WANTED: Earth-Two's Most Dangerous Super-Villains

Strike Force

Group information

Member names: Arthur Pemberton (Number One), undefined  number of other members

Residence: Usually Mobile
Occupation: Professional Criminals
First Appearance (Golden Age): All-Star Comics #70 (February 1978)

Character History

Strike Force is an American criminal paramilitary organization formed by Arthur Pemberton, heir to the fortune of John and Gloria Pemberton.  The exact circumstances under which Pemberton formed Strike Force is unknown and how long it have been in operation prior to it's first encounter with the Justice Society in 1978 is unclear.

The first publicly-known action of the Strike Force occurred in Gotham City at the Gotham National Bank.  Somewhat serendipitously, Strike Force chose to act when most member of the JSA was pre-occupied with other case work. The only active members on duty were Wildcat and the Star-Spangled Kid, actually Sylvester Pemberton, the eldest son of John Pemberton.  The two heroes completely missed the initial attack by Strike Force on the bank, one in which the Gotham Police, led by Inspector Jim Corrigian, were easily repelled.  Even the heavily armed tactical police unit made no headway. 

As the Strike Force prepared to leave the Bank, the Star-Spangled Kid and Wildcat were relaxing in their civilian identities at a local bar that erupt into a classic pointless bar fight.  In the midst of the melee, the Kid sees the Gotham News reporting on the scene at Gotham National and the two heroes move quickly to intercept the fleeing criminals.  Intercepting Strike Force, the two JSA members engaged but were overwhelmed by superior technology in the Kid's case and superior numbers in Wildcats.  The two were taken as prisoners back to into a Strike Force hideout beneath Gotham Stadium until they were liberated by the Huntress, who had also been tailing the criminal's retreat.  The Huntress frees the two JSAers but is interrupted by the return Strike Force.  After another melee, the Star-Spangled Kid instructs his two colleagues to escape while he sacrifices himself to be captured as cover. 
jsa vs strike force inks color resize
The two heroes retreat to JSA Headquarters where they attempt to raise other members and Wildcat interrogates the Huntress, learning her true identity as Helena Wayne, daughter of the Batman,  Meanwhile, Strike Force had released press revealing the capture of the Star-Spangled Kid and demanding ransom.  Gloating  before the chain hero, the Arthur Pemberton revealed his true name, bragging about his inheritance and not realizing that the rightful heir was actually bound in front of him.  This revelation made the Kid both appalled and shamed, as he avoided dealing with his affairs since his return from the ancient past after  the Seven Soldiers of Victory battle with the hand (revealed in Justice League of America #100-102).

When the Huntress and Wildcat fail to raise any back-up, the return to Gotham Stadium for clues. Finding a piece of astroturf, they track it's origins to the Meadowlands Track and Stable.  Arriving in their civilian identities, the two discover Strike Force's hideaway at the trak and quickly switch to their uniforms.  Catching the criminals unawares, they use the element of surprise to subdue some of them and liberate the Star=Spangled Kid, who rapidly turns the tide,  The coup de grace is cornering Arthur Pemberton, who the Kid personally knocks out as a manner of family honor.  (All-Star Comics #70-71). 

After this, the Star-Spangled Kid left active duty in the JSA and reclaimed the Pemberton fortune, we he used to establish Infinity Inc. several years later.  The activities of Strike Force on Earth-Two after this are unknown.

Powers and Abilities

Funded by the Pemberton fortune, Strike Force was heavily armed and defended with state of the art paramilitary technology.  Even hardware deemed too expensive for the military was not off the the table for the Force. They also maintained an extensive network of basis and were comprised of humans trained to elite levels of fitness and combat readiness.  The full extent of their holdings has not been revealed.

Weaknesses and Limitations

Separated from their hardware, they could be defeated as ordinary men with sufficient force and energy.
Multiversity Villains


Prior Earth-0
In the immediate post-Crisis timeline, the origins of Strike Force are thought to be largely intact (minus the involvement of the Huntress).  Pemberton leads additional iterations of Strike Force into the 21st century, with notable cases involving contracting with JSA foe Johnny Sorrow (JSA All-Star #1-2) and pursuit of ancient magical artifacts to exceed normal technological weaponry (JSA All-Stars #14-16).  The final fate of either Arthur Pemberton or Strike Force in this time line are unknown.




Reprinted in

All-Star Comics #70-71

1st appearance,  vs. the Justice Society

Justice Society TPB Vol. 2, Showcase Presents All-Star Comics Vol. 1, All-Star Comics: Only Legends Live Forever