Batman and Hawkman are longtime members of DC’s premier superhero workforce the Justice League, and as such aren’t any strangers to going through highly effective and strange adversaries. Nonetheless, The Courageous and the Daring #164 (by J.M. DeMatteis, José Luis García-López and Steve Mitchell) had the heroes be a part of forces to fight two cosmic entities that shared the traits of one of many strangest trendy horrors in American fiction.
On this situation, Batman and Hawkman are tasked with defending a convoy transporting two mysterious eldritch statues to the Halfway Metropolis Museum. The statues bore a hanging resemblance to the titular character from H.P. Lovecraft’s 1928 horror basic The Name of Cthulhu, displaying comparable mystical abilites as properly.
After the archeological discovery of two statues often known as the ‘Mysterious Ones’, Hawkman and Hawkgirl referred to as upon the help of Batman to guard a convoy transporting the 2 artifacts. Whereas Hawkman guarded a ‘dummy’ package deal to distract any potential thieves, Batman lowered the actual statues into the museum by the use of the Bat-Copter. Earlier than he may end transporting the ‘Mysterious Ones’, the Gotham Metropolis vigilante was by a slew of feverish visions that warped his notion and brought about him to fall out of his copter. Because the Darkish Knight Detective tried to determine what was taking place, the museum started to hover off the bottom, taking the 2 statues together with it.
Hawkgirl, in her secret identification of Shiera Corridor, was trapped within the floating museum because it continued to ascend into the stratosphere. Earlier than she may escape, the hero was knocked unconscious by a hammer that gave the impression to be telepathically managed by the statues. After speeding into the constructing, Batman was attacked by the museum shows, empty fits of medieval armor, and historic Greek weapons and pottery that gave the impression to be telepathically hurled on the hero.
Because the Halfway Metropolis Museum started exiting the Earths ambiance, Hawkman retrieved an electromagnetic system from the Justice League Watchtower to disrupt the magic force-field across the museum, inflicting the constructing itself to start screaming in ache. Hawkman is then in a position to reconvene together with his teammates earlier than they’re as soon as once more attacked by the museum shows. Ever the detective, Batman noticed that their inanimate foes weren’t placing up a lot of a struggle, and additional deduced that no matter was possessing the museum didn’t truly need to hurt the heroes.
The unknown cosmic drive then proceeded to revive and possess Shiera Corridor, utilizing her physique to abscond with the figures, Hawkman pursues his spouse, and after a prolonged chase, the entity relinquishes management over Hawkgirl earlier than projecting its voice telepathically to the heroes. The being reveals that it’s a member of an extraterrestrial race of highly-evolved beings often known as the Ma-Prusha and that the statues are relics from its dwelling world that went lacking after a cosmic storm. The creature additionally clarified that it didn’t want to do any of them hurt and its presumed telepathic-attacks have been the results of its makes an attempt to speak with people.
With this new data, Hawkman and Batman agreed to revive the statues again to the shrine on the Ma-Prusha planet. After returning the statues to their rightful place, the League members are thanked by the creatures who then return Batman and Hawkman to Earth.
Though it was by no means confirmed by the author of the story that the aliens have been primarily based off Cthulhu, there’s clear inspiration from the aliens’ octopus-like design, in addition to the cosmic horror themes and the mind-bending hallucinations offered within the situation. Oddly sufficient, a equally Cthulhu impressed alien entity by the title of ‘Icthultu the Previous One’ appeared on the forty-first episode of the 2001 Justice League animated sequence as one other eldritch creature worshipped by the individuals of Thanagar. Nonetheless, in contrast to its predecessor, Icthultu the Previous One was a malignant entity who wished to feast upon the souls of tens of millions.
Regardless of the relatively odd sight of extraterrestrial entities resembling the basic Lovecraftian creature residing throughout the DC Universe, the Ma-Prusha was a captivating addition to the comedian ebook world. Their array of telepathic powers and eldritch look set them aside from the common alien race.
Sadly, regardless of receiving glowing reward from the letter column of The Courageous and the Daring #169, the creatures have been by no means seen once more. Maybe the Lovecraftian-inspired creatures may make a return to DC Comics, however extra possible they’ll stay as one other considered one of The Courageous and the Daring’s unusual however forgotten options.