Title: The White Rage, Part I
Release Date: June 2003
Writer: Joe Kelly
Penciller: Duncan Rouleau
Inker: Aaron Sowd
JLA Members: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern (John Stewart), Faith, Major Disaster, and Manitou Raven.
Guest Stars: Shepherd, Vela Shepherd, Alfred Pennyworth, Lex Luthor, the Martian Manhunter, and Scorch.
Bad Guys: I'm not completely sure that there are any this time.

So what happens?
Basically, we got one major storyline and three minor ones. Let's hit the minor stuff first.

1. Batman and Wonder Woman are going to go out on a date! Aww, ain't that cute! Wondie's wearing a hot red dress! Alfred's acting all sarcastic and upper-class! Batman's afraid of dating and would rather go out and beat up criminals! He thinks he's people! They don't actually end up going out on their date, but they promise to really talk about their "relationship" sometime soon. Yeeesh!

2. Superman is introducing the four newest members of the JLA (Faith, Green Lantern, Major Disaster, and Manitou Raven) to the world's leaders. They aren't particularly impressed, and US President Lex Luthor is particularly derisive. The newbies all feel pretty low, but Supes says he has confidence in them.

3. The Martian Manhunter, intent on his goal of getting over his weakness to fire, is visiting Scorch, a flame-weilding supervillain who has pestered Superman occasionally. He's going to try to make her a bit less insane, and she's going to teach J'onn how to handle fire without freaking out--though whether she's going to be helping him or just torturing him with fire isn't at all clear. At any rate, J'onn's expression after drinking a flaming alcohol shot is thoroughly amusing.
The main storyline focuses on the Safe Haven Collective, a large cult of mostly-peaceful survivalists living in a compound somewhere in the Midwest. The leaders are two metahumans: Shepherd, a superstrong pyrokinetic, and his wife, Vela, who has large, feathered wings. Safe Haven has stopped allowing the child welfare department to visit the compound to check on the well-being of the children in the cult, and the government, fearing another Branch Davidian incident, has started a stand-off. The Justice Leaguers intervene to try to negotiate a peaceful end to the whole thing.

With the JLA's help, things start to improve pretty rapidly. After Shepherd and Vela say that they stopped letting the social workers in because a bunch of the children got sick with the mumps after the last visit, Green Lantern agrees to make sure no outside contagions make it into the compound. The Safe Haven folks don't really want any trouble, and it looks like things are going to end just fine... except that the government and the cult's metahuman guards start shooting at each other, both claiming that the other side started the fighting. The Justice League is trying hard to calm down both the government troops and the Collective's metahumans and stop the violence before someone gets seriously hurt, but they're outnumbered on both sides. They finally decide that they'll have to knock out both the government agents and the Havenite guards to restore order, but just before they can, there's a tremendous and unexplained explosion that devastates both the government forces and a large chunk of the compound. Who's responsible? I guess we'll have to find out in the next issue...

Cool Moments!
So the last storyline was a disguised critique of both sides of the latest Iraq war, and this one is focused on how superheroes would've intervened at Waco--looks like Joe Kelly is going to be writing more political stories for a while; also, we find out that Faith is a Latina, which is a good thing since there are so few Hispanic comic book characters out there who aren't just Speedy Gonzales stereotypes.

Cool Quotes!
Major Disaster: "Hell, I haven't paid taxes for ten years."
Flash: "And you wonder why we look at you funny."

Martian Manhunter: "I am not afraid of flame. Flame burns, but burns do not frighten me. Burns heal."
Scorch: "I don't care for the burning, myself. The heat's okay... but the smell... yecch."

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