Axis created by Roy and Dann Thomas and ??
The Fourth Reich created by Geoff Johns and ??
First appearance: Gudra (as Gundra): Comic Cavalcade #17 (Oct./Nov. 1946). Original team: Young All-Stars #1 (June 1987). Kamikaze: Young All-Stars #5 (Oct. 1987). Modern team: JLA #81 (July 2003). Fourth Reich:Justice
Society of America v.3 #2 (Feb. 2007)
Axis Amerika was a team of costumed agents who engaged in subversive activities
in the United States during World War II
on behalf of the Axis powers (Nazi Germany, fascist Italy ,and imperial Japan).
Their principal adversaries were the All-Star
Squadron, a wartime group of American costumed adventurers.
Adolf Hitler, leader of Nazi Germany, conceived the idea of Axis Amerika,
and it was intended that the team would include members from each of the three
Axis powers. Axis Amerika's first known mission was to strike at American morale
by assassinating American "mystery-men." Gudra succeeded in
capturing the soul of one such hero, T.N.T. Soon however, Tsunami, who
was intended to be Japan's representative in Axis Amerika, changed sides and
became a member of the All-Star Squadron (Young All-Stars #1-3).
Japan soon replaced Tsunami with Kamikaze(#5).
In the grueling battle that followed, the Fledermaus was killed by Fury's
while she was possessed by the god, Tisiphone. (#6) Though
the villains were defeated, they returned once again. (#22-25) This
time the All-Stars were aided by a similar group of international good guys:
the Allies (Fireball, Kuei, Phantasmo, and the Squire).
Their postwar history is unknown.
As of April 1942, the membership of Axis Amerika consisted of the following
The team's leader was Übermensch, whose name translates into
English as "Overman (Superman)." Übermensch possessed superhuman
strength and speed, though he was by no means as fast as the Flash or Johnny
Quick. Übermensch could leap about one-eighth of a mile in a single
jump, and his skin was impervious to small arms fire; it would take a bursting
shell to penetrate his skin.
Der Grösshorn Eule (German for "horned owl")
partnered with his own son, Fledermaus ("bat").
The Horned Owl and Fledermaus had no superhuman powers, but were highly trained
athletes and superb hand-to-hand combatants. They swung from ropes and carried
small weaponry in their costumes. They were analogs to Batman and Robin.
Gudra (aka Gundra) was a true Valkyrie of Norse folklore, brought to Earth by
Hitler and the mystical Spear of Destiny. She possessed superhuman strength
and rode a winged horse, Stormwind. As a Valkyrie she has the power to remove
the soul from a dead person's body. (The Valkyries of Norse legend were "choosers of the slain," who brought the souls of heroic warriors
slain in battle to the other-dimensional realm of Valhalla.) Gudra carried
a shield and was a master swordsman. The touch of her lance could killand
did; she slayed the Tigress (Young All-Stars #23)
The Sea Wolf was a werewolf who could breathe underwater. The Sea
Wolf could survive out of water for an unspecified period of time. He possessed
superhuman strength, and possibly other unrevealed powers. A second, modern Sea
Wolf (Lawrence Huff) battled Aquaman. His connection, if any, is unknown. (Aquaman
Except for Gudra, all of the above members were humans trained by Nazi Germany.
Übermensch and Sea Wolf were given their superpowers by Nazi scientists.
Usil, from Italy, was a brilliant archer who employed specially
designed arrows. The name is a ?? representation of the god Apollo. Usil was depicted in ancient times with a bow and arrows.
Kamikaze, from Japan, possessed the power of great speed in flight.
team was created by Roy Thomas as his way of illustrating the "cosmic re-balancing" in
the wake of the Crisis. In his reasoning, the absence of the Golden Age Superman,
Wonder Woman, Batman, Robin, Green Arrow and Aquaman manifested the members
of Axis Amerika. Axis Amerika could also be thought of as counterparts to the
pre-Crisis Crime Syndicate of America. Gudra was among the Justice Society's very first foes (DC Special #29).
» FIRST APPEARANCE: Gudra (unnamed): DC Special #29. Team: Young All-Stars #1 (June 1987). Kamikaze: Young All-Stars #5.
» FEATURED APPEARANCES:
Young All-Stars #1-3, 5-6, 22-25
The Modern-Day Axis
The modern team called "Axis America" was brought together by a power
broker named Manson and his organization, the Clockwatchers. Axis
were disguised behind a commune called Safe Haven which was run by a married
couple named Shepherd and Vela. Manson decided to activate the
Axis in response to the defection of one of his prized operative: Faith,
who had left his service and joined the JLA. Safe Haven was used as the catalyst
to draw the JLA in for destruction (and to coerce Faith into returning to Manson).
