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All-Star Squadron Vol 1 18

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"Vengeance from Valhalla!": Circa 30 Jan 1942, almost a week after their previous adventure, Liberty Belle calls for Johnny Quick to meet up at JSA HQ. Outside the hotel, in the bad light of an upcoming thunderstorm, Johnny thinks he sees the Sandman, in his distinctive gold and purple co

Quote1 Yeth, that’s what they ALL thay. Quote2
-- Tarantula

Appearing in "Vengeance from Valhalla!"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:

  • Bailey, radio reporter




  • Sandman’s famous souped-up roadster

Synopsis for "Vengeance from Valhalla!"

Circa 30 Jan 1942, almost a week after their previous adventure, Liberty Belle calls for Johnny Quick to meet up at JSA HQ. Outside the hotel, in the bad light of an upcoming thunderstorm, Johnny thinks he sees the Sandman, in his distinctive gold and purple costume plus his old cape, acrobatically almost entering the building at its top floor, until a sudden wind gust knocks him loose from his climbing line. Johnny rescues the falling figure with an updraft, but before he reaches street level, the caped mystery-man shoots another swinging line, and swings into a 2nd-story window. A roving newsman (Bailey) for WKNY Radio News is on hand to report all this, much to Johnny’s chagrin. And watching all of this, from another rooftop, is the massive figure of a new super villain.

Johnny misdirects the rival news-hound, leaves, then doubles back to zoom up the far side of the building and into the 9th floor meeting rooms. Already present are Cdr Steel, Firebrand, Liberty Belle, Robotman, and a new guy, the Tarantula, wearing a near-exact copy of the Sandman’s costume. Tarantula is extremely agile and can walk on the ceiling. Liberty Belle presents their problem: the seven individual enlisted members of the Justice Society, plus Wonder Woman, have each disappeared from their military units. This information comes to them from Hawkgirl, who has now traveled to the West Coast to check into it, while the All-Stars are waiting for a phone call from FDR. While they wait, Tarantula divulges his secret identity and recounts his origin story. It turns out that Tarantula’s costume actually is based on a design that Dian Belmont had worked up, a design originally rejected by the Sandman. Also Jon Law has definitely figured out Wes Dodd’s secret identity, and says so.

One day last June, when Wes was out of town, Dian had disguised herself in Sandman’s old, business-suit-style costume, and weapons, and involved herself in a dockside emergency, caused by some Nazi saboteurs. There was some pistol-shooting, and Dian got badly injured in a car crash. Seemingly from nowhere, the Tarantula leapt into the fight, and punched out several Nazis, while several others fled. One of the runners got snagged by Tarantula’s Webgun. Some of the first few knocked-out Nazis recovered and got ready to shoot Tarantula when, seemingly from nowhere, the Sandman leapt into the fight; three punches later all three remaining Nazis were knocked out. Tarantula and Sandman pulled Dian Belmont out of the wrecked roadster, and she was injured so badly that they both believed she was dead.
A couple of nights later, Dian had been buried, and Sandman and Tarantula met and conversed at her grave on Long Island. Sandman had by this time figured out Tarantula’s real identity and said so. There was no friction about the near-identical costumes, but Tarantula made up his mind to change to a new one anyway.

As Tarantula finished his story, on the roof of the hotel, Fairy Tales Fenton, calling himself “Thor” and wielding a super-powered ball-headed hammer, smashes his way into the building. “Thor” is seeking revenge against the Sandman, for his ignominious defeat in an earlier encounter. A destructive melee ensues; ceilings, walls, and furniture are smashed; Robotman, Steel, Quick, and Firebrand are all taken down quickly. “Thor”’s hammer returns to his hand whenever he throws it, it slashes thru the webbing from Tarantula’s webgun, and it emits powerful electric sparks. Tarantula maneuvers Fenton into punching a wall, right where some electrical wiring is embedded, and the feedback knocks the hulking villain unconscious.


  • Reprinted in Showcase Presents: All-Star Squadron Vol. 1.
  • Date given above is based on Johnny Quick’s thoughts on page 1: “Nearly a week off – from the All-Star Squadron anyway.” So it’s 30 Jan 1942, at the earliest.
  • Justice Society members are still in the Army at this time.
  • The JSA’s HQ at this time is a suite of rented rooms on the top floor of a 9-story hotel.
  • Even after adopting his purple-and-yellow costume, in Adventure Comics #69, Sandman continued wearing a cape in Adventure Comics #70.
  • Chapter Two: “The Secret Origin of the Tarantula”
  • Tarantula’s costumed career began on 22 June 1941, according to the headline of the newspaper in his flashback. As Tarantual recalls it, Sandman’s career started “right on the heels of the Batman, a couple of years back.
  • Tarantula’s costume was sewn by Olga, Jonathan Law’s housekeeper.
  • It later turns out that Dian Belmont wasn’t quite killed after all.
  • Fairy Tales Fenton’s original “Thor” hammer was considered “a mechano-electrical marvel,” but his new one was much more formidable. It returned to his hand when thrown, for one thing.


  • No trivia.

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