Wednesday, April 07, 2010

A Look Back At Justice League Of America#60

I was randomly recalling an old story I read in Justice League of America#60 called "Winged Warriors Of The Immortal Queen" from the Silver Age.

The plot was as follows: Queen Zazzala, aka the Queen Bee, has perfected and imbibed an immortality elixir, and is slowly losing her mobility as a result of said elixir. She, at least, retained her looks, unlike fellow JLA nemesis Professor Ivo, who later drank an immortality serum and began *surprise* to turn immobile. (Which could warrant a "Public Announcement" of its own: *ATTENTION, JUSTICE LEAGUE VILLAINS!* - Drinking immortality serums will slowly turn you into a statue. It just will, OK?)

Anyway, she comes up with the idea of using her special Cosmic Rod to turn the JLAers into winged but full-sized drone-slaves so they can retrieve ingredients for her antidote. She tries this on Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Hawkman, Aquaman, and the Atom, but only the Atom (while in his Atom form) becomes a drone as Zazzala wants - the others are merely immobilized. Zazzala concludes that the Atom's small size enabled his successful enslavement, and uses her rod to first shrink the remaining Leaguers (Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, and Green Arrow) and then make them her drones. She succeeds and summons them to her. She gets them (and a similarly transformed Batgirl) to bring back the ingredients, whips up and drinks the antidote, and tries to double-cross the Leaguers until Atom, at "great risk" to his secret identity, turns back to Ray Palmer and turns the tables on her.

Some "random" thoughts:

1. When Ray Palmer worried about exposing his secret identity to the Queen Bee, an alien from another planet, all I could think of was that Justice League cartoon episode where Lex Luthor and Flash switched bodies, and Lex-as-Flash unmasked himself to learn Flash's secret identity, only to disappointedly exclaim "I have no idea who this is."

2. Look at Queen Bee's first picks for the mission:

J'onn - No problem here, since he has all of Superman's powers and every other big-name power you can think of. Keep him away from fire and you're good to go.

Wonder Woman - Another good pick, even the weaker pre-Crisis version.

Atom - Not a big gun like the first two, but still a valuable asset. He can get into the tight spaces they can't get into and makes a great reco person. Plus, he's at least as smart as Batman, so he can guide them. Which leaves us....

Hawkman(???) and Aquaman (!!!)- Now here you can see the logic in Zazzy's initial plan breaks down, especially considering who she passed over in favor of them. Gee, picking a guy who can only fly and a guy who talks to fish is waaay smarter than picking Superman or Green Lantern.

3. Of the first round of Leaguers, what if the only successful enslavement wasn't the Atom? What if it was.... Wonder Woman?

How would that affect how Zazzala transformed the next batch? And...better yet... what would their reactions to their ....transformation... be?

I'm sure Bruce would take it in stride, and so would Barry and Clark, after an initial shocked "Great Scott".

But what about Ollie, or better yet, Hal?

That would be priceless!