You know, make those gloves and boots green, make a few other minor changes and that wouldn't be a bad Robin outfit.
You know, make those gloves and boots green, make a few other minor changes and that wouldn't be a bad Robin outfit.
Megaverse: The Animated Series
The Mean Streets of Magic and Other Extraordinary Things
Ares' Builds - The Marvel Family and Megaverse: The Animated Series
Golden age costumes seemed more experimental; we hadn't settled into what superheroes should look like. I'm also a fan of the Hour-Man and Doctor Mid-Nite's looks. Also, despite the eye-searing color scheme, the Green Lantern's.
Fantasy Geographic Society – My Mutants & Masterminds stuff
I preferred it when Charlie McNider's boots were brown bot his gloves were grey/purple. They were changed to brown to match his boots in the early 1980s with the onset of the All-Star Squadron book (same time Al Pratt's lapels turned red instead of orange/dark yellow).
It was just, how did a blind man get his gloves and boots to match so well.
In regards to Blue Jay, the ONLY thing I remember about him was his appearance in Justice League Europe during the huge Sonar storyline, right before the team went International. And all I remember was that someone, attempting to shrug off mind control, picks up an unconscious Blue Jay and flings him over a hill so he can go "sir, Blue Jay's getting away! I'll go after him!"
It was the most hilariously wrong thing ever, because there's no WAY that shouldn't have killed Blue Jay on impact.
"JSA: All-Stars" (#32-38)- written by Various (mostly Goyer & Johns), art by Various
JSA line-up: Sand, Wildcat I, Sentinel, Hawkgirl, Star-Spangled Kid II, The Flash I, Doctor Fate IV, Dr. Mid-Nite III, Mr. Terrific II, Hawkman, Hourman II
-This one's also kinda hard to place, since several members don't show up (Black Adam, Atom-Smasher, Power Girl, Jakeem Thunder & Captain Marvel), but a major point isn't made of their absence. I guess they're just busy or something.
-It starts off mostly where "Stealing Thunder" left, which is Sand trying to convince Icicle to join them, and Hourman being on the team, so here seems good. This is mostly a collection of one-shots focusing on JSA members (a bit on the current one, and a bit on the past member in the 40s), book-ended by the whole group, much like the old JSA stories in the Golden Age. The name is of course inspired by the All-Star Comics line that produced the JSA.
-So Icicle again rejects Sand in kind of a retread of before, but the Injustice Society springs him from the plane, and we get a big stand-off with the 'new' Injustice grouping, now consisting of Icicle, Solomon Grundy, Tigress, Shiv (making her last appearance aside from a group-shot in Infinite Crisis- and boy, does reading Stars & STRIPE let you know how lame a villain she really was), Rival (again, his last appearance), Kestrel (an evil riff of Hawk & Dove, and a lowly Chaos Lord, there to bug Fate I guess, but he never showed up with the Society again) & the original Ragdoll (now reimagined as a Mansonesque cult leader from the Starman series). Notably sans Johnny Sorrow here, plus Thorn & Vertigo have been demoted out, alongside Killer Wasp.
-The JSA arrives to help, and it's a mini-brawl (Wildcat even pointing out how much MORE scary Ragdoll is than Manson), Stars even pointing out how out Shiv's league she is by now, but the villains use trickery and little red "V" discs to freeze & teleport the elder members away, freezing Sand solid. They run off, and The Spectre (he starts showing up a LOT more in JSA books now) bursts in to warn the team that they need to deal with their unresolved personal issues and then meet back. But it turns out Spectre's actually a demon called "Legacy", who has TRAPPED The Spectre.
-Remember the days when DCU fans treated Spec like he was on the level with Marvel's Living Tribunal? Sounds funny in retrospect, seeing as how the Hal Spectre is such a wussy, getting overtaken all the time.
-First one-shot focuses on Hawkgirl, being bitter and cranky, bugging grandpa Speed Saunders on a generic mission. The main emotional part is meeting the daughter she gave up for adoption for the very first time (well, second, I guess...). I presume that comes up in the "Hawkman" solo series, because no one in JSA ever brings it up again. Loeb & Sale (of "Long Hallowe'en" fame) do the second shot of Hawkman, and it's five pages of him fighting some thugs and getting in trouble with his wife Shiera for being late and forgetting the groceries. Kinda throwaway, but I do like Sale's art.
