Who's Amazo?

Who's This? The one-android Justice League.
The facts: Created by T.O. Morrow, the android known as Amazo had the power to replicate the powers (and weaknesses) of all the Justice Leaguers. He first appeared in The Brave and the Bold #30 (1960) and would become a recurring foe for the JLA, but also for solo heroes like Superman and DC One Million's Hourman.
How you could have heard of him: He has appeared in the New52 and Rebirth, as well as in the WB animation series (like Justice League, Young Justice and Batman: The Brave and the Bold) and in live action in the Arrowverse's Elseworlds crossover.
Example story: Justice League of America #112 (July-August 1974) "War with the One-Man Justice League!" by Len Wein, with art by Dick Dillin and Dick Giordano
The set-up: Half the Justice League's powers were stolen by Libra and they need to get them back. The nonsense: Their power "molecules" are scattered in space, which includes Batman's intelligence and confidence somehow. Since Amazo, currently in their trophy room despite the fact they admit he's an "intelligent being", can absorb super-powers, it stands to reason crazy science can turn him into a beacon for these particles, right? But is it wise to resurrect a killbot for this purpose?
YES! By all means, let's play with the public's safety. And also maybe... redesign his look?
Dinah has her priorities and you have yours, okay? She just couldn't stand that fuggly 1920s bathing suit. The plan also requires Amazo to get agitated for his particle absorber to work, so the League programs him to think he's dying and that only they have the cure (a ball-like widget to play keep-away with) so he'll chase them all over the planet. Guys, it wasn't just Identity Crisis, the Satellite-era JLA did this unethical stuff ALL THE TIME apparently. But while the Flash, Elongated Man and Fashion Canary fight Amazo in Kenya...
...a Batman I don't trust because he's half as clever and twice as insecure realizes the plan is doomed to fail!
Also: That his pencil's hardness particles have been stolen by Libra. Meanwhile, Superman, Aquaman and Green Arrow are in the Arctic, waiting for Amazo. GA is happy the Flash rigged a cold-proof aura for him, but half-off Aquaman has to breathe water inside a helmet, so I dunno, seems like he should have one too.
This is a good example of how Amazo combines powers and abilities to beat any given Justice Leaguer, though often his reflex seems to be to just counter power for power. For example, in Brazil, he fights Green Lantern with GL's own ring powers.
The Atom next steals the gizmo (yes, Red Tornado is also there, but he's pretty ineffectual, because he's Red Tornado) just long enough to complete the process. Amazo finally grabs it, presses the button to "cure himself", which turns him off, as planned. So what's Batman fretting about? It worked!

Well, yes and no. The League puts Amazo in a tube that will drain the particles out of him and into the Leaguer in another tube, except that he wakes up, gloats about having figured it all out thanks to Batman's deductive abilities (it IS JLA Batmam, after all) and played possum until that moment. The JLAers all pass out, their lives drained, which isn't strictly something Amazo can do. But that's Batman's doing. Not only isn't he knocked out, but as he starts fighting the android, Amazo finds he has no powers at all. Batman slaps him silly with steel gloves.
Ye olde explanation that shows the Silver Age didn't actually end until much later than we think: Batman figured out that Amazo would figure it out, so he rigged the tube to IMMEDIATELY drain the particles out of him, no switch required, and the feedback sent the powers back through the floor and knocked the JLA out, except him, because of his insulated boots, and he didn't tell anyone about his plan because, I told you, Silver Age tropes, and it's back to the trophy case for the One-Man Justice League. The end for now.

The thing with Amazo is that you have to consistently think of him as a piece of kit, or else there are ethical dilemmas to consider. But if he's just a single-minded droid, then it's hard to tell stories with him that don't open with a reactivation scene, follows with action shenanigans, until it's back to the closet. And yet, there's a lot of potential to his particular combination of abilities, and he certainly looks better than similarly-conceived Composite-Superman (even without the Canary makeover).

Who's Next?
The enemy of the fourth wall.



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