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All-Star Squadron Vol 1 11

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"Star Smasher's Secret!": January 7, 1942, on the White House lawn: Akhet the Star-Smasher confronts the Shining Knight (riding Winged Victory), Hawkgirl, Firebrand, Robotman, Johnny Quick, Commander Steel, and the Atom, backed by a platoon of soldiers, and he announces the annexation of Earth i

Quote1 Ask Hawkgirl - - Shiera Sanders - - if she does not, in fact, know precisely who I am! Quote2
-- Anton Hastor

Appearing in "Star Smasher's Secret!"

Featured Characters:

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Synopsis for "Star Smasher's Secret!"

January 7, 1942, on the White House lawn: Akhet the Star-Smasher confronts the Shining Knight (riding Winged Victory), Hawkgirl, Firebrand, Robotman, Johnny Quick, Commander Steel, and the Atom, backed by a platoon of soldiers, and he announces the annexation of Earth into the Binary Brotherhood. A tense few moments pass, in which Liberty Belle cautions Johnny and the Atom, and then Steel and Hawkgirl also, against attacking the pompous spaceman. Akhet gives all of the governments on Earth, on both sides of the war, one day, in which to choose capitulation or annihilation. That’s enough for four of the All-Stars (Hawkgirl, Quick, Steel, & Robotman), who charge in to the attack, while the Atom hangs back and waits for an actual order. Akhet waves his hand and all four of the first charge fall down, prompting the other four to rush in. Akhet grabs Hawkgirl and Steel, and steps into a dazzling lightbeam, which levitates him into the air towards his ship, but the Atom and Liberty Belle grab onto him, and their added weight starts to counteract the antigravity effect, until Akhet slaps loose Al and Libby with a sweep of his arm, then uses the tractor beam to complete the abduction of Hawkgirl and Steel, plus Robotman and the Atom. Firebrand’s powers don’t affect Akhet, and Winged Victory encounters the same mid-air concussion effect that had earlier knocked down Johnny Quick. Infantry rifle-fire and attacking P-40s also prove ineffectual against the weird airship’s advanced weapons, as the Star-Smasher clarifies his earlier ultimatum, then boards his incredibly fast ship, and silently departs.

For the rest of that day and part of the next, the Flying Eye circumnavigates the world, pausing here and there to let military and civilian people all over Europe and Asia get a good look at it. Soon in Hitler’s own bunker Wolfsschanze in East Prussia, the Fuehrer is railing at his generals (about the broken-down invasion of Russia), when they all stroll outside and see the Flying Eye appear overhead. This encounter results in some German soldiers getting knocked over by an advanced energy weapon, and the Flying Eye departs again. In short order, this sort of scene is played out again and again, and the seemingly-invincible spaceman issues ultimatum after ultimatum, to Stalin, Chiang Kai-Shek, Mussolini, and to Tojo, each in his own language.

According to Gen. George C Marshall, (as presented to Pres. Franklin D Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Sir Justin, Firebrand, Liberty Belle, and Johnny Quick, seated around a conference table), 1/ the Axis powers were ready to negotiate some awkward sort of truce for mutual defense against the alien invader Akhet, 2/ there was the question of evacuating Washington and running the country from a secret location. Neither of these questions gets resolved at this meeting, but there is consensus on the point of not surrendering to Akhet, no matter what.

Hawkman arrives, greeted by a fusillade of rifle fire from the nervous security patrol, on the grounds outside. It’s night and their searchlight’s not working, but Firebrand lights up the scene, and the shooting stops. Hawkman’s got news. The dying man, ejected from the Flying Eye, that Hawkman had caught in mid-air, earlier, was pioneering Bio-Chemist Garret Owens, who had been missing since 1933. Hawkman has also picked up on some clues from the emblem, on the dead man’s collar and on Akhet’s flag, and now seems to suspect that this “alien” isn’t what he seems.

Hawkgirl and the Atom regain consciousness in an empty passageway aboard Akhet’s flying eye, untied and unguarded. Atom finds a concealed hatch, and wishes he had a crowbar. Hawkgirl doesn’t have a crowbar, but she just happens to have with her a crystal dagger, transparent but stronger than steel. Atom uses this to pry at the hatch until he pops an unseen latch, and they move into another section of unoccupied space. (This in fact is the ancient Egyptian crystal sacrificial dagger from Hawkman’s first case).[1] Hawkgirl had been flying back and forth between Washington, D.C. and New York City in December of 1941, moving clothes and personal effects down to Washington. On one recent trip she had swapped out her original hawk-mask for a more feminine looking one, and had also borrowed the crystal dagger from her fiance's weapons collection, staring at it for a long time, then tucking it into a hollow part of one of her wings. Now that she thinks of it, she had done most of this on impulse, and had forgotten that she even had the blade until just now.)

Meanwhile in Pennsylvania, the woodland estate of world-reknowned Physio-Mathematician Elwood P Napier is surrounded by All-Stars: Firebrand, Hawkman, Johnny Quick, Liberty Belle, and the Shining Knight on Winged Victory. They’re here because Johnny Quick’s half-hour-long exhaustive examination of the FBI’s file cabinets has confirmed Hawkman’s earlier theory. In the 1920s, all of the missing top scientists had been part of a government brain trust, which ran out of funds in 1930. Then from early 1933 until 1940, every six months like clockwork, one of these scientists had disappeared. The most recent disappearance, that of Elwood P Napier, was a year ago, ending the streak. They all sneak into his house and look around, finding many photos of the missing men, and way in the background of one photo, Hawkman spots a familiar face! Just then all of the photos on the wall burst into flame.

Atom and Hawkgirl continue exploring the ship until they encounter the imposing form of Akhet himself, or is it? Atom and Hawkgirl charge in and attack the giant, who folds right up and falls down. He’s a fake, just a souped-up mannequin, and behind him is a circular room, in which they find, contained in transparent cylinders, unmoving and unaware, Commander Steel, Robotman, and at least 14 distinguished physicists and mathematicians. Then Dr. Hastor walks into the room, much to Hawkgirl’s amazement, because the last time she saw this villain was when Hawkman killed him.



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