've got a collection of nothing but the best of comics' Golden Age!


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World War II continues to rage throughout Europe and the Pacific leaving virtually nothing untouched by its wake, including American comic books and the JSA... Represented here are the adventures of the Justice Society of America from the pages of All Star Comics of 1944 through the first half of 1945, perhaps the most grim of the war years, which may explain the time-trav World War II continues to rage throughout Europe and the Pacific leaving virtually nothing untouched by its wake, including American comic books and the JSA... Represented here are the adventures of the Justice Society of America from the pages of All Star Comics of 1944 through the first half of 1945, perhaps the most grim of the war years, which may explain the time-travel story containing a strident saber-rattling indictment of the entire country of Germany (something almost uncomfortable to look at with today's sensibilities). Also we have a sympathetic, yet exciting adventure revolving around the plight of the "physically handicapped," a twenty-year-old murder mystery, an alien robot invasion, and a world-spanning tale of (shudder) living paint! Add to all this the "mystery of issue 24," as delineated by historian Roy Thomas in his foreword, and you've got a collection of nothing but the best of comics' Golden Age!

30 review for All Star Comics Archives, Vol. 3

  1. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    The art near the beginning is amazing, but by the end, it's become really cartoony (and Jack Burnley and Cliff Young, two of the best artists, did not contribute to the last issue in the volune #14). It's easy to understand why readers at the time didn't care for the Justice Battalion and it quickly reverted back to the Justice Society. The third story, in which they all get sent on rockets to other planets, is some antiquated fun, and there's a nice bit of continuity when the Spectre puts some The art near the beginning is amazing, but by the end, it's become really cartoony (and Jack Burnley and Cliff Young, two of the best artists, did not contribute to the last issue in the volune #14). It's easy to understand why readers at the time didn't care for the Justice Battalion and it quickly reverted back to the Justice Society. The third story, in which they all get sent on rockets to other planets, is some antiquated fun, and there's a nice bit of continuity when the Spectre puts some Nazi soldiers on Pluto knowing the citizens won't let them die on the surface. Caricatures of Hitler are still funny in a way most other American opponents are not. With Wonder Woman having been shifted to reserve status for earning her own series, as opposed to anthology serial, (although I never saw where this reason was ever stated in the dialogue, as the introduction to volume 1 claimed), I didn't mind so much about her becoming the group secretary because a) The Flash and Green Lantern left entirely when they got their own series, and b) Wonder Woman works as a secretary in her civilian life and is shown to be exceptionally good at it. I'm sure sexism was involved, but it doesn't come across at all virulently under the circumstances. She calls Johnny Thunder her "pet" at the end of the volume, which was pretty funny, especially with the advancing of time and junk we see on the Internet.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Adam Graham

    This book collects Issues 11-14 of All Star Comics containing the Adventures of the Justice Society of America. The book begins (as all great Golden Age archive books do) with an introduction by Roy Thomas who sets the tone for the time. The four bi-monthly adventures were the first to be written following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the books reflect that as the Justice Society joins the war effort though in a different way from other heroes. Beyond the general World War II storyline This book collects Issues 11-14 of All Star Comics containing the Adventures of the Justice Society of America. The book begins (as all great Golden Age archive books do) with an introduction by Roy Thomas who sets the tone for the time. The four bi-monthly adventures were the first to be written following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the books reflect that as the Justice Society joins the war effort though in a different way from other heroes. Beyond the general World War II storyline, another big item here is the introduction of Wonder Woman to the Justice Society. This happens in Issue 11 when all of the JSAers go to war. The Spectre (who is a ghost) decides to stay at home and Wonder Woman makes a guest appearance. She's appointed Secretary in the next issue (Issue 12) and actually takes part in the action in Issue 13. Making Wonder Woman the JSA Secretary is seen as pure sexism. Reading it in context, it actually was a way to work the character into the book. There were eight members of the JSA and each had a six page adventure on their own set apart from the Justice Society meeting. To add another member to the JSA would mess with the format, so Wonder Woman couldn't be added to the regular roster without getting rid of someone else and the stories she does participate in have other JSAers absent. While I could think of some characters I'd be happy with swapping for Wonder Woman (Johnny Thunder and the Atom come to mind), apparently the writers weren't ready. Also, under the odd rules of the JSA once a character had their own comic, they were relegated to honorary member status which would have happened to Wonder Woman after Issue 13, but she stayed around with the Secretary gig. The introduction by Thomas indicates they were concerned how kids would feel about her being on the team and in a house ad they hinted at this somewhat awkwardly by suggesting that members of the Justice Society weren't too sure about letting Wonder Woman in and solicited feedback from readers. Overall though, I don't think it's quite the travesty that's been suggested. As to the stories themselves, in issue 11, the Justice Society all enlist (save for the Spectre) and go overseas and win a ton of battles. In issue 12, the JSA now operating as the Justice Battalion (since they were too good of soldiers to serve in the regular military), they went on a series of missions against the Black Dragon Society. In Issue 14, Hitler has a mad scientist blast the JSA on rockets into space after draining all the oxygen from the room where the JSA are meeting in until they pass out. And the reason they didn't just wait until they died was...it was (something). Anyway, each planet in the JSA universe has intelligent life and each JSAer has a mission there and returns with a technology to help the war. In Issue 14, Hawkman develops food pellets to help the starving patriots in suffering European countries, as they bring food pellets that turn into turkey dinners. The stories are well-intentioned and patriotic and there are some fun moments, but overall these stories feel a lot less connected than previous tales in the prior two Archive volumes. More importantly, I found the approach of some of these books to uncomfortable. While Timely (Golden Age Marvel) characters fought the war, they did so a single battle at a time-in a way that was relatively realistic but not something that would bring automatic victory to the allies, Superman protected the homefront and had a few forays into some moments but stayed at home and deferred to and honored the troops who actually went. The Justice Society on the other hand tells Fantasy stories which are really hard to consider in the way history actually went, as Thomas pointed out in the intro. The message of All Star Comics #11 suggested the JSA was more awesome than the real soldiers who suffered defeats after defeat through most of early 1942. Issue 13 had the JSA bringing equipment from space that would have won the war in an instant. Issue 14 had the JSA bringing food overseas when the in reality, the patriots so often starved, and worst. This led to a feel that almost mocked the reality of what was really going on. It was doing the same thing as before the war but with a real enemy, it just doesn't quite feel right. The book also includes some Hop Harrigan text stories, one of which is written from the perspective of a capture Japanese soldier and is therefore told in pigeon English leading to a tale in which Hop mentally tortures a suicidal captured Japanese prisoner. *sigh* Overall, this is still the JSA, but I hope future volumes improve as this is a cut below the best comics of the era.

