Monday, November 19, 2007
House of Mystery #155 (12/65)
"On a remote beach illuminated by the light of the full moon, the dread Idol-Head of Diabolu opens..." From the smoke that issued forth formed a colossal man in red bikini swim trunks, a turban, plate earrings, and nothing else but a moustache measured in feet. Why must he be, “The Giant Genie of Gensu” instead of just a Robin Williams-sized wish granter? Because it’s a J’onn J’onzz story, and every other villain has to be a giant. It was federal law. By what authority may we judge them?
He appeared before petty criminal "Mousy" Mulloy, saying, "As you are first man to lay eyes upon me--The Genie of Gensu--I am yours to command, master!" My first command would be, "Don't touch me in that bad way," but I digress. As a test command, Mousy had his genie snatch a ship out of the water and shake its passengers loose. Next, he hit the Eastside garage hideout of the Duke Durgon Gang, and used Dijin muscle to take charge of those bums. They'd need capital, so the genie was sent to swipe the entire vault out of a bank. This was where he ran afoul of the Manhunter. This pleased onlookers: “’More powerful than bullets’ is right! You mean the Manhunter from Mars!”
"The Martian Marvel moves with lightning speed," to snag the vault for a safe landing. The genie tossed a fire hydrant at J'onn J’onzz, completely getting his weakness wrong as it bounced off the alien’s chest. As a matter of fact, I took this as an in-joke, since this is just about the only HoM story to not exploit fire. Even though J'Onn considered, "This character is as indestructible as I am," he still flipped the giant around with a judo toss. Ex-gang leader Duke thought, "Yipes...He hasn't a chance against the Martian!" When power beams exploded from the genie's eyes, J'Onn figured he'd, "...tear apart the whole town trying to defeat me," so he turned invisible (for once!) Duke assumed the genie annihilated Manhunter, and proceeded to lead “The Amazing Martian” straight to his hideout.
J'Onn gave Duke Durgon a rough tap on the noggin, then assumed his identity. "Duke" learned the genie's Diabolu origins, then tricked Mousy into sending his servant to an abandoned mine. Manhunter then fantastically transformed into the Genie of Gensu with his shapeshifting abilities. “The Genie” next went on a rampage against the former Duke Durgon Gang. Using his amazing hearing, J'Onn tracked the real genie's return to his master, and split just before it arrived. Fearing for his life, Mousy commanded the genie to return to where it came from. With the Genie of Gensu out of the way, J'Onn easily packed the gangsters off to the pokey. “From now on, Mousy--you’ll be taking commands--in prison--instead of giving them!” Could J’Onzz be any less delicate without referencing shower stalls and broom handles? Buh-roo-tal! Please not also the lack of illogic leaps and versatile use of Martian abilities? Could this really be by Jack Miller and Joe Certa?