[JSA Book Club] Week 18: The Coming of the Young All Stars [Nov. 1-15]

Hello everyone!

This week we are going back to 1987 when a new team hit the scene. The New All Stars is a follow up book to the All Star Squadron title and is written by Roy Thomas. The team included Iron Munro, Dyna-mite, Flying Fox, Fury, Neptune Perkins, Sandy, Tsunami and Tigress. Let’s call this meeting to order and get started on their adventures!


Club Leaders

@JasonTodd428 & @Aurora

Standing Members

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This Week’s Issues

Discussion Questions

  1. In the opening sequence of Young All Stars we see a nightmare playing out in the dreams of Helena Kosmatos after which she learns her guardians are actually Johnny Quick and Liberty Belle. Do you think she has the ability to see the future among her other powers?

  2. There sure are a lot of All Star Squadron members these days aren’t there? Who is your favorite and why?

  3. What do you think of think of the new kids here? They are all pretty interesting wouldn’t you say? Whose your favorite?

  4. Do you think that Tsunami is a traitor as Sandy insists or is he letting his prejudice color his reactions to her?

  5. What do you think of the Axis Amerika?

  6. Arn is quite the show off and a bit of a mystery man as well. How do suppose he came by his powers?

  7. Even though this book was written in the late 1980s it is set in the 1940’s and as such uses certain racial slurs that were used at the time to make it more period accurate. How do you feel about this?

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And that’s all for this week. In two weeks we will be exploring 2006’s Justice Society of America. Stay safe and healthy everyone.

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I’ll be curious to see how poor Roy dealt with the DC world with this series he wrote right after Crisis On Infinite Earths. To this day, Roy Thomas is a huge comic book history and continuity scholar. The idea of obliterating thousands of comic book issues over the years for the sake of continuity had to be a really tough thing for him to deal with.


Re Young All Stars

The closest I got on Roy’s view on the Crisis ruining All Star Squadron.is this link

He says
Two things

  1. He enjoyed doing All Star Squadron tremendously. He says Crisis ruined the run

  2. He talks about Dick Giordano stating that he didn’t want to publish any Justice Society Comic. That is why Roy volunteered to write Last Days of the Justice Society so that he had a way to bring them back

His last lines comparing the JLA vesus the JSA is very telling:

"The Justice Society was going to be back. Once it was back in the ‘60s, it was going to be back forever because it was too good. It wasn’t just an imitation Justice League. Justice League was the imitation Justice Society.’


After Crisis, All Star Squadron didn’t continue its storylines but did a series of one issue origin stories.

Then It was replaced by Young All Stars, where Roy created substitues for Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman.

I don’t know why Roy didn’t just continue All Star Squadron without these characters and just ignore they ever existed.

Aquaman.was never a member of the JSA.

Superman and Batman were in only one or two issues and mentioned in the first JSA team up. Otherwise their existence was ignored.

Wonder Woman was Secretary to the JSA. In the time period that Roy was using, she was not critical to the team.

I assume that

DC wanted to end All Star Squadron so as not to deal with confusing duplicates to Green Lantern and Flash. Roy then created a new title which deemphasized them.

Roy wanted to repair the previous canon by creating the new characters.

Having both new members and experienced veterans like Power Girl.and Huntress in All Star Comics, Stargirl, Cyclone and Damage in Justice Society of America by Geoff Johns and All New Avengers with Ms Marvel Nova and Morales Spiderman brought new vitality to these titles. Both Old and New were seen to bring value to the tesm

In Young All Stars that balance is lost


I’m not sure why he didn’t do just that. While I did enjoy these six issues I would have enjoyed more All Star Squadron instead.

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@TurokSonOfStone1950 @JasonTodd428

I can think of two possible reasons that All Star Squadron didn’t continue following Crisis. First, going back to what Turok said about Dick Giordano not wanting to publish a Justice Society comic, that tracks with what Roy wrote in his massive epilogue letter for Last Days of the Justice Society. Roy wrote, “When it was definitely decided that the original Superman, Wonder Woman, and several other Earth-Two heroes, would bite the dust in Crisis, one way or another, the feeling was strong in the air that maybe the time had come for the JSA to retire as well.” It could have just been the unspoken decision by DC editorial that everything having to do with the JSA would be discontinued following Crisis- including the All-Star Squadron.

