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DETECTIVE COMICS #228: Escape to the Stars

Ok guys, look. When I said to start calling him “J’on” to save money on the letters, I was joking. But there you are, in the very first panel of this issue, calling him J’on J’onz. Goddammit.

At least you fix it later.

The issue starts with someone robbing the Benton Optical Company. They’ve flooded the building with tear gas. Captain Harding (What? Where did he come from? Where did Lt. Saunders go? Why does this guy look so much like Saunders? What’s going on?) tells our hero John Jones to put on a gas mask and get in there and look for survivors. Uhhh, that…isn’t that more like something a SWAT team or something would do? Not really something a detective does. At least not in any of the episodes of CSI I’ve watched. (This isn’t many episodes.)

Afterwards, the owner of the company, Mr. Benton says that…their most valuable lenses have been stolen. The ones they were making for the army. What the fuck kind of optical company…I thought we were talking about like…glasses. You’re making shit for the army? Jesus christ.

And while this issue didn’t start with a huge recap of how J’onn became a detective, every other frame does try its damnedest to remind us that he is from MARS. And he CANNOT return. And he’s a DETECTIVE now. Deal with it.

The captain calls for everyone to drop their current cases and focus on catching the mastermind thief, Alex Dunster! J’onn (spelled correctly now, or…close enough) drives around town checking all the chemical plants until his Martian hearing picks up some clues. Inside a building he sees Dunster breaking into something.

“This time my ability to see through solids is paying off!”

This time? So, not like the other day when you accidentally used it see through the Captain’s shorts when he couldn’t find his keys? Or when you were on security detail at the airport, checking for drug mules? No sir, this time it is totally worth it.

J’onn darts inside to try to stop him, but Dunster is wearing some sort of goofy ass necklace that is acting as a giant hearing aid, so he hears J’onn coming and makes with the escape after shooting J’onn with some crazy laser thingy. It went “KAZOOOM”; who knows what it is.

When J’onn comes to, Dunster is long gone, but J’onn manages to pick up a tire trail left from his car and follows it to Dunster’s hideout. There, he finds Dunster focused on…OH MY GOD COULD IT BE!

THE ROBOT BRAIN.

Created by Dr. Erdel, who is now known as Professor Urdle. Guys, it was like four issues ago, how hard would it be to go back and fucking spellcheck the dude’s goddamn name. He gets referenced like all the time.

J’onn pauses for a moment. Does Dunster have the machine working again? Could it send him home? Apparently he does! And he’s going to use it to…build a hideout in space? And then after crimes he can escape to his goddamn space hideout. That is some crazy shit. Nothing said about this robot brain ever makes any sense.

J’onn knows that if he used the brain to send himself back, Dunster would go free and would most definitely crime it up all over the place. That’s just wrong, so he leaps out from his hiding spot to attack him. Dunster jumps up and THROWS THE MACHINE TO THE GROUND, SMASHING IT!

Why did he smash it? I have no idea! He just spent months getting it fixed and working for his space headquarters and at the first sign of trouble, he flings it to the ground, shattering it.

J’onn manages to be slightly less dumbfounded than I am by this action, and apprehends Dunster. Captain Harding congratulates him, and asks if J’onn knows what the machine is for. As usual, our hero plays dumb.

Hey at least you’re getting credit for this arrest!

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