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Comic Book / All-Star Squadron

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The masked legends of WWII you never heard about until now.

A comic book series published by DC Comics in the Bronze Age starting in 1981. Coming out after DC's parallel worlds had existed for a while, and written by the continuity-obsessed Roy Thomas, this series took place during World War II on the parallel world of Earth-2, where DC's Golden Age characters were said to have existed.

The premise was that after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Franklin D. Roosevelt gathered together every superhero published by DC during the war period - including the entirety of the Justice Society of America - into a single superhero team, the All-Star Squadron. Thomas had done something similar prior to this series at Marvel Comics, in the original The Invaders. The team met in New York City in the Trylon and Perisphere, two structures that were created for the 1939-1940 World's Fair and in real life had been torn down for scrap metal for the war.

The phrase "retroactive continuity" was used (attributed to a fan) in the letter column in issue #18, which soon became "Retcon". The series was heavily based around retcons in the positive sense—it often told stories that happened between issues of real Golden Age series, gave origins to characters who never had them, and cleared up plot holes and dangling plots from decades ago. It generally avoided the "everything you know is a lie" type of retcon, though there were some minor history changes. It also gave a decent explanation why the really powerful superheroes didn't invade the Axis powers to end the war overnight: Adolf Hitler possessed the mystic Spear of Destiny, which would take control the mind of any superhero who tried entering land under Axis control.

The Crisis on Infinite Earths destroyed Earth-2, which now never existed. This was not good for the book, which ended at issue 67 after a series of inventory stories dealing with character origins and a retelling of a classic Superman story in the new retconned Superman-less history. The book was succeeded by Young All-Stars, which replaced the now retconned Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman, went a further 31 issues plus an annual, and is generally considered lower quality than the series itself.

The success of the series led to the launch of Infinity, Inc., whose characters appeared in the progenitor series thanks to Time Travel. James Robinson's Starman and Geoff Johns' Justice Society of America, two of DC's successes in the 00's, owe as much inspiration to Thomas' All-Star Squadron as they do to the original 40s comics and the Levitz/Staton revitalization in the 70s.

Tropes that apply to the series as a whole include:

  • Adaptation Origin Connection:
    • Issue 2 reveals that Per Degaton was associated with the Scientists in the main plot of All-Star Comics#10.
    • Annual 1 reveals that Atom, Wildcat, and Guardian had the same original trainer in Joe Morgan.
  • All for Nothing: The Ultra Epic. Cyclotron's criminal actions were based on Ultra-Humanite's promise to save his radiation-effected infant daughter, Terri. Turns out Ultra was lying about the state of the child's health, using it to ensure Cyclotron's loyalty. Terri grew up to be a healthy woman, the radiation only affecting her genes which were carried to her son Albert, giving him super powers but no unhealthy consequences.
  • All Just a Dream: The JSA's fight with the Japanese in the Philippines depicted in All-Star Comics #11 is revealed to be dream-illusions placed under captivity by the Brain Wave.
  • Archer Archetype: Pre-Crisis, Green Arrow and Speedy. Post-Crisis, Tigress and Axis Amerika member Usil.
  • Ascended Extra: Sort of; rarely appearing characters with no background were used, who were "extras" with respect to DC Comics as a whole, but still starred in their own strips.
  • Ascended Fangirl: Paula Brooks of The Young All-Stars became the Tigress since she modeled herself after Paul Kirk as the Manhunter.
  • Backported Development: Nabu's possession of Kent Nelson whenever he puts on the Magic Helmet, Nabu's role as a Lord of Order, and Inza's relationship issues over Nabu- established in modern issues by Paul Levitz and Martin Pasko- were added to the series.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Interruption: The 54th issue (a tie-in to Crisis on Infinite Earths) begins with several of the heroes' dialogue or thoughts being interrupted by the next panel showing another one of them saying or thinking a statement that fits well with the previous character's interrupted sentence.