Or, it could be that Roy made the call himself. In fact, no one asked Roy to write Last Days of the Justice Society. He pitched the story feeling that it was inevitable, and that he would rather do it than watch someone else do it. Maybe Roy felt the same way about the All-Star Squadron. As his “return of the Justice Society,” maybe Roy just decided to let it end with the JSA rather than try to drag it out.

On to the Young All-Stars:

  1. It could very well be that Helena can see the future. My theory is that it may be limited, though. Helena gets her powers from the Furies of ancient Greece. The Furies are deities of vengeance, so it could be that Helena can only see the future if it pertains to some great crime or atrocity that will need to be avenged. But… I literally just made that theory up on the spot, so who knows.
  1. As far as the All-Star Squadron goes, I’m still partial to The Shining Knight and Firebrand. Sir Justin’s pseudo middle age dialect never gets old, and it’s great to see Danette has grown into her role as a hero. That being said, it was nice seeing some lesser known members like the Golden Age Manhunter (or, at least ONE of the Golden Age Manhunters) in these issues.

  2. The kids of the Young All-Stars are alright. Some more than others. I like Dyna-Mite’s journey to find his place and his confidence after the death of his mentor. I find Fury interesting because she’s there to replace Wonder Woman and the effects that has on continuity. I’m partial to Arn Munro for reasons I’ll get into later. However, I’m most impressed by Tsunami after this read through. The struggle she goes through while rejecting the Axis powers but also being disgusted by America’s internment of the Japanese was high stakes. There was one point I thought she was going to attack the American military and fight her teammates. I admire her willingness to sacrifice for her people and her family. I admire her conviction in the face of injustice. Tsunami was the dark horse winner of this read-through for me.

  3. I think Sandy needs to broaden his point of view and try to see things through someone else’s perspective (Starman, as well- I was disappointed in you, Ted). Sandy, being a blonde white boy, would have no context for being a Japanese American in the 1930’s. Also, Tsunami was still young when she was experimented on and indoctrinated by the Japanese government. If Sandy could try to see things and experience the world through Tsunami’s eyes, he may feel differently about why she did the things she did.

  4. Ah, Axis Amerika… the best thing about Nazi villains is that it’s really easy to hate them, so you don’t feel any sympathy when their plots are crushed. The worst thing about Nazi villains is it’s really easy to hate them, so you don’t get too invested in their backstories or motivations (like you would with a more sympathetic villain a 'la Mister Freeze). There are some interesting things to note from Axis Amerika, though. I like seeing the Valkyrie, Gudra, who is part of the old Spear of Destiny lore I love so much from the Justice Society and All-Star Squadron stories. I’m interested to see how Ubermensch is “related” to Arn Munro. It will also be intriguing to see how Grosshorn Eule tries to seek revenge now that he blames the Young All-Stars for the death of his son.

  5. I know how Arn came by his powers, more or less. However, I don’t want to spoil it for anyone else, so I will use spoiler blurs for the following: Arn’s origins are rooted in the 1930 novel Gladiator by Philip Wylie. Gladiator is often credited for being an influence on the superhero genre and on the character of Superman. In the novel, chemist Prof. Abednego Danner experiments with alkaline radicals to bring out the genetic potential of a creature. First, he makes tadpoles that can leap out of a tank with a single flip of a tail. Then he creates a cat that hunts cows. Finally, he experiments on his own unborn son. That son, Hugo Danner, grows to be super strong and nearly invincible. Hugo has a rather tragic life as a result. He struggles to find acceptance and a pursuit in life that is worthy of his abilities. Hugo dies in misery due to a freak accident (or act of God) while still searching for his purpose. Arn is Hugo’s son. However, that may not fully explain how Arn has his powers. On his death bed, Abednego states in the novel that “the effect of the process is not inherited by the future generations.” Also, Abednego’s notes on the process were all destroyed in the same lightning strike that killed Hugo. It remains to be seen if and how Roy addresses these things. That being said, I like the idea of Arn having a better life than his father because he’s surrounded by other people with powers. Hugo died lonely because there was no one else like him. Arn has a chance with the Young All-Stars.

