All-Star Squadron v3 #25

Written by Roy Thomas
Penciled by Jerry Ordoway
Inked by Mike Machlan
Colors by Gene D'Angelo
Letters by Cody

Just in case people think I only hate modern comics, here's a less-than-spectacular blast from the past... All the way from 1983, it's All-Star Squadron #25!

Normally, I wouldn't touch a comic like this with a ten foot pole, but it was in a pile of coverless comics someone left out in front of Phantom of the Attic a few weeks ago, and beggars can't be choosers. Eventually, I'll get around to the others.

Talk about confusing, though! This comic features almost 40 completely unrelated characters, including what looks like the entire line-up of the Golden Age Justice Society and All-Star Squadron, plus Infinity Inc., and a handful of completely unrelated villains. What's more, writer Roy Thomas doesn't even bother to try and explain who they are - heck, some of the characters (like Robotman and Starman) aren't even named! Likewise, there's no attempt to explain the plot, either. It somehow involves the Ultra-Humanite, who's trying to steal Robotman's body, and destroy war production centers with a brainwashed Infinity, Inc. It all seems needlessly complex to me.

I'm always amazed when people have fond memories of Roy Thomas's World War II comics, because they're always been awful. Then again, I also think he hasn't written a good comic since 1968, but then, what do I know.

It's not helped by the mediocre art from a young Jerry Ordoway...

All-Star Squadro v3 #25, p. 12All-Star Squadron v3 #25, p. 12

I like Jerry Ordoway, but this is not his best work. There are some nice panel-to-panel links - the Jeep in the first panel flows into, uh, Atom-Smasher, I guess, in the second panel, and then we're slingshotted down his leg and cross the third panel, down into the fourth panel, and then led by the word balloons into the fifth panel Unfortunately, there's no overall sense of the page as a whole, which completely dilutes this sequence's impact. Atom-Smasher wrecking the Jeep should be a really powerful moment, but it's cramped on both sides by some utterly pedestrian scenes which completely fail to impress. Likewise, there's no attempt to establish the area this fight scene is taking place in.

Overall, a horrible, overambitious mess with terrible writing and mediocre art. If you find a coverless copy, by all means pick it up, but I wouldn't waste money on this if I were you...

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