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  1. #1
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    Default DC, Why Not Ask Roy Thomas and Jerry Ordway Back for All-Star Squadron?

    Through the devices of the brilliant John Cimino, I was able to ask the legendary Roy Thomas about his ultimate plans for All-Star Squadron. This was Roy's reply:

    "I never really thought ahead to war's end in ALL-STAR SQUADRON, but I did envision the group ending with the war, though of course the much smaller JSA would've gone on. Considering that even counting YOUNG ALL-STARS (whose continuity picked up where ALL-STAR SQUADRON left off), and something like 100 issues of the two series, we just got from December 6, 1941, through the middle of 1942, we'd have had to go several hundred issues to get through the war! Wish it had happened that way! Could've gone on for decades with THE INVADERS, too, which starts later in December 1941.
    Best wishes,
    Roy"

    Since Mr. Thomas has repeatedly stated how much he would love another crack at writing the All-Star Squadron, why doesn't DC extend the olive branch to him and one of his chief collaborators, Jerry Ordway, to write the team that he created? Without a doubt, Roy is one of only a few writers that seems to have a handle on these Golden Age characters.

  2. #2
    Incredible Member Robanker's Avatar
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    Sales most likely. The JSA held two books for a moment in the aughts, but otherwise it's a low-selling title with a passionate fanbase, not dissimilar to the Legion.

    Thomas wouldn't resonate with new fans enough to announce as an ongoing writer either, so perhaps testing the waters with a one shot or mini would be better. If it does well, that will be enough to prove readers will support the book.

    I'd be excited to see him come back, but if a lot of modern Batman fans don't ever list O'Neil among their best writers for Bruce (usually just sticking to Morrison/Snyder/King), I don't see them getting their wallets out for Thomas. Which is a complete shame considering his history, love and respect for the material.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robanker View Post
    Sales most likely. The JSA held two books for a moment in the aughts, but otherwise it's a low-selling title with a passionate fanbase, not dissimilar to the Legion.

    Thomas wouldn't resonate with new fans enough to announce as an ongoing writer either, so perhaps testing the waters with a one shot or mini would be better. If it does well, that will be enough to prove readers will support the book.

    I'd be excited to see him come back, but if a lot of modern Batman fans don't ever list O'Neil among their best writers for Bruce (usually just sticking to Morrison/Snyder/King), I don't see them getting their wallets out for Thomas. Which is a complete shame considering his history, love and respect for the material.
    Totally agree that a mini or maxi series featuring the All-Star Squadron with Roy writing it would be the best way to go, at least initially. I do worry that you are correct in your assessment about reader apathy regarding Roy and Jerry and that basically sucks. I do think if properly promoted with full page house ads, an announcement at San Diego, plenty of press interviews and perhaps the release of an All-Star Squadron omnibus a book with Roy's name on it would sell nicely if not phenomenally.

  4. #4
    FF purist/snob CaptCleghorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robanker View Post
    Sales most likely. The JSA held two books for a moment in the aughts, but otherwise it's a low-selling title with a passionate fanbase, not dissimilar to the Legion.

    Thomas wouldn't resonate with new fans enough to announce as an ongoing writer either, so perhaps testing the waters with a one shot or mini would be better. If it does well, that will be enough to prove readers will support the book.

    I'd be excited to see him come back, but if a lot of modern Batman fans don't ever list O'Neil among their best writers for Bruce (usually just sticking to Morrison/Snyder/King), I don't see them getting their wallets out for Thomas. Which is a complete shame considering his history, love and respect for the material.
    Crisis killed the JSA franchise. As the JSA older generation was removed from Infinity, Inc. and the focus drifted from the original wartime heroes to the new younger "hipper" Trinity replacements, the books drifted from their original purposes and were unable to hold readership as what made the books special was removed.

    I don't think there's any belief that the JSA isn't capable of supporting a book. I also think most of us realize that it's not an easy sell and it needs to be something special. In addition to the JSA pair of books, we had the acclaimed runs of Spectre and Starman which did considerable work bringing older stories and concepts back and using them well in current day. And say what you want to about nu52's Earth 2, the idea produced over 100 comics altogether in a time when many books cancel after one or two story arcs.

    I have great respect for Roy Thomas as a creator. His dedication to Golden Age concepts and ideas was incredible. His love for the characters and stories was evident in every word her wrote. Not using his knowledge and love for the period seems foolish to me. Personally, I have no idea about his writing ability, if he'd be terribly dated. But that's style, not actual content. And if we have "Times Past" stories where characters talk as if their old-fashioned, all the better.

    I'd buy it anyway, Thomas or not. It's up to DC now to figure how best to use Thomas, if at all, and to sell the product.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCleghorn View Post
    Crisis killed the JSA franchise...
    I have to agree. Part of All-Star Squadron's appeal was that Thomas was weaving several of his stories in between the stories published in 1941 and 1942. With so many of those ripped out of continuity, it just wouldn't be the same.

    If Thomas and Ordway wanted to, I could see a limited series that closes the story doing well.

  6. #6
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    Books don't have to be set in the main continuity--and a lot aren't. If Roy had ever got the chance to come back and continue the All-Star Squadron, that's the conditions under which I wanted it to be--so he could have a free hand using all the super-heroes from the 1940s (including Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman). If he had to bend his story to whatever crazy idea of continuity happens to be going on now, then it would just ruin it. Likewise, having all that time to develop stories and address different phases of the war was what made it great. If he had to collapse his story into summaries, that would also work against the beauty of the original run.

