Before this project got derailed, I had mapped out the topics I was going to do and which issues went with each post. I had chosen a couple of "negative" topics but after writing the last post, I decided to try and skew these last few in a more positive light.
I had skipped this topic initially as I was struggling with which number one to spotlight. I thought about Marvel: 1602 or Kingdom Come but the former series had an unsatisfying conclusion and the latter has been slightly sullied through repeated revisions and revisits. I missed Y: Last Man and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by a month each and had to pick up the first issues 30 days later. The first Wolverine mini-series, Alpha Flight, Superman: Man of Steel, and Crisis on Infinite Earths all almost made the cut. Fairly iconic covers and stories that I still enjoy.
Instead I decided to go slightly more obscure.
When this came out in 1993, there were not many stories dealing with DC's "Golden Age" characters, those that came about in the 1930s and 1940s. I had heard that this series was coming (with no great fanfare) and asked it to be added to my pull list.
Written by James Robinson with art by the GREAT Paul Smith, the series opens just after World War II has ended and the heroes of the time are adjusting to peacetime life. One hero, Tex Thompson, known as Mr. America (he first debuted in Action Comics #1, the same issue that brought us Sticky Mitt Stimson, Chuck Dawson, Zatara, Scoop Scanlon Five Star Reporter and Superman!), returns from the war as a hero, having eliminated all of Germany's super-beings. He enters politics, is elected a senator, and has eyes on the presidency.
Thompson uses his clout to form a new group of heroes to protect America from the Soviet menace. These heroes include Johnny Thunder, Atom (both of whom still long to be heroes), Robotman and Dan The Dyna-Mite Kid. The Dyna-Mite Kid was once a sidekick to a hero called TNT (who has since died). He is "lost" since the death of his mentor and is subjected to a variety of experiments (overseen by Senator Thompson) that lead him to become the incredibly powerful Dynaman.
As the series unfolds, we see other heroes struggling in the post-War era. Some have married and divorced. Others are brought before the
We meet Paul Kirk, who was a costumed adventurer known as Manhunter, return from Europe suffering from memory loss.
There is a sense of tension through the build up of the series. SOMETHING is wrong, but we do not know exactly what.
Kirk eventually enlists the help of Hawkman to discover the source of his amnesia. While under a trance, Kirk remembers he was
At the same time, Thompson's lover, the former hero Miss America, has become concerned by his increasingly erratic behavior. She steals his diary and learns the same terrible secret.