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!”

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