Per Degaton was a tyrant obsessed with the nature of time travel. An enemy of the Justice Society of America during the late 1940's, Degaton dies in 1990 after an incident with a time machine. However, this incident resulted in Degaton gaining "Chronal Duplicates" within the time stream.
Locked in an endless loop between the day he found the time machine and the day he died, Degaton's duplicates repeatedly attempt to alter the timeline to create a world that fits their vision.
In 1942, an American group called the Time Trust was working on a project that would enable them to go to the future and retrieve a bomb-proof shield to help fight World War II. The man that would become known as "Per Degaton" worked as an assistant on the team and quickly became obsessed with time travel, making his goal to one day travel in time. However, when the Justice Society of America went 500 years into the future and retrieved a formula to make the shield, Per Degaton was so jealous that he sabotages the formula and quits Time Trust.
He then joined another secret science department called Project M, where he meets Mekanique, a robot from the 23rd century who convinces Degaton to help her in her fight against the All-Star Squadron in exchange for teaching him the secrets of time travel. Together they try to take over the All-Star Squadron, but are defeated by the Young All-Stars. During the battle Mekanique's body is destroyed, however, Per Degaton salvages her head, which he carries around with him for the next five years and eventually the two fall in love.
In 1947 Degaton, Professor Malachi Zee (a former member of the Time Trust) and Mechanique together create a time machine. Trying to steal the machine, Degaton shoots the professor who falls into the machine and accidentally activating it, sending the machine 40 years into the future. Degaton lunged at the machine to prevent it from travelling to the future without him, but fails. When Mekanique suggests that they wait forty years for the machine to reappear, Degaton goes into lunatic rage and buries Mekanique's head.
Making new plans for himself Per Degaton begins a short career as an evil para-military commander and joins the Injustice Society of the World. He leads an army of prison escapees in an assault on Washington D.C. but is defeated by the JSA and spends the next 30 years in prison.
After his release, Degaton roams the streets as a derelict until his old ally from the Injustice Society Brain Wave finds him and temporarily gives him what amounts to a new, younger body. Together they attack the JSA, but are unsuccessful. Degaton returns to prison, but is paroled ten years later due to advanced age.
When he is released he rebuilds Mechanique. As Mechanique goes on to fight the Justice Society and the Justice League of America she reappeares in Los Angeles a few years later to bring an aged Degaton who was struck by a car back to life, and the two of them attack Infinity, Inc. at the scheduled return site of the time machine. When the time machine appears, it contains not only the body of Zee, but a younger Degaton. This duplicate version of Degaton had been created by the chronal energies of the time machine as Degaton had lunged at the machine in 1947. The elder Degaton vanishes from existence at the appearance of his younger self, but fearing that the young Degaton would destroy her again, Mekanique activates a self-destruct that kills Degaton along with herself.
While both the original Degaton and the 1947 Degaton chronal duplicate died on that day, the duplicate could still exist through the timestream.
Several times prior to his death, the chronal duplicate tries without success to alter the course of history for his own benefit, including thwarting the course of ancient historical events like the Battle of Arbela between Greece and Persia in 331 B.C. The Justice Society undoes his historical changes, and by so-doing, it is as if they had never occurred, resulting in the Degaton chronal duplicate being returned to 1947, and the memories of the events erased from all involved.
Similar results are achieved by members of the All-Star Squadron who thwart the chronal duplicate's attempt to change the circumstances of the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor, however, his actions did end up preventing the JSA from intercepting the attacking Japanese forces and also results in Danette Reilly attaining her fire-based powers and becoming the second Firebrand.
Now equipped with a time disc, the chronal duplicate has the ability to live "between seconds", and uses his time-travelling abilities to "watch life hurting [his enemies]." Sequentially confronting all the current JSA members, he tells them that he saw them die, and reveals some hints on their final moments.
After sending his genetically enhanced agents from the future to kill all relatives of Stargirl, he causes the JSA's temporary 1950s dissolution to become permanent, and disgraces all the masked crime-fighters as traitors, thus erasing from history all subsequent superheroes. The chronal duplicate is eventually stopped by the JSA however the duplicate retreats into the time-stream and still remains at large today.
- Per Degaton (Justice For All)
- Per Degaton (World War II Basic Training and Battle Preparation)
- Per Degaton appears in cutscenes of Saving Justice and War Crimes.
- Per Degaton is one of the two possible bosses in the Time Capsule event duo World War II Basic Training and Battle Preparation.
- Per Degaton is one of the boss fights in the Justice For All raid.
- Per Degaton first appeared All-Star Comics #35 (1947).
- Per Degaton possesses a limited "time vision," allowing him to know what will happen in the near future. He is also aware of changes to the timestream and has made mention of remembering events from before the Crisis on Infinite Earths.
- Due to being out of phase with normal time, Per Degaton is physically intangible. Hourman's tachyon-filled hourglass has been shown to blur his time vision and allow anyone possessing it to hit Degaton.
- Per Degaton travels on a "time disc," a machine that allows him to travel through time as well as having fail-safes to return time to normal should his plans fail. It is capable of flight and he has mentioned a camera in it. Degaton also uses smaller time discs which can alter the speed of whatever they come into contact with.
- Per Degaton is one of a few beings who is aware of the Multiverse before the Crisis on Infinite Earths.