The All-Star Squadron is a DC Comics superhero team that debuted in Justice League of America #193 (August 1981). Created by Roy Thomas, Rich Buckler and Jerry Ordway.
All-Star Squadron #1 contains "An Open Letter to the Readers" written by Roy Thomas. In it he describes the impetus for the series, namely, DC wanted a comic book telling tales of the Justice Society of America. The last series to do so was All Star Comics, which lasted only seventeen issues, ending in 1979. As Roy Thomas put it, DC management gave him "a chance to write a return of the JSA." Instead of writing stories in the modern era, however, Roy Thomas decided to place the tales during World War Two. The setting would be DC's fictional world of Earth-Two, a parallel universe to the mainstream DC continuity established during the 1960s, to explain how DC characters who were well established having adventures in the 1940s could still be in their 30s in contemporary comics. The cast of characters, however, would include a large ensemble of heroes from both the DC stable and the Quality Comics Group (which had been purchased by DC). With so many characters to choose from, the creative team decided to concentrate on "quite promising characters who have been ignored or underplayed for years," instead of those Earth-Two characters who had counterparts on Earth-One. Roy Thomas writes, "If we lost the original GL, we gained the Earth-Two Robotman; if we dropped Jay (Flash) Garrick, we picked up on Johnny Quick; Liberty Belle could stand in for Wonder Woman till more super-powered ladies came along. We even tossed in an Earth-Two version of the venerable Plastic Man, whose series in ADVENTURE was just folding..."
The All-Star Squadron was an example of "retroactive continuity" or "retcon", as it rewrote the already-established history of DC superheroes that had been published during the 1940s. The first known use of the term "retcon" was by Roy Thomas in the letter column of All-Star Squadron #20 (April, 1983). Several story lines ironed out continuity errors (and quite a few were created), fleshed out characters' origins and rewrote earlier stories to explain inconsistencies in character development, resolve lingering questions or fill in missing details.
The Trylon and Perisphere, actual structures constructed in Flushing Meadows, Queens, New York for the 1939 New York World's Fair, housed the Squadron's headquarters. The Perisphere contained the Squadron meeting hall, while the Trylon was retrofitted as an aircraft hangar/vertical launch platform. The All-Star Squadron had a robot butler named Gernsback, who was based on the Elektro robots from the fair and was named after science fiction publisher Hugo Gernsback.
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