Obscure DC Characters:

Jack The Ripper

Pre-Crisis, the ghost of Jack the Ripper turned up in an issue of LOIS LANE #108.

In DCU VILLAINS SECRET FILES & ORIGINS, an incarnation of the Resurrection Man battles Vandal Savage who had just murdered a woman in White-Chapel, London in 1884. This murder was very similar to the murders that would be committed by the mysterious Jack the Ripper several years later. Was Jack the Ripper actually Vandal Savage or did Savage inspire someone else to become Jack the Ripper several years later?

In Grant Morrison's DOOM PATROL, a strange being named Redjack claimed that he was God and Jack the Ripper (and others) in one. Redjack could be a Star Trek reference to that entity that killed women and then framed Scotty for the murders (in an episode written by Robert Bloch). Redjack also appeared in a few DC STAR TREK issues.

In Karl Kesel's SUPERBOY, there was a Jack the Ripper type character. I think he was a clone of the original Jack the Ripper. I don't remember the details.

Years ago, HELLBLAZER had a story involving demonic activities, the Royal Family of England, and Jack the Ripper. And it would be DCU since it was pre-Vertigo, I believe.

In SUPERGIRL (circa #55-60, 2003), the demon Buzz was said to be the one who inspired the Ripper (name??) to commit the Whitechapel Murders. This man was in fact the boyfriend of the last girl murdered.

See also http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix's (entry on Zaniac for their references to Jack the Ripper).

Janus, Son Of Jupiter

Secret identity: Darkseid.
First appeared: SUPER POWERS [third series] #3 (Nov 1986).
Television appearances: None.
Comic book appearances: SUPER POWERS [third series] #3 (Nov 1986) - #4 (Dec 1986).
Action figures: None.
Origin revealed: SUPER POWERS [third series] #3 (Nov 1986).

The origin of Janus, Son of Jupiter: Darkseid, the deposed ruler of Apokolips, comes to Earth and locates the scientist Kronar. Darkseid forces the scientist to restore his former might. Kronar first bathes him with Alpha Energy, which temporarily restores some of Darkseid's power. Kronar explains that Darkseid will need weeks of treatments of Omega Energy for total restoration. Darkseid kills Kronar, then adopts the costumed identity of Janus, Son of Jupiter. The evil dictator tracks down and saves the Super Powers Team from a threat he had secretly created, then convinces them that he is another hero created by Kronar. The Super Powers Team takes Janus with them to Apokolips, where the heroes eventually bring temporary stability. Darkseid, his immediate plans foiled, approaches Orion as Janus and asks if he could remain on Apokolips to aid in the fight against the forces of evil. Orion gladly accepts, unwittingly giving Darkseid the opportunity he will need to regain his throne.

Powers: Janus possesses great strength and the ability to fly. He wields an indestructible shield and a high-tech mace. As Janus, Darkseid appears as a handsome, blonde human.

Jan Vern, Interplanetary Agent

Jan Vern starred in two Gil Kane illustrated episodes in 1965's MYSTERY IN SPACE #100 and 102, only the first of which I've read. In that one, the blonde Vern (a man, just to clarify) is an agent of Interplanetary Investigations (IPI) in our solar system's future. A master of disguise, Jan investigates various evildoers and spies and, in MIS #100, helps free IPI's Agent X, a Sean Connery lookalike named Damos.

Jason's Quest

In 1969, thanks to his successful revamp of WONDER WOMAN, Mike Sekowsky was a hot commodity at DC and he was given a free hand to develop new features for SHOWCASE. Thus was born "Jason's Quest", described as "the unusual story of a boy ... his bike ... his search."

SHOWCASE #88 set up the situation: Late in 1969, Jason Davis' father was mortally wounded in a shooting. Summoned to his deathbed, the blonde young man listened to a stunning series of revelations. His real name was Jason Grant, Jr. and his natural father had been murdered when he was an infant. The killer was a mobster named Tuborg, who sought the elder Grant's latest invention. As Tuborg's killers combed the house for witnesses, Grant's servant, Davis, rushed to the nursery, commanding the housekeeper to take Jason's twin sister into hiding while he did the same with young Jason. Over the next nineteen years, Davis moved himself and Jason constantly, always trying to stay one step ahead of Tuborg.

