"A League of One": In 1348, the evil dragon Drakul Karfang ravages a small band of crusaders, intent on destroying the beast. Hundreds of arrows litter the air, and one soldier lands a hard blow to the neck. Karfang flies off. The leader commands the men to follow Karfang to the ground in order
JLA: A League of One is a one-shot with a cover date of November, 2000. It was published on November 29, 2000.
Synopsis for "A League of One"
In 1348, the evil dragon Drakul Karfang ravages a small band of crusaders, intent on destroying the beast. Hundreds of arrows litter the air, and one soldier lands a hard blow to the neck. Karfang flies off. The leader commands the men to follow Karfang to the ground in order to get her heart and destroy it. Destroying a dragon's heart is the only way to kill it. The soldiers reach a hidden dragon lair and attack, killing the minions of the dragons, which are smaller humanoid lizards. Unable to find the heart, they blow the door in, sealing the area.
In the present day, the Martian Manhunter leads Wonder Woman through the calming of Krakatoa. She is in a terrasphere at the center of the volcano. Her job done, J'onn teleports her back to the Watchtower, leaving the terrasphere. Superman hauls a statue made of marble into the main area of the tower. It is a symbol of thanks for stopping the eruption. It lauds the JLA for working together for peace. Wonder Woman admires the piece and then heads back to Themyscira to relax.
In the Alpine town of Altdorf, two Goblins, Emrick and Elmen, grandsons of servants to the dragons, admire some things that they've pillaged. They speak of a time when the dragons were feared. Back in the Goblin haunt, they notice that the other Goblins are gathering near a large door. The door is opened, and a sleeping Karfang lies in view, alive.
Wonder Woman opens her heart to the gods in order to judge herself. She puts her magic lasso around herself to speak honestly about whether she's been honest and good. She has. She leaps from the cliff she's on into the water. Zoe, a mermaid daughter of Nerus, shoves her into the water playfully and makes her a mermaid. Diana consoles Zoe, but lets her know that she's not a child and can't play anymore. Althea, a wood nymph, drops into the water and berates Zoe for giving away the secret. But Zoe pokes fun at her. Wonder Woman demands the secret. It seems the Oracle at Delphi is going to predict Wonder Woman's death.
Wonder Woman seeks the Oracle, who tells her the very prophecy she's feared: that the Justice League will destroy Karfang, but at the cost of their own lives. The League is pluralized. Diana notes this. Zoe and Althea urge her to quit the League for her own safety. Wonder Woman, however, decides to take the exact opposite approach.
At Uri Rostock mountain, the Goblins convene, dragging large quantities of gold in to the dragon.
At the Watchtower, five days later, the Martian Manhunter describes the problems facing the world currently: a crime wave of gold theft in the Alpine regions of Europe; the Amazon River is being clogged by water plants, presumably Poison Ivy's work; a super-tanker has run aground near Sicily; fighting has broken out in the Balkans again; there is strange solar activity near the sun; and an asteroid headed for Earth needs deflecting. Throughout the briefing, Wonder Woman seems disturbingly absent.
Green Lantern takes on the asteroid. Batman and Flash will save the Amazon. The Balkans will be left to the U.N. Superman will examine the solar flares. Aquaman will deal with the tanker. Batman asks Wonder Woman if she knows anything about the gold, to which she lies. It slights the League information-wise.
In the Dragon's Lair, the Goblin leader awakens the dragon by pounding pots and pans from all sides. The dragon rises, and the leader offers the gold they've collected, as well as their service. Drakul blasts the goblins with fire and turns them into Drakunomes - the lizard humanoids from earlier.
Batman takes a fiber and drops it into the computer while Flash waits impatiently before leaving for the Amazon. As the rest of the Leaguers leave, Wonder Woman and the Martian Manhunter remain. Wonder Woman quickly lassos J'onn and commands him to show her his true form. He reverts to his natural state. She throws him into a teleporter and sends him into the terrasphere, where he's surrounded by lava and cannot escape. Wonder Woman proceeds with her plan, taking out the JLA, and becoming the JLA, so she can be the only one to die in order to save her team. However, she is still concerned by the plural in the prophecy.
