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Cover Date: Dec/Jan 1941
Cover Price: US $0.10
TWO NEW MEMBERS WIN THEIR SPURS
IN THIS NEW, BOOK-LENGTH ADVENTURE OF
THE JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA!!! Featuring Hawkman, The Atom, Dr. Fate, The Spectre, The Sandman, Johnny Thunder, Dr. Midnite And Starman!
Format: Color; Standard Comic Issue; 72 pages
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Though this book is usually remembered now as the first appearance of any version of Wonder Woman, its main story is the multi-chaptered epic known as "Two New Members Earn Their Spurs".
Primarily concerned with the accession of Dr. Midnite and Starman to the Society, most of the members get a spotlight chapter to themselves. Along the way, we discover that outgoing Chairman Alan Scott has accepted an honorary membership, and Hawkgirl enjoys her third appearance in this title, despite not being a JSA member. By the end of the tale, we're left with a JSA that largely has the membership roster it generally had during the Golden Age. Missing, still, was, of course, Wonder Woman (who had yet to leave Paradise Island during the events of the issue's main story) Hourman (who had left the JSA in the last issue and wouldn't return until after the events of All Star #57), and Black Canary (who, like Wonder Woman, was just around the corner).
The basic plot of "Spurs" is easy enough to follow. At the beginning of the story, the JSA have convened for some crucial business. Dr. Mid-Nite and Starman have just joined the JSA, to replace the outgoing Hourman and Green Lantern. The group then votes for a new leader, since Scott is now basically an emeritus member, and the job goes to Hawkman—a job he'd keep throughout the Golden Age.
As they discuss the cases they're currently working on, all members discover that each of their crimes' witnesses have suddenly gone mad. They're perplexed until newly-inducted member Dr. Mid-Nite tells of his latest exploit.
While trying to ascertain why a institutionalized ex-city official has escaped, the Man of Night finds a perplexing truth in the man's blood. He determines that the former politician has been infected by a blood disease found only in apes. Going to the laboratory of renowned simian expert, Professor Able for a consultation, he discovers a vial marked "Solution K". This, it turns out, is the antidote to the simian disease.
On leaving Able's lab, he's brought low by two thugs associated with a man known only as "Dr. Elba". He escapes being shot in the back only with the help of his owl, Hooty,
Now back at JSA Headquarters he gives all the other members a vial of "Solution K", since they all seem to be encountering madmen.
Each of the members then returns to the trail of the crimes they had been following, and we go along with them, chapter by chapter. They now appear to be following individual paths to the same common enemy. As each hero's story is recounted, a little more of the central truth is revealed.
It is finally Johnny Thunder who gets the closest to the truth. As he is about to be injected with the insanity serum by Dr. Elba, the rest of the JSA, summoned by the Thunderbolt, burst in on the scene.
Elba throws out the lights to confuse the team. But new member Dr. Mid-Nite thrives in the dark. He approaches the "hidden" figure who reveals that he is in fact both Dr. Elba and Professor Able. But this is not the confession of a man who believes himself caught. Rather it is a ploy to get Dr. Mid-Nite close enough to inject with his serum. As he attempts to fell the Man of Night, the hypo ends up in his flesh. Dr. Elba, now overcome by the same infection he was spreading throughout America, falls out a window to his death.
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