Superman Inspires Mob Violence – JLA #4

The cover to JLA (Vol 1) #4
Martian Manhunter flies with his legs spread? Like he’s doing star jumps? Bold choice.
From Series: JLA (Vol 1)

What Happened:

Superman watches Protex of the Hyperclan as he celebrates his invasion of Earth. While Protex gloats, Superman pieces the information together. Everyone with fire powers got sick or went missing right before the Hyperclan showed up. All of the Hyperclan have the same powers. One of those powers is mind control. Kryptonite has been right next to him for a couple hours now. Kryponite kills Superman… wait! Mind control? That kryptonite is not really there!

Realizing the Hyperclan are actually the same beings as The Martian Manhunter, he gets ready to fight Protex.

He fights Protex!

Primaid, seeing things starting to go downhill commands Armek to close the death-torture-flower-thing the Justice League is tied to. But… Oh snap! It’s not really Armek it’s Martian Manhunter who was only pretending to join the Hyperclan. Primaid and J’onn fight but Primaid is too strong for him. Fortunately, he manages to free the Justice League and Wonder Woman is ready throw down.

She fights Primaid in space!

During the scuffle with the remaining members of the Hyperclan, Aquaman makes a bad one-liner. He is so embarrassed he has to the stop the fight for a beat.

With the Hyperclan pretty much beat, Superman takes to the airwaves to inspire everyone to fight back against the aliens. Their weakness is fire so he pretty much commands the world to bust out their copies of the Anarchist Cookbook and get to mischief.

Now that the world has been saved by a billion lunatics, Martian Manhunter is put in charge of punishing the captured White Martians. He traps them all in human forms and wipes their memories, putting them in lives of public service.

If he’s cool doing this to an entire army, why doesn’t he do this to every super villain? Seems like a weird line to draw. “I’ll mind-wipe and enslave my own people, but that dude who routinely tries to melt babies? He gets a pass.”

The Justice League of America then put their new base on the moon because that’s how JLA rolls.

What I Learned From This Comic:
According to the Metaphysical Laws of Howard Porter, if there’s a crowd of people holding up torches then there will be at least one dude holding up a bottle of rum.

The Creators:
Writer: Grant Morrison
Pencils: Howard Porter
Inker: John Dell
Colorist: Pat Garrahy
Separations: Heroic Age
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Editor: Ruben Diaz

Batman Will Light You On Fire – JLA #3

The cover to JLA 3
Exposing Superman to Kryptonite is bad, it kills him. Exposing Superman to Kryptonite while pulling on his mullet is some kind of inky black evil I don’t want to get into right now.
From Series: JLA (Vol 1)

What Happened:

The Flash and Green Lantern spend a lot of time not being captured. Then they decide they’ve grown bored of this and get captured. Just to see what it’s like.

Back at the Hyperclan’s “watchtower” they’ve attached all the captured Justice League members to a giant robot torture flower. The thing is pretty ridiculous. The Hyperclan boast about what a great torture device this flower is. They go on about how this flower will make you feel pains unimaginable. Really though, it’s just a big robot flower where the petals smoosh a person into spikes. Spikes! Even cavemen had spike technology.

While bragging about how great this spikey, dumb flower is Protex starts creeping on an unconscious Wonder Woman.

Now the Hyperclan thinks Batman is dead, but that bugger ain’t. He survived a plane crash and sneaked into the Hyperclan base undetected because BATMAN. A-Mortal is the only member of the Hyperclan who thinks Batman might still be a problem and goes off looking for him. Protex is all like “Yeah, whatever. That dude doesn’t even have powers. His popularity will never stand the test of time. Not like a cool Fabio-haired, golden-skinned super hero with a hip 90’s name like ‘Protex’. I’m going to be relevant forever!”

So everyone continues to talk crap about Batman until they find A-Mortal knocked out and hanging from a rope with a note saying “I know your secret”. Then Batman reveals they are weak against fire by dropping a match onto the gasoline soaked floor. Because the Hyperclan ain’t no group of super heroes! They’re White Martians!

And White Martians are weak against fire. But so is everything, really. Batman didn’t really prove himself to be the world’s greatest detective this time. He’s a little too smug about surrounding his enemies with a flaming wall of death. “I found your weakness! Harmless, everyday molten lava!” That’s a pretty solid offense against anyone, ya know?

Anyway, Hyperclan starts flipping out. They’re really freaked about a fire being any sort of distance away from their bodies. Protex launches his invasion fleet on Earth. Turns out that’s what this was always about. Invading earth!

Hyperclan’s Plan:
Step 1: Pretend to be Super Heroes
Step 2: Make earth a better place
Step 3: Brainwash masses to follow you blindly
Step 4: << LOST DATA >>
Step 5: Violent invasion.

