Star Comics no.55
"The Man Who Conquered
the Solar System" is the third last Golden age adventure of the JSA.
I must admit I was attracted to Sci-fi theme on the cover. The All Stars
in the 50s (both number and decade) that I have read become quite sophisticated
compared to the more 'primitive' earlier issues, both in artwork and script.
What struck me when I was removing the white cotton gloves after curling
up and (gasp) reading it, was that this issue really does seem just like
an early issue of Justice League of America. The space age and sci-fi theme
proved to be a more direct link between the two than I had expected to
find. Maybe this is why the later issues were not re-printed by DC in the
1970s during their first reprint phase. Yes they do still have some of
that golden age feel, but they are closer in style to what many collectors
will have encountered from later periods in the 1950s & 1960s. Indeed
this issue would not have looked out of place in DC's Greatest 1950's
Stories Ever Told collection.
Now, the story behind
this copy. Well this one was purchased in New York in July 1998. Having
struck some luck at Four-Color Comics I decided to try Roger's other recommendation,
Metropolis Comics. So first thing on the Monday morning I (checked the
balance on the credit cards & then) called Metropolis to make an appointment.
They were able to fit me in after lunch so I spent the morning catching
the subway out to Brooklyn and back to buy some model trains for my father
(but that's another story...). Then I made my way down to Union Square
to their office on Broadway. Emerging from the subway I found a fresh produce
street market at the Square! Not what I'd expected to find in the middle
of Manhattan. After a little shop and quick lunch of fresh cherries I walked
to their building, made my way through security to the Metropolis office.
can I say, the staff were very pleasant and extremely helpful. I was stunned
when their computer catalogue showed over 300 issues of All Star Comics
in stock!!! Ranging from Pedigree copies in NM through to very poor! My
Budget stretched to one or two fines, or 3 or 4 goods, so I asked to look
at a few issues that hadn't been reprinted (& that at the time I did
not have scans of the covers) and that were in good condition. I ooo-ed
and ah-ed over a few before settling on three - All Star Nos. 32, 42 &
55. Yes it has a few chip, a dust shadow and a little piece missing at
the bottom of the cover, but I like it because I didn't just buy it for
investment, it's to read once a year or so two!
The finish of the
story of my visit to Metropolis is located with "All Star Comics No.32".
(Splash page shown
on coverless copy auctioned on eBay in June 2001)