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Amazo was built by the insane super-scientist Professor Ivo to battle the Justice League of America. Ivo wished to demonstrate his ingenuity while ridding the world of its premier superhero team. It was originally said that Amazo was created using "Appelaxian" technology. In its origins, Ivo learned he would need biological templates for both the physiology and for the mind of Amazo, and thus he killed a prize volleyball player and his own father to obtain them.
Amazo was originally built to imitate the powers of the original JLA members: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, the Martian Manhunter, and Aquaman. However, the line-up of the JLA's founding roster has been changed via retroactive continuity|retcons, and it is currently uncertain how this changes Amazo's origin. Later versions of the robot appeared with differing abilities depending on which heroes he battled, and even later versions were able to evolve abilities simply by encountering heroes. One version was able to mimic the powers of any current JLA member, and to add new powers as new members appeared. This version was beaten when Superman officially disbanded the team; with no JLA to mimic, Amazo was rendered powerless.
Amazo, in the guise of Timazo, became the chief enemy of the android Hourman when he was able to duplicate half of Hourman's near-infinite temporal manipulation abilities. Timazo likely also possessed the powers of Aquaman, Black Canary (Dinah Lance), the Flash (Barry Allen), Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), and the Martian Manhunter, but did not display them. As Hourmazo, Amazo used the android Hourman's time-manipulation powers and the Martian Manhunter's telepathy and shape-shifting abilities to act as a future version of Hourman and take away Hourman's life. Subsequent versions of Amazo have not shown any of Hourman's time powers.
As Humazo, Amazo absorbed not only the then Justice League's powers but their humanity as well by using his absorption cells to make his cells and tissue more humanlike, as well as using nanotechnology to make theirs more like his. This process turned the affected members into inhuman androids (nicknamed the JLAndroids) and making him human. He restored the JLA's humanity to them after being unable to come to terms with human emotions.
A stripped down version of Amazo was recently destroyed in Gotham City. Lacking a power ring and lasso, this robot had the abilities of at least Superman, Flash and Aquaman. Batman and Nightwing managed to partially disable it- an explosive Batarang damaged the android's leg (preventing him from using Flash's speed), two small needles punctured its inner-ears, destroying its internal gyroscope (thus rendering its flying powers useless), and plastic explosive destroyed Amazo's eyes when it attempted to use heat vision- and used a missile launched from the Batmobile to finish the job. Another Amazo appeared as part of the Secret Society of Super Villains, but this Amazo had his head ripped from his shoulders by Black Adam (to get revenge for imprisoning him) and was thus destroyed.
It has not been established whether or not there is one Amazo or many. The incident with Batman and Nightwing suggests that there are multiple Amazos, each one incorporating different powers (Although Amazo typically duplicates the powers of the five original JLA members in his 'default' form). This would also account for all of the different times the android has been destroyed.
Sometime before the One Year Later gap Professor Ivo took samples from the still active body of Amazo, weakening him with a grievous wound, and crossing such material with human eggs and DNA he built a cyborg son from him. After a period of oblivious gestation in which the boy lived the life of Frank Halloran, young college student, Amazo sought him to reveal his nature and birthright of "Kid Amazo", trying to pit him against the Justice League.
Professor Ivo has recently turned up again on the prowl for the body of Red Tornado, in the wake of 52. Not only did he find the body, he's managed to graft Amazo's programming into its CPU (the Tornado body is usually guided by a human mind, depending on the nature of the Tornado Champion). A JLA task force, consisting of Hal Jordan, Black Canary, and Roy Harper battled an army of Tornado androids before discovering that the Amazo/Tornado body was meant to house the will of Solomon Grundy.
Grundy sends the Amazo/Tornado hybrid to the home of the Tornado where he is blasted by the Tornado's wife with Apokoliptian technology. Amazo thinks he is the Red Tornado and doesn't understand why his wife would attack him. The Justice League is then sent to stop him. They begin to dismantle him, though he succeeds in countering their attempts. Harper succeeds in disrupting the processing powers by shooting him with an arrow in the back, where Vixen's Tantu Totem is stored. Vixen then cuts Amazo in half by divebombing into him.
