Justice League #24took the betrayal by Batman a step further, as his alliance with the World Forger has not only doomed Superman, but has given him the power him to re-program the entire Justice League with his “final Bat-suit.”
Written by Scott Snyder with art and co-plotting by Jorge Jimenez, Justice League #24 is the latest chapter in “The Sixth Dimension” storyline, continuing the Justice League’s struggle against the Legion of Doom.
At the end of the last issue, it appeared that Batman had turned against Clark Kent, and now, the Caped Crusader is poised to defeat his fellow League members, all in service of a plan by the World Forger to replace the current Multiverse with one ruled by a perverted form of justice.
Let’s take a look at what developments led to Batman’s latest betrayal…
The issue opens with Superman once again remembering quality time spent with his family, with a young Jonathan Kent and his wife Lois.
The narration explains that Lois calls his small failures with his family (the kind every dad or husband has when things go wrong) his “gray Kryptonite.”
But now, as Superman is hopelessly stuck in a pocket universe made by the World Forger to entrap him, he’s experiencing a huge failure. Really bad gray Kryptonite.
And no matter how hard Superman tries to escape, he keeps failing. (And it doesn’t help, we assume, that Batman moved those suns away from him last issue.)
Doom and Justice Unite
Meanwhile, the Justice League is on a spaceship, escaping from their prison on Apokolips with the Legion of Doom — well, the Legion from the alternate Earth in the Sixth Dimension.
And their version of Darkseid is piloting the ship.
The villainous members of the Legion are taking the League to a portal back to the Forger’s Earth so they can stop the cosmic character’s plan.
But there’s a ship following them. It’s the prison-warden version of Lois Lane, and she has the power to force everyone on board the Legion ship into a “hypersleep for re-education.”
The hypersleep process starts to take effect, but not before Darkseid comes up with a plan: Load the League into the cannon and fire them into the portal.
The Legion has to sacrifice themselves in order to pull it off, but the plan works.
Over at the World Forger’s Tower, Batman has gained the cosmic character’s trust (because he moved those suns in the last issue).
The Forger is getting ready to “strike the Crisis Anvil and replace the current Multiverse with this one.” He hopes to fool the cosmic judges into allowing the Multiverse to continue to exist – because the Forger believes they will surely destroy the current one will be condemned to destruction.
But first, the Forger wants Batman to convince his friends on the Justice League to come on board.
And how does the Forger want Batman to convince them?
The alternate Batman (from the Forger’s Earth) invented a device called the “Son Box” that can “rewrite” people’s minds, cell by cell. And the device has a “final Bat-suit” built around it.
So…all those older Justice League characters who supposedly bought into this alternate world’s version of justice?
Or rather, they totally had their brains rewritten.
But there’s one problem. The Legion of Doom has a “mole” in the Forger’s tower — Jarro — and he explodes the suit just in time.
As the Justice League arrives at the Forger’s Earth, they are greeted by the “Justice League of Tomorrow.”
“Did you think I couldn’t feel you coming?” the World Forger asks, ready to beat down the younger League.
But John Stewart points out what he just learned from the Legion of Doom — that a mole destroyed the final Bat-suit.
Not so fast, the World Forger says. Although Jarro the starfish almost destroyed Batman’s final suit, there was someone around to repair it.
And at that moment, Batman shows up in the final suit, ready to not only kick some behind, but also re-program some people’s minds.
But which characters will be reprogrammed? Did Batman really turn sides? And if the Justice League destroys this reality, won’t the cosmic judges destroy their own? The final page teases that next issue will have a “battle for the future!”