Real Name: None
Class: Human technology-user
Occupation: Laboratory assistant, would-be world conqueror
Group Affiliation: formerly Injustice Society of the World
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Mobile
First Appearance: All-Star Comics I #35 (July, 1947)Powers: Per Degaton was a brilliant criminal strategist who possessed time-traveling technology.
History: Per Degaton was obsessed with time travel ever since he began working as an assistant for the Time Trust, a group of scientists developing a time machine. Nazis attempted to steal the near-working machine, but were foiled by the Justice Society of America. In a fit of jealousy Per Degaton sabotaged the time machine and left the Time Trust soon after. In 1942 he was employed at Project M, another secret scientific group. During this time he met the time traveling robot Mekanique, who enlisted his aid in her war against the All-Star Squadron. In exchange for his help, Mekanique promised to give him the secrets of time travel. They failed in their attack on the All-Stars, and Mekanique’s body was destroyed, but Degaton salvaged her head. He kept her head by his side for the next five years, and they fell in love.
In 1947 Degaton was assisting Professor Malachi Zee, a former member of the Time Trust. Zee was able to finish a time machine with the help of Degaton and Mekanique. Degaton planned to take the machine for himself, and shot Zee, who unexpectedly fell into it, sending him 40 years into the future. Mekanique suggested that the two of them simply wait four decades for the machine to reappear, but this idea drove Degaton into a lunatic rage. He buried Mekanique’s head, and made new plans for himself. Per Degaton began a short career as an evil para-military commander and joined the Injustice Society of the World. He led an army of prison escapees in an assault on Washington D.C. but was defeated by the JSA and spent the next 30 years in prison.
(All-Star Comics I #59) - Degaton had hit the skids, he was homeless and in very poor health. Brain Wave found him at a soup kitchen and was determined to restore his vitality in hopes that Degaton would make him a new body. Brain Wave caused a series of worldwide disasters and made a machine that sapped the willpower of the JSA that they displayed in averting the disasters to return will and youth to Per Degaton. The JSA confronted the villains aboard Brain Wave's space station, and when the JSA had the villains on the ropes, Brain Wave used his mental powers to send Earth on a collision course with the sun, demanding they submit or see the planet die. Power Girl sent Brain Wave's space station toward the sun, overheating it and causing the villains to pass out.
Free at last Degaton reconstructed Mekanique and the pair battled Infinity, Inc. at the site of arrival of Zee’s time machine. When it reappeared it contained not only the dying Zee, but a 1947 version of Degaton himself. When Degaton lunged at the machine as it had disappeared in 1947, the machine’s energies had created two Degatons, one who lived a normal life and one who was carried along with the time machine. The older Degaton disintegrated instantly due to the paradoxical existence of two Degatons at one moment. Mekanique killed the younger Degaton as well as herself, fearing this Degaton would end up betraying her once more.
(JSA #59) - Per Degaton realized from his past and future defeats at the hands of the JSA that he could never destroy the team. Instead he took pleasure at watching life hurt them, time traveling to the moments when the current JSA team faced hardship or died. He enjoyed watching the JSAers die so much that he kept rewatching their deaths. Degaton appeared in the present, giving hints to the JSA members about when and how they would die. He kept only part of himself in the present so they couldn’t hurt him, except for Hourman I, who possessed his son’s tachyon-fillled hourglass. Hourman bloodied Degaton’s mouth, and Degaton was appalled at someone laying hands on him. Degaton ended his day watching Stargirl get her heart broken for the first time after Captain Marvel broke up with her.
(JSA #65, 66) - Per Degaton appeared to the mortally wounded Hourman II at Time-Point and asked him how much he loved his father. They JSA saved Hourman II’s life, but when Time-Point vanished and it was time for Hourman I to enter the past and die at Extant’s hands, Hourman II thought on Degaton’s words tried to stop him. This briefly fractured time, allowing Per Degaton to enter Vanishing Point.
(JSA #67) - Per Degaton arrived at October 17, 1951, immediately after HUAC shut down the Justice Society.
(JSA #68, 70-72)- In the year 1951 Per Degaton disguised himself as Agent Williams and testified before HUAC to accuse the JSA of having ties to the communists. HUAC forced the Justice Society to disband, and Degaton planned to assassinate the President on October 30, 1951 and blame it on the disbanded Justice Society, thus altering history. As a result they would be tried for treason and the JSA would never again reform. Chronos II came to stop Per Degaton, but the Red Morgue subdued him. Degaton spit on Chronos’ idea of ‘fixing time.’ He said time was fluid, and even as they spoke other forces were working to alter history and retrofit continuity. Degaton sent the Red Morgue to make sure a 10-year-old Chronos was killed in a car accident. They succeeded and Chronos vanished, as Degaton told him he was a time paradox anyway. Hourman I attacked Degaton, but was brought down by the Red Morgue. Degaton tortured Hourman by sending the Red Morgue back in time and eliminating his childhood friends one by one. Hourman II saved his father from Degaton, plowing his way through the Red Morgue and escaping. The Justice Society and JSA went to Washington to warn Truman that his life was in danger. Degaton and the Red Morgue attacked Washington, but the teams were ready for him. Degaton used a time-disc to speed up Atom’s metabolism and turn him into a nuclear bomb ready to go off. If he exploded millions would die, but J.J. Thunder and Johnny Thunder summoned the Thunderolt to turn Atom back to normal. Hourman II gave Atom-Smasher his tachyon hourglass so he could physically batter Degaton, who was forced to flee into the timestream. Degaton was incensed at his defeat and went back to going through time and watching JSAers die.
(JSA #75) - Per Degaton arrived in Khandaq just in time to see the Spectre stop Atom-Smasher’s heart. Degaton gloated over Atom-Smasher until Stargirl drove him back into the timestream.
Comments: Created by Irwin Hasen & John Broome
In the pre-Crisis DC Universe Per Degaton lived on Earth-2. In this continuity Degaton battled the JSA by himself at the site of arrival of Zee’s time machine. When it reappeared it contained only Zee, who named Degaton as his killer before passing away. Per Degaton then committed suicide rather than return to jail.
Per Degaton received profiles in Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #17 and Who's Who Update '88 #3.
A photo of Per Degaton and the Injustice Society of the World was seen in the JSA Museum in JSA #52
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