Justice Society of America: 1945: The Nightmare Invasion, Chapter 1: The Dream of Dominus

by Libbylawrence

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A hulking figure in ornate yet otherworldly armor laughed a brutal chuckle as he yanked upon a heavy chain. The delicate woman at the end of the chain fell forward at his feet, in spite of the gossamer wings that folded gently against her back. She looked up at her master with an expression more of sorrow and pity than of anger or hatred.

“The prison cells are full of your sisters and their puny males,” he sneered. “We have conquered your planet at long last. Now I have brought you out of your dungeon so you may share in the news of our future plans. Can you guess, my pretty, what I have in mind?”

She replied sadly, “Dominus, I can only hope that you will see the error of your ways and renounce violence and warfare!”

Laughter filled the former audience chamber of this woman’s palace as her enemies pounded on polished tables and slammed down silvery goblets full of a heady brew.

“Desira, you amuse me!” said Dominus. “That is why I allow you to grovel at my boots instead of merely slaying you in the arenas. I plan to invade and conquer yet another world! My armies will descend upon the unsuspecting sheep of the world I desire to master. We shall soon enslave the puny residents of the planet Earth!”

“Earth?” she said. “But… surely you fail to recall the many colorful defenders of that already war-torn planet!”

“Bah! Those not occupied with the Hitlerian war will be no match for my forces. Oh, and in case you think those special ones who have the abilities to detect our legions before they arrive will thwart my plans, let me assure you that I am launching an assault on them even as I speak!”

Brutish laughter echoed through the hall, while Desira wept softly and prayed that her gentle whispers would reach the one heroine of Earth with whom she had a special connection: Princess Diana, the Wonder Woman.

***

Legions of armored warriors swarmed across the shattered streets of Berlin in Nazi Germany. These odd troops were stronger than normal humans and employed weaponry in advance of earthly science. The dominating power of the Spear of Destiny had no effect on the otherworldly soldiers as they savagely attacked the Nazi forces with relentless zeal.

A golden-armored figure fought his way through them with lethal displays of power. Baron Blitzkrieg was appalled at the speed at which his Axis forces had been slaughtered or driven from the combat in fear. The troops wore armor of a Roman-style design, but no legion of lost Rome ever made use of paralyzing ray-guns or swarmed in such seemingly endless numbers.

Ach du lieber! For each one I destroy, another rises to challenge me! he mused as his energy eye-beams flashed through the darkness and burned a legionary to ashes.

***

Similar scenes of battle played out in the United Kingdom, where the valiant Sir Justin the Shining Knight swung his enchanted blade with skill, and cried out a rallying order to his troops. “Fear not, mine friends, for embattled Britain’s sons shall triumph ere yet!”

The Shining Knight saw the men attempt to hold the line as their bullets bounced off the shields and armor of the invaders. He stepped up yet again to slice the magical shield out of a foe’s gloved hand, then slammed his own fist into a shocked face and saw the soldier grimace and sink down. “See, they are not so perilous that good British valor may not yet overwhelm them.”

Sir Justin said as much, but he worried that these weird beings who brought the look of the Roman Empire and the wizardry of alien science to their warfare would be all too successful in their efforts. I hope the fair Danette and the rest of my comrades in the All-Star Squadron and the Law’s Legionnaires fare better ‘gainst these foul legions, he thought.

***

In America, those very same peers of the time-lost knight were risking all to safeguard their nation. His close allies Green Arrow and Speedy stood atop their gleaming Arrowcar and fired arrow after arrow to contain or at least slow down the massive legions.

“G.A., they slow down with our concussion arrows, but nothing short of that even stops them for a minute!” cried the blond Speedy. “The net-arrow is like butter to their blades!”

“I know, son,” the brown-haired archer said soothingly. “We can only do our part while the JSA solves the problem at large.”

***

The war had brought strange bedfellows into action, as the Batman and many of his foes all fought for the freedom of Gotham City. Villain and hero alike saw the invaders as an ominous threat to their very different ways of life.

