FW Presents: Find Your Joy – All-Star Squadron #31

Chris Franklin relives the magical snow day when he found All-Star Squadron #31, where nearly ALL of DC’s Golden Age heroes gathered under one roof (and in one comic) for the very first time!

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Clip credits:

“Snowfall” by Tony Bennett

Selected tracks from The Rocketeer soundtrack, by James Horner

32 responses to “FW Presents: Find Your Joy – All-Star Squadron #31

  1. This episode really struck a cord with me. It was this issue and storyline that made me decide I was all in with Earth-2 and it’s heroes. All-Star Squadron was the first title I set out to have a complete collection of.
    Issue 31 is where the series reached a fever pitch, the Earth-X story line, the two part story featuring Captain Marvel and the “big guns” of Earth-2 as well as Annual #3 featuring the JSA and an array of Golden Age baddies. Even the ads in these issues had a big impact as they made me aware of Infinity Inc, the first title I ever put in a pull list. Yes, I was fortunate enough to have a comic book specialty shop locally in the early 80s.

    1. I agree Matt, All-Star was on a roll. LOVED the Captain Marvel issues, AND Annual #3 with it’s artist jam and the “secret case of the JSA” angle. Plus, all the presidential facts you learned in that one! I think I feel another FYJ coming on…


  2. I Loved the way Cindy and Chris did the roll call. Breaks my heart that a little over a year later almost all of these characters went away.

  3. I was really looking forward to this episode, because I love the All-Star Squadron series, and then this issue is one of my favorites, for all the reasons you mentioned—so many heroes, all the jokes, the E-2 Aquaman! But you really knocked it out of the World’s Fair here, with the Power record-esque roll call. A simply outstanding touch, both highly fun and symbolic of how important that scene was(is!) to any DC Comics fan of a certain age.

    One of the best FYJs the network has produced, Chris. Take an extra $20 out of petty cash and buy Cindy—I mean Liberty Belle—a nice bottle of wine.

    And while I would have loved to have been on this one—as you say, Aquaman, FDR, etc.—it’s perfect as is and you didn’t me gumming it up.

    1. Thanks Rob, I really appreciate it. Cind…er…Libby probably wants to spend that $20 on something Harry Potter, I’d imagine. 😉

      There is never such a thing as too much Rob Kelly.


  4. Wait! You were off school that day?! I don’t know how many times I’d be sitting on the other side of the river listening to the school closings, and it seemed that every school in northern Kentucky was closed, and yet I’d still have to trudge through the snow to school. Heck, I was probably sitting at my desk, staring out the window at that same snow, while your “magical” snow day played out. But, I’m not bitter about that. Nope, I’m not bitter about that at all.

    Seriously though, Chris, that’s a great find-your-joy story. I particularly enjoyed Liberty Belle’s call out of the Squadron’s skewed sex ratio at the start of the roll call.

    1. I detect absolutely no bitterness in your comment. 😉

      I think Ohio had a better budget for salting roads, etc. We’re always poor in Kentucky. Plus, we have so many windy, barely-paved roads…especially back then.

      Yeah, Liberty Belle was dead-on about the lack of super heroines. All-Star Sausage Fest!


      1. Yes, I believe you’re correct about Ohio’s bigger salt budget. At least, that’s what my Mom used to claim, when I would complain about the perceived disparity in school closings.

  5. I loved the story of little 9-year-old Chris playing in the snow all day! Who says you’re a weenie? I was a 19-year-old college student, with little opportunity to play in the snow, but still finding time to buy comics! I remember this one in two ways. First is what you addressed so well; all those heroes! All of them! Gathered together! Drawn well and identified! This was the moment that we, me and my comics-reading friends (and I expect all the regular readers of All-Star Squadron), had been waiting for for two-and-a-half years! Finally!
    Part 2. I was so disappointed that Roy had introduced Earth-X into the series. In my mind, the JSAers, and their friends, do not learn of parallel Earths until Justice League of America #21, in August 1963. They don’t meet the heroes who would become the Freedom Fighters until JLA #107, ten years later. I completely understand Roy’s desire to use all of these awesome, and long unpublished, characters, but I still did not care for this development. So for me, this was a tipping point. I didn’t care for the title as much as I previously had. (The Captain Marvel meeting furthered my disappointment.)
    Nevertheless, this was a great story line!

    1. I was not a weenie when it came to snow. I did dangerous, stupid things in the snow, that I would never attempt otherwise. Maybe it was the cold air?

      I see your point on the JSA knowing of parallel worlds BEFORE JLA #21, etc. I seem to recall in the letter column Roy said he toyed with there being TWO versions of each Quality character, one native to Earth-Two, one native to Earth-X. I’m not sure that wouldn’t have worked out better, but this certainly makes for the more exciting story at the moment.


  6. Thanks for a fascinating show, with the roll call a real highlight. The only voice I’d take issue with would be Batman’s – Christian Bale’s laughable growl wouldn’t be used by lovely Forties Batman!

    Where was The Whip’s sound effect, eh, eh?

    Great fun 🙂

    1. Well, I was going more for Conroy than Bale, but I did a take where I tried to do Adam West, and I just wasn’t happy with it, so I backtracked to modern Batman.

