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 #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

Green Arrow (Vol 3) #4

The cover to Green Arrow (Vol 3) #4
Figures the one day Aquaman didn’t have time to touch up his gray would be the day of an impromptu photo shoot.
From Series: Green Arrow (Vol 3)

What Happened:

Green Arrow (Ollie Queen) and Aquaman (Arthur Curry) are in combat with Black Manta. Aquaman is super surprised that Green Arrow is alive (because he was not the last time anyone checked) but manages to keep his cool about the whole thing. He’s also pretty focused on his arch enemy, Black Manta, and has gotten really stoked about finally killing him. Before he can ram his hook hand through Manta’s chest, Green Arrow stops him with a lasso arrow.

After turning in the criminal to the authorities Aquaman decides he’s going to surprise the rest of the Justice League with Green Arrow’s return and teleports them both to the JLA’s home base on the moon, the Watchtower.

Meanwhile, we learn there is something creepy going on with Green Arrow’s new friend Stanley Dover. He is hiding something from Ollie and the young Mia Dearden.

In another part of the city, the Star City Slayer takes another homeless child from the street. The kid seems to recognize this person and follow him willingly. While this is happening, the caged monster we’ve been seeing in shadows is mourning the absence of his friend.

Wonder Woman (Diana of Themyscira), The Flash (Wally West), and Martian Manhunter (J’onn J’onnz) are the first to arrive at the Watchtower after Aquaman’s summons and are pretty crabby about it. You’d think their lifestyles didn’t ever call upon them needing to come quickly to important events with their attitudes. Also, The Flash is worried that his wife might think he’s having an affair. Why would Linda Park think her husband, The Flash, would be having an affair because he gets a call to go to the Watchtower? That probably happens every night. Maybe work on your marriage a little there, Wally. It doesn’t stop at the wedding! It’s an ongoing project!

Anyway, after some awkward crowd work (Isn’t Aquaman supposed to be a king who gives speeches and stuff?) Aquaman introduces Ollie. Everyone is surprised, but not really because super heroes come back all the time. Then Wonder Woman kisses Ollie for no reason because she’s a feminist icon and Kevin Smith is a master writer (Buh.).

Green Arrow is confused though. He doesn’t know why Wally is wearing Barry Allen’s old costume. And he doesn’t understand where his best friend Hal went. Or why Kyle Rayner is dressed like the Green Lantern. Or why Superman (Clark Kent) hugs him like they haven’t seen each other in years. Finally when he sees a photo of the Justice League with a boy he’s never seen before (Connor Hawke) dressed as Green Arrow he decides the team has gone crazy and is replacing all its members with more impressionable children. He points an arrow at the Watchtower’s glass window and threatens to blow a hole into the outer space outside.

Before Green Arrow can kill all his friends because he’s mad about work politics Batman (Bruce Wayne) knocks him out. Batman takes his unconscious body with him back to the Batcave.

Back on Earth, Oracle (Barbara Gordon) contacts the Black Canary (Dinah Lance) and tells her about the news report of her dead ex-boyfriend Ollie Queen fighting Black Manta.

What I Learned From this Comic:

Never invite Wonder Woman to a meeting she doesn’t need to sit in on.

The Creators:
Writers: Kevin Smith
Pencilers: Phil Hester
Inkers: Ande Parks
Colourists: Guy Major
Letterers: Sean Konot
Cover Artists: Matt Wagner
Executive Editor: Mike Carlin
Editors: Michael Wright, Bob Schreck

JLA #9

The cover to JLA (Vol 1) #9
Bragging about being a janitor.
From Series: JLA (Vol 1)

What Happened:

The Key has the Justice League trapped and living in virtual reality dreamworlds. He has finally figured out the equation of the DC Universe: The heroes always win. So he’s set up a device which will be powered by the Justice League realizing they’re unconscious and allow The Key to enter Negative Space. There he will be the ruler of all reality (he assumes).

Meanwhile the newest Justice League recruit, Green Arrow (Connor Hawke), has been fighting his way through the Justice League watchtower to save his teammates. He’s armed only with the original Green Arrow and his father: Ollie Queen’s trick arrows. Handcuff and boxing glove arrows aren’t the best for fighting robots but Green Arrow is making the best of the situation.