    Amazing Man: (thinking) Funny kind of a chill in the Harlem air tonight— Like something was about to happen besides these red skies that popped up all of a sudden! Couldn't say what, but I guess it's not going to be Will Everett, Amazing Man, stumbling onto—
    Superman: (thinking) —The Monster Society of Evil! Looney name...not that it stopped that crew from staging a jailbreak right under my nose. No sign of them in Metropolis, though. Maybe the others are getting better luck in New York, or the Shining Knight over in—
    Shining Knight: (thinking) —Philadelphia! 'Tis fitting that the Seven Soldiers of Victory have 'stablished our meeting-place in the city of brotherly love. Mayhap one of my compeers doth possess some clue as to the hiding-place of—
    Hawkgirl: —Mr. Mind's little barbershop quartet. But why'd you insist I set you down, Sandy?
    Sandy the Golden Boy: Hey, you're great, Hawkgirl— But d'you think Sandman's partner wants to be carted around like a baby?
    Hawkgirl: Okay, so you swing around on your wirepoon and I'll—
    Dr. Occult: —Fly higher, Robotman? A little altitude might give my magic talisman a better shot at locating the Monster Society.
    Robotman: Or the Justice Society, Dr. Occult...or any of the other All-Stars who've—
    Guardian: (thinking) —Vanished into thin air! But somebody besides the Guardian is gonna have to scour the Hinterlands tonight. Patrolman Jim Harper's got his hands full just keeping the lid on Suicide Slum. This isn't a—
    Hourman: (thinking) —Game, old buddy! Just a blasted game—keep remembering that!
  • Badass in Distress:
    • The series' opening plot is Per Degaton kidnapping the Justice Society of America and holding them prisoner so they won't interfere with his plan to alter Roosevelt's Military plans on December 7, 1941. The more powerful members- Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Spectre, and Doctor Fate, Johnny Thunder, Starman (as well as current non-member Wonder Woman)- are overpowered (by powerful adversaries) and magically rendered unconscious in their prison. Only the less-powerful Hawkman, Doctor Mid-Nite, and Atom evade capture.
    • The Ultra Epic. The Ultra-Humanite neutralizes and captures Superman (for past defeats), Firebrand (an accessory thanks to Cyclotron), and Robotman (because Ultra wants to possess his robotic body).
  • Bad Future: Mekanique comes from a future world that resembles Fritz Lang's Metropolis. She claims to have appeared in the past to stop that future from taking place, but after Alan Scott (Green Lantern) and Danette Reilly (Firebrand) change the event that supposedly causes the bad future to happen, Mekanique reveals to Robotman that the change in the event actually causes the bad future to happen, which was what she was hoping for all along.
    • Of course, what stands in the way of the bad future from taking place is the All-Star Squadron still existing, which Mekanique tries to destroy in The Young All-Stars 1988 annual issue.
  • Because Destiny Says So: In Issue 8 of Young All-Stars Green Lantern starts behaving strangely, freeing a Japanese POW from prison, conjuring a terrifying image of Sedna in Alaska (which the All-Stars interfere with) and flying to Jamaica to save the life of a local girl named Maria from Baron Blitzkreig and his troops. In issue 9, after the trouble's died down, Green Lantern, who has no memory of this, turns himself in to the A2S in preparation for trial when...his ring raises an objection, saying that it had taken over Alan's body, in order to prevent the deaths of three people who would be ancestors to three important people: Sgineru Yamata (no longer fated to be slain by a sadistic American guard) would be the father of Takeo Yamata, Katy Kalmaku (no longer fated to be killed by Japanese invaders) would give birth one day to Tom Kalmaku, and Maria (no longer fated to be senselessly murdered by Nazis) would one one day be the mother of Celia Windward. The ring doesn't know what future destiny awaited thse future children, only that it needed to intervene. After explaining itself the All-Star Squadron snap out of their trance, uncertain of what had hapened. Although the ring's explanation had been wiped from their minds, they all agreed that it was clearly a one-time malfunction and that FDR would accept their explanation. In the mean time, the ancestors of three of the The New Guardians continued their lives as best as they could with a war on, and hoped for a better future.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Liberty Belle and Johnny Quick.
  • Blessed with Suck: The Golden Age Fury's powers come with the cost of the host at times becoming the incarnation of Tisiphone the Blood Avenger, one of the three Furies from Greek mythology who gave Helena Kosmatos her powers.
