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

Zombie Factories On The Moon – JLA #14

The cover to JLA #14
Nobody told Darkseid he’s allowed to retake that Drivers License photo if he isn’t happy with the first attempt.

From Series: JLA (Vol 1)

What Happened:

It’s fifteen years in the future and the time displaced Aquaman (Arthur Curry), Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner), and The Flash (Wally West) have joined forces with the last remaining heroes on an Earth conquered by Darkseid. The plan is to undo Darkseid’s conquest by returning to the past. There, the JLAer’s can stop Superman (Clark Kent) from destroying Lex Luthor’s Philosopher’s Stone which begins the chain of events ending with Darkseid in charge.

The plan is also to blow up the zombie factory on the moon because zombie factories are never a good thing.

Black Racer, the New God of Death, is observing the whole thing from the shadows because this is NOT GOING TO WORK OUT.

Azteka and Argent (Toni Monetti) lead the assault on the Zombie factory. Argent figures out a new way to use her powers after a conversation with Green Lantern. This helps them a little bit but Argent is still fatally wounded by a blast from one of the factory’s guards. So Azteka turns off a switch on his armor that keeps the whole thing from blowing up in a catastrophic explosion. Why is that a switch? Shouldn’t that at the very least be a lock? Or maybe two switches? What if Azteka bumps a coffee table the wrong way? Boom?

This seems like poor super hero costume design.

Also, seconds ago we saw the heroes watching innocent humans being separated in the factory from their families. This upsets the heroes a lot! So they blow every one in the factory up? Problem solved? I guess. It did technically remove the problem.

Back on Earth, Batman (Bruce Wayne) uses his disguise as the Darkseid’s assistant Desaad to ambush him and the Grandmother Box with the remaining heroes. He tricks Metron like Tom Sawyer to become human for a minute so Batman can knock him out and steal his time traveling chair. Then he sends The Flash, Green Lantern, and Aquaman back home to fix the timeline. Batman and Wonder Woman (Diana of Themyscira) die fighting Darkseid. Green Arrow (Connor Hawke) and The Atom (Ray Palmer) die killing Darkseid.

Then Orion, decides to destroy the whole reality because honestly do we need another alternate future? No! Scrap it!

What I Learned From This Comic:

Metron would make for a great little brother.

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

JLA #11

The cover to JLA (Vol 1) #11
“Now where did I leave those blue and green crayons?”
From Series: JLA (Vol 1)

What Happened:

Lex Luthor has constructed an Injustice Gang to take down the JLA because he thinks Superman made the team just to spook him. Well Lex Luthor isn’t spooked by a team of demi-gods! And Lex Luthor doesn’t make wild assumptions about other people’s actions! Lex Luthor wouldn’t make a mistake like that! Lex Luthor doesn’t make mistakes, this is why he has a murderous clown on his team.

The Flash (Wally West), Superman, Aquaman (Arthur Curry), Martian Manhunter (J’onn J’onzz), Aztek (Uno), and Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner) meet on the Watchtower to discuss the recent attack by their evil holographic clones. Aquaman uses his fish connections to discover his clone was spotted in a part of the ocean right before that part of the ocean vanished. Batman (Bruce Wayne) also Skypes into the meeting to let everyone know large chunks of air have been disappearing.

Green Arrow (Connor Hawke) calls in an alert that the missing ocean has shown up in California and the JLA sends Green Lantern to fix that catastrophe. Meanwhile, Superman and Martian Manhunter go to investigate the source of the teleporting air and water.

Green Lantern fixes everything with a wacky cartoon and then decides to take the rest of the day off with Green Arrow. They hang out at a diner and complain about work. Circe is conveniently at this diner and uses her power over men to plant distrust between Green Arrow and the rest of the team.

While investigating the source of the teleportation, Superman and Martian Manhunter get stuck in a hologram of a maze controlled by Joker’s brain. J’onn is only able to navigate out of it after shape-shifting his own brain into something equally as crazy as Joker’s, but then Superman goofs and sets of a bomb.

Metron of the New Gods busts into the Watchtower to set up the next story line. C’mon man! We’re not finished with this one yet! He needs The Flash, Aquaman, Aztec to help him find the philosopher’s stone before Darkseid.

