Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Phasing Out: JLofA #31-33, HoM #147

As Manhunter's solo stories continued to deteriorate in House of Mystery, Justice League of America creators Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky were slowly phasing J'onn J'onzz out of their book. In "Riddle of the Runaway Room" (#31, Nov.'64,) Manhunter only appeared at the issue's meeting to induct Hawkman into the League. Green Arrow announced that, "We hate to break away but Superman, Aquaman, Atom, J'onn J'onzz, and I have important cases to work on!"

J'onzz was apparently tied up the following month but returned for "Enemy From The Timeless World!" in #33 (Jan.'65.) Superman, Batman, Hawkman, Flash, and Green Lantern were trapped in the team's meeting room behind a force barrier, and transported through time. J'onzz and Wonder Woman took a flying leap at the field, "The human missiles hit--with all the destructive fury of an atom bomb," but for naught. The entombed Leaguers were transported into the future, where energy harnessed from their super-exertion was used to power a machine which freed enslaved humans from the Alien-ator mind controlling entity. So much for Fox having a better command of pseudo-science than Miller. Taking a "Chrono-kinetic Ray" machine back through time to thwart the xenobased "virus" before it conquered humanity (thus negating the need for the invention of a "Chrono-kinetic Ray" machine, which could have been brought through time to thwart the xenobased "virus" that conquered humanity, but logically shouldn't be able to be invented now that the "Chrono-kinetic Ray" machine has been taken back through time to thwart the xenobased "virus" before it conquered humanity...,) the displaced Leaguers found those left behind had become helpless pawns of the Alien-ator. Worse, these Leaguers were more powerful than ever, as a green-skinned and finny Wonder Woman whaled on Superman, and a more-sickly-shade-of-green-skin than usual Martian Manhunter was immune to fire. J'onn got to trade blows with Superman (for the first time ever?) a feat Green Arrow also managed with ease thanks to his newfound "affliction." J'onzz shattered Hawkman's mace before putting the kibosh on Batman. J'onzz then joined Aquaman in out-vibrating Flash, plus he double-teamed Hawkman with Wonder Woman. This made Manhunter integral to every JLAers defeat except Green Lantern's (Wonder Woman and Snapper Carr handling that), but Superman remained to turn everyone back to their huma--er, normal form.

Manhandling the JLA must be tiring business, as the Alien Atlas was unavailable for another two months. He did make time for "The Orchestra of Doom", when demonic musical instruments lulled blocks of people to sleep, then had them rolling with laughter, before finally turning them into an angry mob. Along the way, they tore apart a rooftop (but stopped halfway through, so Zook left whoever was in the tilting building to fend for themselves,) and ran a train off it's rails using musical notes as tracks! While music itself couldn't harm the Orchestra, MM learned that they hate "Last Rose of Summer" so much, his becoming a one man band to play the tune ushered them into oblivion. No, I'm not joshing you. Just look at House of Mystery #147 for yourself, this one likely by Dave Wood with the stalwart Joe Certa.

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