JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA
Parallel Universes and Out-of-Continuity Tales
This section covers JLA-related series which are (intentionally or not) "out of continuity." Listed alphabetically by title. Since the Infinite Crisis, some Elseworlds tales have been given their own Earth in the new multiverse. If so, this is noted in the header.
In some cases, I provide editorial comment. C'mon — these books were expensive and they released so many of them during the JLA's heyday. It was unreasonable to expect most fans to buy them all. I recommend some of these; buy them on ebay! You can get most of these prestige books for a fraction of their cover price.
The following stand-alone series and one-shots were not Elseworlds: A League of One, Black Baptism, Foreign Bodies, Gatekeeper, Gods & Monsters, Heaven's Ladder, JLA vs. Predator, JLA: Earth 2, Paradise Lost, Primevil, Scary Monsters, Seven Caskets, Superpower, Welcome to the Working Week.
» SEE ALSO: Fanfare: JLA Parodies
—Additional credit to Chris Bydder
9-11 Volume 2
Title: "If Only ..."
A story of how the JLA saved everyone in the World Trade Center, and how they proceeded to rebuild it first three, then ten, then twenty times taller. At the end, however, we find that this story is drawn by a kid named Alex Jackson on the day of the event. He wants to show it to his father, but, sadly, it's implied that his father died in the attack. Note: The G. L. shown in this story is Hal Jordan.
Adventures in the DC Universe
Issue #1 (April 1997)
STORY: The mysterious Cipher assembles a super-villain group including Grodd, Blockbuster, Major Disaster, Parasite, Cheetah, Dr. Light and Scarecrow. They kidnap Keystone City millionaire Winston McKinney. Batman uses the Watchtower to trace Cipher to a headquarters in the American Southwest; though they capture his minions, Cipher himself eludes capture.
This story could be placed in continuity. The only hiccup is the Cheetah. She is clearly meant to be Barbara Minerva, who has reformed and not been the Cheetah for quite a while (citations??).
Issue #12 (March 1998)
STORY: Cipher returns and successfully launches missiles from a submarine towards major world cities. Though the missiles are stopped, Cipher threatens to detonate hidden nuclear bombs unless the JLA surrenders. This they do, but soon escape and capture the Cipher. He is revealed as Winston's McKinney's second-in-command, Gadsden Graves.
Issue #18 (September 1998)
STORY: Professor Ivo sic cs Amazo 2000 on the JLA. The android unwittingly leads the heroes back to Ivo's lair, where he has built 1999 more androids. Amazo, who is developing a sense of individuality, revolts against Ivo and destroys the mountain lair.
The Amalgam line of books was a joint venture between DC and Marvel Comics. In this universe, characters from each companies were combined into amalgamations. The JLX were largely amalgamations of the JLA and the X-Men; the Judgment League Avengers combined the JLA and the Avengers.
These books have been collected and are a really fun read.
» SEE ALSO: Fanfare: Amalgam
JLX, one-shot (April 1996)
STORY: The mutant members of the Judgment League Avengers have split off to form the JLX under the mysterious Mr. X. The split was spurred after the JLA moved against one of their own, Mariner, the first mutant. Mariner had been goaded into commiting acts which the JLA deemed eco-terrorism, and this led to a battle between the two factions.
|JUDGMENT LEAGUE AVENGERS|
The JLX is aided in secret by a double agent within the JLA (Angelhawk, another mutant). They manage to escape and continue their search for a lost ancestral home for mutantkind. The secrets lie in Mariner's Atlantis, but they find the city abandoned and overrun by Will Magnus (brother of Magneto) and his Sentinels. Magnus seeks to destroy all mutants. He harbors ill will because his brother was a mutant, but not Will. When his favored Sentinel, Jocasta, is destroyed, he retreats. In the battle, Mr. X is forced to reveal his true form to the JLX — he is the last Martian Skrull. They vow to continue their search for a land to call home.
The "letter columns" in the Amalgam books revealed much of the back story for these one-shots.
JLX Unleashed! one-shot (June 1997)
STORY: The Hellfire League of Injustice (Savage Shaw, Lord Maxwell, Mistress Maxima, Dark Firebird) performs a ritual that brings the demon Fin Fang Flame to Earth. The dragon is angered and kills them all with his fiery breath. After iit ravages New York, Amazon pleads with Super Soldeir to release the JLX to help them. He refuses, but Amazon takes matters into her own hands. She visits Mr. X, who is awaiting extradition to Kree custody. They have been through a war begun by Will Magnus that targeted all metamutants. She frees them and they're on their way.
Apollo manages to absorb energy from Flame and his brother Chaos blows the creature up from inside.
JLX: Amazon, Apollo, Chaos, Firebird, Iceberg, Mr. X, Nightcreeper, Runaway, Wraith
Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again (Earth-31)
3-Issue Limited Series, Prestige format (2001)
By Frank Miller
This tale is a sequel to the classic The Dark Knight (1986). I thought it was a mess. I know Frank Miller does some of this on purpose, but can we stop indulging him in that? Even if you don't care about the sexism on display, it's all just a little embarrassing. These are the same reasons I dropped All-Star Batman and Robin.
STORY: Batman —
whom the world believes dead — assembles a covert League to bring down the
American establishment. The heroes of the Justice League have been captured
and hidden away for years. Batman's sidekick, Caroline Keene Kelley, the former
Robin now aides him as Catgirl.
She first recruits the Atom, and they free the Flash (Barry
Allen). Other combatants include the Question, and Green Arrow.
This draws the ire of Superman, who has been trying to work within the law to effect change. He is still allied with Wonder Woman, who bore his daughter, Lara, years ago. She and Captain Marvel meet Superman aboard the League's abandoned satellite. They learn why Superman has been rendered so impotent: Lex Luthor is allied with Brainiac, who holds Kandor hostage. Within the city is Superman's only kin, Supergirl. Lex blackmails Clark into stopping Batman's secret alliance. (#1)
After Superman is beat back by Batman's kryptonite gloves, Diana introduces Clark to their daughter, Lara, who lives in the Fortress of Solitude. Batman recruits more and more help: from the Elongated Man, and the psychotic Plastic Man; the Question finds the Martian Manhunter; Catgirl summons the Thanagarian hawk-children. Meanwhile, a man who appears to be the Joker parades around in a variety of outfits (many, Legionnaires). He kills the Guardian and the Creeper. And in space, the retired Hal Jordan leaves his alien family to return to Earth. (#2)
Kara attempts to save Kandor by sacrificing herself to Luthor, but Batman's allies intervene and take him down. In space, Hal and Lara disables Brainiac's satellites with the help of the freed Kandorians. The "Joker" is revealed to be a genetically modified and raging Dick Grayson, whom Superman helps dispose of. (#3)
Elseworlds Annuals (1994)
In 1994, all of DC's annuals were bannered with the Elseworlds logo and explored other, "imaginary" worlds. The following Annuals all depicted different versions of the Justice League.
Adventures of Superman Annual #6 + Superboy Annual #1
STORY: Earth has been conquered by Aliens and many Earth Heroes have been killed or crippled. If there is any Super Human resistance the invaders vow to execute millions of people. Lana Lang and Jimmy Olsen recruit a resistance team, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern II, Kid Flash, Superboy and Metallex (Lex Luthor' brain in Metallo's armour) band together to fight and defeat the conquerors. A turning point is where Superman sacrifices his life and is replaced by Superboy who becomes the new Superman.
ROLL CALL: The Super Seven (not actually called Justice League at all): Superman (dies), Superman II (Superboy), Green Lantern, Batman (dies), Kid Flash (dies), Wonder Woman, Metallex.
Justice League America Annual #8 (1994)
STORY: Felix Faust defeats the original Justice League, killing them with a powerful spell, and becomes ruler of Earth. 100 years later a mysterious Dr. Jonas leads a resistance group (which includes Snapper Carr, Jimmy Olsen, Ted Kord and Ralph Dibny). A new Justice League is formed, but unknown to Jonas, the new Superman is in fact a spy for Faust, the new league eventually defeats Faust as Dr Jonas is revealed to be J'onn J'onzz. The original spell is repeated freeing the old league's ghosts who then claim Faust and the rogue Superman.
ROLL CALL (ORIGINAL JLA): Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern II, Flash II, J'onn J'onzz.
ROLL CALL (NEW JLA): Superman (Perry Ross), Flash (David West), Batman (Morrison Dent), Wonder Woman (Deborah Trevor), Hawkman (Kevin Hall), Red Tornado (Mike Morrow).
» SEE ALSO: Elseworlds Microheroes by Jerome
Justice League International (v.2) Annual #5 (1994)
STORY: In this world, Superman has been in hiding in Antarctica and did not debut. Thus the metahumans of the world are not trusted and are hunted. They eventually form two factions, those that wish to hide and those that fight and take what they believe is theirs at any cost. Bruce Wayne commissions a squad to track them down, lead by, Ted Kord and Michael Carter (Blue Beetle and Booster Gold). Ralph Dibny and his wife Lois Lane-Dibny, travel to Antarctica to find this legendary Superman. Superman stops the rogue metahumans and the public is forced to accept meta-humans, a Justice League is born.
ROLL CALL: Superman, Doctor Polaris, Flash, Fire, Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Tasmanian Devil, Power Girl, The Shark, Doctor Light.
ROGUE METAHUMANS: Poison
Ivy, Metamorpho, Changeling.