Manson used Axis America to rig a false explosion and gave the illusion that
Safe Haven had been recklessly destroyed by the JLA. Then Manson used a "mnemonic
conjurer" called the Mouth to make the JLA members believe in their guilt. Meanwhile, the remaining JLA member engaged in combat with Axis,
who were led by Shepherd (now Übermensch II).
His wife took the name Hel, and they were joined by Great White, Zaladin and Fleshburn. (JLA #81-82) Unlike their
predecessors, this team appeared to be American natives, but held the Nazi ideals
of "purity, cleanliness and order"
Übermensch possesses great strength and invulnerability
Hel is a winged warrior with a sword, much in the manner of a Norse Valkyrie
Great White carries an energized bull whip
Zaladin is a scimitar-weilding mystic who serves the gods of ancient Mesopotamia.
Fleshburn creates fire and appears with a flaming skull
» FIRST APPEARANCE: JLA #81 (July 2003)
» FEATURED APPEARANCES: JLA #81-82
The Fourth Reich
The Fourth Reich are a supremacist group assembled by Vandal Savage. Their
initial mission was to wage war against heroes whose legacy relied upon American
iconography: the flag, eagles, red, white and blue, etc. Their first attacks
came at a time when the Justice Society was only loosely formed following
the second "crisis." Many of the Reich's targets were ill-equipped to defend
themselves. The villains managed to execute the families of General
Glory and the Minute-Man before the
JSA even learned of their existence.
Their members included:
Vandal Savage, the immortal mastermind, hell-bent on a mission
to destroy the Justice Society.
Baroness Blitzkrieg, a new speedster taking up the mantle
of Baron Blitzkrieg, a WWII Nazi.
Captain Nazi (Albrecht Krieger), another seemingly unkillable
Nazi superman. He murdered Captain
Marvel Jr.'s grandfather. NOTE: Captain
Nazi's first historical appearance was Master Comics #21 (1941); current
of Shazam! #5
Rebel, a racist operating out of Detroit, clad in Confederate symbolism.
Rebel may or may not have been a member of the Reich, but his activities
were concurrent. NOTE: Rebel
resembles Von Bach, a villain from Kingdom Come #1.
Reichsmark, a German man encased in the same biometal
as Commander Steel.
Swastika, a neo-Nazi with his namesake tattooed over his entire
torso. NOTE: Swastika
first appeared in Kingdom Come #1 (now Earth-22).
White Dragon (William Heller) once stirred race riots in Central
City and clashed with the Suicide
Squad (Suicide Squad #4).
Then as White Dragon, he fought Hawkman. (Hawkworld v.2
These attacks provided an impetus for the estranged members of the JSA to
reform. Just as the Reich's mission was to destroy heroic legacies, the JSA's
new mission was to protect and foster them to reassemble. One of their first
encounters with the new Reich was in Philadelphia,
whereHourman and Liberty
Belle and Damage collared a new villain
called Rebel. The JSA's first solid lead on the Reich fell from the
sky, literally. After the Reich murdered his family, the new Mr.
America tracked them via a hired hand called Catalyst. Mr. America
was badly injured, and sought help from the JSA, but died while crashing
through their skylight. (JSA
While the JSA investigated the circumstances of Mr. America's death, the
Reich moved against the family of Commander
Nazi, White Dragon, Reichsmark, Swastika and Baroness Blitzkrieg attacked a
Heywood family reunion, killing nearly all of Hank Heywood's descendants. But
for the intervention of Hawkman, a number of children were saved. (#2)
Young Nathan Heywood found himself in hand-to-hand combat with Reichsmark,
who claimed that his metallic body was related to the metal which powered Nathan's
grandfather, the original Commander Steel. During the fight, Nathan stabbed
Reichsmark's with a sword and the villain's blood ran over Nathan's body and
absorbed into his skin. These more public skirmishes gave the JSA all the
information they needed to declare war on the Fourth Reich. They moved
to protect other potential targets: S.T.R.I.P.E. and Liberty Belle. Meanwhile,
their leader, Vandal Savage., attacked Wildcat and his son, Tom. (#3)
The JSA were successful in stopping the Reich's attacks in Blue
Valley and Philadelphia and they wasted no time taking most of the Reich members
into custody. (#4) Captain Nazi and some fringe members
escaped. Liberty Belle captured him with the help of Damage. (#8)
Vandal Savage's motives in creating this team are mysterious. He has never
demonstrated any racial bias, and admitted to having manipulated the sentiments
of so-called "fascists" who made up the Fourth Reich. His ultimate goal, as
always, was the destruction of the Justice Society.
» FIRST APPEARANCE: Justice
Society of America v.3 #2 (February 2007)
» FEATURED APPEARANCES: Justice
Society of America v.3 #2-6