"The Untold Origin of the Justice Society": During 1940-Nov-09th (Saturday) through (at least 2 weeks later): On Earth-Two, Hitler's Operation Sea Lion was pushed forward to late 1940; FDR's response was to direct MI-5 agent Smythe to try to contact one or more of the ten costumed heroes d
- No... not a battalion -- We're not part of any army. We fight only in the cause of justice ... and that'll give us our name ... The Justice Society of America.
- — Superman
Synopsis for "The Untold Origin of the Justice Society"
During 1940-Nov-09th (Saturday) through (at least 2 weeks later): On Earth-Two, Hitler's Operation Sea Lion was pushed forward to late 1940; FDR's response was to direct MI-5 agent Smythe to try to contact one or more of the ten costumed heroes described in a dossier which he handed over.
On 1940-Nov-16 (the following Saturday), Gotham City Police Commissioner Gordon summoned Batman to his office and introduced him to The Flash and Green Lantern and Agent Smythe, who briefed and persuaded them to fly to Glasgow Scotland in a Bristol Type 152 Beaufort twin-engine bomber, they then sneaked up on McMurdie Castle. BM, GL, & F got a signal from MI-5 agent Digby, and burst into the castle, which concealed an Abwehr base, commanded by Major Streicher, whose henchmen fell like tenpins, until Streicher activated his experimental giant robot, the Murder Machine, which was SO quick and strong and durable that it quickly knocked out Batman and then the Flash ill-advisedly crashed into it, and ricocheted into Green Lantern, knocking them both out!
In his windowless tower in Salem Massachusetts, Doctor Fate observed this outcome in his crystal orb, and flew forth to the city in which Hourman fought crime (New Jersey? Appleton? Cosmos?), to recruit Hourman. Meanwhile Abwehr agents transported Wayne & Scott & Garrick, silent and possibly still unconscious, from Glasgow to Berlin, where Hitler had a big rally in the city square, celebrating their impending executions with the Spear of Destiny itself. But first he pulled the mask off of Batman, but suddenly there was a new mask in its place, AND two super heroes in bright yellow capes had shown up to interrupt the party: Doctor Fate and Hourman! Fate scattered the assembled soldiers while Hourman freed the Flash and Batman and Green Lantern, but before the good guys could get any real traction, Hitler did some magical hoodoo with the Spear, and summoned forth from the stormy skies The Valkyries! Nine of them!
Green Lantern and Doctor Fate immediately flew in pursuit of the westbound flying horsewomen, pulling Batman and Hourman behind them, with Flash using his amazing momentum to get airborne. Doctor Fate confronted the leading Valkyrie (unnamed, presumably Gudra) while each of his four companions made contact with at least one shield-maiden apiece. The legendary strength, skill, and divine invulnerability of the Valkyries made the contest all too one-sided, even against Green Lantern, indeed, even against Doctor Fate, who sent a magical signal 6000 miles to the west, to summon reinforcements, notably "... the only one that may truly help us ...". Meanwhile Hitler ordered his invasion fleet to set sail from Normandy.
In New York City, that night, the Sandman, who had just finished wrapping up a kidnap gang, was snatched up by a glowing golden tentacle and whisked into the air, where Hawkman and the Atom were similarly entwined, and being hauled eastward at an amazing speed. Wordlessly the tentacles imparted to these three the pertinent details of the situation in Europe. A faint ghostly image followed the three across the ocean. The three masked Americans arrived at Dover, where it was also still night, or maybe dawn, and a million German marines, a thousand German aircraft, and a hundred German ships were attacking a British defensive position. Sandman (using some kind of knock-out sand?) and the Atom and Hawkman all pitched in on the ground fighting. They were making about as much difference as you'd expect, until suddenly The Spectre loomed onto the scene. In very short order, Admiral Wilhelm Von Krupp and thousands of German sailors and tens of thousands of German marines are killed.
Over Berlin, the airborne fight was going badly, with four of the good guys in a green bubble, and Green Lantern fighting all nine Valkyries virtually single-handed. But now Doctor Fate had regathered his energies, and sallied forth, relieving G.L. and brushing back the Valks. Hitler ordered Professor Stauffen to launch his experimental aircraft (a heavily-modified 2-engine Dornier DO-217 bomber), to obliterate the American capital. The retreating Valkyries rallied around this and formed an escort.