JLA: Act of God
3-Issue Limited Series, Prestige format (2000)
By Doug Moench and Dave Ross
One can understand the idea of telling a story where Superman and Wonder Woman lose their powers forever. How would they cope? This is the premise of JLA: Act of God, where all metahumans lose their powers. Still, someone, somewhere during the creative process should have realized it wasn't working out.
I'll give kudos to the artist on this series, but I can't forgive a story where Superman gives up—totally. Also, Lois leaves him because he's powerless, and Diana resorts to praying to the Christian god. It would have been better if Clark and Diana had died at the outset so the reader could focus on the rest of the story, which had interesting elements.
STORY: An unexplained "black light effect" sweeps over Earth and removes the powers of all metahumans and aliens. Earth is left protected by those whose powers are technologically derived, or physically trained. After the effect, the Martian Manhunter is left in his native form, and Luthor scrambles a group of techno-villains to take advantage of the situation. (#1)
Superman dissolves into self pity, and Lois leaves him because she is no longer
attracted to the now-powerless Clark Kent. Wonder Woman is cut off from her
patrons, and experiences a crisis of faith. Kyle Rayner goes mad after he's
humiliated by Sonar in public.
Still, other heroes realize that they must adapt to this change. The former Martian Manhunter, Flash (Wally West), Supergirl (Linda Danvers), and Aquaman seek help in training from the Batman. (#2)
J'onn and the others dub themselves the Phoenix Group and take new identities and costumes: Green Man (J'onn), Justice (Supergirl), Red Devil (Wally), the Hand (Aquaman). They succeed in taking down Luthor. Kyle Rayner dies taking down Sonar on his own, and Steel and the Atom perish as well. In the end, Superman and Wonder Woman are shown to have borne a child with super powers. (#3)
ROLL CALL: Argent, Arsenal, Atom II (dies), Atom Smasher, Batman, Black Canary II, Blue Beetle II, Booster Gold, Captain Marvel, Changeling, Cyborg, Damage, Flash, Green Arrow II, Green Lantern V (dies), Guardian, Hawkman, Hourman III, Huntress, Jade, Joto, Metamorpho, Mister Terrific II, Nightwing, Oracle, Outburst, Plastic Man, Power Girl, Red Tornado, Sentinel, Star Spangled Kid, Starfire, Starman VI, Steel II (dies), Superboy II, Superman, Tempest, Troia, Warrior, Wildcat, Wonder Woman.
VILLAINS: Sonar II, Star Sapphire, Killer Frost, Metallo, Heatwave, Doctor Polaris, Doctor Light, Cyborg, Captain Boomerang, Captain Cold, Barrage, Toyman, Lex Luthor, Deadshot, Cheshire, Lady Vic, Prometheus, Amazo.
JLA: Age of Wonder
2-Issue Limited Series, Prestige format (2003)
By Adisakdi Tantimedh and P. Craig Russell
STORY: The Centennial Exposition of 1876 was the birthplace of many wonders, including Thomas Edison's new telephone, and Clark Kent — the amazing Superman! Kent was immediately approached by the enterprising Lex Luthor to work for his employer, Edison. Kent joined the organization, which also included the young inventor Nikola Tesla. Edison's group included many talented thinkers, including Barry Allen and Theodore Knight. One day, when they were testing Knights new gravity staff, a lightning discharge ignited super speed powers in Allen, making him the Human Flash. With Luthor, they formed the League of Science, whose mission was to improve the lives of humanity, and never to use their inventions for war.
In 1896, Capt. Hal Jordan became their next member. Jordan was given a Green Lantern's ring by a dying alien after Superman first refused it. As years went by, Kent also met the young Bruce Wayne, and married reporter Lois Lane. Luthor also grew more ambitious, hoping to eventually take over the White House. To this end, he began developing new technologies for war — which went against the League's mission. Young Wayne's parents were killed when an anarchist group called the Spartans blew up a nearby building. When the League tracked the Spartans down, they met Green Arrow, protector of the working class.
When Luthor's ambition grew beyond the League, he convinced Jordan to do away with Superman. In space, near their moon base, Hal blasted Superman into the depths of space, leaving him for dead.
The nation mourned Superman and the League persevered. In 1911 events took a dramatic turn. Green Arrow was killed in an explosion that brought suspect materials — and the Amazon Princess Diana — to light. By this time, the League had been joined by the shrinking Raymond Palmer and the stretching man, O'Brien (Plastic Man). Young Wayne had taken up the guise of Bat-man. Behind the scenes, Luthor had manipulated world powers into a great war. The Germans benefited from some of his technologies and launched a nuclear bomb that destroyed most of London. After this horror, the League gave up its non-war stance, and quickly put the Germans down. Not to be defeated, Luthor responded by unveiling Nikola Tesla's death ray and launching nukes of his own. As Luthor killed Jordan for betrayal, Jordan sent his ring to find Superman, who was stranded on a planet in deep space.
Superman's return rallied the League and anti-German forces to victory. Princess Diana died in taking down Luthor's death ray. Following the war, in 1913, Superman helped create the Justice League of Nations, with representatives from around the globe. Unto them, he entrusted Hal Jordan's power battery and charged them to use it to intervene in any international warlike aggression.
ROLL CALL: Superman (Clark Kent), Starman (Theodore Knight), Human Flash (Barry Allen), Lex Luthor, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Raymond Palmer, O'Brien, Green Arrow, Batman, Princes Diana.
» SEE ALSO: Age of Wonder Microheroes by Jerome
JLA: Created Equal
2-Issue Limited Series, Prestige format (2000)
STORY: A mysterious illness kills (referred to as the Fall) all men on Earth except Superman and Lex Luthor (who is protected by his battle armour). From Superman new children are born, first to Lois Lane and the others. As Superman is a carrier the Fall he exiles himself. Fifteen years later Luthor brainwashes the male super powered children turning them against Womankind, Superman returns to resolve the conflict and battles Luthor who exposes him to Kryptonite (which reverses the effects of the Fall). Luthor has a heart attack and is left paralyzed. He had secretly sired thousands of children who would now be brought up without his influence. A nice note is that Barbara Gordon becomes the new Green Lantern, gaining full use of her legs.
ROLL CALL (PRE-FALL): Green Lantern V, Hawkman II, Hawk (Hawkwoman), Martian Manhunter, Superman, Wonder Woman, Doctor Fate
AFTER-FALL: Wonder Woman, Zatanna, Black Canary II, Flash (Jesse Quick), Supergirl, Doctor Light, Power Woman, Green Lantern (Barbara Gordon), Atom (Jill Athron).
OTHER HEROES: Big Barda, Catwoman, Terra II, Dove II, Redwing, Wonder Girl, Deadman, Spectre, Poison Ivy, Swamp Thing, Huntress, Jade, Starfire Mera, Dolphin Fire, Troia.
» SEE ALSO: Created Equal Microheroes by Jerome
4-Issue Limited Series, Prestige format (2002)
by John Arcudi and Tom Mandrake
I really enjoyed this series. Strong creative team; I'm always a fan of Tom Mandrake and loved Arcudi's Doom Patrol. Destiny echoes the storytelling style of The Watchmen and the "no Superman" concept of Justice League: The Nail. It's brilliant! For geeks, it's an indulgent use of Golden Age and obscure characters.
This tale presumes that there are no Superman and Batman. Instead, their fathers (Jor-El and Thomas Wayne) ultimately became colleagues, then adversaries. Instead of Bruce Wayne surviving the robbery, it was Thomas Wayne who witnessed the death of his son and wife. And instead of Kal-El being launched from Krypton, it was Jor-El who was off-planet during the explosion.
STORY: Jor-El traveled to Earth, became a scientist and went to work for Lex Luthor. El's powers manifested during a rocket fuel explosion in which he saved Luthor's life. He then gave Luthor his Kryptonian spaceship and the chance to explore the stars. El then disguised himself as Luthor and sold Lexcorp to Thomas Wayne for a song. With Wayne's support he established the Lex/Pax Institute of Technology in Switzerland. The Institute's aim was to use technology for the creation of a peaceful society. Luthor traveled space until he was killed by the conqueror, Mongul. Mongul then traveled to Earth and took the name Khouriga Edjem.
Wayne became involved in the funding of corrupt politics in Gotham. To make amends, he invited former Gotham detective, William Cole to lead a new Justice League of Gotham. This initial line-up included Cole as Midnight, alongside Mr. Scarlet, Nightshade, Manhunter and the Clock. Gotham was transformed and become a model of urban safety. Manhunter and Nightshade eventually married (which was bittersweet for Midnight, who also loved her).
Their primary adversary was Mongul, who established himself as leader of the independent state of Kamburu. As Edjem, he led Kamburu through a complete social and environmental metamorphosis and preached against the destructive, capitalistic ways of the U.S. The Western media painted Edjem as a terrorist and indeed, Edjem's operatives were responsible for much destruction. His operative, the Human Bomb attempted to assassinate the President by destroying a federal building in Metropolis. The President survived but not his Cabinet. Wayne realized that his JLG could have prevented this destruction and decided to expand the team's focus, making them the Justice League of America. Their first recruit was the metahuman soldier (and loose cannon), Triumph. At some point, on a mission to Australia, Manhunter died and the alien J'onn J'onzz took up residence in his brain.
