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""Who Is Maxwell Lord?"": After following a mammoth robot Construct to a mountainous bunker, the Justice League finds its "master": Metron. He blames them for the loss of his information retrieval unit

Quote1.png My knowledge is my power! Time and space are the kingdoms I rule! I am Metron - and I am very angry!! Quote2.png

Justice League International #12 is an issue of the series Justice League International (Volume 1) with a cover date of April, 1988.

Synopsis for "Who Is Maxwell Lord?"

After following a mammoth robot Construct to a mountainous bunker,[1] the Justice League finds its "master": Metron. He blames them for the loss of his information retrieval unit and Captain Atom begins smarting off to Metron, without realizing the vast power has has as a New God. Mister Miracle holds Atom back and apologizes to keep a tenuous peace and talk about what is happening instead of resorting to violence. Metron explains that he was beckoned to Earth by a device of his and makes psychic contact with the retrieval unit, discovering that it has developed sentience. This newly-living mechanical being does not want them to cooperate.

Meanwhile at The Dome, Green Flame and Ice Maiden decide to quit the Global Guardians in hopes of furthering their careers as members of the Justice League. They fly to Rio de Janeiro and consult with Ernesto Lopez, the bureau chief of the Justice League Embassy.

Back at Maxwell Lord's home, he is disturbed to find the body of his personal assistant Ms. Wootenhoffer lying dead before him. The computer intelligence that once belonged to Metron informs Lord that Wootenhoffer was a Manhunter, and had to be destroyed. Max stares at the computer monitoring station, as the A.I. converses both on the screen and in Max's mind. The computer intelligence is committed to replacing mankind's leaders with robots who can rule with efficiency.

Max reflects upon the dark choices he has made in his career. He remembers plotting the death of his company's former president by faking a spelunking accident, and how those very circumstances first brought him into contact with the Kilg%re. With no idea of the device's Fourth World origins, Max interfaced with the machine and used its abilities to acquire financial power. From there, he insinuated his way into the Justice League, and manipulated events to gain the team an international charter. His schemed a terrorist event to gain them international fame,[2] persuaded Booster Gold[3] and Dr. Light to join, and even created the Ace Android for the Royal Flush Gang.[4] Eventually, the computer intelligence faked a global crisis to get the United Nations to charter the JLI.[5]

Max feels sickened by everything he has done. Picking up an iron bar, he smashes the control console of the retrieval unit, ending its existence, and by extension, its hold over him. Elsewhere, this causes Metron's psychic connection with it to terminate and so he rapidly leaves Earth to pursue knowledge elsewhere. Exhausted and injured, Max falls over unconscious. He awakens the next day in a hospital bed. Mister Miracle and Oberon visit, confident that Max is going to be okay.

Appearing in "Who Is Maxwell Lord?"

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  • This issue is reprinted in the Justice League International: The Secret Gospel of Maxwell Lord, Justice League International: Volume Two, and Justice League International Omnibus Volume 1.
  • The Justice League chronologically appear next in a flashback revealed in Justice League America Annual #9, which reveals the computer associated with Maxwell Lord to be Kilg%re. In this issue, he is described as a Metron creation and not named.
  • Maxwell Lord's origin is revealed in this issue. Max appears in several flashbacks, the earliest of which precedes his first appearance in Justice League #1. Other flashbacks take place between Justice League #2 and Justice League #3.
  • At the end of this issue, Mister Miracle talks about a behind-the-scenes event involving the Martian Manhunter. According to him, J'onn scanned Max's mind and "…looked into Max's heart". This raises a question with regards to current continuity. According to information revealed during the OMAC Project event, Maxwell Lord is unrepentantly evil, and has been plotting against the super-hero community for years. Recognizing the Martian Manhunter's psychic prowess and intuitive nature, it would have been nearly impossible for Lord to disguise his true motives from him for so many years. A combination of Max's mental powers, his own self-deception, and delusions of grandeur may explain the discrepancy.
  • Max returns to this cave in Justice League International #24.


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