  3. 4 out of 5

    The other John

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The Justice Society goes to war! This volume reprints All Star Comics issues 11 to 14, originally published between June and December of 1942. Written in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, these stories feature the JSA facing off against the threat of the Empire of Japan and Nazi Germany. In "The Justice Society Joins the War on Japan", the mystery men (somewhat illogically) disband in order to join the armed forces in their civilian identities. But being a mystery man is a hard habit to break and o The Justice Society goes to war! This volume reprints All Star Comics issues 11 to 14, originally published between June and December of 1942. Written in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, these stories feature the JSA facing off against the threat of the Empire of Japan and Nazi Germany. In "The Justice Society Joins the War on Japan", the mystery men (somewhat illogically) disband in order to join the armed forces in their civilian identities. But being a mystery man is a hard habit to break and our boys--and guest star Wonder Woman--end up finding an excuse to slip into costume and repel sundry attacks by the Japanese military. They do so well, in fact, that the Army recalls each member back to Washington to keep them from disrupting the normal forces. Instead, the JSA is reformed as the Justice Battalion, presumably to take on special missions against the Axis powers. The first mission is detailed in the next story, "The Black Dragon Menace". In that one the JSA thwarts the efforts of the secret Black Dragon society to steal weapon prototypes from across America. The third story, "Shanghaied Into Space", only tangentially involves the war. A Nazi scientist, in an attempt to rid the world of the Justice Society, knocks them out, places each into a separate rocket and sends them off to various planets in the solar system. (The premise sounds lame, but the adventures on the different planets are fun.) In the final tale, "Food for Starving Patriots", features the members of the JSA delivering miniaturized food to resistance fighters in the occupied nations of Europe. All of the tales are typical 1940s fare, filled with crude plots and overt racism. The art ranges from fair to excellent--the draft had yet to snatch up All American's better artists. All in all, it's one of the better volumes of the series.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rich Meyer

    The Justice Society joins the war effort with this volume of the All Star Comics Archives. These four issues mark the beginning of the Justice Battalion, an odd little add-on to the US military, in which the JSA went after Fifth columnists, spies, and helped out with humanitarian deeds (such as getting food pills to Europe). The stories are naturally filled with jingoism and the accompanying racism, but like I always say, you have to read things with an eye toward the era it was created before g The Justice Society joins the war effort with this volume of the All Star Comics Archives. These four issues mark the beginning of the Justice Battalion, an odd little add-on to the US military, in which the JSA went after Fifth columnists, spies, and helped out with humanitarian deeds (such as getting food pills to Europe). The stories are naturally filled with jingoism and the accompanying racism, but like I always say, you have to read things with an eye toward the era it was created before getting filled with indignation. These comics were merely propaganda, done to inspire kids and provide some entertainment to the troops in battle. Nothing more, nothing less. Simon and Kirby make their All Star debuts on Sandman with the final issue reprinted here. Jack Burnley, Bernard Bailey, Sheldon Moldoff, Stan Aschmeier, Cliff Young and many others also provide the pictures to Gardner Fox's fun, if often a tad contrived stories. This is an interesting volume from a historical standpoint, and is worth reading by any comic book fan or media historian.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Schmitt

    It amazes me that in this age of not only multi-issue but multi-title stories, the writers of these Golden Age tales took only six to eight pages to set up stories, characters, conflicts, and resolutions. The JSA continues to be my sentimental favorite super-hero team

