Friday, September 18, 2009

Justice League of America #76

Justice League of America #76 (On Sale: September 18, 1969) has a cover by Murphy Anderson.

We begin with "The Cosmic Fun-House" by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky and Bernard Sachs from Justice League of America #7. Entering the fun-house of a new Happy Harbor amusement park, Snapper Carr and his girlfriend, Midge, are transported to an alien planet, from which the Justice League rescues them. Later, some of the members investigate the fun-house in their secret identities, with the result that Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and Green Arrow are captured by invading aliens from the planet Angellax – the builders of the fun-house. Two of the aliens become duplicates of Barry (Flash) Allen and Hal (Green Lantern) Jordan, and send Superman, Batman, and J’onn J’onzz into the future on a wild goose chase to capture Xotar, whom they blame for the fun-house incidents. Aquaman is then lured into a trap.

At the same time, the four captive members escape, only to be transformed into weirdly distorted shapes by a mirror device. Aquaman aids the four, and they defeat the aliens despite their altered bodies. After Green Lantern restores himself and the others to normal, and the other heroes return from the future, they again enjoy the no-longer-dangerous amusement park while they are in their civilian identities.

The second story in this issue is "The Last Case of the Justice League" by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky and Bernard Sachs from Justice League of America #12. Snapper Carr arrives late at a Justice League meeting to find the members gone and Dr. Light in their place. The villain forces him to chronicle his victory over the League in the JLA Casebook.

Capturing Aquaman, he had summoned the other members with the Sea King’s signal device, then projected them into various sidereal worlds. Aquaman had been sent to a desert planet, J’onn J’onzz to a world of fir, Flash to a planet where his balance was disrupted and his speed of little use, Wonder Woman to a place where her body refused to obey her brain, Green Arrow to a planet where strange organic magnetism rendered his weapons useless, and Green Lantern to an entirely yellow world. Superman was trapped on a world with a red sun, and Batman in a place where the laws of science didn’t hold.

What Dr. Light doesn’t realize, however, is that Batman and Superman had exchanged identities in order to trick him. Thus, Superman, in full possession of his powers, is able to escape the prison planet intended for Batman, and he rescues his fellow members.

Returning to the Secret Sanctuary, the super-heroes rescue Snapper, who alerts them to Light’s planned theft of three mementos of light. Though Aquaman and Green Arrow halt the villain’s plan to steal the Colossus of Rhodes, Green Lantern is apparently destroyed during the battle. Simultaneously, Batman, Flash, and J’onn J’onzz encounter and subdue a second Dr. Light, who attempts to steal the diamond Heart of Light, while Superman and Wonder Woman capture a third, who is making off with the first electric light bulb. These three captives are revealed to be mere images, and the real Dr. Light is about to set off vibrating light-impulses that will overcome everyone on Earth.

He is beaten at his own game by Green Lantern, who had not been destroyed at all, but had allowed his image to be blasted, while he searched for Light’s hideout and captured the villain.

This issue also contains a two-page poster of the Justice Society of America and a one-page poster of the Seven Soldiers of Victory both by Murphy Anderson. These illustrations are accompanied by a Fact File on both teams.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

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