Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Justice League of America #112 - Aug. 1974

sgThe return of one of the JLA's most fearsome foes, Amazo!

The Story: "War With The One-Man Justice League!" by Len Wein, Dick Dillin, and Dick Giordano. Continuing the story from last issue, we rejoin he JLA in their satellite, having lost their powers due to the machinations of the mysterious Libra.

The rest of the JLA shows up, and its the Atom who suggests using Amazo to return the heroes' powers. They rewire him, and Black Canary even takes the time to redesign his costume! The plan is to trick Amazo into chasing the JLA, causing him to attract the molecules Libra stole from the JLAers that contain their powers.

Amazo first takes on The Flash, Elongated Man, and Black Canary, and then Superman, Aquaman, and Green Arrow, and everything goes according to plan. Except that Batman--even operating at half his intellectual power--figures out a flaw in their plan!

After Amazo runs into Green Lantern, Red Tornado, and Atom, he figures out their plan, since he has half of Batman's smarts. Luckily. Bats figured that out, too, anf finds a way to hit Amazo with a blast of energy which drained all his powers, making him little match for the Dark Knight Detective.

Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Atom, Black Canary, Elongated Man, Red Tornado

Notable Moments: There's more to this story than what I outlined above, but I found it peculiarly difficult to summarize. The plan to use Amazo is complicated, luckily the JLA had the Atom and Batman working on it.

This issue comes with a two-page "Amazo and His Creator" feature, featuring panels from previous Amazo stories, a JLA crossword, another Seven Soldiers of Victory reprint(Part 2 of "Beware! The Black Star Shines!", from Leading Comics #2), a Starman solo story, "Starman's Lucky Star!" from Adventure Comics #81, plus "The Super-Exiles From Earth!" from JLA #19.

But that's not all! There's also a separate letters page all about Hawkman's resignation from the JLA, called:
...first Watergate, now this!

This same month, over in Wonder Woman, began the multi-issue storyline guest-starring the individual members of the JLA as they put the Amazing Amazon through "trials" to see if she, now that she had her powers back, was up to rejoining the JLA.

To be perfectly honest, I had zero interest in digging up all these issues of WW, since I always found reading a solo Wonder Woman comic generally a tedious experience (no offense to the fine folks who worked on her book over the years). But it was an unusual and impactful storyline, so it deserves some mention, so here are the covers to the issues:
...as you can see, each then member of the JLA got a shot, even the Red Tornado(though he got pared up with The Phantom Stranger)! The series, of course, culminated in Wonder Woman rejoining the JLA, which we'll get to in a few weeks.


BentonGrey said...

You know, the plot with Amazo sounds a bit odd and convoluted, but I've got to say (although I've never had much interest in WW either) those Wonder Woman covers are absolutely FANTASTIC.

russell said...

I should write something about this series, as I came across the Atom issue (with awesome Dick Giordano art) and from there tracked down the whole rest of the series. As for JLA 112, this is my absolutely positively most favorite issue. 'Nuff said?

Earth 2 Chris said...

That first WW cover always screams "Super Friends" to me. I don' think the comic WW ever looked as close to her Toth-designed counterpart, even in the SF comc!

I have this JLA, one of the few I have from this period. Great issue. Batman rules!


Tick-Tock Tyler said...

Gotta love those 100-pagers! But the new stories really deserved a bigger piece of the cover. I mean, that can't be more than 25%. Leave it to Nick Cardy to make such small pictures exciting, tho.

>>Notable Moments: There's more to this story than what I outlined above, but I found it peculiarly difficult to summarize. The plan to use Amazo is complicated, luckily the JLA had the Atom and Batman working on it.<<

The JLAers kept saying things like "half of my molecules are missing", which never made sense to me. Then again, I couldn't figure out how Amazo absorbed the powers that Libra stole, rather than the half that were still in the heroes bodies, which were much closer. So you are right, good thing Atom and Batman were on the case!

I've got about half of those WW issues. I thought the concept was pretty neat. Diana didn't want to re-join the JLA until she proved herself on 12 tasks (like the 12 labors of Hercules in mythology). But since her magazine was published bi-monthly, it took nearly two years for her to complete her twelve labors. Maybe the idea was to get JLA readers to buy WW. It worked! These are the only WW mags I own! But it would have been better for those of us who wanted her back in the JLA to have, say, four full stories followed by a bunch of JLAers saying "I saw her do something really good! She's got my vote! Welcome back, Princess!"

Luke said...

I was reading an issue of Our Fighting Forces (#150) last night, and it had a house ad which featured that WW cover with the Flash on it! How random is that?

Anonymous said...

Dick Dillin pencils plus Dick Giordano inks = Justice League heaven! And I absolutely LOVE this era of Wonder Woman. What wonderful covers those were!

Earth-2 Rev. Nørb said...

Ya gotta wonder how much of a readership boost guest-star morts like Red Tornado, Phantom Stranger,and Elongated Man provided. "Slim to none" would be my guess. I don't really have many WW comics, but i sort of like what i've seen of the early Harry Peter ((?!)) stories, just because of the constant bondage depictions.

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