Thursday, December 27, 2007

Infinity Inc. #19 (10/85)


After his terrible first outing as team leader against Amazo (nevermind the rampant deaths and his general impotence in the JLA Classified retcon “A Game of Chance,”) J’Onn J’Onzz and his team sorely needed to save face. This was not to be, as Hank Heywood Sr. had journeyed to his former home Earth-2 with the aid of the mysterious Mekanique to deceitfully enlist the services of Infinity Incorporated against his squatters at the Bunker. Before the League could explain away the original Commander Steel’s manufactured rational for conflict, the senior Heywod launched an offensive, dragging the offspring of the Justice Society of America into the thick of it. While it was clear the Detroit kids were pulling their punches, they were still punked in fast and furious fashion, proving once and for all they could in no way lay claim to being true to the legacy of the Justice League of America.

Steel: Tried to make peace in the midst of his grandfather’s spurious accusations, only to be sent flying by an unwarranted blow from Commander Steel. Well okay, Jr. did toss grandpa out a window in a previous appearance, but getting jabbed in the throat with an elbow more than evened that score. Finally downed by a girder to the face, the last Leaguer previously standing before being rescued by the Martian Manhunter.

Zatanna: Knocked out cold when Steel Jr. slammed backwards into her. Victim of a gratuitous heiny shot that is doubly offensive for its lack of arousing quality. Happenstance doomed Detroit League with her handicap.

Elongated Man: Thought Vibe’s breakin’ skillz were “terrific!” Busted a lame gag, then quizzed, “Aw, where’s that famous Martian sense of humor, J.J.?” Confronted accusers (and copped a feel off Zatanna’s tush,) demanding, “That’s enough from you and your teenage gang, Heywood!” Trussed the Fury with his durable elastic form, before being rendered comatose when the daughter of the Earth-2 Wonder Woman landed from a considerable leap skyward.

Vixen: Tried to tear a chunk out of Silver Scarab, son of the Earth-2 Hawkman, before falling to his energy blast while distracted.

Gypsy: Punched the Fury in the back of the head while invisible, but detected by Northwind and left dangling off the side of a building.

Vibe: Break-danced. Dealt both Green Lantern’s daughter and Northwind respectable blows before Jade recovered to pound him.

Martian Manhunter: When asked by Zee what he thought of Vibe’s busting a move, “Such antics are not to my tastes, Zatanna...” After their home invasion, Jade was shocked to find, “Huh? My God-- a green man!” Manter deadpanned, “You should talk, young lady!” There’s that famous Martian humor, Ralph. Once Commander Steel’s abuse turned from verbal to physical, Manhunter tried to intervene, but was blasted backward by Mekanique. He was then throttled by Nuklon, loose kin to the Golden Age Atom, who proved his command of variable density was at this time better than a Martian’s. Only stunned (as should be modern readers at this travesty,) Mekanique recognized the danger still posed by “the Alien,” and presented him with, “FIRE! My only-- nemesis--!” Sorry, Professor Hugo. “As for J’onn J’onzz, he has powers besides mere flight and super-speed. Powers to be carefully husbanded in adversity. And one of them-- is Martian Lungpower! The unconscious JLAers are blown away from the scene of their ignominious defeat-- as if they were but straws in a tornado. And a truly invisible Martian will soon join them-- so that they may fight another day.”

The Creators: Since Gerry Conway and Alan Gold were credited as consultants, one assumes the gave their blessing for writer/editor Roy Thomas’ pet team to completely own the Detroit League. Maybe they wanted to show their team’s human fallibility, but in truth this just proved their detractors right, that the characters they were writing were not what their fans wanted in a Justice League. This character mass assassination was abetted by new penciller Todd McFarlane, whose developing style made for characters that looked like they were inflated and storytelling made difficult by an overemphasis on design elements. J’Onn J’Onzz caught a nasty case of Spawn-Cape as well, looking like the drape over the sides of a parade float.

J’Onn J’Onzz’s Nicknames of the Issue: “J.J.” – Elongated Man.
“Greenie.” – Silver Scarab.
“Green Man.” – Jade & Fury.
“Alien.” – Commander Steel and Mekanique.

Most Embarrassing Vibe Quote of the Issue: “You’ll be sorry for that, amigo! Very sorry!”

7 comments:

Luke said...

I always wondered about this story. I have been unable to find the issues in question (for some reason Infinity, Inc. is hard to find around here), so I have to ask: what is Commander Steel's problem? I've yet to find an explanation as to why he goes to Earth-2 and gets his evil on.

Frank Lee Delano said...

It's got to have something to do with Mekanique, I figure. Grandpa was no saint, but he really went overboard he--- wait, he did what to his grandson? Um, maybe he's just wrong-headed from go...

Luke said...

>>wait, he did what to his grandson?

Well, at least that got retconed later. Steel would have "been dead years ago" if not for Hank performing the surgeries.

I'm going to have to track these down and read them. It's a Steel-centric story, and that I don't know much about it other than your posts bothers me in a very dark, twisted region of my coal-black soul.

Frank Lee Delano said...

I'll throw it in the pile with Steel #1 for you. I'm not keeping it, myself.

Where did that retcon take place, and who exactly are you quoting there? If its anyone but Dale Gunn or Hank III, I may have to call B.S.

Luke said...

If I recall correctly, Hank Sr. says it after Hank III dies, in JLoA #260.

Heh, I'll trade you the MM miniseries from last year for the Steel-centric mags. That keeps in line with your "sale not registered" desires for that series, yes?

Frank Lee Delano said...

As I've noted, I have Steel #1, and a run of the Detroit appearances of JLofA, plus this Infinity Inc. Tell me whatever issues you need, and you've got a deal (once I've done a synopsis, and some exemptions may apply.)

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