Balladeer’s Blog’s examination of the Justice Society’s World War Two-era stories continues. 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 #24 (Spring 1945)
Title: THIS IS OUR ENEMY!
Heroes: MISTER TERRIFIC, WILDCAT, FLASH (Original), DOCTOR MIDNITE, GREEN LANTERN (Original), WONDER WOMAN (Original), HAWKMAN (Original), THE ATOM (Original), JOHNNY THUNDER
Villains: ASSORTED GERMAN MILITARISTS (I would revise the story to use PER DEGATON as the villain since he was the Justice Society’s most prominent Nazi foe.)
Synopsis: This is the first issue to feature Mister Terrific and Wildcat as part of the Justice Society of America.
Our heroes encounter Dick Amber (Dick Amber?), a recent draftee who doesn’t know why America is fighting Nazi Germany.
The female embodiment of The Conscience of Man shows up for her second and final appearance to help the JSA bring out the jingoism in Dick Amber (Dick Amber?) by showing him assorted atrocities and letting him help them fight back.
Once again needless time travel is involved as the Conscience of Man sends Dick and the Justice Society members to help fight Germany’s Teutonic Knights in 1410, King Frederic William II’s troops in the 1740s, oppose Otto Von Bismarck in the 1870s, combat German chemical weapons development in the 1890s and so on.
It’s a hilariously propagandistic and one-sided tour through German history which will put 21st Century readers in mind of the absurdly over-the-top villainization of American history in our own school system. It’s THAT biased and simple-minded.
In the end Dick Amber (Dick Amber?) is revved up and ready to serve in the armed forces and the JSA couldn’t care less how they may have altered history by interfering with the past the way they did. (Too bad there weren’t any modern-day Nazi atrocities that the Conscience of Man could have sicced them on … oh, wait, yes there were.)
How I Would Revise It:
A. For my revised lineup of heroes this time I would rotate Superman back in as this issue’s replacement for the unbearable Johnny “Jar Jar” Thunder. And I would always use Hawkgirl 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. Yes, the Nazis were vile, but this story represents the most hypocritical aspects of the jingoism common to all societies at war. Instead of singling out the Germans as “uniquely evil” for behaving in ways similar to every other country from the 1400s up to 1914 I’d have dispensed with the time travel element and just had the Justice Society fighting World War Two Nazi atrocities.
D. To get back to action-oriented superhero fun I would use Per Degaton as the main villain, leading an army of underlings against our heroes with his high-tech weaponry. I think it’s a shame that the JSA didn’t fight Per Degaton til after World War Two was over. It would be more fitting for their first battle to happen while the war is still raging.
E. PART ONE – (Revised Title: PER DEGATON IS THE ENEMY) The Justice Society of America would go to Europe to battle Per Degaton and his new, high-tech Teutonic Knights wearing futuristic battle armor similar to the tac outfit worn by Per Degaton himself. The armor would make these 20th Century Teutonic Knights super-strong and nearly invulnerable, but of course our heroes would defeat them. Per Degaton would get away, though.
F. PART TWO – Next the JSA would fight Per Degaton as he leads a new army of underlings in waging chemical warfare against the Allied armies. The heroes would save many soldiers and civilians from the chemical attacks, evacuate them via their super-powers and ultimately drive back Per Degaton’s forces and destroy his chemical factory. That chemical factory could be disguised as a hospital to discourage Allied planes from bombing it. Mister Terrific would use his scientific genius to craft a means of neutralizing Per Degaton’s chemical weapons, too.
G. PART THREE – Per Degaton would still be at large and using POW’s and political prisoners as human guinea pigs for vile biological experiments. This would be done in an attempt to create an army of obedient super-powered soldiers to kill the Justice Society and then lead the Third Reich to victory. The Justice Society would fight their way to Per Degaton’s underground bunker laboratory and defeat his army of biological monstrosities and freaks. The villain would seem to die with his creations as the bunker is destroyed during the battle.
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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