Category Archives: Superheroes

JUSTICE SOCIETY 20: A CURE FOR THE WORLD

superman golden ageBalladeer’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 22ALL STAR COMICS #22 (Fall 1944)

Title: A CURE FOR THE WORLD

Heroes: DOCTOR MIDNITE, WONDER WOMAN (Original), THE SPECTRE, HAWKMAN (Original), STARMAN, THE ATOM (Original), JOHNNY THUNDER

Villains: CAVEMEN, WITCH-HUNTERS, BLUE-BLOODED OPPRESSORS, LUDDITES AND CENSORS

Wonder WomanSynopsis: A mystical female figure who embodies “The Conscience of Man” summons the Justice Society of America.

She sends them forth to battle the forces of intolerance no matter what form those forces take. Continue reading

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JUSTICE SOCIETY 19: MORE TIME TRAVEL

StarmanThis 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 21ALL STAR COMICS #21 (Summer 1944)

Title: THE MAN WHO RELIVED HIS LIFE

Heroes: HAWKMAN (Original), DOCTOR FATE, SANDMAN, WONDER WOMAN (Original), STARMAN, DOCTOR MIDNITE, JOHNNY THUNDER

Villains: SAPPHIRE SLIM, BIG MIKE MCCULLUM & PANCHO VILLA

Hourman 4Synopsis: Lab assistant Joe Fitch has volunteered to be a guinea pig for experimental medicine but winds up dying. To reward the man for his selfless contribution to science the Justice Society of America is called in (talk about overkill) to act on Joe’s request to make amends for his secret criminal past.

Dr Everson (From 500 Years into the Future) uses his time-travel technology to send the heroes back in time to straighten out Fitch’s past life, apparently not caring one bit about the danger of altering history by doing this. Continue reading

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JUSTICE SOCIETY 18: THE MONSTER

green lanternThis superhero-hungry world can’t get enough of these looks at the very FIRST superhero team in history: DC Comics’ Justice Society of America. This examination of their 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 20ALL STAR COMICS #20 (Spring 1944)

Title: A MOVIE THAT CHANGED A MAN’S LIFE

Heroes: WONDER WOMAN (Original), DOCTOR MIDNITE, HAWKMAN (Original), STARMAN, THE ATOM (Original), THE SPECTRE, JOHNNY THUNDER

Villain: THE MONSTER

Synopsis: Jason L Rogers is a wealthy industrialist who periodically transforms – without his knowledge – into a super-powered being called the Monster. This is due to a freakish set of medical circumstances regarding him and his unborn twin brother in utero.

SandmanThe Justice Society of America is called in to stop the Monster’s crime spree. They battle the villain as he robs banks, dynamites factories, steals payrolls, muscles in on the steel industry and threatens to blow up a dam if he is not paid extortion money.

Our heroes also shut down some of the Monster’s more elaborate plans, like raiding high society get-togethers, gassing the attendees and stealing all their jewelry and cash. In addition the JSA defeats the villain’s racket of kidnapping the wealthy, having their faces surgically changed to make them hideous, then demanding money to have their faces fixed. Continue reading

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JUSTICE SOCIETY 17: THE COMPOSER

batman golden ageSuperhero 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 19ALL 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

Doctor FateSynopsis: 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.   Continue reading

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BLACK PANTHER: PANTHER’S RAGE

 

Black PantherHere’s Balladeer’s Blog’s examination of Don McGregor’s 1973-1975 Black Panther story Panther’s Rage. I’m no comic book expert but in my opinion Panther’s Rage surpasses much of the work done by the overrated and overpraised Alan Moore.

As always, since I’m neither a liberal nor a conservative I was surprised by some of the intense political reactions to my reviewing this Black Panther story. Many people who call themselves conservatives seem to think this Marvel Comics character has some connection to the hate group called the Black Panthers.

Actually this figure came BEFORE the Black Panthers. In fact Marvel flirted with changing the character’s name a few times – once to just simply “the Panther” and once to “the Black Leopard” – to keep their character separated from the racist hate group.

Erik Killmonger

“Memes … memes, everywhere.”

On the other side many people who call themselves liberals huffed and puffed indignantly that I was covering a 13-part story written by (GASP) a white guy about a black character! Hey, a white guy even CREATED the character. I wonder if that invalidates the Black Panther entirely in their narrow minds.   

Anyway, here are chapter by chapter links to my review –

ONE: PANTHER’S RAGE – Prince T’Challa, the Black Panther, returns to his isolated African kingdom of Wakanda to try to put down a violent rebellion led by a Wakandan calling himself Erik Killmonger. CLICK HERE 

TWO: DEATH REGIMENTS BENEATH WAKANDA – The Black Panther battles Venomm, the supervillain in charge of Killmonger’s operation tunneling toward Wakanda City while simultaneously mining and stealing the nation’s vibranium reserves. CLICK HERE 

THREE: MALICE BY CRIMSON MOONLIGHT – Killmonger sends a super-powered woman called Malice to help Venomm escape from the Royal Palace’s prison on the same night that T’Challa is undergoing his renewal of the Panther Herb ritual. CLICK HERE   Continue reading

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JUSTICE SOCIETY 16: INSECT-MEN

SpectreHere’s more of the world’s FIRST superhero team – DC’s Justice Society of America – for this superhero-crazed world. 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 18ALL STAR COMICS #18 (September 1943)

Title: INSECTS TURN TO CRIME

Heroes: DOCTOR FATE, WONDER WOMAN (Original), SANDMAN, THE ATOM (Original), STARMAN, THE SPECTRE, HAWKMAN (Original), DOCTOR MIDNITE, JOHNNY THUNDER

HawkgirlVillain: KING BEE & HIS INSECT-MEN

Synopsis: A supervillain called King Bee (Elmer Pane) has his biochemically-created Insect-Men use their super powers to wage a criminal reign of terror on land, at sea and in the air. He’s even captured and transformed Johnny Thunder into a Fly-Man (no loss).

The JSA sets out to fight King Bee and try to save Johnny. Continue reading

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JUSTICE SOCIETY 15: BRAIN WAVE RETURNS

Wonder WomanWow! Readers really cannot get enough superhero posts! I have a soft spot for superhero stories myself because reading them served as a gateway to two of my adult passions: mythology and opera. Here’s more of the world’s FIRST 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 17ALL STAR COMICS #17 (June 1943)

Title: BRAIN WAVE GOES BERSERK

Heroes: SANDMAN, WONDER WOMAN (Original), THE SPECTRE, HAWKMAN (Original), DOCTOR MIDNITE, THE ATOM (Original), STARMAN, DOCTOR FATE, JOHNNY THUNDER

Villain: BRAIN WAVE

green lanternSynopsis: This story presented the return of the Justice Society’s archenemy Brain Wave (Henry King). In typical supervillain fashion Brain Wave survived his seeming death at the end of his previous battle with our heroes.

He and his mental creations are back in business overseeing criminal activities ranging from robberies and blackmail to manipulation of a U.S. Senator. Continue reading

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