Justice League of America: Pawns of the Power Pirate

Summary

May, 1986: From behind the scenes, Lex Luthor manipulates eight obscure super-villains – the Human Flame, Konrad Kaslak, Andre LeBlanc, Professor Menace, Rainbow Archer, the Sea Thief, Spellbinder, the Swan-Maiden – into attacking JLAers using energy-siphoners based on the Black Hand's device. While the devices siphon Green Lantern's residual power ring energy from various JLAers – Aquaman, Batman, Black Canary, the Elongated Man, the Flash II, Green Arrow, Hawkman, Hawkwoman, the Martian Manhunter, the Red Tornado, Wonder Woman II, Zatanna – the devices also kill each super-villain once activated. The JLA is temporarily unable to solve this mystery. [“Justice League of America: Pawns of the Power Pirate, Prologue, Chapters 1-2”]

Full summary:

  • May, 1986: A group of eight obscure super-villains – the Human Flame, Konrad Kaslak, Andre LeBlanc, Professor Menace, Rainbow Archer, the Sea Thief, Spellbinder, the Swan-Maiden – are gathered by Lex Luthor to use devices that would supposedly kill various members of the JLA. [“Justice League of America: Pawns of the Power Pirate, Prologue: A Gathering of Losers”]
  • In Gotham City, Batman defeats the Spellbinder, who prepares to use the device. In Washington, D.C., Wonder Woman II and the Elongated Man defeat Professor Menace, who prepares to use the device. In Central City, the Flash II captures Andre LeBlanc, who prepares to use the device. On a cruise ship off the coast of New Venice, Aquaman and Zatanna defeat the Sea Thief, who prepares to use the device. [“Justice League of America: Pawns of the Power Pirate, Chapter 1: Costumed Clowns”]
  • In Ivy Town, the Red Tornado defeats the Swan-Maiden, who prepares to use the device. In Midway City, Hawkman and Hawkwoman defeat Konrad Kaslak, who prepares to use the device. In Denver, the Martian Manhunter defeats the Human Flame, who prepares to use the device. In Star City, Green Arrow and Black Canary defeat the Rainbow Archer, who prepares to use the device. Each of the eight villains, using the device, are suddenly struck dead by electrocution, and the individual JLAers are left with no clues. [“Justice League of America: Pawns of the Power Pirate, Chapter 2: Death By Flashlight”]

Summary

June: Superman battles Lex Luthor, who possesses the improved power of Green Lantern and who reveals himself to be behind the deaths of the minor super-villains. Superman overcomes Luthor's willpower and recaptures him. [“Justice League of America: Pawns of the Power Pirate, Chapter 3”]

Full summary

  • June: After weeks pass with the mystery of the deaths unsolved, Superman wonders why none of his obscure old foes were killed. Lex Luthor attacks a museum to attract Superman's attention, then captures Superman with green energy from his gauntlet controlled by his willpower. Luthor explains that, while he was in prison, he learned the secret of the Black Hand's energy-siphoning device and made improvements on it, then arranged for the Black Hand's death in a knife-fight in prison. Giving eight flashlight-like devices to the eight obscure super-villains, they gathered residual energy from Green Lantern's power ring left on various JLAers and were then killed by the devices to leave no trace back to Luthor. Superman defeats Luthor with his own willpower, fearing what the villain would do to his friends if he won. [“Justice League of America: Pawns of the Power Pirate, Chapter 3: The Will to Power”]

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