Balladeer’s Blog’s examination of the Justice Society’s World War Two-era stories continues. 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 #25 (Summer 1945)
Title: THE FORGOTTEN CRIME
Heroes: FLASH (Original), DOCTOR MIDNITE, GREEN LANTERN (Original), WONDER WOMAN (Original), JOHNNY THUNDER, THE ATOM (Original), HAWKMAN (Original)
Villains: THE HOODED MAN, BIG HUNK ADAMS AND HENGAST KIMBALL THE OIL BARON
Synopsis: At their Philadelphia headquarters the Justice Society of America encounter an amnesiac man who insists he somehow knows that Rob Victor, a man convicted of murdering wealthy Timothy Kimball years earlier, is really innocent.
The JSA members look into this and are secretly followed by a Hooded Man who often seems to be interfering with their investigation of this old crime involving one of America’s wealthiest families.
Crimelord Big Hunk Adams and his gang try to thwart the Justice Society as well. Adams’ involvement thoroughly baffles the Justice Society members.
In the end the heroes prevail. The amnesiac figure turns out to be the supposedly murdered Timothy Kimball who has been missing with amnesia all these years. The Hooded Man is revealed to be the falsely convicted Rob Victor who escaped from prison years earlier and had been working to clear his name.
Big Hunk Adams confesses that oil baron Hengast Kimball paid him to have his mob kill the Justice Society before they could discover the truth. It turns out that Hengast Kimball framed Rob Victor for murdering Timothy Kimball long ago. Tim recovers his memory and reveals that Hengast killed a bum and set the building on fire so that human remains would be found and be presumed to be Timothy’s.
How I Would Revise It:
A. For my revised lineup of heroes this time I would rotate Wildcat back in as this issue’s replacement for the unbearable Johnny “Jar Jar” 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 consider this story to be a waste of multiple heroes. This entire tale is like something from a superhero solo adventure. I would have separated it into two separate, shorter stories:
D. STORY ONE – I would use The Forgotten Crime‘s basic storyline in a much briefer tale. However, instead of having the Kimballs be oil barons I would have them just be more generic millionaires and save the oil industry for the second story. I would also save Big Hunk Adams and his gang for that second story.
The Forgotten Crime would consist of the real murderer lying to the JSA and claiming that the Hooded Man is a menace trying to kill off his wealthy family for refusing to pay protection money. As the adventure plays out our heroes would realize the Hooded Man has avoided harming innocent people multiple times and from there they would solve the mystery.
E. STORY TWO – In this escapade the Justice Society would battle Big Hunk Adams’ crime syndicate as he repeatedly preys on America’s biggest oil company. Our heroes would eventually learn that Adams and the oil company’s President are in it together: the crimelord hijacks oil shipments on land and sea, the oilman gets the insurance money and Big Hunk can sell the oil on the side – often to America’s wartime foes the Axis Powers.
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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