Readers demand more superhero items so once again it’s the very first superhero team in history: the Justice Society of America. FOR PART ONE CLICK HERE
I will review the original issue and then detail how I would “script-doctor” the story for modern audiences.
ALL STAR COMICS #15 (February 1943)
Title: THE MAN WHO CREATED IMAGES
Heroes: HAWKGIRL (Original), DOCTOR FATE, THE ATOM (Original), SANDMAN, WONDER WOMAN (Original), THE SPECTRE, STARMAN, DOCTOR MIDNITE, HAWKMAN (Original), JOHNNY THUNDER
Villain: BRAIN WAVE
Synopsis: This was the very first appearance of the Justice Society’s archenemy Brain Wave. He would battle the JSA several times during the Golden Age and was retained as their arch-nemesis during the 1970s relaunch of All Star Comics.
From his secret headquarters in a tower at Sharktooth Bay, the supervillain Brain Wave commands a gang of criminal hirelings and an army of mental creations conjured up by his paranormal brain. Those mental creations are solid enough to kill, pull off robberies and acts of sabotage but can then just turn invisible or disappear completely at Brain Wave’s whim.
The villain is extorting protection money from millionaires and having his creations kill them off if they refuse to pay. In addition, Brain Wave has his mental conjurations rob art and other valuables.
He also fixes high-money sports events and sabotages America’s atomic bomb research. (Which apparently was never kept as secret as we’ve been told since this 1943 pop culture reference made it to publication.)
Ultimately the Justice Society of America tracks Brain Wave to his tower lair where he defeats and captures them all. Wonder Woman manages to break free and attacks the villain, who seemingly falls from the tower to his death.
How I Would Revise It:
A. My revised hero lineup would substitute the original female Red Tornado for Johnny Thunder this time around. (As always I can’t stand Johnny Thunder, the Jar Jar Binks of the Justice Society.) Also, it’s tempting to substitute Hawkgirl for Hawkman in EVERY JSA story given how Hawkgirl has much more cultural cache these days because of her popularity in DC’s animated shows.
B. I would, as always, keep the heroes together AS A TEAM instead of separating them for individual adventures like in the real story.
C. PART ONE – The JSA members would be called upon to try to stop the crime spree of Brain Wave and his gang of combined thugs and mental constructs. The heroes would clash with them at a few bank and art robberies before locating the museum which Brain Wave uses to store his stolen loot (like in the real story). The JSA would fight the museum’s “statues” which are really some of Brain Wave’s images, enabling him to escape, but his stolen goods would all be recovered.
D. PART TWO – This time around the Justice Society would get involved after Brain Wave used his mental constructs and rubber men to kill off a few millionaires who refused or stopped paying him protection money. Our heroes would close down Brain Wave’s big money extortion racket AND wrap up his sports-fixing operation. Once again, Brain Wave would escape, though.
E. PART THREE – The JSA’s investigation into Brain Wave’s sabotaging of America’s attempts at developing an atomic bomb would lead the heroes to a few scientists who clashed with their jealous friend Henry King in their younger years. Eventually the Justice Society members would realize King must really be Brain Wave. They would invade the Sharktooth Bay tower owned by King. Brain Wave would defeat and imprison the JSA, but Wonder Woman would break free and attack the villain, who would seemingly fall to his death.
I WILL REVIEW THE NEXT JSA STORY SOON. KEEP CHECKING BACK FOR UPDATES.
FOR MY EXAMINATION OF THE 13-PART BLACK PANTHER STORY TITLED PANTHER’S RAGE CLICK HERE
FOR MY ARTICLE ON THE LIST OF ATLAS/ SEABOARD SUPERHEROES CLICK HERE
FOR MY ARTICLE ON THE MAIN LIST OF CENTAUR COMICS SUPERHEROES CLICK HERE
FOR MY ARTICLE ON THE MEMBERS OF INFINITE HORIZON CLICK HERE
FOR THE AUSTRALIAN SUPERHERO PANTHEON CLICK HERE
FOR MORE SUPERHEROES CLICK HERE: Superheroes
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8 responses to “JUSTICE SOCIETY 13: THEIR ARCHENEMY BRAIN WAVE”
I like your revisions and the way they preserve the Golden age spirit but make the stories okay for modern readers. I hate Johnny Thunder, too!
Thank you. Yeah, Johnny Thunder was a pain.
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Brain Wave was never used to his full potential.
Roy Thomas should get a lot of credit for bringing back Brainwave in the 70s like he brought back the JSA.