In 1986, DC Comics published History of the DC Universe. Importantly, the comic changed continuity and introduced a single, unified DC Universe with a shared history. In addition, the DC multiverse was erased from continuity with the five remaining Earths after Crisis On Infinite Earths merging into New Earth. In the Pre-Crisis universe, DC Comics introduced Hal Jordan as opposed to Alan Scott.
This January, the Green Lantern series hit a 100th-issue milestone with a double-sized comic featuring Hal Jordan published in 1978. Today, we celebrateGreen Lantern.
GREEN LANTERN REACHES A MILESTONE
In Green Lantern (1978) #100, Green Lantern hits a milestone issue. In a double-sized comic by Dennis O’Neil and Alex Saviuk, Green Lantern has to stop a foreign terrorist named Master Tek. Moreover, the comic is set in the Pre-Crisis continuity on Earth-One. Also, the comic features the first appearance of Air Wave, Hal’s cousin. Importantly, the hero is one of the few characters that also share the name Hal Jordan like Green Lantern.
IN THE SECOND STORY, OLIVER QUEEN AGREES TO RUN FOR MAYOR
In“Beware the Blazing Inferno,” the second story, Oliver Queen agrees to run for mayor. In the issue, Green Arrow, Black Canary and Speedy (Roy Harper) stop the Blazing Infernos street gang in the latest Star City bombings. After, Mayor Jack Mayor deduces that Oliver Queen is Green Arrow and convinces him to run for mayor.
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INZA NELSON TELLS THE ORIGIN OF DOCTOR FATE
InDC Special Series (1978) #10, Paul Levitz and Joe Staton revel the origin of superheroes. In three separate stories, we learn the origin stories of Doctor Fate, Lightray and Black Canary. Importantly, Fate’s wife, Inza Nelson reflects on her husband’s encounter with the Lord of Order, Nabu, on Earth-Two when he was 12 years old. In fact, Kent Nelson was destined to become Doctor Fate as Nabu took him under his apprenticeship.
THE GOLDEN GLIDER LEARNS THE FLASH’S SECRET IDENTITY
In The Flash (1978) #257, Cary Bates and Irv Novick produced a thrilling Flash story set on Earth-One. In The Flash (1977) #250, the Golden Glider makes her first appearance. In issue #257, she learns the Flash is Barry Allen and attacks the West family.
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DC VS MARVEL
IN TEAM-UPS AND CROSSOVERS
“A CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS”
JLA/Avengers. DC Comics.
In honor of George Perez, let’s look at a classic DC/Marvel crossover.
Furthermore, our top-rated Formidability Ranking uses four central Fighting Skills to settle the debate.
In the classic inter-company crossover JLA/Avengers (2004), both super-teams assemble to take on a threat that threatens the Omniverse. Particularly, the series was so successful that the JLA: Syndicate Rules established the crossover to be canon to the New Earth continuity.
In contests of champions, the Grandmaster and Metron task both teams with the responsibility to assemble six items of power from each universe.
Namely, from the DC Universe: Green Lantern’s Power Battery, the Book of Eternity, the Orb of Ra, the items of the Demons Three, the Spear of Destiny and Psycho Pirate’s Medusa Mask.
From the Marvel Universe: the Ultimate Nullifier, the Evil Eye of Avalon, the Infinity Gems, the Cosmic Cube, the Casket of Ancient Winters and the Wand of Watoomb.
In JLA/Avengers #2, the Leaguers are leading 6-5. In a titanic clash, the JLA and the Avengers face off for the Cosmic Cube. On Savage Land, a knock-out drag-out slugfest follows. Let’s rank the main contestants in the battle in terms of the Power Hierarchy.
The Classic JLA line-up radially to center: Batman, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern, Flash, Superman, Wonder Woman. DC Comics.
In our JLA reviews, we mentioned how Grant Morrison’s 1997 JLA run, revitalized the franchise. More importantly, it gave a new generation of fans the classic JLA line-up: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Aquaman and Martian Manhunter.
