Damn. Dammit this was so good. Could they possibly put John McCrea as the artist on the new JLA with McDuffie? Bueno!
Well, back in issue #1, things weren't looking too good for our heroes. The astronauts have been taken over by the Bloodline thingies, and somehow, all of the JLA has lost their powers. This is rather serious for Superman, since he was OUTSIDE when it happened. When Tommy points this out, Batman's attitude is basically "tough!" Nevertheless, everyone is quite nervous.
It gets even more nerve-wracking when the poor astronauts show up on the station, remove their helmets and show the newly evolved Bloodlines critters attached to their heads, with things up their noses, and in their eyes, and...just...yecchhh! They even brought a few spare critters, for the Justice League. While the Justice League in fact just stands there, with their eyeballs popping, Tommy decides to take matters into his own hands and opens fire. Naturally Batman has a hissy fit, and then the possessed astronauts open fire on the Justice league, by shooting beams out their eyes!
Oops, guess they DO have powers!
The Justice League does finally start to attack, since that is what they do, although Batman just can't help yelling at Tommy all the time. Tommy does start shooting them in the knees instead of the head, just to get Batman off of his back. Kyle is just a little bit terrified, but does a bang-up job, whacking the critters in the head with a chair.
Then Batman gets taken out, and a critter is now firmly attached to his head. Double yecchh. The good guys manage to drag him off and make a run for it, while Wonder Woman uses Bats belt to blow up the corridor.
Somehow the critters are using telepathy to communicate, and when Tommy starts shooting at the one on Batman's head, it decides it doesn't like being hurt, and tells him to quit it. They are able to glean a fair amount of useful information this way. Oh, and the U.S. Government, already rather nervous about the missing Space Shuttle, has decided to nuke the Watchtower.
Leaving GL and Flash behind, Wonder Woman and Tommy climb up the endless ladder to get back and try and fight the nasty little monsters. Unfortunately, they are attacked on the way, and they get Wonder Woman,who nevertheless gives quite a good account of herself. Puffing away, Tommy makes it to the top, only to be confronted by a horribly possessed Superman, who naturally tries to blow Tommy into little Hitman pieces. Tommy fires back, knowing perfectly well that his bullets can't do a thing to Superman, but still screaming at the top of his lungs that he IS Superman!
Lo and behold, he actually gets through to him, and Supes manages to pull the horrible little brainsucker right off of his head, but it takes a LOT out of him. He and Tommy then have a nice little heart-to-heart talk. Superman still really can't believe that he was friendly with a guy who kills people for money, but despite himself, he still can't help but like him.
So, all by his lonesome, Tommy goes up, and since he really doesn't have any other option, he just shoots all of them. Their powers come back, Flash zooms up and tells the military to please call off their nukes, and the others are freed,and everything is hunky dory...except that of course it itsn't.
Batman just can't let it go, and wants to hand Tommy over to the authorities, to be tried for murder, but Superman offers to testify in his behalf. And indeed that is what they do. Batman puts Tommy in cuffs and hands him over to the Gotham police. Who promptly hand him a pack of cigarettes and offer to drop him off at Noonans. Turns out they all play poker together.
Nice, fun plot, lots of action, Batman being a douche...it's all good, right? But the real meat of the story is the moral implications, that really get examined as Clark Kent is explaining all of this to the young reporter. The Justice League, doesn't kill or torture, no matter what. At least not in THIS incarnation. Somehow, some way, they always find a solution. Except that Tommy ISN'T a super hero, and he's just trying to do the best that he can. He doesn't have superspeed, willpower, heatbeams or the brain of the world's greatest detective. He's just a guy. He's just a guy trying to save the lives of the world, and incidentally, the depowered superhero team that hates him.
Tommy and his buddies didn't think too much of superheroes in general, but Tommy always liked Superman, and now we know why.
In the very end, Superman flies into the sunset, and in a really lovely series of panels, goes into darkness, and then up into space and back to the moon, where there is a tiny little memorial to Tommy. That bathroom that was destroyed, that they never rebuilt, where Tommy impishly scrawled his name, is still there...and that is where Superman goes.
Man. This was good. This was really really really good. Garth Ennis's take on superheroes in general is usually pretty caustic, but he's a little gentler here, although still just as funny. His portrayals of the League are pretty darned good, from poor flustered Kyle, to a stern and austere Wonder Woman, to a really obnoxious Batman, but his Superman just shines.