Green Lantern stops the asteroid, wondering what's keeping Manhunter from creating a telepathic link. At the same time, Batman and Flash worry about the same thing, after having sighted Poison Ivy. Green Lantern arrives at the Watchtower. Wonder Woman moves in close, tricking Kyle, she then grabs his ring and plants a headbutt into his forehead, knocking him out.
Aquaman makes the tanker safe, and Wonder Woman shows up. She launches him into Charybdis, where he will remain for a long time before escaping.
Meanwhile, Drakul Karfang lays waste to Altdorf, knocking over cars and killing people; she imbues the people with her essence, causing them to start acting evil, such as kicking an old woman to death and caring only for themselves.
At the Amazon, Flash bursts in on Poison Ivy, who attacks him with spores that put people into death-like trances; however, the Flash can metabolize any chemical in seconds, so he quickly subdues Ivy and ties her to a tree. Batman uses his intellect to figure out what's going on with Karfang. Flash attacks the wave of Hyacinths Ivy has unleashed and, after doing so, he is startled to see Wonder Woman is there. She drop kicks him unconscious as Batman looks on in the background, unseen. Wonder Woman teleports back to the Watchtower. Batman finds Zoe and threatens her with Agent Orange if she doesn't talk.
At the Watchtower, Wonder Woman locks her teammates into capsules to be launched into space. But Batman shows up and tries to talk her out of it. She refuses and a fight ensues, in which Wonder Woman subsequently subdues Batman. Wonder Woman then launches the JLA into space.
Superman returns from the sun, oblivious to what has occurred. Wonder Woman attempts to subdue him, but it proves fruitless with the Man of Steel. Superman demands Wonder Woman tell him what is going on, so she reveals her intentions, by which she has weakened Superman so that he will save the rest of the JLA a little slower than he might have. She reveals that she's launched them into the asteroid belt and that he alone can retrieve them while she destroys Karfang. Frustrated by Wonder Woman's actions, Superman concedes and flies off.
Wonder Woman soon confronts Karfang, commanding her attention, referencing a prophecy from Delphi. Turns out that Karfang has already heard it, but she does not fear for her life. She thinks that since Wonder Woman is a lone warrior, and the prophecy is plural, she is no threat, and so Karfang flies off. Wonder Woman flies after her and they fight, but the battle is short. She intimates that she knows where Karfang's heart is, and that she's going to go destroy it. Karfang, panicking, goes to where the heart is: her home.
Elmen is there when Wonder Woman arrives before Karfang, and he apprises her of the situation; he had grown disgusted by the dragon's evil, and by the Drakunomes who will return to normal if Karfang is killed. Also, that Karfang is not necessarily evil, but that the gold she eats to survive is tainted with the spirit of its owners, and thus Karfang is slowly but surely becoming evil.
Wonder Woman, fighting Drakunomes, is launched into Karfang's main chamber. The dragon blasts her with flame, which kills all who are not pure. Wonder Woman is almost killed, but her inner purity of intent saves her. Karfang, seemingly humbled, offers her heart so that Wonder Woman can destroy it if she doesn't behave in future. Wonder Woman goes to retrieve it, but it is a trick, and Karfang knocks her away, sending Drakunomes after her. Karfang then flies away and Wonder Woman pursues. Wonder Woman lassos Karfang as Karfang blasts her with poison. The purity of the Lasso of Truth burns Karfang, and even as Wonder Woman is dying of the poison, she flies through and destroys Karfang's heart, killing her. Wonder Woman falls into the ocean and sinks to the bottom, seemingly dead. Fortunately, Superman arrives, drags her to shore, and performs CPR. She revives, having died and come back to life.
Much later, the League berates Wonder Woman for her previous actions, but then congratulate her, after she convinces Superman that he would have done the same in that situation.
Appearing in "A League of One"
- Danilo Ramirez
- Fates (Mentioned only)
- Elder Leberecht (Dies)
- Emrick (Dies)
- Karl (Dies)
- Max (Dies)
- Oracle of Delphi
- Panayiotos the Satyr (Mentioned only)
- This one-shot is reprinted in Justice League: A League of One.
- The softcover edition of this book was first published on October 16, 2002.
- 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)
- Justice League Odyssey (Volume 1)