Friday, December 26, 2008
The Brave and the Bold #30 (7-8/60)
“Case of the Stolen Super Powers!”
All of the Leaguers in solo operation felt a sudden, brief loss of their amazing abilities, with the now correctly spelled J’onn J’onzz temporarily unable to blow fog out of the path of an ambulance. “Why did I lose my powers, even for a few seconds?” But, um, you were still flying, J’onn? Convening at their secret headquarters, the Leaguers learned an amazing thief stole a European catfish from a private aquarium in France using each of their powers (including Martian super-strength, not breath, and especially not the flight he never lost.) Superman felt the need to point out he never lost his powers, ‘cuz only Kryptonite can do that, and he’s better than the lot of them put together, and something about “nanner-nanner.”
For some reason the thief then bothered to steal a cicada instead of tracking one in the wild. Snapper Carr happened to be doing a paper on life spans, and it just so happened the pair were both among the longest-lived of their kind, as it happens. Flash correctly figured someone must be working on an immortality elixer, so the Leaguers divided into three teams to protect other long-lived beings on Earth. Clearly, no one lost the ability to leap to unbelievable conclusions here.
Wonder Woman got the most interesting assignment, José Mendoza, who worked as a caretaker for the Peruvian government, lived in the little mountain village of Cuaraz, and was the oldest man on Earth. “Meet my son, 110 years old-- my grandson, 90--my great-granddaughter, 65--my great-great-grandson, 40--and my great-great-great-grandson, age 12!” Mendoza believed this was due to spirit dolls that protected himself and his family, and which he used against the rather queer looking android sent to capture him. He was succeeding where Wonder Woman had failed miserably, but he misunderstood it wasn’t his doll so much as the torch he was carrying that worked so well against the weakness to fire Amazo had inherited from J’onn J’onzz. Still, both were eventually abducted, as were Green Lantern, Aquaman , and the giant turtle they defended to greater but no less futile effect.
Flash and J’onn J’onzz went to an aviary to protect an owl, Barry by land and the Martian by air. Amazo came up from underground to steal the whole building, though his progress was halted by super-breath. However, when Amazo simply dropped the building, J’onn had to dive for the rescue. He was caught in Wonder Woman’s unbreakable lasso, spun around furiously, and then sent to Professor Ivo by a Lantern-generated rocket. Flash was soon after tricked into joining Manhunter as captive aboard Ivo’s yacht. The funny thing is, Ivo didn’t seem to harm anyone by drawing the necessary ingredients for the immortality formula he ingested, though he still draws a foul for planning to permanently steal the League’s power and conquer the world with Amazo. Oh, and Amazo did get around to using Martian Breath, in case you wondered.
Thankfully, Green Lantern had outsmarted Ivo, stripping his android of the powers it had stolen with his ring. I never knew it was that easy to do. Amazo has been diminished in my mind by this debut story, almost as much as he was by my seeing those fairy eyebrows he used to sport. Ivo was later sentenced to 500 years in the pen, the exact length of time his elixer was meant to last before needing a second dose. I guess by then he’d be someone else’s problem. Maybe Superman, who after asserting his imperviousness to Amazo’s abilities just sort of blew off the rest of the story.
By Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky, and Bernard Sachs. Garish “pop art” coloring by Frank Lee Delano, without any reference, so grain of salt.