is a six-issue mini-series that was published by DC Comics
in 1986, created by John Ostrander, Len Wein, John Byrne
, and Karl Kesel. In the story, Darkseid
attempts to destroy the legend of superheroes by having his underling Glorious Godfrey pose as American sociopolitical pundit G. Gordon Godfrey to cast aspersions on superheroes in the minds of the general public. This results in violent rioting and the President of the United States calling on a ban on superhero activity until G. Gordon Godfrey's real purpose ends up being exposed when a Parademon swarm attack is unleashed on Washington, D.C.
This series was most notable for launching the semi-humorous Justice League International
(the one with Blue Beetle
) and the perennially popular supervillains-doing-espionage title Suicide Squad
, as well as starting the career of the third Flash
, Wally West. It also marked the post-Crisis debuts of Wonder Woman
(after she was rebooted from scratch by George Perez and Greg Potter) and Captain Marvel.
This comic book mini-series provides examples of
- Accidental Pervert: Blue Beetle, when he stands outside an apartment window and sees a woman dressed in only a towel, coming out of a shower and looking out. Comically, though, he does say she has a nice tush.
- Alliterative Name: Glorious Godfrey, a.k.a. G. Gordon Godfrey.
- Anti-Hero: The Suicide Squad, known here as "Task Force X".
- Anyone Can Die: The whole point of "Task Force X", as demonstrated on their first mission to take down Brimstone.
- An Arm and a Leg: Sunspot uses his power blast to get out of the ankle cuff that Guy Gardner holds him upside-down by, but in the process he accidentally blasts off his right foot. Guy tends to Sunspot's injury, but threatens to cut off the villain's left hand if he uses his power blast again.
- As the Good Book Says: A quote is taken from Ephesians 6:12 to close out the story.
- Black Boss Lady: Amanda Waller of "Task Force X".
- Boxing Kangaroo: Beast Boy turns into one when dealing with Captain Boomerang.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Superman is brainwashed by Amazing Grace into becoming Darkseid's willing servant during his own series' tie-in with the story.
- Caught Up in the Rapture: In this case, various superheroes were caught up to join Dr. Fate in the final confrontation with G. Gordon Godfrey that would occur near the end of the story.
- Compelling Voice: Glorious Godfrey, and in the related Superman side story, his sister Amazing Grace.
- Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Guy Gardner brings a crippled airliner down to safety and expects the people to thank him. Instead, he gets an angry mob riled up because he landed said airliner in the middle of a busy highway, despite the fact that he only did so because he got pinged in the head by a piece of yellow-colored debris from the airliner. Guy Gardner just snubs the ungrateful crowd and flies off.
- Creator Provincialism: Darkseid's Operation: Humiliation seems to be mostly focused on the United States.
- Criminal Amnesiac: What Superman became in his related side story when he was abducted by Darkseid and manipulated by Amazing Grace on Apokolips. Fortunately, Orion and Lightray helped restore Superman's memory and true self.
- Crisis Crossover
- Dating Catwoman: Superman with Amazing Grace while he was amnesiac on Apokolips in his related side story.
- David Vs Goliath: Vibe vs. Brimstone, which is even lampshaded by Vibe himself. Not that it keeps Brimstone down.
- The Easy Way or the Hard Way: Said by Guy Gardner to Sunspot, though Guy adds that he's hoping that the villain would opt for the hard way.
- Empty Piles of Clothing: Cover of issue 5 has Captain Marvel standing among piles of empty superhero clothing.
- Expecting Someone Taller: One of the people who sees Wally West as the new Flash said that the Flash used to be taller.
- Explosive Leash: The cuff that gets slapped on Deadshot's and Captain Boomerang's wrists to make sure they would not run away from the group on an assigned mission.
- Faking the Dead: Doctor Bedlam fakes his own death while posing as Macro-Man in order to disgrace Captain Marvel for killing him by using his magic lightning bolt to transform back into Billy Batson. It's still rather traumatic for him to go through, though.
- Fembot/Ms. Fanservice: Chronos' bikini-clad robot lady.
- Flaming Sword: Brimstone creates a sword out of literal flame to deal with "Justice League Detroit".
- Glory Seeker: Guy Gardner as Green Lantern is this in the series, understandably since he was just brought into the role during Crisis on Infinite Earths and felt he got passed over the role when Hal Jordan was initially chosen.
- Hell Hound: The Warhounds are a mechanical version of this.
- Heroic BSOD: Billy Batson, during the time that he believed that he as Captain Marvel killed Macro-Man. He gets over it when he realizes that it was a hoax.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: What the heroes in this series become, thanks to Glorious Godfrey's manipulations. It takes the children to speak reason unto the adults and parents, and Godfrey slapping a child, to make them see what's going on.
- Not that what Guy Gardner does for heroics wins him any respect even if Glorious Godfrey wasn't manipulating anyone.
- He's Back: Billy Batson as Captain Marvel after his Heroic BSOD.
- Identity Impersonator
- J'onn J'onnz disguises himself as the President of the United States to protect the real President from a group of would-be assassins.
