Treasure Chest Comics #9: JLA New World Order

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Treasure Chest Comics #9: JLA New World Order

Postby Red_Robin » Dec 19th, 2011, 8:07 am

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JLA: New World Order
by MaxSchreck

The first story arc in Grant Morrisons classic Justice League run including earths greates heroes, the iconic "big seven“:

Superman (Clark Kent)
Batman (Bruce Wayne)
Wonder Woman (Diana Prince)
Flash (Wally West)
Aquaman (Arthur Curry)
Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner)
Martian Manhunter (J’onn J’onzz)

There have been several incarnations of the Justice League over the years, but for me this roster will probably remain the image I have in mind when I think about this team of superheroes and their adventures. Sure you can toy around with the roster a bit, but when you leave any of these seven core members out, I feel like there is something missing. That is probably because of Grant Morrisons way of going back to the roots of the story he wants to tell and to include everything that is important about the characters. Reading this, you just feel like that this is how those characters are supposed to interact with each other and when writers bring in new ideas, all they do is spoiling the story of the worlds greatest superhero team. I've been trying to come up with my own league for fanfiction and art, but everytime I try in the end all I do is using the original seven like they are portryed here.

Before Morrison's run the Justice League wasn't really the almighty superhero force that they are supposed to represent. In 1986 DC Comics tried to form a new team that later became the Justice League International. The JLI had nice stories, good characterization and worked on a more international scale, which was an interesting concept. However, by the mid to late nineties the commercial success faded, so the series was eventually cancelled with their spinoffs Justice League Europe, Extreme Justice and Justice League task force.

Writers had to come up with a new concept and they decided to make the JLA one team again with a core of main members which would make the team more recognizeable. In 1996 Mark Waid and Fabian Nicieza produced a limited series called Justice League: A Midsummer Nightmare. Here the original seven members were reunited.

In 1997, Grant Morrison wrote the new series JLA, with art by artist Howard Porter and John Dell. The new book had a more "back to basics approach". One of the core themes was that each of the seven members represented a god of the greek pantheon (Batman – Hades , Superman – Zeus etc ), the League also got a new headquarters, the watchtower on the moon.

The first four issues told the contain the story arc New World Order which I will introduce to you now.

WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD

Issue #1

The issue starts at the white house in washington where the President of the USA demands an escort of superheroes for frightening a dictator who involved him in a scandal.
We learn that the hero Firehawk is sick and can't use his powers anymore (a plot point that will become important later).
Suddenly a big cloud darkens the sky, once the President and his men take a look outside they notice a giant space ship right in front of the White House. It was apparently camouflaged well enough that the remaining heroes at the Justice League headquarters, Nuklon, Ice Maiden and Obsidian, lead by Metamorpho didn't notice it until it was too late.
Superman approaches the ship, instead of alien invaders a bunch of costumed heroes from another planet introduce themselve as the Hyperclan.

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Their members are the charasmatic handsome leader Protex (who looks like the dead rockstar Jim Morrison), the speedster Zum, the shield wielding warrior Centurion, the disfigured A-Mortal, the robot Armek, the shape shifter Fluxus, the beatiful Primaid and the red skinned alien Amazon Tronix.

They are warmly greeted by Earth's population once Protex tells them about their planet, which was destroyed by the very problems earth faces every day; crime, pollution etc.
The Hyperclan thanks Earth for their welcome by turning the sahara desert into a green paradise.
Superman is concerned. He says that the Hyperclan might cause more harm by changing nature and that the human race might end up becoming the pets of an alien race. Protex seems to understand his mistrust and even calms down the angry crowd that is displeased by Supermans comment.
The next step in the Hyperclans plan to save the world is the execution of metahuman criminals. This alarms the Justice League, who are striclty against the use of lethal force, but again the world lets them down and their concerns aren't shared.
While Protex and his teamates free the ancient city of Z’onn Z’orr from the ice of the Antartic (suggesting that they have been on Earth before) another occurance confirms that the alien heroes might be hostile towards the League. Their headquarters are attacked by a troupe of men in red power suits. During the fight Wonder Woman and Green Lantern try to prevent the destruction of the building, while Metamorpho tries to rescue the remaing heroes. He transforms into a human escape capsule and crashes to Earth. While everyone inside is only badly injured, Metamorpho dies from the impact .
The Justice League headquarters are also destroyed despite the efforts of Wonder Woman and Green Lantern.