Batman and Robin swung down to drop smoke pellets into the midst of the legions and to rescue frightened citizens from the onrushing mob.

“Holy Tiberius, Batman!” said Robin as he ducked a sword. “I wish these Romans would hurry up and decline and fall! We’ve seen them rise enough already!”

Batman kicked the trooper down and nodded. “True, old chum! Let’s say we Caesar the moment and send them packing!” He kept punning in an effort to keep up the boy’s spirits, while pinning his own hopes on his JSA teammates.

Robin grinned. “Yeah, lend me your ears — and eyes and nose!” he quipped as he crashed into two hulking brutes.

***

At the Perisphere, where the Justice Society of America had its current headquarters, the team assembled its currently active membership with two exceptions. Only the sometimes-unreliable Johnny Thunder and the comatose Wonder Woman were absent from the grim gathering.

Hawkman spoke as the JSA’s chairman. “The All-Stars and our honorary members Superman and Batman are occupying the invaders while we gather here to solve the problem at the source. In short, we know that armored soldiers with advanced weaponry appeared from out of the blue and have proceeded to wage war all over the world against all nations, including the Axis forces.”

“Right,” the Atom interrupted. “These creeps seem to have it in for all Earthlings, not just the good guys!”

“My ring can identify them as being from some entirely different realm, not just another planet,” said Green Lantern. “That makes me think of the case some of you told me about from back in 1942, when you were shanghaied into space!” (*)

[(*) Editor’s note: See “Shanghaied into Space,” All-Star Comics #13 (October-November, 1942) and “Crisis Point,” All-Star Squadron #50 (October, 1985).]

The Flash grinned at his pal. “Looks like you and I returned to active duty just in time for a big one! I can back you up on that theory, even though I also didn’t take part in that case. I checked on our missing secretary and learned, as you all have by now, that Diana Prince, Steve Trevor, and a girl named Etta Candy are all in some type of deep trance. That suggests your theory is correct, since we know that Wonder Woman later visited another planet called Eros using travel based on dream projection, thanks to the queen of an other-dimensional Venus.” (*)

[(*) Editor’s note: See Wonder Woman, Sensation Comics #11 (November, 1942).]

Doctor Mid-Nite cleared his throat. “Wonder Woman and Major Trevor made enemies on Eros, evidently shortly after her first trip to that variant of Venus. (*) She told me that the Venusians of that world travel via dreams! That could explain why she and her pals are in this comatose condition. Plus, to make this invasion even more personal, I suggest that Wes Dodds is in Mercy General right now due to something these invaders did to induce a coma. Remember, Wes lives up to his chosen name at times by actually receiving precognitive-type dreams. Perhaps they saw him as a threat to their little nightmare invasion.”

[(*) Editor’s note: See “Kaleidoscope,” All-Star Squadron #57 (May, 1986).]

Hawkman nodded. “Those fiends will pay for the harm they have done. To that end, I suggest we try to journey to their world and take the fight to them — as well as free Wonder Woman! The All-Stars can hold them off here while we do so.”

“I wish the Spectre and Starman had not resigned from the JSA,” said the Atom. “It’s bad enough that Doctor Fate is now only an M.D. and not the magical force he once was. No offense to your profession, Doc.”

“We’ll gather a few allies and find a way to this other-dimensional Venus,” vowed a determined Hawkman.

***

Later that same day, the heroes of the Justice Society were joined by two colorful figures: Dr. Kent Nelson, once again wearing the blue and gold costume and gleaming half-helmet of Doctor Fate for this rare occasion, and Johnny Thunder, resplendent in a new green suit.

“Gosh, fellows, me and the T-bolt followed up that lead of Doc’s, and it paid off,” said Johnny. “I had T-bolt find Wonder Woman’s stuff, like the costume and her mental radio. He got it all out without any trouble and without being seen! He’d make a first-rate thief, if he wasn’t so honest! Like Doc said, we used the mental radio and made contact with her and everything! She’s trapped on that weird Venus, like you guessed. She says the earrings she left with her costume’ll give us something called electronic hearing, which is how the queen of the place communicates with her.”