  • Call-Forward: The Young All-Stars' Millennium (1988) crossover, where the Green Lantern was guided by his ring to save three individuals who would become the parents and grandparent of three individuals that would be candidates for The New Guardians.
  • Canon Immigrant: Dr. Daka from the 1940s The Batman serial, is the main villain in Issue 42.
  • Captain Ersatz:
    • The minor character Midnight was used as a stand-in for The Spirit, who was created by the same company but belonged solely to his creator, Will Eisner.
    • The second Firebrand was created to replace Golden Age heroine Wildfire. DC originally planned to use the latter but didn't want her getting mixed up with the Wildfire in Legion of Super-Heroes so they created Danette Reilly as a stand-in. Wildfire does appear as a cameo in the Elseworlds story JSA: The Golden Age.
  • Captain Fishman: Neptune Perkins is an obscure Golden Age of Comic Books character who in his original appearance was just a marine biologist who needed to spend time the ocean due to a sodium deficiency, reinvented as a descendent of Arthur Gordon Pym and a member of an aquatic race he discovered at the Pole, to provide a fill-in for the Ret-Gone Golden Age Aquaman.
  • Captain Patriotic: Commander Steel, Americommando, Uncle Sam, Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy for the males, Liberty Belle for the females. Also later joined post-Crisis by Miss America, who pre-Crisis was killed off in an early incarnation of the Freedom Fighters.
  • Civvie Spandex: "Iron" Munro. He tried wearing a costume once, but most of the time stuck with an ordinary T-shirt and pants.
    • Also Captain Triumph.
  • Composite Character:
    • Annual 1 composites Atom's trainer Joe Morgan, Wildcat's trainer, and Guardian's trainer as the same person.
    • Besides being an expy of Green Arrow, Tigress was also one for the Golden Age/Earth-2 Catwoman and (for a time) the Modern Age Huntress.
  • Continuity Porn: Thomas did his homework and it shows.
  • Crossover Relatives: Starman (a Golden Age DC character) and Phantom Lady (a Golden Age Quality character that was later acquired by DC) are established to be cousins.
  • Cyborg: Commander Steel, the grandfather of the "Justice League Detroit" character known as Steel. Also the Bob Crane version of Robotman.
  • Damaged Soul: The Tigress upon her resurrection did a Face–Heel Turn, becoming the Huntress.
  • Dastardly Whiplash: The Viper, one of the comic strip villains brought to life by Funny Face in #64.
  • Dead Sidekick: Inverted in The Young All-Stars; Dyna-Mite survived while his mentor T.N.T. was killed.
  • Death from Above: Averted in the Ultra Epic. Cyclotron and Ultra-Humanite explode into a small nuclear explosion. Jade (who knows about the Atomic bombings in Japan) and Green Lantern use their powers to contain and safely remove the radiation shower.
  • De-power:
    • Zigzagged for Doctor Fate. Not wearing the Helmet of Nabu, Fate cannot practice any magical powers. Nevertheless, he still possesses super-strength, invulnerability, and flight.
    • In later issues, the Hourman wrestles with his effectiveness as a hero without the use of his Miraclo pills, fearing the side-effects.
  • Differently Powered Individual: The term "Mystery Men" was used for superheroes, as in real Golden Age comics.
  • Disney Death: In Issue 3, Danette is magically zapped by Wotan. She falls into the chemical "Lava." Later, it is revealed she survived (the combination of the chemicals and Wotan's magic not only protected her from death but gave her fire powers).
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Issue 14. Traveling to Earth-Prime, Per Degaton gets insulted by a Newstand vendor. he intends payback. Later, he has the Crime Syndicate go to that Earth's 1963 Cuban Missile Crisis and steal the nuclear missiles from Cuba, knowing full well this will cause a Nuclear War that will irreparably damage the civilization of Earth-Prime.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Fury's dream of a giant Mekanique attacking the All-Star Squadron in The Young All-Stars, leading to a Prophecy Twist when it comes true.
