Title: Tower of Babel, Part IV: Harsh Words
Release Date: October 2000
Writer: Mark Waid
Penciller: Steve Scott
Inker: Mark Propst
JLA Members: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Martian Manhunter, the Flash, Aquaman, Green Lantern, and Plastic Man.
Bad Guys: Ra's Al Ghul.

So what happens?
The nanobots and toxins affecting the Martian Manhunter and Aquaman finally wear off, and everyone in the Justice League is still angry at Batman for keeping secret plans for destroying the League and for allowing those plans to fall into the hands of ecoterrorist Ra's Al Ghul. But they have to split up to stop Ra's from releasing a destructive bioweapon in the Middle East...

The Flash finds the first of two canisters of the virus, but it's been opened accidentally, killing one of Ra's' soldiers. Flash has to vibrate to intangibility to avoid being infected and doesn't dare run away from the place, or his superspeed slipstream will end up scattering the contagion. Green Lantern places a dome over the spot to keep the virus from escaping, while Wonder Woman and Plastic Man go looking for the second canister, which they find as Ra's' men are preparing to open it in a Middle Eastern city.

Meanwhile, Batman explains to Superman that he kept the secret files because he was afraid of what would happen if some supercriminal were able to take over the JLA someday. Then they go after Ra's Al Ghul in his Himalayan retreat. Superman goes to rescue Batman's parents' coffins, but Ra's has hidden some of the Red Kryptonite there, and Supes can't get close. As Ra's starts to drop the coffins into the Lazarus Pit (and the Red Kryptonite onto Superman), Aquaman pulls Supes out of the way, and J'onn rescues the coffins. But Ra's gets away...

Elsewhere, the man with the last germ canister accidentally knocks some children off the top of a building and then falls off himself. Wonder Woman is able to catch the kids and lasso the terrorist with her magic lasso. After that, she talks him out of opening the canister. Whew!

So now that that's over, everything can get back to normal, right? Wrong. The League is still royally honked off at the Batman, and a vote is held on whether or not to kick him out of the JLA. Aquaman votes for expulsion because Bats has shown that he doesn't trust the other Leaguers. Flash votes that Batman should stay because he feels that Batman's fears could be justified. J'onn votes to keep him 'cause he himself kept dossiers on the Justice League when he was new to Earth. Green Lantern votes to keep him around, partly because he sees the value of having ways to deal with heroes-turned-bad and partly because he want to keep him around to holler at. Wonder Woman votes to kick him out because she can't trust Batman anymore. Plastic Man votes to boot him out 'cause he's still pissed about getting shattered.

With a 3-3 tie, it all comes down to Superman's vote. It's strongly implied that Superman is about to vote for expulsion, but by that time, Batman has left the Watchtower and quit the JLA. And then--

Wait a minute. Batman quits the JLA? Isn't this the JLA that's supposed to include all the heavy hitters? All the big stars of the DC Universe? What the hell kinda--?! Excuse me, Mr. Comic Book Writer Mark Waid? Could you step out here for a few minutes. Yes, sir, I am gonna kick your ass. I am going to break your writing hand completely off. After that, I'm submitting my own proposal to DC Comics to try to get a job writing this comic book. Chief feature of my proposal: getting Batman back in the JLA. Okay, I'm done.

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