The Clock, Green Lantern and J'onn/Manhunter were sent into investigate a disaster in Nevada and never returned. J'onn's mind was dispersed but sentient; G. L. was kidnapped my Mongul to serve as the power source for Kamburu. This began the debate over the use of meta- versus normal humans in high-risk missions. Wonder Woman suggested that the mission was compromised because G. L. had to look after two "normals." Needless to say, Midnight took exception to this and harbored his own reservations about the dangers of metahuman power in society. Nightshade eventually developed psychic powers and took the name Destiny. These powers severely affected her mental health, but she continued to work with the JLA, telling them her predictions. She also warned of her recurring dream of an imminent, large-scale catastrophe.
Destiny warned the JLA about a plot by Edjem's soldiers to destroy a refinery in Oregon. The JLA ambushed them, managing to stop them short at a nearby lodge; Aqualord was captured. Their leader, Kondor, returned to Kamburu where he was severely punished by Edjem for engaging the JLA in lieu of their mission. Destiny again alerted the JLA to another attack on an armory which housed a stockpile of nerve gas. Seeing that the gas had been removed, Kondor aborted the mission, but was captured along with the Trolls and Thane to capture. During the debriefing, Edjem discovered that Luthor (Jor-El) had been providing the JLA with the technology to create advanced weaponry.
Meanwhile, strange signs drew Destiny to the Nevada desert, where she discovers an alien named J'onn. Her connection to him was the source of her own psychic powers. Reporter Libby Lawrence was also on the scene.
The Human Bomb returned and destroyed the Lex/Pax Institute. In anger, Jor-El revealed his powers and delivered the Bomb into custody. In a blind rage, he then attacked Wayne's high rise. The Human Bomb's capture and connection to Edjem led to a JLA mission to Kamburu. Simultaneously, Jor-El and Triumph entered Kamburu against orders. Triumph engaged and destroyed the Black Adam robot, and Jor-El was invited as a guest into Edjem's home. In retaliation against Adam's destruction, Edjem killed Triumph. And Jor-El, while strolling through the compound, discovered his shipthe one he'd given to Luthor! Jor-El learned the truth just as the JLA stormed the compound. Everyone except Wonder Woman perished in the battle. Jor-El abducted Mongul to space, where he ejected the villain into vacuum.
ROLL CALL, JLA: Destiny (Nightshade, Sandra Knight Kirk), the Unknown (Steve, resembles the Spectre), Wonder Woman (Diana). Retired: Mr. Scarlet. Deceased: Captain Thunder, the Clock, Flash (Wally West), Green Lantern (Guy), J'onn J'onzz, Manhunter (Paul Kirk), the Marksman, Midnight (William Cole), Triumph, Widow (Lenda).
ROLL CALL, VILLAINS: Human Bomb (Addal Dirri), Aqualord, Kondor, Wildfire, the Trolls, Thane, the Sword. Deceased: Sivana, Black Adam.
OTHERS: Jor-El (Lex Luthor II), Libby Lawrence, J'onn J'onzz.
Many of the characters featured in this series are based on obscure Golden Age characters, most of them from Quality and Fawcett Comics. For more information on these heroes, visit JSA: All-Stars and JSA: Obscure All-Stars. Characters of the same name are the Clock, Destiny, the Marksman, Midnight, Mr. Scarlet, Manhunter, the Unknown and Wildfire. Differently named characters include: Widow may be inspired by the Spider Widow; Kondor by Black Condor; Triumph by Captain Triumph.
Captain Thunder was one of the names considered for Captain Marvel before his creation. Also, in 1983 Roy Thomas and Don Newton created a Captain Thunder for an aborted ongoing Shazam! series. A drawing of the character appeared in the Comic Buyer's Guide. There, Thomas said he was the Captain Marvel of Earth-1 (see also, Alter Ego #9). It was also the name of a Captain Marvel look-alike who fought Superman in the '70s before DC acquired the rights to the Fawcett heroes.
JLA: The Island of Dr. Moreau
One-shot, prestige format (2000)
By Roy Thomas, Steve Pugh and Patricia Mulvihill
It's a shame that this one-shot had such a horrible cover, because it's very well written and illustrated. I found it very compelling, and it made me want to read the original book. The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896) was written by H. G. Wells. You can read the entire book online; it is now in the public domain.
STORY: In 1888, after the shipwreck of his Lady Vain, Lucas "Snapper" Carr is fished from the South Pacific by Prof. Edward Ivo. Ivo is destined for the island of Dr. Moreau, an English scientist notorious for his horrific experiments on animals. Ivo was bringing new animals to Moreau for experimentation aboard the ship of Captain Davis. Once they reached the island, Carr met Moreau’s creations: five animals made into men: Dianna, an albino ape; Bernardus, a St. Bernard fused with electric eels; Jubatus, a former cheetah; Komodo, a transformed lizard; and Delphinius, the dolphin.
As the ship departed, Captain Davis threw Carr overboard. Moreau retrieved him from the drink and housed him nearby, then wasted no time in beginning new experiments with his new acquisitions. Carr was awakened by the animals' tortuous cries, and rushed to find them already transformed into new beasts. From these he created Dirus Falconus, a hawk/wolf, and Black Arrow, a bear/porcupine. Ivo liked to call these creatures "Just a Lot of Animals," but Moreau called them Justifiers of Law to the Anointed.
These beast-men were given laws to abide, so that they might live among men despite their tendencies to revert to their animal natures. They were forbidden from eating meat and from walking on fours, among other things. But Moreau's work tended to reverse itself; the animal's true natures crept back on them. He decided to return with them to civilization, reasoning that more and frequent human interaction would stem their instincts.
When they arrived in London they found the city gripped in the fear of Jack the Ripper. Moreau claimed that the Justifiers would catch the killer — and they did. But they found the killer to be one of their own, an orangutan who was Moreau's very first success. This beast faked its own death and made its way back to England. Its mission was to make beasts of men, just as Moreau had done the reverse. Killing the orangutan had sparked a revolt among half the Justifiers. When they moved to kill Moreau, the other half protected their master. In the end, all of them perished. Carr found their remains and burnt the house and bodies.
ROLL CALL: Bernardus (Green Lantern/Black Lightning), Dianna (Wonder Woman), Jubatus (Flash), Komodo (Martian Manhunter), Delphinius (Aquaman), Dirus Falconus (Hawkman), Black Arrow (Green Arrow).
JLA: The Nail
3-issue limited series, prestige format (Aug.-Oct. 1998)
By Alan Davis and Mark Farmer
The key to this series is that the Kents ran over a nail and failed to find the infant Superman, who was instead raised by the Amish and thus never became Superman. The Justice League forms but has none of the public support that Superman engendered.
STORY: Lex Luthor becomes mayor of Metropolis and bans metahumans
from the city. He then unleashes a campaign to capture metahumans throughout
the world. At the center of his campaign is a plan to discredit the JLA who
consist of Hawkwoman, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern II, Wonder
Woman, Batman, Flash II, Atom II. He uses an insane Green Arrow (who had been
crippled and nearly killed by Amazo (at the same time Hawkman was killed)).
Also Black Canary has left the league to join the Outsiders (Geo Force, Katana,
Black Lightning, Shade the Changing Man). To attempt to gain credibility they
agree to be interviewed by Lois Lane. Meanwhile,
Arkham Asylum is attacked by the Joker who is armed with Kryptonian weapons,
Batgirl and Robin are killed by the Joker who is then killed by Batman, sending
Batman into a deep depression.
Also the Doom Patrol (The Chief, Negative Man, Mento, Robotman, Elasti-Girl, Beast Boy) are attacked and captured by Luthor's armed soldiers.
Green Lantern discovers a force shield around the Earth (and a dead Adam Strange trapped in space). On Apokolips Darkseid declares war on New Genesis thinking they erected the force shield in order to stop Boom Tubes from reaching Earth (and killing Apokolips soldiers in the process). (#1)
Conflicts escalate as Amazo attacks Ra's Al Ghul, only to be destroyed by
the Flash, also a brainwashed Metamorpho attacks WGBS killing Perry White,
at this stage it is revealed that Lex Luthor is being controlled. Meanwhile
the Green Lantern Corps are assembled to stop the New Genesis/Apokolips War.
Aquaman is then attacked by Marine Marauder and Ocean Master, who along with the Shark, Vulko and Mera are kidnapped by Luthor's troops.
An increasingly withdrawn Batman is snapped out of it by Catwoman who at Alfred's behest has disguised herself as Robin.
Green Lantern Tracks the source of the force shield to Europe where he battles Count Vertigo and Major Disaster, who are trying to set him up and make him appear as a public menace.
At this point hundreds of Meta Humans have been captured and imprisoned, while the Outsiders are attacked at a Fortress of Solitude by Bizarro clones. Meanwhile Lois Lane has found a hidden refuge for Metahumans run by Martha and Jonathan Kent
The book ends with the death of Metamorpho at the hands of Luthor's goons, Martian Manhunter is upset and investigates Luthor's tower where he is attacked by what appears to be Starro. (#2)
Starro is revealed to be actually a mutated Krypto, the real menace behind the whole Story is revealed to be Jimmy Olsen who was Luthor' only successful attempt at grafting Kryptonian DNA (samples taken from Kal El's rocket) onto a human host. Batman returns to the fight with a new Batwoman (Selina Kyle in a Kathy Kane style costume), the JLA reunite to fight Olsen and his army of Bizarros and free the imprisoned metahumans. Jimmy Olsen proves too powerful for the JLA and is increasingly insane, The Amish Superman fights Jimmy after he kills his Amish parents, the Kryptonian graft takes its toll on Olsen who disintegrates. The story ends with Martha and Jonathan Kent who take the newly orphaned Kal El under their wing, and a Superman is born. (#3)
ROLL CALL: Aquaman, Atom II, Batman, Black Canary II (resigned)Flash II, Green Arrow (retired), Green Lantern II, Hawkman II (dies), Hawkwoman, Martian Manhunter, Wonder Woman.
