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Thursday, 3 August 2017

All-Star Comics 63 - battling Zanadu

Levitz, Giffen and Wood resolve two of the plot threads the Justice Society is dealing with in All-Star Comics 63 (Nov/Dec 76).

Picking up from the end of the last issue, Wildcat, under the control of the Fiddler, takes down a startled Hawkman. Then the Fiddler has Solomon Grundy trounce Wildcat. Aside from his off-panel appearance last issue, the Fiddler had not been seen since 1970, in Jay Garrick's solo story in the Flash. Grundy had appeared only a few months earlier on Earth-1, fighting Superman. And it's Superman, this time of Earth-2, who defeats Grundy and the Fiddler, along with Power Girl. Both dug their way out of the ground, after being buried alive last issue by Zanadu.

I really like the top panel of this page, the way Giffen renders Superman, to look more like Shuster's original version, though aged. Flash and Green Lantern get a small part, searching Egypt for some cure for Dr. Fate, and getting a glimpse of the Shining Knight. The Knight is not clearly identified, but it's him. Who else has a flying horse? Like Star-Spangled Kid, the Shining Knight had last been seen in the serialized Seven Soldiers of Victory story in Adventure Comics.

Speaking of the Star-Spangled Kid, he is with Hourman and Dr.. Mid-Nite as they give up trying to save Dr. Fate, who apparently dies.

Then Zanadu shows up, with Shiera Hall still captive, and starts blasting everything with his Lemurian magic.

Turns out that is what Dr. Fate needed, and he comes back to life, defeating Zanadu.

It's not the best issue, frankly. Jumps around a bit too much, though Giffen's at is fun. And I like the way Superman gives Power Girl his approval, after being such a dick last issue. The Icicle is revealed as the current leader of the Injustice Society, though we do not clearly see who the other members are. After mentioning how Fiddler and Grundy were defeated, the Icicle explains that they are now going to go after the JSA's weak link, Hourman.

The story continues in the next issue.

The Fiddler is next seen on Earth-1 in a couple of months, taking on the Teen Titans. Solomon Grundy does not return until 1980, battling the Huntress in her series in Wonder Woman.

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