The Best and the Not-So-Good


Young Allies 70th Anniversary Special #1

Just about all of Marvel’s special issues paying tribute to their WWII Golden Age characters and the company’s 70th birthday have been outstanding, but this one is probably the best yet. The main story, by writer Roger Stern and artist Paolo Rivera, focuses on Bucky Barnes, Captain America’s former sidekick and the new Captain Marvel, as he discovers that some of his friends from World War II are still alive. The Young Allies were a bunch of normal kids — a stereotypical Brooklyn tough kid, a smart, bespectacled kid, a chubby kid, and a black kid — who occasionally teamed up with Bucky and Toro, the Human Torch’s sidekick, to fight the Nazis. Anyway, Bucky finds the two surviving Young Allies — Pat “Knuckles” O’Toole, the tough kid, and Wash Jones, the black kid — in a veterans hospital. Knuckles is on his deathbed, and Wash is paying him a last visit. They’re both overjoyed to see Bucky again, still young after all those decades. There’s some reminiscing over their WWII adventures and about their post-war lives. And in the end, Knuckles dies, and a few months later, Wash follows him. They close out the last few pages of the comic with reprints of ads, text stories, and comic about “Terry Vance, the School Boy Sleuth.”

Verdict: Thumbs up. Numerous thumbs up, along with several pinkies and even a couple of big toes. This has got to be the best done-in-one comic I’ve seen in months. The action sequences are fine, but where this story really shines is the small, personal moments, with a trio of old vets sitting around a hospital talking about how their lives turned out, and seeing one of their number through to his final curtain. It’s a beautiful, emotional story, and I hope like heck it wins some awards.


Justice Society of America #28

The Spectre takes Power Girl, Atom Smasher, Damage, and Judomaster back into the past to save Green Lantern, Flash, Wildcat, Hourman, and Liberty Belle from the Hiroshima atomic bomb. Kung, a former Japanese assassin who died in the bomb blast, hopes to sacrifice the American heroes to return himself to life, but can anyone stop him and his army of Japanese spirits?

Verdict: I’m gonna thumbs-down it. The action sequences are fine, but this just felt too needlessly complicated, on several different levels.

No Comments

  1. swampy Said,

    July 12, 2009 @ 10:18 am

    I agree…the Young Allies reunion story was very,very good