OTHERS: Animal Man, Batgirl, Batwoman (Catwoman), Big Barda, Big Barda, Black Orchid, Bwana Beast, Congorilla, Creeper, Deadman, Demon, Doctor Fate, Dolphin, the Doom Patrol (Niles Caulder, Robotman, Mento, Negative Man, Elasti-Girl, Beast Boy), Dove, Elongated Man, Firestorm, the Green Lantern Corps (Chummuk, Arisia, Katma Tui, Tomar Re), Hawk, Man-Bat, Mera, the Metal Men, Metamorpho, Metron, Mister Miracle, Mister Miracle, the Outsiders (Black Canary II, Black Lightning, Shade the Changing Man, Katana, Geo Force), Phantom Stranger, Ragman, Robin, Spectre, Superman, Ultra the Multi Alien, Vulko.
VILLAINS: Lex Luthor, Jimmy Olsen, Joker, Poison Ivy, Two Face, Scarecrow, Mad Hatter, Penguin, Riddler, Mister Freeze, Killer Croc, Star Sapphire, Darkseid, Desaad, Doctor Bedlam, Mantis, Verman Vundabar, Granny Goodness, Glorious Godfrey, Kanto, Kalibak, Amazing Grace, Amazo, Ra's al Ghul, Talia, Ocean Master, Marine Marauder, Shark, Major Disaster, Count Vertigo, Bizarros, Eclipso, Silver Banshee .
The Nail and Another Nail are named differently in series format and in trade paperback. Both switch between "JLA" and "Justice League of America" in their titling. For simlicity's sake, I put them under "JLA" like the majority of things on this page.
» SEE ALSO:
Justice League of America: Another Nail
3-Issue Limited Series, Prestige format (2004)
By Alan Davis and Mark Farmer
This fast-paced story spans throws entire DC Universe and nearly all its Silver Age-to-1980s characters into crisis mode...
the Justice League were trapped on Earth, a new war erupted between New Genesis
and Apokolips and drew attention from the entire Green Lantern Corps. Mr.
Miracle is killed by torture on Apokolips, but transfers his sentience to a
Mother Box and helps Barda escape from Darkseid. As a Green Lantern perishes
on Apokolips, its ring seeks a new master and chooses Barda. With it, she is
able to manifest a plasma construct for Scott Free's sentience. A Guardian
warns Highfather that Darkseid has developed a new weapon, the Omega Doom.
turn this weapon on Darseid himself and he is dispersed into infinity.
In the aftermath, the universe begins experiencing chaos and temporal distortions — caused by the threat against which Darksied planned to use the Omega Doom. The Guardians find their power battery is losing power.
On Earth, Batman declines further participation in the League. Green Arrow has become a raving anti-hero crusader. In Egypt, Dr. Fate helps the Outsiders try to resurrect Metamorpho. Instead, he calls forthe the Demons Three from Hell. In battle against Despero and Evil Star, Superman collapses. (#1)
Halo, Astral Mage and Firestorm join the Justice League
while Superman takes a hiatus to investigate his power loss. Lois
Lane meets him at the Kents' farm where they come up with a civilian disguise
for him. Star Sapphire's
band of women (Power Girl and Black Orchid) attack the Metal Men and steal
Across the globe, Leaguers are attacked by villains and experience time distortions. Selina joins Batman as Batwoman against an unseen foe (as do Green Lantern and the Doom Patrol). Flash and the Atom find themselves on the Crime Syndicate's Earth, at Mount Rushmore. Zatanna and Hawkgirl encounter a demon. Aquaman and Wonder Woman escape from Slig and find themselves on Dinosaur Island. Deadman finds Etrigan and the Spectre battling Hell's hordes. (#2)
Wonder Woman and Aquaman are visited by Legionnaires Ultra (Boy) and
Princess Projectra (his second wife) and Ultra's two children from his
first marriage. They take the heroes back to the future. On New Genesis, Desaad
warns of "the One," which threatens the universe.
The Joker emerges from Hell with powers. When Dr. Fate and the Outsiders arrive to banish him, Batman is sucked back to Hell, too. Flash and the Atom escape the CSA and travel across Earths (those of Captain Marvel, the Inferior Five, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents knockoffs and Charlton).
Barda and Scott arrive with an explanation: the Limbo Cell. When Superman volunteers to take a destructive device to the Cell, he begins to die. He's saved by Amazo, who is now host to Oliver Queen. This Amazo body uses Darkseid's own technology, which was designed to house a mind and defy the cell. He borrows powers from the surrounding heroes and enters the Cell, sacrificing himself to launch a "doomsday device." Someone in Hell helps Batman back to Earth. He rejoins the JLA. (#3)
In a double-page spread that depicts hundreds of characters, one can see Alan Davis' interpretation of the Legion of Super-Heroes, which eventually get their exposure in his (wonderful) Superboy's Legion (2001).
JLA: Riddle of the Beast
Hardcover graphic novel (2001)
By Alan Grant and various artsists
STORY: When young Robin Drake is summoned by the Riddler, the dreaded Beast returns
to ravage his village, Haven. His mother and sweetheart, Dinah, are
killed. Heeding the Riddler's words, he sets out on a quest to unite
the forces of good in the world.
Their foe: the Beast — a demon from hell — brought forth by Jason Blood of Gotham Crags fifteen years before. The Beast allied with Luthor Rex and Starro the Conqueror to raze the land. This demon was finally brought down by the Batman, who also lost his parter to the Beast. Batman struck a crucial blow by killing Jason Blood, to whom the beast was tied. This appeared to have ended the Beast's reign of terror.
Robin's first ally is Zatanna, who joins him after they escape the ogre, Doomsday. In a remote valley, they meet the hawkmen Katar Hol and Shayera Tal, who join Robin as well. While the hawks fly off to Amazonia, Robin and Zatanna meet the Green Arrow en route to the City of the Center. They ride across the Cristal Lake courtesy of the boatman, Aquan.
In the City, they gain the aid of a trio of adjudicators, the Fast Man, the Wee Man and the Green Man. It is the Jester who tells Robin how the Beast has returned to the World. After descending into the Abyss, the Beast and Jason Blood became one. Their journeys brought them upon an alien named Jonzz, whose powers the Beast used to resurrect an undead army.
Their next hope lay in Kryptonia, where the young king Kal'El is a puppet ruler, sickly and in the service of Luthor Rex. Robin recognizes the king's weakness at once: a green gem around his neck. He removes the gem and restores Kal'El to health and great strength. Kal'El overthrows Luthor and reconciles with Diana of Amazonia. Together, with help of the Batman (who died in the battle), the Beast is once more driven out. Afterwards, Robin and Zatanna are engaged to marry, and take with them the pregnant Shayera to live in Gotham.
Illustrators include Michael Wm. Kaluta, Glenn Fabry
JLA: The Secret Society of Super Heroes
2-Issue Limited Series, prestige format (2000)
STORY: Influenced by his father (a member of the Freemasons), Superman forms a secret society called the Kryptic Order. They operate in secret, exile criminals to a version of the Phantom Zone, where J'onn J'onzz helps in their rehabilitation. When half the group wishes to go public, a new member is recruited (Kid Flash, Bart Allen, Barry Allen's son). The group is tracked down and exposed by FBI agent Bruce Wayne (whose father Thomas was in the Society as Batman) and Lois Lane.
Green Lantern eventually led the two factions to war with each other. During their battle, their invisibility shielding was taken down and their presence was revealed to the public. In this battle, Superman expended the last of his energies and died, along with the Atom and the Flash (Wally). From the rubble a new League was formed beginning with Bruce Wayne, as Batman II and Flash II (Bart). The other former members went into hiding.
ROLL CALL: Atom (Ray Palmer), Batman (Thomas Wayne, deceased), Batman II (Bruce Wayne), Black Canary (Dinah Lance, deceased), Flash (Wally West), Green Arrow (Oliver Queen, deceased), Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner), Hawkgirl (Thanagarian), Kid Flash/Flash II (Bart Allen), Martian Manhunter, Metamorpho, Plastic Man, Superman, Wonder Woman
Strangely, in a market where newer comics are worth nothing, these issues sell for upwards of $30, probably because of the Mike McKone art and the fact that they haven't been recollected in trade paperback.
» SEE ALSO: Secret Society Microheroes by Jerome
JLA: Shogun of Steel
One-shot, Prestige Format (2002)
STORY: Jor-El of Krypton builds the android, Brainiac. Brainiac then destroys Krypton, comes to Earth, and conquers feudal Japan (it's implied that he took over/destroyed other worlds along the way). Before the destruction of Krypton, Jor-El rockets his son, Kal-El, to Earth as well where he is found by a fisherman and named Hoshi ("child of the stars"). Hoshi is reluctant to join the rebels against Lord Zunou (Brainiac), but eventually does so at the urging of Hana (Batgirl); Hoshi and Hana become lovers. One of Zunou's aids betrays him by giving the rebels a map of his stronghold. In the final battle, against Zunou and his samurai robots, Zunou produces a a kryptonite sword. As Komori (Batgirl), Hana takes a blow meant for Hoshi and Hoshi throws Brainiac into the sun. Hoshi declares that Japan will be reunited "bearing the standard of a new 'shogun of steel.' " The kryptonite sword is placed in a box in the lap of a statue of Buddha.
