Monday, 11 February 2013
Each Monday this year I'll be taking a look back at a random comic, prestige format issue, graphic novel or collection of reprints from amongst my 3,000 or so comics that date from 1962 to 2003 - I figured anything in the last ten years would be too recent to hark back to.
The comics are chosen completely at random and apart from a four week lead-in period, even I don't know what I'll be looking at in the weeks to come!
ALL-STAR SQUADRON #37 - September 1984
Few things say "multiverse" like Superman and Captain Marvel beating the snot out of each other! Although, you may notice, that the cover proclaims the battle as being between Superman and Shazam - I wonder if there was some restriction on them using Cap's name on the cover at the time?
It's 1942 on Earth-2 and the All-Star Squadron have come face to face with the junior Marvels for the first time. In the previous issue Superman and Cap came to blows as the Big Red Cheese appeared to be working for Hitler and the Nazis. It's not too surprising then, that the Squadron though the juniors were also in league with the Reich and, with Superman still smarting from the kicking Cap gave him, he takes it out on the pair:
To be honest, for a large part of this issue, Supes really does act like a spoilt brat, unhappy that he's been spanked and taking it out on others.
Thankfully sense prevails from the others and they realise that Cap's obviously affected by the Spear of Destiny and hatch a plan to get him back from Berlin. This involves Mary and Junior becoming their civilian selves so that they, too, don't fall under Hitler's spell but - surprise, surprise - they all get captured and the juniors are forced into a machine which will split the Marvels from them in the same way that Cap and Billy have been separated . . .
. . . and sure enough, they fall under Hitler's spell and head off to wreak havoc on London. Of course, they stray too far from the Spear and regain their senses in time to help save the other Squadron members and dish out a good hiding to a boat load of Nazis.
A simpler time and a simpler story - everything's back to normal by the end of the issue with the Marvels returning to Earth-S and the All-Star Squadron continuing the war effort on Earth-2, though Superman's still griping at the end about never finding out whether he could best Captain Marvel in a fair fight or not.