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Friday, 4 August 2017

All-Star Comics 64 - the Justice Society go to Camelot

Levitz and Wood handle the Justice Society story in All-Star Comics 64 (Jan/Feb 77) on their own. I never liked this cover. For one thing, it looks like Superman is smelling his armpit. But aside from the that, the two soldiers that he has apparently struck are wildly misplaced, if he did hit them. How did they get so far into the air if they were that close to him?

The story begins with the Sta-Spangled Kid showing off his new Cosmic Converter Belt, made with the technology of the cosmic rod. It's a very odd thing for him to have invented. The character had never been attributed as any sort of scientist or inventor, and what little had been developed with him in this series dealt with how he was a man out of time, used to the 1940s, not the 1970s. Working with tech far beyond him seems a bit implausible. He also crafts a symbol for Power Girl, but since it is based on the Superman symbol, she gets all angry and crushes it. She could at least have been polite! Superman mentions once again that he considers Power Girl his replacement on the Justice Society roster, but still winds up taking part in this issue's adventure.

Flash and Green Lantern return from Egypt with the Shining Knight. Somehow they learned that Dr. Fate survived, and found time to get on a completely different case with the Knight. Sir Justin explains that history is being changed. The team decides to go back to Camelot and set things right. Hourman stays behind to operate their time travel machine. The Shining Knight just sort of vanishes from the story at this point, and will not be seen again until 1985, in Infinity, Inc.

Hourman sulks about this, not being an active part of the mission, but then gets attacked and frozen by the Icicle. Just can't catch a break. The rest of the group arrive in Camelot, fighting off some evil knights and meeting King Arthur and Merlin. Arthur tells them about some invading Romans, and the team go off to battle them, but we quickly find out that Arthur and Merlin are not who they claim to be.

There is a brief interlude with Alan Scott. Gotham Broadcasting Company is now heavily in debt, and he is in danger of losing his company, and feeling very sorry for himself.

The heroes determine that the Roman soldiers are really robots, and that they are being played. They return to Camelot, where Flash, Hawkman and Star-Spangled Kid all get taken out by high tech devices, while Superman and Power Girl get sealed into a bubble they cannot break. Arthur is revealed to be Vandal Savage, who had travelled back in time to create this Camelot as a trap for Superman. Savage had lost his immortality in his last appearance in the Flash, a year and half earlier, and now wants to regain it, using Superman.

The story continues in the next issue.

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