Saturday, July 14, 2012

Justice League of America #6 - Sept. 1961

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Comics Weekend "The Wheel of Misfortune!" by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky, and Bernard Sachs.

Another issue of Justice League of America, another new deadly villain--in this case, the master of magic known as Amos Fortune!

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This issue opens off the coast of Florida, which of course means Aquaman, King of the Seven Seas!
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While this might seem like a revolting development for Aquaman, even an embarrassing one, take heart Aqua-Fans! It's not just the Sea King that finds himself stumbling around in confusion. Across the country, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, and Martian Manhunter all experience similar events. It's all just bad luck, surely...right?

Nope:
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The JLAers figure out that something must be going on, but they also dismiss the idea someone can make someone else "have" bad luck. This conversation is interrupted by Snapper Carr, who is carrying the JLA's mail, which is how the heroes learn of smaller, less earth-shattering cases. Green Arrow, Manhunter, and Flash take the case of a young girl and a missing family fortune, and Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern investigate "an invisible thief."

The former's case gets them involved with Amos Fortune, who used his powers of good luck to amass a, well, fortune at the race track and the stock market--as well as the purchasing of some antique posts that contained the missing fortune of the little girl!

Normally this would spell disaster, but in their attempts to find the gold, the JLAers found a valuable painting, oil, and uranium deposits on the very same piece of land, making the young girl rich! Amos Fortune is confounded--the JLAers were only supposed to have bad luck! What's going on?

Meanwhile, at the coastal down of Sea Dunes:
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Later, the three JLAers find themselves trussed up on Fortune's giant wheel of misfortune, which will destroy the heroes' "good-luck gland" (okay, everyone, stop chuckling).

Outside, Flash, Green Arrow, and Martian Manhunter have arrived to help their fellow team members. They find Fortune's lab, and recognize him as the man who bought the valuable posts. Flash and Green Arrow slip on some spilled oil--some more bad luck--leaving only the Martian Manhunter.
Fortune fells him with the flick of a cigarette lighter (not one of J'onn's finest moments), and soon all six heroes are strapped to the wheel.

But as Fortune crows about his plan to remove everyone's "good luck gland" (I said stop laughing!), Martian Manhunter frees himself! Fortune tries to stop him, but he seems to be the one suffering from bad luck this time:
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...The End!


I imagine whoever was lettering this issue must have occasionally stopped and said to himself, "What in the holy hell is Gardner Fox talking about?" The whole "good luck gland" thing is so goofy that once you read about it, you just have to go along with the whole premise otherwise you're lost.

Aquaman got some good moments last issue (see: "Suck it, haters"), this time around Martian Manhunter gets the lion's share of the big scenes. Sure, watching him cower in terror from a Bic lighter is a little undignified, but they probably left that part out of the official JLA Casebook.


One final note: In an age of (IMO) way, way too many "homage" covers and appropriations of previous work, it's worth mentioning that this cover--by Mike Sekowksy and Murphy Anderson--is itself an homage to All-Star Comics #42, featuring the Justice Society!

3 comments:

Russell said...

My luck glands have actually been giving me trouble lately. I need Dr. Light to renew my prescription.

Joseph Brian Scott said...

I had to have my luck glands removed when I was a kid, because they were causing my karma nodes to get infected.

I like Prof. Fortune's little canvas slippers, one white and one black; chic AND comfortable.

Russell said...

I NEVER NOTICED THAT BEFORE! Bwahahahaha! Gotta love Mike Sekowsky.