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This page contains information about All-Star Comics (Volume 1) . All-Star Comics was an anthology comic book series published from 1940 (cover date was listed as just "Summer") to 1951 ("February - March" issue). It is most famous for featuring the [[Justice So


All-Star Comics was an anthology comic book series published from 1940 (cover date was listed as just "Summer") to 1951 ("February - March" issue). It is most famous for featuring the Justice Society of America (JSA for short), the first superhero team, which debuted in the third issue (December 1940). "All-Star Comics" was unusual as it was a joint publication by All-American Publications and National Periodical Publications, although it was published primarily by All-American early on. The series, as well as the JSA team, featured characters from both publishers. These two publishers would merge and become what is now DC Comics in 1946, which thereafter owned all the properties.

The publication schedule for All-Star Comics varied over time. For its first four issues, it was published on a quarterly schedule (with Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring issues). From issue #5 (July 1941) to #17 (June 1943), it was published bimonthly. It then became a quarterly series again from #18 (September 1943) to #27 (December 1945), after which it resumed a bimonthly schedule for the rest of its run.

The JSA were featured on the cover for every issue from their debut until the series' format changed and their stories made up the bulk of each issue, although there would usually be at least one separate feature like "Hop Harrigan" as well. Even the JSA feature only loosely combined the heroes. It typically began with the heroes gathered together to discuss some problem. Each subsequent chapter would then spotlight a solo adventure by a member of the team tackling the problem. Finally the team would reunite in the finale. The original line-up of the team consisted of the original versions of the Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Atom, Dr. Fate, Sandman, Spectre and Hourman.

A key editorial mandate for the JSA feature was that no hero who was popular enough to sustain his own title would be a full-time member of the team. Therefore, Superman and Batman were not included, although they made guest star appearances and were considered honorary members. When the Green Lantern and Flash each began starring in their own series, they dropped out of the JSA and were replaced by Johnny Thunder and Starman, respectively. Some heroes who ultimately did not prove to be popular with readers would likewise drop out of the JSA and be replaced, such as original member Hourman who was replaced by Dr. Mid-Nite.

In its eighth issue (January 1942), All Star Comics introduced Wonder Woman in a solo adventure unconnected with the JSA story. In the eleventh issue (June 1942), she joined the team even though her addition broke the rule about heroes with solo series. But to ensure that she did not overshadow the other JSA members, she had only a minor role in the stories and rarely had her own solo chapter. She continued to be downplayed even after the Flash and Green Lantern rejoined the team in 1945.

All-Star Comics also showcased several Golden Age superheroes Mister Terrific, Wildcat and the Black Canary- all of whom would join the Justice Society at one time or another. In 1945, when wartime paper shortages necessitated the page counts of comics be reduced, the team was reduced from nine members to seven in order to accomodate the reduced page count.

Superheroes waned in popularity toward the end of the Golden Age, so All-Star Comics changed its name in 1951 to All-Star Western and replaced the JSA with cowboy heroes. In February 1976, it was revived and restarted with a new issue #58 and once again starring the Justice Society. It lasted until issue #74 (October 1978).

Issues

1–49

50–57

1976 revival (58-74)



Collections





Back to Comics Contents : Comics A : All-Star Comics Vol 1




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