What makes the JLA work is that they are a modern pantheon of gods. Literally! Grant Morrison gave us a beefed-up version of superheroes that continually outdid previous prowesses such as: Wally’s Infinite Mass Punch, Martian Manhunter figuring out Joker’s mind, Superman absorbing Mageddon’s anti-sunlight or even Batman going toe to toe against Prometheus.
Really, the JLA are DC’s premiere superhero team. In fact, they are the best and take on threats of any scale: From J’onn’s apparent death, the rise of the Injustice Gang, the alternate future of the ALE, to Superman remaining a symbol of hope in a White Martian invasion.
Though their chemistry is definitely legendary, let’s list how the individual members rank in formidability.
Generally, formidability is the ability to compete, match and defeat a foe despite overwhelming odds. Usually, formidability indicates a warrior’s ability to defeat a stronger, more powerful and more resourceful enemy. For this reason, it is almost interchangeable with the Fighting Skills Level. For example, this explains why Batman is able to defeat Killer Croc or Bane who are in fact stronger or more powerful. Using tactics, training, technology, resources and intel, Batman is usually able to take on more powerful opponents.
Before we rank the JLA Big Seven, let’s list some rules.
First, the superhero should be able to consistently defeat opponents above their strength class or power level.
In terms of power level or fighting skills, they should have few or no weaknesses.
Consistently, they should face quality opponents that are at least able to destroy a city.
Finally, they should have fewer limitations in power, strength, ability or intelligence.
Let’s rank our Big Seven. To note, all scores are rated out of a 100.
1. WONDER WOMAN
Wonder Woman. DC Comics.
Strength Class: Limitless 100%
Weaknesses: Divine Enchantment 100%
Quality Opponents: God or Abstract 100%
Limitations: Leadership 75%
Generally, Wonder Woman is THE best warrior in the universe. In fact, the best melee fighter in DC. In addition, unlike the other powerhouses in the DC Universe, she has no discernible weaknesses. Though, she has weaknesses to piercing weapons such as bullets and arrows. At the same time, it must be said that her powers are magical in nature, which means she ultimately depends on theOlympian gods.
Incredibly, she has stood up above her strength class against Superman, Darkseid and Doomsday. Furthermore, she consistently fights quality opponents like Ares, Genocide, First Born, The Olympian. Dark Nights: Death Metal reveals her greatest strength is the ability to see the truth.
However, where Wonder Woman ranks lower is on leadership and morals. At one point, she was cast out of Paradise Island for not bringing peace to Man’s World. Moreover, her warrior code has often caused other heroes to question her morals. For example, seeSuperman: Sacrifice.
2. GREEN LANTERN
Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner). DC Comics.
Strength Class: Galaxy 75%
Weaknesses: Irrelevant 100%
Quality Opponents: God or Abstract 100%
Limitations: Willpower 100%
Personally, Kyle Rayner is among my favorites at DC. Indeed, the Last Green Lantern is one of the best characters in recent memory. What separates Kyle as a character, is the combination of art and superheroing. When you bring together a struggling artist and the most powerful weapon powered by imagination and will, you get… god-like power!
When Kyle merged with the Ion Entity, Green Lantern became a god-like being capable of creation, nigh-omniscience, nigh-omnipresence. Really, Kyle is among the most likable heroes and the fact that he continued to want a normal life, is a testament to his awesomeness!
Generally, Green Lantern has faced tough competition from Mongul, Parallax, contained Solaris going supernova, fought the Monitors, the New Gods Takion and Kalibak, busted through the Manhunters and battled Monarch a time-travelling villain. With the yellow impurity gone, Kyle is only limited by his willpower. Indeed, something he has plenty of.
Importantly, Superman is the most powerful DC hero. However, Superman’s greatest strength is his great humanity. When it comes down to limitations, opponents have often used a long list of weakness exploitation. Seldom, however, do they use his humanity in battle.
Perhaps, due to his overwhelming power and strength. In comparison to other heroes, the Man of Steel consistently faces tough competition. Many times, Superman faces foes above his Strength Class. Such as Dominus, Imperiex, Brainiac-13, Mandrakk, World Forger and True Form Darkseid.
