In a meeting between an unidentified general, Fighting Yank, Green Lama, Black Terror, The Flame, and “Big Blue” (1), it is revealed that Adolf Hitler has come into possession of a mystical object which is the original source of all the world's evil: Pandora's Box (actually an urn) described in the ancient Greek myth. Bruce Carter in his guise as The Fighting Yank, is tasked by the U.S. Government to parachute into Nazi Germany and steal the urn.
Pandora's urn introduced evil into the world, but also released hope; while the Axis powers are the representatives of that evil, the 1940's “mystery men” are conversely the embodiment of hope. The mystical creatures released when the urn was opened are visible as physical entities when special goggles (invented by Alan Oppenheimer and other atomic scientists) are worn. Yank puts on the goggles and is immediately attacked by the creatures. After he removes the goggles, Yank's “spirit guide” (the ghost of his colonial-era ancestor, Bruce Carter I) tells him that since hope was the last thing released from the urn the only way to reimprison its evil is to first trap his fellow mystery men within it.
Fighting Yank attempts to convince his allies to enter the urn voluntarily, but they refuse. Carter determines to imprison them one at a time. Three days after the bombing of Hiroshima, the mystery men are in Kokura, Japan, the intended target of the second atomic bomb. Their purpose is to stop the bombing by obtaining a Japanese surrender. Instead of surrendering, the Japanese army attacks the heroes, resulting in a large-scale battle. The U.S. military, in the mistaken belief that the resulting dust and debris are cloud cover obscuring the city, switch the target city to Nagasaki. Meanwhile, Carter takes advantage of the confusion to trap The Flame within the urn; it was necessary to imprison The Flame first as his power would help the other mystery men survive within the urn.
Later, as an elderly man, Bruce Carter III was visited by The American Spirit. The Spirit informed him of the error of his ways, and that he must free the trapped heroes to make things right. Carter then visited his old friend the Green Lama in Tibet to ask for his help.
They found the Urn in the possession of Dynamic Man, another wartime ally. Dynamic Man and his Dynamic Family were no longer the friends they remebered, however. Carter managed to break the Urn, freeing the heroes who are scattered around the world. A long, world-wide battle with the Dynamic Forces followed. The Fighting Yank was struck down in Shangri-La in an attack by the Crusaders. He survived, but was left behind by his allies. Unexpectly, he was shot by three arrows from the returning Arrow. Before he died, Yank took on his ancestor's curse, and now aids the Superpowers in his new ghostly form.
Their prolonged stay in the urn transformed some of the Superpowers in various ways.
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