Title: Into the Woods
Release Date: November 2000
Writer: Mark Waid
Penciller: Bryan Hitch
Inker: Paul Neary
JLA Members: Superman, Wonder Woman, the Martian Manhunter, the Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and Plastic Man.
Cameos: Lois Lane and Batman.
Bad Guys: The Queen of Fables.

So what happens?
After receiving a mysterious and ancient book of old fairy tales, a mother and her son accidentally unleash the wicked-witchy Queen of Fables on New York City. Searching for the Beautiful Princess who imprisoned her within the pages of the book, the Queen fixates on Wonder Woman as the cause of her troubles and sets out to take over New York, transforming the Big Apple into the Big Forest and magically stealing stories from films, mythology, and comic books (including one completed just before his deadline by Green Lantern Kyle Rayner) all over the city.

Meanwhile, up in the JLA Watchtower on the moon, the Flash, Plastic Man, Aquaman, and the Martian Manhunter are preparing to respond to the crisis, but things are still tense, 'cause they keep arguing about the League's decision to revoke Batman's membership last issue. Flash and Aquaman transport down to help Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Superman take on a bunch of fire and frost giants, while J'onn and Plas beam over to the brownstone where it all started.

After everyone gets done with the giants, the Queen reveals herself. Jabbering about how she wants to be the fairest in the land, she captures Wonder Woman and disappears. The other Leaguers are left wandering the forest, many of their powers muted by magic. Suspecting that the Queen has a fairy tale fetish, they speculate that she is recreating fairy tales and legends--not a good thing, since they'd be the non-Disneyfied, gruesome, horrific Grimm tales. Part of the problem is that some of the JLA grew up in cultures (Atlantis, Mars, etc.) that don't know our traditional fairy tales; the JLA is able to talk to Wonder Woman on their commlink, but she doesn't know to avoid things like apples, spindles, golden arrows...thorns on branches...

The rest of the JLA split up to cover more ground in the forest. J'onn and Plas find a house made of hard cake--the witch's house from "Hansel and Gretel", obviously. They are attacked by goblins, and the witch prepares to throw them into her fiery oven...

Elsewhere in the forest, Flash and Green Lantern locate a glass-topped coffin sitting on a dais. Wonder Woman is lying inside, dead to the world. Standard-issue cliffhanger, right there...

Cool Moments!
The very beginning, with the mother trying to find a kid-suitable story in the old book, hearing noises in the house, and then discovering that her son has been changed to gingerbread--mighty spooky. After that, it's just people running around in spandex.

Cool Quotes!
Mother, scanning the book: "Okay...'Once upon a time, there was a wicked, hungry wolf who...' No, I don't like that one. Here. 'Once, there was a wood ogre who lived off the...the flesh of children...'? Oh, my God...Hanging trees...? The Devil's... schoolyard...?"

Green Lantern, providing some backstory about fairy tales: "Over the years, they've been kid-ified to leave out certain details. Like how birds supposedly pecked out the eyes of Cinderella's stepsisters...or how Tom Thumb tricked an ogre into lopping the heads off seven little girls..or how Bluebeard was a sorceror who could animate the dead. The Grimms even wrote one called "How Children Played Butcher with One Another." A real laff riot, that one."

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