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Now the Justice League gathers to take actions against this new threat. Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern arrive at their rendezvous point. The Manhunter tells them that Aquaman didn't respond to their call to arms, but they notice Batman who had arrived at the scene an hour ago, but wanted to test a new stealth gadget against supermans super senses. Batman announces that this conflict is now a war between the two super teams.

Issue #2

Issue two begins with the hyperclan showing the three buildings across the globe that will become their headquarters to the public, one of the buidlings ist he city of Z`onn Z’orr in the Antartic.
We learn that the space ship the hyperclan used to land on Earth was a hologram and not the location from which the hyperclan attempted to brainwashed the entire human race, like Batman expected once the Justice league became more and more unpopular. The League decides to split up and attack the three bases, who are without a doubt the source of the mind control.
Wonder Woman teams up with Aquaman who approched one of the buildings in the ocean, but they are defeated by Tronix and Fluxus.
Flash and Green Lantern attack the Hyperclan headquarter in the desert, even though Martian Manhunter who was supposed to accompany them has gone missing. Zum, Armek and Centurion seem to defend the building succesfully.
While the fight goes on, Protex tries to win Martian Manhunter over to their side.
Superman and Batman approach the city of Z`onn Z`orr where they encounter A-Mortal and Primaid. A-Mortal manages to throw the rockets of the batwing back to Batman, who apparently dies in the flames the crashed vehicle. Superman fights Primaid to a draw, but is defeated when Protex arrives without Martian Manhunter, but with a piece of Kryptonite. Even tough A-Mortal is concerned that Batman might be still alive, the Hyperclan refuses to search for him in the burning aircraft.

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Issue#3

In the beginning of issue three we see superman as the prisoner of the Hyperclan. Batman, who the Hyperclan believes to be dead at this moment sneaks into the building. Apparently he learned everything about the Leagues enemies when they thought they had killed him.

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Flash battles the speedster Zum, who seems to have the advantage because of his military training, but he manages to deafeat him using a trick from his mentor Barry Allen.
Green Lantern creates a giant robot with his lantern power and knocks out armek while holding of Centurion. The angry crowd, still under the controll of the Hyperclan, distracts him, so Flash has to save him from being killed by centurion, throwing his shield at him like Captain America.
They realize that their enemies won’t stay down for long and quickly investigate the controll room of the desert headquarters. Flash finds out that the Clan must have come from some sort of other dimension. Using this advantage they managed to destroy the League's headquarters in a surprise attack back in issue one.
Once they learn this they are captured by the Hyperclan and thrown in an alien device designed to torture and execute the clan's enemies called "the flower of wrath" alongside Wonder Woman and Aquaman. Protex mocks Superman, telling him that Martian Manhunter betrayed him. According to Armek Flash and Green Lantern surrendered when they heard that probably the only man close to Superman's power level joined forces with Protex.
A-Mortal can`t enjoy the victory, he is believes Batman is still alive after he notices that he destroyed several drones on the ship . He searches for him, but doesn't return. His teamates who made fun of his fear of "a mere mortal" come looking for him ... and they find him, with a note from Batman saying: "I know your secret!"
Fluxus, Centurion and Tronix finally corner him … but Batman uses fire, the weakness shared by the martian people, which takes their power and knocks them out, after making them scream like little children. Because of the fire they weren't able to approach Batman's aircraft when they shot it down. Thus giving him the most important clue.

