Alter Ego #14 April 2002 (magazine review).

Always keep an eye on the auction websites. I bagged Alter Ego # 14 earlier in the year. From the first cover, you should be able to grasp that DC Comics’ Justice Society Of America is the centre of attention or rather its 1970s incarnation before the Crisis On Infinity Worlds removed it from their reality on the main cover. Of course, it was a blend of old and new characters. I didn’t know that Ric Estrada designed Power Girl’s costume or the problems on how big to make the hole on her chest before closing it off for a while.

The All-Star Comics/Super Squad should be of interest to those of you who are collecting comicbooks containing Wallace Wood’s work where he inked/finished several issues. Estrada points out that a lot of the time he laid out the book and others, including Wood, completed the work. As Roy Thomas says that although he suggested the title to Gerry Conway, he wasn’t a writer on it, being exclusive to Marvel at the time.

I do agree with artist Joe Stanton that Helena Wayne aka the Huntress was his favourite character although the complication of bringing her to Earth-1 and her parentage might have caused problems. With their 52 realities today, I wonder if DC might ponder on bringing her back.

This also looks like the first interview with artist Jerry Ordway with how he started at DC Comics, giving a very honest assessment of moving from inker to penciller and the number of detail corrections he did on ‘All-Star Squadron’.

Bill Schelly’s look back on how his interest in comicbooks led to his co-creating a fanzine should hit something for those old enough to grow up finding they were the only one locally with that interest. The days of the Internet, not to mention super-hero films, has changed that from a singular interest forever but without such beginnings we wouldn’t be here today. It’s also a reminder of ‘Alter Ego’ having a fan aspect that tends to draw me back and looking for out-of-print back issues. Not so much to relive the past but that gooey feeling that drew me to comicbooks in the first place.

The early ‘Alter Ego’s had flip over sections, so essentially looking like two magazines in one. I have a feeling that I should have read the alternative side first as it focuses on the early JSA adventures, with a 22 page display of character art before Roy Thomas recounts the history of 4 missing stories and the discovery of some pages from ‘The Will Of William Wilson’. It follows the pattern of team at beginning and end and separate adventures in the middle. At the end, I made a note to keep an eye open for the ‘All-Star Companion’ book.

Michael T. Gilbert’s ‘Mr. Monster’ section displays some Garner Fox scripts. For artists, you can always find samples to look at. For writers, this is rare. Granted these are from the 40s but it does give a sense of history on full scripts.

Finally, a UK interview with comicbook artist Lee Elias when he was living over here and very insightful for his work time, not to mention people copying his style.

GF Willmetts

June 2022

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 100 page illustrated magazine. Price: $10.95 (US). ISSN: 1932-6890. Direct from them, you can get it for digitally for $ 4.95 (US))

check out websites: www.TwoMorrows.com and https://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=98_55&products_id=493


Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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