Batman learning their secret forced them to skip step 4, whatever that one was. It was probably the step which made the whole plan make sense too! Figures.

What I Learned From This Comic:
Batman is not a Zippo lighter guy.

The Creators:
Writer: Grant Morrison
Pencils: Howard Porter
Inker: John Dell
Colorist: Pat Garrahy
Separations: Heroic Age
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Editor: Ruben Diaz

Aquaman Shows Up Uninvited – JLA #2

The cover to JLA #2.
Mullets are Superman’s Kryptonite.
From Series: JLA (Vol 1)

What Happened:

Hyperclan has been hard at work since last issue. The manipulative team of super-beings built, or dug up, or teleported –Ah who knows it’s pretty unclear, regardless there are three watchtowers on Earth now. Three! That’s two more than The Justice League had! This is some real old school white-glove-to-face-slapping-at-a-dinner-party insult-throwing going on between these two super groups.

The towers serve a function other than flipping the Justice League the triple bird, though. They are emitting a mild frequency which is swaying public opinion away from the Justice League and towards The Hyperclan. The Justice League decides it is time to do some snooping around these towers. Or maybe some punching around these towers. It really depends on how bad they are at snooping.

Martian Manhunter is guest coaching this away game against the Hyperclan. Batman lets him make the plan because he has the most experience with The Justice League. He decides upon ol’ reliable and breaks the team up into pairs to investigate the different watchtower locations. Wonder Woman is sent on her own because J’onn knew that Aquaman was bound to show up in this issue.

Green Lantern and The Flash butt heads after being paired together. Then the Hyperclan shows up. They fight the Hyperclan! The Flash runs after their evil speedster Zum which leaves Green Lantern to be captured.

Wonder Woman runs into Aquaman (oh hey!) and bosses him into helping her destroy the watchtower built in the ocean. They are both captured.

Batman and Superman are just hanging out having some bro time in the skies. Then… you guessed it, they’re captured.

Meanwhile, Martian Manhunter is having a secret meeting with Protex, leader of The Hyperclan. Protex offers him a place on their team since the martian J’onn has never felt like he belonged on Earth. Drama!

What I Learned From This Comic:

The Flash has crummy taste in watches.

The Creators:
Writer: Grant Morrison
Pencils: Howard Porter
Inker: John Dell
Colorist: Pat Garrahy
Separations: Heroic Age
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Editor: Ruben Diaz

A Justice League Too Many – JLA #1

The cover to JLA 1
I guess Batman’s straightedge under that cape?

From Series: JLA (Vol 1)

What Happened:

The President of the United States is acting like a bipolar during a mania period. He is not ready to handle a close encounter with alien superheroes. Alien superheroes show up despite this. They are called Hyperclan and they tell everyone that they’re here to fix all the world’s problems. The people of the world are really stoked that all the world’s problems are going to be handled.

Meanwhile, Superman (Clark Kent) makes sure everyone knows that problems are hard to fix and maybe superheroes from space aren’t the ones to do this. The public decides Hyperclan’s leader Protex are too shiny and pretty to be lying. It’s pretty much decided Superman is just butt-hurt that everyone now cares about these new superheroes more than him.

Superman’s concerns are sort of validated when Hyperclan starts killing unnamed villains who are clearly, actually Marvel Comics characters. When this creates a large drop in super villain crime, the public doesn’t see the problem with it.

Up in the satellite base of the Justice League, The Watchtower, the old team is packing up their stuff. They got fired for not being characters your Dad knows so they’re preparing the Watchtower for the new Justice League. They get really scared when a bunch of people dressed up like the X-Men character Juggernaut start attacking them. This seems a little weird since they were protecting the entire planet the day before but now they’re cracking under the pressure. Anyway, luckily Green Lantern and Wonder Woman are there and protect the old Justice League as they retreat inside Metamorpho’s weird shape-changing body.

Being a weird-body-bullet-with-a-face-in-outer-space is too much for Metamorpho though. The rest of the old Justice League survives the trip back to earth but they wake up in a gooey pile of their teammate.

Hyperclan is next seen digging something up they had buried on Earth a long time ago.

Superman thinks the dudes who attacked the Watchtower were actually Hyperclan. The new Justice League gathers to decide their next step. Then Batman (Bruce Wayne) shows up like a creep, shows off in a very passive aggressive way, and declares war.

What I Learned From This Comic
Grant Morrison has zero time for B-list super heroes. Get out of the way for the big dogs!

The Creators:
Writer: Grant Morrison
Pencils: Howard Porter
Inker: John Dell
Colorist: Pat Garrahy
Separations: Heroic Age
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Editor: Ruben Diaz