"An Appointment with Destiny!": On April 30, 1945, Adolf Hitler has retreated to his private bunker. Hitler rants that another leader will succeed where he failed. Then, he and his wife Eva Braun commit suicide.
Appearing in "An Appointment with Destiny!"
- Adolf Hitler
- Baron Kragen
- Eva Kragen
Synopsis for "An Appointment with Destiny!"
Moments later, two American soldiers named Walker and Baxter storm the bunker, only to find Hitler dead. A surviving Nazi tells them that they shall await "the coming man" who will carry on Hitler's work. As they search the bunker, Walker and Baxter see a mysterious person with a German World War One helmet and a prosthetic hand sneaking out. Walker pursues the figure, who impales him with the Spear of Destiny and claims to be "the coming man". Walker clings to life long enough to tell Baxter what happened.
Baxter follows "the coming man's" trail, but is confronted by suspicious Soviet troops. The Soviets order him to stand down, but he refuses. The Soviets open fire and shoot Baxter's leg. He escapes into a forest, falling down a hill and cracking his ribs, but fashions a crutch and continues following "the coming man's" tracks to a castle.
At the castle, a servant named Fong opens the door and brings Baxter to the castle's owner, Baron Kragen, who tells Baxter that he welcomes the overthrow of the Nazi government. Kragen calls his daughter Ilsa, and Baxter notices that Kragen has a strange prosthetic hand. Ilsa tends to Baxter's wounds and Kragen invites him to dinner.
At dinner, Kragen tells Baxter he lost his hand to a wild tiger, which taught him that a man cannot win every battle without outside help. Baxter asks Kragen if he knows of the Spear of Destiny. Kragen tells him that the spear originally belonged to a Roman soldier who used it to torture Jesus Christ on the Cross, and that the spear was cursed with evil power, and that whoever wielded it would lead his forces to victory. It passed through various hands, including Alexander the Great and Napoleon Bonaparte, before a young Adolf Hitler discovered the spear in a museum in 1924 and vowed to make it his. Baxter insinuates that Kragen knows more than he lets on, whereupon Kragen informs Baxter that he has been poisoned. Baxter falls unconscious.
Baxter awakens in a prison cell, where Ilsa tells him that Hitler planned to give the Spear of Destiny to her father if Hitler failed in his quest for power, and that her father will bring glory to Germany by launching a third world war to take over the world. Baxter grabs Ilsa and threatens to kill her if Fong doesn't unlock his cell. Fong does so, and Baxter locks Ilsa and Fong in the cell. Baxter rushes off to find Kragen.
On the castle's turret, Kragen contemplates his plans for the Fourth Reich. Baxter, now armed with a sword he found in the castle, appears and challenges Kragen. Kragen reveals that his prosthetic hand contains a death ray, and he uses both spear and ray gun to battle Baxter. Baxter uses a bandage from his wounded leg to entangle Kragen's arm, wrestle the Spear of Destiny from him, and stab Kragen, "the coming man", with it. Kragen dies, but Ilsa, somehow escaped from the cell, rushes Baxter with a knife. Baxter is forced to impale her on the spear.
Baxter prepares to leave, but is suddenly gunned down by a machine gun and dies. His killer, Fong, exclaims that everyone who stood in his way of gaining the spear is now dead, and that he will return home with it for the glory of his native China.
The narrator says that the Communists used the power of the Spear of Destiny to conquer China, and that it was also responsible for wars in Korea, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Middle East, and Africa. The reader is left to wonder who the next "coming man" will be.
- This comic introduces the Spear of Destiny to the DC Universe history of World War II. The spear would go on to play a major role in the history of the Justice Society on Earth-Two, in "The Untold Origin of the Justice Society" and All-Star Squadron before finding its way into the hands of various supervillains in the modern era, most notably Asmodel in Day of Vengeance and Vandal Savage in Final Crisis: Revelations.
- This story is referenced in "The Untold Origin of the Justice Society", implying that, Pre-Crisis, it took place on Earth-Two.
- Kragen relates an anecdote about a wild tiger being caught in Ethiopia. Tigers do not naturally live in Africa.
- Kragen also claims that Alexander the Great owned the Spear of Destiny, the spear that pierced Christ on the Cross, for some time. This would be an impressive feat, considering Alexander lived 300 years before the Crucifixion.
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Links and References
- Weird War Tales article at Wikipedia
- Weird War Tales series index at the Grand Comics Database
- Weird War Tales cover gallery
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