The "The Plight of a Nation!" wiki last edited by chalkshark on 12/25/14 06:27AM View full history

"The Plight Of A Nation!"

An armored car ferries a hefty payroll to Apex Insurance. The armored car is blocked, both in front and back, by "city workers". Underneath the car, members of the Crimson Claw gang rise up through a manhole cover, and attach a canister of nitrous-oxide to the car's air-intake valve. With the security guards within the car incapacitated by the gas, the Crimson Claws make off with the payroll. The Justice Society of America decide to take down the Crimson Claws. A letter arrives at the Justice Society of America's headquarters, offering information on the Crimson Claws.

The Black Canary, and the Green Lantern, follow up on the letter. The Black Canary, and the Green Lantern meet with a young boy, Don Brent, whose brother is a member of the Crimson Claws. Before Brent can reveal too much information, he is struck by a falling tire. The Green Lantern goes after the culprit who threw the tire, only to find the calling card of the Crimson Claws. The Green Lantern rushes Brent to the hospital, while the Black Canary goes to contact Brent's family. The Black Canary brings Brent's sister, Julia, to the hospital.

When questioned, Julia feigns ignorance regarding the Crimson Claws. Acting on the one piece of information Brent passed on, before his assault, the Black Canary, and the Green Lantern, travel to Tony's grocery store. There, they observe a teenage gang distract the proprietor, before stealing several pieces of fruit. The Black Canary, and the Green Lantern, confront the gang, who wear the colors of the Crimson Claws. The Black Canary, and the Green Lantern, allow the gang to "subdue" them, so that they can follow them.

The Crimson Claw gang starts a turf war with another gang of teenagers, the Orioles. The Green Lantern interrogates one of the Orioles, while the Black Canary quashes the conflict. The Crimson Claw gang sets fire to the Orioles' clubhouse. Upon hearing news of the fire, the Flash, and the Hawkman, head out to investigate. En route to the conflagration, the Flash, and the Hawkman, run afoul of the Crimson Claws, bombing a chemical factory. The Crimson Claws subdue the Flash, and the Hawkman, then leave them to be electrocuted, within a hastily crafted deathtrap.

The Black Canary, and the Green Lantern, finally get the fire under control. The Green Lantern meets with the chief of police, and Mister Jennings, a social worker. Jennings explains the social, and economic, factors that lead to juvenile delinquency. Back at headquarters, the Black Canary, and Wonder Woman, grow concerned over the absence of the Flash, and the Hawkman. The Atom, and Doctor Mid-Nite enlist the aid of the Junior Justice Society of America, in fighting the teenage gangs. The Junior Justice Society of America send Brent in, undercover, to infiltrate the Crimson Claws gang.

The Black Canary, and the Green Lantern respond to Julia's despair. Julia is upset with her older brother, Eddie, who is revealed to be a member of the Crimson Claws. The Black Canary, and the Green Lantern, confront Eddie, who fells them with a chair. Eddie is about to gun down the Black Canary, and the Green Lantern, when he is confronted by the Flash, and the Hawkman. The Flash reveals how they escaped from the Crimson Claws' deathtrap. While the Flash is speaking, Eddie, surreptitiously, escapes. Brent reports on his progress, infiltrating the Crimson Claws gang.

Brent's brother, Chick, vouched for Brent, to get him into the gang. His first act, with the gang, was to cut the tires of cars, in the Orioles' territory, to bring heat down on the Orioles. One of the cars belonged to a doctor, who was en route to see one of the gang members' mothers. Because of the delay, the woman died. The boy, Billy, quit the Crimson Claws gang. Eddie provided the Crimson Claw gang with explosives, to hurl through windows. Eddie continues to be a bad influence on his younger brothers. Julia is crestfallen when she discovers that Brent, too, has joined the Crimson Claws gang.

Brent mails out his report on his infiltration into the Crimson Claws gang. The Black Canary, and the Green Lantern, reveal to Julia that Brent is acting as a spy, for the Junior Justice Society of America. Should Brent get into any trouble, the Junior Justice Society of America will back him up. Brent is revealed as a apsy. The Crimson Claws gang tie Brent to an old, unused railroad track. Brent is astonished that his brother, Chick, would choose to stand with the Crimson Claws gang, over him. The Flash trails Eddie, invisibly, to an abandoned subway station.

After signaling the Justice Society of America, the Flash confronts Eddie, and the Crimson Claws. The Flash is subdued. The Crimson Claw gang throws rocks at the Orioles' territory, little suspecting that some of their "rocks" are actually explosives. The explosive detonations distract the police from the Crimson Claws true objective, the robbery of a jewelry store. The Crimson Claws storms the jewelry store, only to find the Jusitce Society of America waiting for them. The Justice Society of America take down the Crimson Claws.

Julia discovers Brent tied to the train tracks. Due to the explosions, a train has been re-routed down the old line, and Brent's life is now in peril. The Junior Justice Society of America rescue Brent. With Brent leading the way, the Junior Justice Society of America confront the Crimson Claws gang, and beat the living daylights out of them. The Justice Society of America round up the Crimson Claws gang, and carry them to their headquarters. There, Wonder Woman shows the boys their likely future, should they continue on in the gang. The boys renounce their delinquent ways. Brent's brother, Chick, even joins him in the Junior Justice Society of America.

Two-page text story, "Keep It Under Your Hat" by Cliff Rhodes.

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