All-Star Squadron #23: "When Fate Thy Measure Takes...!" (Chapter One)

All-Star Squadron #23
 "When Fate Thy Measure Takes...!" (Chapter One)
 July, 1983

 Roy Thomas: Writer/Editor
 Jerry Ordway: Penciller
 Mike Machlan: Inker
 Gene D'Angelo: Colorist
 David Cody Weiss: Letterer

 Three of the All-Star Squadron were captured by the Ultra-Humanite! Green Lantern is transporting Liberty Belle, Johnny Quick, and Commander Steel to the Perisphere. They have been up all night and most of the day, so much so that G.L.'s ring-bubble is getting weaker due to his lack of will power...

 Alan Scott has got enough ring-energy to get them through the top of the Perisphere. He is still having nightmares from seeing himself slaughtering millions of people in Japan, but that was a dream-image induced by the Brainwave... unlike the capture of Firebrand, Robotman, and Superman! With those All-Stars as her hostages and with both the Powerstone and the Hammer of Thor in her possession -- and Deathbolt and Cyclotron as her henchmen... plus the Subterraneans she lords over. The Ultra-Humanite also mentioned a third "talisman of power" and Liberty Belle has to absorb the new of it all. Johnny Quick sees that Libby is blaming herself because she is the chairwoman of the All-Star Squadron and reminds her this was a sneak attack -- just like Pearl Harbor.

 They must split up -- and try to learn what the Ultra-Humanite's plan is! When he sees that Liberty Belle is not in the mood for a goodbye kiss, Johnny Quick figures it's because he has become an also-ran when compared to Superman and Green Lantern! WHOOSH Newsreeler Johnny Chambers has got good connections for finding clue than Libby Lawrence does. If he can't figure out what the Ultra-Humanite is up to -- then no one can! This is something that they must handle between themselves -- once they have taken care of the Ultra-Humanite and her gang. Liberty Belle learns from Commander Steel that the Tarantula has returned to his Manhattan home. Green Lantern must return to the army barracks near Gotham City before Alan Scott is listed as AWOL. Once that is done, he is going on an Ultra hunt!

 Alan Scott can get in touch with Libby Lawrence through the radio station! Commander Steel will remain at the Perisphere -- in case the Justice Society of America returns from Washington, and will spend his time looking over Elektro. Commander Steel used to be Private Hank Heywood, United States Marine Corp -- listed missing in action and presumed dead. His fiancĂ©e gave up on him -- and married another man. Gloria's father, Professor Giles, created the steel skeleton that keeps Hank Heywood alive and didn't keep the scientist from dying. President Roosevelt promoted him to "Commander" Steel and Hank Heywood wonders why he came back to try and pick up the remainder of his life!

 Hawkman, Doctor Fate, and the Atom have reached the outskirts of Washington... and find themselves directly in the path of an approaching airplane. The pilot manages to miss them but the airplane is now going into a spin -- and unless the JSAers do something about it -- the pilot and the passengers are doomed!

 As Hawkman holds onto the Atom, Doctor Fate wishes he still had his magical powers -- and is grateful for his remaining abilities which enable him to hold the airplane aloft. Kent Nelson is determined to locate the Spectre, who did not appear when they were all captured by the Brain Wave. The Atom decides to accompany him to the Salem Tower and Hawkman plans to rendezvous with them back in New York, at the Perisphere.

 Their next stop is Salem, Massachusetts and Doctor Fate finds it most important that they reach their destination without further delay! The Atom knows that this is where the full helmet is currently kept. Twenty years ago, archeologist Sven Nelson and his son, Kent, stumbled across the tomb of Nabu in the Valley of Ur. Sven Nelson died from breathing poison gases, but the child was spared... when Nabu returned to life. The Egyptian wizard trained Kent until he was able to levitate both himself and other objects. Nabu also made him nearly invulnerable, with the exception of his lungs. This was his way of atoning for Sven Nelson's death. Kent Nelson learned his lessons well -- and one day used these newfound powers to split the Egyptian wizard open -- revealing an energy being from the planet Cilia. There is much Kent Nelson does not understand about the Egyptian wizard -- and probably never will. When Kent Nelson prepared to leave the valley in 1940, he was given three mystic talismans -- a cloak, an amulet, and the helmet of Nabu. He became the man of destiny known as Doctor Fate. Kent Nelson was now an entity who wielded more sorcerous power than anyone this side of the Spectre.

