Friday, September 21, 2007

Justice League of America #58

Justice League of America #58 (On Sale: September 21, 1967), AKA 80 Page Giant #G-41 has a cover by Carmine Infantino and Sid Greene.

We begin with "The World of No Return" from Justice League of America #1, by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky and Bernard Sachs. Jasonar, a scientist from the extra-dimensional world of Kalanor, flees to Earth to escape the tyrant Despero, and to perfect a secret weapon to defeat the mutant villain. Here he encounters the Flash, who summons the Justice League to his aid.

Despero, however, learns of this, and places the League members, except the Flash, in a hypnotic trance. Then he challenges the speedster to a chess-like game, rigged in his favor. Flash loses, and thereby condemns himself and his fellow members to be teleported to another dimension. Wonder Woman and Superman find themselves on a prehistoric planet, Aquaman and Green Lantern on a water-world whose seas are drying up, and Batman, J’onn J’onzz, and Flash on a world whose sun is about to go nova due to Despero’s machinations.

Next we have "The Wheel of Misfortune" from Justice League of America #6, also by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky and Bernard Sachs. After breaking various superstitious taboos on individual cases, the Justice League members are plagued by ill fortune. This is caused by Professor Amos Fortune, who has learned how to control luck through the stimulation of twin "luck glands" which he has discovered in the body. By gifting himself with good luck and the JLA with bad, he plans to rob at will, unhampered by the super-heroes. Meanwhile, the assembled heroes are alerted to two new cases via the mail: Flash, Green Arrow, and J’onn J’onzz search for a hidden family treasure, while Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern try to catch a museum thief. In each case, Amos Fortune attempts to abscond with the loot, but the JLA nevertheless enjoys good fortune, and solves the crimes. Realizing that this good fortune has come to the team to compensate for the earlier bad fortune caused by his own "Stimuluck" device, the villain captures the six members, and imprisons them in his Wheel of Fortune, which is designed to destroy their good luck glands completely.

Finally we have "For Sale -- the Justice League" from Justice League of America #8, also by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky and Bernard Sachs. An inventor’s Cyberniray, a device that enables the user to control the wills of others, falls into the hands of Pete Ricketts, a small-time crook. When a group of underworld leaders offers a million-dollar reward for the elimination of the Justice League, Ricketts uses the ray-gun to capture them. He then auctions off the services of the various members to the crime chiefs, who send the heroes to rob some of the same targets as a test of their comparative abilities.

Flash and Green Lantern battle over jewels which both have been ordered to steal; Aquaman and Green Arrow match wits to rob a gambling ship; and Wonder Woman fights J’onn J’onzz over the theft of a radium shipment. Meanwhile, Snapper Carr, discovering the heroes’ plight, borrows the anti-gravity discs of Dr. Destiny from the Souvenir Room and saves the various treasures so that none of the heroes succeeds in his attempted crime.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

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