In preparation for the day Jason would take over the fight, Davis drilled commando training into the boy's head. With his final breath, he gasped, "Your sister ... somehow your father secreted on her person evidence that will end Tuborg and his evil empire. In the fireplace at home ... the box your father gave me — it has your papers ... money ... and — and ... I'm ... I'm ... sor —"

Unknown to Jason, Tuborg had planted a bug in the hospital room and heard every word. Finding Jason's sister was now their number one priority. What followed was a race between Jason and Tuborg to get to her first. In London, Jason found a picture of his sister but failed to recognize her in a chance encounter. She was wearing a black wig and calling herself GeeGee.

After evading Tuborg's assassins for days, armed with nothing but his wits and his motorcycle, Jason crossed paths with GeeGee again in #90. This time he recognized her. Unfortunately, Tuborg's men were everwhere and Jason was forced to flee — dragging his sister along. Constantly on his guard, Jason never had a moment to explain to GeeGee just why he was so desperate to talk to her. They were finally forced to split up but Jason asked her to meet him at a prearranged location the next day.

Watching him ride away to safety, she commented that "if he expects me to meet him tomorrow — he's off his chump! If I EVER see that crazy man again — I'll take off in the OPPOSITE direction as FAST as I can go! Goodbye — and good riddance!"

And that's as far as "Jason's Quest" ever got. In the mid-1980s, long before he was a bankable name, Kurt Busiek cited the series as a dream project in a COMICS BUYER'S GUIDE interview. Wonder if he's still interested.

Jero & Halk

The Venusian scientist Jero and Martian Halk were both pink fleshed allies of Chris KL-99 in STRANGE ADVENTURES #1-3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 15 and DC COMICS PRESENTS #78 (though they weren't in the SECRET ORIGINS remake). Jero seemed to be of aquatic origin will a green, gilled outfit while Halk had an elongated bald cranium and wore a toga. Halk had exiled himself from Mars after accidentally damaged his world's power supply. He restored Mars' power crystal in S.A. #9 (reprinted in the PULP FICTION LIBRARY collection) but chose to stay with his comrades.

Halk Kar, an alien traveller briefly assumed by Superman to be his brother, was the Earth-2 universe counterpart of Lar Gand (known on Earth-1 as Mon-El, and post-Crisis as Valor and M'Onel). He appeared in SUPERMAN (1st series) #80, in a story by Edmond Hamilton and Al Plastino. Jero I don't know.

Edmond Hamilton (who also created Chris KL-99) often reused names, so it's not surprising he reused that one for the SUPERMAN tale. Aside from Halk Kar, there was Ronn Kar the flattening Neptunian in the Legion, and Batman met a Martian policeman named Roh Kar...Hamilton gave us enough Kars to fill a parking lot!

Jerry Lewis

DC published The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis (#1-40, 1952-57) and The Adventures of Jerry Lewis (#41-124, 1957-71). The following is a summary of a number of articles from Scott Shaw's Oddball Comics feature at Comic Book Resources.

JERRY LEWIS MEETS THE DC SUPER-HEROES

Joseph Levitch was born on March 16th 1926. Of course, we all know him by his stage name, Jerry Lewis. On July 25th 1946, the comedian partnered with singer Dean Martin, and the act lasted for ten years. In addition to his stage and film work, Jerry Lewis is well known for his annual fundraisers against Muscular Dystrophy.

Jerry Lewis first appeared in comic book form in National Periodical Publications' THE ADVENTURES OF DEAN MARTIN AND JERRY LEWIS. The first issue of that magazine was cover dated July-August 1952. When the team of Martin and Lewis broke up, National dropped Dean Martin from the title, continuing the series under the name THE ADVENTURES OF JERRY LEWIS. The newly renamed title ran from issue #41 (Nov 1957) through issue #124 (May-June 1971).

Jerry Lewis encountered some of National's most famous super-heroes and villains in four issues of his solo magazine. For the sake of argument, we will place these adventures firmly on Earth-12, in the same universe as the Inferior Five and Plastic Man II.

THE ADVENTURES OF JERRY LEWIS #97 (Nov-Dec 1966) "Batman Meets Jerry" Featuring: Batman, Robin, the Joker, the Penguin, and the Riddler.

