|First appearance||All Winners Comics #19 (Fall 1946).|
The All-Winners Squad is a fictional superhero team in the Marvel Comics universe. The company's first such team, it first appeared in All Winners Comics #19 (Fall 1946), published by Marvel predecessor Timely Comics during the period fans and historians call the Golden Age of Comic Books.
While the comic-book title has no hyphen, Marvel, on its website version of the company's The Official Handbook Of The Marvel Universe: Teams 2005, spells the team name "All-Winners Squad" with a hyphen, as do independent sources.
1940s Golden Age appearances
The All-Winners Squad was created for Marvel predecessor Timely Comics in 1946, near the end of the Golden Age of Comic Books. It consisted of Captain America and sidekick Bucky; the Human Torch and sidekick Toro; the Sub-Mariner; super-speedster the Whizzer; and Miss America. Timely previously had a non-superhero team of detectives, the 3Xs.
While the super-team made only two Golden Age appearances — in All Winners Comics #19 (Fall 1946) and #21 (Winter 1946; there was no issue #20) — it reacquired fan interest upon their being reprinted by Marvel during the 1960s Silver Age of Comic Books.
The first appearance of the All-Winners Squad, titled "The Crime of the Ages", was written by Bill Finger. Its seven chapters were pencilled variously by Vince Alascia, Al Avison, Bob Powell, and Syd Shores, and inked by Avison, Alascia, Powell, Allen Bellman, Al Gabriele, and Don Rico.
The second outing, "Menace From the Future World", was written by Otto Binder. Its seven chapters penciled by Alascia, Avison, Shores, and the pseudonymous Charles Nicholas also known as Chuck Nicholas, and inked by Alascia, Avison, Gabriele, Nicholas, and Shores.
Timely and Marvel editor-in-chief Stan Lee recalled in 1999:
I suspect that [Timely's publisher] Martin Goodman was the guy behind the All-Winners Squad. It's not the type of title I'd have made up. I think he simply must have said to me one day, 'I wanna do a book featuring the Torch, Toro, C.A., etc. — and let's call it the All-Winners Squad.' In which case I woulda just gotten the stuff together and sent it out. But honestly, although I can remember the title, I can remember nothing else about it.
Latter-day fans during the Silver Age of Comic Books were introduced to the team via reprints 20 years later, with their tale in All-Winners Comics #19 being reprinted in Fantasy Masterpieces #10 (Aug. 1967) and All Winners Comics #21 being reprinted in Marvel Super-Heroes #17-18 (Nov. 1968 & Jan. 1969). Thirty after this, the entirety of All Winners Comics #19 was reprinted as Timely Presents: All-Winners (hyphen sic; title per reprint indicia), also known as Timely Comics Presents All Winners Comics (title per reprint cover) (Dec. 1999).
Retroactive continuity and modern appearances
The All-Winners Squad has been retconned as the post-war continuation of The Invaders and Liberty Legion (two World War II-era teams created by Marvel in the 1970s) and as the inspiration for the V-Battalion (a post-war superhero team created by Marvel in 2001).
The team's first modern appearance is in What If? #4 (Aug. 1977), an alternate universe umbrella series. A canonical portion of the story reveals that when Captain America/Steve Rogers and Bucky were presumed dead in 1945, U.S. President Truman asked William Naslund, the patriotically costumed Golden Age hero the Spirit of '76, to assume the Captain America role, with a young man named Fred Davis as Bucky. They continue to serve in the same roles after the war with the All-Winners Squad, until the android Adam II fatally injured Naslund in 1946.
After Naslund's death, Jeff Mace, the Golden Age Patriot, took over as Captain America, with Davis continuing as Bucky; however, Davis was shot and injured in 1948 and forced to retire. Mace teamed with Betsy Ross, the superheroine Golden Girl, and sometime before 1953 gave up his Captain America identity to marry her. Mace developed cancer and died decades later.
In 1976, Marvel created another retcon group set in World War II, the Liberty Legion. This team included two future members of the All-Winners Squad: the Whizzer and Miss America. It was assembled in 1942 by Captain America sidekick Bucky, the only Invaders member to escape a brainwashing trap by the Red Skull.
The All-Winners Squad made flashback appearances in The Sensational She-Hulk #22 (Dec. 1990), working alongside the Blonde Phantom, in All Winners Comics 70th Anniversary Special (2009) and Captain America: Patriot (2010).
- All-Winners Squad at MarvelDirectory.com, reprinted from The Official Handbook Of The Marvel Universe: Teams 2005
- All-Winners Squad at Nevins, Jess, A Guide to Golden Age Marvel Characters. WebCitation archive of latter.
- All-Winners Squad at the Grand Comics Database
- "They Were Winners, Every One!" by Roy Thomas: Timely Presents: All-Winners (hyphen sic; title per reprint indicia), also known as Timely Comics Presents All Winners Comics (title per reprint cover), Marvel Comics, Dec. 1999: pp. 46-47 (unnumbered)
- Captain America #285 (Sept. 1983)