- We are not part of an army. We fight only in the cause of justice... and that will give us our name... Justice Society of America!
- -- Spectre
Appearing in "The Secret Origin of the JSA"
- William Stephenson (Intrepid)
- Mr. Smythe
- The Voice
- Gotham City
- Keystone City
- New York City
- Washington, D.C.
- White Cliffs of Dover, England
- Berlin, Germany
- Glasgow, Scotland
- McMurdie Castle
- The Murder Machine (robot)
- Spear of Destiny
- Gudra's spear
- Five flying horses
- Professor Stauffen's experimental [DO-217], supernaturally-modified transatlantic supersonic version of the 1937 model two-engine German light bomber.
Synopsis for "The Secret Origin of the JSA"
During 1940-Nov-09th (Saturday) thru (at least a week later): Hitler's Operation Sea Lion was pushed forward to late 1940; FDR's response was to direct MI-5 agent Smythe to try to contact one or more of the eight "mystery men" described in a dossier. Smythe got Gotham City Police Commissioner Davis to contact Green Lantern, and The Flash spontaneously showed up at their meeting, after hearing a rumor from a Keystone City Pennsylvania cop. Smythe persuaded them to fly with him to Scotland, to McMurdie Castle near Glasgow, which they did, Green Lantern style. The castle was an Abwehr base, commanded by Major Streicher. GL&F burst in and made short work of Streicher's henchies, but he activated a giant robot, der Mordmaschine aka the Murder Machine, which was SO quick and strong that it outfought Green Lantern AND the Flash, knocking them both out! In his windowless tower in Salem Massachusetts, Doctor Fate observes this outcome in his crystal orb, and flies forth to New York City, to recruit Hourman, whom he finds in the triumphant moment of having trashed a gang of hoodlums. Fate knows Hourman's secret ID already. He casts a mystic whammy, and the very skeptical and belligerant Hourman is suddenly flying along in his wake, destination unknown.
-- By now it must be 1940-Nov-10th (Sunday), Europe Time: Scott & Garrick, drugged half senseless, have been moved from Glasgow to Berlin; there's Hitler having a big rally in the city square, celebrating their executions with the Spear of Destiny itself. Suddenly Green Lantern's ring (which is not yet out of charge) blazes up, plus some atmospheric fireworks happen and two super heroes in bright yellow capes show up to interrupt the party: Doctor Fate and Hourman! Hourman's not out of charge, that's for sure! There's a quick violent rescue, but before the good guys can get any real traction, Hitler does some magical hoodoo with the Spear, and summons forth from the stormy skies The Valkyries! Five of them. Green Lantern tries to use his ring on Hitler, who simply deflects the whammy with the Spear of Destiny. Then Doctor Fate confronts Gudra in mid-air, and she swats him away with her spear, while another one's horse swats the Flash with its wing, but G.L. catches him. The Valkyries wheel and fly west, towards England, and Hitler orders his navy to put to sea. Green Lantern and Hourman each engage one of the flying horsewomen while Fate returns to the fray, first sending four comet-looking magic whammies to America, in search of reinforcements.
-- In New York City, it's night, and two weird flying lights veer in, one to land on the Sandman, who has just finished wrapping up a kidnap gang, and one to intercept Hawkman, who is mulling over the prospect of equipping his girlfriend with Nth metal accoutrements, [which he'll only get around to doing one year later]. In Calvin City, the Atom is likewise scooped up in a man-sized golden bubble. All three hear the voice of Doctor Fate, briefing them on the situation in Europe. And Fate's fourth probe soon finds The Spectre, hovering near the Moon, but first the three masked Americans arrive at Dover, where it's also night, and a very large number of German marines and aircraft are attacking a British defensive position. Sandman and the Atom pitch in on the ground fighting, and Hawkman attacks the bombers with a swordy-looking chopping weapon of some kind. They're making about as much difference as you'd expect, until suddenly The Spectre looms onto the scene.