Witch Kraft, the supernatural housekeeper of Jerry Lewis and his troublesome nephew Renfrew, goes on vacation. Inspired by the "Batman" tv show, Renfrew convinces Jerry that they should become costumed crimefighters named Ratman and Rotten the Boy Blunder. Soon they are attacked by the villainous Kangaroo, who overpowers Jerry and kidnaps Renfrew. The real Dynamic Duo arrive on the scene. Batman tells Jerry that ever since his tv show began, he and Robin have had to spend all their time saving their imitators. The heroes grudgingly allow Jerry to accompany them as they search for the Kangaroo.

Meanwhile, Renfrew starts giving the villain and his son some effective advice regarding their criminal methods, and before long he is leading their gang! Batman and Robin manage to "rescue" Renfrew, but not before the Kangaroo and his son escape. Soon, thanks to Renfrew's career advice, the Kangaroo becomes the laughing-stock of the super-villain world, attracting the ire of the Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler, among others. Determined to stop the Kangaroo from giving a bad name to colorful crooks everywhere, the Joker suggests that all the villains wear "Kangaroo" costumes during their upcoming heist at the Batman-Land Amusement Park.

Batman, Robin, and Jerry show up at the park to stop the crooks, battling amidst many gigantic mementos of past cases. In the end, Batman and Robin defeat the criminals. The Kangaroo and his son are revealed to be Witch Kraft and her niece Zanyia, who had masqueraded as super-villains to teach Jerry and Renfrew a lesson. They said they could get along without her, so she invented the Kangaroo to prove they couldn't. Robin chases Renfrew with Witch Kraft's broom, determined to swat the trouble-making brat!

THE ADVENTURES OF JERRY LEWIS #105 (Mar?Apr 1968) "Superman Meets Jerry" Featuring: Superman and Lex Luthor.

Jerry, his nephew Renfrew, and their housekeeper Witch Kraft watch a live television broadcast of Superman's three-day-long battle with a huge, dragon-like monster from outer space. After 72 hours of reporting, the news crew that has been covering his confrontation from their helicopter is exhausted ... and so is Superman! In fact, he hasn't had a night's sleep in over two weeks! The Man Of Steel finally emerges victorious when the gigantic space-creature -? which turns out to be a robot — explodes in a green-tinged burst. Superman suspects his archenemy Lex Luthor is behind the mechanical monster.

Superman is indeed correct. The gloating villain watches his super-foe on television. The explosion was actually caused by a bomb of his creation containing kryptonite dust, the only substance that can weaken Superman. Luthor used a very large amount of low-grade kryptonite, so it wouldn't be immediately noticeable, but the hero's outfit has now become covered with it. With his kryptonite-counter, he'll be able to locate Superman and discover his true identity ... before he dies!

In the aftermath of the explosion, Superman is so tired that he can't even muster the energy to grant a television interview, thus alienating his fellow journalists who seek to speak with him. He crawls into a nearby phone booth, but falls asleep inside it.

Later, when he, as Clark Kent, reports to the offices of The Daily Planet, editor Perry White gives the groggy reporter an "emergency" assignment. He has been chosen to write a story on "The Pre-Teen Jungle". Jimmy Olsen's computer selects the most typical, average, representative pre-teen to be Jerry's nephew Renfrew!

Clark visits Jerry's home in the suburbs to interview the bratty kid. America's most typical, average pre-teen is busily destroying his uncle's furniture and appliances. While Clark speaks with Jerry, Renfrew grabs a zoom lens from a shattered camera to focus the rays of the sun, giving the reporter a solar hotfoot! As Clark hops around in pain, he realizes that something's dreadfully wrong ... he should be invulnerable to pain! When Renfrew dumps a tub of water on him to put out the fire, Clark nearly drowns, another unexpected weakness.

Shortly, Clark changes out of his wet clothes and into some of Jerry's, hiding his Superman uniform in the bottom of Jerry's laundry hamper. While Jerry admires Clark's muscular physique, his enchanted housekeeper levitates the dirty clothes out of the hamper, including Superman's empty uniform! She shows her discovery to Jerry, who correctly assumes it belongs to Clark, but incorrectly concludes that the reporter wears it to maintain a deluded fantasy. It's only a matter of minutes before Jerry himself tries on the super-suit, fantasizing that he is Superman.