ROLE CALL: Hoshi/Tekkohito (Superman), Hana/Komori (female Batman analogue, deceased), Gorobei/Dokuya (Green Arrow), Yohei/Inazuma (Flash, deceased), Manzo/Take (Hawkman, deceased), Kikuchiyo (Aquaman, deceased), Rikichi. Dokuya says that they "once numbered in the hundreds".
It is implied that Kryptonians appeared East-Asian. Brainiac is a green robot shaped similar to his mid-1980s form. He wears a purple cape and a helmet inspired by feudal Japanese times. Take has the power to communicate with birds, but it's unclear if Inazuma and Kikuchiyo actually have powers or not.
Just'a Lotta Animals — Earth-26
This funny animal version of the JLA was said to have lived on "Earth C-Minus" before the first Crisis. Their world now appears to be a dimension of Earth-26.
» SEE ALSO: Just'a Lotta Animals Profile
12-issue limited series (2005)
By Alex Ross
I really wish that buyers would cast a more critical eye on Alex Ross' work. This series totally confused me, both literally and creatively.
Closer inspection of Ross' artwork reveals that it's really missing any sense of design or composition. His battle spreads are complete chaos and the overuse of extreme lighting (i.e., the overuse of white paint—don't call it chiaroscuro) reads as false drama. Ross may idolize George Pérez, but he seems to have learned nothing from this master about how to fit dozens of characters into a cohesive, beautiful scene.
No on can fault Ross for his abilities. In life drawing and painting, he has mastered his craft. But it feels like comics editors give him unwarranted free reign because he's perceived as "sales gold."
Story wise, I had problems with this series as well. It commits the usual crime: being drawn out to X number of issues to simply meet a collected edition size quota; the story was stretched out too much. Things were done stylistically which had no relevance to the story, like the mysterious light pouring out of Luthor's coat. Like Ross' static and pervasive pin-up-style illustrations, the series comes across as an excuse to draw more pin-ups and to indulge Silver Age fantasy. Indulgence is fine, but I always get the feeling that Ross is trying to preach to me: "anything other than the Silver Age DC is crap."
|Issue (Date)||Sequence of Events|
|#1 (10.05)||Superman awakes from a dream of the Justice League's final stand; they fail to save the world. Meanwhile, the world's super villains have a similar dream. In Atlantis, king Arthur leaves his wife and infant son to investigate a strange black void on the ocean floor. He is ambushed by Black Manta and taken to Luthor's new headquarters, inside the void. In the Middle East, Luthor sends Captain Cold to intimidate a local Arab man in hopes the man will talk him up to his people. NOTES: The Hawks are Carter and Shiera; Flash is Barry; GL is Hal.|
|#2 (12.05)||The Riddler hacks into Batman’s computer systems using Wayne Industries’ systems. Batman chases him to the Batcave, a club devoted to the Caped Crusader. He escapes in a flash of light and leaves a clue: a preserved eye and ear. Batman tracks him to a cemetery where the Riddler succumbs to a strange pain. Elsewhere, a man is administering a new drug which mends irreparable body parts. Flash discovers that Capt. Cold has been to the middle East. He and Poison Ivy have begun transforming the desert. Aquaman awakes in the clutches of Brainiac. Profiles on Riddler and Brainiac.|
|#3 (2.06)||The Martian Manhunter searches for Aquaman and finds the Legion of Doom's headquarters, but comes under attack from Grodd. Toyman helps crippled children with prosthetic limbs and word of the villains' good deeds spreads. Priscilla Rich comes to the Wonder Woman conference with cheetahs in tow. In her hotel room, she performs a ceremony, killing the cats. Luthor frees the Riddler from Arkham, instead of the Joker. Brainiac proceeds with his dissection of Aquaman. On the satellite, Red Tornado discovers that the sea life are pointing the way to Arthur. He's dismantled by a mystery attacker. In the satellite, they learn all the JLA's identities and relay them to their associates. Has sketch pages for J'onn and Grodd.|
|#4 (4.06)||The Legion of Doom broadcasts a message around the world declaring their good deeds and casting blame on the the JLA for not doing more. Meanwhile, their members attack at the JLA in their civilian identities. Parasite, Grundy, Metallo and Bizarro take Superman; Cheetah with Wonder Woman; Sinestro with Green Lantern; Scarecrow with Green Arrow and black Canary; Cold after Flash. Sketch pages of Bizarro, Grundy, Metallo and Parasite.|
|#5 (6.06)||JLA reserves are called in: Elongated Man, Metamorpho, Zatanna. Captain Marvel comes to Superman's aid, taking out Bizarro and Metallo and Parasite. Superman guides Marvel to the Batcave, where Batman has been taken over by Brainiac's nano-parasites. Batman had intended to attack with kryptonite. Superman finds the parasite with microscopic vision and asks Marvel throw him into the sun to burn the worms out of himself. The Atom lays comatose in a hospital. Cheetah claims that she gave her blood to the goddess Persephone in exchange for Heracles' Lament, the Centaur's Poison. Dinah finds Clayface attacking Ollie. J'onn escapes and helps the Hawks. Sinestro sends GL across the universe with a Boom Tube; he can't return. Luthor sows the seeds of the shrunken cities.|
|#6 (8.06)||Marvel throws Superman into the sun. After emerging, they witness the JLA satellite exploding. They recover the Tornado and take him to Will Magnus for help; he's aided by Zatanna. They revive the Tornado, who tells him that Aquaman is sending a signal. The Atom is attacked in the hospital by Giganta. In black space, GL decides to have his ring convert him into electronic impulses and store him inside. J'onn leads the Hawks to Toyman and they find an army of Brainiac robots. Luthor and Brainiac bicker over their goals. Wonder Woman finds Batman and she's attacked by Ivy. (Ivy comments "I like the new look.") He attacks Diana, still under Grodd's control, but is awakened by the lasso. John stewart seeks Hal at Ferris.|
|#7 (10.06)||Zatanna and J'onn find Aquaman in a horrific state. The Legion of Doom mobilizes to attack the JLA's loved ones. The Hawks find evidence of Mr. Mind. Capt. Marvel saves the Flash from his dead run. Black Adam captures Mary Marvel at the Rock of Eternity. The League congregates the Fortress of Solitude (with the Metal Men and Metamorpho). They call in The Chief to help with Aquaman. He says Brainiac was looking for something in Aquaman's physiology, probably to do with his telepathy. His amphibian-like body begins healing itself. In Atlantis, Manta takes over Aqualad and captures Aquaman's son.|
|#8 (12.06)||Superman fingers Brainiac for the recent troubles. The Flash brings Capt. Cold to the Fortress for interrogation. They learn that the villains have all had similar dreams of armageddon which galvanized their efforts. Luthor continues to gather up the Leaguers' loved ones, which the League learns about. The Phantom Stranger locates Hal inside his ring and dissuades Hal from taking revenge. His ring removes the Mr. Mind parasite from Batman. Wonder Woman tells Cap that she's dying from the centaur's blood. Elongated Man tells Plastic Man (a reservist) to take a hike. Mera arrives to tell Arthur their son is kidnapped.|
|#9 (2.07)||Hal deduces that Brainiac didn't kill him because his ring would simply have gone to John Stewart (the ring can easily destroy Brainiac's mind-controlling nano-parasites). Doc Magnus armors the heroes with his Metal Men, and Thanagarian and Atlantean science. Black Adam puts Mary and Freddy under his control, to lure and infect Cap. GL frees the junior Marvels and talks to Sivana, whose "Mr. Mind" prototype was stolen by Brainiac. Brainiac develops a technology which transforms bodies into beings like himself. When Grodd attacks, Metamorpho manages to steal his yellow power ring.|
|#10 (4.07)||Grodd becomes increasingly suspicious of Brainiac and Luthor's master plan. Brainiac plans to use Aquaman's son to propagate a new race of Coluans. The JLA invade the villains' hideout and Green Arrow is sent to return the captive John Stewart's ring to him (which will allow Stewart to "disinfect" the JLA's other allies). The Joker joins the fray by blowing up several buildings.|
|#11 (6.07)||Hal uses blue kryptonite to disguise his use of Sinestro's yellow ring. The GL rings free everyone from Brainiac's mind control. Grodd turns on his allies and warns of Brainiac's plan for global destruction. Sketch pages for GL and Sinestro.|
|#12 (8.07)||The JLA recruits a number of villains to help stop Brainiac (who has betrayed them all). The villains' cities are evacuated, shrunk and put in the care of the Kandorians. Superman follows Brainiac as he jumps from one form to another. He finds him finally in orbit, shrunk to a tiny size in his space ship. He's frozen and imprisoned on Kandor. The Green Lantern Corps throws Brainiac's nuclear missiles into the sun. Diana dies on Paradise Island, but her mother's prayers are heard and she is resurrected. Manta's minions mutiny when given the command to kill Aquaman's son.|
By Marv Wolfman and Paul Ryan
Earth-D was one of the last universes to be destroyed by the Anti-Monitor before he centered his efforts on five key universes (Earths-1, 2, 4, S and X). Earth-D was very similar to Earth-One during the height of its "Silver Age," though its heroes were more racially diverse. Its preeminent super- team was called the Justice Alliance of America, which was headquartered in an underwater base. Members included:
- Aquaman: An Atlantean much like the Earth-One Aquaman, except for his appearance, which included pointed ears, pale skin, and external gills.
