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 #26 (Fall 1945)
Title: MYSTERY OF THE METAL MENACE
Heroes: FLASH (Original), JOHNNY THUNDER, THE ATOM (Original), DOCTOR MIDNITE, WONDER WOMAN (Original), GREEN LANTERN (Original), HAWKMAN (Original)
Villains: THE METAL BEINGS OF JUPITER
Synopsis: The Justice Society members are assembled at their Philadelphia headquarters because of the disappearance of scientist Herbert Crawford. Crawford had fallen into disrepute recently over his claims that a spaceship from Jupiter was headed for the Earth with hostile intentions.
Around the world that spacecraft is spotted as it distributes beings of living metal which proceed to run amok. The JSA battle the Metal Men as they not only devour all manner of precious metals like gold and silver but also eat iron railroad lines, copper out of telephone cables and so on.
The aliens grow and absorb all the properties of the metals they consume. They also attack a laboratory where an experimental alloy is being worked on. The Justice Society defeat the Metal Men by exploiting scientific qualities of the metals they have consumed.
When all the aliens have been beaten the JSA finds the missing Herbert Crawford, who reveals that because of the ridicule he was receiving he decided to join forces with the Metal Men from Jupiter. He has been granted all of the powers they absorbed from the metals they consumed and has compiled a fortune stolen for him by the aliens.
The heroes had assumed that the Metal Men were stealing money to get the metal but it was really part of their bargain with Crawford. The Justice Society of America defeats the super-powered Metal Menace the same way they defeated the Jovian Metal Men and recommend Crawford be rehabilitated so his genius can serve humanity.
How I Would Revise It:
A. For my revised lineup of heroes this time I would rotate Mister Terrific 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 would have Mister Terrific use his scientific genius and be the one who leads his fellow JSA members in using the Metal Men’s scientific properties against them, including Crawford in the end.
A. PART ONE – The story would start out the same, but when the Metal Men begin their rampage the Justice Society would fight them as a team, not split up and fight them one at a time. We would have Wonder Woman, Mister Terrific, Hawkgirl, Flash, Green Lantern, Atom and Doctor Midnite battling the Metal Men around the world as the aliens consume the different metals depicted in the real story.
B. PART TWO – In this part the JSA’s worldwide war with the Metal Men would find those beings devouring and absorbing the properties of more dangerous metals like magnesium, plutonium, etc. It would result in a tougher battle but ultimately our heroes would prevail again.
C. PART THREE – Mister Terrific would announce to the world that he has devised an all-new alloy designed to specifically destroy the Metal Men from Jupiter. (In place of the pointless alloy developed by metallurgist Frankie Tweed in the real story which served no greater purpose except to be eaten by the aliens.) Naturally the Metal Men would raid Mister Terrific’s warehouse to get the metal, falling into the JSA’s trap.
All but one of the Metal Men would be destroyed and the Justice Society would let one go so that it could lead them to the spaceship from Jupiter. Once there our heroes would destroy the last Metal Man but be confronted by Crawford, who would reveal his complicity with the invaders. The subsequent battle would destroy the spaceship and, after Crawford “the Metal Menace” eats Mister Terrific’s alloy it causes his new human/ metalloid metabolism to implode. +++
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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