Really, Superman’s weakness to kryptonite is well-known. As Thought Robot, Superman is second to the Monitor Mind The Overvoid in power. Though, the Cosmic Armor grants him Boundless Strength. Properly speaking, Superman belongs to the Infinite Class of Super Strength.
Flash (Wally West). DC Comics.
Strength Class: Infinite 100%
Weaknesses: Universal Forces 92%
Quality Opponents: God or Abstract 100%
Limitations: Durability 25%
Recently, Wally West has become the best Flash among fans. And we can see why: He is relatable, a team-player, a great leader and one of the best graduates from the Teen Titans. Since Crisis on Infinite Earths, Wally has grown on fans and today sports a large fanbase. Though, that success has not necessarily translated to live-action.
Formidability-wise, Flash has no real weaknesses but has limitations. In fact, the Speed Force grants him the potential for infinite kinetic energy. Since Flash’s powers are physical, they can be altered by advanced weaponry or devices. Namely, one of the Flash’s rogues, the Thinker, once depowered Flash and transported him to Wonderland. Generally, Flash is limited by his durability being a metahuman. Though, his super strength potential is Infinite.
Famously, Batman once figured out the Flash’s weakness. When Ra’s Al Ghul stole Batman’s contingency plans against the JLA, he specifically targeted their weaknesses. In order to take down Flash, attach an electrostrobe to his spine to trigger seizures at super speed. Ouch! Nevertheless, Flash is generally affected by universal or multiversal forces that either reduce his kinetic energy or his connection to the Speed Force. Effectively depowering him.
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Aquaman. DC Comics.
Strength Class: Planetary 50%
Weaknesses: Divine Enchantment 100%
Quality Opponents: Champion 75%
Limitations: Power Dependency 92%
Generally, most comic battle boards rank Aquaman as a mid-tier in strength level. In some respects, the rating is correct. Indeed, the problem is that he has shown to match powerful energy-based metahumans such as Black Manta and Ocean Master. At the same time, he has out-performed team-busters and champions such as the OMAC and Despero.
Formidability-wise, Aquaman’s only weakness is water deprivation. However, with the water bearer hand, he is able to overcome it. At the same time, water is itself a power dependency limitation since Orin depends on it to survive. Nonetheless, despite his reputation, Aquaman is a powerhouse at DC comics.
Indeed, his combination of brutality, resources, intelligence, strength, energy projection and telepathy is unmatched. In addition, the water is his natural element. In many cases, in underwater battles, he can call upon sea life. Which is a sizable part of all species on Earth.
6. MARTIAN MANHUNTER
Martian Manhunter. DC Comics.
Strength Class: Stellar 58%
Weaknesses: Conventional Warfare 25%
Quality Opponents: Cosmic Being 83%
Limitations: Weakness Exploitation 83%
At this time, Martian Manhunter still gets no respect from writers and editors. Though the Fernus story arc did reveal the Burning Martians’ terrifying potential. At his highest potential, J’onn J’onnz is a Cosmic Being. In some respects, DC comics has yet to capitalize on J’onn’s power-set to tell long-lasting stories.
Recently, in Justice League: Last Ride, J’onn J’onnz went Super Saiyan in order to defeat Darkseid. Definitely, a power-up for the Green Martian. Perhaps, an indication that J’onn has finally put aside his fire weakness. At the same time, Martian Manhunter may challenge Superman as the most powerful hero in the DC Universe.
Only time will tell if the editorial team at DC finally raises his stock.
Why is Batman’s score so low? Let’s explain. In reality, Batman‘s formidability is about the intangibles. We are talking about resources, discipline, preparation, contingency plans, detective work with peak human conditioning and fighting skills. Though we can definitely rate these attributes, it is clear that the Dark Knight’s abilities rate him as a metahuman at his highest potential.
Though Batman does incredibly alone, his particular skills allow him to excel in teams. Indeed, his stealth and escapology are excellent for recon as the other powerhouses take the brunt of the damage. Furthermore, his expertise in science, psychology, criminology and mysticism make him the JLA’s best tactical leader.
