You would think that, given these issues came out when Crisis was coming to an end, we’d get some kind of send off, at the very least for some the characters in the two Earth-2 books listed below. After all, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman were all members of the All Star Squadron on Earth 2, but that wasn’t going to be the case in the new DCU. And Wonder Woman certainly wasn’t going to have a daughter running around, as was the situation with Fury in Infinity, Inc.
But, no. In fact, the Earth-2 books wouldn’t change at all for another five months; they continued along as if nothing had happened, sometimes going so far as to actually mentioning that the Crisis had past. It’s the kind editorial negligence that would set the internet on fire these days, but probably on pissed off the folks at the local comic shop back in 1985.
Thankfully, the rather racist turn of events that ended the last issue are reversed in this one, although the collected heroes from the past aren’t exactly enlightened. This is one of the better issues of the All Star Crisis tie-ins because it allows Roy Thomas to play with obscure characters that speak to the wide range genres that DC featured throughout its history. Funny enough, none of these characters are technically erased by the events of Crisis, as all of them live in the past and none of them have super powers. A story like this actually would have been useful post-Crisis.
This is drawn by Arvell Jones and Vince Colletta and it’s some of the heaviest inking I’ve seen from Colletta, which is saying a lot. I doubt I could pick Jones’ pencils out of a line-up, and I’ve read a dozen issues of his work over the last few months.
You don’t really expect 198th issues to be giant sized, but here you go. This is the climax of the “Green Lantern no more!” story line that featured Hal Jordan as a civilian, John Stewart as the one, true Green Lantern (as he should be), and Guy Gardner as an ass. Gardner goes round the bend as a Green Lantern and, as you might imagine, Hal helps to save the day and, in turn, gets his ring back. For what it’s worth, John had it, but John “inherits” Tomar-Re’s ring, so Hal’s comes back to him. I think that would actually make John the GL of whatever sector Tomar-Re was covering, but I’m a little shaky on Green Lantern lore.
Anyway, this issue has little to nothing to do with the Crisis, but where have we heard that before? Still, Steve Englehart, Joe Staten, and Bruce Patterson have made me more interested in Green Lantern than I’ve ever been, which is saying something.
It’s the return of Knodar, the Last Criminal! I know, try to contain your excitement. In our last issue, Star Spangled Kid rescued Jonni Thunder, but not before they were both swept away to who knows where. Well, it was Hollywood. And they fight gangsters and Knodar and stuff. I do believe Jonni Thunder was created by Roy Thomas, so perhaps this is him giving her one last send off, although I don’t know why she would have been erased with Crisis. That guy Todd McFarlane pencils the first five pages, heavily inked by Tony DeZuniga. Ron Harris pencils the rest, with inks by Giordano and Starr. Roy is joined by Dann Thomas on the scripting duties.
Wha-huh? Swamp Thing gets a tie-in issue? Surely it’s not written by Alan Moore, though, right? Nope, it is. And drawn quite nicely by Stephen Bissette and John Totleben, too.
I suppose you could look at this as Moore’s attempt to look at Crisis on a different level. Swamp Thing and Constantine are going to fight the good fight on the immaterial plane/psychic plane/spiritual plane. The issue serves more as a showcase for Constantine through his relationship with Swamp Thing than anything else. It’s perfectly fine for what it is and would probably have blown my mind back in ’85, but just about as essential to Crisis and every other tie-in we’ve seen — not at all.
Next: Oh, you thought we were done, did you?