Greetings and salutations, fans of the Unspoken! Tis I, your loyal Symbifan, back as promised to deliver the third and final part of my look back at the “Justice League: A Midsummer’s Nightmare” storyline! Well, it didn’t take me nearly as long to get this part out to you as part 2, but I do apologize for the wait. I know how beloved I am by all of you out there on the net. (You may roll you eyes sarcastically starting….now!) Anyway, shall we finish this puppy? Let us begin.
Last time, despite the odds, the Justice League found each other in a universe gone mad and banded together! The final issue begins with the soon-to-be-JLA fighting a group of everyday people granted with superpowers. The metahumans are being schooled by our heroes, but time grows short. They must discover if Dr. Destiny is in fact behind this or if a new threat has emerged. The metas may have no chance of winning this battle but they do have the numbers. To be blunt, this is taking forever to beat a bunch of cannon fodder. (Hey, Superman called them that, not me! I know, right?! And he’s usually such a goody-two-shoes!)
So, what does Martian Manhunter do? Only the most awesome Martian mind trick ever! He performs a mass telepathic assault that causes all assembled, except the good guys, to suffer seizures and pass out! (Don’t tick off a Martian! Well, unless you have a Zippo lighter. Lol! Ah, I amuse myself!) Moving on, after this display of mental might, the group discusses whether or not they even have the right to stop the world from gaining super-powers. I mean, they have tons themselves. Hardly seems fair. But it’s finally agreed that letting everyone on Earth posses godlike powers just might be a bad idea in the long run. So to stop this, they need to discover the root of the problem. But how to locate the villain in a world of powered-up peeps?
That’s when Martian Manhunter comes to the realization that only one man knows Dr. Destiny’s location….Kyle Rayner AKA Green Lantern! After all, wasn’t he drawing this in a comic book all the way back in issue one? Manhunter then invades Kyle’s personal space and does his whole Martian “laying-of-hands” trick with poor Green Lantern’s head and enters his mind! He does find out exactly what he wants to know, and faster than the Flash does dishes, they’re off! It doesn’t take long for them to reach their destination.
Superman wants to rush right in swinging, but Batman reminds him that no one on this Earth knows who they are or that they are, in fact, good guys. He talks them all into staying put while he does his thing, and in no time they have access to the installation. (Never ceases to amaze, does he? Except when keeping the inmates of Arkham off the streets! Ooooooh! Burn!) The team is faced with several illusions along the many corridors but soon make it to the most secured room. Smashing their way in, they discover Dr. Destiny, held captive and being drained of his power! With little effort, he is freed and starts to spill the beans on who has been using him to make the world the way it is when….the villain arrives!
The being calls himself Know Man! (I know! Sounds like what Sheldon Cooper from “Big Bang Theory” would call himself if he became an evil mastermind!) But I digress. The heroes begin their assault, but to no avail. Even Supes is knocked into the ionosphere by the guy! That’s when Batman comes up with a risky plan. He removes the mind-reaching equipment from Dr. Destiny and slaps it onto Martian Manhunter and Aquaman with the hopes of mentally reversing it’s evil effects! (That’s right! Aquaman has telepathic powers that can be used on more than just fish! He’s a total badass! That said, I expect an autographed picture any day of Jason Momoa for my girlfriend for typing that sentence.) As the two heroes reach out with their minds to an entire planet, the others are getting seriously kicked around by the villain!
That’s when Know Man performs his most heinous act….he monologues his origin story! It turns out that the guy used to be an honest-to-Flintstone caveman! You heard me right! Long ago, a race called the Controllers decided that the universe was such a dangerous place that an anti-war deterrent was needed in every sector of space to keep everyone safe. One of these Controllers crash landed on the Earth and was discovered by the being that would become Know Man! The caveman was chosen to continue this mission, as the Controller was dying. He soon gained entrance into the spaceship and began to evolve, both mentally and physically. He was even gifted with immortality! Know Man witnessed many horrors throughout his long life. And when superbeings started surfacing, he decided it was his time to act. He would me remake the Earth into an entire world of super-powered humans. He would make the heroes and villains of old obsolete! (Whew! Long-winded fella, huh?)
The group listens to all of this in near silence until they decide they’ve heard enough. Superman leads the charge! But before an attack can be made, the heroes suddenly find themselves transported into their own personal Hells, based on their own fears about themselves! All seems lost until Martian Manhunter frees himself with the surprising help of….Dr. Destiny! And, just like that, the people of Earth begin to return to normal! Mission accomplished, but he still needs to free his friends. That’s when he spies Wonder Woman’s lasso of truth! Using its power, combined with his mental willpower, he reaches out to each hero and makes them see the truth about themselves. They are heroes. Superheroes.
Returned to their senses, the heroes attack! But Know Man no longer wishes to fight! Even though they have thwarted his plans, they have only succeeded in dooming the human race to a future threat he has forseen! (Yeah! Like that’ll ever happen! It’s not like comic writers lie in bed at night and dream up new and more powerful villains all of the time! Right?) Anyway, Know Man then disappears, leaving the big question: Where do they go from here? It is decided that if bigger threats do in fact exist out there, they are way stronger together than they ever were apart. And so, The Justice League of America is born! Yes, to us comic fans, it truly was a dream come true.
(Dedicated to my bestfriend, Tim Osborn, for showing me the wonder of the traditional superhero.)