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Maxwell Lord: What the @#$% do you mean, “Who is Wonder Woman?!”
Booster Gold: I’m sorry that Max framed you and I’m sickened and horrified that that piece of crap murdered a thousand people on this road to whatever the @#S% this road is — BUT, YOU DON’T GET TO KILL HIM!
We are the good guys, Nate. And sometimes being the good guys sucks. Sometimes it means you’ve gotta eat it for a while until you’ve won. And the future is malleable! I know that better than anyone. You changed things just by coming back from whatever mass hazard, post-apocalyptic, cranky Power Girl version of Earth you got puked up on!
But, no! You don’t get to kill Max Lord! We capture him and he gets stuck in a concrete hole with 85 power dampers strapped to every appendage — and he rots there! But before we do that — I’M GOING TO BEAT EVERY LAST LOVING @#$% OUT OF HIM. And you are not going to deprive me of that! Got it!?!
Synopsis "Tomorrow Is Today"
Previously: Maxwell Lord, the corrupt ex-Checkmate and JLI director, was killed by Wonder Woman when he refused to release a mind controlled Superman. The White Lantern/Life Entity later resurrected Max and obliged him to murder the superhero Magog. Max’s life is now his own again and he has turned his attention back to the woman who killed him. Captain Atom has become aware of a potential war-torn future created by Max’s murder of Wonder Woman.
Max’s reaction to hearing that neither Professor Ivo or any of his underlings have heard of a “Wonder Woman” ranges between mania and depression. Nevertheless, he presses forward with “The Plan” and orders his underlings to find her.
Despite having just returned from a devastated future caused by Max’s murder of Wonder Woman Captain Atom finds himself the prime suspect for Magog’s murder. Atom is all for killing Lord, but Booster talks him down and insists that they are still the good guys. They will find and stop Maxwell Lord, but they will take him alive. Their conversation comes to a halt when they come to the same realisation as Max – that the rest of the world (including Rocket Red and Blue Beetle) have never heard of Wonder Woman.
The four male heroes suddenly find themselves under attack by robotic gun men. Booster’s force field saves them, they then return fire and blow a hole though the wall of their Headquarters. They then see that they are surrounded by an army of J.A.K.E troopers and the Creature Commandos. Meanwhile, Ice and Fire have been discussing Ice’s recently recovered memories in the medical bay when they come under attack by a separate group of J.A.K.E troopers. Ice freezes them, but not before Fire receives a gunshot wound to the stomach.
- Ice’s real mother and younger sister (Nikolina) are living in New Zealand.
- Only Captain Atom, Booster Gold, Fire, Ice and Maxwell Lord remember that there was ever a Wonder Woman.
This is an issue I thing we all needed; one that makes sure everybody is on the same page before we all go bounding off again. It’s something they’ve done a couple of times in the series. The twice monthly schedule makes this work as it gives the creative team the luxury of these occasional time outs without seriously hurting the pacing of the series. The revelation of Wonder Woman’s disappearance (or otherwise) adds pace this talking heads piece.
So much for my theory that it was Max behind Wonder Woman’s changes. Still it was amusing to see the characters meta-textually running around trying to figure out WTF is going on with Diana’s history. Most reviewers enjoyed that, but a couple questioned when it happened – the original style Wonder Woman appeared in the opening few issues so the change to the JMS continuity must have happened at a specific moment during this series.
The reappearance of the Creature Commandos was also unexpected, although I’m not entirely sure if this is the originals (who recently returned in the Superman titles), their out-of-continuity Project M-Alpha successors, or an entirely new batch.
This issue was one of the highest rated on the stands this week. Grey @ Inside Pulse pick’s Booster’s dressing down of Captain Atom as his highlight of the week.
Booster Gold tears Captain Atom a new one, and delivers one of the most awesome speeches I’ve ever seen come out of the character. [...] It’s an ironic moment when the man most famous for shilling his name out to any endorsements he could come across is the one giving a lecture in heroism, and what it means to be a hero.
This issue was also rated as iFanboy’s Pick of the Week.
Dan@IGN sums this series up when he says it “tells a single, focused and well-paced narrative whereas its sister title [Brightest Day] tells a rambling, jerky series of disconnected vignettes.” Yet that focused narrative twists what could have or should have been a fairly-linear hunt the black hat into a deadly espionage thriller. Doug@CBR rightly says that the expected plot of this series is now “off the path” and “into the wildflowers”. He concludes that
What happens from here is going to change some of these characters permanently.
I think he’s right, but I worry that “permanently” may mean that one or more of these characters won’t be alive come the final page. They’ve already killed a recently well known B-list character (Magog) so all bets are off as to where this ends.
|Reviews Portal||Comic Book Resources||Doug Zawisza||3.5/5|
|Reviews Portal||IGN||Dan Philips||8/10|
|Community Reviews||Comics Vine User Reviews||Av. of 4 reviews||4.25/5|
|Community Reviews||iFanboy||468 Pulls||4.5/5|
|Reviews Blog||Comics Per Day Reviews||Timbotron||Good|
|Reviews Blog||Inside Pulse||Grey Scherl||8.5/10|
|Character Site||Captain's Justice League Homepage||Jason Kirk||3.5/5|
Variant Cover: The new style Wonder Woman appears on Adam Hughes variant cover, but does not appear inside this issue. The old style Wonder Woman only appears in the first two-page flashback.
Page 1-2 - This flashback is to the events of a story called “Sacrifice” that span out of The OMAC Project #3 into Superman V (vol 2) #219, Action Comics #829, Adventures of Superman #642, Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #219 before rejoining The OMAC Project #4. At the time The OMAC Project, Adventures of Superman, and Wonder Woman were written by Greg Rucka.
