""Justice Society of America"": Ian Karkull was an enemy of Doctor Fate, who was presumed dead. Karkull was not dead however, but fled to the Dark Dimension worshiped by the denizens of Ragnor known as the Shadowlands. The priests of Ragnor sacrificed the shadows

Appearing in "Justice Society of America"

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Synopsis for "Justice Society of America"

Ian Karkull was an enemy of Doctor Fate, who was presumed dead. Karkull was not dead however, but fled to the Dark Dimension worshiped by the denizens of Ragnor known as the Shadowlands. The priests of Ragnor sacrificed the shadows of their victims to the forces of the Shadowlands and Karkull collected these shadows to empower himself. In 1941, he used the arcane forces in the Shadowlands to learn the names of future presidents of the United States and dispatched a strike force of super-villains to murder them (The villains: Alexander the Great, Catwoman (Selina Kyle), Doctor Doog, Ian Karkull, Lightning Master, Sieur Satan, Tarantula, Wotan and Zor). This effort was opposed by the Justice Society, which thwarted each of the villains except for Karkull's ally, Wotan. What effect the murder of Wotan's victim was has never been revealed. Tracking the trails of the emissary villains, the JSA confronted Karkull, blasting him with their combined powers. The forces exceeded Karkull's ability to contain the ancient shadows, which then exploded out of him, seemingly tearing him apart. The radiation of the shadows' departure bathed the assembled heroes, apparently extending their lives and affecting them in other, unknown ways.

The people affected included Atom (Al Pratt), Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson), Flash (Jay Garrick), Green Lantern (Alan Scott), Hawkman, Hourman (Rex Tyler), Johnny Thunder, Sandman (Wesley Dodds), Spectre (Jim Corrigan) , Starman (Ted Knight) and non-members Hawkgirl and Joan Williams. The radiation vastly extended their lifespans.


  • Various post-Crisis stories (including Green Lantern Corps Quarterly #1 and JSA #7- #9) have referenced this story, establishing that it still happened post-Crisis and is the reason why many JSA members were vital into their later years. However, this story couldn't have happened exactly as written post-Crisis, as some of the story elements (including the characters Earth-Two Batman, Robin, and Catwoman, and Tarantula (Crossart)) no longer exist post-Crisis
  • Final Annual for the series.
  • The framing sequence of this story takes place in Late February, 1942. The flashback takes place on June 28-29, 1941, immediately following the events depicted in All-Star Comics #7.
  • Most of these villains were already dead in their own timelines, to which they seemingly returned at the end of this story. This implies, but never states, that Ian Karkull's henchvillain-recruiting technique was the same one used by Per Degaton, in the first through fourth issues of All-Star Squadron.
  • Wotan's powers of science and magic are vast, plus more importantly, ill-defined. By late June 1941, Wotan (4th scheme, 2nd team-up w/ Karkull) had already escaped Hades, escaped the earth's core, and “seemingly perished” in one fire. Also he packed a ray-gun whose crimson rays negated GL's green flame. Of Karkull's eight hench-super-villains, Wotan is the only one who accomplished his assigned assassination.
  • In the original Earth-Two context of this story, the future president killed by Wotan was likely George H. W. Bush, and in 1988 on Earth-Two, someone else would have been elected president. However, the Crisis on Infinite Earths happened in 1985 and led to the end of Earth-Two before that could happen. As noted above, numerous references in post-Crisis stories make it clear that a version of this story still happened on New Earth, yet George H. W. Bush is shown as president in stories published in 1989-1992. Presumably, in the New Earth version of this story, either Wotan failed to kill his target, or his target was someone other than George H. W. Bush.
  • Catwoman (named only as "The Cat" here) wears her literal cat mask, the same as in Batman Vol 1 3.
  • According to Green Lantern, Dr. Fate's most recent victory over Karkull & Wotan (in More Fun Comics #70, Aug 1941) had been “last year.” Therefore the Dr. Fate stories in More Fun #s 58 ~ 70 all need to have happened during 1940, at an average of about three per month.
  • Zor's powers of magic are also vast, and also ill-defined. By late June 1941, Zor (3rd scheme) had already 1/ escaped paralysis in a distant dimension and 2/ escaped paralysis encoffined in ectobane in the far-flung depths of the universe. "Once he had been stronger than The Spectre, but the tables had long since turned." The chronicles are unclear as to what exact steps The Spectre took in 1941-June to disable or kill or paralyze or neutralize the threat of Zor, but it is clear that they were effective.
  • Ian Karkull returned to menace the JSA in 1999, after a very long convalescence.
  • At this story's end:
    • 1/ Dr. Fate starts to realize that Nabu is taking control of him whenever he dons the Helm of Nabu.
    • 2/ Hourman starts to reassess his dependency on Miraclo, and leaves the JSA to refine his Miraclo formula.
    • 3/ Green Lantern, shaken by his failure against Wotan, opts for honorary membership, naming Hawkman the new chairman.


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