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"Justice Society of America: "The Brain Wave Goes Berserk"": PROLOGUE: Brain Wave breaks into the meeting rooms of the Justice Society of America. He is amused to learn that they believe he had died in their first encount

Quote1.png No use to struggle, No use to flee - Your Fate is written, It strikes through me! Quote2.png
Doctor Fate

All-Star Comics #17 is an issue of the series All-Star Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of June, 1943.

Synopsis for Justice Society of America: "The Brain Wave Goes Berserk"

PROLOGUE: Brain Wave breaks into the meeting rooms of the Justice Society of America. He is amused to learn that they believe he had died in their first encounter. Later, a search of headquarters does not locate the minutes, so Wonder Woman goes home to look for them. Immediately after she leaves, the other eight members are bathed in the Brain Wave's shrinking ray, which reduces them to a mere eight inches in height. The Brain Wave imprisons them in birdcages and brings them to his tower in Sharktooth Bay. With the Justice Society captured, he plans a mass crime spree with his criminal gang. Hawkman whistles a signal to his hawks, however. The hawks take the cages to the scenes of the separate crimes.

HAWMAN: The first crime is an attempt to rob a wealthy estate. The Brain Wave's gang is shrunk to look like toy soldiers, and sent as a gift to the boy who lives there. At night, they use a growing ray to return to normal size. Hawkman is unable to deal with the full size thugs directly, but uses household objects to defeat them. After calling the police to round them up, the Thunderbolt arrives and whisks him away to help Johnny Thunder.

SANDMAN: The Sandman arrives at a jewelry heist. To chase the thieves, Sandman follows by borrowing a car, which, due to his small size, attracts police attention. At the jewelry store, he is only able to stop two thugs before the rest escape. To give the police enough time to arrest the rest of the gang, Sandman pulls out the getaway car's spark plugs. Before the police can finish congratulating him, the Thunderbolt pulls him away to Johnny's rescue.

SPECTRE: The next crime is a bank robbery, led by a crook named the Spider, for whom the Brain Wave has appropriately created a spider web gun, that can tie up bank guards. The Spectre can't stop the robbery, but hides in the bag of money to tail the crooks. The Spectre sets traps for two robbers, and drops rocks to knock out the rest. After calling the police, the Thunderbolt grabs him as well.

DR. FATE: Doctor Fate also thwarts a bank robbery, this time led by a superstitious crime lieutenant named Lucky. The gang dresses as plumbers, then releases gas into the bank to knock out everyone inside. Doctor Fate breaks a bank window to prevent the crime. Despite Doctor Fate torturing Lucky with bad omens, the gang tries again at a different bank, where Doctor Fate knocks out power, drops bags of pennies on the crooks, and then sets off the burglar alarm. As soon as the police arrive, so does the Thunderbolt to whisk away Doctor Fate as well.

DR. MID-NITE: The next gang selects victims by putting an Ace of Spades in people's morning paper as a ransom demand. If they don't pay, they are killed. Doctor Mid-Nite visits the most recent recipient of the card, and has the man put him in the ransom box instead of money. Dr. Mid-Nite is unable to apprehend the crooks, but they do run off to see a doctor. Racing ahead, and using his credentials as Dr. McNider, Dr. Mid-Nite convinces the physician to anesthetize the crooks, and call the police.

STARMAN: Based on what he overhears, Starman pays a visit to a free circus outside of a small town. The performers (in reality, the Brain Wave's gang) gas the crowd, so that they can loot the entire town without interference. Not having a way to fight them directly, Starman lets the air out of their tires, which only buys him a little time. Confronting the gang at the town bank, he fights them with office supplies until one of them drops their machine gun, seizing the gun, and firing randomly, Starman is able to subdue the entire gang. As soon as he tells the police about the circus, he's whisked away by the Thunderbolt.

ATOM: The Atom observes man after man get into avoidable accidents. Surmising that these are members of the Brain Wave's gang intending to rob the hospital, he spies on them until they reveal their plan to steal the hospital's radium. Unable to defeat the criminals, he formulates a different plan. He marks their getaway car with glowing phosphorus, and then follows them back to their hideout. Using the rest of the phosphorus, he writes a note to the police on their hideout, which leads to the gang's capture. After the case is closed, the Atom is also picked up by the Thunderbolt.

JOHNNY THUNDER: Brain Wave's final scheme involves killing a senator and replacing him with his stooge, an exact duplicate. Johnny Thunder stumbles onto the case and rescues the senator from drowning. Johnny tries to fight off the gang, but is picked up and put into a freezer. He has his Thunderbolt let him out and make him full size. Johnny tries to fight the entire gang, but gets a gun pulled on him. He asks the Thunderbolt to get the Justice Society for him.

EPILOGUE: The Thunderbolt drops the JSA, now restored to full size, into the room, where they clean up all of the thugs. Then, they set off immediately to capture the Brain Wave in his tower. Seeing the Justice Society coming, Brain Wave prepares to detonate some dynamite he's hidden under the road. The Thunderbolt appears before the Brain Wave, and warns him to stop, but the Brain Wave detonates it anyway. He inadvertently destroys the tower with the Brain Wave inside.

The Thunderbolt reveals to the JSA that he was trying to warn the Brain Wave that he had moved the dynamite, because the Thunderbolt thought it was too dangerous to leave dynamite under a road. They surmise that the villain must be dead for real this time.

Appearing in Justice Society of America: "The Brain Wave Goes Berserk"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


  • Brain Wave
    • Crafty Connors
    • Imposter Senator Sebastian J. Graves
    • Knuckles O'Grady
    • Lucky Luke
    • Silk O'Mara
    • Slippery Joe Dixon
    • Spider

Other Characters:

  • Augustus Flack
  • Dr. Charles T. Grant
  • Edward
  • Senator Sebastian J. Graves
  • Ted Purvis





  • On the cover, Wonnder Woman appears to have been shrunken in size along with the rest of the JSA, when in the story she is not present when the Brain Wave attacks the team.
  • Reprinted in All-Star Comics Archives Vol. 4.
  • This is Brain Wave's second historical appearance. He first appears chronologically in All-Star Squadron Vol 1 17.

See Also

Links and References