World War III

Wonder Woman discussing the possibilities of World War III.[1]

World War III was the third conflict on Earth that was considered a "World War," with the previous one being World War II, which followed World War I.

Details of the war are sketchy at best, but it was a truly horrific period of human history.

The conflict was a nuclear conflict, and it presumably began sometime around the year 2045,[2] and by the 2050s, certain parts of the Earth were irradiated due to fallout caused by the nuclear weapons.[3]


Once when time warped Super Powers Team members Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Doctor Fate were on Easter Island in the year 1087, they encountered an alien race known as the M'Mtnek.

Wonder Woman saw that their technology was quite advanced and they had weaponry that Wonder Woman believed was enough to start World War III, albeit more than a thousand years early.[4]

During the 20th century, especially during the Cold War era, with conflicts such as the Vietnam War and others, it was long feared that such conflicts could escalate into World War III. This did not occur at the time, but the possibility still existed for a global conflict, possibly even with nuclear weaponry. Indeed, such a thing was far from impossible, as even on the planet Colu, a world far more advanced then Earth, such nuclear conflicts did indeed exist,[5] and for Earth, it seemed that it was just considered around the corner.

By the 21st century, the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York City was also a turning point in history, which some believed might someday lead to a Third World War.[6]

The War

Apparently World War III began in the mid-2040s, which led to a nuclear conflict, which wiped out many human lives.


There were many survivors of World War III, but many of them were subjected to living in harsh environments, due to the fact that there was much nuclear radiation in certain regions of Earth. Jonah Hex was displaced in time to this period, and he had to fight for survival,
World War III Aftermath

The aftermath of the war[7]

battling his way through highway bandits and others that might do him harm, in this post-apocalyptic landscape.[8]

It's unknown what the status of the Justice League of America was during this time period, as many of them were likely dead by this time, and the few that might have been alive were possibly retired or maybe even killed during the actual conflict. Still, their offspring or successors may have been in the League at this time, doing the best they could to defend the Earth during this post-atomic nightmare. This period would come to be known as the Post-Holocaust Era.[9]


On an alternate Earth, World War III started much sooner on Earth. It occurred on October 9, 1986. This atomic war lasted twenty days and proved quite devastating.

It brought an end to almost all plant and animal life. Sometime after the war, the Atomic Knights became protectors of what was left of the wastelands.

Hercules and Kamandi were also active during this time.

Mr. Mxyzptlk once chased Bat-Mite through this reality, and they caught a brief glimpse of the Atomic Knights and the nuked world around them.[10]

23rd Century

World War III (23rd century)

World War III in the twenty-third century.[11]

In a parallel universe or an alternate timeline, World War III didn't occur until sometime in the late 23rd century.

Billions upon billions of lives were lost due to the detonation of the proton bombs. The few who did survive, much to their misfortune, were forced to rebuild their civilization; almost from the ground up.[12]


  • World War III[13] first appeared in Hex # 1 (September 1985).[14]
  • The Pre-Crisis World War III was very different from the Post-Crisis version of the conflict. This article is more in line with the Pre-Crisis version, as that was what was referenced in the book.


  1. As seen in Super Powers # 3 (November 1985).
  2. This is just conjecture based upon this source.
  3. As seen in the DC Heroes gamebook Hex: Escort to Hell (1986).
  4. As seen in Super Powers # 3 (November 1985).
  5. As seen in The New Adventures of Superman episode Superman Meets Brainiac (1966).
  6. This is conjecture based upon real-life. The destruction of the World Trade Center was never actually mentioned in the Super Friends or related material, as it hadn't happened yet in the real world.
  7. As seen in the comic story: Worms (1985).
  8. As seen in Hex: Escort to Hell (1986).
  9. This is just conjecture.
  10. As seen in the comic book: Superman and Batman: World's Funnest (2000).
  11. As seen in the comic story: War! (1984).
  12. As seen in the comic story: War! (1984).
  13. Or rather the aftermath of World War III...
  14. For more information about that DC comic book, click here.

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