Wednesday, July 6, 2011

JLA #96 (Early June, 2004)

In the Batcave, Alfred offered Bruce a Pennyworth family heirloom, a pure silver cross blessed by the Archbishop of Canterbury. You'd think Alfred would know Batman is just going to mess it up, especially as soft as silver is, and that the Dark Knight really ought to have plenty of his own damned vampire killing silver. This isn't his first rodeo, y'know?

The Flash unnecessarily helped J'Onn J'Onzz to his feet, as he explained he had not been attacked, but merely left holding down a subplot for three issues. Green Lantern John Stewart was also present, and unsuccessfully tried to analyze the telling stones.

Larry Trainor and Rita Farr reported back to their chief on Key Mordaz. A stripped down robot with a visible human brain named Cliff joined the conversation.

Batman had feigned being shot to draw in the detective for a punch. The cloaked cultists turned out to be part-bat vampires. I kind of hate when wooden stakes instantaneously slay vampires, which is pure Hollywood, and it's only that much worse when the vampires run around with enchanted spears featuring wooden handles. Way to supply Batman the means to kill you effortlessly. One got away, but the Caped Crusader was able to use the cross to heal the detective from his vampire bite and subsequent subjugation.

At Castle Crucifer, Nudge consoled her caged ape Grunt while Vortex talked her into an origin flashback. She was a teenage runaway who ran off to join the circus... in the year 2004. She was the only handler able to sooth a four-armed ape, but she was still made to use her powers as a fortune teller, as well. Mysterious benefactors called in a debt with the circus owner in exchange for Grunt the ape, and Nudge used her powers to force them to take her, too. They were taken to Florida, where the chief was none to happy with the extra passenger, and used technology to prevent her from "persuading" anyone on the island. With time, Nudge managed to coax Larry into taking an unauthorized getaway to Miami while Nudge and Grunt escaped. Crucifer was waiting for them at the mainland, "Like he knew we were coming."

"The Heart of the Matter," part three of "The Tenth Circle," was by the famous X-Men creative team of John Byrne and Chris Claremont, joined by the inks of Jerry Ordway. I could have really done without the Nudge and Grunt flashback, not to mention the characters themselves.

The Tenth Circle

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