Wednesday, July 27, 2011

JLA #99 (Late August, 2004)

Through Nudge's contact with Manitou Raven, the Manhunter from Mars was eventually able to determine Crucifer's origins and an overview of his activities across centuries, including the nature of his arrangement with the insectoid creatures that rendered him "effectively unkillable." Since Vortex's wormhole was still open, Nudge led the JLA and the (still unnamed) Doom Patrol back through it to Castle Crucifer. Green Lantern John Stewart neutralized Vortex, until Nudge and the Martian Manhunter spoke out on his behalf. The Flash released Crucifer's human child prisoners from their basement cells, then contacted the authorities to see to their well being. Vortex opened a portal to Barnes, Saskatchewan, so that most of the heroes could confront their prey. Martian Manhunter requested, "With your go-ahead, Batman, I would like to stay behind... and try to find some means to liberate Superman. We cannot afford to have Crucifer use him against us further."

The League and the Doom Patrol successfully routed Crucifer's scheme, sending him into retreat back to his castle, where he again was faced by but defeated Wonder Woman. This time, Crucifer decided to "turn" her. Red blood was vomited out of Crucifer's pained throat, even though the just-arrived Nudge called it as green. Either way, "Wonder Woman" turned out to be the Martian Manhunter in disguise, and his alien blood had dealt Crucifer some damage. Working together, Elasti-Girl, the Atom and Superman then finally managed to stake Crucifer to ashes. Afterward, everybody headed back to the Watchtower for a debriefing, before everyone went their separate ways. However, this case wasn't yet through with the Sleuth from Outer Space...

"Heartbreaker!" was the final chapter of "The Tenth Circle," but unfortunately for J'Onn J'Onzz, he would be back to tie up the loose strings in the opening arc of a short-lived new Doom Patrol ongoing series. John Byrne would continue to bring the poor-to-mediocrity, with scripter Chris Claremont to kick around anymore, nor the much missed embellishment of Jerry Ordway.

The Tenth Circle

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