Amos Fortune


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Amos Fortune

(pop culture)
On Mike Sekowsky and Murphy Anderson's cover to Justice League of America #6 (1961)—a recreation of the Justice Society cover to All Star Comics #42 (1948)—the Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, and Wonder Woman are strapped to a spinning “Wheel of Misfortune,” furiously spun by a robed, plump figure with a receding hairline. This is Professor Amos Fortune, a loony genius who mixes superstition with super-science. With his “Stimoluck” device, which incites the Justice League's “bad-luck glands” (!), Fortune maneuvers the heroes into embarrassing mishaps as he tests his chance-altering abilities. The professor is no megalomaniac, but instead an opportunist garnering wealth though his mastery of odds. Fortune finds himself in conflict with the JLA, trapping them on his wheel and cursing them with perpetual bad luck to keep them from thwarting his gambits. The one thing Amos Fortune doesn't anticipate, however, is the Martian Manhunter's alien physiology's immunity to his glandular stimulation, and Fortune's luck runs out. Professor Fortune returned to perturb the JLA on several occasions during the 1960s, masquerading as “Mr. Memory” in the Atom's first adventure with the League (issue #14, 1962), then as the “Ace of Clubs,” the organizer of the roguish Royal Flush Gang. He eventually left the Gang and returned to his solo probability crimes, but each time he resurfaces, Fortune always finds the deck stacked against him.
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Closer to narrative filmmaking than his more recent work, Amos Fortune Road, 1996, tells its story through subtitles.