"If an Eye Offend Thee...!": On January 6, 1942, in San Francisco, before dawn, Hawkman sneaks away from Carter Hall's base, and night-flies around in the Bay Area. He observes as a flight of B-17s flies in from Randall Field Texas, but is unaware that one of these bombers is piloted by his tea
- I cannot tell a lie, old buddy. I got the President himself to fix it up for me. I'm surprised you didn't do the same.
- -- Starman
Appearing in "If an Eye Offend Thee...!"
Synopsis for "If an Eye Offend Thee...!"
On January 6, 1942, in San Francisco, before dawn, Hawkman sneaks away from Carter Hall's base, and night-flies around in the Bay Area. He observes as a flight of B-17s flies in from Randall Field Texas, but is unaware that one of these bombers is piloted by his teammate Ted Knight. Ted has already graduated pilot school in record time. Suddenly a large, silent, intensely-bright flying object has arrived, shaped like a very large flying eyeball, and shoots one of the B-17s with a white beam, causing the engines to go dead. Hawkman dives after the plane, racking his brain for a method of rescuing the crew. Ted Knight hands control of his aircraft over to his co-pilot, Ash, and slips back into the fuselage, changes clothes, and uses his Gravity Rod to open and close a hatch, then also goes diving to the rescue. His Gravity Rod adds lift to the falling bomber, enabling the pilots to restart the engine, as apparently the white light effect wears off quickly. Hawkman flies to confront the enemy airship, which responds with an energy wave that pushes him back, and while he's struggling forward against that he sees a live man, elderly, dressed in a metallic suit, get jettisoned from "the Eye." Hawkman catches this guy, who is in very bad condition, near death. Starman catches up to him. They resume pursuing the hostile aircraft, but it's really not fleeing. It shoots them with a new light beam, which neutralizes Hawkman' Ninth-metal belt and shuts down Starman's Gravity Rod. Then the "eye" zooms away, in utter silence. But as soon as it's gone, Ted's and Carter's antigravity devices start working again. In their brief conversation before Starman zooms back to his flying duty station, Starman reveals to Hawkman that the real reason he made pilot even faster than Hawkman could, was because he got the President to fix it up for him. Starman re-boards his bomber, in flight, changes clothes, and flies the plane the rest of the way to Mare Island. Meanwhile Hawkman's elderly passenger has died, and Hawkman gets a good look at him, recognizes him, and forms a theory about the secret behind the "flying eye."
Soon on the other coast, in Washington DC, the sun is rising. Johnny Quick, Hawkgirl, and the Shining Knight have been bodyguarding the president and Winston Churchill for the past couple of weeks. On the National Mall, near the George Washington Monument, they find a knocked-out soldier. Johnny Quick very rapidly scours the area, and finds a pair of suspicious characters, planting bombs inside the giant obelisk. They try to shoot him with pistols, and he administers some good drubbings, but gets too focused on one thug, allowing another one to slip up behind him and knock him out with a punch to the back of the head. Sir Justin and Hawkgirl are flying in as back-up, but the bad guys get the steel doors shut just before they can arrive. Johnny recovers his wits at the top of the monument's long elevator ride, hears the spies talking in German about setting off the bombs, zips down all of the stairways in the monument, and arrives at the bomb at exactly right right second to punt it out the door, which the Shining Knight has just that second hacked open. The remaining spies are cornered in the monument and Hawkgirl and the Knight make short work of them.
Meanwhile it's still night on the distant Pacific outpost, where Dr. Charles McNider is conducting his research on tropical fever, at night, accompanied by his pet owl, Hooty. They hear the engines of some incoming aircraft, specifically Zeros, soon joined by the noise of P-40 engines, as the island base's fighter squad takes off. Then Doctor Mid-Nite is spotted running towards the fray, and while the soldiers are wondering why he's here, a futuristic "flying eye" appears amid the aerial dogfight above. A P-40 and a Zero are both shot with the eye's engine-stalling ray, and both pilots bail out. Then several more planes, of both sides, are knocked out of the sky, before the strange craft suddenly and silently zooms away. Meanwhile Doctor Mid-Nite punches out and captures an armed Japanese pilot, then scurries back to his post before anybody notes his absence, especially his attractive assistant Myra Mason, who has followed him here from civilian life.
Meanwhile in Washington DC it's still early morning. FDR, accompanied by the Atom and Liberty Belle, has a conversation with a bath-towel-wearing Winston Churchill.
Meanwhile in Russia's Crimean Peninsula, the Wehrmacht and its heavy panzers are forcefully counterattacking the Soviet forces around Feodosiya and Kerch, with horrendous levels of casualties on both sides. The Flying Eye appears over this battlefield and uses its advanced electronic weapon to stall out the engines of all the vehicles on both sides. One panzer, from outside the penumbra of the alien light, fires its cannon at the aircraft; the aircraft counterattacks with a red ray which makes the tank explode like an overheated can of beans. Then it silently and very swiftly flies away, westward. On the ground, the battle soon resumes.
Meanwhile near Washington DC, at one of the big hospitals, Robotman and Firebrand are visiting the recovering Commander Steel. According to Robotman, the device that had been implanted in Steel's metal spine (by Baron Blitzkrieg) had burned itself out, during the big fight last issue. While they're stepping out for some coffee, all the lights go out, and the motors in Robotman's and Steel's bodies shut down, dropping them both to the floor. Then just a minute later, the lights come back on and so do their mechanical systems. Stepping outside they see the unidentified "flying eye" and jump to the correct conclusion about it, and race across town to the spot where the ship is hovering ominously, directly above the White House.
On the lawn next to the still-standing White House Christmas Tree, the Atom, Firebrand, Hawkgirl, Johnny Quick, Liberty Belle, and Shining Knight, have gathered, and are watching the sinister aircraft. The "flying eye" emits a ray which destroys the tree, and a tall, manlike form appears inside the nimbus of white light. Johnny Quick charges belligerently into the light, and is hurled right back out by it. Firebrand generates some flames at it, to no effect whatsoever. A very tall alien man finally solidifies in 3-dimensional form, and announces that he is Akhet, from the 2nd planet of the Proxima Centauri system, here to annex this planet in the name of the Binary Brotherhood.
- Reprinted in Showcase Presents: All-Star Squadron Vol. 1.
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Links and References
- Justice Society of America article at Wikipedia
- JSA Checklist
- JSA Chronology page
- JSA series index at DCU Guide
- JSA series index at Comicbookdb.com
- JSA series index at the Grand Comics Database Project
- Justice Society Fact File
- Justice Society Index at Dark Mark's Indexing Domain
- Justice Society of America at TV Tropes