Back on earth Batman gets to play dress up and finds Plastic Man. Then he reveals to Robin he knows Lex Luthor is behind all the troubles the JLA is having and prepares to go to war with him not as The Dark Knight but as the sketchy corporate businessman Bruce Wayne.

What I Learned From This Comic:

Plastic Man can’t be fooled by a wig and a mustache, unlike the entire criminal population.

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

JLA #10

The cover to JLA (Vol 1) #10
Cross you arms! Everybody’s doin’ it!!
From Series: JLA (Vol 1)

What Happened:

Aboard a subtle and tasteful satellite shaped like a giant skull some shadowy figures prepare their attack on Earth. Evil versions of the Justice League (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and Aquaman) are sent to attack and lure the real Justice League (Batman (Bruce Wayne), Superman (Clark Kent), Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner), Martian Manhunter (J’onn J’onzz), Aztek (Uno), Aquaman (Arthur Curry), and Green Arrow (Connor Hawke)) into combat.

Some innocent people get zapped before the JLA finally arrives. An injured Flash (Wally West) and a (currently) dead Wonder Woman (Diana of Themyscira) keep the current roster from feeling “right” to Green Lantern. GL’s a picky dude. Can’t go on stage without the right underpants and can’t save lives without Wonder Woman to creep on. Dude is probably unbearable in the dressing room before a big performance…

Green Arrow has some performance anxiety over how to shoot the super fast Flash clone. He eventually figures it out (shoot the arrow really good!) at the evil speedster and takes him down before any more bystanders can be snatched away. He’s already snatched away several though! And he could have taken them anywhere and done anything to them with his super speed! You couldn’t have sped up that crisis of confidence, Green Arrow??

Aquaman just wallops his duplicate for an easy KO. Batman figures out the duplicates are holograms and is able to change the Batplane’s weaponry to disrupt them. Whoever was controlling the Batman hologram is furious he was knocked out of the game early and suspects Batman has figured out his true identity. The other hologram controllers are too busy playing their violent video game to worry about the complaints of that newb.

Green Lantern overpowers his duplicate and Superman is able to absorb his with his new energy absorption powers. Green Arrow shoots an arrow created by GL to take out the evil Martian Manhunter and Wonder Woman (giving him a head count of 3, everyone else just had 1. Just saying.)

The controllers of the holograms are revealed to be the Injustice Gang led by Lex Luthor. Luthor has taken Dr. Light (Arthur Light), Circe, Mirror Master, Ocean Master, and The Joker under his evil wings. He’s planning on taking on the JLA like he takes on other companies in the board room. With meetings!! Days and days of meetings!!

The holograms have been returned to the Injustice Gang and the data their acquired from their battles with the JLA are downloaded to their computers.

What I Learned From this Comic:

Green Lantern is not a great grief councilor.

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

The Final Night #4

The cover to The Final Night #4
A tiny little drop of pee on Parallax’s pants… But nobody tell him! He’d be too embarrassed after posing dramatically like that in the sun.
From Series: The Final Night

What Happened:

Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner) is bummed he wasn’t able to finagle the disgraced Green Lantern, Parallax (Hal Jordan), into helping the Earth. The Earth’s sun has been taken over by a being known as the Sun-Eater. Humanity’s prospects have only gotten worse with the recent discovery of the sun’s upcoming explosion.

So the heroes have joined together for a last ditch attempt at killing the Sun-Eater. Lex Luthor has made all the super speedsters into his own sweat shop and created many small force field devices. Since he has already survived flying into the sun, the plan is to have Green Lantern fly a ship with these devices and surround the doomed sun with them. The explosion of the sun will give the devices power which will then turn the damage away from the earth and back to the Sun-Eater and hopefully kill it. We won’t have a sun anymore but that is what space heaters are for.

Green Lantern is ready to go when he suddenly vanishes. The heroes don’t even have TIME to question this so Superman (Clark Kent) immediately volunteers. Superman hopes the explosion will restart his powers, which have been absent since the sun went away, but just in case he writes a suicide note for Lois Lane.

Final Night all-star, MVP, Hall of Famer character Ferro steals the ship before Superman can board. He’s ready to sacrifice himself because Superman means too much to too many people so he can’t risk his death.

