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CSBG Archive

The Great Comic Book Detectives #6

Here’s the bit. You, the readers, send in descriptions of comics that you remember vague details from the past and either I, or one of the readers of the piece will use detective work to figure out what comic you’re talking about!

Here’s the latest one, from reader Snapper52…

There was a comic I got from an uncle when I was about 9 and I’ve been trying to find out what it was for years. Google couldn’t help me, so maybe you can!

I believe it was a Justice Society title, it was pretty old and set during a war. The cover had Green Lantern (I think) going crazy or angry, with other JSA members as floating heads around looking at him. Actually, the whole plot of the issue may have been about GL thinking the rest of the team were dead… Wonder Woman, Hawkman and the like were all in it.

The only other details I remember were someone being stabbed with a bayonet (Which scarred me for life at that age, ha.) and a blonde Atom wearing a navy/sailor uniform. I vaguely remember him being able to shrink, which is confusing for me as the JSA Atom couldn’t do that, to the best of my knowledge.

No idea when the comic was from, but it was pretty yellowed.

Hope someone can help!

Here’s one of the rare cases where I already know the answer, but read on to see what it is!

The comic in question is 1983’s All-Star Squadron #20…

Here’s the page with the bayonet (and the slight confusion with the blond guy in the navy/sailor uniform being Johnny Thunder, not the Atom)…

I guess 27 years is pretty old, eh?

So there ya go, Snapper!

If anyone else out there has a comic book from the past that you want help tracking down, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com


I think that was the comic that made me notice Jerry Ordway’s artwork- that run of ALL-STAR SQUADRON was fantastic up until Roy Thomas lost focus and started inserting ideas at random (like Infinity, Inc- another great idea, but couldn’t it have waited until after the already crowded Ultra story was finished!)

Anyone who thinks that Roy Thomas’ writing in general and ALL-STAR SQUADRON in particular was all light-hearted retroactive continuity needs to read this specific issue!

Man, I’m glad you remembered what it was. I actually had that comic, but from the description I would have started delving into the Golden Age archives.

that particular issue has one of my all-time favourite covers, and like Greg said above, it made me appreciate what a great artist Jerry Ordway is in his own right rather than as an inker only.

If the bayonet gave you nightmares I can only imagine what Infinite Crisis would do to kids.

That might be my absolute favorite issue of All-Star Squadron. Ray Thomas went completely nuts on that whole series, but that story – which is essentially GL having a hallucination that his ring causes the destruction of Hiroshima, which was still 4 years away – is especially insane.

Dang. First time I knew the answer to a Comic Book Detectives question, and you already nailed it.

God, it was All-Star Squadron, I would never have imagined. Thanks so much!

A great story in a great series (until Crisis and artistic changes shook the book up too much).

i knew this one too! i had this comic as a kid, but not the 1st part. Still, blew me away. This is the first time i can remember that the Golden Age GL was considered the JSA’s ‘big gun’. Noweadays he’s presented like that often [see Robinson’s ‘the Golden Age’].
This is pretty great stuff!

That is probably one of my all time favourite comics. It was the reappearance of the JSA I had waited for and when it finally happened it was the issue where, in Brain Wave’s trap, all the JSA members one by one are killed (the recap doesn’t do the issue justice– Dr. Mid-Nite having his goggles smashed and blindly stumbling into being shot disturbed me a lot as a 13 year-old. And the ending with Green Lantern wigging out and destroying Japan was deeply moving.

All-Star Squadron was never that good afterward. The seemingly never-ending Ultra/Infinity Inc. storyline happened (it was only 6-7 issues but it seemed like forever) and even Ordway was being inked (unsuccessfuly in my 13 year-old view) by Mike Machlan and it just got more and more continuity heavy. But that 2 part story was wonderful.

Captain Doctor Master

April 23, 2010 at 5:51 am

I love floating head covers! This one is wonderful. Although I hate the cliched absurdity of depicting demolished buildings with nary a dead body in sight. Ordway is one of the best super-hero artists ever.

John Buscema was the master of floating head covers. Compared to Marvel, they’re quite rare at DC. Did any other companies use floating head covers?

“I am become Death, shatterer of worlds…”

I knew this one immediately… This was the first issue of All-Star Squadron I ever bought (first one I ever saw, really) and it made me a lifelong JSA or Jerry Ordway fan.

*that should have been lifelong JSA -and- Jerry Ordway fan.”

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