JLA: Crisis of Conscience

In the wake of Identity Crisis, it seems pretty clear the JLA is fractured.   This comic expands on that, delving into the deeper implications of the League’s involvement in wiping both criminal and allies’ minds, as well as the fallout from someone returning those memories to everyone.

The Secret Society of Super-Villains (the silliest, yet also kind of my favorite group name ever) is given back the memories that were taken from them, specifically the true identities of every superhero from the JLA.

wp-1470360360420.jpg Remembering what was done to them, the Secret Society vows to destroy the League, as well as everyone they hold dear.  Numerous battles ensue, in which the JLA attempts to capture the Secret Society while also dealing with the fallout from these memories being restored.

At the heart of the situation is Batman, who now knows that his mind was wiped by Zatanna.  Feeling as though he can no longer trust the League, he shuts them out and proceeds to work alone.  Normally I’d say this type of behavior is a typical Batman over-reaction, but in this case I can kind of see his point.  Bruce doesn’t have any superpowers; his power is his mind.  If he can’t trust his own mind, what can he trust?

The JLA manages to capture the Secret Society, but it doesn’t erase everything that’s been done.

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The League is splintered, with most of its key members having left.  The League, at least in its current incarnation, is clearly over. It’s not too surprising, given that this is a lead-up to Infinite Crisis, where I have a feeling a lot is going to change.  Still, it’s always sad to see an existing team disband, especially when it’s over such controversial issues as shown here.

One of the most fascinating characters in this short trade was Zatanna, who is expressing some serious guilt over what she did.  She tells Superman that she can’t do that sort of magic again; not because it’s not possible, but because it comes at too great of a price. In a rather poignant conversation with Wonder Woman though,she is reminded that sometimes, there is no other choice in order to protect the people you love.  Ultimately, Zatanna realizes this is necessary, and visits the Secret Society once again.

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Who knows what is going to happen after this, but whatever it is, I have a feeling it’s not going to be good.  A lot of characters lately have been at a crossroads, clearly leading to a major shake-up in the DC universe.  This just adds another layer to the intricately woven storyline, helping to unite all of the characters together.

This was a brief trade, but it served a key purpose. We saw the fallout of Zatanna’s mind-wipe, as well as the disintegration of the JLA.  There’s clearly a loss of trust among our heroes, with each breaking off and trying to find their place in this new, gray-area world. So much has happened recently, and yet it’s clear that the story isn’t over.  What is clear is that a major paradigm shift is starting, and at this point I have no idea how it’s all going to play out.  For better or worse, I’m excited to see where it all goes.

-Jess

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