Meanwhile, the kryptonite-counter has led Lex Luthor and his henchman to Jerry's home. Hearing the lurkers outside, Clark investigates and spots Luthor, but his x-ray vision suddenly becomes blurred. He recalls the explosion, and realizes that it impregnated his costume with low-grade kryptonite, weakening him. The villains trailed him there with a kryptonite-counter. Clark spots Jerry wearing his costume, and knows he's in terrible danger. Clark rushes to burst through the wall to save his host but, forgetting he's still weakened by the green k, knocks himself unconscious. Luthor climbs though a window and pulls a gun on the person he believes to be Superman wearing a stupid mask!

While the villains chase Jerry, aiming to shoot him in the head (since the super-uniform protects his body), Renfrew enlists the aid of Witch Kraft to help his uncle. They fly off on her broomstick while Clark recovers, stumbling outside, right through the wall. Witch Kraft and Renfrew locate the villains, however their gunfire blasts her broomstick out from under them, and they plummet toward the sidewalk. Clark crashes through a block of buildings to catch Renfrew before he becomes a grease-spot on the pavement, but Witch Kraft isn't so lucky. The impact causes her to lose her memory.

Clark heads off to rescue Jerry, who has taken sanctuary in a local junkyard, his head hidden inside a heavy metal soup kettle. Jerry manages to lift the kettle with the secret aid of Clark, who hides in a treetop, inhaling with his super-breath to keep the kettle aloft. Unfortunately, Clark accidentally swallows "the last swallow of autumn", which lodges in his throat, cutting off his super-breath, causing the heavy kettle to drop down over Jerry.

Not far away, Renfrew tries to restore Witch Kraft's memory, but all of his efforts are useless until he accidentally whacks her with a loose plank from a wooden fence. After regaining her mental faculties and magical skills (and punishing Renfrew with a hot steam iron applied to his rear end), she comes to Jerry's rescue just as Luthor is about to ventilate his rather vacant skull! At that moment, tickled by the bird feathers in his throat, Clark suddenly sneezes, sending the swallow at super-speed right into Witch Kraft's head, sending her back to la-la land. This gives Luthor and his thug a chance to recover their firearms, which they once again aim at Jerry. Clark uses super-speed to invisibly remove his uniform from Jerry's body, then blows away all traces of green kryptonite from it with gusts of super-breath. Finally back in his super-suit, Superman makes short work of Lex Luthor and his henchman.

THE ADVENTURES OF JERRY LEWIS #112 (May?June 1969) "The Flash Meets Jerry Lewis" Featuring: The Flash, Captain Cold, and Abra Kadabra.

Jerry and his nephew Renfrew arrive at the neighborhood tailor shop to drop off a sweater for cleaning. They watch as the tailor is tossed into a waiting auto by a pair of tough-looking hoods. Inside, they discover that the shop is full of super-villain costumes. Jerry assumes the outfits are for Halloween, but Renfrew isn't fooled, especially when an escaped convict shows up and dons a Captain Cold outfit, complete with an operating cold-gun! Captain Cold seals the nosy little wiseguy inside a block of ice, then takes off. Jerry soon discovers his flash-frozen nephew.

Meanwhile, police scientist Barry Allen (a.k.a. The Flash) is tracking down a number of super-villains who've recently escaped in a mass jailbreak from the Central City prison. Barry finds a business card from the tailor shop at the scene of a crime. Since he once arrested a tailor who made apparel for his Rogues Gallery of villains, he decides to investigate the lead. Barry touches a hidden spring on his special ring, causing his Flash costume to shoot out and expand on contact with the air. He switches to his superheroic identity and races to the tailor shop, where he finds Jerry advertising for a delivery boy. However, Jerry fails to recognize the Scarlet Speedster. He needs another delivery boy till Renfrew thaws out, and offers the Flash the job! The hero recognizes every one of the costumes! He realizes he has been handed the addresses of a dozen villains by a gibbering idiot.

