I’m somewhat hampered in my enjoyment of the JLU series by the fact that I missed a lot of the Superman and Justice League episodes. In particular, I never saw the origin of Amazo. I gather he’s a super-powered android created by Lexcorp, who gained autonomy. What I’d like to know is how the heck did he get so powerful? I gather that even when he was first created he was more than a match for Superman and after a year or two of evolving he’d attained cosmic-level power. Did they ever explain how they were able to create what looks like the ultimate superbeing?
Amazo’s sole native power is to imitate the powers of any superpowered being he encounters. So, he becomes the ultimate superbeing by copying the powers of any number of incredibly powerful beings.
What Tengu said. IIRC, the Amazo android does this without the attendent weaknesses of said hero: his green Lantern energy lacked a 24 hour limit, f’rinstance, and he can become as powerful as Superman while lacking Superman’s weaknesses to magic, red sun radiation and kryptonite.
Minor nitpick: Amazo was a creation of Professor Ivo. I believe the JLU version has Ivo as a Lexcorp employee, but I think Amazo was still his creation.
In the Grant Morrison-era JLA (although I believe the story was actually by Mark Waid), there was a clever Amazo story where Amazo was reactivated by Ivo and was more powerful than ever. Rather than simply being programmed with the powers of various Justice Leaguers or adapting the powers of heroes he is battling, Amazo automatically has the powers and abiltiies of all JLA members, and is made immensely powerful after Superman activiates the JLA Reserves. Superman, as the last standing hero and the leader of the JLA, snatches victory from defeat by disbanding the JLA, stripping Amazo of his powers.
His first run in with Batman resulted in a good dose of kryptonite, and it did have the result of weakening Amazo. The next time they ran into each other, Batman said something like “some people never learn”. And Amazo replys “true, but I did adapt”.
That is part of Amazos’ abilities. He didn’t just absorbe the powers of the Justice League, but he could learn, infer and adapt.
bmoak. That one was by Mark Millar actually.
Amazo is supposedly one big chunk of nanotech, able to reconfigure himself at will. As part of his “evolution”, he’s learned to replicate just about any cosmic effect imaginable. The JLU series invokes nanotech pretty frequently, understandable since it’s undefined, impressive but science-fiction-y. I supose it’s better than just spitting out pure Trek-style technobabble or magic.
In the comic version (not the animated one), Ivo casually duplicated a bunch of tech that everyone thought couldn’t be duplicated–and that was as a means to an end–Amazo was just a distraction for the JLA so Ivo could steal the components he needed for an immortality serum.
There was a comment made during the INVASION series (maybe by Giffen in an interview somewhere) that there were two reasons all the aliens out there found us so scary. One was that we had all these different powers-most aliens have one super-power (they can all shape-change or all fly or all shoot bolts of energy or whatever). The other was this: (close paraphrase) “So look at it from the rest of the universe’s point of view. There’ve been Green Lanterns running around for like 3 billion years. In that time, no-one’s ever successfully duplicated a power-ring. Within about 6 months of Earth getting it’s very first native Green Lantern, not only does someone figure out a way to pirate a ring, he improves it. And gives it to a robot that also has a pirate version of Wonder Woman’s supposedly unique lasso, etc.” Given that, he’s definitely Amazing.
T.O. Morrow (a villian with an interest in futurism) pulled this off, too, in Flash #143 (March 1964). He first invented a device that would let him view the future, and occasionally he would catch sight of a future-inventor working on something, which he would copy. Morrow managed to put together a gizmo that could create perfect duplicates of Hal Jordan except they were obedient to him (well, he told them he could turn his device off, making them all vanish, but they capitulated with surprising speed) and they were armed with power rings that were not vulnerable to yellow.
Is T.O Morrow the smartest person in the DCU? He also built Red Tornado II didn’t he?
And Black Hand discovered that the ring left residual radiation that he could recycle.
Something that no-one else in the entire galaxy figured out with several billion years research it. No wonder they wanted to invade!
He’s smart, and he did build RT II, but he’s far from the smartest (partially because he cheats by cribbing from future tech).
In the DCU, the smartest include:
Brainiac (1, that is, 5 is the smartest of the 30th/31st century)
The Riddler (no, really, he’s just not an inventor and he’s crippled by his need to prove how smart he is by leaving clues)
The Atom II
Flash II (Barry, deceased)
Mr. Terrific II
Steel III (or whatever his number was, I mean John Henry Irons)
I’d also add Blue Beetle II (Ted Kord, deceased), who was a genius inventor at nearly Batman’s level, and Starman I (Ted Knight, deceased) as another brilliant scientist and inventor.
I’m thinking Hamilton Drew, J’onn J’onzz, and Elongated Man (Ralph Dibny) ought to be up there too, as keen detectives on par with Batman.