  6. 4 out of 5

    Travis

    More great Golden age comic book stories, as the first super team fights various villains and despots. Brilliant stuff, with out a trace of grim and gritty.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Fraser Sherman

    3.5 stars. This collection from 1942 has the Justice Society actively involved in WW II: giving up their secret identities to enlist as regular guys, battling the Black Dragon Society (supposedly the secret group behind Japan's spy network, which was nowhere near as fearsome in real life) or finding ways to feed the European resistance movements fighting against Hitler. As Roy Thomas says in the intro, it may be good they backed off war stories — the first issue in this volume has them winning v 3.5 stars. This collection from 1942 has the Justice Society actively involved in WW II: giving up their secret identities to enlist as regular guys, battling the Black Dragon Society (supposedly the secret group behind Japan's spy network, which was nowhere near as fearsome in real life) or finding ways to feed the European resistance movements fighting against Hitler. As Roy Thomas says in the intro, it may be good they backed off war stories — the first issue in this volume has them winning victories all across the Pacific at a time the US was doing very poorly. The best story in the book has the JSA "Shanghaied Into Space" by a Nazi scientist, landing for adventures on different planets. The worst thing is Wonder Woman joining the JSA but staying off missions because she's just serving as their "secretary." Fun if you're into Golden Age stuff.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    Roy's intro was more about himself than the comics, i'd have liked to of read about the artists. One story in here really show how overpowered the heroes are, Dr. Fate takes two nazi prison camp guards to pluto as a punishment, so he could have taken the german commanders there or moved armies into the Atlantic ocean. Roy's intro was more about himself than the comics, i'd have liked to of read about the artists. One story in here really show how overpowered the heroes are, Dr. Fate takes two nazi prison camp guards to pluto as a punishment, so he could have taken the german commanders there or moved armies into the Atlantic ocean.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dimitris Papastergiou

    If you like any of the stories here you're either a time traveling kid from the 40s or you were a kid reading these back then and you like remembering what it was to read silly stories. If you like any of the stories here you're either a time traveling kid from the 40s or you were a kid reading these back then and you like remembering what it was to read silly stories.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    Collects four issues of All-Star Comics featuring the Justice Society of America. Notably for being the first issues published after Pearl Harbor, we see the JSA spring into action against Nazis and Imperial Japanese forces. In the first story, each JSAer puts aside his costumed identity and joins the US armed forces, only to find they must don their colorful attire in order to defeat the enemy's various plans. Hawkman's girlfriend, Shiera Hall, finds herself on a ship to the Pacific with none ot Collects four issues of All-Star Comics featuring the Justice Society of America. Notably for being the first issues published after Pearl Harbor, we see the JSA spring into action against Nazis and Imperial Japanese forces. In the first story, each JSAer puts aside his costumed identity and joins the US armed forces, only to find they must don their colorful attire in order to defeat the enemy's various plans. Hawkman's girlfriend, Shiera Hall, finds herself on a ship to the Pacific with none other than Wonder Woman in her Diana Prince guise. Wonder Woman also takes the fight to the enemy and joins up with the JSA, later becoming its secretary (wut). LITERALLY. She is taking notes of their adventures and keeping a log. The second story features the Black Dragon gang, which deals with Japanese spies in the US. The Atom actually meets a "good Jap," a "Jap Yank," so at least not all Japanese were lumped in with the bad guys. In the third story, a German scientist working for Hitler creates a knockout gas used on the JSA at their HQ, and then sends them off into space in individual spaceships to die (including Secretary Wonder Woman). Coincidentally, since there are 8 Society members (Doctor Fate was unable to attend this meeting), and 8 planets in the solar system other than Earth, each member gets sent off to separate planets, where they all encounter various life-forms (mostly they look like Europeans). Wonder Woman, of course, gets sent to Venus, where love goddess Aphrodite also has followers, and meets up with an Amazon-like race of women, where she has to fight a man to save them from slavery. LOL. This issue was a riot. Lastly, with Doctor Fate back and Wonder Woman relegated to the sidelines writing their diary, the JSA takes food in the form of special capsules (don't ask) to various Occupied Europe nations. There, they feed the resistance fighters and beat up a lot of Nazis in the meantime. Although we often hear today about the way the Japanese were caricatured and racially stereotyped in WW2 era comics, the German Nazis are not drawn any more realistically. They, also, are very caricatured with big teeth and goofy faces and crazy ass accents. Lots of fun reading these, and it's nice to see more Jack Burnley art on the Starman episodes. Simon & Kirby show up in the last issue on the Sandman feature.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Damon Williams

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mark

  13. 5 out of 5

    Don (The Book Guy)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Siddhant Nath

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ian

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ronald

  17. 5 out of 5

    David

  18. 4 out of 5

    Peter Cooper

  19. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rex

  21. 4 out of 5

    Steven Wilson

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ron McInnis

  23. 5 out of 5

    Hayden Peters

  24. 4 out of 5

    ISMOTU

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tanu

  26. 4 out of 5

    Xaanua

  27. 5 out of 5

    John Desmarais

  28. 5 out of 5

    Wt

  29. 4 out of 5

    Richard Remigio

  30. 5 out of 5

    Doug

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