In Countdown to Infinite Crisis #1 it had been revealed that Maxwell Lord was actually an anti-metahuman villain who had usurped Batman’s spy satellite Brother Eye. He also used his mind control power to turn Superman into his personal enforcer – Superman believed that he was attacking Doomsday, Brainiac, and Darkseid when he was actually attacking his fellow Justice Leaguers. Wonder Woman confronted Lord and, as shown here, broke his neck to free Superman.
There is an art mistake in the bottom two panels on page one. Wonder Woman sliced Superman’s throat by using her razor sharp tiara (notice that she isn’t wearing it past the third panel) and not the Xena-like boomerang as shown in these panels.
“When fate brought Max Lord back from the grave” happened in Blackest Night #8 when he was resurrected by the White Lantern Entity to fulfil part of its larger plan. For his new life he was obligated to arrange for the Kingdom Come future war to be averted. He did this in issue #13 by murdering Magog. He is now free to focus on his own plans. However, Captain Atom has seen that Max is responsible for his own future war – a separate one from the KC conflict – that was precipitated by his murder of Wonder Woman.
Page 3 - Wonder Woman… it’s complicated. When JMS came aboard as the writer of Wonder Woman he effectively rebooted her title and launched a brand new, contemporary origin and costume. However, those around her are aware that history has changed. From Wonder Woman #600…
The Amazon’s are now a secret society, hiding in the shadows of Man’s World, as they evade the forces ranged against them. Diana is their Princess and defender, but as yet hasn’t gone public as a superhero called Wonder Woman. That’s why Max can’t find her.
Page 4 - “The Irony” is that Max used his own mind control power to do something very similar – to make most people in the world forget that he ever existed – in issue #1.
Page 6 - Cadmus is the Cadmus Project, the federal genetics research facility from the Superman comics. It’s the same one seen in the recent two-part opening episode of Young Justice.
Page 7 - This is a flashback to issue #13. Max had brainwashed Magog into fighting Captain Atom. The Captain managed to break Magog free, but Max personally intervened and forced Magog to commit suicide. However, Max made sure that what people actually saw – or more correctly what they thought they saw – was Captain Atom killing Magog. Max then detonated Magog’s lance forcing Captain Atom to absorb the radiation (which is why only a 1,000 people were killed and the radiation then vanished). It was shown in issue #14 that, as side-effect of absorbing that radiation, Captain Atom was bounced 121 years into the future where he observed a bleak future caused by a war Max had started in the present day.
Page 8 - This isn’t a headquarters that we’ve seen before. Presumably this is another of the defunct embassies like the New York and Potsdam embassies they’ve used earlier in the series. The “Great Victoria Desert, Australia” is a vast area (it’s the worlds third largest desert) in the south-west quadrant of Australia.
The Global Guardians were the international superhero group that Fire and Ice belonged to before joining the JLI. In panel 2 they are (left-to-right) Ice (background, I assume), Fire, Bushmaster, the Wild Huntsman, The Olympian, Little Mermaid, Doctor Mist, and Tasmanian Devil (foreground).
Fire’s comment about heroes not always coming from better stock is a reference to her own father who was a secret police agent for the Brazilian government during their military dictatorship. She protected him for years until Amanda Waller threatened to expose her and she turned him over to Checkmate. This briefly came up in issue #3 where she confronted the Black King.
Page 14-16 - Rocket Red and Blue Beetle not knowing who Wonder Woman is becomes significant because it leaves only Captain Atom, Booster Gold, Fire and Ice plus Max himself as the only people in the world – or at least this book – whom remember that she existed. And that’s the same list of people whose minds weren’t wiped by Max in issue #1.
Page 15 - Booster is looking at archive DC cover artwork. Michael Turners Supergirl from Superman/Batman #13, J.G. Jones Vixen from Justice League of America (vol 2.) #4, Adam Hughes’ Power Girl from JSA Classified #1, and a picture of Krypto. Strangely, just in the top corner, you can see a picture of the old style Etta Candy – Wonder Woman’s 1940s comedy sidekick.
Page 19-20 – The Creature Commandos were co-created by the original JLI co-writer/scripter J.M. DeMattheis for Weird War Tales #93 (November 1980). They were a cross between the Dirty Dozen and Universal’s movie monsters. You really don’t even need to know more more than “horror movie soldiers”. WWT #93 featured the WWII era Creature Commandos who were the product of Project M, the US military’s experiments with arcane magic and cutting edge science.
The Commandos survived the end of the War when they became trapped on an experimental space launch. The telling of how and when they returned to Earth keeps changing. The original Commandos reappeared in the Action Comics #873 (February 2009) when they were rescued from Brainiac’s skull ship by Superman.
They were then shown in Superman #692 (November 2009) as part of General Sam Lane’s stock piling of the United States’ wackier covert projects. Lane’s project was the same group who were responsible for returning Captain Atom to sanity after his time as Monarch so it’ll be interesting to see how he reacts to the Commandos.
Before Lane gained control of it Project M was under Checkmate’s control. It was one of the organisations which assisted in his first resurrection when his brain was transferred out of his android body and into a new cloned body. That leftover android body was refitted by Checkmate to be one of their Rooks as J.A.K.E. version 6.
There is/will be a second Creature Commandos team. They first appeared a 2000 Creature Commandos mini-series. They appeared to be the originals plus an expanded group called Project M-Alpha. That series was set in a possible near future, but the appearance of some of its members here suggests that the Cadmus group are their forerunners. A less sophisticated version of J.A.K.E. was the prototype for the mechanical footsoldiers used by the M-Alpha group.
Booster knows who the Creature Commandos are. His phrasing implies that he’s shared an adventure with the original WWII era group whilst working for Rip Hunter. However, Boosterrific’s annotations confirm that this is his first recorded encounter with them.