Elsewhere, the kidnapped tailor is in the clutches of one of the Flash's deadliest villains, Abra Kadabra, the super-scientific magician from the 64th century. Kadabra is furious because his special wand is missing, and he blames the terrified tailor for it, even though the shop's clearly posted policy is "Not Responsible For Articles Left In Pockets". Back at the tailor's place, Renfrew finally defrosts and promptly discovers the missing wand. After sending dozens of needles flying to pierce poor Jerry's keister, the little brat decides to have some "fun" with his new plaything.

After the Flash captures and jails the criminals on Jerry's address list, he changes back to his civilian togs to check out the tailor shop as Barry Allen. As Barry approaches the shop, a passing car splashes water and mud on his pants. Jerry sees this and wastes no time in dragging Barry into the shop and yanking off his slacks! While preparing to clean them, he doesn't notice Barry's Flash-ring falling out of a pocket. Jerry cleans and irons Barry's pants (with some unsuspected "help" from Renfrew's wand), but winds up shrinking, burning, and generally destroying them. As Barry storms out of the tailor shop, he leaves some angry parting words with its oblivious de facto proprietor.

Meanwhile, Renfrew has made another discovery ... Barry's Flash-ring! But before he can do anything with it, Jerry snatches it away from his nephew with the intention of returning it to the customer who lost it. When he accidentally touches the ring's trigger mechanism, it releases the Flash's familiar costume. (Familiar to Renfrew, at least; Jerry recognizes it as "that delivery boy's outfit"!) At Renfrew's urging, Jerry tries it on. After his nephew secretly zaps the costume's boots with a blast from Abra Kadabra's wand, Jerry suddenly experiences, first-hand, what it's like to possess super-speed!

Barry soon discovers that his Flash-ring is missing, so he dashes home to pick up a spare uniform. As he zooms around his apartment searching for it, his sniffling newlywed bride, Iris, complains about the draft he's stirring up.

Across town, after mercilessly interrogating his captive without any tangible results, Abra Kadabra shows up at the tailor shop, determined to find his missing wand. The futuristic magician-criminal mistakes Jerry for his archenemy. His henchmen easily overcome the Silly Speedster. When Abra Kadabra realizes that Jerry's nephew is in possession of his high-tech wand, he offers Renfrew a reward of a dime, but the savvy little brat isn't moved by the offer. To keep it out of the super-villain's hands, he tosses away the wand, which inadvertently knocks out the real Flash as he enters the tailor shop! While the Fastest Man Alive recovers, Renfrew tries to make amends, distracting Abra Kadabra by convincing him that, despite Jerry's protests to the contrary, his uncle is the genuine Flash. Meanwhile, the Flash comes to and, using his super-speed, sews together the jackets of the villain's henchmen. Then he speed-punches Abra Kadabra, sending him flying right into a clothes-press that literally flattens the futuristic magician.

After rounding up the crooks, the Flash thanks Jerry and Renfrew for their help?- but forgets to confiscate Abra Kadabra's wand. Renfrew uses it to make life "interesting" for his unsuspecting uncle, by infusing Jerry's sneakers with anti-gravitational properties!

THE ADVENTURES OF JERRY LEWIS #117 (Mar?Apr 1970) "Jerry Meets The New Wonder Woman!" Featuring: Diana Prince and Queen Hippolyta.

Jerry and his nephew Renfrew hang around the stage door of a local theatre, hoping to get an autograph from the event's special guest, Diana Prince a.k.a. Wonder Woman. After getting her signature in his autograph book, Jerry thoughtfully throws himself across a puddle so Diana can cross it by walking on his back, but Diana trips over his head and falls, pulling a tendon in her shapely right leg. To get treatment for her injury, she creates a dimensional portal that transports her back to Paradise Island, and since Jerry and Renfrew are in contact with her, they're involuntarily drawn into the vortex as well.

After they arrive, they visit Diana's personal physician, Dr. Carver D. Bratwurst, a wacky old medic who was shipwrecked on Paradise Island some years earlier. (Obviously, the writer ignored DC continuity that stipulated that no man could ever set foot on the Amazons' home island without dire consequences!) First, Dr. Bratwurst treats Diana's wounded leg, then he whips up a remedy to quell Jerry's upset stomach (caused by his inter-dimensional trip). While Jerry gratefully guzzles the mixture, two Amazons arrive with the bad news that Diana's mother, Queen Hippolyta, has been seized by the evil Zodor, who intends to hold her for a ransom of the "Sacred Pearl Of The Amazons". It is discovered that the medicine Jerry drank was a painkiller so strong that he's now completely immune to pain! Dressing him in Hercules' lion skin, Diana convinces Jerry -? now called "Jerkules" — to lead the Amazons against Zodor.

