Spoilers ahead for Justice League #4.
The mysterious baby in Justice League who carries the power of the Still Force is a new version of the Turtle, and in this week's issue #4, the kid has pretty much doomed the whole universe.
Because of this Still Force, Sinestro has used the power of the nearly unstoppable Invisible Emotional Spectrum to put together the "largest Corps in eternity," ready to consume the Earth. And Lex Luthor and the Joker have taken control of two of the world's most powerful heroes.
It's all part of the debut storyline in Justice League by writer Scott Snyder and artist Jorge Jimenez. Spinning out of the events of Dark Nights: Metal and the Justice League: No Justice event, the plot of Justice League involves everything from a new Legion of Doom to secrets locked in the past of characters like Martian Manhunter and the Flash.
The mysterious baby, whose identity was revealed in last week's Justice League #4, is the fourth generation of the family line of a Flash villain named the Turtle.
So how did Sinestro suddenly create a gigantic Corps? How did a baby doom the entire universe? And how might this all give ultimate power to Lex Luthor and the Joker? Let's take a look at spoilers for Justice League #4:
The story begins with a flashback to Gorilla Grodd's childhood. He was the mistreated son of the king, a runt who was dismissed by the whole tribe of super-gorillas. But he secretly possessed even more power than the other gorillas. While his father discussed peace with humans, young Grodd secretly kept a human captive and tortured him, having read his thoughts about capturing gorillas.
Back in the present day, the Justice League have divided into three groups:
- Martian Manhunter and Superman are fighting the giant Source Wall creatures at the mysterious "Totality" that crashed into Earth. Hawkgirl and Batman are inside them, piloting tiny ships through their bloodstream to help them stave off the Totality's power of mutation.
- Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and the Flash are at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, hoping to find (and stop) the source of the Still Force power that is disrupting the Earth.
- Up in the Earth's orbit, John Stewart and Cyborg are battling Sinestro, who is using the power of the Invisible Spectrum to help a giant sentient planet called Umbrax consume the Earth.
So…things are bad all over.
The first team we visit is the one at the Totality. In previous issues, when Martian Manhunter tried to reach into the mind of the Totality, he saw horrible images of how Mars was destroyed. As this issue begins, he's still seeing the catastrophes in his mind as he and Superman fight the Source Wall giants at the Totality.
One of the giants speaks, saying, "We were her architects! And you were her downfall! The first cell removed! Die, First Abomination!"
(OK, that's a big clue, isn't it? The giant appears to be attacking Martian Manhunter as it speaks these words, so it sure seems like this refers to Martians being "removed" from existence.)
While that's happening on one level, Hawkgirl is piloting her little size-transmutable vehicle inside Martian Manhunter's bloodstream, and Batman's doing the same inside Superman.
However, Lex Luthor discovered their plan and is piloting his own tiny ship through Superman's body. And over inside J'onn's body, the Joker has snuck into the ship with Hawkgirl.
But as this issue begins, Hawkgirl notices the Joker and fights back. But Joker knocks her out, taking over the ship through Martian Manhunter's mind.
Over inside Superman, Lex fires on Batman's ship and destroys it. As Batman finally begins to realize that Lex Luthor might be behind the attack, the hero is consumed by a mutagen.
Invisible My Arse
Up on a fragment of the moon, John Stewart and Cyborg are trying to stop Sinestro from helping the sentient sun called Umbrax consume the Earth. Umbrax serves as a sort of central power battery for the negative emotions that power the Invisible Spectrum, and it's drawn toward self-destructive forces.
After being released when the Source Wall was destroyed, Umbrax came straight to the Earth.
When Cyborg and John try to stop Sinestro with weaponry and willpower, it cannot match the strength of the Invisible Spectrum. In fact, when Sinestro fires enough at John Stewart, his Green Lantern ring shatters.
Sinestro claims that all of John's cells have been infused with Ultraviolet energy.
"Welcome to my Corps," Sinestro says. "You'll never be a Green Lantern again."
