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