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"Justice Society of America: "The Plunder of the Psycho-Pirate"": Newspaper publisher Rex Morgan summons the Justice Society of America to his offices. When they arrive, Morgan explains that the Psycho-Pirate, a mysterio

Quote1.png To feel fear is no disgrace- but to yield to that fear is another thing! I intend to fight this thing- Now! Quote2.png
Doctor Mid-Nite

All-Star Comics #23 is an issue of the series All-Star Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of December, 1944.

Synopsis for Justice Society of America: "The Plunder of the Psycho-Pirate"

Newspaper publisher Rex Morgan summons the Justice Society of America to his offices. When they arrive, Morgan explains that the Psycho-Pirate, a mysterious criminal who exploits emotions in his crimes, has sent letters to his paper daring the Justice Society members to stop six emotional themed crimes he plans to pull off. The JSA accept the challenge and depart on their individual missions.

Hawkman gets the crime of love. The Psycho-Pirate's men attempt to extort a ransom from a business tycoon by pretending to kidnap his daughter. Hawkman tracks the gang down and starts roughing them up. To fend him off, they tell him that they've also kidnapped Shiera Sanders. Hawkman rushes off to save Shiera from a trap and returns to eliminate the gang. He learns that the tycoon's daughter was never kidnapped, but was being courted by one of the Pirate’s thugs.

Starman deals with the crime of hate. The Psycho-Pirate seeds hate in wealthy individuals by spreading lies in newspapers. Once the men hate each other, he solicits them to come to the "Hate Clinic, where they can pay to duel each other with swords. Starman is so disgusted by the idea, that his rage gets the better of him and he loses his Gravity Rod. After calming down, he retrieves his rod, shuts down the clinic, and shows the duelers there was no reason to hate each other in the first place.

Doctor Mid-Nite has to face the crime of fear. An entire town's communication lines are cut and the town is surrounded with armed guards. The Psycho-Pirate threatens to unleash a plague virus on the town if the town does not pay a ransom. In a private lab, Dr. Mid-Nite works on a cure for the virus, but is momentarily paralyzed by fear at the thought of becoming infected. Undaunted, he confronts the doctor and his henchmen and secures the virus, which turns out to be a fake anyway.

Johnny Thunder confidently handles the crimes of conceit. Two brothers are so confident in their safe-making business, that they willingly open one up for the Psycho-Pirate's bank robbers. When Johnny comes to rescue them, the robbers pretend to be easily defeated and flatter him so much that he doesn't think he needs his Thunderbolt's help and sends him away. But when Johnny attempts to rescue the brothers, the robbers lock the three of them in the safe. Johnny comes to his senses, and the Thunderbolt cleans up the gang and takes them to jail.

The Spectre fights deals with the crime of greed. Two art collectors each have identical ivory idols known as the grinning guardians. An agent of the Psycho-Pirate offers each collector the other idol for half a million dollars. Both men agree and give him the money. Later, the agent approaches each collector, pretending he bungled the theft of the other idol. The agent says he needs that man's idol to replace the idol he lost during the theft or the agent will turn the collector over to the cops. Both collectors are cajoled into agreeing. The Spectre follows the agent back to the hideout and breaks up the operation. One of the men offers to give up the Psycho-Pirate, however. Instead of dealing with the men, the Spectre gives into greed and follows the man into a trap. Using the idols, he escapes the trap and takes the gang to jail.

The Atom takes on the crime of despair. The Atom remains at Rex Morgan's office, where Rex hears both numerous reports of bad news. A news flash on the radio claims the Psycho-Pirate has captured the rest of the Justice Society. The Atom sets out to rescue them, but the other members tell him it's useless to try to fight at all. The Atom gives in to despair. Before a henchman executes him, the Atom recovers and fights back. He learns that the Justice Society he just spoke with were only actors. He then learns the true identity of the Psycho-Pirate, who shoots him. The Atom struggles back to the paper, trying to warn his friends in time.

Reuniting back at the Morgan’s office, the rest of the JSA have returned and discuss their cases and try to figure out how to capture the Psycho-Pirate. A weakened Atom tries to get their attention through an air vent. They race to the roof, where the Psycho-Pirate's men have already thrown the Atom off the building. Johnny gets a rare bright idea and has the Thunderbolt catch him before he hits the bottom. The Atom reveals to the Thunderbolt that Charles Halstead, Morgan's best friend at the paper, is the Psycho-Pirate! The Thunderbolt immediately captures Halstead, who goes through an intense emotional reaction before being led away. The Hawkman points out the irony that Halstead's pride led to his undoing.

Appearing in Justice Society of America: "The Plunder of the Psycho-Pirate"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:

  • Augustus Hemsley
  • Ben Martin
  • Betty Carlson
  • Ephraim Smith
  • Hank Cannon
  • Heywood Carlson
  • Ivar Mason
  • Joe Martin
  • Mr. Morgan


  • Earth-Two
    • Carse City
    • Daily Courier Newspaper office
    • Happy Daze night club
    • Heywood Carlson's mansion
    • JSA Headquarters
    • Salle D'Armes




  • Wonder Woman does not appear in this issue. No explanation is given for her absence. (Despite her limited involvement in most adventures, this is actually the only Golden Age JSA adventure she does not appear in after joining the team.) In Wonder Woman Vol 1 233, a story that takes place on Earth-II chronologically shortly after this story, Wonder Woman apologizes to the rest of the JSA for missing this case.
  • Reprinted in All-Star Comics Archives Vol. 5.

See Also

Links and References