Thursday, October 26, 2017

JSA Opposite: Injustice Society Additions Part 2

The Injustice Society of the World was the evil opposite of the Justice Society of America, made up of individual heroes Rogue's Galleries.  The first team formed to face the JSA back in All-Star Comics #37 (October-November, 1947), with only the Wizard escaping...

...allowing him to come back with new villains and a new ISW in All-Star Comics #41 (June-July, 1948) with "The Case Of The Patriotic Crimes" by writer John Broome, and artists including Alex Toth, Carmine Infantino, Arthur Peddy and Irwin Hasen, inked by Frank Giacoia and Bernard Sachs.

Here are the last two Golden Age members not covered earlier....


Isaac Bowin first appeared in All-Flash #32 (December-January, 1947/1948) by Robert Kanigher, Lee Elias and Moe Worthman, facing off against the Jay Garrick version of the Flash (who was the only Flash at that time) with a "Duet Of Danger".  Isaac was a thief who ended up in prison in India, then learned the skills of a fakir while there, but using a fiddle instead of a flute, and used the fiddle to kill the fakir.  Bowin returned home, intending to become a crime boss, but instead faced off against the Flash.  Fiddler seeming fell to his doom, but returned again in Flash Comics #93 (March, 1948 by Kanigher and Elias), facing off against Jay Garrick again, with his "Violin Of Villainy", before joining the Injustice Society...

...then fighting Jay Garrick's Flash one last time in the Golden Age, in Comic Cavalcade #28 (August-September, 1948 by Kanigher, Irwin Hasen and Bernard Sachs) in "The Flash Concerto", and popping up in a times past tale set in the early 1950s in Starman #46 (September, 1998), plotting to finish off Starman (Ted Knight).

The Fiddler returned, along with Thinker (Clifford DeVoe) and the Shade (Richard Swift), as the three villains had taken over Keystone City, and it took the "Flash Of Two Worlds" (both Jay Garrick and Barry Allen) to defeat the trio in Flash #123 (September, 1961).  After that, Fiddler worked with the Crime Champions in Justice League of America #21 and #22 (1963), faced Jay Garrick alone in Flash #201 (November, 1970), rejoined the ISW along with new member, Solomon Grundy, in All-Star Comics #63 (November-December, 1976)...

....faced off against the Teen Titans in Teen Titans #46 (February, 1977), worked with the Icicle and the Shade to revive Darkseid, and was opposed by Orion, Mr. Miracle, Big Barda, the JSA and the JLA in Justice League of America #183 to #185 (1980), reunited with the Crime Champions for Justice League of America #219 and #220 in 1983, was a part of the Crisis on Infinite Earths for a bit...

....joining the Wizard, the Shade and kids of the original ISW (including Artemis, Hazard and a new Icicle) in Injustice, Unlimited in Infinity, Inc. #34 to #36 in 1987, facing Wally West Flash and the new Thanagarian Hawkman and Hawkwoman (as well as a little time travelling to the past to face Jay Garrick), in Hawkworld Annual #1 of 1990...

...figuring out how much trouble the villains were in with Neron in Underworld Unleashed #1 (November, 1995), arriving for the funeral of the original Chronos, who was hastened to his grave by Neron (and his own lust for power) in Chronos #6 (August, 1998), being there as Wally West reclaimed the title of Flash in Flash #208 (April, 2004), all before dying as a member of the new Secret Six (along with surviving members Deadshot, Catman, a new Rag Doll, Mike the Parademon and Scandal Savage) in Villains United #1 (July, 2005)..

...with a legacy character, a female named Virtuoso picking up the fiddling villainy in Villains United #5 and #6 in 2005 (and a few issues of Secret Six), with Fiddler returning as an animated corpse (Black Lantern) in Suicide Squad #67 and Secret Six #17 and #18 in 2010 (where he also faced Virtuoso).


Molly Maynne first appeared in All-American Comics #89 (September, 1947) by Robert Kanigher and Irwin Hasen, where she was Alan Scott's secretary at WXYZ radio, which planned to have a Green Lantern radio show.  To face Green Lantern, they went to the comics, and picked "The Harlequin" (a character only in the comics) to be his first foe...Molly, who was in love with Alan Scott, took over the identity of Harlequin, getting hypno-spectacles and a mandolin, and trying to take over the gangs of Gotham.   She faced Green Lantern, but neither learned each other's identity.  Harlequin immediately returned in All-American Comics #91 (November, 1947) by Kanigher, Hasen and John Belfi, with a plan to marry Green Lantern (it took a while, but Molly eventually had that wedding).

