All Winners Squad
Membership: Golden Age Bucky (Barnes), Captain America, Human Torch, Miss America, Sub-Mariner, Toro, Whizzer
Silver Age Angel, Blonde Phantom, Bucky (Fred Davis), Captain America (Spirit of '76), Captain America (Patriot)
Purpose: To fight crime and protect the U.S. of A.
Affiliations: (Silver age on) President Harry Truman, She-Hulk
Enemies: (Golden Age) Isbisa, Future Man, Madame Death
(Silver age on) Dutch Rosenblatt, Adam II
Base of Operations: Times Tower, NY, USA
First Appearance: All-Winners Comics #19 (Timely Comics, Fall 1946)
History: (What If? I #4) During the Second World War, a number of heroes banded together to form the Invaders, a name given to them by Winston Churchill. After the conclusion of the war, several members of the Invaders were asked to reform by President Harry Truman, and continue under a new name, the All Winners Squad.
(All Winners Comics #19 (ga)) In 1946 the Sqaud battled nuclear terrorist and former Axis agent, Isbisa.
(Saga of Sub-Mariner #5) No synopsis available
(Giant-Size Avengers #1) No synopsis available
(What If I #4)) The android Adam II kills Captain America (not Steve Rogers, who went missing prior to the War's end, but William Nasland, formerly known as The Spirit of '76). The hero Jeff Mace, a.k.a. the Patriot, assumes the mantle, so that the public will not find out about Captain America's death.
(All Winners Comics #21 (ga)) The All Winners Squad battled Madame Death and the Future Man, a time-travelling villain.
(She-Hulk II #22) After gangster Dutch Rosenblatt steals an atomic bomb, the All Winners Squad (now including the Blonde Phantom) pursue the thief. They encounter the She-Hulk and Wanda Mason, two time-travellers from decades in the future.
(Citizen V and the V-Battalion I #1) The All Winners Squad meet with Roger Aubrey, formerly the WWII hero known as the Destroyer. He convinces many of them to join his fledgling V-Battalion.
(bts) At some unspecified point, the All Winners Squad officially disband.
Comments: Created by Bill Finger and Stan Lee.
The All Winners Squad was Timely Comics first true superhero team, put together from a number of it's individual heroes who had all held their own strips. They seemed to be gathered as a response to DC Comics Justice Society of America. Introduced as a team in All Winners Squadron #19 (the previous 18 issues had contained solo adventures of Timely's top heroes), there was no explanation at the time for why these heroes had suddenly decided to work together. That would come years later, when Roy Thomas ret-conned virtually the same heroes as being a group formed during the war, under the name "The Invaders", gathered by the Allies to battle the Axis forces. In this new backstory, it became clear that the team had tried to stay together after the war, under a suitable new name (no post-WWII Invading). Other heroes who had appeared in All Winners Comics, but not as part of the Squad, were retroactively given membership, and since Silver Age continuity had both Captain America and Bucky MIA before the end of the War (and hence the formation of the Squad), it was established that all of their post-War adventures could be attributed to other men wearing their costumes.
The team only appeared twice during the Golden Age, debuting in All Winners Comics #19, and then bowing out in All Winners Comics #21 (Winter 1946) - it seems there was no #20 of the title. The cause of this was down to a common practice of the era, that of retitling an existing comic rather than cancelling one and launching a replacement (registering a brand new comic cost money, retitling didn't). Thus All Winners Comics became All Teen Comics as of #20, and the title effectively ended...only to be briefly revived when Young Allies Comics finished on #20, and became All Winners Comics for #21. In the history above, the two Golden Age original appearances are marked with (ga), to make them stand out from the later additions to the canon.
In the modern version of Marvel history, the All Winners Squadron holds the important place as being the first post-War gathering of such heroes. They were stated as operating between 1946 and 1949, by which time many of the members had retired or gone missing. Other wartime allies of the group would go on to form the covert agency known as the V-Battalion. Other heroes would spring up to fill the void left when the Squad disbanded - the G-Men (a.k.a. as the 1950's Avengers), the Monster Hunters, and the First Line, who would bridge the gap between the break-up of the Squad and the formation of modern groups such as the Avengers and Fantastic Four.
Thanks to Jess Nevins for allowing me to use information from his excellent Golden Age Heroes Directory and his Guide to Golden Age Marvel Characters. Thanks also to Richard Boucher & Darrin Wiltshire @ PR-Publications for permission to use information from their equally brilliant collection of Golden Age Sites, PR Publications. Their knowledge of Golden Age characters far outstrips my own.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
The All Star Squadron, a DC hero team with adventures set in the same era.
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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