  6. Honestly, I cringe at every use of the racial slurs. I understand that the use is historically accurate and an attempt to be realistic. Still, I cringe. I’d be happy to leave those slurs in the past.

That’s all for now! Thank you for giving me a reason to finish reading Gladiator, though.

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Just joined this club! I always loved the JSA and was a huge fan of the 80s Infinity, Inc.

  1. There is at least a possibility that Helena can see the future.
  2. I love the original Green Lantern.
  3. The new characters are ok. Tsunami is the most interesting.
  4. She is not a traitor, and Sandy needs to stop being racist.
  5. Axis America were ok, some are better than others.
  6. I have no idea how Arn got his powers.
  7. The slurs are definitely uncomfortable reading.

I can see that being the case. DC editorial does this A lot after all.

I’d rather it was his own decision myself. It is also possible that it was both reasons that lead to the end of All Star Squadron.

  1. My guess is that her power to see the future is limited as well.

  2. I love Shining Knight myself. It’s always great to see Sir Justin.

  3. Dyna-Mite’s journey to discover who he is without TNT was great. I’m a sucker for coming of age type character arcs.

I think my favorite character was Tsunami. Back in college I read “A Farewell to Manzanar” which was a book written by a Japanese American who lived in that internment camp. I also found her character deeply resonated with me because of experiences my grandfather had during WWII.

For those that don’t know I’m a third generation Italian American on my father’s side. My grandfather came to the US on a steamship when he was a young boy and spent his entire life as a legal alien with a green card that he renewed as it came up for renewal. He never gave up his Italian citizenship but he loved America.

At the time WWII broke out he owned a small grocery store somewhere in the town he lived in at the time. (I’ve never been sure where exactly.) One day he was literally thrown out of his own property solely on the basis of his nationality and had his store that he’d worked hard to build taken from him. He was in no way a supporter of Mussolini’s regime but still he was seen as a traitor and a threat.

  1. I agree with you there. I also think that’s true of a lot of situations. If people could see first hand what others have experienced I think it would be a very eye opening experience.

  2. That is a problem with Nazi villains but there are times that I find it refreshing to have villains that you absolutely cannot sympathize with. Still as you point out there are a few interesting bits particularly the connection between Arm and Ubermensch.

  3. Thanks for using the spoiler blurs there. I haven’t ever read Young All Stars so I have no clue how Arn came by his powers.

  4. Yeah, me too. I hate them as well and don’t feel they are needed.

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Welcome to the club @scoop001. Hope you enjoy yourself here.

  1. I like Alan as well.

  2. Tsunami was my favorite too.

  3. Honestly he does.

  4. That is certainly true.


I’m hoping that Sandy’s behavior is due to the fact that this all happens post the Johnny Sorrow incident (I’m retconning that to be the case, anyway).

I’ve never read Young All-Stars either, but I know who Arn is related to. You should read the blurred out sections after the reveal happens.

Edit: Actually, never mind. The Johnny Sorrow incident happened in 1944. Sandy’s just being a jerk…

  1. After reading all 6 issues I think Fury will have something to do with what will happen to the All-Stars. Her alter ego will force her to have Mechanique take them on fulfilling her nightmare.

  2. It’s hard to say because they are just essentially every team from the 40’s. I am partial to Hawkman because he’s just badarse.

  3. I think my favorite new character is Flying Fox. He somehow reminds me of Bruce Wayne when he was going through the timestream and wore the Man of Bats costume.

  4. I think she was obviously misguided by her home country. She is upset that her people are being put into internment camps. In reality, such a sad time for Americans. Sandy should know better but he is being a little jerk.

  5. Axis Amerika in theory would end up turning on each other because of their own prejudices against each other.

  6. I think it has something to do with his Grandfather and father experimenting on him. Its weird seeing the character as a teenager when I see the character in Manhunter.

  7. In the past these terms were used and it was the sign of the times. I kind of felt dirty reading the word Jap.

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