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"Justice Society of America: "5 Drowned Men!"": To revenge himself on five ex-fraternity brothers who traumatized him, Calvin Stymes causes the quintet to be immersed in the waters of Koehaha, which do not drown their victims but wash away their consciences. Accordingly, the Ju

Quote1 But those five men are at the very top of their professions! Why would they turn to crime? Quote2
-- Superman

Appearing in Justice Society of America: "5 Drowned Men!"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


  • 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)

Other Characters:

  • 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!"

To revenge himself on five ex-fraternity brothers who traumatized him, Calvin Stymes causes the quintet to be immersed in the waters of Koehaha, which do not drown their victims but wash away their consciences. Accordingly, the Justice Society must deal with five brand-new master criminals.

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 the news, arrive to fill in for Johnny and the Atom. Discussing the five new master criminals, Wonder Woman shows the group an anonymous letter naming five fraternity brothers as the master criminals. Hawkman shows them a newspaper clipping naming the same five men as having come back to life after being drowned in Koehaha. Following these leads, each member sets off, equipped with Wonder Woman's mental radios, to track down each of the five men, while Green Lantern sets off to find Calvin Stymes, a sixth fraternity brother who disappeared the night of the drowning and was never found.

Batman tracks the Grim Marauder, whom he suspects is Ed Findley, a detective, and one of the drowned men. When the Marauder steals a million-dollar set of pearls, Batman goes to Findley's office and catches him red-handed. 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. Flash hears the story of a political candidate going on vacation before an election. Sensing something fishy, he follows the candidate and finds him being attacked by Mr. X, the blackmailer. When Flash catches up to Mr. X again, he finds Mr. X waiting with a gun in hand. A nearby stuttering gunman shoots the pistol out of X's hand, and Flash unmasks X, who 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 and also a drowned man, to New Mexico, but hearing trouble, he stops to help out another archeologist, who was 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 where gold just vanishes from 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 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 the building, then gets a tip from the stuttering man. Following the tip leads him to another skyscraper where he finds Ben Stanley, the architect and last of the drowned men, lighting a stack of dynamite. Superman grabs and defuses the dynamite, then grabs the Wrecker, but on the way to prison, Wonder Woman calls and tells him to come back to headquarters.

All of the drowned men and the Justice Society come back to headquarters, where the Green Lantern tells his story. Green Lantern relates how he allowed himself to be captured by Calvin Stymes, the stuttering man, in order to learn of Stymes' plot for revenge against his fraternity brothers. Stymes wanted them all to rot in jail, so he tipped off the Justice Society and helped them when they were in trouble. While 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 conscience. Then superman breaks off a mountain and uses it to plug Koehaha, preventing it from flowing again.


  • Notably, in this point of time, the JSA didn't knew that Bruce Wayne and Batman are the same person. The hero arrives under his civil identity at the JSA Headquarters, where he says his friend Al Pratt (Atom) asked to get someone to replace him because he was in the hospital, what is accepted by the team with disbelief. Then Bruce retires to a dark corridor, where he switches his clothes to Batman's, and coming back, Wonder Woman accept that "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, 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.

See Also

Recommended Reading

  • None.

Links and References

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