JLA: Age of Wonder - Book 2 of 2 It's 1911, some ten years since we last saw our heroes.
The action begins with an aging Green Arrow chasing two thieves into a warehouse, which to their suprise is filled with technicians making rocket engines. In the scuffle between Ollie and the crooks, the fuel is ignited and the entire building explodes.
The only survivor is "an angel" that a drunken bum saw fly away almost unscathed from the ruins.
The remains of the League of Science, now consisting of Ted and Barry, with two new members in the form of Plastic Man and the Atom, investigate the ruins but are warned off by a mysterious figure called Bat-Man, who tells them that he will be investigating the crime.
Cut to a party, where Princess Diana is giving a speech to various wealthy and diplomatic types. She is currently living with Lex, who is Secretary of State, for reasons that will be explained later. Though personally I think that it's at least partially because she looks like a younger Lois, and he's transferred his feeling for her to Diana since that wasn't going to go anywhere.
The action cuts to the Eastern Front, where General Jordan is seeing the British forces being massacred by the German tanks and other anachronistic weaponry. Not being able to take the sight of the soldiers being killed, Hal flies in and starts attacking the Germans with his ring in an attempt to save some lives.
The moment he engages them however, he is attacked by German soldiers in yellow antigravity mechs, which he crushes between two tanks after finding that hisring is useless against them.
Back in the States, Lex yells at Hal for how he could be facing a court marshal for engaging the Germans, and thus being the Americans into the way before actually declaring it. Hal however is more concerned that they had antigravity weaponry when it was Lex's company that makes them.
This coupled with the fact that they knew about the yellow weakness causes Hal to realise that Lex has been selling advanced weaponry to the Germans. He demands to know why, and Lex shrugs it off saying that it isn't as if America's in danger as Tesla's Death Ray (trademark) will protect the US from any German attacks. He goes on to say that when America defeats the Germans, the country would be able to write their own mealticket as the rest of Europe would have been weakened by war, and he, as the man who launched the Death Ray (trademark) would be elected President.
Suddenly news comes in: London has been attacked with atomic missiles.
A shocked Hal says that he thought that only the Luthor Company had the atomic bomb, and Lex gleefully says that they were the only ones with the propulsion systems for suchs rockets as well. Luthor then casually mentions that with the British Empire out of the way nothing now stands in the way of his new and more powerful United States.
This finally causes Hal to loose it, and he attacks Lex, and the soldiers who attempt to come to his rescue, who he casually brushes aside. Diana, having only heard the commotion, storms into the room and rescues Lex from the "obviously" crazy Hal who then attacks Diana as he thinks that she must be in on it as well.
Lex fatally wounds Hal by smacking him in the back with a yellow fireaxe, releasing Diana from his stranglehold. With his last breath, Hal tell the ring to go and get Superman, which, after travelling millions of worlds away, it does.
Cut to London, where the Justice of Science is helping with the relief effort.
Huh, talk of miracles and Superman show up. Looking sort of like Jesus.
Anyway, while that is going on, Batman is questioning some hired goons about the warehouse that blew up. After breaking one of their arms, he finds out that Diana was working at the warehouse and talked to Luthor on the picturephone frequently. This causes Batman to go and question Diana.
Back in Europe, Clark and Lois talk. He says that he has to go and stop the war before any more people die, and that the other members of the LoS are coming along too. Lois kisses him and tells him to come back to her.
Luthor then gets an infuriating phonecall: not only is Superman back but he and the League are already halfway through Belgium and are trying to find where the German atomic missile silos are. He walks in on Diana while she's only half dressed on bed and abruptly tell her to get dressed, as she's going to be needed at the Death Ray (trademark) facility.
Luthor is changing his plans, he rings the German War Marshal Bismarck and tells him to fire his atomic missiles at America three hours earlier than they originally planned. When the War Marshal begins to protest at being ordered about, Luthor angrily reminds him that now that Britain has been annihilated German now has control of Europe and all of their colonies too.
Diana explains the evil scheme she was unwilling a part of,
Meanwhile, back in Europe
As Superman races off after the two rockets launched, League disarm the remaining rocket and force the commander of the base to tell the Kaiser to surrender.
Meanwhile, back at the Death Ray (trademark) facility,
Clark uses his Green Lantern ring to stop the first missile and fling it into space, and Luthor has the second shot down with the Death Ray (trademark). Realising that Superman has returned after all this time and is messing with his Master Plan, Luthor shoves the technicians aside and begins shooting specifically at Clark with increasing amounts of power.
His button mashing has dire consequences, however, as it causes the Death Ray (trademark) to overheat, threatening to blow up the entire destroyed.
The projector explodes, funneling all of the energy into Diana. Clark uses his ring to prevent the people being crushed by debris as the machine falls to bits. Afterwards, Batman and Clark search the rubble,
Weeks Later... Luthor is on deathrow, and remains unrepentant for his crimes. Clark says that Luthor is going to go down in history as a mass murderer and traitor, and was it worth all this death? Lex says that it'll have to do.
Taking into account all that been done in the name of misused science, greed, and the lust for power, Clark announces to an assembly of foriegn delegates that he is forming a league of nations. It will be used to resolve conflict in peaceful, diplomatic ways and the Green Lantern battery and ring will be kept there in order to stop any attempts to make war, should they occur. The ambassadors, including Queen Hippolyta and a man I think is Tsar Nicolas of Russia, applaud.
And so, the story ends with the reunited Clark and Lois flying off into the moonlit sky to catch up with their missing decade. While Batman continues to fight crime and make the world better in his own way.
Luthor is executed.
Other all I really like this series, even though Diana doesn't really come across very well in it, young and naive as she is.
The idea of combining Tesla's death ray designs with Themyscira's numerous ray machines (the purple healing ray for example) was an interesting idea.
I guess that the explanation for Diana's behaviour could possibly be put down to the German invasion of Paradise Island making her leave for Man's World a lot sooner than she did in other storylines, so she wasn't really ready for it yet.
I also like how Tesla is protrayed here, a kind man who has a habit of being hoodwinked by businessmen on a frequent basis. They even reference his OCD which is kind of neat.