In their own dream worlds, the members of the Justice League are starting to meet each other and figure out they are in a dream (still unaware they are suppooosed to figure this out). Batman’s dream of The Joker killing his son (weird) is stopped by Superman (Clark Kent) who has dreamed he is the Green Lantern of Krypton. Wonder Woman (Diana of Themyscira) transports from her Indiana Jones dream into Aquaman’s Waterworld dream which is a lesser movie so it is a bad dream moving decision there.

The Flash (Wally West) was probably going to run into Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner) in his dream but his metabolism works so fast he was able to wake up and start helping Green Arrow.

When Green Lantern shows up as his dream version of himself, a 90’s super hero mismash of names, numbers, and backstory, Batman makes fun of him for being a baby.

The remaining team wake up together with Batman realizing too late they needed to stay asleep to keep from falling into The Key’s trap. As the portal to the negative space opens and The Key is about to take a step into his omnipotence, Green Arrow knocks him in the face with a boxing glove arrow. Everyone involved agrees it is ridiculous.

The issue ends with Batman and Superman having an awkward moment together on the roof.

What I Learned From This Comic:

Batman hates Nintendo.

The Creators:
Writer: Grant Morrison
Pencils: Oscar Jimenez
Inker: Chip Wallace
Colorist: Pat Garrahy
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

JLA #8

The cover to JLA #8
I don’t think that’s the delivery boy. Don’t open the door.
From Series: JLA (Vol 1)

What Happened:

The old Justice League villain The Key has captured members of the JLA and put them into personal virtual reality simulations. He is hoping these simulations will help him “unlock” something he is looking for. Sometimes when you’ve got a mayo jar which won’t open, you’ve got to let someone else take a crack I guess.

Superman’s simulation is that Krypton never exploded and he because the Green Lantern of it’s sector. He gets pretty much the same gig as in real life: beloved superhero getting lots of love from the ladies. Oh yeeeah! Then he finds a clue which points him in the direction of Earth.

Batman’s simulation is one where he has grown older and married Catwoman (Selena Kyle). He has retired from being Batman and handed the job over to the current Robin (Tim Drake). His own son, Bruce Jr. has become the new Robin. Now, if his son’s inexplicable red hair can be used a proof, it would seem part of Batman’s fantasy is that he is cuckolded by his wife and Commissioner Gordon. Batman just dropped one kink (fighting crime in a rubber suit) for another!

The simulation Wonder Woman (Diana of Themyscria) has been put in has her and her sometimes love interest Steve Trevor running around as Indiana Jones wannabes. Which is a great fantasy. I’ve got no complaints there. Wonder Woman nailed it.

Aquaman (Arthur Curry) does little to help his case as the DC Universe’s least interesting character by having his fantasy be that he’s Kevin Costner in Waterworld. C’mon man…

While the team is all hooked up to their machines, playing a souped up version of Second Life, the newest JLA recruit Green Arrow (Connor Hawke) arrives on the Watchtower for his scheduled test. He stumbles upon the Key doing his Key-theyng (please read this word as “key-thing”, thanks!) and tries to stop him. The battle leaves Green Arrow without his quiver. He reluctantly picks up the trick arrows of his predecessor and father Ollie Queen from the trophy room.

Back in Batman’s sick fantasy, The Joker is about to kill his son.

What I Learned From This Comic:

Try to show up for your scheduled examines a few minutes earlier than you need to.

The Creators:
Writer: Grant Morrison
Pencils: Oscar Jimenez
Inker: Chip Wallace
Colorist: Pat Garrahy
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Editor: Ruben Diaz

JLA #7

The cover to JLA (Vol 1) #7
Perspectives be damned!
From Series: JLA (Vol 1)

What Happened:

The evil angel Asmodel is attacking the city of San Francisco in order to lure out Zauriel. Zauriel is an angel who requested mortality and fell to Earth. He also knows about Asmodel’s secret plot to try to finish what Lucifer started and rebel against “The Creator”.

