Monday, February 13, 2012

Amazo

Amazo is a fictional character that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. The character first appears in The Brave and the Bold #30 (June 1960) and was created by Gardner Fox and Murphy Anderson. An android, Amazo's special ability is to replicate the special abilities of various superheroes and supervillains he comes into contact with. Throughout publication, Amazo has most frequently been a villain for the Justice League, an assembly of DC's most well-known superheroes; Amazo also permanently replicated the powers and abilities of the first Justice League he encountered, making him a very powerful adversary in all subsequent appearances.

Debuting in the Silver Age of Comic Books, the character has appeared in comic books and other DC Comics-related products, including animated television series, trading cards and video games.

The android Amazo was built by insane scientist Professor Ivo, who became obsessed with immortality. The original Justice League of America (Green Lantern, Flash, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and the Martian Manhunter) encounter Amazo after experiencing a sudden loss of their abilities. Discovering that certain long-lived creatures are being collected and realizing their powers have been stolen after hearing of the ways the robberies happened (for example a catfish being stolen using a green beam to cut through the wall and superspeed, and a Cicada beetle being stolen with a golden lasso), the heroes split up to guard long-lived beings and battle Amazo, who defeats the entire team (though he does not meet Superman and Batman) who are imprisoned in gas-filled cylinders, and steals their abilities, placing them within the body of Amazo, before erasing their memories. Ivo is revealed to be the mastermind behind the scheme and, using data collected from the captured specimens, creates a potion that will bestow immortality, hoping to escape his fear of death. Its effect will last for about 500 years, but Ivo hopes to make more. He plans to take over the World, knowing Batman has no superpowers, and has a piece of kryptonite to defeat Superman. The plan, however, is foiled by Green Lantern, who uses some of the yellowish gas to protect himself from the memory erasing before recharging his ring and using it to draw Amazo's powers away, before restoring them and the memories to the JLA, and Ivo and Amazo are defeated, with Ivo being jailed, ironically sentenced to 500 years, and Amazo being stored in the trophy room.

At the suggestion of team mascot Snapper Carr, the Justice League reactivate Amazo to deal with an alien threat that has drained their success factor as another victory from them will cause him to become inert. Although the alien drains Amazo's abilities, the android's combined powers overload the creature as intended, causing it to become inert and giving the team back their success factor. The Justice League then defeats Amazo once again and returns the android to storage. When the Justice League lose their powers due to the machinations of the villain Libra, the heroes reactivate Amazo once again. The android draws in their lost powers, which are eventually returned via technology devised by Batman and the Atom.

Radiation from an exploding red sun in deep space reaches Earth and weakens Superman significantly. The radiation also revives Amazo, who defeats the remainder of the Justice League, and imprisons them, though making sure they can watch him. Amazo then seeks out Ivo, wishing to be deactivated. Discovering Ivo cannot assist, the android decides to kill both Ivo and Superman; however, they escape with a teleportation device Superman had hidden in his mouth to the Fortress of Solitude. Superman is forced to create and use a machine called the "Supermobile" to compensate for his weakened state, which shields him from the radiation and is able to imitate his powers, along with other attachments, with which he battles against Amazo and saves both Ivo and Lois Lane. Superman then uses the device to travel five days into the future, when the effects of the red solar radiation have passed Earth. Newly empowered, Superman defeats Amazo and rescues the Justice League. Amazo is reactivated by former Justice League foe the Key, who seeks a cure for his current shrunken state by using the abilities of the superhero team. Hawkman, however, helps the Justice League defeat Amazo, and fellow member Zatanna restores the Key to his former state.

Ivo reactivates Amazo for use against a weaker version of the League, with the android defeating all the new members until finally stopped by the Martian Manhunter and Aquaman. A different Amazo model is activated and battles the superhero team the Conglomerate, and while searching for Ivo encounters the hero Aztek, who reasons with the android. This version briefly battles the Resurrection Man before finally being destroyed.

One version of Amazo is pulled from the timestream by a curious Hourman, who wishes to meet his "ancestor". Amazo responds by attacking Hourman and copying the "Worlogog", an artifact embedded in the android. Amazo then becomes "Timazo" and wreaks havoc with his new-found ability to manipulate time, until hurled back into the timestream as his former self by Hourman. A current version of Amazo has several more encounters with Hourman.

Another version, with the ability to absorb the abilities of the League on a conceptual level, overpowers over two dozen heroes, until Atom tells Superman to announce the team is disbanded. The premise that the League no longer exists deprives the android of purpose and it shuts down. Batman and Nightwing discover a partial Amazo (lacking several abilities) in a weapons shipment, and manage to destroy the android by deactivating its individual abilities, such as using explosive batarangs to damage its leg (preventing it from using the Flash's speed) and covering its eyes with plastic explosive (causing its eyes to be destroyed when it uses Superman's heat vision), before finally destroying it with a missile from the Batmobile.

Another Amazo participates in a massive attack by a group of villains on the city of Metropolis, but is deactivated when sometime hero Black Adam decapitates the android.

Ivo then uses parts of the current Amazo along with human ova and DNA to create the android's "son". Awakened prematurely by an earthquake, the junior version of Amazo believes itself to be a philosophy student called Frank Halloran, who dates a girl called Sara. Amazo reveals the truth to his progeny, who attempts to resist his programming by becoming a hero called "Kid Amazo". Slowly becoming insane, Kid Amazo confronts Ivo and discovers Sara is Ivo's daughter and was placed to monitor the android. Batman deduces Kid Amazo has both the powers and the personalities of the JLA, and during a battle with the League creates dissension in the team that the android mimics, causing an internal logic error that destroys it.

Ivo secretly downloads Amazo's programming into the body of the Red Tornado, the creation of sometime ally Professor T.O. Morrow. Several members of the JLA battle an army of Red Tornado androids, until discovering that Red Tornado's body is intended for the mind of Solomon Grundy. Although the process is prevented, the Amazo programming asserts itself and attacks the superhero team, despite their attempts to dismantle the android. Member Vixen eventually destroys the Red Tornado body by shearing it in half.

A new body is created for the Red Tornado, although the Amazo programming from the first body downloads into the shell. The android battles the JLA until teleported into the gravity well of the red star Antares.

Professor Ivo's Amazo androids use "absorption cells" to duplicate the powers of metahumans, such as Superman's strength, Flash's speed, Batman's skills and intellect, and the abilities of Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter. He has also demonstrated using the abilities of Atom and Elongated Man and Black Canary. Later versions are also capable of copying objects, such as the power ring of Green Lantern, Wonder Woman's magic lasso, and the Nth metal mace of Hawkgirl. All versions apparently retain the base abilities of the original five members of the Justice League first encountered.

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