June-July, 1943

I first saw a reproduction of this cover in the Steranko History of Comics in the mid-70s, and like many of the covers reproduced therein, I was fascinated by it, and wondered about the story the book contained. I ran across this copy many years later, in the early 90s, at the San Diego Comic Con. It was priced a bit higher than I wanted to pay (and was filed with two other issues of ALL-STAR, both more affordable, if in lousier shape.) I must’ve returned to that table a dozen times all told during the show, to look at the book, contemplating the purchase–enough so that, on the last day, the owner, whom I’d never spoken to before then, asked, “So, sport, what’s it gonna be?” In the end, I popped for all three issues of ALL-STAR.

ALL-STAR was in something of a period of transition by issue #17 in 1943. Many of the most talented cartoonists had been taken away by World War II, leaving those fortunate enough to be able to get deferments to soldier on with whatever meager talents they possessed. Still, it’s a decent tale for the time, in which the Brain Wave (the Justice Society’s first recurring enemy) shrank the team down to doll size, at which size they had to foil his various schemes in individual chapters, and then reunite to take on the mastermind and restore themselves to their proper dimensions. This issue has since been reprinted in DC’s ALL-STAR COMICS ARCHIVES Volume 4

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