Spoilers ahead for this week's Justice League #9.
Although Justice League #9 spent most of its story on character relationships, Batman has extracted answers from Starman about the nature of the Totality, the moon is back in orbit, and the Justice League is ready to take the next steps toward the upcoming “Drowned Earth” event.
Written by Scott Snyder with art by Jorge Jimenez, Justice League #9 also featured some trickery by Batman and a confrontation between Martian Manhunter and Hawkgirl that ended with the two planning a trip to Thanagar.
Let’s take a look at the issue’s developments.
The issue’s story, titled “Good Morning Moon,” begins with Superman putting Earth’s moon back together (after it was destroyed in Justice League #1), and Batman trying to boss him around (with no success).
Batman’s supervision is actually being done remotely because he’s getting his body put back together by Alfred and Mr. Terrific (after Batman sustained injuries in previous issues).
Despite having orthobots cutting into his body, Batman’s wearing a remote computer on his face and multitasking. He’s instructing Superman, who’s not just putting pieces of the moon back together, but he’s also fighting “coronovores” that feed off solar energy. The creatures are actually drones, but Batman warns that there could be a “Mega” nearby.
In another hospital bed, near Batman, lies the unconscious Starman. The character showed up at the end of issue #7, promising answers about the Totality but warning that three Justice League members would need to die.
“I’ve been able to pull more memories from him,” Batman says about Starman, indicating he has information on the Totality.
But something alarms Bruce as he’s speaking to Clark. “There’s something bigger coming,” he warns. “I can see it! The Mega! You need to get out of there now!”
Kids in the Hall
Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice, John Stewart, who received a strange new ring in the previous issue, is talking about it to Barry Allen in the Hall’s cafe (where a slew of characters are hanging out, including Blue Beetle, Animal Man and the Wonder Woman character Ferdinand, who serves as the Hall’s cook).
Martian Manhunter is helping Hawkgirl test her wings, and Kendra confronts J’onn about whether he knew her connection to the Totality. He claims that he didn’t, and the two bond over their troubling experiences with the Totality. (Both are questioning their own origins, with Martian Manhunter confused by what he’s learned about Mars’ history and Kendra realizing there’s a bigger story behind her pasts.)
J’onn asks Kendra to join him in a journey to Thanagar to find answers.
Elsewhere in the Hall, Aquaman is helping Wonder Woman set up the Hall’s chapel. The two discuss the different “domains” that have been set up in the Hall by Justice League members.
Aquaman’s area is very regal and water-filled, Superman’s is very open and business-like, and Batman’s has a huge bolted door keeping everyone out.
The Flash’s domain is a sort of science lab-meets-exercise room where he can push his limits, and John Stewart’s looks more like a mobile military quarters.
Martian Manhunter’s domain can look like anything his guests desire, and Hawkgirl’s is a trophy hall filled with weapon. Even the Justice League Dark has an area set up to study magic and mysticism.
Yet Wonder Woman has not set up a domain of her own, which concerns Aquaman. But Wonder Woman explains that she’s building the chapel first because her home is her faith. “Not in the gods but in us, and everyone,” she explains, encouraging Arthur amidst some of his expressed doubts.
Suddenly, Batman sends an emergency summons to all the Leaguers at the Hall. He also finishes his warning to Superman.
“What’s coming is the damn Mega, Superman,” he says, “a bull parasite that drains solar energy! It. Will. Kill. You.”
But Superman sees through Batman’s faux alarm. As the other heroes arrive in the teleportation room, as instructed by Batman’s alert, Superman reveals that there isn’t actually any danger. Batman was just trying to make them afraid so they’d let him turn the moon into a “Bat-moon” that would offer a set of defenses.
As the issue ends, the moon is complete, and people all over the Earth (including its heroes) look up to the sky to see its reflected sunlight shining down on the Earth once again.
The story continues in October 17's Justice League #10, and "Drowned Earth" begins with October 31's Justice League/Aquaman: Drowned Earth #1.