The Justice League loses their powers! When The Flash hears of someone using their powers to commit crimes, he calls the group together to investigate. First appearance of Professor Ivo and Amazo!
The JLA meets Professor Ivo and his android Amazo, an automaton with all the super powers of the Justice League members.
The JLA star in their third and final try-out issue before moving into their own magazine, and this issue is all out action. As in their previous two adventures, and as confirmed by the editor in this issue's letter column, Superman and Batman play cameo roles to allow the other heroes more exposure to the readers.
The story begins with the Flash in hot pursuit of the Mirror Master, who is threatening to destroy the bank of Central City. As he defies gravity and races up the side of the building, the Flash suddenly finds his powers momentarily desert him and he begins to fall to the ground. As soon as they left him, his powers return and the Scarlet Speedster is able to cushion his fall by swiftly rotating his arms and causing an updraft of air.
With his powers restored, the Flash quickly apprehends the Mirror Master.
Cut to Green Lantern who is flying above a stretch of mountain country when he notices that recent floods have destroyed part of a railway line, and the Cannonball Express is due any moment. Using his power ring, GL repairs the line just in time - but then at the crucuial moment, just like the Flash had done - GL suddenly and momentarily loses his powers and both he and the train begin a dangerous descent. Suddenly his powers return and GL is able to save himself and the train - but like the Flash he is left wondering how and why he lost his powers.
Next we join Wonder Woman, who notices a runaway flying missile ?! (Were governments really that careless in those days?) Anyway, as the Amazon Princess uses her magic lasso to circle the missile, she too suddenly and temporarily loses her powers. Her fears that the missile will land on a populated are are allayed however, when almost instantly her powers return and she is able to toss the missile harmlessly out to sea.
Talking of the sea, we then join Aquaman, who, on his sea patrol comes across a deep sea diver who is trapped on an ancient galley. Aquaman orders two nearby whales to lift the vessel to the surface of the water, but half way through the task, the powerful creatures turn and swim away. They soon return however and complete the job - leaving the sea king to wonder why his powers suddenly deserted him.
On a foggy evening, the Martian Manhunter is using his super breath to disperse the fog and thus allowing an ambulance to reach its destination. Suddenly his super breath fails and the road becomes almost invisible. As soon as his powers leave him they return, and Jonn is able to lead the ambulance out of the mists.
Five seperate incidents, which our heroes do not realise are related until the following day when the Flash - as Barry Allen - has his attention drawn by two stunning crimes. Instantly he calls the JLA and the team meet at their secret HQ, where the Flash tells them what he has discovered. Using super powers which match their own, someone has successfully stolen a European Catfish and Cicada insect. Flash has deduced that during those brief moments when their powers failed, someone stole them and was now using them for criminal purposes.
Author Gardner Fox and editor Julius Schwartz were always keen that the comics they produced were both entertaining and educational, and this issue was no exception. JLA mascot "Snapper" Carr now comes to the fore and informs the League (and the reader) that the European Catfish and Cicada Insect both have long life expectancy (60 and 17 yrs respectively). This information leads to the team deducing that someone is trying to create an immortality elixir. In no time the JLA split into teams to protect the oldest living man, reptile, bird, animal and whale on the planet. This is the last time we see Superman and Batman in this story. Seems Professor Ivo has a supply of Kryptonite if he should need it, and Batman has no powers to steal anyway.
Chapter two of the "Case of the Stolen Super Powers" stars Wonder Woman as she heads off for the mountains of Peru to protect the world's oldest living man. Exactly how old he is we don't know, but we are introduced to his son who is 110!! The old man (who interestinglt speaks good English) puts his longevity of life down to his spirit dolls and notheing WW says can persuade him otherwise. Suddenly Amazo appears, using the speed of the Flash. As he slows for a moment in order to take the old man with him, WW seizes her chance and attacks with her magic lasso. Amazo immediately tries to counter by using GL's power ring - but to no avail, as WW's lasso is yellow, and as we all know, GL's power ring doesn't work on anything yellow. Temporarily surprised by his failure, Amazo uses Jonn Jonnz' super breath to combat WW, and the Amazon Princess is blown away. Meanwhile, the old man has advanced towards Amazo with a spirit doll in one hand and a flaming torch in the other. Since he is using the power of Jonn, Amazo is suddenly weakened by the fire, but the old man thinks it is the doll that is the source of his impending victory. Dousing his flame, both he and WW are taken off guard by the speed of Amazo's next attack, in which he captures them both in a vice-like grip with two power ring hands and sends them hurtling towards his creator, Professor Ivo.