  • Dream Weaver: Issues 19-20 has the Brain Wave put the JSA (Hawkman, Atom, Doctor Mid-Nite, Doctor Fate, Johnny Thunder, and Starman), Wonder Woman, and the All-Stars (Commander Steel, Johnny Quick, Liberty Belle, Robotman, Tarantula, and Firebrand) into a dream world of Japan. First he has the JSA imagine themselves defeating the Japanese Army, but then he twists it into the Japanese "killing" them and later adds the All-Stars to the "Fatalities" List (in truth, they fall into a comatose state where a full conviction of death will make it reality). Green Lantern is also added to the illusion, but his magic ring and strong will power warps the reality to Japan being destroyed, causing a feedback that defeats the Brain Wave. Green Lantern uses his ring to restore all his "dead" teammates back to reality.
  • Enemy Within: Fury of The Young All-Stars has Tisiphone the Blood Avenger taking control of her at times, which requires the team's intervention to turn her back to normal.
  • Evil Counterpart: Axis Amerika was this to the All-Star Squadron, ironically modeled after the Golden Age/Earth-2 heroes who vanished after the Crisis, with the only exception being Kamikaze, who simply was Imperial Japan's replacement for Tsunami. They soon meet their match with the Young All-Stars, who filled the shoes of the erased All-Stars. Before that, there was Der Zyklon, who was a Nazi super-speedster counterpart of the Flash and Johnny Quick, Baron Blitzkreig, who was one for Superman, and Cyclotron, who was at best an Anti-Hero counterpart for the Atom.
  • Expy: The Young All-Stars themselves were a Teen Titans-ish subteam of Expies, being replacements of the vanished Earth-2/Golden Age versions of Superman ("Iron" Munro), Batman (Flying Fox), Robin (Dyna-Mite), Wonder Woman (Fury), Aquaman (Neptune Perkins, Tsunami), and Green Arrow (Tigress).
    • There were indeed Golden Age heroes going by the name of "Iron" Munro, Flying Fox, and (Miss) Fury, even if they were different from their Young All-Stars counterparts and most of them were not owned by DC.
    • Axis Amerika served as an expy of the Crime Syndicate of Earth-3note  by being a villain team modeled after the Justice League, though instead of being the Justice League's counterparts in a world where morality is reversed, they are Nazi analogues of the Justice League who were active during the 1940s.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Tigress in Young All-Stars after her death and resurrection at the hands of Gudra the Valkyrie, which was meant to explain her fate of becoming the Golden Age villain the Huntress.
  • Fembot: Mekanique, a robot from a Fritz Lang-inspired Bad Future that claimed that her mission was to prevent that future from taking place, only to later reveal that her actual mission was to make sure that Bad Future happened without a key person in place to rebel against it.
  • Ferris Wheel Date Moment: In The Young All-Stars, Flying Fox has a date on a Ferris wheel with a girl who is a friend of the one "Iron" Munro is dating, which then gets ruined with the appearance of Axis Amerika.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: The Shining Knight, frozen in ice since the days of King Arthur until the World War II period.
  • Flying Brick: Pre-Crisis, Superman. Post-Crisis, "Iron" Munro and Axis Amerika member Ubermensch, though replace flight with superhuman leaping ability.
  • Fully Absorbed Finale: Adding Commander Steel, the series incorporated the unpublished stories of his recently cancelled series.
  • Giant Foot of Stomping: In the sequel series The Young All Stars, Fury sees a giant Mekanique try to do this to her "adopted aunt and uncle", Liberty Belle and Johnny Quick, in her dreams before she wakes up. In an annual story, it is revealed that Mekanique doesn't turn big...she shrinks the All-Star Squadron to doll size and attacks them inside a model of a futuristic city. Fury and her Young All-Star companions, who were spared the shrinking, stop Mekanique from achieving the "giant foot stomp".
  • The Klan: Real American appearance-wise was an Evil Counterpart to Commander Steel with a Klan hood. In reality, he was actually a robot.
  • Happy Ending Override:
    • All-Star Comics #10 has the JSA acquire pieces for US scientists to construct a force field machine. On its first test, the machine works: America can now be protected from Axis bomb threats!...EXCEPT Issue #2 of this series reveals that Per Degaton sabotaged the machine so it failed on its second test, never to be used again.
    • All-Star Comics #11 has the JSA successfully defeat the Japanese Army. However, Issue#18 of this series reveals this "reality" to be dream-illusions that the Brain Wave mentally placed into the captive JSA's minds. He then changes the dream by having the Japanese "kill" the JSA one by one, the trauma nearly causing all of them to die for real.
