Saturday, January 3, 2009


31. JSA vs. Dynaman

The Golden Age tells the story of how the Golden Age heroes dealt with the coming of McCarthyism during the 1950s.

This out-of-continuity mini-series by James Robinson and Paul Smith is a strong window into the sort of storytelling approach Robinson was soon to bring into Starman, although this story is perhaps a bit darker than his Starman work.

The main plot of the comic is that Tex Thompson, the Americommando, has returned from the War to become a U.S. Senator. Thompson then puts together a new team of heroes for the 1950s after the Justice Society disbanded. Among the heroes was Dan the Dyna-Mite, the sidekick to the hero TNT, who is a bit lost in the world after the death of his mentor. Dan is experimented on until he becomes the ultra-powerful Dynaman.

The rest of the series catches us up with various heroes and how they’re dealing with Post-War society, but also hints at a hidden agenda by Thompson - a sinister hidden agenda. Essentially, Thompson and Dynaman are slowly becoming dictators of sorts in the US.

The actual agenda is fully revealed in the lead-up to the climactic battle in Golden Age #4. We learn that Thompson was actually possessed by the JSA villain, the Ultra-Humanite, back in the war. And the Ultra-Humanite uses his mind-transfer abilities to put someone else’s consciousness in the body of Dynaman. That person? Adolf Hitler!!

As the various characters all find this out at around the same time, they all converge upon Dynaman for an epic battle that takes up most of the fourth issue of the Golden Age (and since the book is 48 pages long, that’s a lot) as basically all the Golden Age heroes take him on at once.

While they rack up a LOT of deaths, they are ultimately successful in taking him down.

Amusingly, the hero who gets in the last punch is a young Captain Comet, who was the first post-World War II hero created at DC (Comet debuted a good five years before Barry Allen and a good four years before Martian Manhunter).

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