Superhero fans want more JSA, so here we go with this latest look at the world’s OLDEST superhero team: 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 #19 (November 1943)
Title: CRIMES SET TO MUSIC
Heroes: WONDER WOMAN (Original), STARMAN, THE ATOM (Original), DOCTOR FATE, SANDMAN, THE SPECTRE, HAWKMAN (Original), DOCTOR MIDNITE AND JOHNNY THUNDER
Villain: THE COMPOSER
Synopsis: The Composer (Hector Bauer) kidnaps Hawkman and commits a series of music-related crimes. The Justice Society members try to thwart his crime spree and free their captured teammate.
Our heroes prevent the Composer from destroying a priceless Stradivarius violin, restore the voice of an opera singer after the Composer mutes him and stop the villain from cutting off the fingers of a pianist. They also save another composer from the supervillain’s attempt to inflict brain damage on him to rob him of his talent.
After clearing a musician’s daughter of a murder frame, preventing the kidnapping of a trumpet player and stopping the Composer’s thugs from killing a carillon bell player the JSA invade the villain’s home to capture him and free Hawkman.
How I Would Revise It:
A. For my revised lineup of heroes this time I would rotate the original Batman back in as this issue’s replacement for the unbearable Johnny “Jar Jar Binks” Thunder. And I would always use Hawkgirl instead of Hawkman.
B. As usual I would also have Wonder Woman actively taking part in the adventure instead of the absurd way they had her serving as the JSA’s secretary.
C. I would, as always, keep the heroes together AS A TEAM instead of separating them for individual adventures like in the real story.
D. Instead of a no-name, one-time villain like Hector Bauer I would have used the DC Golden Age supervillain the Fiddler since he had super-powers and would fit the musical m.o. of the crimes.
E. PART ONE – The Fiddler would clash with the Justice Society of America as they thwart his attempts to steal a Stradivarius, kidnap a trumpeter, frame a rival musician for murder, destroy an opera singer’s voice and slice off a piano player’s fingers. They also stop the Fiddler’s plan to have musical instruments trigger explosives during the performance of a symphony, killing the entire audience. The villain would kidnap Hawkgirl and escape.
F. PART TWO – The JSA would locate the Fiddler’s lair and invade it to save Hawkgirl. The Fiddler – holed up in a private room – would unleash assorted death traps on the heroes by playing certain keys on his piano. The Justice Society would beat all the high-tech traps and free Hawkgirl when the Fiddler would try to use her as a hostage to ensure his escape.
G. ANOTHER STORY – The carillon bells portion of the story involved China and an ancient bell that was later re-cast as a bunch of carillon bells. I would use that premise for a stand-alone story. In this revision the bell would really have supernatural powers.
The Imperial Japanese forces occupying China would learn of the bell’s power and how it was re-cast as a set of carillon bells. To use the bell’s mystic powers against the Allied Nations the Japanese would try to round up the scattered carillon bells throughout China and re-cast them as one big bell. The JSA, especially the Spectre and Doctor Fate, would prevent that but in the end the bells would be completely destroyed.
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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