    • Action Comics #21 has Terry Curtis seemingly free of Ultra-Humanite's control as well as stopping his dangerous Atomic experiments. Unfortunately, this series reveals that he did continue his experiments, leading to an accident that killed his wife, and irradiated himself and his infant daughter. Ultra returned and forced Terry to aid in her evil plans once more, leading to him causing manslaughter and later sacrificing himself.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Previously, Tsunami had aided the attack on Pearl Harbor, only to be talked out of it by Neptune Perkins. Young-All Stars cements her Face turn.
  • Henshin Hero: The Golden Age Fury of The Young All-Stars transforms into her superpowered form (complete with bulletproof armor) just by thought alone (or sometimes when she gets angry).
  • Heroes Unlimited: It's essentially Justice Society Unlimited set in the 1940s.
  • Heroic BSoD: Green Lantern in Issue #20. Forced into Brain Wave's mental dream-world of a Japan that had massacred his fellow teammates in both the JSA and All-Star Squadron, he retaliates by destroying all of Japan with his power ring. Horrified by his actions, he is ready to kill himself, but the mental rapport shared by his "dead" teammates persuade him to use his ring to restore them back to reality. Everyone is alive and well. Unfortunately, it takes GL a little longer to reach that mindset.
  • Hero-Worshipper: After "Iron" Munro saved him from the Nazi attack which killed his mentor TNT, Dan the Dyna-Mite has tendencies of this toward the older boy. For his part, Iron feels a Big Brother Instinct toward Danny, only sticking with the team at first out of concern for how Danny was handling his grief and trauma.
  • Historical Fiction
  • Human Sacrifice: Issue 6 has the Feathered Serpent attempt to sacrifice Shiera Sanders Hall (Hawkgirl) to forge an alliance between the Third Reich and his future Mexican Empire. Although Shiera escapes, the Serpent manages to appease the union by sacrificing a Nazi officer.
  • Is the Answer to This Question "Yes"?: In Issue #16, Wonder Woman asks the All-Star Squadron if they know Nuclear and a squadron member asks "Does Max Schmeling know Joe Louis?".
  • If Only You Knew: The Ultra Epic. Ultra-Humanite smugly announces this trope to Cyclotron when the latter notes a familiarity with one of the time-displaced Infinity Inc.: Nuklon who is actually his grandson.
  • Kidnapped Doctor: The Ultra Epic. Ultra-Humanite has Dr. Chuck Grayson kidnapped so he can remove the brain from his present female form and put it into Robotman.
  • Living Crashpad: The Ultra Epic. Psycho Pirate becomes this for Jade. He manipulates her into giddiness while she is in mid-air, sapping her will power, causing her descend. She manages to maneuver her body to fall and crash on the villain, breaking his control.
  • Magical Native American: Flying Fox, the Post-Crisis Earth-2 Batman replacement character, is this. He received his powers from his grandfather, the tribal shaman, and was given a magical fur cloak that enabled him to fly.
  • Magnetism Manipulation: Amazing Man in The Young All-Stars, which he gained after he lost his matter-mimicking powers.
  • Make Wrong What Once Went Right:
    • Issues#1-3 has Per Degaton traveling from 1947 to December 6-7 1941. On the night of December 7, he intends to have brainwashed Japanese planes bomb a West Coast city, causing such a public outcry that FDR will have no choice but to abandon "Germany First" and focus on Japan.
    • Issue#14 Per Degaton again travels from 1947. With the help of the Crime Syndicate, he goes to Earth-Prime 1963, steals Nuclear missiles from Cuba during the Missile crisis. With the arsenal, he heads back to Earth-2 January 1942 to blackmail the nations into surrendering authority to him.
  • Material Mimicry: Amazing Man's original ability was to mimic the properties of whatever form of matter he is in contact with.
  • Mistaken Identity: Due to having the same designer, Tarantula's yellow-and-purple outfit often had people mistake him for the Sandman. He gets a more distinguishing costume.
