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Comic Book / America vs. the Justice Society

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America vs. the Justice Society is a four-issue mini-series published in 1985 by DC Comics. It is written by Roy Thomas, with artwork by Rafael Kayanan, Rich Buckler, and Jerry Ordway, among others. It was considered canon up until Crisis on Infinite Earths, which was released that same year.

In the story, a secret diary published by the Earth-2 Batman sometime prior to his death accuses his former allies, the Justice Society of America, of being collaborators with the Nazis during World War II. With some help by the younger members of the team, the Justice Society go to court to determine the validity of this "diary" and what purpose it was actually created for.

This mini-series provides examples of:

  • The Cavalry: The Justice Society near the end of the story, when Per Degaton is ready to shoot Dick Grayson to cover up the murder of Professor Zee.
  • Courtroom Episode: For the Justice Society in general.
  • Death of a Child: Green Lantern recalls the death of a child that took place during his battle of Wotan, an event that affected him so greatly that he resigned for several years as the Justice Society's chairman. The death, as it turns out, was that of a child that Ian Karkull realized would someday become a United States President.
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  • Disney Villain Death: The Brainwave almost does this, but ends up being saved by his robe being caught by a pole. He maintains the illusion that he has fallen to his death so he could set up his plan of revenge.
  • Driven to Suicide: Per Degaton, who was fingered for the murder of Professor Malachi Zee of the Brain Trust.
  • Evil Laugh: The Brainwave in a splash panel in the third issue.
  • Faking the Dead: The Wizard admits that he faked his own suicide via an illusion so he could escape from the Justice Society.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Brainwave mined the approaches to his lair with explosives to prevent the other Justice Society members from rescuing their companions. Johnny Thunder's Thunderbolt gets through, though, and ends up replanting the explosives under the Brainwave's tower, so when he pushed the detonator plunger, he blew up his own lair instead.
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  • I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: Wildcat in the third issue: "I'm a crime-buster, not a politician."
  • Kryptonite Factor: The arresting military forces come prepared with Kryptonite handcuffs to apprehend Superman.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: This was inspired by the discovery and publication of the so-called Hitler Diaries around that same time period.
  • Running Gag: At least three times in Wonder Woman's retelling of Per Degaton's exploits, whenever he is made to forget those events, he ends up talking to Professor Zee about having dreams of being the ruler of the world, and Professor Zee responds by telling him to clean up his test tubes.
  • Secret Diary: Batman's diary provides the driving point of the story's plot.
  • Shrink Ray: The Brainwave subjected eight members of the Justice Society to one so he could hold them hostage.
  • Shout-Out: One of the observers of the Congressional hearing mentions the 1980s TV show V.
  • Spear of Destiny: This as well as the Grailstone is mentioned as one of the reasons the Justice Society couldn't stop World War II from happening, as both items in the hands of the Axis world power leaders created a sphere of influence that affected all magic-based heroes as well as Superman.
  • Time Travel: An essential part of the story. Professor Zee intended to travel in time to the point of his 100th birthday and then return back to his own time in 1947, but Per Degaton shot the professor, intending to take his time machine so that he could conquer the world. However, the professor fell into the machine and inadvertently activated it, sending him into the future. Per Degaton was waiting for the moment that the professor would re-emerge from his time travel for years, still intending to use the machine for his evil purposes. Apparently Batman figured this out, and so he wrote the diary with the purpose of having the Justice Society apprehend Per Degaton at the moment Professor Zee would appear to finger his former assistant as his murderer.

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