Sunday, 6 January 2008

Wait, You Mean I've Been Mindwiped Too?!

Looking through my old comics once more, I found Justice League Of America #153 from April of 1978 and having re-read it, I've come to realise that I - and indeed you, the reader - may have grounds to sue DC Comics.

A meeting of the JLA, held aboard their satellite, is interrupted when several of the members - Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, The Flash and Green Arrow to be exact - find themselves suddenly whisked away, vanishing before the eyes of the other Leaguers. They reappear 22,300 miles above the Earth where the satellite should be only to find themselves in space. Thankfully, Lantern's able to whip up a protective bubble around them and get them all to Earth safe and sound where they can begin working out what happened to them.

With true heroic timing, they land in New York just in time to stop what Superman refers to as "an old-fashioned bank robbery!" No sooner are the robbers caught and handed over to the police than the boys in blue gently tell the Leaguers to stop playing around in capes and tights and despite Superman telling them who they are, for some reason they don't believe him.

A young girl does, however, as she happens to be carrying around a copy of Justice League Of America #151 and asks for The Flash's autograph. For her sister. Yeah, right; we all know it's for her really.

Moments later and The Flash finally works out that they're on . . . Earth-Prime! Yes, the League are here in modern-day New York! Or they would be if it was still 1978 . . .

Knowing where they are, though, allows Flash to realise there's a way home for them all. On one of his previous visits to Earth-Prime he built a Cosmic Treadmill and left it in the care of then-DC editor, Julius Schwartz. A quick jog up town brings them to Schwartz's office but, despite his best attempts, The Flash can't get the treadmill to take them back home. Something is preventing them from leaving . . .

That something, unknown to them at that point, is presence of Ultraa, Earth-Prime's first and only super-hero. In a quick origin, it's revealed that Ultraa is the last survivor of an alien race and has been living with the Aborigines in Australia. A robot called Maxitron that was to have served as Ultraa's nursemaid and helped him had suffered damage upon arriving on Earth-Prime and has since gone mad - instead of caring for Ultraa, it now wants to kill him. The League get involved and enter the flying yellow pyramid of Maxitron to combat the insane mechanoid.

That's right: a flying, yellow pyramid. And that brings me to one of the main things that got me writing this little piece.

As any Green Lantern reader worth his salt knows, the Lantern rings have a "necessary impurity" in their make-up which renders them useless against anything coloured yellow; it was established when Green Lantern was re-launched at the tail end of the 50's in the Schwartz-edited Showcase. The inability to affect anything yellow meant a lot of the early Lantern stories featured the hero coming up against something that was coloured yellow - it was as reliable as Kryptonite became to Superman.

As you can see in the panel on the left, being on Earth-Prime doesn't affect the Lantern's ability to affect anything yellow. Brought aboard the flying, yellow pyramid of Maxitron, Lantern is bombarded by yellow laser beams that sting him.

On the next page, he reasons that they're only stinging him to soften him up for the next round which is against a "Tiger Bear from the planet Osarus" whose "yellow fur is impervious" to the Lantern's will powered ring beams. The hero comes through in the end (using a Captain Kirk-style two handed punch!) but it's clearly established that even though the League are on a different Earth, his ring still won't work against yellow.

How the hell, then, does he do the following once Maxitron's defeated?

As Ultraa worries about the consequences of his actions, taking the potential loss of life from the about to explode flying, yellow pyramid as his responsibility, Green Lantern simply whips up a scoop to direct the flying, YELLOW pyramid away from Pearl Harbor.

It goes against everything that was written about Green Lantern for years before and - even more baffling - it goes against everything that was written just a handful of pages before in the very same issue!

Green Lantern uses his power ring to deflect something coloured yellow when it should have just fallen straight through his ring-construct!

But that's not the strangest thing about this issue. Just three panels later, on the last one of the issue, Green Lantern comes up with this brilliant solution to the problem of Earth-Prime citizens having seen them:
That's right, folks - everyone except Schwartz and the good people of DC Comics was mindwiped in 1978! You, me, everybody who was alive then! Just so that we wouldn't remember what happened but the DC writers would so they could then publish the comic. What about that young girl who's so obviously a fan (remember, she wanted an autograph for her sister) that she's bound to buy this issue. When she opens it up and sees her own meeting with The Flash is that going to bring back the ring-erased memories?! Where is that girl now? Probably locked away in an asylum muttering "I'm the only one left who remembers the infinite earths. You see, I know the truth."

If we all band together, we can probably sue for damages - DC had to be complicit in the mindwiping, right? And there's no way we can sue Green Lantern as he's now on New Earth, so it's got to be DC.

Now, anyone got Dan DiDio's address . . . ?


  1. You know, Ultraa's waaaay overdue for a return...

  2. Didn't he get retconned as a warrior from Almerac and hook up with Maxima after she became a villain again?

  3. Yeah, but that was over a decade ago, and who knows if Zero Hour or Infinite Crisis undid it? Since he was originally from Earth-Prime, maybe he could hang with Superboy-Prime...

  4. You mean Superman-Prime, don't you? ;-)


Thanks for wanting to leave a comment, but this blog is no longer maintained. Feel free to visit my new site/blog over at

Look forward to seeing you there. :)


Related Posts with Thumbnails