-- Hitler orders Professer Stauffen to launch his experimental aircraft (a long range 2-engine bomber, seemingly a souped-up DO-217) to obliterate the American capital. Dr.Fate shows this scene, in Berlin, to his costumed allies, still in combat at Dover, off the coast of which the 100-foot tall Spectre is annihilating the German invasion fleet with gusto. Then shrinking down to human scale, he confers with Hawkman, Atom, and Sandman. Meanwhile in Berlin, the Valkyries have vanished, and reappear at whatever airfield this Stauffen bomber is taking off from, so Dr.Fate adjourns his group to Dover, where they all have a confab. Their task is obvious: the bomber must be stopped. With Green Lantern conveying the non-fliers, they quickly find the bomber, now escorted by the five Valkyries, and Hawkman leads the attack, closely followed by Dr.Fate. The Valkyries intercept Hawkman & Dr.Fate, while Green Lantern hangs back with four passengers on his hovering green platform. Suddenly the clouds ahead part and Washington DC is visible! Hitler has used the Spear of Destiny to distort time and space in his favor. Worse yet, Gudra's remarks begin to affect the morale of Hawkman himself, but Doctor Fate's remarks rally the spirits of the costumed heroes, especially Green Scott's, and he flares up a power-ring whammy that destroys the Nazi bomber. Alas, he's a bit too close to it, at that moment, and the onboard bombs all detonate, causing a concussion that knocks him unconscious. Flash, Sandman, Hourman, and the Atom are fortunate (or more likely are guided by Fate) to land uninjured, and Atom is on the White House lawn. Suddenly four of the five Valkyries vanish, their mission having failed, but not before Gudra flies out of the fight, westbound, quicker than even The Spectre can track her trajectory. (How fast IS that?) Soon, Gudra has dismounted and entered the White House and is stalking FDR. Atom Pratt is stalking ... well, he knows not what, just a hunch, but he arrives at the Lincoln Bedroom in the nick of time to keep Gudra from spearing FDR, by taking her point in his own back. Or so it seems, to both of them. She then uses the same magicked-up spear (which is neither Gungnir nor Destiny) to slay Roosevelt. Hourman and Doctor Fate rush into the room. Fate whammies up some SFX and knocks Gudra across the room, and she turns to flee while also fading into nothingness. Hourman checks the Atom, who is incredulous at being alive; Sandman and Flash check FDR, who is quite dead. The Spectre and Doctor Fate are both stymied now, and yet ... The Spectre must try!
-- And so The Spectre went to that twilight land where mortal men may only tread but once, and he pierced the veil and so on and so forth until he found the spirit of FDR, marching towards the blinding light, and Spec has a spirited discussion with The Voice, with defiance and bravery and sacrifice and tears and stuff, and The Voice relents, and allows Roosevelt to return to Earth alive. Suddenly it's a few minutes earlier, and they're back in the Oval Office, and FDR is lighting a cigarette, and all present have a somewhat muddled memory of these last few moments. FDR hopes this group will stay together, Sandman and Hourman think that's not so feasible, Flash thinks it's at least worth discussing over dinner, Hawkman thinks they'd make a special super battalion, but The Spectre echoes the Superman of Earth-2 in noting that they're not part of any army but fight only for justice, hence should be called The Justice Society of America.
- This story is the "Post-Crisis" version of an "Earth-Two" story, which was first told in DC Special #29. In the post-Crisis version, Superman and Batman never founded the JSA team alongside the others. That's why the team-defining quote at the end of the story is now attributed to The Spectre, vice Superman.
- In the "Post-Crisis" version of 1940, Gotham City's Police Commissioner was Mr. Davis; on Earth-Two in 1940 the Police Commissioner was stuffy, almost-elderly James Gordon.
- In the "Post-Crisis" version of history, Keystone City is roughly and inconsistently analogous to Philadelphia; on Earth-Two, Keystone City was roughly and inconsistently analogous to Kansas City or St.Louis.
- Post-Crisis version of Doctor Fate to The Spectre: "And so, Spectre, we meet at last! I have been aware of you ever since I myself first came into existence, and I thank you for heeding my mystic call. You were the only one among the seven whom I could not have compelled to do so." A different telling of this first meeting, between Post-Zero-Hour versions of Doctor Fate and The Spectre, is presented in Spectre Annual #1.
- Major Streicher had a giant robot called der Mormaschine, at his secret base near Glasgow, Scotland. This is the same Streicher who later found the Arctic city of Leviathan, and who still later became the Red Panzer.
- Doctor Fate went to New York City to recruit Hourman, then left town without also recruiting Hawkman and the Atom, both of whom could have been very helpful in his mission to Europe.
- Gudra, the Valkyries' captain, has a spear, and in the artwork, it has the same red nimbus that Hitler's spear has. Which certainly means something even if the narrative never quite makes clear what it is.
- Hitler, wielding the Spear of Destiny, was able to deflect a blast of Green Lantern's power.
- Gudra, wielding her own spear, was able to swat Doctor Fate like a baseball.
- Gudra could fight The Spectre to a draw, and could escape from him at will.
- No trivia.
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