“THE ORIGIN OF THE JUSTICE LEAGUE – MINUS ONE!” While looking through the JLA Casebook, Green Arrow discovers various discrepancies in the established “origin” of the team. He demands to learn the true story, which Superman and Green Lantern decide to share with him with the aid of a videotape narrated by J’onn J’onzz.
"The Origin of the Justice League--Minus One!"
The Green Arrow angrily confronts the Green Lantern, and Superman. The Green Arrow has discovered a discrepancy in the timeline of the team's history, leading him to believe his teammates have been lying to him. The Green Lantern, and Superman, come clean regarding the true origin of the Justice League of America. The Green Arrow is brought into the records room, and played the proper tape, narrated by J'onn J'onzz, the Manhunter From Mars. In 1955, Professor Erdel's robot brain transported the Martian Manhunter from Mars to Earth. Erdel died before he could reprogram the robot brain to send the Martian Manhunter back to Mars, stranding him on Earth.
To blend in with humanity, J'onn J'onzz, the Manhunter From Mars, used his shapeshifting power to assume the identity of John Jones, a Middleton police detective. In the weeks that followed the Martian Manhunter, as Jones, observed the citizens of Middleton, finding them to be prone to paranoia. For four years, J'onn J'onzz, the Manunter From Mars, lived as the human policeman, Jones, while also operating in secret as the Martian Manhunter. J'onn J'onzz, the Manhunter From Mars attempted to reprogram Erdel's robot brain, to send him home. In 1959, after watching a television newscast of Superman's latest exploit, J'onn J'onnzz, the Manhunter From Mars, considered revealing himself to the public at large.
That night, the Martian Manhunter was confronted by Commander Blanx, and a squadron of White Martians. His work on Erdel's robot brain had, unknowingly, led to some success after all. Blanx was able to follow the robot brain's probing ray, to Earth, and the Martian Manhunter. J'onn J'onzz, the Manunter From Mars set Erdel's laboratory on fire, to escape from Blanx. Returning to the laboratory, the Martian Manhunter found the robot brain melted into slag, but no sign of the Blanx, or the White Martians. J'onn J'onzz, the Manhunter from Mars, erroneously believed that Blanx, and the White Martians, had returned to Mars.
The Martian Manhunter, as Jones, learned that the White Martians were terrorizing MIddleton. Jones, as J'onn J'onzz, the Manhunter From Mars, sought out, and confronted Blanx, and the White Martians. Their brief battle was interrupted by the Flash. The Martian Manhunter turned invisible to escape the Flash. The Flash, however, was able to find him, by covering the entire area at super-human speed. J'onn J'onzz, the Manhunter From Mars, revealed himself to the Flash, declaring friendship. Innocent civilians, upon seeing the Martian Manhunter began panicking, forcing the Flash to take action against them.
The Flash assured the citizens of Middleton that he would protect them from the Martians, only to come under suspicion, himself, of possibly being a Martian. As paranoia began to spread through Middleton, the Flash addressed the citizenry, at city hall, offering to bring in Superman. The Flash raced to Metropolis, making contact with not just Superman, but Batman and Robin, as well. Unbeknownst to the Flash, his method of drawing attention to himself, in Metropolis, to draw out Superman, also tipped the media to the situation in Middleton. J'onn J'onzz, the Manhunter From Mars, stumbled across the White Martians. The White Martians raced out into the streets, inciting a panic.
Blanx, appearing as Jones, struck down the Martian Manhunter, revealing him to the public. The Batman, the Flash, Robin, the Boy Wonder, and Superman met with the authorities in Middleton. Roy Raymond, the television detective, arrived in Middleton, and offered to get the word out, in the media, about the potential Martian invasion of Earth. Raymond's broadcast drew Aquaman, the Blackhawks, the Challengers of the Unknown, Congo Bill, with Congorilla, Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane, Plastic Man, Rex, the Wonder Dog, Robotman, the Vigilante, and Wonder Woman to Middleton. The Green Arrow stops the recording, wondering why he was not called in on the case.
Thinking back, the Green Arrow remembers that he, and his sidekick, Speedy, were out of the country, on a different case, during that time period. The large group of adventurers, and heroes, split up into three teams to scour the world for the Martians. The Blackhawks detected an immensely powerful energy signature, and traced it back to an abandoned farmhouse. The Blackhawks, Olsen, and Plastic Man stormed the farmhouse, only to be repelled by heavy machine gun fire. The Blackhawks took out the gunner, only to come under fire from a second shooter. The first gunner fled back into the farmhouse, with the Blackhawks, Olsen and Plastic Man in hot pursuit.
By the time they were able to gain access to the interior of the farmhouse, the gunmen had disappeared. Unbeknownst to the Blackhawks, Olsen, and Plastic Man, the men they were pursuing were not Martians, but Rip Hunter, Time Master, and his assistant, Jeff. The Challengers of the Unknown, Congo Bill, with Congorilla, Lane, Robotman and the Vigilante investigated a report of a "flying man with a ray gun", in the mountains. After sighting the strange figure, Robotman gave pursuit, only to be quickly outpaced. The band of adventurers, and heroes, followed the flying man deeper into the forest. Lane, however, stayed behind, preferring to remain in the area where the flying man was first seen.
Congo Bill swapped minds with Congorilla, to better track the flying man through the forest. Congorilla discovered the flying man, and grabbed ahold of him, as he took off into the air. The flying man shook Congorilla off, dropping the ape onto Lane. The flying man then disappeared into thin air. Unbeknownst to the Challengers of the Unknowns, Congorilla, Lane, Robotman, or the Vigilante, the flying man was not a Martian, but Adam Strange. Aquaman, the Batman, the Flash, Raymond, Rex, the Wonder Dog, Robin, the Boy Wonder, Superman, and Wonder Woman met with Hal Jordan, a test pilot for Ferris Aircraft. Jordan had been ambushed by Martians.
Jordan led the group out to a launch pad, where a rocket awaited. Rex, the Wonder Dog began furiously barking, Using his heat vision, Superman flushed out the White Martians. Blanx attacked Superman. Using his super-human speed, the Flash drew a massive wave of water, from the Atlantic Ocean, flooding the launch pad, and invigorating Aquaman. The Batman, and Robin, the Boy Wonder spied a figure, outlined by water droplets, tied to the rocket. Upon releasing J'onn J'onzz, the Manunter From Mars, from the rocket, the Martian Manhuter revealed the Martians' great weakness to fire. In a matter of seconds, Blanx, and the White Martians were defeated.
Superman returned Blanx, and the White Martians, to Mars. J'onn J'onzz, the Manhunter From Mars, already an exile on Mars, opted to remain on Earth. The Flash convinced the Martian Manhunter not to reveal himself to the public, until the public's hysteria had been quelled. Aquaman suggested waiting six months, at which point he, and the other heroes, would come out, publicly, in support of J'onn J'onzz, the Manhunter From Mars. Superman suggested forming a team. Months later, the Justice League of America formally came together, to face down a true alien invasion. At the recording's end, the Green Arrow finds himself tearing up, missing his former teammate, J'onn J'onzz, the Manhunter From Mars.
"The Plague That Struck The Justice League!"
"100 Issues Ago In...Justice League of America" reprints material from Justice League of America #44 (May, 1966). A plot summary for that story can be found at the link.
- Manhunters cameo flashback.
- This issue contains the Hostess Superhero Ad, The Joker as "The Cornered Clown".