Enjoy some more Christmastime kid-friendly content with this 7th installment featuring the FIRST superhero team in history: DC Comics’ 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 #9 (February 1942)
Title: HEMISPHERE DEFENSE
Heroes: HAWKMAN (Original), DOCTOR FATE, BATMAN (Original), THE SPECTRE, SUPERMAN (Original), DOCTOR MID-NITE, GREEN LANTERN (Original), SANDMAN, THE ATOM (Original), JOHNNY THUNDER, FLASH (Original), STARMAN
Villains: THE AXIS POWERS
Synopsis: The Justice Society members are summoned to Washington D.C. for a meeting with the Director of the FBI. With America officially entered into World War Two the Axis Powers are actively trying to strike at the U.S. through Mexico and to add nations in Central and South America to their conquests.
The Justice Society of America is sent south of the border to deal with the burgeoning menace. Over the next several days they defeat super-scientific weapons like gigantic octopus-shaped aircraft invading Argentina, enormous floating warships as long as the Siegfried Line, and an entire army of Colombian people hypnotized into serving the Nazis.
The JSA also exposes and crushes Axis intelligence networks in Mexico, Chile, Venezuela, Cuba and Bolivia. When the battles are all over the U.S. government flies the heroes’ girlfriends and wives to Panama to party with them and celebrate their victory.
How I Would Revise It:
A. As in all the previous stories I would have used the original female Red Tornado instead of the annoying Johnny “Jar Jar” Thunder and I would have had the JSA members working as a team, NOT just sent on individual missions.
B. I would have brought Batman, Superman, Flash and Green Lantern into the actual story, not just used them as “click bait” on the cover. I would also have added Hourman to this issue and emphasized the need for ALL the JSA members to be on hand against such a potent threat.
C. 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.
D. Story One – As a nod to the revered “Gardner Fox method” of superhero storytelling I would have had two groups of four Justice Society figures each and one group of five sent to different countries on a mission. The groups would go in sequence, with the other two groups in Panama safeguarding the Canal while the away team handled their mission.
E. Story One Proper – The first group of JSAers would go to Mexico. There they would uncover Italians (as a break from the boredom of non-stop Nazis) running the real story’s railroad takeover. Mussolini’s men would also be using the mass-hypnosis device to enthrall an army of Mexicans into invading America.
In the spirit of the super-scientific weaponry used elsewhere in this issue I’d have had the Italians convert all the railroad engines and cars into super-weapons to make them a bigger menace to our heroes. The individual train cars could detach and travel like tanks, independently of railroad tracks, astonishing the JSA, who would have thought that destroying the rail lines would end the threat.
F. Story Two – The next group of Justice Society members would take on the threat of the gigantic octopus aircraft. In a modern-day nod to Kaiju I’d have had these giant devices being used by the Japanese (as another break from non-stop Nazis). The Imperial Japanese would have been using these aerial superweapons to attack the entire Pacific Coast of South America: Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia.
G. Story Three – The third group of superheroes would face the Nazis’ enormous floating island/ warship. That artificial island would be in the Atlantic Ocean and would be attacking Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, the Bahamas and Venezuela.
H. I would keep the ending bit with the heroes’ significant others joining them to party in Panama, even though it means that American Intelligence clearly knows our heroes’ secret identities.
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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