Everyone’s pretty annoyed by then but then Parallax shows up with Green Lantern ready to help out. Superman is 100% ready for Parallax to take the ball with this one. Batman (Bruce Wayne) is more skeptical since the last time they saw Parallax he was trying to bend all of time and space to his will. Cooler heads prevail and the mad cosmic demi-god is allowed to go into space and play with the sun.

Ferro’s attempt at stopping the explosion fails when the explosion happens faster than they thought it would. Not his fault. Kind of makes all the people putting this plan together look bad for all their horsing around, frankly!

His butt’s saved by Parallax. He sends Ferro back to Earth and then recites the Green Lantern oath while reigniting the sun and absorbing the sun-eater. This final act kills him off panel.

Back on Earth Batman tells Superman that Hal Jordan still sucks and swings away.

What I Learned From This Comic:

Super heroes are a little too trigger happy with their own noble sacrifices.

The Creators:
Writer: Karl Kesel
Penciller: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Jose Marzan, Jr.
Colorist: Patricia Mulvihill
Letterer: Gaspar Saladino
Editor: Dan Thorsland
Assistant Editor: Ali Morales

The Final Night #3

The cover to The Final Night #3
Oh wow! From up here you all look like ants! Gooey, blobby ants!
From Series: The Final Night

What Happened:

Warrior’s bar has become a headquarters for all the super heroes doing rescue work and patrolling. A lot of people are not handling the idea that a horrible space cloud is trying to eat their sun. People are cold and upset by all this and are starting to lash out, forcing the super heroes to protect everyone from each other. A part time babysitting job! Well, at least the super heroes don’t have anything else more important to do.

Warrior, a dude with the power to turn his hands into weapons, used to be a Green Lantern. He’s pretty frustrated he no longer has the powers of the Green Lanterns because that would be pretty useful when dealing with a sun-eater. There are only so many walls to needlessly blow up with his gun-hands after all!

Meanwhile, back in the science labs all the science-y people have realized the sun is going to blow up. Real soon. Too soon. There isn’t much anyone can do about it so a decision is made to not release this information to the public in order to prevent a panic. Superman, powerless because of the lack of sunlight, returns home to Smallville to visit his mom and dad before what most superheros are accepting to be the end of the world.

Dusk is getting ready to skedaddle. She’s done her job trying to warn the planet of the coming danger but failed yet again to save any lives. She hopes her next destination on the Sun-Eater’s path of gobbled up stars will be more productive. The Phantom Stranger shows up and starts to guilt Dusk about leaving the party early. “We were JUST going to start the dancing mix. Whadder you doin’?”

Still, Dusk is confident with the world’s approaching doom the people of the planet are going to start getting real dark. Phantom Stranger decides to play the Ghost of Christmas Present and gives Dusk a world wide tour on how human beings are not jerks.

Elsewhere, well-known jerk The Warrior is alone in his bar. When he sees a familiar green glow coming from his old Green Lantern costume on display.

What I Learned From This Comic:

The Warrior no longer owns a stuffed Tauntaun.

The Creators:
Writer: Karl Kesel
Penciller: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Jose Marzan, Jr.
Colorist: Patricia Mulvihill
Letterer: Gaspar Saladino
Editor: Dan Thorsland
Assistant Editor: Ali Morales

Lex Luthor Is Bad At Helping – The Final Night #2

The cover to The Final Night #2
During the end of the world everyone inhibitions are dropped and Batman just starts walking around nude I guess.

From Series: The Final Night

What Happened:

It’s been two days since the Sun Eater has taken over the sun. The planet is getting pretty brisk.

Lex Luthor returns from his vacation and joins forces with the good guys to save the world. He wants to probe the sun/Sun Eater. Working with Brainiac 5 he set up Green Lantern as such a probe. They get some data but lose track of him. Luthor is more bummed about the loss of the probe than the loss of a human being even though they are the same thing in this case.

Wonder Woman, Big Barda, Guardian, Captain Marvel Jr., and The Ray help put out an apartment fire. Ray takes one of the tenants home to her family in another country. In an act of desperation he tries to warm the land with his own powers but faints from the exertion.