  • The Multiverse: Besides the team's involvement in the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the All-Star Squadron also had visits by Captain Marvel and his family of heroes and villains from Earth-S. Also they got involved in a story teaming up with both the Justice Society and the Justice League from Earth-1 where they had to stop Per Degaton from using the Crime Syndicate from Earth-3 to alter future history.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: After a brief home-invasion skirmish from Brainwave Jr., Tarantula manages to calm him down and learns some important information. Before he can give more, he gets knocked unconscious by Tarantula's housekeeper.
  • Old Flame: The Ultra Epic: Cyclotron and Firebrand had a past together.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Axis Amerika member Sea Wolf is an aquatic lycanthrope who is capable of holding his breath longer than his All-Star Squadron counterpart Neptune Perkins.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Der Grosshorn Eule (a Nazi Batman riff) and his son Fledermaus (ditto but Robin) fight the Young All-Stars only for Fledermaus to get squished by an airplane wing courtesy of Fury's Blood Avenger form.
  • Parental Substitute: After Cyclotron's death, Firebrand and Atom decide to help raise his orphaned daughter Terri.
  • Pegasus: Shining Knight's steed Winged Victory (who was a normal horse changed into a pegasus by Merlin's magic), and also Gudra the Valkyrie's steed.
  • Phantom-Zone Picture: In issue #64, the Golden Age Superman villain Funny Face tries to trap Firebrand by transferring her into a cartoon drawing with the same device that he uses to transfer cartoon villain drawings into real people. Note that this was a Post-Crisis revision of a Superman story with the All-Star Squadron substituting for the non-existent Golden Age Superman.
  • Playing with Fire: Danette Reilly, the second Firebrand.
  • Politically Correct History: Thomas had characters avoid using anti-Japanese racial slurs which were common at the time.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Sandy the Golden Boy spends some time being rude to Tsunami in YSA due to her being Japanese. Given the Nazi sneak attack on their base (which injured Sandman), and her previous alliance with Nazi-friendly forces his suspicions were understandable. However, after she saves his life, the ashamed young hero apologizes for everything he's said.
  • Power Crystal: The Ultra Epic. Ultra gains the Powerstone and transmutes it to her forehead. She uses its power to weaken and kidnap Superman and Robotman.
  • Prequel: Issue #16 shows the first time Wonder Woman foiled Nuclear's plans but it takes place before Nuclear made his debut in the Wonder Woman comics.
    • Issues#19-20 depict the heroes' first fight with the Brain Wave, also taking place before his debut in the All-Star Comics.
  • Prison Dimension: The Ultra Epic. This is the dimension Limbo, where the Ultra-Humanite and the Secret Society of Super-Villains imprisoned certain members of the JLA and JSA, only for them to escape and put them into the place (Justice League of America #195-197). In this series, the Ultra of 1983 and the Ultra of 1942 would send the All-Stars to Limbo in exchange for the villains.
  • Prisoner Exchange: The Ultra Epic. The imprisoned Ultra of 1983, with contact from the Ultra of 1942, teleported Infinity Inc. into the latter era and empowered them so that one's contact with them would teleport that person into Limbo. In exchange, a Limbo prisoner would appear to 1942. Green Lantern, Batman, Atom, Liberty Belle, Commander Steel, and Tarantula switched places with prisoners Vulcan, Psycho Pirate, Monocle, Rag Doll, Mist, and Brain Wave (the Ultra of 1983 escaped to his era). Later, Brainwave Jr. tricked Ultra into teleporting Flash, Guardian, Robin, Phantom Lady, Wildcat, and Johnny Quick into Limbo, resulting in the previous group of heroes returning to 1942.
  • Prophecy Twist: Fury's dream of a giant Mekanique attacking the All-Star Squadron in a futuristic city in The Young All-Stars turns out to be Mekanique shrinking the All-Star Squadron to doll-size (except for Fury and the Young All-Stars) and attacking them in a model of a futuristic city.
  • Public Domain Artifact: The Spear of Destiny and the Holy Grail, the former of which would become an important plot device in the one-shot Last Days of the Justice Society special taking place after the Crisis.