Green Lantern and Aquaman are heading for the Galapagos Islands to protect the oldest Tortoise in the world. At the start of chapter 3, GL covers the whole island with a power - ring dome. Along comes Amazo and tries everything he can think of - Martian strength, Super Speed and power ring creations of his own - to break through the dome, but to no avail. Using the experience of his last battle, Amazo remembers that GL's ring does not work against anything yellow, and suddenly dives underwater. Here is another bit of scientific education. As Amazo uses the speed of the Flash, we are informed that there is 6tenths of an ounce of gold to every 5million cubic feet of sea water! Anyway, the result is that Amazo is soon covered in gold and is able to break through the power ring barrier and onto the island. Instantly, Green Lantern uses his power ring on a dark cloud above the island and the ensuing downpour washes the gold off Amazo, and as GL swoops to capture him, the android hs to use the speed of the Flash to evade him. Meanwhile, Aquaman has decided to get the Tortoise to safety below the water and is unaware of the tussle going on above him. Blowing up a storm of golden sand, Amazo manages to throw GL off balance, before encasing him in a power ring tube and sending him to professor Ivo. Despite Aquaman creating a whirlpool, Amazo captures him and the Tortoise by using his power ring as a fishing line and they too end up with Ivo.
The Martian Manhunter and the Flash team up to protect the oldest bird on the earth in chapter 4. With the Flash on patrol on ground level and his Martian team mate patrolling the skies, it seems that there is no way in for Amazo. However, the cunning android burrows underground at super speed and lifts the aviary into the air using the super strength of Jonn Jonzz. Seeing what has happened, the Martian Manhunter uses his super breath to stop Amazo in his tracks. However, as Amazo is off balance and Jonn goes to catch the building, the android uses WW's lasso to snare his opponent and spin him around. Dazed, he cannot resist as Amazo encases him in a GL type rocket and sends him to Professor Ivo. Meanwhile, the Flash has used his Super Speed to slow the descent of the aviary to the ground. Amazo encases the aviary in a power bubble in order to capture both the bird and the Flash. Racing around the aviary, Flash collects enough yellow feathers in order to burst through the emerald trap. However, despite the fact that he seemingly has enough feathers to ride the wind currents (?! stretching thing a bit?!) Flash suddenly finds himself descending quickly until a sudden breeze sends him to a yacht. Too late Flash discovers that this is the yacht of Professor Ivo, and before he can move he is trapped in a great glass cylinder and overcome by Chlorine Gas. Turns out it was Amazo who blew the Flash towards Ivo with super breath.
As chapter 5 opens,we find the 5 Justice Leaguers captured in huge glass tubes which are filed with Chlorine Gas. Professor Ivo is well on the way to completing his twin tasks of Immortality and World conquest!
Now he is going to finish what he has started. Having transferred a little of their powers to Amazo, the Professor is now going to transfer all of their powers to him. As mighty engines roar, the JLA members are drained of their powers and they enter Amazo. Satisfied that all is under control, Ivo drinks the elixir he has created, which will keep him alive for the next 500 years. Releasing the JLA from their captive tubes as they now no longer have any power and are no threat to his plans, Ivo orders Amazo to turn his power ring on them, so that the heroes will forget who they are. As the ex- super powered JLAers lose their memories, Ivo and Amazo go and make their plans.
Suddenly, Green Lantern bursts in - but how can this be? No matter, Ivo orders Amazo to use the magic lasso of WW, the breath of Jonn and the Speed of the Flash - but inexplicably the android finds he has none of these powers! As the stunned Ivo and Amazo try to flee, GL orders them to stay put and uses his ring to ensure they do so. Then, using his power ring on his team mates, GL restores their memories and their super powers before explaining how he did it.
Turns out that Chlorine Gas is a greenish / yellow colour and so by inhaling the gas as he was released from the container and exhaling it when Amazo used the ring to rob the league of their memories, GL was able to resist the power of Amazo and retain his own mind and power. The irony of what is GL's weakness being the very thing that saved him and the JLA is not lost on him or the reader. In a final twist, Ivo is taken to the authorities and is sentenced to...500 years!!