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"The Untold Origin of the Justice Society": This story is reprinted from DC Special #29.

The Best of DC #21 is an issue of the series The Best of DC (Volume 1) with a cover date of February, 1982.

Appearing in "The Untold Origin of the Justice Society"

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  • Professor Stauffen developed an experimental heavily-modified supremely souped-up 2-engine Dornier DO-217 bomber for transatlantic service.

Synopsis for "The Untold Origin of the Justice Society"

This story is reprinted from DC Special #29.

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 Day That Dropped Out of Time!"

  • Appearances not yet listed

Synopsis for "The Day That Dropped Out of Time!"

This story is reprinted from All-Star Comics #35.

The Justice Society of America convene at their headquarters only to find a mysterious shield inscribed with a message of thanks to the team in Macedonian. The curious thing is, none of the members ever recall having seen it, nor recall why or even how they got it. Wonder Woman uses the Amazon’s Magic Sphere to examine the shield. The sphere then shows them the story of a mission that they do not remember.

The Sphere begins the story with "the change": an event that caused all technology to revert back to the middle ages. The change was caused when Per Degaton, a lowly lab technician, stole the time machine of his employer, Professor Zee, shooting him in the process. Degaton traveled back to 331 B.C., where he supplied the Persians with modern weaponry, enabling them to defeat Alexander the Great in the Battle of Arbela, which in turn caused all modern inventions to vanish from the 20th Century. Degaton, who had been hiding in an arsenal outside of the changed timeline, managed to conquer America handily.

Meanwhile, it was revealed that Degaton only injured Prof. Zee, and didn’t kill him. Zee got to a hospital, and then summoned the Justice Society to his bedside. He explained what happened, but as he was about to reveal the historical event he believed Degaton altered, the professor was shot again! At that point, several members set out to determine Degaton's origins and intentions, while Johnny Thunder, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern stayed behind to stand guard over the still barely alive Professor Zee.

The Flash visited a time capsule to see if he could recover some penicillin protected from the change. He stumbled onto Degaton and his secret arsenal. Degaton escaped, but Flash returned to the hospital with the penicillin for the Professor.

The Atom searched for Degaton to see if he could find out what historical event was changed. He found Degaton's army in the midst of looting homes and got the drop on them. By chance, he overheard that Degaton changed the outcome of a particularly crucial battle in history to effect the change, only to be knocked out by Degaton's henchmen. After regaining consciousness, he escaped and returned to report what he knew.

[Carter Hall (New Earth)|Hawkman]] set out to protect the Mayor of Gotham from Degaton's attack. He saved the mayor and returned him to city hall to help keep order.

Doctor Mid-Nite protected several of the nation’s top scientists, fearing that Degaton would attack them to keep them from erasing his technological advantage. Dr. Mid-Nite was captured but escaped with help from the scientists. He then returned the favor by rescuing them from a firing squad.

The individual members all returned to the hospital. By that time, the penicillin had made Zee well enough to talk and he told them of Degaton's interference in the Battle of Arbela. Green Lantern set out alone to restore the timeline and found the villain and Zee’s time machine. The Lantern attacked him but was knocked out; Degaton then sent him into the future. When he awakened, Green Lantern discovered he was ten years in the future. Upon being discovered by the rest of the JSA, he learned that they were all outlaws in Degaton's regime because of his failure to complete his mission. Using his ring, Lantern transported the entire JSA back to the fateful battle of Arbela and they successfully tipped the balance of power in Alexander’s favor. In gratitude, Alexander awarded them the commemorative shield from the start of the adventure. After being defeated at Arbela, Degaton was sent back to his original point in time with his memory of his time traveling misdeeds erased.

With the timeline restored, the Justice Society no longer needed to go back in time as the change never happened. The JSA thus returned to their own time with only Alexander's shield as a memento.


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  • Benson
  • Joe
  • Mayor of Gotham
  • Professor Appleby
  • Professor Braun
  • Professor Staley

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  • The logistics of using a time machine to alter history are extremely hazy in this story. There is no explanation given as to why changing the outcome of one specific historical event would lead to all modern (at the point in time this issue was published) technology being erased. Nor is it clear why - if Degaton managed to prevent modern devices from ever being invented in the first place - the JSA or anyone from modern times (1945) would remember them having existed at all. Quite conveniently, the JSA's own unique devices - GL's power ring, Hawkman's wings, Mid-Nite's blackout bombs, the serums Flash used to gain superspeed - were not negated by Degaton's time meddling. (Wonder Woman's own devices hail from Amazonian technology / magic that likely predates Alexadner the Great, so at least there is a reason for her equipment to remain intact.) Likewise, how the JSA end up with Alexander's shield doesn't make sense, since their involvement with the battle was erased from history, there would be no reason for them to be awarded it. Finally, there is no cause/effect correlation to defeating Degaton at Arbela and him returning to his original point in time.
  • Despite his memories being erased, Degaton would later remember the events and once again steal Prof. Zee's time machine. He will interfere in history just prior to Pearl Harbor (pitting several JSA villains against them before they "first" encountered them) in a storyline featured in Justice League of America Vol 1 193 and the first three issues of All-Star Squadron Vol 1. In yet another story, he will set free the Crime Syndicate from their interdimensional prison, journey to Earth-Prime and inadvertantly causing a nuclear war to result from the Cuban Missile Crisis, and then challenge the combined heroes of the Justice League of America (from the pre-crisis Earth-I of the 1980s), the Justice Society of America (from the pre-Crisis Earth-II of the 1980s) and the All-Star Squadron (pre-Crisis Earth-II, circa 1942) before being defeated and reverted back to his starting point once again. All three of these adventures are thus removed from canon as they *technically* never happeend.) Finally, Degaton will join the Wizard's Injustice Gang in All-Star Squadron Vol 1 37.

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Appearing in "The Big Super-Hero Hunt!"

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  • Federal City

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  • Jet Power Boat

Synopsis for "The Big Super-Hero Hunt!"

This story is reprinted from The Brave and the Bold #62.

The Sportsmaster and Huntress work together as husband and wife, him stealing expensive sports memorabilia, while she captures any superhero that gets in the way. When Wildcat falls into Huntress' trap, only Starman and Black Canary can help him.

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