This is weird on many levels. First, why wouldn’t Zauriel let someone know about the secret plot? At least do it before requesting to become a mortal. It’s kind of a really big thing to space on. Keep a todo list man, try to get stuff done everyday!

Second, wouldn’t the creator know about the secret plan the second one of his angels starts attacking earth and almost killing everyone in a city? Does he need everything fed to him through email or something? And which case, why not send him that email? This is what happens when organizations get too big! Who is responsible for sending the creator of the universe the email which lets him know one of his angels is trying to destroy San Francisco?

Probably that new guy Dean.

In other news, the demon Neron is trying to crash the moon into the Earth. Superman is pretty preoccupied with trying to stop this from happening so he cannot help with the evil angels juuuust yet. Superman sets up a neat science fair project which uses his new electrical powers to magnetize the moon and push it away from the Earth.

Flash manages to free himself from being stuck between teleports by vibrating really good. IT’S HOW FLASH SOLVES ALL HIS PROBLEMS.

The Justice League, sans Superman, battle the evil angels. Well, everyone but Aquaman. He’s given the dumb job of saving people stuck in rubble. Wonder Woman and Zauriel manage to break into Asmodel’s ship and destroy his force field keeping anyone from outside the city interfering.

Superman, now with all the free time in the world shows up to battle Asmodel. Just in time too, since it was The Martian Manhunter keeping the evil Angel busy and he is looking pretty grim after a few rounds.

The Flash and Green Lantern decide to be the change they want to see in the world and build a machine which turns Flash’s vibrating into a noise. It’s a noise which is just the right frequency to stop Angels from existing in our reality. The Flash then VIBRATES REAL GOOD (See?!) and all the evil angels are sent back home.

The Justice League return to their moon base, The Watchtower, only to be ambushed by The Key. The Key was the man in the coma from previous issues and woke up after hearing The Justice League’s name. He’s now super powerful and ready to kick the Justice League-rs around!

Back on earth we find out why Zauriel wanted to be a human: to creep on a girl!

What I Learned From This Comic:

Superman beat up an angel.

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 #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

The Justice League vs. Christianity – JLA #6

The cover to JLA (Vol 1) #6
This is the face of alcoholism.

From Series: JLA (Vol 1)

What Happened:

Two nurses are being really 1990’s-sassy to each other while taking care of a coma patient. They see a shooting star and make wishes about Tom Cruise or trips to Jamaica or something. Unknown to them though, that wasn’t a shooting star! That was a gosh darn angel falling to earth!

Superman and Flash are on the JLA’s watchtower moon base complaining about being role models. They are interrupted by Green Lantern requesting assistance scoping out whatever just crashed to Earth. Flash runs to the teleporter but finds it booby-trapped by the demon Neron and gets stuck in the machine’s energies.

Back on Earth, Martian Manhunter is the first to approach the fallen angel, who he learns is named Zauriel when they are both attacked by more angels. Get used to the word “angel”! It’s going to happen a lot in this one! These new angels are sent by someone named Asmodel and want Zauriel captured: dead or alive.

They seem evil, so we’re going to call them “evil angels” from here on out.

Wonder Woman and Aquaman are dealing with something a lot cooler in Japan. Giant robots with Japanese pop culture names! So dumb! So cool! The whole story should be about this! Unfortunately they get called away to deal with the angel nonsense. Also, it sort of seems like Aquaman just drowned a dude?

Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman quickly deal with the evil angels attacking Zauriel. Wonder Woman is creeped on somehow by Zauriel, who we have already established is an angel. Aquaman mistakes Zauriel for the deceased Hawkman for a beat. Everything’s going great until the evil angels’ ship starts coming into our dimension. Zauriel warns the team that should it come all the way, the complete brain-warp that is an angel ship from another dimension will instantly kill everyone on the planet.

They need Superman’s help. Superman can’t help.

Neron and his demons are pulling the moon down towards Earth. So Superman has that subplot to deal with.

The JLA and Zauriel brace themselves for the upcoming fight with the evil angels.

What I Learned From This Comic:

Angels don’t grant wishes.

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

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