Comics

Issue by Issue – All-Star Squadron: Crisis on Earth-Prime! (#14, #15)

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Writer – Roy Thomas
Penciler – Adrian Gonzales
Inker – Jerry Ordway
Colours – Carl Gafford
Letterer – Ben Oda, John Costanza

In the fourteenth and fifteenth issues of All-Star Squadron, as well as JLA 207-209, the title would cross over with the Justice League of America for a story of epic proportions featuring both teams as well as the members of the Justice Society.  With creators Roy Thomas, Gerry Conway, Adrian Gonzales, Don Heck, Jerry Ordway and Romeo Tanghal at the helm, a crisis was created around the threat of Per Degaton who has recovered his memory and has decided that this time, he is going to play for keeps and no one, not even the members of three combined teams will be able to stop him.

So it is that Per Degaton has been having strange dreams, dreams where he rules the world and the members of the All-Star Squadron and the Justice Society serve him even unto death.  Dreams are just dreams though, but they did have the strange effect of restoring his memory and by doing so, he remembers every humiliating defeat he suffered at the hands of the four-coloured heroes.  So what is there to do but swear revenge and come up with a plane that will span decades and dimensions and involve the Injustice Society of Earth-3.  To stop him the Justice Society, the Justice League of America and the All-Star Squadron will come together as Per Degaton and his nuclear menace threatens the lives of every man, woman and child upon the Earth.

DC has gone through many a Crisis over the years with this one surely being one of the best and one that would see many of its heroes come together to stop a foe that none of them could face on their own.  Of course, both the JSA and the All-Star Squadron have defeated the man before, but this time Thomas and Conway make Degaton a threat that even those teams cannot defeat by themselves.  Degaton has gone from being a time-travelling joke to a serious threat, one whose devious mind almost outsmarts everyone by using modern day technology in 1943 as well as retrieving the Injustice Society from their limbo-like state and enlisting them to his cause.

It was good to see the JLA and the JSA come together, especially with the added bonus of the presidentially sanctioned All-Star Squadron.  Our creators have our respective heroes run through many hoops; there is a lot of time travel and a lot of jumping from Earth to Earth.  There are some scenes and moments in the book that are obviously dated but if taken in context with the story, it all fits together with one such instance being the mention of Ronald Reagan.  In one of the strangest moments in the book, Zatanna has a strange fascination with FDR, almost like a schoolgirl crush.  At least Churchill was not in this one.  There is one thing that is guaranteed and that is whenever these teams come together you can always count on fun and excitement and that is exactly what the creative personnel delivered.

Highlights of the book included seeing Doctor Fate back in action, Firestorm hoping to cosy up to Power Girl, and the Injustice Society beating down our heroes and then getting beaten in return.  The artwork by Don Heck and Adrian Gonzales flows smoothly from one issue to the next and creates a nice consistency between the books.  There was a lot to love about this crossover and it would be nice to see it released in a standalone trade paperback at some point.  Even though this story might have taken place more than thirty years ago and encompass a style of writing and art that is not featured very often anymore, you cannot deny how good it is and how good it remains.

4.5 out of 5

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