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Superman tells Protex just how much the Hyperclan has underestimated Batman, but Protex announces that he is already won, right now his fleet of aliens is invading earth. An army of seventy super soliders, each on the same power level as Superman or Martian Manhunter.

Issue#4

We cut to Superman thinking all the events over. The whole world is mind controlled by the Hyper Clan … all superbeings with fire power, even villains like Dr Phosphorus have lost their power and his friends will be executed in a few moments while an army of aliens invades Earth.
But then he realizes that he is still alive … the kryptonite didn`t kill him. It was a telepathic illusion. Telepaths who are afraid of fire? Just a few moments after Batman defeated four members of the Hyperclan, Superman identifies the Hyperclan as martians too and brakes the chains binding him on a chair forced to observe the temporal victory of Protex.
Superman battles Protex and Primaid. Armek is revealed to be Martian Manhunter who disguised himself as the villain after Green Lantern defeated him in the desert using his shape shifting power. After that we learn that Lantern and Flash surrendered to launch a surprise attack later and they knew what Manhunter was planing.

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While the reunited Justice League battles Primaid, the real Armek and Zum, Superman goes straight for Protex and settles the score in a battle at Earth's core.
The Hyperclan is finally revealed to bet the scout team of the last remaining fleet of the white martians, a race of aliens who killed Martian Manhunter's people, that was banished to the phantom zone (or still zone as they call it) by green martians like Manhunter for a terrible crime. They tried to rule over the Earth, taking the super powers away that was supposed to make the human race gods, which explains why there are so few (or so many) meta humans on earth. Batman arrives late when the battle is already won, dragging the Hyperclan members he took down across the building with his batrope.
Now the Superheroes have to stop the remaining white martian fleet from attacking earth. Superman manages to renew the trust humanity had in the Justice League in a speech he gives from the Hyperclans headquarters, reaching all of humanity with their equippment. He informs the wolrd about the white martians' weakness which proves crucial in the following battle.
Armies of civilians light fires all over the world defeating the martians easily. The aliens are taken back to the Phantom Zone. Martian Manhunter is allowed to decide which punishment fits their crime, after all the white martians killed his people and tried to conquer earth.
But he is merciful. He allows them to live as humans on Earth. Rebuilding the world after the destruction they caused. The last panel shows that they still feel that they are alien deep inside of them, no matter how well Manhunter's telepathic powers fool them into believing they are humans, so they are brought to justice .
The issue ends with the heroes talking about what happened in the Sahara which becomes a wasteland again after the Hyperclans influence on Earth is gone. They build a new headquarter on the moon, called the Watchtower.

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So what makes this comic so great ? Well, first it has the original Justice League with Wally and Kyle fullfilling their roles as Flash and Green Lantern. Everyone in the team gets moments where they show just how powerful and heroic they are. This whole story arc is one great epic of superheroes who defend Earth against an overhelming force of alien invaders, using their wits and their powers. The plot is perfectly written, there is no plot device that comes out of nowhere or a stupid twist which ruins a plot point that was already resolved like in Jeph Loeb's comics. You can't expect much more from a comic book. Also you shouldn't be worried that you wouldn't understand the plot like it happened to most fans who read Morrison's Batman RIP. Grant Morrison might have created the perfect superhero team book with this comic.

I also recommend this comic to Batman fans who are interested in reading Justice League comics. Batman's ability to outsmart every opponent, no matter how powerful they are was established by this comic and in the end you will know why Batman is a core member of the league, even tough he doesn`t want to be.
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #9: JLA New World Order

Postby DarkFlux » Jan 29th, 2012, 6:44 pm

Nice in depth feature RR :)

Almost makes me remember it fondly. But not quite.
For some reason Morrisons JLA just never clicked with me. In fact it was the book that first got me to doubt Morrisons greatness and sadly its pretty much snowballed ever since.
Not very keen on the art either.