It has been suggested in the Identity Crisis series and in a current issue of Batman that there is more than one Amazo.
In Justice League of America #22, the League creates a new body for Red Tornado. However the old body, completely repaired and controlled by the Amazo program, downloads it's operating matrix into the new body, which declares that "Amazo lives again!" This new body overwhelms the League, until it is thrown into the Hall of Justice's "slideways" teleporter, and is sent into the gravity well of the red supergiant star Antares.
Powers and abilities
Each version of Amazo has differences, but all utilize "absorption cells" to duplicate the powers of any metahuman encountered (not unlike Marvel's Super-Adaptoid). Originally, he could only use one power at a time and has duplicated Superman's strength, The Flash's speed, Green Lantern's power ring, and Wonder Woman's magic lasso among others, but also inherited the heroes' weaknesses in early appearances. In most cases, Amazo possesses a 'default' form consisting of the powers of the first five (post-Crisis) JLA members, capable of adapting to incorporate other powers. Amazo also appears to be able to copy physical objects as well, including Green Lantern's power ring, Wonder Woman's lasso, Hawkgirl's mace, and Batman's batarangs. In Justice League of America #23, Amazo shows the ability to copy Zatanna's ability to cast magic using reverse speech.
In the Justice League Unlimited episode "The Return", Amazo returns to Earth, having learned all that is offered from the universe. He plows through the entirety of all the Justice League members, effortlessly pushing through even Superman. Amazo displayed unequaled speed and strength and was able to shrink his body to the nanoscopic scale, he also was able to transport the planet Oa into a different dimension.
- In JLA: The Nail, Amazo was sent to kill off multiple villains by a mysterious background manipulator. He was eventually confronted by the Flash as he attempted to kill Ra's al Ghul, and the Flash was able to remove Amazo's brain by vibrating to become intangible at such a rapid rate that Amazo could not process the power himself. In the sequel, JLA: Another Nail, the brain of the crippled Oliver Queen was transferred into Amazo, but he subsequently sacrificed himself to save the universe. In Another Nail, it is revealed that Desaad is the android's creator in this reality.
- During a flashback in JLA Avengers #3 (during the story, reality is altered making it appear that both teams have been crossing into each others universe previously), an adventure is mentioned about Ultron-4 and Amazo imprisoning both teams in their own headquarters. In this brief, one-panel appearance, Amazo has apparently used his power to copy Captain America's shield, making him the first (and so far only) Marvel character whose abilities Amazo has copied.
- Before his introduction in Justice League Season Two, Amazo made an animated style appearance in Justice League Adventures #6. it portrays him in his classic silver age style, rather than his silver skin (in which the animated character itself is more akin to Marvel's Super-Adaptoid although, in fair use, Super-Skrull borrowed features from Amazo in comics).
- DC Comics featured a parody version, "Amazoo", as villain to their own funny animal versions of the JLA: the Just'a Lotta Animals. Amazoo was an android whose body consisted of various animal parts, giving him a range of abilities.
- In the JLA story Rock of Ages, written by Grant Morrison, a reprogrammed Amazo appears in an alternate future where Darkseid controls the Earth. He is used by the remnants of the Justice League in a last-ditch attempt to destroy Darkseid and his forces. Amazo specifically teams up with Atom and the Green Arrow.
Amazo in other media
In the two-part episode "Tabula Rasa", the A.M.A.Z.O. Project is an android created by Professor Ivo, one of Lex Luthor's employees. Luthor has escaped from prison and needs Ivo's medical expertise, but finds that Ivo has died in his sleep. Luthor persuades the android (still watching over its creator's corpse) to help him defeat the Justice League, playing on the android's fear of loneliness which developed after Ivo's death. After the android interacts with Luthor, its face changes slightly to resemble his and it begins to talk for the first time.
