Wow! Readers really cannot get enough superhero posts! I have a soft spot for superhero stories myself because reading them served as a gateway to two of my adult passions: mythology and opera. Here’s more of the world’s FIRST superhero team – DC’s 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 #17 (June 1943)
Title: BRAIN WAVE GOES BERSERK
Heroes: SANDMAN, WONDER WOMAN (Original), THE SPECTRE, HAWKMAN (Original), DOCTOR MIDNITE, THE ATOM (Original), STARMAN, DOCTOR FATE, JOHNNY THUNDER
Villain: BRAIN WAVE
Synopsis: This story presented the return of the Justice Society’s archenemy Brain Wave (Henry King). In typical supervillain fashion Brain Wave survived his seeming death at the end of his previous battle with our heroes.
He and his mental creations are back in business overseeing criminal activities ranging from robberies and blackmail to manipulation of a U.S. Senator.
Brain Wave also wants revenge against the JSA and has devised a method of shrinking the heroes down to 8 inches in height. Despite this disadvantage the Justice Society members survive long enough to regain their full size and, in the confrontation with Brain Wave, the villain seems to die in the explosion of his old Sharktooth Bay tower headquarters.
How I Would Revise It:
A. For my revised lineup of heroes this time I would rotate Batman back in as this issue’s replacement for the unbearable Johnny “Jar Jar Binks” Thunder. I would also swap out the Spectre and bring in the original Green Lantern instead, because it makes no sense for the Spectre to be incapable of immediately restoring himself to full size. I would also have used Hawkgirl all the time instead of Hawkman.
B. As usual I would also have Wonder Woman actively taking part in the adventure instead of the absurd way they had her serving as the JSA’s secretary.
C. I would, as always, keep the heroes together AS A TEAM instead of separating them for individual adventures like in the real story.
D. PART ONE – Brain Wave would strike at the JSA’s Philadelphia HQ, ambushing Doctor Fate, the Atom and Sandman with his mental creations of the other JSA members. He would shrink the trio down and leave with them before the other heroes arrive for the meeting.
E. PART ONE CONTINUED – The other 6 JSA’ers would try to find Brain Wave and their kidnapped members. While searching they would thwart a robbery of Fort Knox by the villain’s men armed with guns that shoot super-poweful webbing like in the real story. The JSA would win but be no closer to finding their missing members or Brain Wave himself.
F. PART TWO – The Justice Society would catch on to Brain Wave’s latest plan – abducting high-profile politicians like U.S. Senators and replacing them with his own mental creations to do his bidding. With the villain launching separate actions at two separate locations the JSA would split up to handle both.
G. PART TWO CONTINUED – Wonder Woman, Doctor Midnite and Batman would thwart one of Brain Wave’s plans but get ambushed , shrunk down and abducted by the villain afterward. Elsewhere Green Lantern, Hawkgirl and Starman would thwart the other duplicate Senator’s actions, then get ambushed, shrunk down and abducted. When they come to Brain Wave would gloat over the entire JSA being shrunk down and at his mercy.
H. PART THREE – In typical supervillain fashion, rather than kill the JSA outright Brain Wave would pit them against mental creations like toy soldiers (as in the real story), rats and other things. Eventually the heroes would manage to use Brain Wave’s device to restore themselves to normal and attack the villain. After a battle royal, Brain Wave would trigger his Sharktooth Bay tower’s explosives to die rather than be captured. The JSA would escape the explosion, with Brain Wave seemingly dead once again.
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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