Remake & Reboot: DC’s All-Star Squadron

DC’s two chief super-hero teams have always been the Justice League and the Justice Society. But from time to time there’s been splinter groups and re-packaged team names for heroes like the Super Friends and the All-Star Squadron. In the wake of DC’s New 52, those have fallen out of favor in place of one cohesive Justice League unit — but I’d argue there’s room to revive and revamp an old gem in DC’s massive library.

Originally dreamed up by Roy Thomas in 1981 when DC came looking for a banner name for new JSA stories, the All-Star Squadron’s name and history has ties all the way back to the early days of DC history with 1940’s All-Star Comics. They were, in essence, a 1940s patriotic-minded team of heroes that was home to some DC stalwarts and some errant heroes in need of a home. The concept never quite gelled to the level of the Justice League or the Avengers, but the name “All-Star Squadron” remains a title with some weight to fans and could be re-used today… and here’s how.

The Concept:

Imagine a new All-Star Squadron series set squarely in DC’s “New 52” continuity, but not in the modern day; rather, 70 years prior in the chaotic early days of World War 2. Although DC’s “New 52” continuity has superheroes not becoming public knowledge until the 21st century, that’s not to stop a group of super-heroes acting covertly to fight the Axis Powers and any other threats in those times. It’s a period piece with superheroes, patriotic fervor and America’s greatest generation.

In terms of roster, All-Star Squadron’s had a rather eclectic and uneven bunch of heroes over time. Instead of trying to shoehorn that into the modern day, I’d look at the modern-day DCU and walk it back 70 years to see who’d be operating and where. Imagine people like Patrick Wayne, Bruce Wayne’s grandfather and the founder of Wayne Tech, working feverishly to supply the advanced weaponry for the Allied Forces. And while Hal Jordan might be the protector of this space sector in the present day, in the 1940s that would fall to his predecessor Abin Sur — with perhaps some early appearances by a more noble Sinestro. And on the Super-side of things, you shouldn’t forget that Clark Kent’s adoptive father Jonathan Kent was a race-car drive in his early days and those kind of skills could be put to good use. And while she might not play well with others, reminder that Wonder Woman’s  mother Hippolyta sits on Themiscrya removed from society. And who knows, maybe DC could find a way to bring their Uncle Sam character into the fold here without being too hackneyed. Think less Professor X and more Agent Graves from 100 Bullets. Remember, in comics the Uncle Sam character is the spirit of a 18th century Revolutionary War soldier.. and maybe those years haven’t been kind to him.

The Creators:

The Writer – Jeff Parker: Jeff Parker is one of the unsung heroes at  Marvel right now, delivering some top-notch work there (especially on Thunderbolts / Dark Avengers), but isn’t tied down to the publisher with an exclusive (as evidenced by the announcement he’s writing the new Willow series for Dark Horse). Parker would be a big get for DC if they could do it, and between his work on Thunderbolts, Agents of Atlas and his Interman series from a few years back I think  he’d be an ideal choice to revamp the All-Star Squadron.

The Artist – Chris Samnee: Arguably one of the top 10 artists working in comics today, Samnee bounces around more than a basketball in the Final Four, doing Captain America & Bucky, Angel & Faith, Ultimate Spider-Man, Daredevil and the upcoming Rocketeer mini all in one calendar year. But between all of that, Samnee’s never really had a series to revamp and put his own brand on since Thor: The Mighty Avenger, so getting him on a new All-Star Squadron book could be some comic book magic waiting to happen.



  1. Writing wise, Parker is definitely a good choice in that, he’s easily able to write a period piece that doesn’t feel fake or cheesy.

    As for characters, I think you’d be better served strip mining older characters that aren’t being and expand the universe rather than contracting it around DC’s Big 7.

    • Agreed, it might be a bit awkward trying to shoehorn everyone into a relation with current characters. Perhaps there could be the one connection with Batman, since it appears that he is now the first contemporary hero. There are still many others who could be used: Johnny Quick, Liberty Belle, Tarantula, and so on. Certainly there is already a New 52 precedent for early heroes in Cinnamon and Nighthawk. I loved All-Star Squadron and would love to see another version.