Superman and Batman stop Vandal Savage from stealing the Mona Lisa. The immortal Savage was all boner hurt by the Mona Lisa when she turned him down so he arranged for this painting to be made so he could then steal the thing 5 centuries later. IT’S A LITTLE CRAZY. At the very least: this makes Vandal Savage the biggest single white dude creeper in all of the DC Universe and the DC Universe includes a character who is a single white dude called “The Creeper”.

Superman’s lack of yellow sunlight is making him rapidly losing power. Batman feels for him. Batman feels REAL bad for him, losing all his powers. “Not having powers must be terrible”, Batman probably thinks when he’s not too busy weeping for his powerless friend.

A bunch of the old retired Justice Society members are suiting up to help the crisis. They ask the original Starman, Ted Knight, if he’d like to join them. Ted gives a lame excuse that he’d probably be a better help looking at the monster in the sky with his dumb telescope. Jay Garrick is polite and pretends this makes total sense. Dude has a magic wand that can help save people in danger or he can stare at something big enough to eat the sun and take notes. Well the notes are obviously important, the choice is clear Mr. Knight!

Dusk and Black Canary are attacked by a mob. A lot of people are starting to blame Dusk for the Sun Eater’s attack. They think she led it to them. Black Canary is saved from the mob by The Flash, Nightwing, and Robin. Dusk is then saved by a new hero named Ferro.

What I Learned From This Comic:

Vandal Savage is some kind of long-con, super crazy pickup artist.

The Creators:
Writer: Karl Kesel
Penciller: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Jose Marzan, Jr.
Colorist: Patricia Mulvihill
Letterer: Gaspar Saladino
Editor: Dan Thorsland
Assistant Editor: Ali Morales

Three Bad Ideas – The Final Night #1

The cover to The Final Night #1
Feeling pretty silly about the whole “tights” thing right now.
From Series: The Final Night

What Happened:

The alien named Dusk lands on Earth to warn everyone of the coming Sun Eater. I’m not going to bother explaining what the Sun Eater does. For a short bit it looks like she’s about to have the same cuckoo mix-up with the Superman and The Legion of Superheroes she had on New Tamarian. Fortunately Saturn Girl uses he telepathy to get everyone on the same page and the plot moves steadily forward to give us…

…Characters! Dozens of characters show up though only a handful can do anything useful against a monster big enough to eat the sun. Thanks for showing up Robin. Nice of you to bring your hammer Steel. We think we’re going with the super strong demigods who can breathe in space to deal with this “crime” though.

The heroes break into three groups. One group led by Captain Atom will be using a plan Big Barda and Mister Miracle came up with. They’re going to try to funnel the Sun Eater into a boom tube and teleport him to the edge of the universe. The “Sweep the dirt under the rug” method.

The second group will be the Plan B. All the super heroes with fire powers will create a dummy sun and lure the Sun Eater away from their solar system. The “You’re someone else’s problem now” method.

The third group is everyone else just to give them something to do. If you’re not keeping Batman’s hands busy he’s just going to be a bother to everyone. Make him go on patrol to “keep the peace during the panic” or whatever you want to call it. Give the man a pat on the back and tiny trophy when it’s all over just for participating.

While all this is going on, The Phantom Stranger goes to The Spectre to ask why he never helps with these big crisis’s. After all, the Spectre is arguably the strongest hero on the planet. The Spectre tells him that if the Sun Eater kills everyone on earth then that must have been God’s will so who is he to say otherwise. With that he vanishes to go guilt another criminal into killing themselves.

The teleport plan fails.

The dummy sun is absorbed by the Sun Eater almost killing the heroes maintain it by stripping them of their body heat.

With no plan C, the sun goes out. Earth is plunged into darkness and Jimmy Olsen’s news crew already starts to panic.

His day at the beach ruined, Lex Luthor decides to get involved.

What I Learned From This Comic:

Lex Luthor wears speedos.

The Creators:
Writer: Karl Kesel
Artist/Co-Creator: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Jose Marzan, Jr.
Colorist: Patricia Mulvihill
Letterer: Gaspar Saladino
Editor: Dan Thorsland
Editor: Ali Morales