While on their way to Diana's temple, where the Sacred Pearl is kept, they encounter Zodor's massive henchman, the mighty Bulque, but the love-struck Amazon named Brawnhilda protects her "darling sweet boy" from their new enemy. When Jerkules sprains his wrist, it's apparent that the painkiller is wearing off, so Renfrew runs back to Dr. Bratwust's cave for more pain immunizer. When the doc accidentally destroys the formula, he resorts to using his memory to whip up another batch. While Zodor gloats to captive Queen Hippolyta, Jerkules (with Brawnhilda's assistance) clobbers Bulque.

Later, realizing that the Amazons will never willingly follow a man into battle, Diana loans Jerry her curvy armor and a wig to impersonate her. Diana then outlines her plan. She explains that the rescue party will approach Zodor's camp from the South, using the underbrush as cover. She believes that Queen Hippolyta is probably being held in Zodor's tent. The one thing in Jerry's favor is that Zodor doesn't know Bulque was defeated, so the raid should surprise him. Unfortunately, unknown to Jerry and the Amazons, Zodor has learned of Bulque's defeat and is preparing to take off with Hippolyta.

Dr. Bratwurst gives Jerry another dose of his formula, but instead of making his body immune to pain, it gives him the power to breathe fire! Meanwhile, as Zodor is busy packing, he orders five of his men to raid the Amazons' unguarded temple and seize the Sacred Pearl. However, before they can leave, Jerry's fiery breath incinerates their camp and weaponry. Then, like David slaying Goliath, Renfrew uses his slingshot to fire a smooth, glistening object into Zodor's mouth, knocking him?- and all of his teeth — out! While Jerry gets uncomfortably comfortable with his feminine side, Diana is dismayed to receive a report that their Sacred Pearl has been stolen ... until she discovers that it was the shiny projectile that Renfrew used to clobber Zodor!

Later, with Hippolyta rescued and Jerry's fire-breath cured, Diana heads back to the U.S.A. with Jerry, Renfrew, and the semi-conscious Zodor. Along the way, she strands the warlord on a remote island, far away from the home of the Amazons. Back at the theatre, Diana thanks the boys and rewards Jerry with a kiss before dashing on-stage.

POST-SCRIPT: There was a fifth "appearance" of a DC hero on the cover of THE ADVENTURES OF JERRY LEWIS #122 (Jan-Feb 1971). The visage of Superman appears as one of the heads of a totem pole!

Jezebelle of the Fiery Eyes

First appeared in NEW GODS #12 (late-1970s)

She appeared in NEW GODS #12-19 and in ADVENTURE COMICS #459-460, which picked up the story after NEW GODS was cancelled. These issues were almost entirely done by Gerry Conway and Don Newton.

Jezebelle also appeared in the first issue of NEW GODS [3rd series] (marking her only post-Crisis appearance) but she subsequently disappeared. This issue was written by Mark Evanier and drawn by Paris Cullins, but later issues were done by other writers.

Apparently, only Evanier had any interest in her. Many readers consider the Conway-Newton stories to be out of continuity, so Jezebelle's place in the canonical DCU is quite unclear.

She was a blue-skinned, red-haired native of Apokolips with huge eyes that could emit heat rays. She could also fly and likely had all the other powers associated with the New Gods. One flashback showed her being trained by Granny Goodness to kill her fellow students but her heart wasn't in it, and when she was captured in a war with New Genesis, she defected to the other side. (There was no mention of her being a member of the Female Furies.)

She was always reluctant to kill and when she was captured in a war with New Genesis, she eagerly changed sides.

For awhile, it looked like Jezebelle was being groomed to become Orion's romantic interest, but the DC implosion caused the cancellation of the title. The storyline was wrapped up in ADVENTURE COMICS.

