Justice League of America #164

    Justice League of America » Justice League of America #164 - Murder by Melody! released by DC Comics on March 1979.

    Short summary describing this issue.

    Murder by Melody! last edited by deactivated-66295eae3a574 on 09/04/23 11:44AM View full history

    The Red Tornado records a report on the Justice League of America's latest adventure. Wonder Woman chaired a meeting to discuss the current crises. The Justice League of America split into two teams to address each crisis. Anton Allegro, hiding out in an abandoned concert hall, played an orchestra into existence. Allegro then conjured up media equipment to broadcast his music to the world. Those that heard Allegro's music became his slaves. The Black Canary, the Flash, the Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and Zatanna searched Allegro's home. Vibrating at super-human speed, the Flash uncovered an invisible book.

    Before he could retrieve the book, Allegro's music flooded the room. Despite Wonder Woman's destruction of Allegro's television set, the music could still be heard. The Justice League of America is nearly overwhelmed by the enchanted music. Zatanna conjures forth ear-phones to shield her teammates' ears. Zatanna breaks the spell of concealment on the book, learning the origin of the book. The Justice League of America confronted Allegro. While the Flash, the Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman kept Allegro distracted, Zatanna enchanted the Black Canary. Zatanna's sorcery, combined with the canary cry, neutralized Allegro's demonic sonics.

    The Flash beat Allegro into unconsciousness.The Green Lantern took possession of Allegro's synthesizer. The Hawkgirl, the Red Tornado, and Superman had traced the mystic barrier imprisoning Zatanna's mother, Sindella, to Turkey. The Green Arrow, though still on the injured list, was quickly brought up to speed on the case. Suffering from a head injury, the Green Arrow tested his archery acumen to allay his doubts about his skills. Zatara revealed that he had met Sindella, in Turkey, while in combat with his arch-nemesis, King Inferno. Zatara triggered an avalanche, felling KIng Inferno, but also Zatara, as well.Sindella nursed Zatara back to health.

    The two fell madly in love with one another. Sindella returned to America with Zatara, on the condition that Zatara never ask about her past. Zatara wed Sindella. Shortly after Zatanna was born, Sindella died in an automobile accident. Or so Zatara had thought, until recent events called that death into question. Still undergoing repairs, the Red Tornado was unable to join the Justice League of America, in Turkey. Alone aboard the Justice League of America's satellite headquarters, the Red Tornado wondered if he'd ever see his friends alive again. Zatara, and Zatanna, combine their mystic powers, in concert with Allegro's synthesizer to penetrate the mystic barrier.

    The fall of the barrier reveals the Secret City, home to the Hidden Ones. A young boy, Roca, collides with Superman. The Justice League of America interrogate Roca. After answering a few simple questions, Roca teleports away to alert the Highlord. The Justice League of America is quickly surrounded by soldiers. The Justice League of America offer no resistance. The Highlord confronts Zatara. Sindella is brought out, in chains. The Highlord states that when Sindella perishes, Zatanna will take her place.


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    This is one of the strongest stories from Justice League of America, and perhaps even the best Zatanna story thus far in her publication history. Red Tornado narrates the story as he is still under repairs, as the League first wraps up the story with the Mad Maestro and then moves on to deal with Zatanna and her past. The process by which the story is told feels a lot more like a modern story than one set in the bronze age, as the two distinct parts of the issue feed into each other as oppose...

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