is a 12-issue limited series published by DC Comics
from 2005-2007, created by Jim Krueger, Alex Ross, and Doug Braithwaite. It's a departure from normal continuity, but not quite an Elseworld
story. It takes the concepts of the DC Comics characters as they were in the Silver
Ages and writes a new story using them. The plot concerns the villains reforming and using their abilities to help mankind.
Naturally, it's not all as it seems,
as the entire plot to "help" humanity requires the use of Brainiac's Mind Control
worms. It's up to the assorted superhero teams (Justice League
, Doom Patrol
, Teen Titans
, Metal Men
) to save the day.
Notable for being very
idealistic on the sliding scale,
while not veering into Lighter and Softer
a higher-quality Super Friends
Not to be confused with The New Universe
comic of the same name
. Or the French electronic band
the DC game/comic series Injustice.
Justice provides examples of:
- And I Must Scream: In the beginning, Hal Jordan is shot by Sinestro into nowhere. Since his ring in unable to determine where Hal is and how he can get back, Hal transfers himself into the ring to survive - a process that can only be undone from outside. To make things worse, Hal becomes absorbed by the world and memories he sees inside the ring.
- Batman Can Breathe in Space: Played with, in that Captain Marvel is able to talk in space because, well, magic, while Superman cannot talk. Supes manages to communicate without speaking anyway.
- Batman Gambit: So much of the Justice League's final plan to stop the villains is composed of this. See Exactly What I Aimed At and Identity Impersonator below for more.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: While Wonder Woman is horrifically disfigured into a charred unrecognizable form, by the very end of the story she is ultimately restored to her original beauty.
- Big Bad: Brainiac
- Big Damn Hero: Captain Marvel's rescue of Superman is almost a Trope Codifier.
- Body Horror: Giganta's growth powers are rendered rather disturbingly. As is Clayface, who has a disturbingly human looking face in the middle of his blobbish form.
- The result of Cheetah's poisoning of Wonder Woman by the end.
- Not quite shown, but Zatanna's reaction to finding Aquaman with most of his encephalitic cavity exposed and his brain missing speaks volumes. Turns out the merman is still alive even after that.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: At certain points in the story, Batman, Captain Marvel, the entire Teen Titans, etc.
- The Cavalry: Captain Marvel has a great rescue for Superman in one chapter and The Green Lantern Corps lends some very timely assistance at the climax.
- Cardboard Prison: Arkham Asylum, as usual. Lampshaded by the Joker◊.
- Civilian Villain: The entire Legion of Doom pretends to reform in order to discredit the superheroes.
- Crazy-Prepared: Flash snatches Captain Cold's freeze gun away at super speed, only to find out it's a fake, allowing Captain Cold to whip out his real one.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: The supposed motive for the fake villain reforms. They assert that the superheroes never actually make the world any better, they just maintain the status quo. Such technological marvels as Captain Cold creating oases in the desert and Scarecrow using his medical knowledge to cure the blind would be genuine examples of this trope if they were sincere.
- Downer Beginning: The story begins with a dream about the world exploding from nuclear explosions, with Superman being the only survivor. On their selfish plan to avert that, the villains steal Batman's data on the heroes' identities, putting so many of them out of comission that backup members of the Justice League become needed to save the day.
- The Dragon: Lex Luthor
- Even Evil Has Standards: Black Manta's mooks flat-out refuse to obey his order to kill Aquaman's son.
- Exactly What I Aimed At: When mind-controlled Supergirl is holding several heroes hostage, Green Arrow fires a glowing green arrow at her, which Black Canary says is Kryptonite. She side-steps, then mocks them for saying what he's doing aloud. Arrow retorts, "Superhearing that my arrow was tipped with kryptonite doesn't mean it is." Cue John Stewart retrieving his ring from the arrow and then freeing the controlled heroes.
- Garden of Evil: Poison Ivy turns the Batcave into one when she attacks and brainwashes Batman.
- Genre Throwback: To Challenge of the Super Friends.
- Gonk: Dr. Sivana was always fairly ugly, but here he looks the hideous love child of Ross Perot and a goat.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Dr. Sivana, who invented the mind-control probes, is driven insane by them.
- Hurl It into the Sun: Captain Marvel throws Superman into the sun to burn out the mind control probes that were infecting him. At the end, the Green Lantern Corps also get rid of every nuclear bomb in this way.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: The Ring will not allow Hal Jordan to commit suicide. Go mad from isolation, yes, but suicide is not allowed.
- Identity Impersonator:In the final battle sequence, Parasite tries to use Kryptonite against the superhero wearing a metal suit with a giant S symbol on it. Turns out the superhero inside is Captain Marvel.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Batman does this to Captain Cold.
