WARNING! SPOILERS A-GO-GO! HEY, MAN, IT'S A REAL GROOVE SCENE, DIG?


Title: Dream Team
Release Date: February 2001
Writer: Mark Waid
Pencillers: Bryan Hitch, Phil Jimenez, Ty Templeton, Doug Mahnke, and Mark Pajarillo
Inkers: Paul Neary, Kevin Nowlan, Drew Geraci, and Walden Wong
JLA Members: Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, the Martian Manhunter, Plastic Man, and Batman.
Bad Guys: Dr. Destiny.

So what happens?
After the realization several issues ago that Batman had been plotting how to destroy the JLA, the League is plagued by self-doubts and suspicion. Superman is busy warning Batman that something must be done before the League is torn apart by team conflicts; he tells the Dark Knight about the JLA's recent battle with the dream-twisting villain Dr. Destiny...

When Destiny starts stirring things up around the world, the Justice League splits up to face his threats: Wonder Woman and the Martian Manhunter travel to a small city called Happy Harbor, where gravity has stopped working; Plastic Man and the Flash head for a town called Mayhew, where people are turning into animals, and Aquaman takes Green Lantern to Atlantis, which is suffering through a plague of mass hallucinations.

Unfortunately, the League's mistrust of each other is leading to arguments and dangerous missteps. Wonder Woman worries that J'onn is reading her mind, and her hesitation causes the Martian Manhunter to get chopped up when the blades of grass are suddenly changed into knives. Flash and Plastic Man argue about Plas' past criminal history, and Aquaman and Green Lantern grate on each other's nerves. And Dr. Destiny continues to elude the JLA, mysteriously disappearing and teleporting the heroes back and forth.

Eventually, the Leaguers realize that Destiny is somehow carrying the off-kilter logic of dreams wherever he goes. They theorize that Destiny has been able to cause his dream self to switch places with his real self (Yeah, I know, but it's comics, and this kinda stuff happens all the damn time). They also suspect that if Destiny's dream self realizes that he is in the real world, he would then be able to utilize his dream powers to become completely omnipotent. Too bad they realize that just in time to see him become omnipotent...

The ensuing battle looks fairly hopeless for the JLA, and J'onn uses his mental abilities to cause all the heroes to fall asleep, hoping that they'll be able to defeat his human self in the dream realm. Once they've made it into Destiny's subconscious, they discover that the villain has accidentally trapped himself in his own dreams, freeing his dream self to run rampant on Earth. Suddenly inspired, Wonder Woman snares the rest of the JLA with her Magic Lasso and throws all of them into Destiny's dream trap, causing their dream selves to manifest just like Destiny's (some of them look pretty cool--the Flash is a scarlet blur of motion and GL is a little kid with a whole bunch of power rings--but most of 'em look damn lame--Aquaman looks exactly the same except for wearing a bunch of pure-crap Atlantean royal stuff, and Wonder Woman is just a whole lot taller). Together, they are able to beat the hell out of Destiny and get his dream self and real self switched back the way they belong.

But the underlying problem is still there: the JLA's confidence and trust in each other has been broken, and Batman and Superman decide that there is only one way to get things back to normal...

And so the JLA answers an emergency JLA signal and beams down into...the Batcave, a place where none of them have ever been before. And lo and behold, sitting in front of the Bat-Computer is millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne and standing nearby is mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent. They explain that the new JLA policy is full disclosure at all times, including secret identities. At that point, the Flash unmasks as Wally West (no big surprise--Flash's real name is common knowledge), Green Lantern unmasks as Kyle Rayner (no big secret--GL barely tries to keep his real name secret), Martian Manhunter reveals his most common secret identity (retired Colorado detective John Jones), and Plastic Man shows off his nearly-never-used original identity of common hoodlum Patrick "Eel" O'Brian. Wonder Woman and Aquaman pass, since neither has a real secret identity. So everything's happy and hunky-dory again, Batman is re-admitted into the JLA...and the Batmobile suddenly screeches into the Batcave, and another Batman gets out, grumbling about what the hell everyone's doing in his cave...

What the hell...?

Cool Moments!
Dr. Destiny's dream trap looks like an immense dreamcatcher, like you see in tourist shops in the Southwest; Plastic Man acts more impressed with Clark Kent than he ever did with Superman; but that goddamn ending...Is there a good reason why anyone would give their secret IDs to flakes like Plastic Man or Green Lantern? That's just begging for them to accidentally blab Batman's real name to the Joker, isn't it? That's just stupid as hell. And to get to this point, it was necessary to boot Bats outta the JLA for a coupla issues? I've said it before, and I'll say it again: writer Mark Waid is fucking this book up big time.

Cool Quotes!
Superman, ranting at Batman: "Unconditional trust! But you alone won't honor that! No! You have to cling to your precious secrets!"
Batman, calmly pushing a pair of glasses toward Supes: "I believe these are yours."

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