All-Star Squadron – 16

General Info

Issue No:
16
On Sale Date:
August 1982
Cover Date:
October 1982
Era:
Bronze Age
Story Title:
The Magnetic Marauder!

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Joe Kubert
Writer:
Roy Thomas
Penciller:
Adrian Gonzales
Inker:
Rick Hoberg
Letterer:
John Costanza
Colourist:
Carl Gafford
Editor:
Len Wein, Carl Gafford (assistant)

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Princess Diana), Commander (Henry Heywood), Firebrand (Danette Reilly), Johnny Quick (Jonathan Chambers), Liberty Belle (Elizabeth Lawrence), Hawkman (Carter Hall), Robotman (Robert Crane)
Heroes:
Justice Society: Atom (Albert Pratt), Flash (Jay Garrick), Green Lantern (Alan Scott), Guardian (James Harper), Wildcat (Ted Grant)
Villains:
Nuclear/Magnetic Marauder (Percival Plazchek)
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
Holliday Girls, Etta Candy, Joye Plazchek, Major Nichols, Steve Trevor
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Synopsis

In January 1942, in Manhattan, Firebrand, Liberty Belle, Johnny Quick, Robotman, and Commander Steel are on their way to JSA HQ, having just 10 minutes earlier encountered, and inconclusively skirmished with, Nuclear the Magnetic Marauder. Belle has the key that was left with her by Hawkman, and they enter the meeting rooms, where they are very surprised to encounter Wonder Woman, bruised and exhausted and barely able to stand.

She swoons, and Johnny Quick catches her. Diana quickly recovers, and tells the team about her recent losing battle against the same super-villain that they’d just met, and asks the All-Star Squadron for their help in fighting him, and in freeing Steve Trevor, whom Nuclear has kidnapped.

Based on an ill-timed remark, Diana decides that the All-Stars aren’t taking her seriously, loses her temper, and throws Johnny Quick across the room before leaping out a window, onto a neighbouring rooftop, to seek out Nuclear. Greatly exasperated, all five All-Stars give immediate pursuit. Robotman gets tossed aside by the infuriated Amazon, but Commander Steel manages to get in front of her, wearing the same colours that she has so proudly adopted, and she doesn’t plough right through him but instead snaps out of her fugue state, and regains her composure, and she tells them where she’s been.

Right after her most recent adventure with the JSA, she had resumed her other identity as Diana Prince, just barely in time to board a Navy destroyer departing from Norfolk, ferrying nurses to the Pacific Theater. Steve Trevor was aboard also. As the warship passed a tall promontory, it was ambushed by the Magnetic Marauder, who pulled it off-course with just a gesture, and drew it inexorably toward the coastal cliffs atop which he stood. Nurse Prince slipped away, changed clothes, and ran on deck as Wonder Woman, summoned her invisible robot plane, leapt aboard it, and flew to the rescue. Wing-walking on her invisible air plane, she lassoed the destroyer, encircling the hull with her Lasso of Truth, then towed the warship seaward, until it was out of range of the supervillain’s magnetic field.
Captain Trevor had meanwhile gotten too close to the edge of the main deck, trying to get a good pistol shot at Nuclear, and fell overboard. Wonder Woman tied off the tow-lasso to her plane, dove into the ocean, and pulled Steve out of it. On shore, at the foot of the steep cliffs, Steve tried to get a clear shot at the Magnetic Marauder but it was magnetically yanked out of his hand, just before Steve himself was yanked into the air, pulled by his belt buckle. Nuclear then tried to lift Wonder Woman the same way, unsuccessfully at first, until she stopped resisting the pull, plus sprinted up the cliff side. But before she could get up to his position, Nuclear magnetically attracted her bracelets together. Under Aphrodite’s Law, this counted as chaining them together, thus rendering Wonder Woman powerless. She plummeted to the rocks below and was knocked unconscious. Nuclear then called a submarine out of the water, and boarded it, carrying Capt. Trevor. Wonder Woman was unsure whether the sub had a crew, or simply was run by Nuclear’s powers.
Hours later, Wonder Woman had recovered her wits, called her Robot Plane, ascertained that the destroyer was still afloat and headed for Panama, then flew to New York City and landed on the roof of the hotel that housed the JSA’s headquarters.

After Wonder Woman finishes recounting events Liberty Belle then tells her about her team’s encounter with Nuclear. The six heroes then fly to Norfolk in Diana’s plane, while Robotman theorises that Nuclear must have a laboratory someplace not far from the seaside spot where he attacked the destroyer. They aerially reconnoitre the area and find a mansion, land, and pay a call. A brother and sister (Percival and Joye Plazchek) live there, and the brother has a laboratory beneath the house. Quietly missing from this conversation is Robotman, scaling down the nearby cliff side, investigating a strange tingle he felt when stepping out of the plane. But his 500-pound robot body isn’t really made for that kind of thing, and he slides and falls and bounces down the escarpment until he tumbles into a hidden cave. Here he finds a moored, unmanned submarine, some really large electromagnetic generators, and Steve Trevor, tied up.

Robotman frees Trevor just before Nuclear shows up, and easily flings Robotman’s metal form into one of the generators, and magnetically activates it, pinning him in place. Trevor tries to free Robotman, but a lot of metal is flying around in the room, and he takes a knock to the head and falls into the water beside the submarine pier. Then the All-Stars charge into the room, with Johnny Quick of course arriving first. Nuclear pin balls Commander Steel around the room a few times, then magnetises him to another generator. He manages to rip off one of Robotman’s arms and kayo Johnny Quick with it.

Liberty Belle leaps in and tags him one good punch, but he knocks her out with the flying robot arm, just like Quick. Firebrand’s metal-free costume has kept her out of trouble so far, but now Nuclear yanks the steel plates of the floor out from under her, and she hits her head as she falls. Wonder Woman watches all this happen and can’t intervene; her bracelets are once again magnetised together.

Joye Plazchek sees all this happen, but still confronts the Marauder, demanding to know what has happened to her brother Percy; Nuclear claims to have killed him. Then he peels back a large area of the lab’s floor, revealing a raging fire underneath it. Firebrand rallies up, absorbs a bunch of flame and redirects it onto the generators holding Robotman and Steel in place, while Liberty Belle wakes up Johnny Quick. Robotman and Steel pry apart Wonder Woman’s bracelets, then the three of them smash a bunch of Nuclear’s electrical equipment.

Nuclear heads for the exit, but just then Capt. Trevor pulls himself out of the water and onto the submarine pier, and while he was in the water he found his pistol. He shoots Nuclear in the leg, causing him to tumble into his own fiery pit. Joye calls on Wonder Woman to rescue the Magnetic Marauder, so he can reveal what really happened to her brother, and Diana gives it a try, trawling her unburnable magic lasso thru the fire pit, but finds nothing. Nobody has the heart to tell her what all of them have figured out.

Meanwhile on the West Coast, Airman Carter Hall takes his first solo flight in a P-40 fighter plane, and is transferred to Coast Command, under Major Nichols. By telephone, Shiera tells Carter that she has joined the Nurse Corps.