Wednesday, July 20, 2011
JLA #98 (Early August, 2004)
Batman did not wish to spring any of Crucifer's traps by following obvious leads, so he instead directed the League toward one he had generated that was only tangentially related: Key Mordaz, Floria. The Flash scouted ahead, and found very modern improvements concealed under the appearance of an old Spanish fort turned "abandoned" Confederate island prison. The Scarlet Speedster found Nudge, and assumed she was running in fear from Grunt, so a clash with another gorilla for the Flash commenced. Martian Manhunter's telepathy detected intellect and consciousness within the four-armed beast, and allowed it to pass intangibly through him. Batman performed a judo move and Green Lantern John Stewart caged grunt.
John recognized Nudge as the girl who'd played "Jedi" mind tricks on him, and tried it again on other heroes. "Your mental wiles are wasted on the Dark Knight, child... and are even less effective against a trained telepath. A psychic scan should reveal the truth--! By the twin moons!" The Martian Manhunter was pained by his psychic violation from, "Voices! A multitude, crying out in rage... and hatred... not a part of her. From... somewhere else!"
The JLA finally located Niles Caulder, Rita Farr, Larry Trainor and Cliff Steele in a secret lab within the decaying prison. Everyone was introduced, literally, because the creators had decided to pull a Hawkworld and try to treat the Doom Patrol as a brand new addition to the DC Universe. Yes friends, the entire JLA arc was just a backdoor pilot for a relaunch that would last less than two years. Anyway, Nudge told everybody her story, which allowed the Sleuth from Outer Space to deduce that "Her psychic discontinuity comes as a result of trying to integrate her already chaotic consciousness... with that of Manitou Raven." The ancient Native American mage almost uncovered the 10th Circle's plot, so he was neutralized by Crucifer. Nudge happened to capture Superman, Crucifer came to possess him, then Faith through Kal-El, plus the near killing of Wonder Woman.
The logic behind this sequence of events as presented is confused, because there's no strong indication Crucifer directed Nudge to Superman, yet happenstance led him to target the JLA. Manhunter felt, "He left me alone because Superman and I are too evenly matched. Open conflict between us would alert the League before he was fully prepared." Except get over yourself, J'Onn, because Wonder Woman consistently fares better against Superman than you, and she was explicitly directed to the JLA as a warning. Maybe Crucifer just figured you'd spend four issues going, "Dur-- where'd Atom go," and if not, he could just light a fireplace in your presence. "I am now able to shed light on the whereabouts of the Atom." Well finally!
Elasti-Girl (or whatever name Rita Farr would use this reboot) was lowered into the telling stones on a tether, and crossed over into the alien world the Atom had been stuck in. Using sophisticated equipment, she broadcast back images of a sacred object that had been revealed the Tiny Titan, as seen on a viewing screen by the Martian Manhunter. "If Manitou Raven's opinion is any guide," J'Onn believed he knew what it was, "And more important, how it may be of use in our overall situation."
"Convergence," part five of "The Tenth Circle," was by John Byrne, Chris Claremont, and Jerry Ordway.
The Tenth Circle