Dig These Fabulous ALL-STAR SQUADRON COVERS That Never Were

What if the classic Bronze Age series continued…?

Alter Ego #180 is due Feb. 15 from TwoMorrows (though earlier in some places, according to Diamond). The subject? The Young All-Stars — a DC series created in the 1987 aftermath of Crisis on Infinite Earths.

There’s a lot of groovy material in the issue, which is a spiritual sequel to Alter Ego #175, which featured a deep dive into the series’ predecessor, All-Star Squadron.

Anyway, one of the coolest features in both issues is a series of faux All-Star Squadron covers that imagine if the series had continued on its own. The initial part ran in #175 and the follow-up is in #180.

Here’s how editor Roy Thomas, who edits AE and was the driving force behind both comics series, explained it in Issue #175:

“I (that’s Roy, of course) had long assumed that the 70 or so covers that original editor Len Wein or later I myself had overseen for DC’s 1981-87 All-Star Squadron series were the only ones ever commissioned related to that particular concept. Imagine my surprise in 2020 when my longtime correspondent Ray Bottorff Jr., sent me samples of a whole slew of imaginative “faux covers” that had been posted online, which picked up the numbering of the actual series after #67 (and of the Annuals after #3) and assumed the magazine had never been canceled and replaced with The Young All-Stars on the heels of Crisis on Infinite Earths.

“I quickly contacted the mental progenitor of all those covers, one John Joshua, and was delighted that he and the talented artists (a few of them longtime pros) involved would allow Alter Ego to print them, beginning in this issue. And we thank DC Comics in advance for its presumed indulgence in understanding that this is totally a fan homage for the fun of it, not an attempt by anyone to usurp trademarks or copyrights (which are rendered for DC in any event). Alas, we had room this time around for only the initial handful of these wonderful faux covers… but we plan, going forward, to stick a new batch of them into each and every issue of A/E where we can find the space, till they’ve all seen print!”

Normally, for our EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT, I’d show off 13 of these but I don’t want to post too many and spoil it for the folks who are picking up the mags. So here’s a selection from #180 along with the table of contents:

Again, this just scratches the surface. I highly recommend picking up the mags themselves.

Alter Ego #180 is officially due Feb. 15, but Diamond is listing it as available in comics shops Feb. 8. Subscribers may have already received it. In any event, you can order it directly from publisher TwoMorrows. Click here. Alter Ego #175 is also still available. Click here.


— The Surprising Influences of JERRY ORDWAY’s ALL-STAR SQUADRON Art. Click here.

— ALL-STAR SQUADRON: Get Lost In This Amazing ALTER EGO Cover. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. My copy came about 2 weeks ago. They’ve switched from the firm cardboard envelope to a plastic sleeve I noticed. I was never a fan of the Young series. I was more upset with the demise of The Squadron after Crisis. I might go back and check it out now after reading this issue of Alter Ego.

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  2. I still have my near complete run of “All-Star Squadron” but could never get into “Young All-Stars.” Not everything DC issued in the wake of “Crisis” was John Byrne’s “Superman” or “Batman: Year One.” A lot of great books and ideas bit the dust; and the replacement books didn’t cut it.

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    • You are so right matte41. But even as good as Byrne’s Superman was, the loss of Superboy, Supergirl, etc. far outweighed it in my opinion. COIE should have ended with a few earths intact, most notably Earth-2. All-Star Squadron was amazing, Would love to have seen the continuation as described above, but the damage caused by COIE was monumental. Infinity Inc. had already used some great concepts in introducing Earth-2 offspring, so that by the time Young All-Stars came along there was very little left. DC made some valiant efforts to create somehting new after COIE, but the more time that has passed since then, the worse things have gotten. The once great DC Universe ended with the Bronze Age.

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  3. As the commissioner/owner of all these covers – thanks!

    I’m currently up to issue #150, so you can expect to keep seeing more of them for a while yet.

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