Thursday, July 3, 2008

Justice League America #51 (6/91)

G'nort Esplanade Gneesmacher, the dumbest doggy Green Lantern in all the Corps, had returned to Earth "after that Antarctica mess" to visit his former "teammates" in the Justice League. The team's robot servant L-Ron detected the intruder, and alerted J'Onn J'Onzz. "...there's still time to electrocute him, Your Greenness. I can switch the security system back on and--"
"No, L-Ron-- just let him in. G'nort may be a clumsy, inept imbecile, but he has his good points."
"Such as, M'lord J'Onzz--?"
"Such as... uh... ah... Turn it back on, L-Ron--"
"Too late, your Alienosity-- he's in."

G'nort ran into General Glory's pet bulldog, the only being in the immediate vicinity more stupid than G'nort himself. Manhunter interrogated the GL:
"G'nort-- what are you doing here?!"
"I came for the surprise party!"
"What surprise party?"
"My 'welcome home' surprise party!"
"How in the world could we plan a 'welcome home' surprise party-- if we didn't know you were coming?!"
"Ah-- y'can't fool me, J'Onny! You're a telepath! You could sense me comin'-- and then you got everybody together an' they're probably all hidin' in a closet now an'--"
"G'nort-- read my lips: No... Party."
"Whaddaya mean there's no party?!?!"
"Look G'nort: Everyone but Kilowog is busy today. I've set the afternoon aside for meditation and spiritual re-evaluation... This is a private and personal matter, sacred to my people--"
"But you're not a 'people'-- you're a Martian!"
"Why don't you go watch some television? I'll be down in an hour or so..."

Exasperated at trying to convince G'nort there was no party, J'Onzz withdrew himself, unaware that a very bored Kilowog would greet his former fellow Lantern with massive, open arms. "...I tried t'get J'Onn t'play poker with me-- but y'know what a stick-in-the-mud he is!" Kilowog eventually told L-Ron "Tell the Martian that me an' my homeboy G'nort are gonna go out an' paint the town red!"

The Natural Martian was in his room, blissfully hovering, when the knock came on the door. "I'm merging with creation, L-Ron-- can't it wait?" The robot explained the situation from outside the door, but was dismissed until later. J'Onzz continued his mediation, which caused him to meditate on Kilowog and G'nort on the streets of New York. His features turned to panic as he shifted to fighting form. "KILOWOG AND G'NORT HAVE WHAT?!?!" In full costume, he caught their taxi in the driveway. "WAIT! Get out of the cab... NOW!" Kilowog and the Martian Manhunter argued, until the driver complained, "Hey, Mr. Green Genes-- let's not take all night!"
"Is your meter running?"
"Then watch your personal fortune grow-- and keep out of this!"

G'nort thought all three of them were brother aliens on Earth, and should have a night out together. Kilowog still figured J'Onzz for "such a wet noodle," but the pair finally persuaded John Jones to play chaperone. After G'nort and Kilowog were outfitted with new suits at the tailor, Jones made sure his charges committed to dinner and a Broadway show only. Still, G'nort wondered why John assumed human form, who cited it as an old habit from the xenophobic 50's. Kilowog chided, "Well, get with the program, J'Onzzy! Those days are gone! Say it loud, brother-- I'm an A.L.F. and I'm proud!"

Back at the embassy, recently resigned member Booster Gold paid a visit, only to find no one but L-Ron home. "His Martianness has gone out to dinner and a play with Kilowog and G'nort..." Booster decided to wait around for the inevitable call from the police. L-Ron bet Booster twenty bucks "the Green Guy" could keep the lot out of the clink.

John Jones was livid as he led his cohorts out of a production of "Cats" predictably ruined by G'nort, and declared the night over. Kilowog complained that the deal included dinner, and he shouldn't be punished for someone else's misconduct. Jones continued to resist, but eventually gave in. At the restaurant, Kilowog pressured J'Onzzy to get with "the theme of the evenin'... Show your true colors, brother! ...Be yourself."
"On Mars, our private selves are not to be flaunted--"
"... Just drop the facade... Cheez-- yer such a stiff!"
G'nort chimed in, "C'mon J'Onny! Show a little solidarity! Just for one little toast-- then you can go all white-bread again--"

J'Onzz relented, setting off the once and future Black Hand, a super-villain that suffered from an acute "hero-phobia" who happened to be dining in the same restaurant that evening. Manhunter ducked as the plain-clothed villain lunged at the table, sending himself and G'nort through a window. The Martian Marvel dove to rescue the pair, though he noted Black Hand's mind had shut down from the stress. In their absence, Kilowog brawled with Black Hand's lackeys until the police arrived.

Blue Beetle had by this point returned home, and joined his best friend in waiting for the call. Booster Gold gloated, "For once, I wanna be the one bailing J'Onn out!" L-Ron annunciated, "Uh... sirs?" Booster would return later for his winnings...

As G'nort left Earth, he pondered, "...I never knew anyone could yell for six straight hours! Boy! Those Martians sure have lung power!" He remarked on Booster and Beetle's demeanor at their hearing, "I bet the judge woulda thrown 'em outta the courtroom if she wasn't so busy tryin' t'get J'Onn t'stop screamin'! He's really gotta work on that temper! I can't believe he threw me through the roof just 'cause I asked him if I could have a signal device! That boy just doesn't appreciate a good time! Guess some of us just aren't born t'swing! Ah, well-- six or eight months o'meditation an' he'll get over it--"

His great shoulders hunched, the Manhunter humbly trod back toward his room at the embassy. "...I am a Martian. My mind and heart are in balance. My soul is as still as a frozen lake... As peaceful as a-- a... BEETLE!!!" You see, the front page of that morning's newspaper was taped to his door, its headline being: "J.L.A. IN WINDOWS ON WORLD FIASCO!"

I doubt any other comic in history has featured more nicknames for the Manhunter from Mars; served up by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, Adam Hughes, Joe Rubinstein, all those letters smooshed in by Bob Lappan, swell colors by Gene D'Angelo, and edits by Andy Helfer (assisted by Kevin Dooley.)

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