"The Dooms Of Dark December!": Continued from All-Star Squadron #2:
- As long as you're careful how you abbreviate it.
- — Superman
Synopsis for "The Dooms Of Dark December!"
Continued from All-Star Squadron #2:
On December 8, 1941: Degaton's 2nd group of 15 pseudo-Zeroes is heading south, undetected by the All-Star group that disrupted his San Francisco air raid. Per Degaton has a "long range viewer" that is able to find the "infantry" members of the A.S.Squadron in San Francisco and silently show them to him on a big color screen. Aboard his own vessel, Degaton has a problem; the Shining Knight is holding Solomon Grundy and Zobar Zodiak at bay, and Wotan's magic bolts are ineffectual against Justin's magic sword. (Wotan curses by Belial and Beelzebub when frustrated. Azathoth also.) To escape the villains, Justin slices through the hull, causing a flooding casualty which bowls over Solomon Grundy, yet he and Miss Reilly are somehow able to exit via this same opening, and his chain-mail-encumbered swimming gets him to the surface.
Wotan uses some magic to seal the hull (possibly with a spell that lingers in place, and seals the next hull breach too), then he and Zobar Zodiak, in open defiance of Per Degaton's directions, leave the sub in pursuit of Sir Justin and Danette, who, having impossibly swum to the surface, are met by Winged Victory, who flew here, at an average speed of 167 mph, from near Hawaii to San Francisco Bay, following the submerged aircraft carrier. And now the plan is to fly 2000 miles west, back to the volcanic island, to rescue the knocked-out and immobilized Justice Society, from the detonation that Degaton has already triggered with the push of a button. As they fly, at these impossible speeds, they're being followed by Professor Zodiak's alchemical airplane.
Elsewhere in the pre-dawn darkness, flying in a Plastic Man airborne longboat, the Atom, Doctor Mid-Nite, Liberty Belle, and Phantom Lady are searching the ocean for a hypothetical submersible aircraft carrier, which despite the darkness the Atom locates. Plastic Man converts himself into a passenger-carrying underwater auger, and drills through the carrier's hull, then spends the next several minutes acting as a plug to keep the interior compartments (in which the next fight takes place) from flooding. Atom charges right in and clips Degaton on the chin, which doesn't knock him out, while Mid-Nite renders Grundy ineffective with a blackout bomb, then socks him on the chin, which doesn't knock him out either. Degaton runs away, calling in his hypnotized "robot men" (from the prisons of 1947), who show up with tommy guns and infrared goggles, which are effective against both Mid-Nite AND Phantom Lady's blinding techniques.
Now it turns out that the sub has a self-sealing hull, so Plastic Man gets into the melee, along with Liberty Belle's savate and Phantom Lady's jiu-jitsu and Atom's vigorous head-punching technique, they lay out the minions and hold Grundy momentarily at bay, while Degaton escapes that compartment. Also, without saying anything about it or being seen (by the reader) to do so, the team has also sent some marker flares to the ocean's surface.
Meanwhile over Monterey, Hawkman overtakes a Zero, and takes it out with that big morningstar mace, and it looks like the pilot is killed. On the ground Robotman flings Johnny Quick at another Zero, which he rapidly dismantles, then leap-frogs to another Zero. J.Q.'s thoughts say he "can't fly" but the art already has shown him doing mid-air maneuvers, so this MIGHT be the fight where he finally learns that yeah, he really can fly. Robotman starts knocking down Zeroes with flung cannonballs from an exhibit in the city park, while Hawkman whaps another one with that mace, leaving at most 10 Zeroes. In the morning, no wreckage from these will be found.
Meanwhile to the west, but not nearly 2000 miles to the west, Sir Justin & Miss Reilly & Winged Victory find that the volcanic "island" has very rapidly migrated eastward during the night, presumably towed by Degaton's crazy futuristic submarine, at better than 170 mph. We learn now, if we hadn't already, that this "volcanic" island is a fake. According to Wotan, the lava is artificial, in huge vats. And then the knight, the girl geologist, and the flying horse arrive; and the exhausted horse collapses onto the beach. Danette and Justin proceed within, via the same tunnel as before, and quickly find the cavern with the JSA members, all glowing with their Wotan auras. The Shining Knight's sword is ineffective at dispelling the auras, plus they feed back a sizzling recoil effect.
