"It's All Behind You": Stargirl wanders through the wreckage of the house she grew up in, after it was destroyed moments ago by the villain Despero. As she makes her way into what used to be her brother's room, she recalls that he had
- You know your name sounds like the world's worst cereal?
- — Stargirl
Synopsis for "It's All Behind You"
Stargirl wanders through the wreckage of the house she grew up in, after it was destroyed moments ago by the villain Despero. As she makes her way into what used to be her brother's room, she recalls that he had died years before, because she had failed to protect him. She begins to wonder, though, if all she sees is real. It is as if the memories of the house, dredged up by this exploration, are appearing after she remembers them. When the Martian Manhunter died, he left something of his power in her head, and that residual ability to see into Despero's head, gives her some insights.
She sees a younger version of him leaving his home planet to complete a rite of passage; searching for a planet with one goal in mind. His strongest memory is one of encouraging that planet's native population to build a mystical monument to his home world and his people called the Flame of Py'tar. Unfortunately, his power and inspiration brought with it fear and greed, which led him to change.
As Despero's fist tightens around her neck, Courtney begins to laugh - a surprise tactic meant to disorient him while she blasts out of his grip and upward. Turning suddenly, she stops his pursuit with a blast and a whack from her Cosmic Rod, leaving allowing her the chance to catch up to the aircraft in which Firestorm is counting down to a nuclear meltdown and the inevitable death of the combined Justice Leagues imprisoned within his Firestorm Matrix.
With only seconds to go, Courtney draws again upon the abilities J'onn gave her, and attempts to enter Firestorm's subconscious. There, she finds Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch arguing heatedly about what they are expected to do to put a stop to their impending deaths. Their argument devolves into a brawl, and Courtney is forced to insert herself between them. She explains that Despero wants them to fight, but they doubt her, and Jason produces a gun with which to kill them all, and put a stop to the countdown. Courtney desperately warns that the countdown is being caused by the two of them, and that if either of them dies, everyone inside the Matrix dies. Instead, they need to work together to call on the Justice Leagues.
Using J'onn's gift of telepathy, Courtney calls out to each of the heroes trapped within the Matrix and explains the true nature of the prison, urging them to follow the sound of her voice. Soon, they are all gathered together, and she explains that the prison is of Despero's design. Together, they attack him, but something strikes Courtney as wrong. She sees the grin on his face, and the light in the distance he is looking at. She flies off to investigate, and has the sinking sense that the worst is true.
It was the same feeling she'd had when she learned that her brother had been killed by a madman. Her mother and Pat had sat her down over breakfast and explained that the man who had wielded the Cosmic Staff and the costume before her was a brave, true, and honest man. The best man Pat had ever known. He had never used them himself because he couldn't see those qualities in himself. He didn't feel worthy. When he looked at Courtney, though, he saw them all, and more. He and her mother had decided that they wanted her to be Stargirl. After all, the world needed more truly good people.
When Courtney opens her eyes, her worst fears are confirmed: she had never even left the prison. She is happy, at least, to see that J'onn is still alive, and with her again. Despairing that none of her efforts had been real, J'onn reminds that every failure she suffered and success she won was as real as could be. The prison Despero had devised for her was one of self-doubt and guilt. He had expected her to cave under the pressure, but she hadn't. When she discovered that the prison she was in wasn't real, she brought J'onn back to life, and he was able to commune with Steve Trevor on the outside. Steve believes that they can get everyone free using the Lasso of Truth, but J'onn has his doubts. If the plan is to work, they will need Wonder Woman's help. Fortunately, Courtney knows exactly where to find her.
Appearing in "It's All Behind You"
- Barbara Whitmore (Flashback only)
- Firestorm (Ronnie Raymond)
- Firestorm (Jason Rusch)
- Pat Dugan (Flashback only)
- Despero (Flashback and main story)
- Justice League of America
- Justice League
- Shazam (As an illusion only)
- Yankee Poodle (On a Sticker)
- The end of the issue takes place con-currently with Forever Evil: A.R.G.U.S. #6
- Cover gallery for the Justice League of America series
- Images from Justice League of America Vol 3 13