However, being a low-level metahuman, the Dark Knight definitely suffers from low competition. His foes often include Bane, Killer Croc, Joker or even Prometheus. Nonetheless, as an essential part of the JLA, he has stood up to foes above his strength class: Superman, Green Lantern, Supergirl or even Darkseid. Finally, Batman may be the Bat-God or Prep-Master in any universe! And that is saying something.
And that’s our ranking! Don’t forget to leave comments if you liked the Super Power Explained.
In ‘Adventures of Superman’ (1990) #466, Superman fails to save the Excalibur crew. Originally, Cyborg Superman was an astronaut named Hank Henshaw. In fact, he was on the Lexcorp space shuttle called the Excalibur. Namely, the team consisted of Hank, his wife Terri, Steven and Jim Garrison. Caught in an accident caused by cosmic radiation, their bodies were destroyed.
Only their minds survived by creating themselves bodies. Tragically, Steven used pure cosmic radiation whereas Jim used rocks. Meanwhile, Hank’s body was decaying. On the other hand, Terri’s body was disappearing into an alternate dimension. However, Superman failed to save them and all astronauts died, except Terri. Despondently, Superman blamed their accident on his tossing the Eradicator into the sun. But, Terri confirmed their accident occurred before.
In ‘Superman’ (1993) #79, Cyborg Superman wears the Superman costume at the White House. AP Photo/Marvel Comics.
In ‘Adventures of Superman’ (1990) #468, Hank survived. Apparently, he transferred his mind into Lexcorp’s mainframe. When he appeared as a robot before Terri, the shock killed her. Strangely, Hank beamed himself onto Superman’s Kryptonian Birthing matrix orbiting Earth. Then, fashioning a space craft, he left Earth to learn about the universe. Soon, Hank would blame Superman for his wife’s death. In ‘Adventures of Superman’ (1990) #500, Cyborg Superman appears in Metropolis. Moreover, he is wearing the Superman costume.
In ‘Superman’ (1993) #79, Cyborg Superman stops a terrorist attack at the White House. According to White House scans, he is Superman’s genetic match. In the issue, Ron Tourpe, Clark Kent’s Daily Planet replacement is working on assignment. During the terrorist attack, Cyborg Superman withstands a barrage of energy blasts. Indeed, which Tourpe confirms the original Superman could not. Eventually, in “Reign of the Supermen,” Cyborg Superman would use Mongul and Warworld to destroy Coast City.
In ‘Superman’ (1993) #79, Cyborg Superman stops a terrorist attack at the White House. AP Photo/DC Comics.
THE SECOND COSTUME WAS ON APOKOLIPS
In ‘Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey,’ Cyborg Superman resurfaces. Previously, at the end of “Reign of the Supermen,” Superman shattered Cyborg Superman’s body. So, he did by vibrating his left hand at an incredible speed. But, the cyborg survived having previously downloaded his consciousness on Doomsday’s back.
In ‘Superman/Doomsday’ #1, Cyborg Superman guides Doomsday’s lifeless body to Apokolips. On course to Apokolips, Captain Slaven encounters an asteroid floating in space. After a scan, there is no sign of organic life form. So, he orders the asteroid into his space freighter. Terrifyingly, the crew realizes it is Doomsday. When they try to dispose of the cargo, it is already too late. Horrifyingly, Doomsday slaughters them.
In ‘Superman/Doomsday’ (1994) #2, Hank Henshaw has a costume upgrade. Finally, Doomsday lands on Apokolips by cargo ship. Immediately, the Ultimate slaughters the Apokoliptian army. In his resurrection, Cyborg Superman rebuilds his Kryptonian body and cybernetic parts. Here, he uses exo-armor from dead Apokoliptian soldiers.
Notably, the exo-armor upgrades Henshaw’s durability. Indeed, Cyborg Superman is able to withstand a full blast of heat vision from Superman. Even Darkseid’s Omega Effect has no effect. But at his peak, the Omega Force destroyed Cyborg Superman. At the end, Darkseid imprisons Cyborg Superman’s consciousness in a Father Box.