Molly next faced Alan in a full-length issue in Green Lantern #29 (December-January, 1947/1948), all by Kanigher, Hasen and Belfi, with the first story pitting Green Lantern against the police (who think Alan is on Harlequin's side), then in the second part of that, having Harlequin face her own gang, who think she is in love with Green Lantern!  The third story was separate from the previous two, as Harlequin gives up, turning herself into the long as Green Lantern defends her in court!  Next up, in All-American Comics #93 (January, 1948), Green Lantern comes up with the idea of taking Molly on a date, to lure out the Harlequin!   Coincidentally, Alan picks the stadium Molly was going to rob, so she goes along with it, to then change into Harlequin, to continue the robbery, but Green Lantern foils it, and captures Harlequin and her gang, but failed to take away her hypno-glasses, which she uses to escape.  

Picking up where the last issue left off, All-American Comics #94 (February, 1948) by Kanigher, Hasen and Belfi, finds Alan Scott planning a coop to capture Harlequin by sponsoring a beauty contest with an opal Harlequin ring to lure his foe there (and she does enter, but uses illusions to keep Green Lantern busy).  Green Lantern hid a camera in the opal, to at least find out her identity (as she does escape with the ring), but she returns it with the camera broken.    In her final cover of the series, All-American Comics #95 (March, 1948), Harlequin finds a way to trap Green Lantern, promising to reveal her identity to him, if he does the same for her.  They actually do remove their masks in front of each other, but....a little smoke gets in the way (Gotham is a dirty city, after all).

In her final Golden Age cover, Green Lantern #31 (March-April, 1948) by Kanigher, Irwin and Belfi, a gang leader gets a hold of Harlequin's spectacles and Green Lantern's ring, forcing the two to work together to stop him.  Green Lantern #32 (May-June, 1948) sees Harlequin do something odd...offer to return her ill-gotten gains to the government, so they can return the funds to her victims.  After this, Harlequin works with the  ISW (where she helps Black Canary fight the Injustice Society to save the JSA, especially Green Lantern). 

Harlequin is only in All-American Comics #99 (July, 1948) as Molly Maynne (and Green Lantern is barely there as well as Streak the Wonder Dog takes over the tale, in a story by John Broome and Alex Toth (the Green Lantern feature soon leaves All-American Comics).  With Green Lantern #33 (July-August, 1948) by Kanigher and Hasen, Harlequin takes advantage of Leap Year to ask Green Lantern to marry her (Molly's got a one track mind).  Molly (and only Molly) has a brief appearance in Green Lantern's story in Comic Cavalcade #28 (August-September, 1948).  Then, with Green Lantern #34 (September-October, 1948) by Kanigher, Hasen and Bob Oksner, it is revealed that Molly has been a government agent all this time, working to bring down the mob!  Oddly, Molly is still Alan's secretary for an appearance in Green Lantern #36 (January-February, 1949), then helps Green Lantern and Mr. and Mrs. Superman in Superman Family #206 (March-April, 1981) in a story set in the 1950s, where she helps the heroes capture the Sportsmaster.

Molly does return as Harlequin in Infinity, Inc. #9, #12 and #18 in the mid-1980s, as she tries to get close to Green Lantern, then helps Jade and Obsidian find out who there mother is in Infinity, Inc. Annual #1 of 1985 (slight spoiler, it is NOT Molly, but yet another Kanigher creation).  Molly and Alan also get married, with the JSA and Infinity, Inc. in attendance, then appears in most of the mid-20s issues of Infinity, Inc. as the JSA deals with the Crisis On Infinite Earths (even appearing in the later issues of that series), and with Infinity, Inc. #30 (September, 1986) more or less retires as Harlequin as the JSA (including Green Lantern) get stuck in a limbo dimension for a time.

Molly remains active with the Infinity, Inc. kids until their series ends (including when Manhunter agent Marcie Cooper takes over the Harlequin's spectacles and identity for a time, and Marcie even joins Injustice Unlimited, and Molly's name grows and is shortened, as she goes by Molly Mayne-Scott with one "n" more now), pops up for a Green Lantern issue (#19 of December, 1991, with GLs Hal Jordan, John Stewart and Guy Gardner), and even has a brief return as Harlequin as Alan gets much younger, taking on his Sentinel identity in Green Lantern Corps Quarterly #6 (Fall, 1993), then the evil part of Molly's soul takes a life of its own as Harlequin, starting with Underworld Unleashed: Abyss - Hell's Sentinel (December, 1995), before her body and soul are reunited with help from Kyle Rayner's Green Lantern (#71 of February, 1996).  Molly and Alan are still together to this day (somewhere....)...

Molly has no relationship to the current Harley Quinn, but was the last Golden Age villain to join the ISW in the Golden Age, but not the last that the Injustice Society recruited (although not until the Silver Age, with the Shade and Solomon Grundy....).  

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