Still, different strokes n all that.
I was thinking of giving it another go when the new prints come out soon but im not sure i wanna risk the cash :/
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #9: JLA New World Order

Postby Red_Robin » Jan 29th, 2012, 6:56 pm

Thanks, but credit goes to MaxSchreck for a fantastic article!
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #9: JLA New World Order

Postby DarkFlux » Jan 29th, 2012, 6:58 pm

Whoops!

I knew that :oldyella:

Nice job Max :)
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #9: JLA New World Order

Postby conradoaccorsi » Jan 29th, 2012, 6:59 pm

Awesome!
I ever try to buy the Ultimate Edition(Panini Comics Brazil) but its out of stock.
Imagine all the people
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #9: JLA New World Order

Postby johnsyggel » Jan 29th, 2012, 7:06 pm

Excellent work,MaxSchreck!One of my favourite comic books of Morrison's!
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #9: JLA New World Order

Postby MaxSchreck » Jan 29th, 2012, 8:12 pm

Thanks Guys :)
Hope you liked my review .
And special thanks to Red_Robin for helping me out with the article .Treasure Chest comics is probably the most awesome part of this webside these days .
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #9: JLA New World Order

Postby TFDutchman » Jan 30th, 2012, 2:27 am

Very good read. Not a huge fan of the JLA (as I've only ever really been a fan of Batman, Superman and Green Lantern), but it definitely sounds like an interesting read. Especially showing off Batman's ability to outsmart even the toughest opponents
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #9: JLA New World Order

Postby Doudyx-X-xDubs » Jan 30th, 2012, 3:14 am

Great stuff MaxSchreck. I'll have to check this one out. Only read a handful of JLA work.
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #9: JLA New World Order

Postby Scarecrow112 » Jan 30th, 2012, 9:12 am

Fantastic review it actually felt like I was reading the comic myself
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #9: JLA New World Order

Postby TheJester » Jan 30th, 2012, 11:17 pm

Ive just finished reading Serious House on a Serious Earth by Morrison and loved it. I was considering reading these online after checking out some other stuff he'd written, but your review has convinced me even more :)

Does each issue primarily focus on one character or would you say the spotlight is evenly divided?
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #9: JLA New World Order

Postby MaxSchreck » Jan 30th, 2012, 11:41 pm

TheJester wrote:Ive just finished reading Serious House on a Serious Earth by Morrison and loved it. I was considering reading these online after checking out some other stuff he'd written, but your review has convinced me even more :)

Does each issue primarily focus on one character or would you say the spotlight is evenly divided?


The spotlight is definitely evenly divided .
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #9: JLA New World Order

Postby TheJester » Jan 30th, 2012, 11:47 pm

MaxSchreck wrote:
TheJester wrote:Ive just finished reading Serious House on a Serious Earth by Morrison and loved it. I was considering reading these online after checking out some other stuff he'd written, but your review has convinced me even more :)

Does each issue primarily focus on one character or would you say the spotlight is evenly divided?


The spotlight is definitely evenly divided .

Ah that's good, I often find in comics and books etc the writer tends to accidentally or intentially focus too much on one character in a group, leaving the others not as developed. Great news, I'll see if I can read the series online somewhere.
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #9: JLA New World Order

Postby BobGun » Feb 3rd, 2012, 4:54 pm

Excellent stuff, Max!

Unfortunately, I can't really stand Morrison's batwork, so I never fully gave this a chance. Your passion was very evident in this, and TCC is without doubt the best thing about the site.
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #9: JLA New World Order

Postby johnsyggel » Feb 3rd, 2012, 5:10 pm

BobGun wrote:Excellent stuff, Max!

Unfortunately, I can't really stand Morrison's batwork, so I never fully gave this a chance. Your passion was very evident in this, and TCC is without doubt the best thing about the site.

This is not the standard Morrison's batwork,you should definitelly read it.And Howard Porter's art is awesome.
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