The original concept for All Star Comics was an anthology title containing the most popular series from the other anthology titles published by both All-American Publications and National Comics. All Star Comics #1 contained primarily superhero stories including All-American's Golden Age Flash, Hawkman, Ultra-Man, National's Hour-Man, the Spectre and the Sandman, plus the adventure strip "Biff Bronson" and the comedy-adventure "Red, White and Blue". The title premiered with a Summer 1940 cover date.
Issue #3 (Winter 1940/41) is of historical significance for depicting the first meeting of the Justice Society, at which its members swap stories of their exploits, subsequently depicted in the book's array of solo adventures. In addition to the Flash, Hawkman, Hour-Man, the Spectre, and the Sandman were Doctor Fate, from National's Adventure Comics, and Green Lantern and the Atom from All-American's flagship title, All-American Comics. The Justice Society was originally a frame story to present an anthology of solo stories about the individual characters. Different chapters of the JSA's stories would often be handled by different artists. This new format proved to be so successful that the individual adventures were dropped and the heroes started teaming up to fight crime.
Issue #8 of this title (December, 1941) is notable in the history of superhero comics for the first appearance and introduction of Wonder Woman in an 8-page insert story written by William Moulton Marston under the pen name of "Charles Moulton", with art by Harry G. Peter. The insert story was included as a backup story in the issue to test reader interest in the Wonder Woman concept. The Wonder Woman story generated enough positive fan response that Wonder Woman would be awarded the lead feature in the Sensation Comics anthology title starting from issue #1. Wonder Woman would also appear in All Star Comics starting from issue #11 as a member of the Justice Society.
All Star Comics increased its frequency from a quarterly to a bimonthly publication schedule, and the JSA lasted through #57 (March 1951) - ironically, a story titled "The Mystery of the Vanishing Detectives". Superhero comics slumped in the early 1950s, and All Star Comics became All Star Western from #58-119 (in 1961) with Western heroes replacing the Justice Society.