Action Comics #663
DC Comics (March, 1991)
“Time & Time Again” phase 2: “Lost In The ’40s Tonight”
WRITER: Roger Stern
ARTIST: Bob McLeod
COLORIST: Glenn Whitmore
LETTERER: Bill Oakley
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Dan Thorsland
EDITOR: Mike Carlin
continued from The Adventures Of Superman #476: Caught in an explosion while aiding the Legion Of Super-Heroes, Superman is flung into the timestream again, this time landing in 1943. Mistaken for a circus performer and with his eyesight impaired, Superman joins a nearby circus as strongman Samson, until they reach Metropolis. After rescuing President Roosevelt from a Nazi assassin, Superman gets the idea to find the Justice Society, temporarily calling themselves the Justice Battalion, and get their help. He’s stopped by The Spectre, who doesn’t have the power to send him home, but can send him where he is most needed…right in front of a Nazi train!
What they got right: This is actually an homage to the original origin of Superman’s costume, as Siegel and Shuster were inspired by a circus strongman, and for some reason Superman’s costume turns darker, as it was back in those days. His actual circus costume even has his original “S” symbol on it from the 30s and 40s.
What they got wrong: Maybe this will get explained or I’m off on the timeline, but in DC lore Hitler is supposed to have the “Spear Of Destiny”, and he used some spell along with the Spear’s power to keep all of the powered heroes out of the war, a way to explain why they didn’t just defeat Nazi Germany overnight. How is the Spectre then able to send Superman to “Naziland”, or does this take place before Adolf used the Spear? Or maybe this story will be why he broke out the Spear? Also, do we really care about these “hey, this is still a thing” story beats that have nothing to do with this story and won’t be resolved at any point during it, outside of Lois worrying about Superman and Booster trying to find him?
Other notes: I don’t know enough about DC history post-Crisis to know for sure, but this is the first I’ve heard of the Justice Society being called the Justice Battalion. So I don’t know if this is a mistake or not, which is why I’m mentioning it here. Sovrn just gives me links to the DC miniseries Kingdom Come.
Recommendation: This is an interesting story arc. It might be worth taking a look at.