Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Justice League Task Force #7 (12/93)



Hannibal Martin: In remote Africa, a government operative carrying a deadly canister filled with viral agents found himself trapped in a hidden underground city. Though captured by green-skinned amazons called The Daal, he was allowed to send word to the outside world. Only fellow females would be allowed to reclaim this male agent, so Wonder Woman, Vixen, Dolphin, Maxima, and Gypsy were gathered for the job. J'Onn's leadership was still required in Martin's eyes: "Besides, you saw... they're green... and don't think you can spend the whole time invisible. I want you at the forefront of this group!"

Martian Manhunter: "Considering that I am male, how do you propose I... I... oh, you can't be serious!" J'Onzz considered his pre-operative options in solitude, then refused to come out. Martin threatened to drag him out. "'Drag' is an... unfortunate choice of words... A leader cannot lead if he appears ludicrous to those who would follow him... You'll laugh... Very well. I'm trusting you to be mature about this." Out stepped Martian Manhunter in very female form, his chest straps converted to a bra, plus a thong to replace his usual banana hammock, plus thigh-high boots. Everyone did laugh at him, but Martin consoled, "For what it's worth... I think you look adorable!" J'Onzz rolled her eyes and pushed off with his team in a submarine.

Wonder Woman: Sobbed over Manhunter's selection of "An Affair To Remember" as a movie to entertain the ladies before the mission briefing. "What a noble woman she is. So proud and self-sacrificing..." Promised she wouldn't make fun of J'Onn's gender-bending, but stifled a smile. Paired off with J'Onzz when exiting the submersible. Caught an arrow in midair that nearly struck Maxima, then blocked a great many more with her lighting swift bracelets.

Gypsy: Went "Bwa-hah-ha" at J'Onzz's choice of a pre-briefing movie. "This is the dopiest thing I've ever seen... why did you think we'd like this film?" Wondered where J'Onn got the femmes who fell for the flick. Asked, "J'Onn, what's the deal? We know you're a shapeshifter. One shape should be like another to you. You're worried about nothing." Among the loudest to laugh at the Martian Womanhunter. While J'Onzz captained the underwater vessel, opined "We won't get lost. I mean, now that you're a woman, you'd stop and ask for directions, right?" Stuffed Dolphin in a torpedo tube. Repeatedly mocked Wonder Woman, and even threw Mari a bit of shade. Knocked out Daals while invisible.

Dolphin: Sniffled during the movie with Diana. Laughed at the gender change. Revealed, probably for the first time in her long but spotty existence, that she could speak. Drew piranha that could eat through metal away from the sub, then guided her teammates to safety ashore.

Maxima: When J'Onzz explained his rental with, "Blue Beetle said he'd heard women found it moving," replied quite irritably that only her stomach was moved. "I will never understand women... not that I'll ever understand humans as a whole, but women are especially perplexing!" Scolded J'Onzz at his apprehension over assuming "womanhood," but made sport of him all the same. Shocked when Dolphin spoke, then noted that once she got going, she wouldn't shut up. Couldn't keep the damaged sub together, but rescued Gypsy in an air bubble. Guided along with teammates by the High Priestess Luta to the queen of the Daals, Her-Who-Must-Be-Served.

Vixen: Said of the movie, "Maxima's right, J'Onn. This is really pathetic." Announced at the transformation, "Oh, God... it's JOAN J'ONZZ!" Continued through the mission, to which the subject pleaded, "don't call me Joan!" Helped Gypsy and Maxima get to shore with the abilities of a fish. Joined team in battling Daals, as they were having their mettle tested in preparation for meeting the queen. Saw her dubbing of "Joan" mimicked by Wonder Woman in introducing J'Onzz to Her-Who-Must-Be-Served, who declared the Martian the one she's waited her life for as a worthy mate.

The Creators: As soon as you hear "McGuffin Virus," you know pun-happy comics humorist Peter David can't be far. David had a ball with the Burroughs-inspired amazons and the female cast, especially Gypsy's sarcasm and the more transgressive elements. Sal Velluto and Jeff Albrecht fulfilled the cover promise, "The Martian Manhunter as you've never seen him!" Velluto was still in his transition between the coarseness of his Marvel work and his slicker Neal Adams look to come, so the quality varied by the panel. Still, "Joan" was stunning, and Sal seemed to relish the opportunity to present so many strong and lovely heroines.

J’Onn J’Onzz’s Nicknames of the Issue: "Joan J'onzz" -Vixen
"Joan" -Vixen and Wonder Woman
"J'Onn" -Gypsy, Vixen & Wonder Woman
"J'Onzz"- Hannibal Martin

2 comments:

Sarah The Anime Librarian said...

I actually remember reading this and thinking how ridiculous it was that he got all odd about taking a female form. You’d think to a race of shape changers, gender wouldn’t be that big of an issue. It never made any sense to me, except for the possibilities that it was more guys working on the book that had some odd issues.

Frank Lee Delano said...

As I recall, the issue wasn't so much "where is my penis?!?" as "they're all going to laugh at me!" Which they did. Even Wonder Woman.

I don't think Peter David had "issues," he just saw the comedy in playing J'Onn as the "straight" ...er... I mean the "stuffed shirt" ... Hmm. Well. You know what I mean. J'Onn has to be able to command respect, and knows that's tough to do in a thong...