  • Pursued Protagonist: The hero Midnight debuts (in issue #31) running out of an office building and then hiding to ambush a Nazi pursuer before resuming his flight, until he escapes on a train.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: In the Young All Stars' Millennium crossover, Nazi supervillain Baron Blitzkrieg tells his troops not to rape a woman they captured because such behavior was unbecoming of Third Reich soldiers. They ought to shoot her instead.
  • The Remake: Several issues remake the original All-Star Comics storylines.
  • Retcon: The Trope Namer.
  • Ret-Gone: Issue #60 was a vivid example of this, as it took place after the Crisis On Infinite Earths but before all the changes took place. In that issue, the Golden Age versions of Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Arrow, and Speedy showed up for a group picture, right before Mekanique revealed to Robotman that she was holding back the "sweeping effects" of the Crisis until her mission was accomplished, and then released the effects while also wiping out Robotman's memory of the revelation. By the time the developed picture gets in the hands of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, said Golden Age heroes (save for Green Arrow and Speedy due to an error) were erased from the picture, replaced by members of the Freedom Fighters (who pre-Crisis had gone to Earth-X).
  • The Reveal:
    • The Ultra Epic. To himself, Brainwave Jr. reveals that the team Infinity Inc. are the children and wards of the Justice Society (although at the time of this series' publication, only Fury and Jade's parents were known).
    • The Ultra Epic. Cyclotron shows Firebrand (his ex-girlfriend) the reason he has been working for the Ultra-Humanite: His infant daughter baby is dying of radiation poisoning, and Ultra promises to cure her for his assistance.
  • Same Surname Means Related: It turns out Dr. Chuck Grayson (the Robotman scientist) and Dick Grayson (Robin the Boy Wonder) are related.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Issue 3 sees Per Degaton's plans fall to ruin. The JSA are free and will eventually track him down. He decides to use the time machine to return to 1947, although the time paradox will cause him return to his life as a Lab Assistant, forgetting everything.
  • Shout-Out: The Squadron had a robot butler named Gernsback, after Hugo Gernsback, founder of various amazingly important sci-fi magazines, such as Amazing Stories. He even coined the term science fiction.
    • Evil android Mekanique was essentially the android from Fritz Lang's Metropolis. In fact, the future came from pretty much was Metropolis in everything but name.
    • "Iron" Munro's father was Hugo Danner from Philip Wylie's early sci-fi novel Gladiator.
    • Neptune Perkins' grandfather was Captain Nemo.
  • Solar System Neighbors:
    • In the Post-Crisis continuity Starman (Ted Knight) was revealed to have traveled via Hyperspace to the Jupiter of another dimension, where the locals were Mechanical Lifeforms like in his native universe of Earth-Two but much more friendly and fascinated by earth cultures.
    • The Spectre was sent via hyperspace to the Pluto of another universe, where he discovered the two native groups (one evolved for the surface and one evolved to live under the ice) are locked in a generations long war.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler
  • Super Hero: Of course.
  • Super Hero Origin
  • Super Serum: The pre-natal formula that "Iron" Munro's grandfather Abednego Danner gave to his biological father Hugo while he was still in the womb, which somehow is also responsible for the creation of Axis Amerika member Ubermensch.
  • Take That!: In one issue the Squadron fights a villain who believes he's Thor, and Tarantula spends several panels mocking his mangled Elizabethan grammar.
  • Team Title
  • 10-Minute Retirement:
    • Issue #45. On the death of her relative Tom Revere, and her feeling ineffectual as a super-heroine, Liberty Belle quits. She comes back the next issue.
    • In Young All-Stars, Miya Shimada aka Tsunami (a Japanese-American) quits the team upon seeing her family in an internment camp, divesting herself of her uniform and going to join her mother and sister. Later, as they're relaxing, the young heroes are attacked the same group of Nazi supervillains who had previously attacked the All-Star base—this time with a Japanese villain who calls himself Kamikaze as part of the team. The villains manage to overpower them and take away a few members, and the rest of the group decide to ask Tsunami to rejoin. Although she's resistant at first, after hearing the details (particularly about the war-crazed Kamikaze) she realizes she can't let three innocent people die and—her mother's already ready with her costume. She later decides to stay on the team partly because it puts her in a position where she can bug FDR about those camps.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: As the stories were primarily set in the 1940s, the heroes often battled Nazis.
