Appearing in "Tower of Babel, Part 4: Harsh Words"
- Justice League of America
- Talia al Ghul (Mentioned only)
Synopsis for "Tower of Babel, Part 4: Harsh Words"
The JLA destroyed Ra's al Ghul's personal "Tower of Babel"; a tower that emitted a signal that caused the written and spoken language to be confused in the entire world. At the Justice League Watchtower, Martian Manhunter and Aquaman slowly recover from their injuries but the process is not an easy one. Back on the place where Ra's tower was, the members of the League demand answers from Batman, who dismisses them by focusing on the next important threat: Ra's second weapon. Batman tells Superman to take him to Ra's secret lair while the rest of the league follow Talia's last instructions.
Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and Plastic Man go to Raphastan, the Middle Eastern city that is supposed to be Ra's next target. Superman carries Batman with him and on their way to Ra's secret fortress, Superman asks Batman why did he created the plans against them. Batman explained that he did it in case of something like what happened with Agamemno, where the bodies of the members of the league where possessed to destroy earth, won't happen again, but Superman remarked the fact that Batman decided to plan it all by himself.
In Ra's lair, the League of Assassins found the man who shot Talia in the leg and they took him to Ra's. When in presence of the Demon, the man was cowering explaining that he shot Talia out of loyalty to Ra's, but Ra's anger was beyond any explanation. The man dared to touch his daughter and he must pay the ultimate prize and he is send as food for Ra's lions. However at that moment, Superman and Batman entered the base and rescued the man. Ra's unleashed all his beasts in order to stall Superman for a while, because Ra's knows that Superman will do whatever it takes to save the creatures instead of killing them.
At that moment, the rest of the League arrive at Raphastan only to find that Ra's men have already spread by accident a bit of a toxic compound that would kill every living being upon contact. Flash arrived there first and he started to vibrate to avoid being touched by the virus. Green Lantern en-capsuled Flash and the ground where the toxic was spread. Wonder Woman and Plastic Man go to the main city where more of Ra's men where ready to release the toxic.
Meanwhile, at Ra's place, Superman manages to cage all the wild beasts, after which Batman tells him to get his parent's coffins, much to Superman's surprise. Ra's is about to put the corpses of the Wayne's in the Lazarus Pit, but Superman and Batman arrive just in time to stop him. Superman flies underneath the coffins to retrieve them but is surprised when he realizes that there is a fragment of red kryptonite in between the coffins. Superman starts to weaken but he is dragged away from the kryptonite by Aquaman, who has just arrived. Superman, struggles to get to the Wayne's but he is too weak, but before the coffins reach the pit, Martian Manhunter grabs them and puts them away. After making sure that his parent's coffins are safe, Batman starts looking for Ra's, but the terrorist had escaped in the middle of the confusion. However, the four members of the league disband whatever army and weapons were left behind.
Wonder Woman and Plastic Man fight some of Ra's men, but one of them, armed with one of the lethal weapons almost escaped them. The man was caught by Wonder Woman's Lasso of Truth and forced to tell the truth about his allegiance to Ra's and his mission. The man confesses that he does not want to die and disarms the weapon, ending the menace of Ra's al Ghul.
Hours later, the Justice League is gathered at the Watchtower to discuss a matter much more important than the weakened Ra's Al Ghul, Batman's permanence as a member of the team. Batman waits in the meeting room, while the rest discuss and reach an agreement. It is clear that they all believe that they can't trust in Batman anymore, but some of them also believe that Batman had reasons enough to create the plans of countermeasures against them and it wasn't his fault that they fell in the wrong hands.
Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter and Flash vote for Batman staying as a member of the league, acknowledging that his reasons for creating his plans were valid even if they disapprove of him keeping them secret, while Aquaman, Wonder Woman and Plastic Man believe that Batman's secrecy shows that he cannot be trusted to be on the team anymore. It is up to Superman to choose between letting Batman stay or make him leave the league. The rest of the league know that Superman is the closest person to Batman among them and they realize that Batman might know what Superman's decision would be. Their suspicions proved to be true when they walk into the meeting room to let Batman know of their decision but they find it utterly empty. Batman has left the JLA.
- No special notes.
- On the discussion between the League, Aquaman picks up a point originally raised by Martian Manhunter in the previous issue, namely the fact that J'onn once used to maintain his own dossiers on his then teammates, referring to the revelation at the end of JLA: Year One #8 (co-written by Mark Waid). Aquaman's follow-up point is ever-so-slightly inaccurate, insofar as J'onn's dossiers on the other JLA members were the only ones not to fall in the wrong hands, as the Leaguers promptly secured the files about themselves upon discovering them... however, the files on all the other superheroes J'onn had also been maintaining did indeed fall in the hands of the Appellaxians, who promptly used them to capture those heroes (as seen in JLA: Year One #12), so Aquaman's point still stands.
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