“Is she hurt?” asked Doctor Mid-Nite.

“Naw,” said Johnny. “She’s as swell as ever, but she’s trapped there, or at least her astral self is. And if you bind her astral self’s bracelets, she is just as helpless as if you did it to her real body! The earrings can be used with her other doohickey — the magic sphere — to show what happened! Say, you should be ready to show us by now, T-bolt!”

“First, Master J, you mean the earrings give ‘magnetic hearing,’ not electronic hearing, and only through the wonders of Amazon science and my own not-so-ordinary gifts do you mortal male types get any benefit from them!” said the pink-hued Thunderbolt. “Here’s what the earrings and the sphere combine with the radio message to reveal…”

***

A screen appeared and showed a world full of winged woman with delicate pastel-hued skin and burly but mild-mannered men of a like complexion. The men lacked wings, but otherwise they were clearly of a species with their females. All of them marched in chains, while sneering and brutal guards who matched the invaders down to their Romanesque armor and advanced weaponry watched with glee.

The palace of Queen Desira was now occupied by the leader of these warriors from the satellite world called Eros. His name was Dominus, and he had indeed selected Earth as his next conquest. His troops had been sent through the very dreams of earthly sleepers, and once on Earth, they received a material body, complete with equipment. They were seemingly endless in number, and no place on Earth was safe, since they could find entrance via a sleeping mind virtually anywhere. Dominus had struck down the Sandman so he could not warn his allies, and he had drawn the three friends Wonder Woman, Steve Trevor, and Etta Candy there via a deathlike coma, since they alone of mortals had visited his world of Eros before.

Wonder Woman was clothed as Diana Prince, and she was helpless due to the fact that the bracelets beneath her sleeping gown were bound together. Steve and Etta were also chained and as yet knew nothing of the reason Diana had also been captured.

Steve was full of valiant concern as he glanced at the women and struggled with his chains. “I guess these goons took us because we’re all close to my angel… to Wonder Woman! Don’t worry, kids. She’ll get here and teach them some lessons all too quickly! Wait and see.”

Diana smiled at his loyalty and hoped her JSA allies would come. She had received the mental message from the Thunderbolt after Doctor Mid-Nite had suggested its use. She had tried to explain it all to Johnny, and hoped the brave young man would bring help. She knew his courage was great, but even he was, at times, more of an ordinary guy among giants.

Dominus heard Steve and sneered. “I could tell you much about your angel’s whereabouts, but I’ll amuse myself a bit by the irony!”

***

The scene ended, and Johnny said, “We’ve got to help her! Let me use T-bolt to take us all there without that sleeping mind stuff!”

The Atom nodded. “That’s the spirit, Johnny.”

“I’d say the Thunderbolt or Green Lantern’s ring could get us all there without the requirement of being in a dream,” said Hawkman. “After all, when Diana made her first involuntary trip there during our JSA case, she wasn’t exactly asleep!”

The Flash, who had made a quick trip around the nation via his amazing super-speed, rushed back into JSA Headquarters and told them what he had seen. “Superman, Batman, and our reserve members Mister Terrific and Wildcat are leading the fight against the invaders, along with Liberty Belle and her All-Stars.”

“What of Wes and Diana as they are now?” asked Doctor Mid-Nite. “Their bodies could be in danger.”

“I will stay close to their bodies in the hospital, since I am now a doctor as Kent Nelson as well,” said Kent. “I’m not much help otherwise without the long-lost helmet of Nabu. Plus, Rex is sitting by Wes’ bedside, and even without Miraclo, he packs a mean left hook. I may try to locate the Spectre, though. It’s been a couple of months since he last spoke with any of us, but he may be out there somewhere.”

“Well done, everyone!” said Hawkman. “Now let’s enter the dreamworld of Venus!”

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