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"Justice Society of America: "History's Crime Wave!"": The Justice Society members try to figure out what is behind the spate of murders apparently committed by great villains of history, and are themselves killed one by one by their historical nemeses.

Quote1.png If what you say is true, then you tangled with killers some of whom have been dead for hundreds of years-- and others thousands! Do you believe that? Do you think could could convince a jury with your stories? Quote2.png
Black Canary

All-Star Comics #38 is an issue of the series All-Star Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of January, 1948.

Synopsis for Justice Society of America: "History's Crime Wave!"

The Justice Society members try to figure out what is behind the spate of murders apparently committed by great villains of history, and are themselves killed one by one by their historical nemeses. At the trial of Sonia Gaye, the famous concert Pianist, she is accused of murdering her brother out of jealousy of his talent. She accuses the Emperor Nero of doing it, which the Court laughs at. Meanwhile, Doctor Mid-Nite is running up the back steps of the courthouse when he encounters Nero, who strikes him with his Fiddle, causing him to fall over the banister to the floor below. Later, at a wrestling match, a policeman asks why Big Boy Nelson killed Little David in his dressing room. Nelson accuses Goliath, but the police assume he means the wrestler Goliath Johnson, but Nelson insists it was the biblical giant beaten by David. The Policemen find it funny and take him away. Meanwhile, in a cobwebbed room in a deserted house, the Atom hears a locked door creaking. Suddenly, Goliath breaks it down and fells Atom with his club. Later, in the harbor, police board the Van West Yacht, hearing cries for help. They find a woman holding a smoking gun next to a dead woman. The woman with the gun claims she didn't kill her sister, that the murderer Captain Kidd, the pirate. The Policeman laugh as she says they must believe her. Meanwhile, the Flash swims through the water, as he lifts himself out on a pier he sees Captain Kidd, who shoots him, causing him to fall into the water. Later, at Gem Rarities, Inc., Mr. Benson is accused of killing his partner, and says he won't be believed if he reveals the real murderer. Coerced, he says it was Cesare Borgia. The police, not believing his story, arrest Benson. That evening, Green Lantern opens the vault at the scene of the murder with his ring. He is seized by Cesare Borgia who presses his poison ring against Green Lantern's mouth. Later, on the Rex Theater Stage during a mock duel one actor is killed. The audience accuse the other actor of murder, and the Police are called. The actor proclaims his innocence. Asked to account for the sword wound on the dead man, the blood on his sword, and the audience witnesses, the actor claims the murderer was Genghis Khan, causing the audience to break into laughter. At that moment Hawkman alights on a nearby roof and Genghis Khan steps from behind a chimney. He murders Hawkman with his sword. In the Death House at Riverside, Mary is told her reprieve was denied, no new evidence has turned up, and the execution will take place as scheduled. She says she's innocent, saying Attila the Hun killed her husband. At that moment Johnny Thunder drives through a covered bridge leading to the prison, but a whip from Attila the Hun pulls him from his car. He is then struck by Attila's sword. Black Canary sees his wrecked car and finds Johnny, who before he dies tells Black Canary the JSA secrets. The Black Canary doesn't notice Attila behind her as she weeps at Johnny's death.

Waiting at headquarters by herself, Wonder Woman begins to worry about the other members. Black Canary stumbles in the door, but collapses. When revived, she tells what happened, saying Attila thought he killed her but only wounded her. Wonder Woman sets out and retrieves the bodies of each member. She loads them in her invisible plane and takes them to the secret laboratory of Paula von Gunther, where they are revived with Paula's Purple Healing Ray. The JSA at once go looking for their Killers, and enter a wax museum, where a guard explains to them that the villains they describe are merely wax figures, and shows them an exhibit of the greatest villains of all time. The exhibit is comprised of all of the villains that killed the Justice Society.

Confused by the turn of events, the Justice Society sheepishly leave the wax museum. Black Canary catches up with them and asks them to recount what happened. Green Lantern tells his story; the Justice Society recently went to the wax museum and they said that historical villains wouldn't stand a chance against modern methods. Soon after, they received letters telling them if they went to various locations, they'd meet the historical villains. Thinking the letters were a joke, they ignored them, until they heard news of the same villain being accused of a murder at the same location. When they pull out the letters, the letters disappear, leaving the members at a loss, until Black Canary gives them an idea on how to catch the killers.

A newspaper headline claims the Justice Society has caught "cheap thugs" impersonating historical villains, and the criminals will reenact their crimes. At each crime scene, when the impersonator starts reenacting their crime, the real villain appears. The impersonators reveals themselves as Justice Society members, ready for a re-match. Once the Justice Society subdues the villain, they break, and are revealed to be nothing more than wax figures. However, the wax figures explode, knocking out each member of the JSA. They come to in the basement of the wax museum, trapped in wax, with more hot wax pouring over them. Green Lantern's ring has run out of power, the Flash can't vibrate free, and Hawkman's wings are covered in wax. They see the villains watching this, then Attila reveals himself as the Museum Guard. He reveals he impersonated all the villains, angry because the JSA insulted them, and now plans to turn the JSA into wax exhibits. Suddenly, the model of Lucrezia Borgia tells the Guard to free the JSA, and he obeys. However, the heat causes the wax mask of Lucrezia to melt, revealing Black Canary. The guard tries to throw her into a vat. The Black Canary falls over her dress, causing the guard to miss and fall to his death in the vat of hot wax. The Canary frees Flash with a hammer, and the Flash frees the others. She reveals she followed Johnny Thunder, and when he was captured, followed the villain to the Wax Museum. The JSA hear what happened, and hope Black Canary one day becomes a member.

Appearing in Justice Society of America: "History's Crime Wave!"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:

  • Big Boy Nelson
  • John Gaye (Dies)
  • Little David (Dies)
  • Mary
  • Miss Van West (Dies)
  • Mr. Benson
  • Sonia Gaye
  • Stephen (Dies)





  • Reprinted in All-Star Comics Archives Vol. 8.
  • This is the first appearance of Black Canary in All-Star Comics. She would become an official member of the JSA in All-Star Comics #40.

See Also

Links and References