Friday, October 11, 2013
Justice Volume Two (2007)
"The first name I ever knew was 'daughter.' I remember my mother holding me in the dawn. I remember the sea. And I remember her telling me that I was a gift. And that I was beautiful." Hippolyta never wanted Diana to compete in the contest to become Wonder Woman-- Amazonian ambassador and champion for the world. Against the queen's wishes, her princess donned a mask and won the contest, but also broke her mother's heart with the deceit and the dangers ahead. "I swore I'd never wear a mask again."
In battle with the Cheetah, Wonder Woman's face had been slashed open in three places by claws dipped in the centaur's poison called "Heracles' Lament." Cheetah had exchanged some of her own blood for it from the goddess of the underworld Persephone. Princess Diana struggled against claws and fangs at her backside, until she reached her Lasso of Truth and ensnared her foe. A tear fell from Priscilla Rich's eye as her humanity was briefly restored, but the cat soon loosed itself from the leash. Wonder Woman had repeatedly reached out to Priscilla, trying to help, but failing that, she kicked the kitty across the alley. The Cheetah fled, but Diana could already feel an unmaking sickness within herself.
Giganta was responsible for two attempts on the Atom's life, before receiving a small comeuppance. The Mighty Mite then contacted Wonder Woman in her invisible jet, who explained the situation and asked that he join her at a secret League meeting place. Diana then landed in a jungle, and used her Lasso of Truth to guide her through an illusory stone wall into a cave. As it turned out, this was the Batcave, now infested by jungle vines and other greenery. The Amazing Amazon found the Dark Knight bound to a tree, and learned this was Poison Ivy's doing.
Attacked by a giant Venus flytrap and thorn-firing roses, Wonder Woman commented, "How much like men with guns you are, Poison Ivy," to no small offense. Creepers crawling on Diana, the villainess warned, "You snap one of those vines, and I'll snap your neck. By the way, I like the new look." The Amazon Princess tore herself loose, and freed her ally besides. Batman unexpectedly began electrocuting Diana with special gauntlets, her fresh facial wounds from the Cheetah glowing orange against the blue arc. The Amazon looped her lasso around the Caped Crusader's neck. Ivy cracked, "Is it too much to hope that you'll kill each other?" It was, as a spiritually freed Batman cold-cocked her. Wonder Woman survived the attack, and everyone was loaded onto the invisible jet.
While flying a lassoed but mentally liberated Batman to the outskirts of the Fortress of Solitude in her invisible jet, Wonder Woman received late word from Doc Magnus and the rebuilt Red Tornado about the Caped Crusader's mischief while mind-controlled.
While the pair waited for Superman's arrival to unlock the door, other heroes began to gather outside. The Flash asked Wonder Woman about the damage dealt to her face. "Cheetah's scars are nothing, Barry. Somehow our enemies discovered who we are..." This led the Flash to be concerned about the welfare of his wife, but the arriving Captain Marvel and Superman warned that mental domination awaited the Scarlet Speedster if he struck out on his own. Instead, the world's greatest heroes stepped into Superman's parlor to plan their response as a team...
Wonder Woman attended a meeting where Batman laid out all the information collected about the Legion of Doom's plot. Afterword, Captain Marvel gave Wonder Woman a hug, and asked what had happened to her. "We are both beings of magic, Bill. That is also where we are most vulnerable. And I've been cursed. I'm going to die from the same poison that killed Hercules."
"The centaur's blood?"
"But where Hercules' death returned him to the glory which was his by right of birth... I am returning to my origins. These scars are baking me from within. I was clay once, formed by my mother's hands. The goddess made me real in answer to my mother's prayer. I am becoming unreal again. I don't have much time left."
Batman was finally freed of the mind-controlling worms, and returned the Lasso of Truth with a thank you. "Of course, Bruce. I'm glad you're back."
Soon after, the League learned their supporting casts, including Steve Trevor, had been kidnapped. Further, they were held captive my mind-controlled teen heroes, including Wonder Girl Donna Troy...
"Justice, Vol. 2," collecting issues #5-8 of the 2005 mini-series, was plotted and painted by Alex Ross. The script was provided by Jim Krueger, and the penciled layouts by Doug Braithwaite.