She had a clear resemblance to Dave Cockrum's Storm of the (then) new X-Men. I saw her included in a few panels in the Paris Cullins revival of the New Gods, but have not noticed her since.

She was possibly the first original character introduced into the Fourth World titles after Kirby left.

Johnny Dune

Johnny Dune was a Vietnam veteran who had returned home after being wounded during the Battle for Firebase Bravo. He had originally aspired to be a musician, but was also one of the head toughs for a local gang. While on reconnaissance in Nam, he and his team were pinned down by machine gun fire and Dune was hit several times. the pain of his wounds opened up a new channel within him and he screamed at his attackers to stop killing him. Amazingly, they did so, and Dune was able to mow them down with his own gun. He was awarded a silver medal for his actions that day, but he also had discovered that he was a mutant with a powerful voice.

Dune did not find many opportunities after he returned home, and started up his music career again, using his vocal powers to great advantage in his performances. He appeared at a festival in Prospect Park that also featured Green Arrow and the Atom. Dune had recently been double-crossed by the city's political boss, who had promised to back Dune for Mayor, but reneged on the deal after Dune had spent the summer performing and getting the word out to the voters. On this platform, Dune used his voice to get the crowd riled up and into a fury over the political situation. He ordered several men to attack Green Arrow and the Atom when they started approaching the stage. the two heroes were overwhelmed and the Atom hit his JLA signal device before he passed out.

Because of a situation in space that had Hawkman, the Flash, and Green Lantern trapped on the planet Rann (and a malfunctioning JLA transporter) Batman and Black Canary were the only ones able to respond to their distress call, finding Dune leading a large parade of "disciples" into the city. Dune had several men attack the two heroes, but was unable to control them over the noise of the crowd. He instead sent Green Arrow and the Atom into the fray (even though he called GA "Lantern") and they subdued their two friends. All four were bound for use as hostages to get past the authorities.

Unfortunately, Dune's "Pied Piper" powers were limited and soon the crowd was beginning to rampage of its own accord. When people started destroying property, Dune freed Green Arrow and ordered him to use his arrows to herd the others back into line. After he reluctantly shot a smoke arrow and Dune was distracted, Green Arrow ripped some of the stuffing out of a boxing glove arrow and plugged his ears so that he couldn't hear Dune's commands. He then let a suction cup arrow fly over Dune's mouth and knocked the young man out so that they could straighten things out.

Unfortunately, without Dune's control the crowd began rioting. Dune, not wanting the young people to be hurt, screamed that they all should direct their anger at him. They unfortunately did, battering Dune to the ground. the Justice Leaguers got to him too late, and were only able to hear Johnny Dune relent that power didn't work the way he had hoped, before he succumbed. Batman carried the young man to the emergency ward, and the heroes were happy to learn that Dune would survive, if only by his sheer determination. That final scream had cost Dune his powers, but he still planned to go into politics to try and make a difference by winning votes the hard way - "the clean way".

Appearances:

  • Justice League of America #95 (Dec 1971)

Joshua

A young masked man who first appeared in TEEN TITANS (1st series) #20 (Mar-Apr 69) by invading the Titans Lair and asking the Titans for help to stop a confrontation between the police and a group of teenaged protestors. (This was the funky seventies, remember?) After a few misunderstandings, the Titans learned that the protestors were actually (and unknowingly) backed by a criminal organization, who in turn were the pawns of the sinister aliens of Dimension X (recurring foes of the original Titans that first appeared in TEEN TITANS (1st series) #16 (Jul-Aug 68). The Titans collaborated with Joshua and his brother (the leader of the protestors) to thwart the aliens' plan to release the monstrous entity called the Meroul Being. Joshua was thanked and praised for his help, but to my knowledge he has not been seen since. People asked for Joshua's entry in the original Who's Who series, but he never got one.

An interesting note about this adventure (written by Neal Adams and illustrated by Adams with Sal Amendola and Nick Cardy) is that it was based on an earlier, unpublished story by Len Wein and Marv Wolfman. In the original version, the young hero was black and he was not called Joshua but - Jericho, a name Wolfman re-used fifteen years later, in TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS #44 (Jul 84).

Original text copyright DC Comics unless otherwise noted. Used without permission.