WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD! WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO DESCRIBE THEM TO YOU? OR SHALL I FETCH YOU A BOX?


Title: Picking Up the Pieces
Release Date: February 2003
Writer: Joe Kelly
Penciller: Lewis La Rosa
Inker: Al Milgrom
JLA Members: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern, John Stewart, the Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, Plastic Man, Firestorm, the Atom, Green Arrow, Faith, Hawkgirl, Nightwing, Jason Blood, and Major Disaster.
Guest Stars: Woozy Winks, Manitou Raven, and Dawn.
Cameos: Impulse, the Red Tornado, Captain Marvel, the Specter, Dr. Fate, the Shade, Starman, Hawkman, the Joker, and the Penguin.

So what happens?
Most of this issue is devoted to tying up loose ends from the extremely lengthy adventure that tied up the last several months. To trim a 22-page non-action-oriented story down to its most important elements...

  1. Their services no longer needed, Nightwing, Green Arrow, Hawkgirl, Jason Blood quit the JLA and go home. Manitou Raven and his wife, Dawn, are hanging around the Watchtower, so he's apparently joining. Faith and Major Disaster also seem to be staying on as members. Can't tell you yet if Firestorm and the Atom will stay on the roster or not.
  2. The Flash is totally thrilled to have his legs back again.
  3. Aquaman stops by just long enough to tell everyone, hey, he's getting put on trial for treason for sinking Atlantis, but he's okay with that and looking forward to the trial. In other words, Aquaman's totally got the bends.
  4. Frustrated by his weakness against fire, the Martian Manhunter decides to quit the JLA until he can figure out some way to beat his tendency to lose all his powers and go into a panic whenever someone lights a match.
  5. Kyle Rayner has lost his faith in humanity, thanks to an incident in his own comic in which a friend of his has been beaten nearly to death by gay-bashing hoodlums. So he's taking an extended vacation off-planet to try to rekindle his willingness to be a superhero again. While Kyle is away, John Stewart is going to be taking his place as Green Lantern.
  6. Plastic Man has been alive and conscious for the last 3,000 years. Unfortunately, his molecules have been scattered to the four winds the whole time, so he's had time to get bored, go crazy, go sane, become a poet, become a songwriter, and reflect on immortality long before Firestorm is able to locate all his bits and piece them back together. After getting over the trauma, Plas decides he wants to quit being a superhero so he can go get to know his son a bit better.
Un-Cool Moments!
So the Justice League gets Faith, Major Disaster, and Manitou Raven in exchange for Kyle Rayner, J'onn J'onnz, and my buddy Plastic Man? THAT IS NOT WHAT I WOULD CALL AN IMPROVEMENT.

Cool Quotes!
Batman, telling off Firestorm after one too many jokes at a still-protoplasmic Plastic Man's expense: "Plastic Man survived for 3,000 years as little more than crumbs scattered around the Atlantic. If that doesn't give you an idea of the level of power he hides behind that doofy smile of his, then you're brain dead."
Firestorm: "Sorry, Batman… I'm just saying--"
Batman: "I know what you're saying. Nothing of value."

Green Arrow, bragging about his escapades and not realizing Wondy's slipped the Lasso of Truth around him: "I'll have you know that before we got caught up in this whole time-traveling boo-ha, good ol' Green Arrow put one in the bull's-eye-- not a once last month! Nuthin'! It was just me... Blockbuster... and a half gallon of ice cream... Damn. That's just plain mean, Diana."

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