Be Still and Know
At the Legion of Doom HQ, Aquaman and Wonder Woman are fighting the strange monsters that look like devolved White Martians. The Flash is still disabled by the power of the Still Force that's emanating from nearby.
Gorilla Grodd shows up, carrying the mysterious baby in some contraption on his belly and glowing green with the energy of the Still Force.
After using his mind to stop all three heroes, Gorilla Grodd makes Wonder Woman and Aquaman fight each other, tricking them into believing she's fighting Cheetah and he's fighting Black Manta.
The Flash, angry at Grodd, tries his best to rush toward the villain. But as he tries to access the Speed Force to run toward him, he's not only frozen in place by the Still Force, but he seems to actually give the Still Force even more power.
He tells Flash that the baby is the fourth generation of the Turtle, whose aging was caused by his experiments with the Still Force. This baby is finally attuned to the Still Force, and combined with Grodd's mental powers, they're finally unlocking it.
The giants who are fighting Superman and Martian Manhunter also appear to feel the Still Force growing.
"Do you feel it?" one of them says. "That energy … the First Force!"
Lex Luthor senses it as well, seeing its effects on the doorknob he holds in his hand.
The Still Force, he says, is almost fully unlocked.
(A reminder: Lex has promised that there are seven powerful forces in the universe that can now be accessed because of the Source Wall breaking. One is the Still Force, while another is the Invisible Spectrum. The other five? Hmmm...)
Superman pulls Martian Manhunter away from the Totality and confronts him about the visions he's been seeing.
OK, so we get a flashback to what J'onn's been doing the last few years.
"I was on a mission to discover what really happened with the destruction of my planet," he says.
The hero explains to Superman that when Martians were alive on Mars, they tasked one individual with maintaining all memory (since they were all connected telepathically). That one Martian was called 'The Keep.'
So when J'onn was away investigating the death of his people, he found the Keep on Thanagar. Her memory wasn't whole because of age, but she assured J'onn that the death of the Martians was the result of a "telepathic plague" called H'Ronmeer's Curse. The plague caused the people to be mentally attacked by fire, but it didn't have any greater purpose behind it.
However, when Vandal Savage died, he sent J'onn a vision that showed a Martian child being imbued with something "ancient and terrible."
The vision also showed J'onn the "end of everything."
Then, when J'onn was battling beside Superman at the Totality, the Source Wall giants showed J'onn the same vision.
He's now confused about what's true and whether he's taking the right actions.
"What if I'm leading us all - the whole Multiverse - toward destruction?" he asks.
Superman answers him with an evil smile on his face, "You're the doom of everything, so thank you."
J'onn realizes Lex Luthor has taken over Superman's mind. After Lex orders the Joker to do the same to J'onn's mind, the hero grabs his head in pain.
In the meantime, Sinestro is using the power of the Invisible Spectrum to forcibly recruit people on Earth who are hiding any of their emotions.
So, like, everyone.
People all over the Earth are sought out by the purplish light, which imprints a tattoo-like symbol on one of their fingers and gives them the power to serve Sinestro and utilize the power of Unbrax.
Suddenly, the Still Force is unlocked, which causes the universe to stop expanding (wow, this is some powerful stuff) and there's now no barrier to the Invisible Spectrum.
The Earthlings recruited by Sinestro are now amassed in orbit to fight as his Ultraviolet Corps.
And Sinestro now leads the "largest Corps in eternity."
As Cheetah and Black Manta arrive to find their own yet-unseen treasures - more of the seven forces, perhaps? - the narration announces that the "universe itself" has a dark soul.
Lex Luthor's doorknob begins to hum.
And the Totality lights up and looks like a giant, geodesic golf ball. Superman (now controlled by Lex Luthor) and Martian Manhunter (now controlled by the Joker) walk toward the glowing Totality as the narration implies that control of the entire Multiverse is right in front of them.
The story continues in August 1's Justice League #5.