  • Time Travel: Several times:
    • Issues#1-3. Per Degaton from 1947, with Wotan, Professor Zodiac, Solomon Grundy, Sky King, King Bee, and Monster.
    • Issues#14-15. Per Degaton from 1947. From 1982: Earth-3's Crime Syndicate, Earth-2's Justice League of America (Superman, Zatanna, Firestorm, Aquaman, and Hawkman), and the Justice Society (Doctor Fate, Starman, Green Lantern, Power Girl, and Huntress).
    • Issues#25-26 & Annual 2. From 1983: 3 Infinity Inc. (Nuklon, Fury, Silver Scarab, Obsidian, Jade, Northwind, and Brainwave Jr.) and the Secret Society of Super-Villains (Psycho-Pirate, Brain Wave, Monocle, Rag Doll, Mist, and Vulcan).
    • Issues#54-55. Firebrand to 1985.
  • Token Enemy Minority: Tsunami is the only Asian on the Young All-Stars.
  • Token Minority: Amazing Man—of course, the heroes in actual Golden Age comics, which the series was based on, were all white. Also Tsunami after her Heel–Face Turn and Flying Fox in Young All-Stars.
  • Tonight, Someone Dies: The Red Bee, who hadn't been used in the series before and was a lame character.
  • Tuckerization: One of the few new characters was Firebrand, a redhead named Danette. Thomas is married to a redhead with that name.
  • Trilogy: "The Ultra Epic" is the second Part of a Three-Part storyline involving the Ultra-Humanite and the JSA. Part 1 is a storyline from Justice League of America #195-197 ending with Ultra and his Secret Society of Super Villains thrust (or in Ultra's case, punched) into Limbo. This Part reveals how Ultra transported the brainwashed Infinity Inc. (and his Earth-2 teammates) into 1942, and his own escape from Limbo. Part 3, the "Generations Saga" in Infinity, Inc. #3-10 shows Ultra wreaking revenge on the team by turning their JSA relatives against them. Ultra, Superman, and Flash are involved in all three parts.
  • Valkyries: Gudra, who appeared in the origin story of the Justice Society of America and later became a member of Axis Amerika.
  • Volcano Lair:
    • The first storyline has Per Degaton use a fake volcano to hold the captivated Justice Society of America (plus Wonder Woman and Robin).
    • The Ultra Epic has the villainess use Mount St. Helens (dormant in 1942) as her headquarters.
  • Webcomic Time: Very obvious due to the frequent use of real-world dates and events; eight published years of All-Star Squadron and Young All-Stars took place over a seven-month period in the war.
  • Went to the Great X in the Sky: Issue 54 has the Dummy attempt to kill Alan Scott, responding to his exclamation of "Thank God" by quipping that he'll send Scott to the great World's Fairgrounds in the sky so he can thank God in person.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Annual 3 has Wonder Woman and Tarantula find a collection of newspaper clippings. They soon learn these clippings highlight people Ian Karkull targeted for death (and most of whom were protected by the JSA) in 1940. The two leave the evidence, ignorant of its value. The final page reveals the clippings showcase the 1940 activities of Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan.
    • The final page of Issue 60 as FDR receives the group picture, revealing the Ret-Gone of Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Robin, and Aquaman.
  • Wonder Twin Powers: T.N.T. and Dyna-Mite, who pressed their dyna-rings together to activate their power punches. In The Young All-Stars, T.N.T. was killed, and Dyna-Mite thought he wouldn't be able to activate his powers without his partner, but he eventually found out that he could reactivate them by wearing both dyna-rings and pressing them together himself.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Johnny Quick catches the ringleader of the racist Phantom Empire. The ringleader smugly comments that a good guy like Quick will treat with kid gloves. Quick violently disappoints him.
  • Wrote the Book: In Issue #16, Wonder Woman tells Metal Man that when it comes to tough, the Amazons wrote the book.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
    • Averted for Wotan, Professor Zodiac, and Solomon Grundy in the first story. No longer needing them, Per Degaton teleports the villains back to the times (and prisons) he found them.
    • In the finale of "The Ultra Epic", Ultra has her loyal green sub-men executed, citing their sexual worship disgusted her.

Alternative Title(s): The Young All Stars