New Reviews of Old Comics
Is Roy Thomas the best comic writer of World War II era stories? If someone says he’s not they should definitely have him at the forefront of the conversation. The Invaders, All-Star Squadron, Justice Society to name a few are all his. These aren’t WWII stories in the Sgt. Rock or Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos manner war stories, we’re talking super-heroes contributing the war effort often in the theater of operations or in the case of the Liberty Legion, stars of this particular issue, fighting on the homefront in America.
The a fore-mentioned Roy Thomas wrote “Hey, Ma! They’re Blitzin’ the Bronx!” with Don Heck providing the artwork. It revolves around the (original) Human Torch and Sub-Mariner going crazy and working with the enemy. Bucky (of Captain America boy side-kick fame) is working with the Liberty Legion’s Thin-Man to try and corral the Human Torch with very limited success. The Red Skull has been working with a Nazi scientist who has developed mind control techniques that have been effective in taking the fight out of the Invaders and making them work for the Reich. It all comes down to a colossal battle royale at Yankee Stadium between the brain washed Invaders and the Liberty Legion. Toro manages to destroy the mind-control device in a dirigible over the stadium, foiling the wicked Skull’s plans and snapping the Invaders back to their All-American apple pie loving senses. They join forces with the Liberty Legion to help protect baseball fans from the falling debris.
It might be obvious since I review old comics, but I definitely have a soft spot for nostalgia and stories with an “old time” feel. Was this issue somewhat corny and cheesy? Yeah. Was it totally predictable? You bet. Did I like reading it? Absolutely! I don’t recall ever seeing the Liberty Legion in anything but this issue and I have to admit they remind me a lot of the Legion of Substitute-Heroes; kind of odd-ball characters with really garish costumes. Blue Diamond has a giant “diamond” on his chest that doesn’t really seem to be part of his costume. The Patriot looks like he has a Mohawk. Another guy is named The Whizzer, ‘nuff said. In spite of (or maybe because of) all that I finished this issue kind of liking the Liberty Legion and wouldn’t mind finding a few other issues, if such things exist, as long as Roy Thomas was writing it.