-Doctor Fate is next, and Hector deals with Nabu in human-form, as they discuss his own Fate, which shows him killing his parents. It almost looks like in could be the Khandaq "Black Reign" storyline they're foreshadowing here, but I don't know. Hector rejects his destiny, and tells Nabu he'll force his will to change the world. Nabu seems to be happy to hear that, though the two's relationship would clearly deteriorate over time. Kent Nelson's one-shot is a generic Lovecraftian monster story, but the demon-hand thing with heads for fingers is pretty creepy & cool. God, every hero back then had his own dime-a-dozen girlfriend, didn't they? Just like the 60s did (remember Thor's bimbo secretary? Who'd a genius in the movies?) At least Inza had magic powers.
-The REAL money one is of course Star-Spangled Kid's, as she goes to Vegas to meet her birth father, with STRIPE in tow. They seem to have made up a bit, though the end of Stars & STRIPE made it pretty clear that she now hated her father and was beginning to forgive Pat for coming into her life. They end up pummeling the Royal Flush Gang pretty bad (WOW, did those guys' star fall fast. Now they're jobbers to COURTNEY WHITMORE and the most fragile suit of power armour ever), but it turns out her dad is the Two of Spades! The dick points a GUN at her, then bails when Ace nearly kills her, but she kicks some ass and arrests him. Boy, he's drawn WAY more buff than he was in Stars & STRIPE... and blonde, too!
-Nice moment, as she has a heart-to-heart with Pat, rejects her father, and decides to continue on as "Stargirl", dropping the excessively-long name. This is a MAJOR step for the Courtney character, coming to terms with all this stuff and maturing. The '40s story is kinda funny, as Starman gets 'duped' into joining some FBI guys who are really mobsters in disguise, but he sees through it pretty quickly because he ALREADY reports to the FBI. Bizarre how this do-nothing character that even ROY THOMAS ignored for the most part ended up getting a much bigger role in history thanks to James Robinson.
-Hourman's one-shot is him talking to his mother about his past addictions, then helping a suicidal man not leap off a building. Funny to see him using his HOUR OF POWER to spend a full sixty minutes climbing a skyscraper, when most heroes could do that in seconds by flying. The '40s story is Hourman I saving Dwight D. Eisenhower's life from a traitor's bomb. Pretty much the worst of the lot, but then I never really got into the Hourman character, despite the cooler new costume that's mostly black.
-Dr. Mid-Nite has to deliver a woman's baby while talking about his history and the original Mid-Nite, which is pretty good stuff. The original Doctor deals with a femme fatale, who leads him to her ex-boyfriend and his stash, but gets out of town with the rest of the loot. Pretty short and not that interesting, but then, the original Doc was kind of a forgettable character.
-Mr. Terrific deals with his dead wife as he gets more and more focus in JSA stories, and confronts Director Bones of the DEO about following him. Bones correctly tells him that he NEEDS to keep tabs on metahumans & heroes, and we get more foreshadowing to eventually bigger conflicts that never end up happening. Michael DOES find out that his late wife was pregnant when she died, however. Pretty rotten luck. It's kinda neat how the most emotionally distant hero around also feels his losses so heavily. The original Terrific's story is actually pretty neat, as it shows his deadbeat brother f-ing up his life AGAIN, but manages to stop a guy from trying to kill his brother. Terrific's another great example of a guy who would have been NOWHERE without a couple JSA appearances way back when- he was so lame, they even killed him off in the SIXTIES, back when NOBODY ever died!
-Everyone hooks back up, and recognizes that something's funky with The Spectre's story, since it just brings all these thoughts to the forefront, and nobody could EVER really just 'deal' with them. They confront him, reveal Legacy, and fight back their own fears and misgivings, freeing the real Spectre with Fate's helmet. Legacy is revealed AGAIN as The Wizard, an old JSA adversary. The old-schoolers break free and kick some ass, pummeling the goofy-looking bad guy, but Hal/Spectre gets pissed and vaporizes him, thus saving the day. The old guys acknowledge that the new generation is an inspiration for THEM as well.
Review: I'm torn here. This is by far the weakest of the collections so far, with quickie-stories instead of real plots most of the time, many issues falling flat. The first issue is pretty good, but the last is a one-sided ass-kicking on the part of the heroes, with The Spectre flying in for his Deus Ex Machina ending. This really struck more as something like six issues of exposition for the characters (Courtney's dad's a criminal! Paula was pregnant when she died! Hawkgirl has a daughter!) rather than a real conflict between someone who stood a chance. The '40s JSA stories were at-best cute and silly one-shots that mean little (plus, most of the 40s guys and their adventures are really small potatoes by today's standards, which is why they all got updated for the new era so much).
