Comic Book: Justice League Elite
Justice League Elite
"No charter. No nation. No rules. NO MERCY!"
was a twelve-issue DC miniseries by Joe Kelly
and Doug Mahnke
, spinning off from Justice League of America
#100, in which the League and the Elite teamed up for an elaborate ruse to force the rest of the world to work together. In this miniseries, Flash, Green Arrow, Manitou Raven, and Major Disaster join the Elite to handle a couple of more sensitive jobs that the League couldn't openly deal with. Things quickly go wrong when their first mission results in the death of a dictator.
This series contains examples of:
- Adorable Abomination: Po-Pokta is the guardian totem of travelers. He's also a giant, adorable ferret.
- The Alcoholic: Major Disaster develops a huge drinking problem over the course of the miniseries, much to his teammates' chagrin. After his drinking causes his powers to crap out at a really bad time, resulting in the death of Manitou Raven, he ultimately decides to get sober.
- Asshole Victim: President Bhat was a despot whose response to the Blood Brothers' attempt to take over was to gas his own people.
- The Atoner:
- Coldcast was motivated to become a hero after blinding his mother the first time that his powers manifested. This resulted in him joining the original Elite, who turned out to be supervillains, giving him another thing to atone for.
- Kasumi is supposedly atoning for all the people she killed as an assassin.
- Manitou Raven is trying to make amends for his actions as a member of the League of Ancients.
- Ax-Crazy: Blood Brother Tomas carries an axe, and is comepletely batshit insane.
- Badass Normal: Al-Sheikh. He has no powers, but he still manages to come off as someone you don't want to mess with.
- Betty and Veronica: Invoked by the Flash to describe his internal conflict between his duties to the Justice League and his duties to the Elite.
- Big Brother Instinct: Coldcast tries to look out for his idiot brother, even after said idiot gets involved with alien gangbangers.
- Blood Knight: The Blood Brothers are a pair of these.
- Brain Bleach: Flash asks for something to get the sight of Changsha's killing fields out of his head. Humorously, Menagerie offers him one of her bugs, telling him to suck on the mucus...
- Breather Episode: In the fourth issue, the team is temporarily impounded after their attempt to stop the Blood Brothers' bloody attempt to take over Changsha results in the death of that country's dictator. Many of them treat it as a day off.
- Broken Bird: Vera is one, deep down.
- Clingy Costume: Menagerie's "crèche" might count as one. When the League forcibly removes it from her after she's revealed to be responsible for Bhat's death, its absence nearly kills her.
- Darker and Edgier: JLE is a darker version of the Justice League.
- Deadpan Snarker: Major Disaster starts off as one, but increasingly turns to alcohol to deal with all the shit he's gotten involved with.
- Driven to Suicide: After Manitou's death, Major Disaster tries to kill himself to "even the score". He fails, and decides to get sober instead.
- Eye Scream: In the first issue, Menagerie takes a dart to the eye.
- Face-Heel Turn: Menagerie betrays the team, intending to get revenge for the brain damage her sister suffered at Manchester Black's hands.
- Fragile Flower: There's hints throughout the miniseries that Sonja might actually be one of these, like when she gets upset after Coldcast implies that she's just someone he's having sex with.
- Good Is Not Nice:
- Naif Al-Sheikh is a mostly honest and honorable man. He's also a sexist, elitist asshole.
- Manitou Raven may be dedicated to his work, but he's not such a good husband. His brand of magic is also pretty messy and entails the occasional animal sacrifice.
- Groin Attack: Vera delivers a really hard one to President Bhat.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: The Elite deliberately seek out bad press to convince people that they're still supervillains.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Manitou Raven pulls one in order to save a drunk Major Disaster from the Black Racer.
- He Who Fights Monsters: A constant concern for this team.
- Hijacked by Ganon: Towards the end of the series, it's revealed that Vera's increasingly erratic behavior is the result of Manchester Black somehow taking over her body.
- Holy Handgrenade: Manitou Raven's axe cannot pierce the skin of a good man. It can, however, pierce the skin of an adulterer, which is how he saves Green Arrow from falling to his death - he embeds the axe in Ollie's chest and uses it like a fishhook to haul him back up. After Manitou's death, Dawn gives the axe to Al-Sheikh, believing that his devout religious belief will enable him to wield it.