    I'm not happy that Thomas never got to finish his concept, but I'm okay with leaving it alone rather than giving us something that's a bad compromise. We still can imagine those stories that were never written--and the original continuity exists, no matter what DC does. If Roy and Jerry wanted to come back and they were allowed to--I'd support it with my money, but I don't think it would be the old All-Star Squadron and it would have to be given an asterisk as not really counting in the true continuity.
    Happy Miracle Monday

  7. #7
    Ultimate Member Lee Stone's Avatar
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    I think it would be a long shot.

    DC wronged Thomas with changing their plans with the result of Crisis.

    The current regime of DC have no respect for the comics of the '80s, and much less respect for the creators that came before them.

    DC learned their lesson with the 1991 JSA mini-series, and won't underestimate fans again. If they don't want something to exist, they're not going to give it an inch.

    And ageism is real in comics. Companies want younger creators and readers 'write-off' creators once they go too long without a regular comic.
    Although, it may be a bit easier for the writers because art is too identifiable.
    And in Ordway's case, he would need a lot of digital coloring to 'modernize' his work for modern readers because his style is now categorized as 'old school'.
    "There's magic in the sound of analog audio." - CNET.

  8. #8
    FF purist/snob CaptCleghorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Stone View Post
    I think it would be a long shot.

    DC wronged Thomas with changing their plans with the result of Crisis.

    The current regime of DC have no respect for the comics of the '80s, and much less respect for the creators that came before them.

    DC learned their lesson with the 1991 JSA mini-series, and won't underestimate fans again. If they don't want something to exist, they're not going to give it an inch.

    And ageism is real in comics. Companies want younger creators and readers 'write-off' creators once they go too long without a regular comic.
    Although, it may be a bit easier for the writers because art is too identifiable.
    And in Ordway's case, he would need a lot of digital coloring to 'modernize' his work for modern readers because his style is now categorized as 'old school'.
    I'm just going to nitpick your last point. I love Jerry Ordway's work. Both he and Tom Grummett have that Joe Sinnott style I grew to love reading FF for so long. But Jerry Ordway was always "old school". And that is a good thing.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    Books don't have to be set in the main continuity--and a lot aren't. If Roy had ever got the chance to come back and continue the All-Star Squadron, that's the conditions under which I wanted it to be--so he could have a free hand using all the super-heroes from the 1940s (including Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman). If he had to bend his story to whatever crazy idea of continuity happens to be going on now, then it would just ruin it. Likewise, having all that time to develop stories and address different phases of the war was what made it great. If he had to collapse his story into summaries, that would also work against the beauty of the original run.

    I'm not happy that Thomas never got to finish his concept, but I'm okay with leaving it alone rather than giving us something that's a bad compromise. We still can imagine those stories that were never written--and the original continuity exists, no matter what DC does. If Roy and Jerry wanted to come back and they were allowed to--I'd support it with my money, but I don't think it would be the old All-Star Squadron and it would have to be given an asterisk as not really counting in the true continuity.
    Now there's a thought. What if an All-Star Squadron were done under the auspices of an Elseworlds book?

  10. #10
    I am the law Judge Dredd's Avatar
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    I enjoy both writers, but I think the comic world has passed them by. They would not be a big selling point for the modern audience.

  11. #11
    Extraordinary Member Zero Hunter's Avatar
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    Nine times out of ten bringing a writer back to a property they have worked on in the past just brings disapointment. Very very few of them can ever live up to their first run. Seen it time and again of a writer coming back and just not catching that "spark" again that made the first run so memorable.

  12. #12
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    The year 2020 marks the eightieth anniversary of the Justice Society of America. Perhaps if DC decides to celebrate this in the manner they've celebrated recent anniversaries and milestones of Superman and Batman (and later this year the Flash) this could serve as a backdoor entrance for the return of Roy to these characters, at least in a one on-one off sort of way.

  13. #13
    Ultimate Member Lee Stone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stingo View Post
    The year 2020 marks the eightieth anniversary of the Justice Society of America. Perhaps if DC decides to celebrate this in the manner they've celebrated recent anniversaries and milestones of Superman and Batman (and later this year the Flash) this could serve as a backdoor entrance for the return of Roy to these characters, at least in a one on-one off sort of way.
    I really don't think DC would celebrate the 80th anniversary of JSA.
    They're probably only celebrating the 80th anniversaries of Superman and Batman because it just gave them an excuse to celebrate their two biggest franchises.

    I wouldn't expect anything for the JSA again until their 100th anniversary.
    "There's magic in the sound of analog audio." - CNET.

  14. #14
    FF purist/snob CaptCleghorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Stone View Post
    I really don't think DC would celebrate the 80th anniversary of JSA.
    They're probably only celebrating the 80th anniversaries of Superman and Batman because it just gave them an excuse to celebrate their two biggest franchises.

    I wouldn't expect anything for the JSA again until their 100th anniversary.
    I'm not sure Doomsday Clock will be finished by then.

  15. #15
    Ultimate Member Lee Stone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCleghorn View Post
    I'm not sure Doomsday Clock will be finished by then.
    Ha!

    Look on the bright side, 'no JSA' is better than the possible Didio/Liefeld 'Twilight of the JSA' mini-series that Watchmen-izes and Youngblood-izes the JSA team with a story that would rival Identity Crisis and Heroes in Crisis in scope of making the them 'EXTREME, BRUH!' Complete with a body count that would exceed the Titans (if you think about how many All-Star Squadron members there were and factor in the 'War is Hell, not some kiddie comic book' realism).

    (and yeah, I never say 'bruh')
    "There's magic in the sound of analog audio." - CNET.

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