DETECTIVE COMICS # 248: The Martian Without a Memory
I gotta say, I read that title, I look at the preview panel and I am simultaneously excited and terrified. Oh god, I think, what is going to happen NOW. And then I reassure myself. It’ll be the same sort of stupid shit that happens every time and I should really be desensitized to it by now.
As John is leaving the station one night, a big storm knocks down a some power lines and SPUTTER SPUTTER he gets his Martian ass zapped! Another police officer sees it happen and rushes out to help him. When he finds John alive, he assumes the live wire must’ve missed him but still insist they take him to a hospital fast. John says nah, he’s fine just a little shook up because of all the electricity still coursing through his veins. They suggest he see a doctor, but John insists that he’s okay.
And he is okay, except for one tiny problem…
HE HAS NO MEMORY OF BEING A FREAKIN’ MARTIAN.
The comic then gives us a sweet 2 panel recap of John’s powers. He can pass through solid objects and turn invisible to arrest people who are then very confused, and he can see through walls. He can do other stuff but the recap does not fucking care.
The next day, on his day off, John goes to an auction and buys a replica of Aladdin’s lamp. WHAT. WHY. I DON’T KNOW.
As he picks up his purchase, auctioneer guy congratulates him and tells him that some say this replica lamp has the SAME POWERS as the real Aladdin’s Lamp. You know the lamp that is just in a story and not real and even in the story the only powers the lamp itself had was the ability to have a genie inside it. The ability to tell when someone was rubbing it, maybe.
Suddenly he hears a ruckus and someone yelling for the police and even though it’s his day off he rushes outside to help. However he can’t tell where the cries are coming from and oh man, if only he could see through walls. Then suddenly he can! Amazing! How did this happen! He doesn’t spend a lot of time questioning it though, and runs inside to save the day.
The crook in the store shoots John’s gun out of his hand, which is really an AMAZING shot.
I have no idea why someone who can shoot that well wouldn’t just nail John right in the head right then because seriously what kind of crazy person goes for the disarm? Before the guy can think to take a more sensible shot though, John has turned invisible and is letting the bullets pass right through him. He punches the dude with an invisible arm and is pretty much amazed at what he just did. He makes the most logical assumption possible.
It must be this sweet lamp I just bought.
Of course though, he’s gotta test this theory, so he’ll try to do something without touching the lamp. He wishes he could see through a wall and then BAM HE CAN as he peers through a wall into a movie theater next door. Sweet, he thinks, I am never paying for a movie ticket again. I will just awkwardly hangout in the store next door for 2 hours staring at a wall.
He then assumes though, that the lamp must not be responsible. So what is it! He needs to consult with someone and decides he’ll talk to the chief. Of course, he’ll never believe John, so he’s gotta get proof first, so he’ll photograph his new powers. You’re gonna photograph that you can see through walls and turn invisible? Uh, good luck. I have lots of pictures where I could just say that I am in them but you can’t see me. In fact, that would describe every picture that I am not visible in. And not just my pictures. But ALL pictures.
Anyways, he goes home and sets up his camera and takes a picture of him using his mind to make his piano float. Doesn’t really establish a linkage but okay. Then he takes a picture where he is…uh, I’m not sure, walking through a wall?
I can’t help but think that all of these things would prove your abilities just as well if done in person for the Chief rather than documented with a camera. Finally he takes a pictures of him flying around his apartment. He develops the pictures in his private dark room and so excited to go prove his powers.
With pictures. Instead of just doing them.
As he strolls happily towards the police station however, he walks under a couple painters who manage to kick a bucket off their platform.
The bucket just NAILS John right in the head and as he comes to, he looks down at the pictures in his hand.
Suddenly he remembers that he is a martian and he has been trying to keep this whole “superpowers” thing a secret! HOLY SHIT THAT WAS ALMOST THE STUPIDEST THING I EVER DID.
Instead he rips the pictures up and throws them away. (NO HE DOESN’T BURN THEM)
And that’s how it ends! That is it! Crisis averted!