By this time the pursuing Professor Zodiak and Wotan, Master of the Nether-Worlds, catch up, land, and attack. The magic sword is good for deflecting Wotan's eldritch bolts, but that feedback thing is still happening, and eventually Wotan tags the Shining Knight with a stunning bolt. But before he falls, Justin flings his sword with skill and force, missing Wotan, but knocking the vial of Universal Solvent out of Zobar Zodiak's hand. This lands on The Spectre, and it dissolves the binding aura, but doesn't dissolve The Spectre. Wotan zaps the fleeing Danette Reilly with a bolt of power, which gives her a green glow, as she drops into a vat of fake lava. Instead of instantly killing her, this combination activates her heretofore unsuspected meta-gene, and she gains a set of superpowers which includes being fireproof. (It is suspected that when Wotan zapped Dannette, the glowing aura acted as a protective spell, and that he planned to come back later and fish her out of the "lava.") Then the fake lava interacted, in an unforeseen way, with the protective spell and the meta-gene, to produce the fiery super powers.
At that moment, Degaton's destruct signal finally activates, and the caped figures of Wotan and Zodiak vanish into the mists of time, as the partly-real, partly fake volcano erupts violently. The Spectre himself erupts out of the volcano's caldera, and instantly releases his compatriots, plus fishes still-glowing Miss Reilly out of the fake lava, and assembles them all on the beach, while stifling the volcano.
With Superman now searching for his submersible aircraft carrier, Degaton realizes his plan has failed. He returns himself and his time-displaced villains to their rightful time periods, with no memory of having been involved in his attempt to take over the world. One little spiteful twist: instead of returning to the Earth's core in 1947, the persistently insubordinate Solomon Grundy is transported to the moon in 1947, which apparently seems to Degaton like it's worse than being bottled up under molten iron. Shortly before it vanishes, the submersible aircraft carrier is found by Hawkman, Robotman, & Johnny Quick, and they join the melee with Grundy in time to keep Atom Pratt from being splatted against a bulkhead. Robotman dukes it out inconclusively with Solomon Grundy, at least for a few seconds, before the monster vanishes to the Moon of the future.
Soon the giant sub, and all the drugged minions, and the futuristic fake Zeroes, and every other physical trace of Per Degaton's big and evil scheme, all vanish from the world of 1941-Dec, leaving the All-Stars submerged. They make it to the surface, and shortly the JSA happens along, and there's a big reunion and comparison of notes on the Golden Gate Bridge, during which they notice that they can't recall Degaton's name, and that everything after flying west in a bomber is slipping out of their memories, even those of Doctor Fate and the Spectre.
Shortly later that same Monday, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt makes a radio announcement about the founding of the All-Star Squadron.
Appearing in "The Dooms Of Dark December!"
- All-Star Squadron
- Dr. Zodiak
- King Bee (Flashback only)
- Monster (Flashback only)
- Per Degaton
- Sky Pirate (Flashback only)
- Solomon Grundy
- Professor Zee's Lab
- Earth's Moon
- Universal Solvent
- Blackout Bomb
- Black-Light Ray
- Green Lantern Ring
- Nth Metal
- Doctor Fate's Half-Helmet
- Reprinted in Showcase Presents: All-Star Squadron Vol. 1.
- The events of this issue's story take place on December 8th and 9th, 1941.
- Justice Society Recommended Reading
- Adventure Comics (Volume 1)
- All-Star Comics (Volume 1)
- All-Star Squadron (Volume 1)
- America vs. the Justice Society (Volume 1)
- Infinity Inc. (Volume 1)
- JSA (Volume 1)
- JSA: All Stars (Volume 1)
- JSA Classified (Volume 1)
- JSA: Strange Adventures (Volume 1)
- JSA vs. Kobra (Volume 1)
- Justice Society of America (Volume 1)
- Justice Society of America (Volume 2)
- Justice Society of America (Volume 3)
- Last Days of the Justice Society Special #1