Issue by Issue – All-Star Squadron #18

All-Star_Squadron_Vol_1_18Writer – Roy Thomas
Penciler – Adrian Gonzales
Inker – Rick Hoberg
Colours – Gene D’Angelo
Letterer – John Costanza

Johnny Quick is heading back to headquarters as is a man swinging around in purple and yellow who he believes to be Sandman.  Once there, he finds out it was not Wesley Dodds, but another hero who goes by the name Tarantula.  What follows is his origin tale and the reason why he wears the same colours as the Sandman.  The tale is fairly straightforward, but it not only details the birth of the Tarantula, but the sad death of Dian Belmont, the Sandman’s girlfriend.  Before she died, she did design the costume the Tarantula wears and the only difference between the two that our heroes sport is that one has a cape.  After the telling of Tarantula’s tale and the heartbreaking moment between the two heroes at Dian’s grave, the headquarters and the Squadron are attacked by Thor, God of Thunder and a battle ensues.  Thor seems to be more than a match for all of our heroes, but with a little teamwork they manage to take the god out.  Featuring perfect pencils from Adrian Gonzales and Rick Hoberg and wondrous writing from Roy Thomas, the book is a nice break between missions.  Seeing the various origins of the characters is always a good time, as well as being informative and the Tarantula’s is a tragic one as it involved the death of a golden-age great in Dian Belmont.  Thomas and company pick the pace up though with a battle against Thor to end the issue on somewhat of a high note and it gives the book a good balance between the drama and action.

4.5 out of 5

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