Meanwhile at Dover, the Spectre finished massacring the German invasion force. Then shrinking down to human scale, he conferred with Hawkman, Atom, and Sandman, until Fate, Lantern, Batman, Flash, and Hourman arrived by air. They compared notes, and while they did so, the escorted Dornier flew overhead, and a taunting challenge was flung down. Then the heroes united in attempting to stop this long-range bomber from dropping a bomb on the White House, but Green Lantern, Doctor Fate, and The Spectre were unable to defeat the escorting Valkyries or even frustrate their flight-plan.
This went on for hours, and some time after sunrise, the supremely souped-up Dornier DO-217 approached Washington DC. Those experimental modifications must consist of turning the entire fuselage into a huge fuel tank. Still stymied, the heroes began to despair, when G.L. spotted Superman leaping to intercept the bomber. He smashed it to pieces, and apparently most or all of the crew bailed out. The entire payload was apparently a single very large bomb, which Superman (with Fate's help) intercepted on his way to the ground, and prevented its detonation.
Frustrated, the Valkyries shifted targets to the White House, with Green Lantern again intercepting them, but one of them finally knocked him out with a spear-butt to the back of his head, causing Hourman, Sandman, and the Atom to tumble to the ground. Batman and the Spectre stayed engaged in the airborne fight, while the hardy Atom was first to shake off the shock of the fall, and saw one spearwoman dismount and enter the White House; he followed her. The unnamed Valkyrie found FDR in the Oval Office, and struck, shooting a magic bolt from her spear, which was intercepted by Atom Pratt diving across the President's desk and taking the bolt in the chest. Before she could strike again, Superman had her in a grip of steel, briefly, but she vanished. Hawkman checked the Atom, who was somewhat startled at being alive. Roosevelt then proposed that this impromptu team-up become permanent, The Spectre and Dr. Fate saw perils ahead that they must confront as a team, Hawkman thought a worthwhile "super battalion" could form, but Superman disliked the military angle and instead named them The Justice Society of America.
Appearing in "The Untold Origin of the Justice Society"
- Justice Society of America (Origin)
- Nazi Party
- World War II
- Professor Stauffen developed an experimental heavily-modified supremely souped-up 2-engine Dornier DO-217 bomber for transatlantic service.
- This issue is reprinted in The Best of DC #21, Justice Society Vol. 1 and Showcase Presents: All-Star Comics Vol. 1.
- America vs. the Justice Society #1 retells parts of this story, with more details about Flash's participation, and different outfits for the Valkyries.
- A Post-Crisis retelling, minus Superman and Batman, appeared in Secret Origins (Volume 2) #31 in 1988.
- Although the Black Canary, Doctor Mid-Nite, Johnny Thunder, Mister Terrific, Power Girl, Robin, Starman, the Star-Spangled Kid, Wildcat, and Wonder Woman all appear in the symbolic splash panel, and all would later become members of the Justice Society, none of these characters took part in this story.
- Alan Scott the Green Lantern is knocked unconscious twice, once with a Valkyrie's spear-butt, and once with the Flash (as flung by the Murder Machine). In the Post-Crisis retelling of this story, GL still had some green power at the time of that 2nd melee, in Berlin; in this version he does not, thus allowing a longer Glasgow-Berlin transit time.
- In this Earth-Two story there are nine Valkyries; in the Post-Crisis version of this story there are five.
- No Valkyries are identified by name; in the Post-Crisis version, their leader was Gudra.
- In this Earth-Two story Al Pratt the Atom is shot in the chest with a supernatural burst of Valkyrie spear energy, and survives this treatment, with no explanation. In a later issue, All-Star Squadron #7, FDR's recounting of this event includes the previously unmentioned fact that "the magic of the formidable Doctor Fate drew out most of the magical poison, so to speak, from your system ... or you WOULD have died."
- Hawkman is mistakenly depicted wearing the wrong mask in this story.
- Green Lantern smashes the wooden door of McMurdie Castle (his ring can't affect wood). Incredibly the error is repeated in the Post-Crisis retcon!
- Commissioner Gordon uses the Bat-Signal to summon Batman; but the gadget actually only debuted in 1942.
- 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