This version of Amazo (almost always called simply "the android" or "Ivo's android") possesses a nanotechnological construction, and can mimic the superpowers of any superhuman it can see. It can also evolve without copying superpowers, at one point copying Superman's vulnerability to kryptonite but evolving beyond the weakness after repeated exposure. It quickly mimics the abilities of Hawkgirl (including a replica of her Nth metal mace), Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern, and Superman. Amazo's absorbed powers seem to grow stronger as the android uses them, and it eventually defeats most of the League members with their own powers simply by overpowering them. It also seems to become progressively more intelligent, perhaps reaching Luthor's level of genius.
After mimicking the Martian Manhunter's telepathy, it learns about Luthor's manipulation and destroys his power suit. Seeing itself above the petty squabbles of humanity, it leaves Earth and wanders the universe, turning gold and luminous as it scans the vast reaches of space.
Amazo appears in several episodes of this series, having evolved to a nearly omnipotent state of being during its travels through the universe. It even surpasses its nanotechnological origins. In "The Return", the android returns to Earth in order to seek out Luthor. In route to Earth, Amazo's path takes it through the planet Oa; despite the Green Lantern Corps' attempt to stop the android, the planet and its entire population are apparently destroyed.
To defend Earth and Luthor, the League mobilizes almost every hero and organizes them into three lines of defence: the first in space, the second in the skies above Earth, and the final near Luthor's hideout. Demonstrating his new power, Amazo easily breaches the first line, which consists of Superman, Green Lantern, Orion, Captain Atom, Doctor Light, STRIPE, Captain Comet, and the League's entire fleet of Javelin spacecraft. Entering the Earth's atmosphere, Amazo proceeds to take down the second team, decisively defeating Supergirl, Rocket Red, Fire, and Red Tornado, actually destroying the latter. During his defeat of Fire, Amazo somewhat aptly describes the League's efforts to stop him: "Your bravery is admirable, but annoying." Upon reaching Luthor's hiding place, Amazo finally neutralizes Wonder Woman, Steel, Flash and Ice by simply emitting an omni-directional energy burst when they surround him.
Breaching Luthor's hiding place, Amazo is hit by a beam designed by Luthor and The Atom designed to disrupt and reprogram its nanomachines, but survives it unfazed, revealed to have evolved past the limitations of nanotech a month prior. Even shrinking down to the subatomic level doesn't prevent Amazo from reaching its goal, as Amazo merely shrinks down with them, holding them in the palm of his hand as a result. Instead of destroying Luthor, however, Amazo merely asks the man questions about his purpose in life, which Luthor correctly surmises is actually an inquiry into the purpose of its own existence; having evolved so much over the course of the years, it is unable to fathom what it will evolve to, and where its ultimate destiny lies. Luthor placates the android by stating that each individual makes their own purpose on life; his is to achieve immortality, if not literally, then by leaving a legacy that history will remember, while Amazo - itself being immortal - can be an observer into the final destiny of the universe. Accepting that advice, Amazo stands down. When John Stewart protests, citing its destruction of Oa, Amazo explains that it only moved the planet to another dimension because it was in the way, restoring it at John's request. Doctor Fate offers to help the android find its destiny, and Amazo moves into Dr. Fate's tower.
Amazo reappears in "Wake the Dead", where he attempts to stop a resurrected Solomon Grundy. Despite its vast range of abilities, the specific tact Amazo tries only serves to empower Grundy, since "chaos magic" is what revived him. Amazo teleports several Light-year|light years away from Earth until it can devise a way to counter the drain, failing to return before the battle ends. "Wake the Dead" also marks the first use of "Amazo" as the android's name. In addition, the episode itself is a continuation of the Defenders storyline from "The Terror Beyond", in which Justice League characters serve as homage to the 1970s Marvel Comics series The Defenders. Amazo, a shining, space-faring being who wields cosmic power, is a stand-in for the Silver Surfer.
In "Panic in The Sky", Lex Luthor has secretly built a copy of Amazo, intending to transfer his mind into it in order to gain immortality and nigh-invincibility. Amanda Waller interrupts him by destroying the android with a nanotech disassembler, having come to arrest Luthor. This triggers the revelation that Brainiac has been lying dormant within Luthor, influencing (though not necessarily controlling) his actions to create the android body.
In this video game, Gorilla Grodd uses Amazo to frame the Justice League for crimes against Gorilla City.