- The Atom: Tiny titan in possession of a jet pack, various technological devices, and an "atomic punch".
- Batman and Robin: Father and son Dynamic Duo (the Batman of Earth-D has a wife and two other children as well). Robin was killed trying to save an elderly woman from the Anti-Monitor's anti-matter wall.
- The Flash: (Tanaka Rei) Asian-American who, married to Hoshi, was inspired by the comic book adventures of Barry Allen, the Earth-One Flash.
- Green Arrow: Green Arrow appeared to be a Native American archer.
- Green Lantern (Captain Jose Hernandez): Brazilian fighter pilot who received his power ring from dying Green Lantern Tagin Sur, whose ship had been damaged by Shadow Demons and crashed. Green Lantern was killed saving Supergirl from a Shadow Demon shortly after he received the power ring.
- Hawkman and Hawkgirl : (Kat and Shay). Brother and sister (presumed) Thanagarians who were killed by Shadow Demons. They were the first heroes to ever be killed on Earth-D.
- Martian Manhunter: (J'onn) This Martian Manhunter adopted a slightly more alien appearance than his Earth-One counterpart.
- Superman and Supergirl: (Kal-El and Kara) Husband and wife Kryptonians who had arrived on Earth-D three years earlier. Superman died saving Supergirl from one of the Anti-Monitor's Shadow Demons. Supergirl was later killed, buying time for the heroes from Earth-One to return home.
- Wonder Woman: (Diana) Amazon warrior who died saving a small child from the advancing anti-matter wall.
Barry Allen was the first Earth-1 hero to discover Earth-D. While living in the 30th Century, the Anti-Monitor's antimatter wall began to destroy that time period. He attempted to return to the 20th century, but instead he was shunted to Earth-D, in Central City. He found Earth-D's Flash battling the Mirror Master and followed him home, where he was met by his wife, Hoshi. It was then that Barry realized that he may have left his own wife to die in the future.
Meanwhile, in New York City, several members of the Justice Alliance battled Medulla and Mollusk the Marauder on the Statue of Liberty. There, two other multiverse survivors appeared — Pariah and Lady Quark. The two Flashes met up with the J.A.A. for help in returning Barry to his own world. These plans were interrupted by Pariah and Lady Quark, who heralded the arrival of the antimatter red skies. The heroes regrouped at Superman's Fortress of Solitude and Pariah successfully returned to Earth-1 to recruit help from Superman, Supergirl, Batman, Green Lantern John Stewart, Nightwing, Cyborg, Firestorm, Starfire and Dawnstar.
Their challenge was overwhelming. The Anti-Monitor and Psycho-Pirate sent a time bomb, and unleashed Shadow Demons on Earth-D that killed its Hawkman, Hawkgirl and Superman. After a ceremony, the remainder of the J.A.A. decided to return to their loved ones. At this time, Earth-D got its first Green Lantern; Captain Jose Hernandez was given a power ring by the Green Lantern Tagin Sur, who had also been attacked by the Shadow Demons.
After the antimatter wave claimed Earth-D's Robin and Wonder Woman, Green Lantern rallied the remaining heroes to try and build a large Cosmic Treadmill. They succeeded in opening a portal to Earth-1 and began shepherding people through it. From here, the Anti-Monitor snatched Barry Allen (who wenty on to destroy the villain's work). Without Barry's power, the Treadmill began to malfunction. The new Green Lantern was killed saving Supergirl, and the remaining heroes of Earth-D chose to remain on their homeworld to the end. Supergirl herself laid down her life to allow Earth-1's heroes time to cross the portal.
Green Arrow, the Atom, the Flash, Batman, the Martian Manhunter, and Aquaman (along with their old foe Mollusk) spent the last seconds of their lives protecting their world.
This story was written to take place between Crisis on Infinite Earths numbers 4 and 5.
» FIRST APPEARANCE: Legends of the DCU: Crisis On Infinite Earths #1 (February 1999)
Justice League Animated, Series
Justice League Adventures, 34 issues (2002-2004)
This series was released in conjunction with the "Justice League" animated series on Cartoon Network. After its cancellation, it was renamed Justice League Unlimited to coincide with the change in the cartoon's name, and numbering was restarted.
» SEE ALSO: Section 9: JLA on TV
This series followed the adventures of the animated Justice League from the show on Cartoon Network. Unlimited began after the cancellation of Justice League Adventures to coincide with the change in the cartoon's name, and numbering was restarted.
Justice Legion A
DC One Million
The "DC One Million" event depicted events one million months in the future, in the 853rd century.
Justice Riders — Earth-18
Prestige one-shot (1997)
By Chuck Dixon, JH Williams III and Mick Gray
STORY: When Maxwell Lord sends destroys Sheriff Diana Prince's Town of Paradise, she assembles a League of Justice to hunt him down. Her deputy, Oberon, is killed in the destruction. Lord is a ruthless railway tycoon who, in exploiting a Dominator has manufactured an army of "clockwork" cowboys as well as a death-locomotive called Lord Havoc. He is assisted by the unkillable Felix Faust and intends to build a railway through the Old West.
Diana (known as the Woman Wonder) recruits a posse made up of Kid Flash (Wally West), Katar Johnson (Cheyenee protoector) and John Jones (alien manhunter). But she refuses help from the enterprising Booster Gold, who seeks out new fangled weaponry from an inventor, Mr. Beetle. These two are hindered by Guy Gardner the Baltimore Kid. Gardner is a Pinkerton who is hunting down Kid Flash for the alleged murder of Barry Allen. These three ultimately meet up with the rest and join forces to defeat Lord.
ROLL CALL: Diana Prince, Kid Flash, Booster Gold, Mr. Beetle, John Jones the Manhunter, Katar Johnson (the Hawkman), Guy Gardner (The Baltimore Kid).
This book is notable for a couple of reasons. One is the stunning artwork by the now-renown J.H. Williams III. The script by Dixon is superb. Also, it appears to have been conceived before the launch of Grant Morrison's "Big Seven" JLA. It features members who were prominent in the post-Zero Hour League led by Wonder Woman. It's an oddity considering the dizzying plethora of JLA spin-offs that followed in Morrison's wake.
After the Infinite Crisis, this world was given an home on Earth-18. Sadly, this Diana met her end at the hands of the Wonder Woman of Earth-34 in Countdown: Arena #3. » SEE: The Map of the Multiverse.
Just Imagine Stan Lee with Jerry Ordway Creating JLA
One-shot, Prestige format (2002)
By Stan Lee and Jerry Ordway
STORY: Three criminals go to the electric chair but they snatched from just before their deaths by Dominic Darrk and transformed into the Doom Patrol: Deathstroke, Parasite and Blockbuster.
Elsewhere, Leonard Lewis (the Green Lantern) meets young Adam Strange (who possesses the Sapphire of Ranagar). Strange is plagued by these undead phantom criminals. Lewis transforms into the Green Lantern and flies Adam to safety. He senses that the Doom Patrol poses a much greater threat and reaches out for help to the only other four heroes he knows: Wonder Woman (Maria Mndoza), Superman (the alien Salden), Batman (Wayne Williams), and the Flash (Mary Maxwell).
Salden (a glory hound) refuses him at first, but when the patrol attacks, he realizes the danger at hand. Just then, the others arrive as well. The battle leads them to the Patrol's creator, Adam Strange's father, Dominic Darrk. After restoring Blockbuster to normal with her staff, Wonder Woman rallies the others, christening them the Justice League. Darrk disappears and the media converge on the new group. They realize they will need a place they can meet in private, and the Green Lantern transports them all to the dimension from which he draws his powers.» FEATURED APPEARANCES:
The series included the following books— Just Imagine Stan Lee ...
- ... Creating the DC Universe
- ... with Chris Bachalo Creating Catwoman
- ... with Dave Gibbons Creating Green Lantern
- ... with Gary Frank Creating Shazam!
- ... with Jerry Ordway Creating JLA
- ... with Jim Lee Creating Wonder Woman
- ... with Joe Kubert Creating Batman
- ... with John Buscema Creating Superman
- ... with John Byrne Creating Robin
- ... with John Cassaday Creating Crisis
- ... with Kevin Maguire Creating the Flash
- ... with Scott McDaniel Creating Aquaman
- ... with Walter Simonson Creating Sandman
- ... Secret Files and Origins
» SEE ALSO: Just Imagine Microheroes by Jerome
Kingdom Come — Earth-22
4-Issue Limited Series (1996)
By Mark Waid and Alex Ross
STORY: The Spectre enlists minister Norman McCay to be the judge in the battle between man and metahuman. Wonder Woman coerces Superman out from his long retirement. 1st app. Brain Trust. (#1)
The Justice League reforms under Superman, imprisoning rogue villains in the Gulag. Undercover, Batman infiltrates Luthor's Mankind Liberation Front. 1st app. Magog. (#2)
Batman's group takes over Luthor; Captain Marvel escapes. The Gulag inmates revolt. (#3)
The U.N. launches a nuclear attack on the metahumans. Captain Marvel dies detonating the bomb above ground zero. The survivors agree to work together with the world's governments to solve their problems. (#4)
Although this series was an Elseworlds, its events influenced other in-continuity stories. It was followed by a true in-continuity series, The Kingdom (1999). After the Infinite Crisis, this world was given an home on Earth-22. Its Superman has since traveled to New Earth and claims that his world is dead.
JLA Roll Call:
|Aleea Strange||Green Lantern (Alan Scott)||Red Arrow (Roy Harper)|
|Alloy (the Metal Men)||Hawkman||Red Robin (Dick Grayson)|
|Aquaman II (Garth)||Hourman II (Rick Tyler)||Red Tornado I|
|Atlas (4th world hero)||Human Bomb||Red Tornado III (Maxine Hunkel)|
|Atom-Smasher (Nuklon)||King Marvel (Freddy Freeman)||Robotman (Cyborg)|
|Avia (daughter of Mr. Miracle & Barda)||Lady Marvel (Mary Batson)||Sandman IV (Sandy)|
|Barda (Big Barda)||Living Doll (Doll Girl)||Scott Free (Mr. Miracle)|
|Brainiac's Daughter||Midnight II||Starman VIII (Thom Kallor)|
|Bulletman||Phoebus||Tornado (Red Tornado II)|
|Bulletwoman||Power Man (Superman robot)||Troia (Donna Troy)|
|Captain Comet||Power Woman (Power Girl)||Wonder Woman|
|Golden Guardian (Guardian)||Ray II (Ray Terrill)|
League of Justice
2-Issue Limited Series, Prestige Format (1996)
By Ed Hannigan and Dick Giordano
STORY: Four youngsters are transported to a fantasy realm by a mysterious Lady of the Birds. Their task is to gather a team of heroes to battle Luthorr and his protégé the Sovereign (Superman), Dark Ruler of the land.
Four Kids, Neil, Freddy, Alcy, Ken are transported to a dark
forest where they meet Longbow Greenarrow husband of the Bird
Lady who defends
them from bandits. Meanwhile the Batmancer fights a city of zombies lead by
They are given a magic list by the Bird Lady and told to gather heroes to defeat the Sovereign (Superman) . On their travels they meet Phaeton, Atomus the Palmer, and the Martian (who is then killed by Sovereign). The Martian 's powers and form is passed on to Ken. They are later joined by the Green Knight and are attacked in Goth by Loblo, Batmancer arrives at this point to battle Loblo. (#1)
Loblo is defeated but Phaeton is injured, he passes on his powers to Neil, also Green Knight is killed, his ring is passed on to Freddy. Other heroes join them the Hawk Lord, the Hawk Lady, the Atlantean, the Amazon Princess. The Amazon is killed and her mantle is taken by Alcy. In the end they defeat Luthorr and the Sovereign and are returned to Earth. Ken chooses to stay behind. (#2)
ROLL CALL: Longbow Greenarrow (Green Arrow), The Lady of the Birds (Black Canary), Phaeton (Flash), Atomus the Palmer (Atom), the Hawk Lord (Hawkman), The Hawk Lady (Hawkwoman), The Atlantean (Aquaman), The Amazon Princess (Wonder Woman), The Martian (Martian Manhunter).
VERDICT: Pretty hard to stomach, let alone read. The art is a messy tragic afterthought, and both art and script feel terribly old school. And not in a good way. This book is definitely one of those times when you feel sad for older talent, remembering how great they once were, and how they've really thrown in the towel. It's not that I expect creators to ever "keep up," but as a creative person myself, I know that you just can't sit back — ever. You always have to do your best work.
Legends of Dead Earth Annuals (1996)
Justice League America Annual #10
STORY: Appears to be set in a possible future and was actually revisited in the old Ray series. A despotic Maxwell Lord (Lord Havoc) and Booster Gold have cloned a Justice League and use it to terrorize the population of the Planet War World into submission. A resistance lead by a new Maxima and Blue Beetle enlists the aid of a time-tossed Captain Atom, who kills Lord and Booster. Maxima conceives a baby by Captain Atom, this baby with both their powers was meant to be a new peaceful leader of the planet.
Roll Call: Booster Gold, Blue Beetle Captain Marvel, Black Canary, Guy Gardner, Mister Miracle, Doctor Fate, Captain Atom.
Possible mainstream DCU influence: In the Ray storyline she ends up just as despotic as Lord, and is eventually beaten by a future Ray), I can't remember all the details.
The New Frontier — Earth-21
After the Infinite Crisis, this world was given an home on Earth-21. Its Wonder Woman lost her battle but kept her life in Countdown: Arena #3. » SEE: The Map of the Multiverse.
DC: The New Frontier, 6-issue limited series (2004)
By Darwyn Cooke
STORY: Review to come.
Justice League: The New Frontier Special, one-shot (2008)
By Darwyn Cooke
Celebrating the DVD release of the New Frontier movie comes this collection of never before seen stories including "New Frontier: The Lost Chapter," with script and art by Darwyn Cooke! This tale provides a first-hand look at Faraday's quest to outlaw masked vigilantes, culminating with the day Superman goes to Gotham to bring down Batman. Also included are two back-up stories featuring Wonder Woman, Black Canary, Sgt. Rock and others, as well as behind-the-scenes bonus material from the movie!
STORY: Review to come.
SEE ALSO: Justice
League: The New Frontier movie
The Next Generation — Earth-12
Batman Beyond, Episode 50: "The Call, Part 1"
Original Air date: 11 November 2000
This episode was the first appearance of the Justice League Unlimited, in any form.
STORY: This "Next Generation" League is from 50 years in the future and operates from its Watchtower in Metropolis. Members include Superman, Barda, and members from the "next generation" of heroes: Aquagirl , Green Lantern, Micron and Warhawk. When Superman discovers that Micron was injured as part of a traitorous act within the JLU, he approaches the Batmen (Terry McGinnis and his mentor, Bruce Wayne) for help. Terry accepts his invitation to join the JLU. Superman assigns him the task of rooting out the traitor. Terry and Bruce conclude that it is Superman who is the traitor, and Bruce gives Terry kryptonite to stop him.
Terry McGinnis first debuted on television in Batman Beyond on 10 January 1999 (first in comic, Batman Beyond #1, March 1999). Green Lantern is a child named Kai-Ro; "kai" and "ro" are Greek letters for "K" and "R"—Kyle Rayner's initials. Aquagirl's name is Mareena; she's the daughter of Aquaman. Her fair hair and uniform suggest that her mother could be Dolphin.
Batman Beyond, Episode 51: "The Call, Part 2"
Original Air date: 18 November 2000
STORY: When Terry brings evidence of Superman's treachery, the JLU is skeptical. After Superman is subdued with the kryptonite, Aquagirl mentally discovers he's been possessed by a star-alien. This creature came to Earth when Superman defeated the Preserver and gave home to the villain's former captives. They soon discover a colony of star-aliens and Batman is the only one to escape. Batman frees Superman and the aliens are subdued. With the aid of Barda's Mother Box, Aquagirl divines the location of their home planet, to which they are returned. Batman ultimately declines joining the JLU.
Batman Beyond, #21 (July 2001)
STORY: While Superman, Aquagirl and Micron are off-planet, Batman is called in to help the JLU. When the villain Black Light crashes alien ships into Metropolis, Green Lantern is unable to defeat him. In shame, he returns to the place he was raised: a monastery in the Himalayas. Aquagirl returns to duty.
Batman Beyond, #22 (August 2001)
STORY: Black Light attacks Green Lantern's sanctuary and GL is forced to use his ring there, against the rules. Black Light's stolen Mother Box sends Barda and Warhawk back to JLU headquarters, where they recruit Aquagirl's help and return to the Himalayas. Eventually, Batman deduces that Black Light's ring does not have energy powers of it's own. Rather, his ring allows him to control Green Lantern, and thus, GL's ring. The JLU keeps Black Light's ring as a trophy. Batman does not join the JLU as a permanent member.
Black Light seems like a cross between Eclipso and Sinestro.
Justice League Unlimited, Episode 13: "The Once and Future Thing, Part Two"
Original Air date: 29 January 2005
STORY: It is stated that this episode happens 50 years in the future, and suggests that some of the future League have perished. In pursuit of Chronos, the original Justice League of the past travels into Terry McGinnis' future. There, the original Batman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern (John Stewart) meet Terry McGinnis, Warhawk and a grown-up Static (Virgil Ovid Hawkins). After battling the Jokers, they retreat to their headquarters where Bruce Wayne meets his older self. Warhawk also reveals that he is John Stewart's son, Rex Stewart. He implies that his mother is Hawkgirl.
During their battle, time shifts and Green Lantern temporarily turns into Hal Jordan. They ultimately follow Chronos back into time and trap him in a time loop. When the original heroes return to their home time, Wonder Woman loses all memory of the mission.
Static is a character from another Warner Bros. cartoon, Static Shock. The cartoon was created by JLU scribe Dwayne McDuffie, and debuted in 2000. It was inspired by the Static comic book, which was published under a DC imprint called Milestone (45 issues, 1993-97). In this episode, set 50 years into the JLU's future, Static is 65 years old, but looks much younger.
Batman Beyond v.4 #1 (August 2010)
After the Infinite Crisis, McGinnis' adventures were put onto Earth-10, but there are other Batman stories, like that of Batman #600, which seem to infer that Earth-0's future also includes a "Batman Beyond." Regardless...
STORY: Micron approaches Batman once again, hoping he will rejoin the JLU, but Terry declines. Bruce tells him he was never comfortable in the JLA.