- I Let Gwen Stacy Die:
- Flash blames himself for Bhat getting killed, because he believes that his nausea and contempt for Changsha meant that he wasn't giving his full effort.
- Major Disaster blames himself for Manitou's death, because he was so drunk that Manitou had to step in and save him.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Wolfwood - "You'd be surprised what a teaspoon of olive oil and a little curry does for your average bastard..."
- Knight in Sour Armor: Major Disaster.
- Legacy Character: Sonja is technically the second person to assume the persona of Menagerie. The original was her sister, who was left severely brain-damaged.
- Lovecraftian Superpower: Menagerie wears an "alien crèche" made up of bugs.
- The Mole: The Mist is actually Batgirl, installed to keep an eye on the team by Batman.
- Noble Bigot: Al-Sheikh is a complete asshole towards Dawn because she is a "pagan" who "dresses like a harlot" (for reference, Al-Sheikh is a former member of the Saudi Arabian government, so presumably he's a devout Wahhabi Muslim, which means that his standards of "modesty" are probably not shared by most people, and Dawn wears more clothing than most comic-book women.) On the other hand, he makes sure that she plays a role in running the team, and after Manitou dies, he is fully prepared to offer her compensation to insure that she doesn't become dependent on Oliver Queen.
- Oh Crap!: Lars' expression after he tries to use his blood-drawing powers on Menagerie and discovers that her blood is acidic...
- Our Presidents Are Different: Subverted. Al-Sheikh makes several references to President George W. Bush, even though the DC Universe supposedly had a different President during that time.
- President Evil: Don Qua Bhat, a borderline dictator who was prepared to gas his own people to prevent the Blood Brothers from overthrowing him.
- Recovered Addict: For most of the comic, Major Disaster kept getting wasted in order to deal with the stress of having to play a supervillain (because supervillainy was a previous addiction that he was still struggling to overcome). After getting so wasted that his powers crapped out on a mission, leading to the death of one of his only real friends, he tried to kill himself. When that failed, he decided retire from superheroics and join AA instead, and as far as we know, never relapsed (well, not on the drinking, anyway; he did return to being a superhero, but since that was during Infinite Crisis, and he ended up dying in battle, he can probably be forgiven for it.)
- Refusal of the Call: Booker chooses to reject Manitou's attempt to summon him to London, because he's just gotten sober and fears that going to another superhero battle will tempt him to start drinking again.
- Rescue Romance: Kasumi grows infatuated with Coldcast after he saves her from dying in Changsha.
- Scary Black Man: Coldcast deliberately plays up his gangbanger roots to convince his brother and his alien-gangbanger buddies that he's a criminal. This leads to some trouble when the Justice Society decides to take an interest.
- Slasher Smile: Menagerie has one.
- Smug Snake:
- Christopher Jones is an idiot gangbanger who just happened to make friends with some aliens, and even that might have ended badly for him if he hadn't happened to have a superpowered big brother to back him up.
- Aftermath turns out to be one just before Eve rips him in half.
- Spicy Latina: Menagerie is a literal example - her blood is acidic.
- Superpowered Evil Side: It's hinted that Menagerie is a completely different persona than Sonja.
- Survivors Guilt: Manitou's death leaves Major Disaster such a wreck that he decides to retire from superheroics altogether.
- The Unfavorite: Coldcast will always be second in his mother's eyes, even though his brother is an idiot gangbanger while he himself is a superhero.
- Unreliable Expositor: Manchester Black offers a comic-book-plausible explanation for how he managed to get into Vera's head, then turns around and points out that such an explanation is only plausible in fiction, so the more rational explanation is that Vera's just making this up as an excuse for her own behavior. Of course, this is Manchester Black talking.
- Volleying Insults: In order to get the Eye of Thirteen Pupils, Manitou must face off against the Insult Aardvark, withstanding the Aardvark's insults until the Aardvark grows tired, and then offering up an insult of his own.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Coldcast vomits up a royal shitload of Menagerie's "bambinos".
- Voodoo Shark: Manchester Black's explanation for how he managed to take over Vera's body despite supposedly being dead (he says his mind jumped out of his body just before he blew out his own brains) raises more questions than it answers, because it's not entirely clear if this is really Manchester or if he's just a figment of Vera's imagination.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: This is the Elite's reputation in the DC Universe.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: