Batman Buys a Victory – JLA #15

The cover to JLA (Vol 1) #15
I’ll never understand how the United States Justice System works.

From Series: JLA (Vol 1)

What Happened:

Back in the present time, Superman (Clark Kent), Batman (Bruce Wayne), Martian Manhunter (J’onn J’onzz), an undercover Green Arrow (Connor Hawke), and Aztek (Uno) are trying to stop Lex Luthor and his Injustice Gang. The biggest problem they face is Lex’s Philosopher’s Stone, which can make anything he imagines come true. Also, unknown to the Justice League, if the stone is destroyed it will lead their world to the nightmare future Aquaman (Arthur Curry), Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner), and The Flash (Wally West) were sent to.

Lex tries to scare Aztek into joining the Injustice Gang with the fact that his company actually funded all of the technology which powers Aztek’s armor. Also, her tries to scare Aztek by trapping him in the JLA Watchtower with a lot of nuclear warheads. Both methods do not work! Aztek refuses to switch sides and gets to work defusing all the warheads. A hopeless task, since there are too many… and not enough time… and he is a super hero in the comic book story…!

On Earth, Batman, Superman and Martian Manhunter get ready to fly into space and take on the Injustice Gang. They have a little bit of an advantage in the form of three spies Batman has working for him on Lex’s secret satellite.

One of those spies is uncovered by the Injustice Gang when The Joker is found tied up and hidden away while another Joker is busy taunting Lex. Lex does something he probably should not need this much justification for and shoots the annoying Joker. The bullet passes through him without harm. This is because the fake Joker is actually the shape changing Plastic Man (Patrick “Eel” O’Brian)!

Plastic Man is in the perfect position to start taking out the Injustice Gang before the reinforcements arrive but instead decides to harass Circe. Not time well spent.

Green Arrow, who has been pretending to turn against the JLA then reveals his true motives and allows Batman and the others teleport onto the satellite. They battle, and at one point Superman is turned into a radio wave because of his new powers and shot into space like an old Johnny Unitas football game broadcast. The JLA is victorious though, just like the conclusion to last issue spoiled.

Then Green Lantern, returning from the apocalyptic future, is able to warn Martian Manhunter in time to stop Superman from destroying the Philosopher’s Stone. BUT IT WASN’T THE PHILSOPHER’S STONE. THE JOKER ACTUALLY HAS THE REAL PHILOSOPHER’S STONE. SO WHY DID IT MATTER.

EXPLAIN THAT, TIME TRAVEL.

Martian Manhunter is able to telepathically make Joker sane for just enough time to use the Philosopher’s Stone and undo all of The Injustice Gang’s damage. Aztek and Green Arrow then quit the Justice League because things got hard and they didn’t like that.

Metron, now working on the side of the angels again, takes the Philosopher’s Stone and delivers it to the Hourman (Matthew Tyler) of the future. Hourman is told there’s another time disruption coming for the Justice League and it’ll be his job to fix it this time.

It’s cute how Metron and Hourman take turns!

Metron then visits the guardians of the Wonderworld, and lets them know the approaching war they have dedicated their lives to fighting won’t be fought by them. Oh well. Time for them to figure out if they have any other hobbies worth pursing. Try cooking! You get to eat your hobby when your hobby is cookie!

BACK. On. EARTH…

Superman, Batman, and Aquaman have decided to disband the Justice League.

What I Learned From This Comic:

Doctor Light has a lot of great and terrible powers like “Make everything red” and “Make everything green.”

The Creators:
Writer: Grant Morrison
Pencils: Howard Porter, Gary Frank, Greg Land
Inker: John Dell, Bob McLeod
Colorist: Pat Garrahy
Separations: Heroic Age
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Editors: Dan Raspler and Peter Tomasi

JLA #13

The cover to JLA (Vol 1) #13
Multiple pupils, so you can’t tell who’s dress the Martian Manhunter is looking down. What a creep.

From Series: JLA (Vol 1)

What Happened:

When Aquaman (Arthur Curry), The Flash (Wally West), and Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner) returned from deep space they had to travel the speed of light to do this. Something went wrong though and when they arrived on Earth they got there 15 years too late. They all get zapped into their older bodies which have spent 15 years on an Earth conquered by Darkseid.