Best Moment: Stargirl's unveiling, rejecting her loser dad after the REALLY sad ending she got in "Stars & STRIPE", where he took her heirloom locket and walked out of her life completely, leaving her heartbroken on the steps of her house.
DOCTOR MIDNIGHT (Dr. Beth Chapel)
Created By: Roy Thomas & Todd McFarlane
First Appearance: Infinity Inc. #21 (Dec. 1985)
Role: Super-Medic, Disposable Minority Legacy Heroine
Group Affiliations: Infinity Inc., The Shadow Fighters
PL 7 (105)
STRENGTH 2 STAMINA 3 AGILITY 5
FIGHTING 10 DEXTERITY 5
INTELLIGENCE 3 AWARENESS 2 PRESENCE 2
Acrobatics 4 (+7)
Deception 2 (+4)
Investigation 2 (+4)
Perception 5 (+7)
Persuasion 3 (+5)
Stealth 4 (+7)
Treatment 10 (+13)
Defensive Attack, Favored Environment (Darkness), Grab Finesse, Improved Defense, Improved Trip, Set-Up, Ultimate Treatment Skill
"Inverted Vision" Senses 2 (Darkvision) 
"Blackout Bombs" (Flaws: Easily Removable) 
"Black Cloud" Concealment 2 (Vision) (Extras: Attack, Ranged, Area- 30ft. Cloud +2) (Diminished Range -1) (11 points)
Unarmed +10 (+2 Damage, DC 17)
Dodge +10 (DC 20), Parry +10 (DC 20), Toughness +3, Fortitude +5, Will +5
Relationship (Rick Tyler)- Hourman & Dr. Midnight are an item.
Disabled (Blind)- Unless her eyes are bathed in darkness, Chapel cannot see- she must wear infrared glasses or use Blackout Bombs in order to see in regular light.
Total: Abilities: 64 / Skills: 30--15 / Advantages: 7 / Powers: 9 / Defenses: 10 (105)
-Beth Chapel was one of Infinity Inc.'s Legacy Heroes (joining Rick Tyler & Yolanda Montez) that just didn't pan out. I think Roy Thomas tried, but honestly, it was over. The fact that Mid-Nite was a VERY minor character in the JSA anyways didn't help matters, nor did her goofy costume with it's big yellow sleeves. Todd McFarlane was the first artist to draw her, so blame him for that one. What's funny is that this character was essentially a nobody, who putzed along with the Infinitors for several issues, never quite mattering, and then got randomly offed by Eclipso in his own comic book (along with Wildcat II, The Creeper, Commander Steel, Peacemaker & Major Victory); and yet ANOTHER successor to McNider, the modern-day JSA Dr. Mid-Nite III, ended up being a great success on that book. I guess it just comes down to quality writing and having a good character. Beth Chapel was just a doctor who got into an accident and sorta chose to help out during the Crisis on Infinite Earths; Pieter Cross was a BRILLIANT doctor who was obsessed with healing all the sick, rich & poor alike, and got to use his abilities constantly during his JSA tenure.
-Beth is the weakest member of Infinity, Inc., being not much stronger than a normal person, and needing darkness to be really, truly effective. She's a great doctor, but not RIDICULOUSLY good like the later Mid-Nite is, and so she's really just a generic two-fisted adventurer-type (though they never explained how she became a half-decent fighter) with a Blackout Bomb gimmick.
Yeah, Beth Chapel suffered from a bad design and kind of poor, stereotypical writing. Her parents were especially bad, cardboard characters, with her mom approving, but her dad being vocally against her becoming a costumed adventurer. Now that in and of itself isn't a bad thing, but her father's dialogue was so hackneyed, you almost expected him to end certain sentences with "...and you kids get off my lawn!"
Actually, that kind of writing sort of spilled over onto all the characters in the book making it age poorly. I just think, that as a creative duo, Thomas & McFarlane didn't quite have the same chemistry Thomas & Ordway did. Infinity Inc. introduced no real memorable villains and the legacy characters past the initial team seemed more like "placeholders" than anything else.
Yeah, there's a fair bit of that (Green Cape, Red Top- complete with the same kind of shirt-bottom). A bit of MLJ's The Comet, as well.