During the 1940s, Will Everett
became the first African-American super-hero. Gaining the ability to transform into any material he touched, Everett became Amazing-Man, a member of the All-Star Squadron
. After World War II, Everett continued to stay active, becoming a key figure in the civil rights movement, next to Martin Luther King
and Malcolm X
. Even though he retired, he passed along his ability to transmute to his son and two of his grandsons.
After the death of Will Everett III
, the second Amazing-Man, another of Will Everett’s grandsons, Markus Clay, adopted the identity. Markus, who also had the ability to transmute into any material he touched, made his base of operations in the southern United States. After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the third Amazing-Man traveled to the city, where he began helping the people rebuild. Amazing-Man became a cult hero of the city of New Orleans, protecting its homeless citizens from the dangers of the city, while helping them rebuild not only their city but their lives.
The third Amazing-Man was created by Geoff Johns
and Alex Ross
during their run of Justice Society of America
. Amazing-Man debuted in Justice Society of America #12
, published March, 2008, in a story drawn by Dale Eaglesham
. The story arc, Thy Kingdom Come, served as a tie-in to Alex Ross’ famous miniseries Kingdom Come
. Ross redesigned Amazing-Man’s costume, making the Golden Age Amazing-Man’s costume more African in nature.
The third Amazing-Man would continue to be featured in Geoff Johns’ various Justice Society titles, until his “retirement” in the pages of Justice Society of America #23
Key Story Arcs
Joining the Justice Society
In the wake of the Lightning Saga
, the Justice Society of America
started an enrollment drive, where they planned on expanding their membership. Hawkman
recommended Amazing-Man for membership, and Power Girl
and the Superman from Earth-22
went to New Orleans. Amazing-Man accepts membership in the JSA, in exchange for Superman and Power Girl’s help in removing a displaced levee in the city.
Amazing-Man joined the Justice Society in time for them to face the coming of the mad god Gog
, and his herald Magog
. Magog had come from Earth-22, the same home as the JSA’s Superman: a world where Magog destroyed the heartland, and where an all-out war between heroes and villains triggered that world’s governments to try to destroy them both. On our world, Magog was hunting false gods, until Sandman
tracked down his location. Magog attacked Sandman, and took the fight to the JSA headquarters. Amazing-Man and the twenty-or-so members of the Justice Society fought Magog across New York City. During the fight, Magog teleported the fight to Africa, to the temple where he first discovered his powers. Magog was successful in bringing Gog into the world, at the cost of his own life.
The god Gog arrived in Africa, where he began to cure the inhabitants of a local village of poisoning. When Mr. Terrific
could not communicate with Gog, it was Amazing-Man as a man of faith that opened the lines of communication. Gog cured Damage
’s face, and began to cure Africa. The Society called in Justice League
, and the teams took shifts watching the god as he transformed Africa into a paradise and cured many of the Justice Society members of their illnesses. When Gog transformed Congolese soldiers into trees, the heroes grew suspicious of the god, and when JSA member Lance
was killed by those soldiers, Gog resurrected him as a new Magog.
Soon, a schism developed in the Justice Society: those that believed in Gog and those that did not. Amazing-Man sided with Gog, believing him to be a force for good. The two factions of the Justice Society soon became at odds, and fought over Gog’s fate. However, Gog finally showed his true colors: a parasitic god that was draining the Earth. Amazing-Man was shocked, but joined the rest of the JSA in destroying Gog and transporting him to the Source Wall
As a member of the Justice Society, Amazing-Man aided the JSA in their fight against the revitalized Kobra
. Amazing-Man also joined the other JSA members to form a new All-Star Squadron during the Final Crisis
Soon after, Amazing-Man decided to leave the Justice Society. Based on visions from the elemental Olorun, Amazing-Man decided to start his own super-hero team in New Orleans. This team would focus on repairing the city in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, while giving the southern U.S. some hope and protection. Amazing-Man has since returned to New York to attend the funeral for fallen ally Damage.
Powers and Abilities
Like his grandfather, the third Amazing-Man possessed the ability to transform himself into a living embodiment of any material he touched: from wood to radio waves. He gained the inherent abilities, powers, and weaknesses of that material: for instance, if he touched stone, then he would become as strong and hard as stone, but would also be susceptible to fracturing.
During a dream state, a group of spirits called the Olorun appeared to Amazing-Man, revealing that they were responsible for both his abilities and the abilities of his predecessors. They also revealed that he had the ability to share his powers with anyone else he came into contact with. However, it has not been revealed if the Olorun truly exist, or if they were just part of Amazing-Man’s dream.