Justice League of America (1960) - #69
"A Matter Of Menace!"
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Dennis 'Denny' O'Neil
Sidney "Sid" Greene
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Cover Date: February 1969
Cover Price: US $0.12
Issue Tagline: None.
Format: Color; Standard Comic Issue; 32 pages
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We see figure writing a note, folding it into a paper air plane, and throwing out of a barred window to a street below. The note lands in the hands of Charlie Sneed, an average everyday Joe. The note reads: HELP ME--PLEASE! GREEN ARROW IS HOLDING ME CAPTIVE AND HE'S GOING TO KILL ME. Thinking it is a gag, Sneed does nothing.
Cut to a murder scene where the only clues the detectives have are a green arrow, and that the dead man is clutching a hat similar to Green Arrow's hat. A few yards away Diana Prince (Wonder Woman's secret identity) makes note of the scene, and goes off to warn the JLA that someone is trying to frame the Green Arrow for Murder. Charlie Sneed seeing a news report on the murder decides to tell the cops about the note he found.
Diana shows up at the JLA headquarters to warn Superman, Batman, The Atom, the Flash, and Green Arrow about the frame up. The league at first is confused at how this woman got into the headquarters (They never knew her secret identity). She explains that she has recently lost her Amazon powers (See Wonder Woman #178...got to love those editor notes). She tries to resign, but the League refuses and tells her she has a leave of absence.
A warning comes over the police radio that the Green Arrow is a suspect in the murder. The Leaguers tell Green Arrow to run before they get the order to arrest him. Green Arrow hops in the Arrowplane (nice, wonder when the Flash will hop in his Flash-copter) and makes a break for it. As he arrives at the airport where he stores it, he is ambushed by a group of thugs that knock him out.
The Flash and Batman arrive at the morgue to discover the murdered man is none other than their old foe The Tattooed-Man. Batman reasons that the next stop would be to find the group of criminals the Tattooed-Man was working with when they last encountered him (See Justice League #28...that feels nice, you hear that editors! NOTES ARE GOOD!) As they leave the morgue one of the thugs that ambushed GA tells them that if they want to know what is going on, they should show up at the planetarium at 9.
They show up and of course it is an ambush, and of course they are knocked out. Meanwhile the Atom and Superman are investigating the arrow. The arrow is not made out of titanium, as is standard for the GA's arrows. A police officer shows up with a court order demanding that Superman leave earth until GA is caught, so that he does not obstruct justice. It was filed by a Mr. Cabeza Maestro. Apparently none of them know Spanish. Supes flies off to space, and the Atom goes to check on Mr.Maestro. As Supes flies away he spies on the morgue, only to see the Tattooed-Man wake up!
At an isolated hill top in California...GA, Batman, and the Flash are hooked into an electrical circuit. Their captor warns them that any movement will set off a bomb in a near by town. The thugs are going to dress up like the capture Leaguers to go ransack the town, thus ruining the Leagues reputation. It is revealed that the villain is none other then the HEADMASTER (I added the emphasis). He did not in fact kill him compatriot the Tattooed-Man but put him into suspended animation. As they head toward the town, the Headmaster tells his minions that there is no bomb (I imagine because of budget restrictions) One thug is left behind to shoot the leaguers. The Atom arrives just in time to jam the gun, and free the Leaguers. They rush to the town and beat the piss out of the impostors and GA breaks out a lasso-arrow on the Headmaster.
Post Script: Superman comes back to earth and captures the Tattooed-Man.
Epilogue: Charlie Sneed is walking down the same street as before, only to find another note, the same as before but referencing the Flash this time. He runs up to the building to investigate, only to discover a group of kids playing JLA vs. Criminals
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