Aquaman is one of the few heroes left. He’s a little dazed after finding himself in a much older body. After joining a battle with Wonder Woman (Diana of Themyscira) he gets all the kinks out and back into the swing of things. Most of the Earth’s population have been turned into mindless servants of Darkseid. So the two of them are fighting a losing war.

They manage to escape Darkseid’s forcing through the sewer and meet with a depowered and formally brainwashed Green Lantern. Green Lantern in this future became a brainwashed soldier of Darkseid but his past self getting zapped into his future body freed him. The Flash is worse off. The will of his older self has been broken and cut off from the Speed Force, his source of power. So he’s stuck unable to help and unable to use his powers to travel back into the past. This leaves only one way to go back in time and stop Darkseid before he takes over the Earth: they have to use Darkseid’s own time travel technology.

Waaaaiiit… If Darkseid has time travel technology couldn’t he just go back even FURTHER and undo their undo-ing of his doing? NO SSSSTTOOOPP THINKING ABOUT ITTTT!! BRAAAAIIINNN, YOUUU’RREE HEEADING FORRR A CLIIFFFFF!

In this future Superman (Clark Kent) died. He took his own life after he was forced to mercy kill his wife Lois Lane. Martian Manhunter (J’onn J’onzz) was tortured to death by Darkseid’s minions. Batman (Bruce Wayne) was captured by Darkseid’s servant Desaad and never heard from again. THINGS ARE GRIM. The remaining JLA-ers, who Green Lantern has no problem disrespecting… even though he has no powers… and it his future self joined the bad-guys, are outgunned.

Fortunately, Desaad’s base is completely unguarded. They break in without any problems! What a stroke of luck. In the base they find Batman in charge. Batman? Turns out he has been posing as Desaad for the last two months (Batman defeated him in an unsubscribed “battle of wits”).

With Batman back to help them things are starting to get just a little less oppressively hopeless until they realize Darkseid has already arrived and intends to speed up Earth’s destruction.

What I Learned From This Comic:

Green Lantern really became a diva after he joined the JLA.

The Creators:
Writer: Grant Morrison
Pencils: Howard Porter
Inker: John Dell
Colorist: Pat Garrahy
Separations: Heroic Age
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Editors: Dan Raspler and Peter Tomasi

JLA #12

The cover to JLA (Vol 1) #12
Smells like a gym bag down here.
From Series: JLA (Vol 1)

What Happened:

Lex Luthor has created a new Injustice Gang with the intent of finally taking down the Justice League of America. His plan of luring Superman (Clark Kent) and Martian Manhunter (J’onn J’onzz) to a decoy space station… worked pretty well! Even Lex is in shock. He can’t believe the dummies blew themselves up in space.

BUT WAIT. This is Electric Blue Superman. He has mysterious powers that aren’t revealed fully yet. What his newest power? Explosions don’t bother him none? Thrilling adventure! Great.

Lex pushes forward with his other plan, guilting Aztek (Uno) the newest member of the JLA into joining his team. Aztek don’t wanna, but he’s the only person who’d be able to stop the prophesied return of an evil god. Luthor asks how could Aztec stop a god if he’s been blown up by a bunch of nuclear bombs. He asks this because he just teleported a bunch of armed nuclear bombs in the JLA watchtower with Aztek.

So it’s a relevant question.

The Watchtower is empty except for Aztek because the rest of the team ran off to help the New God Metron. Metron sent Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner), The Flash (Wally West), and Aquaman (Arthur Curry) on a quest to find the philosophers stone before Darkseid did. It is a wild goose chase though. Green Lantern learns from the time traveling Hourman (Matthew Tyler) that if the JLA BEATS the Injustice Gang, Darkseid will lose the Philosopher’s stone and destroy the Earth in anger.

Flash, GL and Aquaman convince the mind-blowing superheroes guarding the edge of the universe from an oncoming threat to send them back home. They get there just in time to be TOO LATE. Haha. Tricked you there! Because if the hellish fire pit in place of where Europe used to rest can be trusted, Darkseid has already begun conquering of Earth.

What I Learned From This Comic:

No matter how large, important, or reality bending a super hero team is, they always need a conference table.

The Creators:
Writer: Grant Morrison
Pencils: Howard Porter
Inker: John Dell
Colorist: Pat Garrahy
Separations: Heroic Age
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Editors: Dan Raspler and Peter Tomasi