- DeSaad and Y'smalla as Travis Morgan in the related Warlord side story.
- Introdump: In case you needed to know who made up "Justice League Detroit" when they show up to deal with Brimstone, they provide it at the end of issue 1.
- I Want My Mommy: Ms. Magnificent when she rips a steel door open from its hinges to find a horrifying green monster created by Guy Gardner's power ring: "Mama?"
- Killed Off for Real: Blockbuster in the main series. Vibe and Steel in the related Justice League Of America side story.
- Large Ham: Brimstone seems to be programmed with it. "Gaze into my eyes, ye mighty...and despair!"
- Legacy Character: Wally West and Guy Gardner were just made the respective successors of both the Flash and the Green Lantern prior to this series starting, and this is showing how they are dealing with having to carry on the legacy of their forebears. Also to a lesser extent of focus are Ted Kord as the Blue Beetle and Dinah Laurel Lance as the Black Canary.
- Literary Allusion Title: Story titles of issues 4 and 5, "Cry Havoc" and "Let Slip The Dogs Of War", referencing Julius Caesar.
- Make My Monster Grow: Brimstone, created from Darkseid's "technoseed" and grown quickly inside an experimental fusion chamber.
- Mind Rape: Glorious Godfrey gets one by trying to use the stolen Helmet of Fate.
- Multiple-Choice Past: The related Secret Origins story featuring the Phantom Stranger gives him four possible origins: the Wandering Jew, a survivor of a divine judgment who was prevented from joining his family in the afterlife, a person from the future who will be part of a Stable Time Loop, and an angel that refused to take sides in the war between heaven and hell.
- Nerf: Wally West had to deal with the fact that since Crisis on Infinite Earths, the blast from the Anti-Monitor's antimatter cannon had knocked down his speed from near-light to the speed of sound. This gets commented on by a few people, including Captain Boomerang when the Flash confronts him during a crime spree.
- Never My Fault: The Star City police officer who shot another police officer trying to stop him from firing at Black Canary decides to blame her for the death instead of taking responsibility himself, most likely since he was under the mental influence of G. Gordon Godfrey.
- Oh, Crap: Dr. Fate's reaction when a Parademon steals the Helmet of Fate and he is faced with an angry mob surrounding him.
- Power Palms: Sunspot, a villain whom Guy Gardner takes care of, fires energy blasts from the palm of his left hand.
- Put on a Bus: Firestorm, Cosmic Boy, and "Justice League Detroit" appear in the first two issues, but afterward get shuttled off to their own related side stories and never appear again in the main series. The Cosmic Boy mini-series eventually leads to the revelation that the history where Superman was once Superboy has been retconned to take place in a "pocket universe" that the Time Trapper had created.
- Bus Crash: For "Justice League Detroit", as most of that version of the League either retired or were killed off by Professor Ivo's robotic copies in the related Justice League Of America side story.
- The Bus Came Back: Only J'onn J'onnz returns to the main series as an active hero.
- Beast Boy tells Wally West as Flash that he'd rather enjoy a McLean Stevenson (Col. Henry Blake from M*A*S*H) retrospective. He also mentions Monty Python (particularly the Flying Circus sketch "The Spanish Inquisition") when he sees Captain Boomerang being captured by an angry mob.
- Blue Beetle comments that the Parademon horde looks more like escapees from The Wizard of Oz. He also mentions Robin Hood, William Tell, Zorro, and The Scarlet Pimpernel as heroic outlaws that he is being compared to.
- Wonder Woman, coming fresh from the island of Themyscira, compares Darkseid's Warhounds to being like Cerberus.
- Guy Gardner mentions Arnold Schwarzenegger when mocking Sunspot's super-strength.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: Wonder Woman at the end of the series.
- Suicide Mission: After the superheroes fail to take down Brimstone, Amanda Waller sends "Task Force X" to do the job.
- Super-Persistent Missile: Darkseid's Omega Beams, which in the Superman side story seek after Superman to transport him to Apokolips and then later try to destroy him. In the latter instance, Superman guides the Omega Beams back toward Darkseid to strike him instead.
- Take That: G. Gordon Godfrey was named for American sociopolitical pundit G. Gordon Liddy.
- Taking Up The Mantle: Wally West as the Flash after Barry Allen's death. Also the group of heroes that assemble against G. Gordon Godfrey (minus Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, and Beast Boy) take up the mantle of the Justice League after "Justice League Detroit"'s dissolution.
- To Be Lawful or Good: Superman seems to be the only one who is willing to obey the President's ban on superhero activity, while the others simply ignore it for the sake of doing good.
- The Vamp: Amazing Grace in the related Superman side story.
- Villain with Good Publicity: G. Gordon Godfrey, up until his Villainous Breakdown.
- The Watcher: The Phantom Stranger plays this role in the series, while also debating with Darkseid about his plan to destroy the legend of superheroes.
- Would Hurt a Child: Glorious Godfrey, who ultimately does, eventually causing the populace to turn against him.
- Your Mom: Beast Boy makes fun of G. Gordon Godfrey while watching him speak on television, saying "Your father wears your mother's Army boots".