Friday, October 11, 2013
Superman was being held down by Solomon Grundy, while Metallo killed the Man of Steel slowly with radiation from his kryptonite heart. Bizarro and Parasite looked on, until lightning crossed the skies, and an unseen force began to attack the villains.
In no time, the Power of Shazam was at Superman's disposal. Captain Marvel had answered Kal-El's distress signal, and now offered a helping hand. Superman was too sick to hold himself up, and Bizarro had recovered, so the Big Red Cheese flew them both to safety. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor teleported to the scene to save Parasite from the kryptonite (he'd absorbed Superman's weaknesses with his strengths) that he replaced in Metallo's chest cavity. Bizarro rejoined the motley crew.
Dinah Lance walked into her bedroom to find her lover Oliver Queen buried under a fleshy mass, and with green arrows seemingly buried in his head. Whether this was from the Scarecrow's nightmare gases or Clayface's shifting form, an ear-splitting Canary Cry shook the facade loose. Ollie Queen yet lived, and shoved the sparking end of a busted lamp into Clayface's electrocuted hide.The villains fled, and a tearful Black Canary held her shaken man. Dinah wondered why her cry hadn't hurt Ollie, until he removed his earplugs. You see, Clayface had turned himself into a blond Dinah to trick Queen before the attack, not realizing Lance was naturally a brunette. Ollie figured he might be needing more than one form of protection, if his Pretty Bird was indulging in amorous role-play...
Green Lantern Hal Jordan had been forced through a Boom Tube by Sinestro and left in a starless, uncharted area of space. His power ring couldn't get him back home, so he asked it "How much longer before your charge runs out and I die?"
Superman guided Captain Marvel to the Batcave. None of the active Leaguers were answering his calls, so some reservists like the Captain had been notified. The Dark Knight was angry that Superman had compromised him, but Marvel assured, "I would never tell anyone about this place. Which is really cool, by the way." Marvel thought it might help to transform back into his normal self of kid reporter Billy Batson, but Batman just complained about the noise and magic lightning bouncing around his headquarters, not to mention questioning the kid's experience with "crime and loss." Billy politely blew off the Caped Crusader's ignorance, while Superman cold decked his friend. The Man of Steel was too weak for it to be a killing blow, but he gave it all he had, since Batman had palmed some kryptonite. X-ray Vision revealed that Batman was full of mind-controlling mechanical worms, and Superman soon realized he was similarly compromised. Alfred Pennyworth was too, as he covered Billy's mouth with one hand and threatened to slice the boy's throat with the Batarang in the other.
Lex Luthor cast black marbles into a body of water, and from out of it emerged ebony spheres the size of cities. This was Braniac's doing, and though one super-villain would inevitably betray the other, for now everything was going according to mutual plans.
Billy's heel slammed hard into Alfred's foot as he broke loose of the butler's grip. Superman pegged the manservant in the brow with a flung coffee cup, while with one magic word, Captain Marvel was restored. Alfred and the Batman were tied up. Next, Superman asked Marvel to throw him into the sun, in order to burn out the worms...
The powers of the gods allowed Captain Marvel to try to talk Superman out of the prescribed course of action while traveling through the vacuum of space. Wordlessly, the Man of Steel made it clear he was more afraid of his infestation making him the man who killed Captain Marvel than vice versa, so the Big Red Cheese threw Superman into the sun.
Hal Jordan was mildly amused to finally encounter a portion of space(?) the Guardians of the Universe knew nothing about, but not too much under the circumstances. His power ring only had seven hours worth of charge remaining, and he was potentially lost forever. Green Lantern decided to convert himself into electronic impulses stored within his ring, perhaps indefinitely.
"This involvement of Captain Marvel was unforeseen," noted Brainiac to Lex Luthor and Grodd. The Super-Gorilla seemed the most irritated by the party crasher, and was given permission to send the pseudo-prophetic nightmare shared by the Legion of Doom to Black Adam in order to increase their numbers.
Ablaze with solar energy, the Man of Tomorrow was restored. On learning that Superman had rid himself of a worm-like bodily invader, Captain Marvel offered Mr. Mind as a suspect. Just as the pair were reaching the JLA Satellite, it exploded in front of them. Captain Marvel asked if Superman detected any trace of Red Tornado in the debris...
John Stewart told Zatanna when he arrived at Ferris Aircraft Company, and asked that she thank Elongated Man for calling him in. On the property, Stewart met with Hal Jordan's sometimes girlfriend Carol Ferris and sidekick Tom Kalmaku. Stewart was searching for Hal, but the best idea "Pieface" could offer was pointing to the sky. "Thanks. That narrows it down."
Hal Jordan knew that it was Sinestro who had "killed" him via Boom Tube, but tried to move on with his everlasting illusion of life. Simulations of Coast City and its residents were constructed, but they were hollow things, and Green Lantern wondered how long he would wait before allowing space to take him...
An emaciated Flash continued to run across the globe, surely doomed to die from exhaustion...
Brainiac was aware Aquaman's body had been found, but it served its purpose of distracting the League, since Lex Luthor had failed to assassinate the super friends. Of course, Brainiac himself hadn't found in the Sea King's brain what he was looking for, so it was up to Gorilla Grodd to initiate a new phase in the trio's plans. Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Mary Batson, Freddy Freeman, Jean Loring, Carol Ferris, Steve Trevor, John Stewart, Dick Grayson, Wally West... all targeted...
Once again, the Wisdom of Solomon trumped any thoughts in Superman's head. Captain Marvel flew as close to the wayward Flash as he could, and with one magic word, magical lightning shook the Scarlet Speedster out of his uncontrollable race toward death. Superman caught Billy Batson before any harm could come to him, then gave him space for the power of Shazam to restore Captain Marvel. Getting thrown into the sun had burnt up the Man of Steel's wallet, so Earth's Mightiest Mortal came to the rescue again, offering his only ten bucks to feed the Flash at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Hal Jordan was already feeling like death in a self-centered world of his own making. However, his power ring refused to restore his physical form for such an end. "Your essence has been converted into an electrical impulse that has been stored within the ring... You will now live forever. Alone."
In Shazam's lair within an abandoned subway tunnel, Black Adam covered Mary's mouth, and threatened to kill her if Freddy said a word...
Superman arrived at his Fortress of Solitude, greeted by fellow heroes awaiting him...
In an Arabian desert, the Flash broke up Captain Cold's mini-harem. "You tried to kill me. And that means you tried to kill everyone I hope to save until the day I die. That's a lot of people." Cold should have pointed out that if he had succeeded, the Scarlet Speedster still would have saved everybody he saved until the day he died, but since he didn't die, he might ought to consider swapping a chemistry class for some remedial English. Instead, Cold drew a replica pistol made of ice, which Flash totally fell for, so maybe he needed another police detective class, too. Captain Cold froze up a hall of mirrors, and when that didn't work, created sculptured duplicates of himself. Failing yet again, Captain Cold was run to the Fortress of Solitude.
Still trapped in his power ring, Hal Jordan argued with simulations of his brothers about the benefits of lacking fear, and where his adventuring ways landed him.
Batman, having interrogated Captain Cold, learned all about the prophetic nightmares that motivated the villains to action. Black Canary wondered if the Legion of Doom thought they were doing the right thing, but Batman explained that the villains wouldn't have tried to turn the situation to their advantage to lord over potential survivors if their hearts were truly in the right place.
Supergirl, Batgirl and Commissioner Gordon were all captured by Legion forces.
Hal Jordan had regressed to childhood, which is why he wished to heed the command of his parents not to talk to the Stranger who had paid him a visit. "So there you are, Hal. I've been looking everywhere for you." The Phantom Stranger then helped Hal with some self-realization psychobabble about not trying to remake the real world in his image/with great power comes great moderation/how the League helps Hal check his head/yadda yadda. The important thing was the the Stranger brought a power battery and a direction home, so Green Lantern could try to look cool saying his oath in a painted splash page.
All the heroes were together at the Fortress of Solitude, except John Stewart, who got himself kidnapped by the mind-controlled kid sidekicks of other heroes (mostly the Teen Titans and the Marvel Family.)
"Justice, Vol. 2," collecting issues #5-8 of the 2005 mini-series, was plotted and painted by Alex Ross. The script was provided by Jim Krueger, and the penciled layouts by Doug Braithwaite.