      I completely forgot the Whip sound effect! I’m going to have to Lucas this thing…send in the Dewbacks!


  7. Impressive pod Cast. Most Impressive. I liked the Freedom Fighters and this looks like the cool first issue to them, well the lead up. Surprised this wasn’t covered when The Earth X event Happened on the Arrow verse shows. Was cool seeing all these heros again. Sadly most will be replaced by other heros once Crisis happens. Hmm that one Man Hunter does look like the one from the Man Hunters that the G.L.s will fight with. Every time I see this version of Vigilante I hear Nathan Fillion’s voice. Ok that version of Green Arrow was a bit Bat Man like, but the 70s version kind of had his own thing. As well as the Grell Green Arrow. Whom I think would scare most versions of Bats. Whom is who the Arrow on TV is kind of based on. Jerry Ordway’s art was awesome. His run on Supes should get more love than it does. Since that was kind of the one we all know. His work on the Huntress was what got me into that character. Granted he mostly inked her book, but on the last issue he kind of Wally Wooded it. I.E. didn’t ,matter who penciled it the inkers style took over. Not a bad thing since it’s Orday. And he only did that on the last issue. One odd thing Vigilante is in a room with his hat on. Isn’t he a Southern Genital man? His moma would make him go get a switch if she caught him doing that. Any way I too loved these Earth 2 stories. Robot Man of this world was pretty cool too. Yep I under stood it all as well. Not found of Liberty Bell with a Cape. And always liked her better with Taracula than Jonny Quick. Even if that union with her and Quick brought in the New Liberty Bell Speedster. Hopfuly you’ll cover the rest of the issues on Super Mates. Any Way can’t wait to hear the next pod cast. This Post from the Warped Mind of Elisabeth Anne Lucy Oswalt.

    1. Yeah, Kirby was riffing on his and Simon’s Paul Kirk when he created the Manhunters that Engelhart later grafted onto the GL mythos. Early Green Arrow was very much a Batman clone, and he was pretty much up until Adams and O’Neil began to change him in the late 60s.

      Good call on the Vigilante with his hat on! Very bad manners there, Greg! And yes, I hear Nathan Fillion’s voice too. Can’t wait until we get to JLU and his episodes! I’m a Johnny Quick/Liberty Belle man myself, but the triangle was interesting in Robinson’s The Golden Age!


      1. Vigilante is not a southerner. He’s a westerner. In places like Wyoming, wide-brimmed hats are often seen indoors. As the Bandit says, a cowboy only takes his hat off for one thing…..

  8. I first learned of the Justice Society and the concept of Earth 2, around the age of 9, about the time that the Seven Soldiers appeared in JLA 100, which also introduced me to so many favourite characters-primarily the Vigilante. I was never confused by it, and in fact, was challenged to find ways to reconcile so-called inconsistencies where certain stuff didn’t fit. That’s a thing called “Imagination.”
    In 1981, as I was graduating from High School All-Star Squadron conspired to pull me out of my late teenage ‘too cool for comics’ hiatus. I stayed with Roy’s concepts until DC sent him packing back to Marvel.
    In 2000, as my daughter was turning 9, the JSA revival conspired to pull me out of my adult “too over-mortgaged” for comics hiatus.
    At the moment, I am now in my “too out of touch with DC’s publishing mandate” hiatus. And there is no Justice Society, All-Star Squadron, or Vigilante in sight. You hear me, DC? (And no, New 52 Earth-Two doesn’t count. – Fool me once, as they say….)
    Thankfully, there is podcasting, and Chris Franklin, Fire & Water, and so many others who can at least share my love for what the Golden Age characters have meant for comics. It doesn’t always have to be variants of the cash-cow trinity to get me out of my various comics-buying embargoes. Your move, DC. Thanks, Chris.

  9. Really fun show, Chris. I enjoyed how you remembered the circumstances that led to your purchase .

    For some reason, when you were doing the role-call, I expected you to do the 30’s-40’s mobster movie sounding Batman on the Justice League song than the Kevin Conroy snarl. I don’t have this issue, but I still laughed at your performance of Atom’s distraction by Phantom Lady. Good job spotlighting that!

    Your All-Star Squadron collecting experience may have mirrored mine. I bought the first two issues and planned on getting every one. I didn’t find another issue until 5 and then the next one I got was 8. By that time, I just gave up.

    If I had seen this issue on the rack, I’m sure I would have picked up that beautiful cover. Plus, this was during the period where I picked up anything with Batman I could find. That period lasted, well, from the time I was five until….

    1. So you’re still in your Batman phase?

      Yeah, I really regret going Conroy with Batman now. Maybe I should have done Diedrich Bader’s slightly lighter B&B Batman? I just can’t do Adam West to my liking.


      1. Oh, Yes, Still in the Batman phase, is spite of the fact that my grandmother started telling me when I was six, “I’ll be glad when you outgrow that.” She’s 99 and still waiting.

  10. Great show, Chris and Cindy! I was never as gung-ho about the All Star Squadron as others, but mostly because I was not a fan of Roy Thomas’ overly complex and explanatory stories. I was definitely a fan of the Earth Two concept, though, and I LOVED this issue!

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