- What's more, because he's wearing Wonder Woman's lasso, he has to be serious about following through with his threats in order to make them.
- Kryptonite Ring: Mind-controlled Batman attempts to use his on Superman.
- Legion of Doom
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Features not only the Justice League, but the Teen Titans, Doom Patrol, Metal Men, and the Marvel family.
- Maniac Monkeys: Gorilla Grodd
- Mind Control: Brainiac's microscopic worms infect several of the heroes over the course of the story.
- Mind Rape: Gorilla Grodd is able to make Martian Manhunter think that he's on fire through psychic manipulation, all the while when J'onn is actually at the bottom of the ocean.
- Mythology Gag: The chief one is The Joker's outrage over not being included with the Legion of Doom. In the original animated series, the Joker was supposed to be a part of the Legion of Doom, but thanks to Executive Meddling, it never happened.
- References to Lois Lane's interview with Superman in the first Superman movie.
- Toyman (Winslow Schott) build a giant robot resembling the Jack Nimball Toyman.
- One of Brainiac's experiments, a white monkey with a computer brain attached to its head, resembles Koko, Brainiac's pet "space monkey" from the pre-Crisis Superman comics.
- Ray Palmer wears a suit that resembles the Gardner Gayle Atomic Knight.
- Hawkman and Hawkwoman's suits resemble the Thanagarian deities from Legend of the Hawkman.
- You can see the original Batman costume in the Batcave. The one from before Bill Finger.
- In addition, Batman's armored suit resembles the batmobile's design from the 60's Batman show.
- Noodle Implements: Oliver seems to hint that he and Black Canary get a little kinky sometimes.
- Not So Different: Batman has an epiphany that Superman's methods are somewhat compatible with his "Fight Evil Through Fear" philosophy. The crime rate in Metropolis dropped dramatically ever since Superman revealed his powers, most importantly X-Ray vision and super hearing, in an interview. Batman concludes that this news has left the criminals too scared to try anything, since Supes would immediately find them. He then congratulates Supes on using Fear to its fullest potential, but his reasoning only leaves Superman confused.
- Subverted with Black Manta. Aquaman calls him out on his claims that his motive is revenge for the black people's slavery and discrimination by pointing out that Manta is using mind-control to enslave his minions (all black) into serving him. Manta comments on the irony, then says he doesn't care and keeps attacking.
- Older Alter Ego: Several times in the story, it's apparent that Captain Marvel is really a 10-year-old boy.
- Panty Shot: Elasti-Girl in issue #11.
- Papa Wolf: Aquaman, when Brainiac kidnaps his son.
- People Puppets: See Mind Control
- Powered Armor: Various heroes wear the Metal Men as armor.
- Ship Tease: Captain Marvel/Wonder Woman and Superman/Zatanna.
- Silver Age: One of the eras this story is based on.
- Shout-Out: To Kingdom Come, which also features Sivana`s mind control bugs; these both are shout outs to Star Trek.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Very much on the idealist side.
- Space Is Noisy: Played with. Captain Marvel talks to Superman while in space, but the latter cannot respond. Why? Cap is using magic to talk in space.
- Spanner in the Works: Captain Marvel. The Phantom Stranger. The Metal Men.
- Superhero Speciation: The old Elongated Man/Plastic Man feud about who should be the "stretchy guy" on the team. Plastic Man responds that since Captain Marvel and Superman are both flying bricks, and there's room for both of them, there can be two stretchy guys on the League.
- Superpower Meltdown: At the beginning of the story, Flash is stuck running around the world at light-speed, and can't slow down. He's running so fast, he's racing himself.
- Take That: Some fans have speculated that the miniseries was either Alex Ross doing a Take That or at least a "measured response" to the Identity Crisis miniseries.
- This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: While being tortured by Brainiac, Aquaman is able to contact the sea creatures to make a gigantic X pointing to his location large enough to be seen from the Justice League satellite.
- Token Minority: John Stewart for the good guys, Black Manta looks like this at first but racism ends up being a major theme of his arc.
- Use Your Head: How Wonder Woman takes down Cheetah.
- Victory By Endurance: In the final battle, Hal Jordan faces Sinestro. Eventually, Hal reveals that he's not using his own ring, but Sinestro's spare ring, with a chunk of blue kryptonite on it to make it look green (yellow + blue= green). Hal could either defeat Sinestro normally, or wait until both rings were depleted (they drew on the same power battery). Option 2 happens, and Hal defeats Sinestro with his fists.
- Wolverine Publicity: On the cover for the second trade paperback of the series, the Joker is featured prominently standing among the Legion of Doom members. He is far from the main villain, is never considered to be a member of the Legion, and really only makes cameo appearances in the story itself.