Justice League of America Issue 8 For Sale—The Justice League (1962) – Review
By Ricardo ‘Rease’ Butler
This issue is from the Justice League of America: Silver Age Vol. 1 series.
In this issue, a small time gangster named Pete Ricketts is running from the cops as he trips over a device that seems to freeze the cops as Pete yells for them to not shoot him. Realizing that the cops are frozen stiff, he tests the freeze ray to see if it is what he figures it to be. He tells the cops to run away and they do.
He finds out that it is not a freeze ray. It’s more of a “Simon says” mind control kind of device. So he puts his thinking to use to see how he can use it to his advantage to make more money.
The top 10 mob bosses in the city of Valedale are meeting to figure out ways on how to stop the Justice League from slowing down their illegal businesses. So they all come up with $100,000 each to make up a million dollars in a pot. They put the word out on the streets that if anyone can do away with the Justice League then the money will be theirs. Pete hears about is and jumps at the opportunity with his new device.
To prove to the mob bosses that the device actually works Pete uses it to control Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) to fly him to where the bosses are gathered. He gets Green Lantern to call upon the Justice League to come to where they are. So Pete captures Flash, Martian Manhunter, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, and Aquaman (Superman and Batman are on other assignments during this issue).
Pete brings the JLA to the mob bosses but gets greedy by convincing them that they could use the JLA to make the million dollars back that they first used to pay him. At this point Pete is also asking for more money for such a task. Pete then holds and auction to the highest bidder on who gets to use what Justice Leaguer to perform which jobs for each boss. But the bosses aren’t stupid and they want another demonstration that the Justice League is truly under Pete’s control. So they ask him to send Flash to steal the Cope Nugget (the world’s largest gold nugget) from Miners Bank.
The bosses make their bids and then begin to compete with one another about which JL member could pull off the biggest heist. They finally calm down and begin to use the League members to compete in the same jobs. They are trying to see who will become the better crook. So it’s Flash vs. Green Lantern, Aquaman vs Green Arrow, and Wonder Woman vs Martian Manhunter.
Meanwhile, Snapper Carr finds out through a letter sent to the JLA headquarters (which is not the Hall of Justice or the Watchtower at this point in time) that an inventor named Caleb West created the device and calls it the Cyberniray. It was meant for educational use to speed up the learning process, but there were a miscalculation and it activated. Mr. West knocked the Cyberniary out of the window and that is when Pete Ricketts got his hands on it. Snapper Carr then tried to figure out a way to contact the JLA of all that is happening. So he goes to the League’s trophy room to see what he can use to get to the League face-to-face. He uses the communicator and gravity discs from the Green Lantern suit worn by Doctor Destiny to reach the JLA.
While each of the Justice League members battle each other at the three different locations they all come up short as someone has stolen all the requested items that mob bosses desired. All six members go back to the mob hideout to report their failed assignments. So the mob agrees to go back to the original plan to destroy the JLA through torture according to each of their weaknesses.
Somehow the Cyberniray wear off as each member uses their powers and strengths to save another member from their weaknesses. The Justice League begins to round up Pete and the other mobsters. Someone has stolen the Cyberniray from Pete as he could not find it to use it again on the JLA. Out of no where Snapper Carr appears as it was him who saved the Justice League and relocated the items they were to steal as he explains how he did it. It turns out during each JL member’s fight with one another they turned on each other’s emergency signal allowing Snapper Carr to locate each of them to take relocate the items to be stolen to the police. It turns out that Snapper Carr used super speed of Doctor Destiny’s gravity disc to steal away the Cyberniray from Pete Ricketts.
So Snapper Carr turns out to be the hero of this story!
My Thoughts on this Story
I loved this story! It was well put together even without my two favorites; Superman and Batman in it. It had a great plot, there was a little bit of mystery in it. I’m a “Who did it” type of guy and love those types of stories. They even did half way through the story a sort of back story to show how Pete found the Cyberniray from the inventor Caleb Small. The whole putting each member against each other is very far different from the way they do it today but it was still interesting to watch!
Favorite Panel of the Issue
Ah, the earlier days of Injustice Gods Among Us as Martian Manhunter rolls Wonder Woman up with the floor boards like it’s a rug. But no, this is mind control making these two wrestle over stealing radium for the mob. That is why this is personally my favorite panel from this issue.
Thanks for reading!
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Ricardo Butler aka Rease Val Zod (Black Superman from Earth 2)