Posted by:
Byron Brewer

The Brewer Report: Justice League -- So who is Amazo?



So, if you are a fan just recently rejoining an old childhood favorite like me or a newby just jumping on the New 52 train, you may have wondered during your reading of Justice League recently: Who is Amazo?

Though appearing but briefly in issue #8 of the new incarnation of the League, this villain’s name is so fantastically old-school DC that its charm is certainly appreciated when used by author Geoff Johns in the brave new world he and others are building in the new DCU.

So -- who is Amazo?

Well, you must understand some of this info (well, all of it really) comes from a “time” before Pandora realigned the universes to where they are now. So take this all with a grain of cosmic salt, OK?

The android Amazo was built by insane scientist Professor Ivo, who became obsessed with immortality. The “original” Justice League of America encounters Amazo after experiencing the sudden loss of their abilities. After hearing reports that certain long-lived creatures are being stolen in unusual ways (a catfish was stolen using a green beam to cut through the wall, and a cicada was captured with a golden lasso), the team deduces their powers have actually been stolen.

The heroes split up to guard other long-lived animals, only to be defeated in turn (except for Superman and Batman) by Amazo, who locks the entire team in gas-filled cylinders. Before erasing their memories, Ivo reveals himself as the mastermind behind the scheme and that, using data collected from the captured animals, he will create a serum of longevity. By extending his lifespan by 500 years, Ivo hopes to conquer his fear of death and the world (as he can always create more serum, or perfect it into true immortality).

Thinking himself ahead since Batman has no superpowers and he (Ivo) possesses a piece of Kryptonite to defeat Superman, Ivo is foiled by Green Lantern. The Lantern had used some of the yellow-colored gas to protect himself from the memory-erasing before recharging his ring and using it to draw Amazo's powers away, restoring the League's powers and minds. Shazam! (lol)

Ivo and Amazo are defeated, with Ivo being jailed (ironically sentenced to 500 years), and Amazo being stored in the Justice League trophy room.

At the suggestion of team mascot Snapper Carr (where is he these days?), the Justice League reactivates Amazo to deal with an alien threat that has drained their success factor. Although the alien drains Amazo's abilities, the android's combined powers overload the creature as intended, causing it to become inert and giving the team back their success factor. The Justice League then defeats Amazo once again and returns the android to storage.

When the Justice League loses their powers due to the machinations of the villain Libra, the heroes reactivate Amazo once again. The android draws in their lost powers, which are eventually returned via technology devised by Batman and the Atom.

Radiation from an exploding red sun in deep space reaches Earth and weakens Superman significantly. The radiation also revives Amazo, who defeats the remainder of the Justice League, and imprisons them, though making sure they can watch him. Amazo then seeks out Ivo, wishing to be deactivated. Discovering Ivo cannot assist, the android decides to kill both Ivo and Superman; however, they escape with a teleportation device Superman had hidden in his mouth to the Fortress of Solitude.

Superman is forced to create and use a machine called the “Supermobile” (ouch!) to compensate for his weakened state, which shields him from the radiation and is able to imitate his powers, along with other attachments, with which he battles against Amazo and saves both Ivo and Lois Lane. Superman then uses the device to travel five days into the future, when the effects of the red solar radiation have passed Earth. Newly empowered, Superman defeats Amazo and rescues the Justice League.

Other adventures with different versions of Amazo occur, but Ivo eventually uses parts of Amazo along with human ova and DNAto create the android's “son.” Awakened prematurely by an earthquake, the junior version of Amazo believes itself to be a philosophy student called Frank Halloran, who dates a girl called Sara. Amazo reveals the truth to his progeny, who attempts to resist his programming by becoming a hero called "Kid Amazo."

Slowly becoming insane, Kid Amazo confronts Ivo and discovers Sara is Ivo's daughter and was placed to monitor the android. Batman deduces Kid Amazo has both the powers and the personalities of the JLA, and during a battle with the League creates dissension in the team that the android mimics, causing an internal logic error that destroys it.

Ivo then secretly downloads Amazo's programming into the body of the Red Tornado, the creation of sometime ally Professor T.O. Morrow (don’t ya love it?) Several members of the JLA battle an army of Red Tornado androids, until discovering that Red Tornado's body is intended for the mind of Solomon Grundy. Although the process is prevented, the Amazo programming asserts itself and attacks the superhero team, despite their attempts to dismantle the android. Member Vixen eventually destroys the Red Tornado body by shearing it in half.

A new body is created for the Red Tornado, although the Amazo programming from the first body downloads into the shell. The android battles the JLA until teleported into the gravity well of the red star Antares.

I certainly hope we have not seen the last of Amazo in the New 52 DCU.