- Like I always say, the Justice Society may teach you how to be a hero... and the Titans may teach you how to be a family... but the League -- sure, it teaches you how to protect, but from the very start -- the League teaches you how to fight.
Synopsis for "Chapter Three: Serial Killer"
The inner members of the Justice League are gathered, Atom, Black Canary, Elongated Man, Flash, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Hawkman and Zatanna. They have hunted down Doctor Light, believed to be responsible for the murder of Sue Dibny, to his home residence. In anticipation, the villain has hired top mercenary Deathstroke to be his personal bodyguard, which makes this about an even fight. Ralph is already knocked out from being hit in the chest with an explosive blast. Things don't look good.
Flash is the first one to react, and as he starts to run, Slade detonates explosives in the ground in front of him. Wally runs around them to attack from behind, giving Deathstroke enough time to pull out his sword and let him run into it, stabbing through the chest and twisting the blade as he goes down. Before the team can react, Deathstroke has already leapt across the ground to Zatanna.
He hits her with a pressure point in the gut, making her unable to cast any spells as she vomits blood uncontrollably. Hawkman dives in with his mace, and the sword cuts off his flight harness, bringing him crashing to the ground. Green Arrow fires at him, and Slade deflects the arrow point blank, then takes a swing at Oliver's head. Arrow has enough time to duck, but in the process his quiver is hit and his arsenal is next to useless. Hearing Black Canary take in a deep breath to give a sonic scream, Deathstroke hits her fast and has her handcuffed on the floor with a bag tied over her head before she knows what's going on. Next, he uses his incredible sight to pinpoint the exact location of the Atom. He hits him with a laser pointer, sending him flying back into Hawkman's skull. As the whole group is down for the count, Deathstroke faces their most powerful, Green Lantern. To test a theory, he catches Kyle's punch and breaks his fingers. Gripping his hand, he attempts to take control of the Green Lantern Ring by force with his own willpower. As the two of them struggle and start to crack over the sheer mental energy fueling them, Green Arrow leaps up from behind and plunges one of his broken shafts directly into Slade's eye socket. All of the tactics and strategy disappear, as the Terminator loses his temper and burns into a rage, trying to kill Arrow with his bare hands. This was the intention, and the rest of the League recovers and dogpiles onto Deathstroke, finally subduing him. As they fight, the situation finally sparks Doctor Light's memory and it all comes rushing back to him. He realizes that his mind has been taken from him for all these years, and in a blinding flash of anger as his powers erupt, the two supervillains escape.
As they wake up, Superman is already on the scene. He immediately knows that something is wrong, and they are at a loss for what to tell him, but Wally covers for them. Clark reveals that evidence found in Sue's autopsy shows that Light could not have been the killer.
After this, Flash directly pulls Green Arrow aside and interrogates him into confessing the rest of the inner League's secrets. It turns out that aside from the Doctor, they actually mindwiped a solid number of villains over the years. An early adventure with the Secret Society of Super-Villains resulted in their whole team needing memories erased, when they switched bodies with the heroes and learned everything. This has occurred dozens of times. If secret identities are lost, there is nothing to protect families and loved ones from the monsters in the world. Every single time anyone has learned the true faces and names, they have performed mindwipes to protect everything they hold dear.
This is criticized as a clear moment of crossing the line, and violating human rights, which is something they obviously should not do. But Oliver insists that it was the only way they could defend themselves. He also asserts that it's completely unrealistic to expect them to act any other way, and that people ignore the issue because they hear what they want to hear.
Elsewhere, Captain Boomerang is trying to get his life back together again. As one of his oldest friends, Calculator has helped him track down his long lost son, Owen Mercer. There are rumors circulating in tabloid newspapers that he is the illegitimate son of Boomerang and the Golden Glider. They have a brief meeting, but Boomerang is too ashamed of himself to reveal that he's the young man's father. He asks Calculator to help him find some contracting work because he needs the money, but nobody will hire him anymore.
At Drake Manor, Robin comes home after a long day with the Teen Titans to his father. Although Tim hides a black eye he received with make-up, Jack can instantly tell. Having already tried desperately to convince his son to give up heroics, the best he can do is try to take care of him anyway.
The murder proves not to be an isolated incident, as Jean Loring is assaulted in her home. There's a struggle in her apartment, and she manages to place a phone call to her ex-husband before she's strung up by the neck, and hanged with a noose in the door-frame.
Appearing in "Chapter Three: Serial Killer"
- Justice League of America
- The Atom (Flashback and main story)
- Batman (Flashback only)
- Black Canary (Flashback and main story)
- Elongated Man (Flashback and main story)
- The Flash (Barry Allen) (Flashback only)
- The Flash (Wally West)
- Green Arrow (Flashback and main story)
- Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) (Flashback only)
- Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner)
- Hawkman (Flashback and main story)
- Zatanna (Flashback and main story)
- Captain Boomerang
- Jack Drake
- Jean Loring
- Jimmy Olsen
- Owen Mercer (First appearance)
- Perry White
- Felix Faust (Flashback only)
- Joker (Flashback only)
- Secret Society of Super-Villains (Flashback only)
- Central City
- Gotham City
- Ivy Town
- Justice League Satellite (Flashback only)
- This issue is collected along with the rest of the series in the Identity Crisis graphic novel.
- Justice League Recommended Reading
- Justice League of America (Volume 1)
- Justice League of America (Volume 2)
- Justice League of America (Volume 3)
- Justice League of America (Volume 4)
- Justice League of America (Volume 5)
- JLA (Volume 1)
- Justice League (Volume 1)
- Justice League (Volume 2)
- Justice League (Volume 3)
- Justice League (Volume 4)
- Justice League International (Volume 1)
- Justice League International (Volume 2)
- Justice League International (Volume 3)
- Justice League Europe (Volume 1)
- Justice League America (Volume 1)
- Justice League Task Force (Volume 1)
- Justice League Quarterly (Volume 1)
- Justice League Dark (Volume 1)
- Justice League Dark (Volume 2)
- Extreme Justice (Volume 1)
- Justice League Elite (Volume 1)
Links and References
|Identity Crisis Crossover|
The events from this issue or series are related to the Mindwipes Storyline, and/or any of its surrounding events, including the League That Defeated Itself, Identity Crisis, and Crisis of Conscience. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the Mindwipes Storyline category.