A whole summer full of events, at least that’s what DC promised us when releasing their DC Nation #0 prior to and on free comic book day. While everyone was excited to see their first look into what Brian Michael Bendis would be bringing to DC with his coming run with The Man of Steel and what the Joker was planning to sabotage the coming wedding of Batman and Catwoman, I with so many others were concerned with the apparent massive crossover No Justice. To say this title wasn’t over hyped would clearly be an understatement. Yet, who couldn’t be excited about so many members of the DC universe all thrown together? Yeah, that thing you’re not hearing is because this isn’t something new.
I’m totally not being bitter because this sounds all too familiar among comics readers, because at the end of the day it was a really fun comic to read. It was more so that I was expecting something a little more new and fresh considering how much the publishers threw the whole “the DC universe will never be the same” in your face. Like I get it; stuff is going to go down and it will have lasting ramifications. For the most part they did keep to the promise, by the end of the comic and without even looking towards the solicitations for the upcoming titles you could tell things were going to change.
Now one of the things that kind of worried me getting into this story was that I would have to read Scott Snyder’s Metal. I’ve no doubt that it was a good comic, the reviews say as much. I just really didn’t have a desire to pick it up. So seeing that this event was directly connected to the story of No Justice was also kind of a turn off. To my pleasant surprise however, this connection was very minute and very easily something you can work out without reading it. Which is again also a plus for the title. That’s something we’ll talk more about later.
Now getting into it, in reality this comic was used to usher in a new focal point for DC comics as the energy created by the Rebirth event finally began to fade after for going two years strong. What made this comic significant to the continued existence of the universe of comics is that the publishers are realizing that you do need to occasionally change up the formula and offer something new to keep readers interested. While the many dedicated readers will always stick with their favorite series’, you do want them to try out your new and exciting things so why not dangle all their favorite heroes in a super universe ending storyline. Yep that’s exactly what they did, but I’m sort of okay with it.
Now the prelude didn’t offer much in a way of explaining the real plot rather just really showcasing the four teams that would be associated with the title. Now these teams were comprised of both heroes and villains and split by the peak of points of the extreme in the emotional spectrum. Less like the various Lantern Corp and more so like the unexplained inspirations of the human condition. The first team, Entropy included Batman, Lobo, Deathstroke, Lex Luthor, and Beast Boy. Team Mystery, Superman, Starfire, Martian Manhunter, Starro, and Sinestro. Team Wonder, Wonder Woman, Raven, Doctor Fate, Etrigan, and Zatanna. Finally, Team Wisdom, Cyborg, Robin, Atom, Flash, and Harley Quinn.
Other than giving us some fighting among these heroes and and villains against some of Braniacs robots we really don’t get a whole lot of story in this. Yet at the end we get Green Arrow and Supergirl revealing that wherever these teams are fighting, it’s not on Earth and now a planet that’s severely lacking in it’s greatest heroes is being invaded by the mighty Omega Titans! Psh Ollie can take them on his own!
Once the main series starts we get a lot more clarification as to what’s going on. Again I haven’t read Dark Nights Metal but this is the only scene where you really have a connection between the two stories. Now after the events of that comic, the Justice League apparently broke the Source Wall that was holding back the dark Multiverse and from these cracks came the Omega Titans. They are world eating creatures that consume planets when they tip their emotional spectrum too close to one.
Where is the Justice League?
Of course the plot doesn’t remain so simplistic as I make it sound. The series proper begins with a massive attack on Earth initiated by Braniac and his army of robots. The targets are all heroes and metahumans together and they are soon overwhelmed. While this is Braniac we are talking about, his motives aren’t completely good but not bad either. He lets the teams he’s created know about the Omega Titans and their next target, Colu. He goes on that Colu has displayed too much Wisdom and that these energies fuel seeds that will emerge into trees should the energy for one be greater than the rest. The reason he gathered all these heroes and villains was to split them and create a balance between energies so that the titans would have nothing to feed on. Of course this comes with a cost, if the teams are not able to save Colu, then a seed that Braniac left on Earth will grow and attract the titans next, sealing the fate of Colu and Earth.
Now Braniac is one of the most intelligent beings in the Universe, surely with him on their side this should be easy? Nope, thanks to the one woman who ruins everything, Amanda Waller. While Earth was being attacked she got permission to use her special anti Braniac contingency plan in the wake of the disappearance of the Justice League. She forces a bunch of psychics into Braniacs mind in order to shut him down, effectively killing him. Not only does she kill him but she does so right before he was to reveal how to energize the trees on Colu. Yep nice job, Waller.
Back on Earth we do follow up with Ollie and his hunt for Amanda who discovers the seed that Braniac was talking about in the arctic. The journey to this point is told elsewhere but due to Waller’s hacking of Braniacs mind, the seed on Earth was activated. With no Braniac to run to, it seems she doomed Earth herself.
Back on Colu the teams are not doing so well, not even when they find Braniac’s “son”. However none of this is able to help them save Colu, which is eventually consumed. Even Starro’s gallant sacrifice and brutal end are not enough to save Colu.. However they do manage to get all of Braniac’s collected worlds off planet, which will not doubt have some serious consequences later. By the end of the ordeal, Braniac 2.0 is revealed to have been working as a saboteur the entire time but Ollie gets word out to the Green Lantern Corp just in time. The various worlds are released into the void left in Colu’s wake, this is the making of something much larger in the future. For many of these worlds will be strangers to the universe, there’s so many thing that can be done with this that I hope the writers take full advantage.
The series ends with a seed charged by all four energies being shot at the Entropy titan and the other three beginning to feed on him, sating their hunger for hopefully a very long time. The crack in the source wall, the releasing of thousands of worlds from Braniac’s collection, a powerful item given to Oliver by Martian Man-hunter that could stop the Justice League if they get too powerful…these are all things that will change the Universe as we know it. So clearly the writers were not boasting when they hyped up this series, things will never be the same.
Green Arrow Victorious
Now what I really loved about this series was that there was really only one tie in, a Green Arrow one at that! Yeah yeah I’m a Green Arrow fanboy get over it. The Green Arrow Annual #2 written by the Benson sisters was a re telling of the events that lead up to Ollie being the only hero on Earth not in stasis after Braniac’s attack. The story was mostly him fighting long time baddie Brick and defended people from the skull ships. Yet, we get some awesome things afterwards like a team up with Batgirl. His attempt to save Dinah and the JLA is met with an awesome fight against robots tailored to the powers of the various JLA metahumans and we’re show just how strong a non powered hero can be.
After this fight the issue catches up to Ollie hunting down Waller in the arctic and ends with J’onzz giving Ollie the secret box. This responsibilty is clearly unwanted by Oliver but he doesn’t have much of a choice regarding it. It’s teased that this story and situation will be continued in Green Arrow 43 when the Benson sisters finally take over authorship of the series. I can’t wait…until August. As for the series as a whole, as I said it’s nothing we haven’t seen before in comics. Yet, it’s full of exciting fights and great team ups. The real star however is the implications left behind after the story ended. For those we will have to wait and see what DC has in store for us.
All images Courtesy of DC Comics