TITLE: The Young All-Stars vol. 1, issue #1sue #1
YEAR: June 1987
COMPANY: DC Comics
Writer: Roy & Dann Thomas
Pencilers: Michael Bair & Brian Murray (Pages 6-26), Vince Argondezzi (Pages ep 1-5)
Inker: Malcolm Jones 3rd
Colorist: Carl Gafford
Letterer: David E. Weiss
Former DC editor Roy Thomas has had a hand in working with the Justice Society of America and Infinity, Inc., All-Star Squadron for DC Comics, to name a few.
Inducted to the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2011, I consider Roy Thomas to be a legend and in 1987, Roy and his wife Dann along with pencilers Michael Bair & Brian Murray would work on the series “Young All-Stars”.
As Roy would work on Infinity, Inc. as a passing of the torch from Justice Society of America, the same could be said of Young All-Stars for the All Star-Squadron.
“Young All-Stars” picks up the storyline after the events of “Crisis on Infinite Earths” which eliminated Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and Aquaman from the World War II era (as the three would not have versions that have existed in that era of time) and instead, the comic book series would bring together Dan the Dynamite (former sidekick of TNT), Flying Fox (First Nations hero from Canada) who was to replace All-Star Squadron Batman, Fury (Helena Kosmatos, an Amazon) who replaces Wonder Woman from All-Star Squadron, Iron Munro (son of Hugo Danner, the title character from Philip Wylie’s 1930 novel, “Gladiator”), Neptune Perkins (as a replacement of Aquaman from All-Star Squadron), Tigress (cat burglar Paula Brooks who became a hero) and Tsunami, who can breath water and control it.
The series would last from 1987-1989 and end with its 31st issue.
Unfortunately, due to the changes within the DC Universe these past few decades, some storylines have been retcon but for those like myself who have only read the older issues, pretty much my memories of this cast as featured in this series, is the best I would rather remember them and not what storylines can screw with the characters and their timeline post-2010.
The first issue of “The Young All-Stars” features Mekanique killing nearly everyone from the All Star Squadron with the last two survivors being Johnny Quick and his wife Liberty Belle.
The nightmare awakens Helena Kosmatos and her Uncle Johnny comes to check on her. And her Aunt Libby wondering what the heck is going on (as she finds the two hugging, and you can’t blame Libby’s reaction, considering what Uncle Johnny’s niece, Helena is wearing).
She reveals her nightmares and in the process, Johnny reveals to Helena that he is Johnny Quick and Libby reveals that she is Liberty Belle.
Concerned about her dreams, Johnny Quick decides to take the two to meet a friend.
Meanwhile, we are introduced to Neptune Perkins who finds Tsunami (Miya Shimada) trying to kill herself and we find out that she is a Japanese-American who saved her grandfather when G-Men come to visit them as the family will be arrested for being possible spies after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Tsunami ends up using her power and wanting to protect her family and escape the G-Men, she escapes to sea. Neptune offers to take her to Los Angeles to meet someone and the two leave together.
In Canada, the Canadian Air Force are flying and they see flying being with a costume. Is he friend or foe?
And we see TNT and Dan the Dyna-Mite taking on Nazis but trying to save them is Iron Munro.
All of these heroes are out to meet someone, but for what reason?
The issue is a passing of the torch to a new generation of young heroes, something that Roy Thomas has talked about quite a bit back in the ’80s.
But for any comic book fan, many know of Roy Thomas work on “The Avengers” and “The Fantastic Four”, creating “Man-Thing”, involved in the launching of “Marvel Team-Up”, “Conant the Barbarian” and eventually replacing Stan Lee as Editor-in-Chief for Marvel Comics until moving onto DC and then working on other titles for both Marvel and DC but also other comic book companies.
For me, I have enjoyed comic book series that were written by Roy Thomas, may they be DC or Marvel, his work was my childhood, what I loved reading, a big part was thanks to his wonderful oeuvre and for him to collaborate with wife Dann on “The Young All-Stars”, for me, it was great to see a passing of the torch to this young generation.
Sure, “The Young All-Stars” may not have been a popular book but for those of us who followed Thomas’ work, he wrote his stories but always paying respect to the original team members of both the JSA and All-Star Squadron and very much respected him for that.
I’ll spotlight more of “The Young All-Stars” in the future of My Comic Book Journey.