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THE THIRD COSTUME WAS THE GRANDMASTER COSTUME
In ‘Green Lantern’ (2007) #22, Cyborg Superman joins the Sinestro Corps. Previously, Henshaw led the Manhunters as Grandmaster. During the battle against the Green Lanterns, most of his organic body was destroyed. Now, the cyborg is being imprisoned on Oa. There, he is being questioned by the Guardians of the Universe. Particularly, about his knowledge of their secret: the 52 parallel universes of the DC multiverse. Surprisingly, the Sinestro Corps attacks the Green Lantern Corps. In addition, Superboy-Prime is freed from his sciencell.
Separately, and Cyborg Superman, they are transported to Qward in the Antimatter universe. After the attack, the Ion entity is ripped from Kyle Rayner’s heart. There, the cyborg is repaired and with them joins the Sinestro Corps. In ‘Tales Of The Sinestro Corps: Cyborg Superman’ (2007), Cyborg Superman finally defeats Superman. Sporting the Grandmaster costume, Henshaw has added durability and strength. And he is amped by the Yellow Lantern ring. Definitely, rocking the costume is one of Cyborg Superman’s best fashion moves.
NEW 52: JESSICA CRUZ DEVELOPED PTSD FROM AN ATTACK BY MOBSTERS
In ‘Justice League’ (2014) #31, Jessica Cruz becomes the new Power Ring. Four years ago, Jessica and her friends went on a hunting trip. On the way, they stumbled upon mobsters who were burying a body. Murderously, they decided to not leave witnesses and shot Jessica’s friends. Incredibly, Jessica managed to escape. Consequently, the young girl developed anxiety and PTSD from her trauma. As a result, she has locked herself in her room for four years.
Sinisterly, the Ring of Volthoom has revealed these things to her. Upon the death of Harold Jordan of the Crime Syndicate, the Ring has chosen her as its new host. In fact, her fear attracted it to her, a weapon it can use for destruction. When Jessica shoots the Ring with a shotgun, it only becomes angrier. Violently, the Ring forces itself upon her finger. Later, in control, Jessica realizes she needs help. Fortunately, the Doom Patrol offers to help.
NEW 52: DURING DARKSEID WAR, JESSICA CRUZ BECOMES A GREEN LANTERN
In ‘Justice League’ (2015) #41, Grail summons Anti-Monitor. After an attack on the Justice League, Green Lantern and Power Ring are on the scene. While Jessica is on crowd control, Hal confronts Grail. However, during the battle Grail breaks Hal’s willpower. Instead, Grail uses the Ring of Volthoom to summon Anti-Monitor to Prime Earth. In ‘Justice League’ (2016) #47, the Justice League breaks the Crime Syndicate out of Belle Reve. Cyborg, Power Ring, Mister Miracle and Big Barda break into the penitentiary.
Unfortunately, proximity to the Crime Syndicate causes Jessica to lose control and for the ring to possess her body and mind. Then, Jessica becomes Volthoom. Nevertheless, when Cyborg attempts to override the ring, Volthoom activates the Grid virus. In ‘Justice League’ (2016) #49, Jessica’s mind is trapped inside the Ring of Volthoom. Previously, at Belle Reve, Cyborg downloaded his consciousness into the ring as a contingency plan to help Jessica.
In ‘Justice League’ (2016) #50, Jessica Cruz becomes Sector 2814’s new Green Lantern. Inside the ring, Cyborg describes the ring’s programming as 0s, 1s and fear.
Fortunately, Cyborg manages to hack the tech in time for Jessica to save Flash from the Black Racer in one second. Seemingly, Jessica is killed by the Black Racer. In reality, we learn Black Racer has claimed the life of Volthoom. For her ability to overcome great fear, Jessica is chosen as Sector 2814’s new Green Lantern.
