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All-Star Squadron, JSA, JLA "Crisis on Earth Prime"! Discuss here


All-Star Squadron #14
  Justice League of America #208  
All-Star Squadron 15
 Justice League America #209

Time travel is one of my favorite subjects of all time. In fact, I'm so obsessed with time travel I even wrote a book, which I hope you'll check out some time at Amazon called, "The Time Cruisers". So, it was only a matter of time before I posted some of my favorite time travel stories from my favorite medium, comic books. If you haven't checked it out yet, also take a look at my first comic book time travel review about Spider-Man's Marvel Team-Up time travel adventure.

But for now let's take a look back at one of the big event storylines of the early 80's featuring a time traveling team-up between the All-Star Squadron, the Justice Society of America, and the Justice League. It began in Justice League of America issue number 207 continued in All-Star Squadron #14, Justice League 208, All-Star Squadron #15, and finished up the 5-part epic in Justice League number 209!

This was one of my favorite stories growing up, I must have read it a million times. It not only contains some interesting time travel segments in the 5 issue epic, but it also, of course, presents us with alternate worlds in the form of Earths 1,2,3 and Earth Prime where according to DC Comics is where we live. It's the world where superheroes only exist in comic book form, and movies.

The year was 1982, and it starts off simple enough, the Justice Society and the Justice League were about to have their annually scheduled meeting where the JSA travels from Earth-2 to Earth-1 where the JLA live. This time instead of the JSA showing up at the JLA Satellite, it was the Crime Syndicate that showed up on the JLA's front door. The Crime Syndicate was a group of evil alternate world versions of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, and Green Lantern from Earth-3 individually known as Ultraman, Owlman, Superwoman, Johnny Quick, and Power Ring.

The JSA, thanks to the time traveling Per Degaton had somehow been thrown into the same holding area created by Green Lantern of Earth-1 to imprison the evil Crime Syndicate.

Click to see larger image of Earth Prime
Luckily, since the prison had not been created to hold the powers of Doctor Fate and Starman the two JSAers were able to break it open and escape, which would lead them to what was left of Earth Prime where superheroes are no more than comic book characters, but instead of a normal world that we all know, the heroes were faced with a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by nuclear war. After the Justice League survive their run in with the Crime Syndicate, the heroes of Earth-1 decide to travel to Earth-2, only to find that the JSA's headquarters had been left deserted for years, in fact for at least 40 years dating back to World War II. Once, the JLA stepped outside they were astonished to see the world in 1982 on Earth-2 had been transformed into a modern day version of the 1940's. The technology of the day had progressed, but the styles were that of the forties. That wasn't the bad part, of course, the scary part was seeing statues of Per Degaton everywhere, signifying that he had apparently taken over America and perhaps the world.

This motivates Superman to ask Firestorm to create a transparent sphere as strong as titanium alloy, in which to hold his fellow heroes, Hawkman, Aquaman, and Zatanna as Superman zips back to Earth-2's history, back to January 1942 where they run into the All-Star Squadron.

All-Star Squadron #14 the next issue in this story goes backward to show us how Per Degaton had managed to get his hands on a time machine, and free the Crime Syndicate from their prison as well as detailing how the Crime Syndicate stole nuclear weapons from 1962 on Earth Prime during a very troubling time period in America history, The Cuban Missile Crisis.

The action of Per Degaton, leaves President Kennedy no choice, but to assume the Russians were attacking America and  thus leads to a Nuclear war between Russia and the United States during this crucial moment in history, thus, explaining why Earth Prime in 1982 was devastated by nuclear war. I have to wonder if this might not have been the inspiration for X-men First Class which puts the young X-men in the middle of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Also, the world made over in Degaton's scenario reminds me of the Justice League animated series episode, "The Savage Time" which could have easily taken at least some of it's inspiration from "Crisis on Earth-Prime". In that episode,  Vandal Savage was able to take over the world during World War II by giving information to his younger self.

In Book Three of "Crisis on Earth-Prime" in Justice League of America 208 the All-Star Squadron members, Commander Steel, Firebrand, Liberty Belle, and Johnny Quick get a lesson in parallel worlds and the future from Superman of Earth-1.

Did you ever think, that is if you grew up in the 80's, that it was kind of weird that they always made a big deal about Ronald Reagan being an actor who became President. It seemed like anytime a person from the present explained that little fact to someone in the past, it was deemed as a big deal, as opposed to someone from any other profession becoming President. Here in the picture above, Superman seems to be comparing the fact an actor had become President to rockets to the moon and other great wonders. That being said, I guess it would be interesting to find out that a movie star you just saw on the movie screen had become President of the United States in the future. Still, Reagan's acting career did seem to come up a lot in the 80's, especially Bedtime for Bonzo, a movie I don't think I've gotten to see since the 80's. I remember it being quite entertaining.

Reagan wasn't the only President to show up during "Crisis on Earth-Prime" , there was the aforementioned John F. Kennedy, and lots of appearances by Franklin Roosevelt.

Also in Book Three, the JSA fights off nuclear holocaust survivors turned nuclear freaks. Seems like those kind of people turned up a lot back in the 80's in science fiction. I guess, that was due in part to the fact the world was heavily focused on the possibility of nuclear war back then.

One of the most interesting scenes to be depicted in Book Three, to me at any rate, was the reaction of Liberty Belle to Superman when Supes tells the gang of heroes that a ballistic missile was about to hit 15 miles away. 1940's heroine Liberty Belle asked what the danger was, considering the distance, only to find out the sheer power of a nuclear bomb. It took Zatanna's magic to save the ship they were on, and still they barely made it.

The next two books All-Star Squadron #15 and Justice League #209 basically wrap up the story with a lot of fighting between the heroes and Degaton's men and the Crime Syndicate. The good guys go back in time to Earth-Prime and stop the Crime Syndicate before they can steal the nuclear bombs, thus saving Earth-Prime. After Per Degaton has been stopped, as always happens after one of his plans had been thwarted, the memory of his conquest is erased from everyone's memory, including Degaton's.

Discuss this article here

Very fun story, I don't think the story has been collected in it's entirety, but perhaps you can get the individual issues Justice League of America #207, All-Star Squadron #14, Justice League 208, All-Star Squadron #15, and Justice League #209 at

You can also get 2 parts of the All-Squadron side of the story in this collection.Showcase Presents: All-Star Squadron Vol. 1 at Amazon.

Showcase Presents: All-Star Squadron Vol. 1

You could also get the individual books at Amazon as well through the links below. 


All-Star Squadron #14
  Justice League of America #208 "All-Star Squadron Appearance"  
All-Star Squadron 15
 Justice League America #209 Let Old Acquaintances Be Forgot..!

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The Time Cruisers The Exodus Trap
A search for a missing scientist, responsible for the Philadelphia Experiment during World War II, takes his son, Ronald Montgomery, and his friends on an exciting, epic-sized time travel adventure through biblical history and beyond.

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