"Never Step On A Feathered Serpent!": On December 9, 1941, early morning: In a secret base within a half-fallen Mayan pyramid in Yucatan, Mexico, southeast of Merida, General Saukel and his Neo-Mayan ally The Feathered Serpent are arguing about the timing of Serpent's next big and evil mov
- Silence, please, everyone! I've been a little worried about how to tell you this ... but, in my identity as Carter Hall, I'm going to enlist in the U.S. Army
- — Hawkman
Synopsis for "Never Step On A Feathered Serpent!"
On December 9, 1941, early morning: In a secret base within a half-fallen Mayan pyramid in Yucatan, Mexico, southeast of Merida, General Saukel and his Neo-Mayan ally The Feathered Serpent are arguing about the timing of Serpent's next big and evil move. According to the Feathered Serpent, the stars won't be correctly aligned until the following day, while Saukel worries that U.S. forces, conventional and superhuman, are already rallying against their joint cause. He is so right. Feathered Serpent believes himself to be the reincarnation of Quetzalcoatl and/or Kukulkan, so he's also kind of kookoo. But he does have Shiera Saunders in a cage, and he plans to sacrifice her tomorrow at midnight, thereby accomplishing some large-scale magical hoodoo.
Back at JSA HQ in NYC, the JSA disbands, so that its members can join the armed forces. The Spectre will not be enlisting: he's too dead to be eligible. He also doesn't want to hook up with the All-Stars, indeed, he'd rather have no new friends at this time. Outside, Hawkman, Dr. Mid-Nite, and the Atom decide to visit Yucatan Mexico before enlisting, to check up on Shiera and to check for Nazis, but first they're going to go visit Danette Reilly, who also is back in NYC from Hawaii.
Meanwhile in NYC, in daylight, some Nazi idiots decide to blow up the Statue of Liberty, and the NYPD recruits Johnny Quick and Robotman to help stop them. Somewhere between Oahu and Manhattan, Robotman has gotten his arm reattached. Quick races directly across the water to Liberty Island, while Robotman commandeers an unattended speedy-looking boat. While Robotman is conferring with the cops on the scene, Johnny Quick runs directly up the outside of the Statue to the torch, and punches out the bundists and disables their bomb and their back-up grenade but by now the statue's arm is starting to give way just from the weight of three guys being up there having a fight. So Robotman races up the interior staircase and finds a likely-looking place to reinforce the endangered bronze arm with his own robotic body, and does so, and then, very quickly, Johnny Quick is inside making repairs.
Then Quick & Robot sprint across town to Rod Reilly's penthouse apartment where they meet up with Liberty Belle and find Dr. Mid-Nite and Atom and Hawkman and Sir Justin inside, with Danette snoozing. Atom is weirdly protective of Shining Knight's "secret identity" as Sir Justin. Danette Reilly wakes up from her nap and takes a key that Slugger Dunn has given her, and notices that it fits a keyhole in a fake Roman bust, which opens a hidden closet full of her brother's Firebrand outfits. Then she discovers that she has the power to project and control flames; she becomes Firebrand II and soon joins the All-Star Squadron. Through some unknown means, Danette's costume absorbed her immunity to fire as well, either that or her control is SO good that the fabric never gets singed. But in those first few seconds, she set fire to Rod's bedroom, but Johnny Quick put it out. (He seems to do everything on this team.)
The next morning, 10 December, 1941, the team flies from Idlewild Airport to Merida Mexico in a chartered commercial airliner, eight of them plus the horse, in civilian mufti: Atom, Dr. Mid-Nite, Firebrand, Hawkman, Johnny Quick, Liberty Belle, Robotman, and the Shining Knight, to find out about the missing Shiera Saunders. They arrive and supposedly all (including the 300-lb robot and the winged horse) travel in one car and check into a fancy hotel and THEN check at the front desk and find out Shiera has checked out.
Outside Carter and Libby luckily encounter some creep wearing Shiera's favorite scarf. (Hawkman's the only one who seems to speak Spanish.) Between threats and offers of money, they persuade this weasel to guide Hawkman and Sir Justin, from the back of Winged Victory, to Shiera. Then another weaselly informant runs up, claiming to be sent by Shiera, to guide the six pedestrian All-Stars. Yes they know it's a trap, but yes they all go anyway, to a warehouse in town, where uniformed German soldiers, with a hostage, are waiting. One short fight later, these soldiers are all disarmed and tied up. But first they try to use a flamethrower (a) to block the exit with fire and (b) to fuse Robotman's feet together which worse yet, actually works. But Firebrand punches out the flamethrower guy then absorbs the fire from the burning warehouse.
Around nightfall, Hawkman and Sir Justin arrive at the half-ruined Mayan pyramid in the jungle, which is also a trap. They step on some electrified netting and are knocked out, except for their weaselly guide, who is killed, which but for their fancy metal accoutrements, they would be too. Winged Victory may also be knocked out, despite his enchanted invulnerability. When they come to their senses, Carter and Justin still in their harness & mask and armor, respectively, are witness to The Feathered Serpent's sacrificial preparations, featuring Shiera.
To Be Continued!
Appearing in "Never Step On A Feathered Serpent!"
- All-Star Squadron
- Franklin Roosevelt (Flashback only)
- Reprinted in Showcase Presents: All-Star Squadron Vol. 1.
- The scene of the JSA disbanding to join the armed forces is a direct adaptation of a scene in All-Star Comics #10. This issue and the next take place in between scenes of that story.