The JLA star in a human - interest / relevance story, "The Private war of Johnny Dune!" The story begins with Batman and Aquaman about to teleport up to the JLA Headquarters, 22,300 miles above the surface of the earth. However, before they are able to do so, Superman scoops them up from behind - to save them from being killed - or so he says! A handy Superman rocket transports the heroes to the Sattelite, where a tearful Black Canary tells of how Hawkman, Flash and Green Lantern suddenly disappeared from the teleporter tube without a trace. Batman begins his investigation.
We switch scenes to find Johnny Dune, American serviceman returning home from a tour of duty. Dune grew up on the streets, sang a mean ballad and ran with the gang before he got drafted. War made him hard and when he got shot and cried out in pain and frustration, he discovered his voice contained a latent but powerful mutation. Now that Dune is back home with nothing but a medal and memories, the fact that he can't get a job and no one knows or needs him is making him angry - very angry.
Meanwhile Green Arrow and the Atom are performing tricks for a local fundraiser. Just so happens that the next act on stage is none other than Johnny Dune! Dune had previously announced that he wanted the city's political boss to back him for mayor - he knew the streets, he could clean them up, he knew what the kids wanted. The Politico agreed to back him if he could deliver. Well, Dune delivered, but the political boss crossed him and backed the mayor instead. Now on stage, Dune soon incites the crowd to riot. Despite the battling efforts of Green Arrow (who is confined to close quarters and can't use his bow) and the Atom, they fall captive to the mob, but not before they have pressed the JLA emergency device.
Back at JLA HQ, Batman has deduced that the JLA teleporter has intercepted a Zeta beam from the planet Rann. As if to confirm his suspicions, Green Lantern sends a beamed message back to the JLA requesting help. At the same time the emergency call from GA and the Atom comes in. While Superman heads into space, Batman and Black Canary go to answer the call from the Atom and Aquaman remains in the sattelite to co-ordinate things.
Batman and Black Canary are instantly in action, holding more than their own against the mob who are under Dune's control. It is only when Dune sets hero against hero (Huge lettering or writing mistake here, as Dune calls out "Lantern" instead of "Arrow"!) that all four members of the League find themselves under the spell of his mutant voice.
Despite the fact that he has the power to control the mob, Dune soon discovers that power is being tested as rogue elements split away, committing acts of violent destruction. In order to stop them, Dune has no choice but to release Green Arrow, who overcomes Dune and sets the other JLAers free. With Dune out of action, the violence escalates, and despite their best efforts, the League are powerless to stop the whole of the mob. Suddenly, Dune realises what he has done and with a last effort of his mutant voice, he orders the mob to turn their violence on him. Beaten into unconsciousness, Dune is relieved as the mob walk away free from his spell. The League take Dune to hospital, where, after a while he makes a full recovery and accepts that the political landscape cannot be changed overnight. Now, devoid of his mutant power, Dune decides to run for office the traditional way. The epilogue reminds us that Superman is streaking into space and the JLA are about to face the threat of Starbreaker.
This story was originally published in All-American Comics #25 (April, 1941). A plot summary for this story can be found at the link.
This story was originally published in More Fun Comics #67 (May, 1941). A plot summary for this story can be found at the link.