REBIRTH: DURING JUSTICE LEAGUE: ODYSSEY, JESSICA CRUZ DIES AND IS RESURRECTED AS AN OMEGA LANTERN
Previously, the Guardians of the Universe assigned Jessica Cruz to the Ghost Sector. In ‘Justice League Odyssey’ (2019) #1, Cyborg, Jessica Cruz, Starfire and Azrael head to space to confront a new menace. In the Ghost Sector, thousands of shrunken planets imprisoned on Colu have been released into the universe. Initially, Starfire joins the team in order to investigate the return of her home world Tamaran. However, the Ghost Sector, is a highly unstable region of space. Sinisterly, Darkseid offers to help the Justice League Odyssey. In ‘Justice League Odyssey’ (2019) #12, Darkseid reaches his full power. Previously, Darkseid had been born into baby from Superwoman in “Darkseid War.”
Slowly, he manipulated Hypertime to assemble the Justice League Odyssey and build Sepulkore. Using Starfire to activate the station, Darkseid soon returns to full power. While Cyborg, Starfire and Azrael have been converted into New Gods, only Jessica Cruz opposes Darkseid’s return. At four percent ring power, Jessica delivers Darkseid a devastating punch. Powerfully, Darkseid responds with a backhand that leaves Jessica on the floor, close to death. With one final blast of his Omega Effect, Darkseid reduces the Green Lantern to ashes and bones. In ‘Justice League Odyssey’ (2019) #13, the Omega Effect resurrects Jessica as an Omega Lantern.
Jean Loring, Doctor Light, Deathstroke, Captain Boomerang, Merlyn, The Calculator.
Brad Meltzer, Rags Morales, Michael Bair, Alex Sinclair, Ken Lopez, Mike Carlin, Valerie D’Orazio.
#WESTANDWITHZATANNA AND VICTIMS OF RAPE
In “Identity Crisis,” the JLA is faced with an ethical question. Indeed, the rape and the murder mystery of Sue Dibny drove deep wounds within the superhero community. Without a doubt, the Elongated Man’s wife was beloved. Regularly, she visited the Justice League atop the Watchtower.
Because of Sue Dibny’s rape, the Justice League faced a daunting ethical problem. In addition, Doctor Light was a threat to the League and their loved ones. In order to stop the psychopath, it was going to require drastic measures. But, the JLA members who responded to Sue’s signal and took down Doctor Light were split.
Divided, the JLA put the mindwipe to a vote. On one side, Green Lantern, Green Arrow and Black Canary voted against the mindwipe. On the other side, Zatanna, Hawkman and Atom voted for the mindwipe. Decisively, Flash (Barry Allen) broke the tie in favor. Without a doubt, a watershed moment in DC history that led to a breach of trust. When Zatanna lobotomized Doctor Light, Batman also arrived on the Watchtower. To prevent opposition from the Dark Knight, Zatanna also mindwiped him.
Later, during “Identity Crisis,” Batman recovered his memory of the event. Because of the breach of trust, this led to Batman creating Brother Eye to spy on the metahuman population. As Superboy-Prime argued, the heroes stopped behaving like heroes. The consequences were the Omac Project and the “Infinite Crisis.” In retaliation for Superman’s mind-control, Wonder Woman killed Maxwell Lord in cold blood.
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AGAINST ZATANNA: THE JLA SHOULD HAVE INCAPACITATED DOCTOR LIGHT’S POWERS
Given its intrusive nature, mindwipe is highly traumatic. Definitely, the mindwiped may end up worse off morally and personality-wise. In Batman’s case, this may explain the dark path he set upon after recovering his memory of the incident. For Doctor Light, it set him on a path to revenge. To this end, to destroy the JLA and the Teen Titans.
Later, Doctor Light accepted membership into the Secret Society of Supervillains. Certainly, it was a darker DC Universe. For its part, the JLA should have followed Green Lantern’s advice. Instead, Zatanna should have incapacitated Doctor Light’s use of his super powers. Also, to protect Sue, Doctor Light should have been sent under solitary confinement at a maximum security prison.