 One night last summer, Kent Nelson suddenly realized the truth about the helmet. When he donned it, he ceased to exist -- and another being took his place. He managed to enter his tower just in time... where Inza helped him to remove it, and she admitted to him how much it had been affecting him. Perhaps the world needed Doctor Fate -- but she needed Kent Nelson! The helmet continued to call out to him, but he was determined to become a Doctor Fate who was the master of his own destiny! A new helmet was carved and although it cost him some of his power... it did not cost him his soul!

 Doctor Fate has not worn his original helmet since then. The Atom sees Salem Tower, a place with no doors, no windows, and no trespassers. Al Pratt would settle for the remaining powers of flight, nigh-invulnerability, and super-strength...! One day, Kent Nelson will learn for himself the purpose of Nabu's tutelage. Doctor Fate is able to pass through the ancient stones with who or whatever he carries. Inside they find Inza on the floor and she tells them about the one who is after Nabu's helmet!

 The would-be thief wants out -- before he brings the tower down around their ears!

 While Fate would like to learn more about this intruder, the Atom is eager to leap into the fray, and is unprepared for the Amazing-Man -- who can alter his bodily structure with a mere touch. WHAMMM! Al Pratt has literally run into a stone wall!

 Fate knew he must have some sort of special power to break into the tower and is quick enough to get out of the way of a moving stone wall! KRAKK Amazing-Man has made quite an impression on the stone wall and manages to caught Doctor Fate off-guard with a right cross, and touching a shield to become as good as gold! The Atom is eager to get in some batting practice --

 BRAK! Unfortunately for him, his impromptu assault strikes out, and he is benched for the duration! ARRG It's now Doctor Fate's turn at bat and he points out that gold is very malleable, so when he hits Amazing-Man -- he's got to give! Their struggle is stopped by the crystal of Nabu -- falling from a nearby table -- and as Fate moves to save the all-seeing orb, Amazing-Man demonstrates his table manners by becoming wood! Inza distracts Kent by her unexpected arrival --

 Amazing-Man hits a home run! THRAKK! He knows that he is good enough to move from the Negro Leagues to the majors. He has got what he came for -- the helmet of Nabu. As soon as he can figure out how to make his exit, she will be able to tend to the two JSAers. It will take him hours to smash through the thick walls -- and then remembers how the helmet has got some sort of magical power... If Fate is able to walk through the stone walls like they're not there, his power should enable him to absorb that of the helmet -- The helmet is truly a touchy subject and the Atom is determined to dissuade Amazing-Man of his notion --

 Al Pratt's firm grip causes Amazing-Man to turn into flesh and blood! He also makes certain that the thief cannot turn back into stone by holding his arms back and leading with his jaw, instead! SLAMM! The Atom recognizes their assailant as Will Everett, the Olympic champion! Both he and Jesse Owens represented the United States in 1936 Berlin Olympics. What would he be wearing a costume and trying to steal Doctor Fate's helmet? Fate tells the Atom to place Everett's hand upon the orb and they will learn more.

 Roy Thomas named Will Everett and Amazing-Man after Golden Age artist Bill Everett and an obscure Golden Age hero with hydro-powers.

 I loved the art of Jerry Ordway on All-Star Squadron, Infinity Inc., and Adventures of Superman.

 Alan Scott has been a train engineer and worked at a radio station.

 Brain Wave induced some nightmares for the Justice Society of America.

 The Ultra-Humanite was originally an old man and placed his brain into the body of an actress, a giant ant, and a white gorilla.

 Alexi Luthor once used the Powerstone against the Man of Tomorrow.

 The Golden Age Green Lantern operated out of Gotham City.

 Steel the Indestructible Man had his own book by Gerry Conway and Don Heck.

 The pilot must have thought Hawkman was a bird from his plane and luckily for him, Doctor Fate possessed super-strength like Superman's.

 Roy Thomas and Todd McFarlane delved into the origin of Doctor Fate in All-Star Squadron #47.

 As the Golden Age Atom, Al Pratt was hoping for some actual super-powers, and got his wish after a run-in with Cyclotron.

 Amazing-Man's powers are identical to those of Crusher Creel, the Absorbing Man.

 The Golden Age Green Lantern is vulnerable to wood.

 Steve Chung
 "When Fate Thy Measure Reviews...!" (Chapter One)