Christmas Season kid-friendliness romps along with the 4th installment of the very FIRST superhero team in history: DC’s Justice Society of America. FOR PART ONE CLICK HERE
I will review the original issue and then detail how I would “script-doctor” the story for modern audiences.
ALL-STAR COMICS #6 (August 1941)
Title: THE JSA INITIATES JOHNNY THUNDER
Heroes: GREEN LANTERN (Original), HOURMAN, ATOM (Original), JOHNNY THUNDER, HAWKMAN (Original), DOCTOR FATE, FLASH (Original), SPECTRE, SANDMAN
Villains: Assorted Criminal Gangs
Synopsis: The Flash announces he is stepping down as the team’s Chairman. The Justice Society of America initiates Johnny Thunder, the Jar Jar Binks of the time, as a full member of the team. Naturally the JSA members all wind up having to bail out Johnny against the criminals he faces, yet they still welcome him to the team.
The heroes have to save Johnny from counterfeiters, bank robbers, extortionists, thieves dressed in gorilla costumes and headless zombies created by a mad scientist. (Shades of G-8 and His Battle Aces!) In the end, with all the criminals defeated, Johnny Thunder becomes a full member of the JSA. God knows why.
How I Would Revise It:
A. As in all the previous JSA stories I would have used the original female Red Tornado (Abigail Hunkel) instead of Johnny “Jar Jar” Thunder. She at least wore a costume and did her own fighting.
B. Given that the huge page count in these Golden Age comic books could accommodate multiple stories today I would once again separate this overly long tale into three separate stories.
C. Story One – Instead of “Killer McPanzee” (the original crook Johnny was sent to bring in) being a phony criminal I would have him be Killer McClancy, a REAL big-time gangster. Killer would be in trouble with the rest of the mob over the tell-all autobiography he has coming out instead of being a blowhard writing fake tales of his crimes. (The tell-all bit would be like Lucky Luciano’s real-life threat to write his memoirs)
D. Story One Continued – The JSA would save Killer from all of the Mob’s attempts to kill him and by story’s end he would agree to testify in court against his former colleagues rather than publish a tell-all book.
E. Story Two – I would go ahead and use the Gorilla Gang of costumed robbers in a story of their own. It could even be implied that the gorilla costumes are high-tech and amp up the crooks’ strength, hence their ability to give the whole JSA a fight.
F. Story Three – The mad scientist and his headless zombies were the most inspired part of this issue but got relegated to just a few pages. I would use a veritable ARMY of these remote controlled zombies in their own story.
I WILL REVIEW THE NEXT JSA STORY SOON. KEEP CHECKING BACK FOR UPDATES.
FOR MY EXAMINATION OF THE 13-PART BLACK PANTHER STORY TITLED PANTHER’S RAGE CLICK HERE
FOR MY ARTICLE ON THE LIST OF ATLAS/ SEABOARD SUPERHEROES CLICK HERE
FOR MY ARTICLE ON THE MAIN LIST OF CENTAUR COMICS SUPERHEROES CLICK HERE
FOR MY ARTICLE ON THE MEMBERS OF INFINITE HORIZON CLICK HERE
FOR THE AUSTRALIAN SUPERHERO PANTHEON CLICK HERE
FOR MORE SUPERHEROES CLICK HERE: Superheroes
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8 responses to “JUSTICE SOCIETY 4: INITIATION”
Excellent revisions! I hate Johnny Thunder, too!
Thanks! I know how you feel!
What’s with all the Johnny Thunder hate?
Ha! He’s a dorky, bow-tied weeny who provides nothing but lame comic relief and even lamer deux ex machinas.
I like the Lucky Luciano idea and the Gorilla Gang.
Thanks for letting me know.
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