WITH SCORCH’S HELP, MARTIAN MANHUNTER OVERCOMES HIS FIRE WEAKNESS
In “JLA: Trial By Fire,”Martian Manhunter becomes Fernus The Burning. In ‘JLA’ (2003) #84, J’onn J’onnz meets with Superman over barbeque. Joyfully, he tells Superman he has overcome his fire weakness. With Scorch’s help, it has taken training to the limits of his mind and body. Soon, J’onn invites Superman to stay for dinner. But the Man of Steel has to respond to a JLA signal and flies away. As he departs, J’onn tells him he wants to remain on his vacation. Though, he intends to come back soon.
Later, the Justice League of America convenes on the Watchtower. Recently, at Arkham Asylum, Blackgate Prison and other prisons have reported their prisoners bawling over their crimes and watching Sesame Street on television. Green Lantern (John Stewart) hypothesizes it is a telepath. Soon, the JLA also find out that President Luthor is catatonic. Courageously, Superman enlists Martian Manhunter’s help. Unfortunately, J’onn is unable to repair Luthor’s mind. Moreover, he is caught in an energy feedback. And, the disembodied voice of Fernus speaks about its mysterious “gifts” to the JLA.1
In ‘JLA’ (2003) #84, J’onn J’onnz reveals to Superman that he has overcome his fire weakness with Scorch’s help. AP Photo/DC Comics.
FEAT: GREEN LANTERN GOES TOE-TO-TOE WITH FERNUS FOR 60 SECONDS
THE GUARDIANS OF THE UNIVERSE FEARED THE BURNING MARTIANS
In ‘JLA’ (2003) #87, Green Lantern (John Stewart) tells the origin story of the Martian race. 20,000 years ago, Mars was peopled by the Burning Martians. In a few words, the Burning Martians lived on a planet of Chaos. Certainly, they were a “barbaric, ruthless, brilliant” species.2 Moreover, they constantly battled amongst themselves. Eventually, their wars and tremendous power attracted the Guardians of the Universe’s attention. As the self-appointed Guardians of Order, the Guardians felt it necessary to intervene to stop the spread of Chaos. Indeed, Mars was centuries away from achieving space travel.
Battling the Burning Martians, the Guardians wanted to avoid genocide. Then, they turned to genetic manipulation. Brilliantly, the Guardians repressed the Burning Martians with the psycho-somatic weakness to fire. But, as John notes, they were short-sighted. Truly, they neglected to account for the Martian collective consciousness. So, J’onn J’onnz overcame his weakness. Effectively, he gained access to the Burning Martian genetic block through the Martian collective consciousness. As Fernus, he needs the suffering and the burning of the entire human population in order to reproduce asexually.
In ‘JLA’ (2003) #87, Green Lantern tells the origin story of the Burning Martians. AP Photo/DC Comics.
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FERNUS TAKES ON PLASTIC MAN AND THE JLA
In ‘JLA’ (2003) #88, Fernus takes on Plastic Man and the JLA. Previously, Batman recruited Plastic Man (Patrick O’Brian) into active duty. Going toe-to-toe, Plastic Man is able to contain Fernus for some time. Correctly, Batman states Plastic Man’s mind is no longer organic. His shape-shifting which is based on inspiration, can adapt to Martian telepathy. However, Superman fails to destroy the last of the nuclear warheads that Fernus detonated. Unfortunately, the warhead detonates in the city of Chongjin in North Korea.
In ‘JLA’ (2003) #89,Flash runs at light speed to save its 532,000 men, women and children. Suddenly, Scorch turns the tide of the battle. Courageously, the demon absorbs Fernus’ fire allowing Superman and the League to obliterate the Burning. Sadistically, Fernus triggers Scorch’s fire. Jubilantly, Fernus is about to spawn only to find Martian Manhunter ripping through his entrails. The faith of the JLA freed him from the Dreamwalk. Meanwhile, Green Lantern turns off the city-wide flames with a wave of water. Finally, Martian Manhunter obliterates Fernus with his Martian vision.
In ‘JLA’ (2003) #89, Fernus takes on the JLA and Plastic Man. AP Photo/DC Comics.