Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

JLA: Secret Society of Super-Heroes #2

JLA: The Secret Society of Super-Heroes (Book 2) [Elseworlds]

Scheduled to arrive in stores: October 4, 2000

Cover date: December 2000

Writer: Howard Chaykin and David Tischman
Penciller: Mike McKone
Inker: Jimmy Palmiotti

Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (

In the headquarters of the Kryptic Order, Bary, a younger version of an Impulse-like speedster accepts his place as a super-hero. He's given an invisibility machine, and spiffy super-hero duds.

Bruce Wayne and Lois Lane, having stolen their way into the lair unseen, watch this event unfolding. They sneak about, and Bruce Wayne finds a costume in a trophy case that is most disturbing. The Bat-Man, Thomas Wayne, is emulated in memory with his costume on a mannequin.

In the Phantom Zone, Ted Pelecanos is found again attempting to leave the Phantom Zone. He is lead by the man who found him, Joe Chill, to meet with Marian Manhunter in town... the town that is the Phantom Zone. A peaceful, infinite place is portrayed as opposed to the desolate wasteland we know and loathe. Joe Chill, as we know, is famous in comics for having killed Thomas Wayne.

At Wayne Manor, a prone-to-dialysis Alfred consults Bruce on Batman and his mythos... in a whisper.

On the rooftops, Bart, Green Lantern and Flash look for bad guys. They explain to Bart how they've been influencing the stock market to make money on the side - apparently the super-hero stock and trade ain't what it's cut out to be when it comes to a 401K.

They notice some thugs stealing goods, leap down, whup the tar out of them, and ruminate on how low class they are... not even dangerous enough to send to the Phantom Zone.

Bruce and Lois regroup after their encounter with the Kryptic order, and commit themselves to rescuing the some 300 criminals imprisoned in the Phantom Zone.

Bart stops at home, and his parents yell at him for not being at home, accusing him of being on drugs.

Bruce Wayne quits his job as an FBI agent.

At the Kryptic Order, Superman confronts Green Lantern about his stock market escapades, and they have a minor tussle.

It comes down to a vote for going public as opposed to staying hidden, and it's a straight tie... Bart runs off before casting the deciding vote.

Bruce looks for clues as to his father's past with the Riddler, who tells him that his father was a mason...

Bart travels the world, hiding from the Kryptic Order...

Ted continues to try and climb his way out of the Phantom Zone, but J'onn stops him by asking him to accept his fate.

Lois is walking down the street when an invisible man pinches her but. Bruce reveals that he's discovered the secret behind the invisibility disc. Lois smacks him, then kisses him.

Green Lantern, Atom, and Plastic Man fume because an act of God, i.e. Superman, has wiped out their entire portfolio.

Bart comes home, and asks his father for help, who takes the day off of work.

Batman, newly brought to life by Bruce Wayne, takes to the skies for the first time.

Superman, flying through Metropolis, is pasted by an extremely agitated Green Lantern. The divided Kryptic Order fight viscously, and invisibly. The crowd around is puzzled as cars implode and the streets splinter.

Batman arrives, wearing goggles that allow him to see the heroes. He leaps into the fray, and blasts the invisibility discs with a ray that makes all of the heroes visible to the public for the first time.

Jimmy Olsen, on scene, recognizes Superman, and calls his name... "CLARK!?" Distracted, Superman is punted into the distance.

Bart and his father arrive on scene. Green Lantern flicks Bart's father away, and moves in to kill Bart. Flash leaps in the way and takes a full blast of the ring. He's killed.

Hawkwoman steps on the Atom, smashing him to goo...

Superman rights a building that's been weakened in the fight, despite his weakened state. Annihilated, he collapses and dies in Lois's arms, in a rather Doomsday-esque situation. Batman grabs Green Lantern, pounds the snot out of him, and knocks him out.

Everyone still alive runs, never to be seen, or is arrested.

Bruce and Lois are married, and instead of Superman leaving the window open for Lois, now it's Batman.

On patrol, Batman saves a black woman from some goons. She thanks him. He asks her name... she says, "Robin."

Selina Kyle, seeing Bruce's exploits, works on a cat suit.

Finally, Batman with Bart sits in the Kryptic Order's former home, now the batcave, and pushes the open button on the Phantom Zone.

5Story - 5: Nice. I loved these books. It's the best Elseworlds book I've seen. Nothing like taking old characters and twisting them. And I don't mean in the T. O. Morrow of DC Two Thousand way. I mean in a way that isn't plot driven. It's known from the start that Bruce will undo the organization, that Superman is dying, it's how it happens that makes this story. It seems like a story that could really happen, should the twists and turns that took place in this universe actually imperil the Super-heroes we know and love.

4Art - 4: Very good, very in tune with the story... nothing jumps out amazingly and attacks the reader, but definitely better than your average comic book work. Especially the homages to various bits and pieces of the DC Universe that survive in this twisted world, like the shrines to dead heroes, like the Batman mythos.

3Cover Art - 3: I love what's there, but half of the cover is taken up with words. Crummy old words. C'mon guys! I want to see all of those heroes exploding up like that on the whole page!

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Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic was on sale.

January 2000

February 2000 March 2000 April 2000 May 2000 June 2000 July 2000 August 2000 September 2000 October 2000 November 2000 December 2000 Annuals

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