"Justice Society of America: "5 Drowned Men!"": Calvin Stymes got revenge on five of his ex-fraternity brothers, by immersing them in the waters of Koehaha, which do not drown their victims, but wash away their consciences. Five brand-new master criminals emerge.
- But those five men are at the very top of their professions! Why would they turn to crime?
- -- Superman
Appearing in Justice Society of America: "5 Drowned Men!"
- Justice Society of America
- Calvin Stymes (Only appearance; dies) (Flashback and main story)
- Mister X (Mat Matwell) (Single appearance) (Flashback and main story)
- Professor Saul Philpotts (Single appearance) (Flashback and main story)
- The Black Rider (Archie Ernder) (Single appearance) (Flashback and main story)
- The Grim Marauder (Ed Findley) (Single appearance) (Flashback and main story)
- The Wrecker (Ben Stanley) (Single appearance) (Flashback and main story)
- Hanson Laping (Single appearance)
- Luke Gale (Single appearance) (Dies in flashback)
- Mr. and Mrs. Ardman (Single appearance)
- Professor Alvin Doty (Single appearance)
- Rex Gardin (Single appearance)
Synopsis for Justice Society of America: "5 Drowned Men!"
Calvin Stymes got revenge on five of his ex-fraternity brothers, by immersing them in the waters of Koehaha, which do not drown their victims, but wash away their consciences. Five brand-new master criminals emerge.
At the regular meeting of the Justice Society of America, the members read in the newspaper that the Atom and Johnny Thunder won't be able to make the meeting due to injury and illness, respectively. Honorary members Superman and Batman, also having read this news, arrive to fill in for Johnny and the Atom. Wonder Woman presents an anonymous letter, naming the five drowned men as the master criminals. Hawkman presents a newspaper clipping, naming the same five men as having come back to life after being drowned in Koehaha, and also naming a sixth frat brother, Calvin Stymes, who is missing. The JSA equips themselves with Wonder Woman's mental radios, and splits up to track down each of the five master criminals, while Green Lantern hunts down Calvin Stymes.
Batman tracks the Grim Marauder, whom he suspects is Ed Findley, a detective. When the Marauder steals a million-dollar set of pearls, Batman goes to Findley's office and catches him red-handed, but the Marauder traps Batman, and ties him with a noose in his basement. A stuttering man cuts one of Batman's bonds and flees, allowing Batman to apprehend Findley, but Wonder Woman sends Batman a message that there has been a change of plans.
The Flash hears the story of a political candidate going on vacation before an election, and looks into it. He follows the candidate and finds him being attacked by Mr. X, the blackmailer. When Flash removes X's gun and unmasks X, he is Mat Matwell, a reporter, another of the drowned men. Flash gets a message from Wonder Woman, and brings Matwell to Headquarters.
Hawkman tracks Archie Erdner, the archeologist, to New Mexico, but stops to help out another archeologist, who was being attacked by the criminal Black Rider. Hawkman trails the Rider, first to a temple, and then to Erdner's tent, where Erdner pulls a gun on him. Two men burst in and tackle Erdner, saying that they were sent by a stuttering man. With Erdner captured, Hawkman also gets a mental radio message to protect Erdner.
Doctor Mid-Nite follows the trail of a series of gold robberies, in which gold just vanished from some banks. Using a gold coin as bait, he is drawn to the laboratory of Saul Philpotts, one of the drowned men. Phillpotts covers Dr. Mid-Nite with liquid gold to incapacitate him, but the stuttering man shows up, and drops turpentine on the Doctor, allowing him to capture Philpotts. Dr. Mid-Nite is also told by Wonder Woman not to bring his quarry to jail.
Superman arrives in a town where the Wrecker is destroying skyscrapers. Superman repairs one building, then gets a tip, from the stuttering man, which leads him to another skyscraper, where he finds Ben Stanley, the architect, lighting a stack of dynamite. Superman grabs and defuses the dynamite, then grabs the Wrecker, but on the way to prison, gets called back to headquarters by Wonder Woman.
Everybody convenes at JSA headquarters, where the Green Lantern tells his story. Green Lantern allowed himself to be captured by Calvin Stymes, the stuttering man, in order to learn of Stymes' plot for revenge against his old fraternity brothers. Stymes wanted them all to rot in jail, so he tipped off the Justice Society, and even helped them out when they were in trouble. While G.L. is telling the story, the five men escape. The Justice Society follows them back to Koehaha, where Stymes is waiting to kill them all in an explosion. The Justice Society saves the men, but Stymes is crushed by falling rock. The Flash anaylzes the stream's water and makes an antidote for the drowned men, that restores their consciences. Then superman breaks off a mountain and uses it to plug Koehaha, preventing it from flowing again.
- In this era, the JSA didn't knew that Bruce Wayne and Batman are the same person. The hero arrived under his civilian identity at JSA HQ, said that his friend Al Pratt (Atom) had asked him to fill in for him. Nobody believed this, until Bruce retired to a dark corridor and Batman took his place. Wonder Woman: "Wayne certainly did get a substitute".
- Reprinted in DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest #3 and All-Star Comics Archives Vol. 8.
- This story eventually got a sequel in 'The Generations Saga', which ran in the first ten issues of Infinity Inc. Vol 1. In that story arc, the JSA are tricked into returning to Koehaha and are themselves turned into super menaces, due to the machinations of the Ultra-Humanite.
- This issue marks the first appearance made jointly by Wonder Woman, Superman, and Batman.
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