Friday, October 4, 2013

Justice Volume One (2006)

Missiles streaked through the skies, striking major cities the world over, killing everything in their eruption's wake. In Metropolis, Superman barely saved Lois Lane before setting her somewhere safe... except no place was safe, and Superman's Girlfriend was soon no more. The Man of Steel called on his super friends.

Wonder Woman, holding back a wall from collapsing on children, answered "I hear you, Superman. The same thing's happening in Rome. I don't know. I don't..." The Amazing Amazon's legs began to turn into stone, and the malady continued upward, until her face was a mass of fissures. "Hera help me. S-superman...?" Diana died first among her fellows, her smoldering corpse still leveraged against the wall.

An omniscient commentator criticized the heroes' performance as the Earth itself perished:

Some might say that I am being unfair. That mankind molded you into the beings you are. We made you into gods, like a potter would a piece of clay. You did not claim this for yourself. But I ask you, what were reasonable men to do in your presence?

Priscilla Rich awoke from her nightmare, nude in a luxurious circular bed, her twin cheetah companions unstirred in the penthouse suite they shared. Rich also shared the dream-- each of her compatriots in the Legion of Doom troubled by their nocturnal vision. Action would have to be taken, to save all of humanity from the coming failure of the Justice League of America...

A Wonder Woman conference was being held at the Meredith Hotel, and Priscilla Rich looked to be attending. Clerks at the front desk gossiped that “She’s just become one of the biggest supporters of the protection of animals in the world.” In a broad leopard print hat and trench coat, Rich seemed to be the one being protected, by the pair of cheetahs walking ahead of her on leashes. “Well, that’s one way to spend your money, I suppose. If she’s come to hear Wonder Woman, she better hurry.”

In her swank hotel room, the now nude Priscilla Rich knelt by the body of one of her cheetahs. She stroked its fur, and offered a prayer as she took a ceremonial dagger to the big cat, marking her face with its blood. “I call upon your spirit… I call with your blood to make a way for me… Blood for spirit. Flesh for eyes… So that the Cheetah can be reborn.”

In a ballroom downstairs, Wonder Woman gave the gathered female fans an empowering motivational speech about bettering the world. Outside, in the bushes, Priscilla Rich stalked-- wearing the skin of her feline companion…

The Legion of Doom’s membership had begun working to vastly improve the world as we know it through charity and scientific breakthroughs. They also publicly attacked the character of the Justice League of America, while privately attempting to murder the super-heroes in their secret identities.

Having finished her convention speech, Princess Diana walked backstage, where she sensed “Priscilla?”

“Who’s Priscilla,” the Cheetah answered, as she plunged from above. Snarling, the villainess slashed Diana’s left cheek with her claws. “Listen to me, Priscilla. We don’t have to fight. What’s wrong with you?” Diana defended herself against additional cuts with her bulletproof bracelets, as she stripped off her diplomatic robes to reveal her costume underneath. “I swear, Priscilla, I will help you. You’ve given yourself over to the dark gods again—why? I don’t understand! It doesn’t have to be this way.” Wonder Woman loosed her Lasso of Truth, but it failed to catch her foe, who tore at the right side of the Amazon Princess’ face. Wonder Woman fell to the ground on her side, a tear in her eye. “This… is wrong… Have to get to the JLA Satellite. What’s going on? Hera help me.”

In the first Justice trade paperback, an introductory piece was written in which Superman considered his fellows in the Justice League. Superman noted of Wonder Woman:
Diana is one of the Amazons of myth. For some, slavery can breed hatred, but not for her. Diana's love of freedom is so great that she fights for it at all costs, using all manner of Amazonian weaponry at her disposal.

Diana is perfect. She doesn't know it. And that just makes her more perfect.

"Justice, Vol. 1," collecting the first four issues 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.

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