Planetary/JLA: Terra Occulta
One-shot (November 2002)
STORY: Bruce Wayne, Diana Prince and Clark Kent form a clandestine group bent on taking down the Planetary organization. In the past, Planetary has successfully squashed all other super-human activity. Indeed, they destroyed Diana's homeland and murdered Kent's parents. They also dissected Barrett Allen's body to develop the "Flash plug-in," acquired a green ring from Siberia and killed Raymond Palmer for his secrets of micro-science. Planetary operates from a watchtower on the moon and is led by Elijah Snow. Its operatives include Jakita Wagner, Ambrose Chase and the Drummer.
To defeat Planetary, the alliance used time technology from Julius Erdel. When the device went awry, it drew a green marine alien from eons past. The alien died but the alliance managed to push Ambrose Chase through the time portal and destroyed it. They used Chase's open doorway to enter the watchtower. Wayne and Prince killed Snow and Wagner. Kent was ejected into space; it's unknown whether he survives.
One-shot (June 2000)
STORY: Michael Riley, a Teacher, arrives at his home in early October. He finds waiting for him there an invitation to a Halloween party at the New York apartment of Bernard Epstein, richest man in America (And a childhood friend) and a Superman costume. The same type of thing thing happens to Comedian Nick DiMarco (Elongated Man), TV Executive Producer Richard Barrison (Batman), and Lawyer Karen Steuben (Wonder Woman). There are also flashbacks to their childhood in 1975 Chicago, where they were fans of the JLA. Cut to New York, where we see Epstein putting on a Despero mask. The "Justice League of Chicago" arrive in New York the day before Halloween. As they meet each other, they receive instructions to wait to meet Epstein's Chauffeur on Halloween. He takes them out into New York, fakes car trouble and then abandons them near a poster with JLA members on it advertising a restaurant. They go there, and meet actors (dressed as super-villains) who warn them that the Earth is doomed and to save it, they must follow "The Trail of Stars." They split up, are captured by some more "super-villains" and taken to Yankee Stadium, where Epstein dressed as Despero meets them. He reveals that he is tired of acting like a super-villain. He informs them how proud he is of what the other four have done for others (which they didn't realize.) He then changes costumes into the Atom. They spend the rest of the night together, playing like children. We find out that, later, Richard and Karen married and had a daughter. Nick got a starring do role on Television, Bernard still was still in business, and Michael returned to teaching and wrote a novel.
CHARACTERS: Superman: Michael Riley Elongated Man: Nick DiMarco Batman: Richard Barrison Wonder Woman: Karen Steuben The Atom: Bernard Epstein
OTHER CHARACTERS: Aquaman: a bartender Zatanna: a waitress Black Canary: a waitress Green Lantern: chauffeur
VILLAINS: Dr. Light Starro the Conqueror Felix Faust Solomon Grundy two others (??, actors) Despero: Bernard Epstein.» FEATURED APPEARANCES:
The Realworlds series included the following books:
- Realworlds: Batman
- Realworlds: Justice League of America
- Realworlds: Superman
- Realworlds: Wonder Woman
Son of Superman
Graphic Novel (1999)
STORY: Superman has been missing assumed dead for 15 years, his and Lois Lane's Son is just beginning to manifest his powers. A corrupt JLA under the thumb of president Luthor police the world. Superman has secretly been imprisoned by Luthor (who has conducted experiments on him in order to gain super powers) for many years. Eventually Superman is freed by his son, and along with Batman they defeat the JLA lead by an insane Martian Manhunter and a super-powered Luthor.
ROLL CALL: A dark, older version of today's JLA: Aquaman, Green Lantern V, Flash III, Wonder Woman, Batman (at the start), Superman (for a short time), Martian Manhunter.
» SEE ALSO: Son of Superman Microheroes by Jerome
Superman and Batman: World's Funnest
Prestige One-Shot (2000)
STORY: Myxzptlk and Bat-Mite destroy multiple Earths whilst fighting and arguing over who is the best, Batman or Superman. The Pre-Crisis JLA appear, to avenge the death's of the Pre-Crisis Batman (killed by Mxyzptlk) and Pre-Crisis Superman (accidentally killed by Bat-Mite). The JLA a subsequently all killed by the two imps. They then destroy all of Earth 1, and it goes on from there.
ROLL CALL: Green Lantern II, Aquaman, Green Arrow, Flash II, Martian Manhunter, Wonder Woman, Atom II, Snapper Carr
Also appearing are the many heroes of the Multiple Earths (Earth's 1, 2, 4 (Charlton Heroes), C (Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew), X (Freedom Fighters), S (Marvel Family), Kingdom Come, Dark Knight Returns, etc.)
The Golden Age JSA Also appear: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Hawkman, Flash, Green Lantern, Hourman,Spectre, Doctor Mid-Nite, Starman, Doctor Fate, Johnny Thunder and Tunderbolt, Atom, and Sandman
Just about every DC hero ever created appears in this book.
Superman & Batman: Generations
Generations II, 4-issue limited series (2001)
III, 12-issue limited series (2003)
In this tale, the Justice Society lasts through the "Silver Age," including the heroes that normally would have founded the Justice League. The heroes who normally would have founded the Teen Titans, become the Justice League instead.
The first Generations series did not deal with the super-groups, only the title characters.
ROLL CALL , JSA:
1942: Batman, Hawkman, Spectre, Green Lantern, Superman, Wonder Woman (all their traditional selves) (Generations II #1)
1953: Atom, Green Arrow, Wonder Girl (a magical clone), Flash (Jay Garrick, retired) (#1)
1964: Flash II (Barry Allen), Batman II (Dick Grayson) (#2)
ROLL CALL, JLA:
1964: Supergirl (Kara Kent), Robin II/Batman III (Bruce Wayne, Jr.), Kid Flash/Flash III (Wally West), Wonder Girl II/Wonder Woman II (Stephanie Trevor) (#2)
1986: Flash IV (Carrie Allen) (#3)
1997: Green Lantern II (Kyle Rayner), BlackHawk (Janet Hall; granddaughter of the Hall's and Janos Prohaska) (#3)
2008: Flash V (Jay West), Nightwing (Clark Wayne), Cyborg, Green Lantern III (Hal Jordan) (#4)
21st Century: — Superman I (Clark Kent), Batman I (Bruce Wayne), Flash V (Jay West), Wonder Woman II (Stephanie Trevor), Green Lantern III (Hal Jordan), Blackhawk. (Generations III #2)
Tangent Comics — Earth-9
In the Tangent universe, familiar legacies were taken apart and re-assembled much in the same fashion that DC's Golden Age heroes were reinterpreted in the Silver Age.
In the wake of the Infinite Crisis, this world was given an home on Earth-9 (See The Map of the Multiverse).» FEATURED APPEARANCES:
Ion #9-10 • Justice League of America v.2 #16
Tangent: Secret Six, one-shot (Dec. 1997)
STORY: The Secret Six was the first Tangent team closely resembled and preceded the Tangent Justice League. In this world, the original Atom was a creation of the U.S. military's nuclear development. During the 1963 conflict with Cuba, Atom went rogue and accidentally incited both sides to launch atomic bombs. The bombs leveled Cuba and Florida, and the whole thing was covered up. The public was made to believe that the Atom had actually saved the day. Decades later, when his grandson (Atom III) had established his own heroing career, the original Atom went public with the truth. In this time, a large, powerful organization known as Nightwing had surfaced. Nightwing's various factions served as covert operations, public militia, and sometimes sinister activities as well.
This team was drawn together by a huge explosion near Mexico. The Atom and Flash left a fund raiser for relief efforts related to the atomic destruction of Florida. (The Hawk and Canary were also present at the fund raiser.) Manhunter came for revenge; Plastic Man responded as an agent of Nightwing, and recruited the Spectre as well; the Joker came for the heck of it. The explosion was a result of the machinations of Dr. Aquadus (Aquaman). He and his minions (Gunner & Sarge, the Eclipso Twins and Damage) were intent on destroying the moon. You see, Aquaman could control any body of water he inhabited, and the moon was his last barrier to complete control over the Earth. Upon his defeat, the six heroes agreed to work together, covertly.
ROLL CALL, SECRET SIX: Atom III (Adam Thompson), Flash, Joker, Spectre (Taylor Pike), Plastic Man (Gunther Ganz), Manhunter
ROLL CALL, NIGHTWING: Black Orchid, Wildcat, Hex, Dead Man, The Creeper, Firestorm Troopers, Blackhawk
» SEE ALSO: Secret Six
Tangent: JLA, one-shot (Sept. 1998)
STORY: The Tangent Justice League is a group of non-powered individuals who have banded together to eliminate the public menace of what they call "superiors." This came in response to the original Atom's confession that he was partially responsible for the current war and the threat of the Ultra-Humanite. The League is headed by Senator Manson, the United States' first lady, the Shadow Thief. They have four agents: the Human Target, who is sent to assassinate the Atom and also after "the Superman." Vigilante is sent after the Batman in London. The Question tracks the mysterious Green Lantern. And Johnny Double confronts Wonder Woman. Though they succeed in killing the Atom, Green Lantern returns him to life (as is her power). These missions serve to only draw the JLA's targets together. When they discover the treachery behind it, they form their own JLA, devoted to eliminating the government corruption and the threat of the Ultra-Humanite.
ROLL CALL, JLA: Human Target, Question, Jonny Double, Vigilante
ROLL CALL, SECOND JLA: Atom, Batman, Green Lantern, Superman, Wonder Woman
Tangent: Joker's Wild, one-shot (Sept. 1998)
STORY: In this one-shot, the Joker is attacked by a small JLA unit consisting of Chemo, the Teen Titan, and led by Rip Hunter.