- So this little virtual-voodoo satellite turns my wonderful thoughts into reality? I think, therefore they suffer?... It's kinky! I like it!
- -- the Joker
Appearing in "Rock of Ages, Part Two: Hostile Takeover"
- San Fernando Valley
Synopsis for "Rock of Ages, Part Two: Hostile Takeover"
It is the first day of a timetable, and Lex Luthor is looking at the Eastern Seaboard from above. His rivalry with Superman has, he feels, reached its natural conclusion, as he prepares to destroy Superman's "super hero team". To do this, he has formed a rival force: his "Injustice Gang". Roles are quickly established - the Joker is an irreverent perpetrator of vicious pranks, the Mirror Master is a mercenary, Ocean Master is a competent underling. In three days, their plan will be complete and the JLA will be destroyed.
At the JLA Watchtower, the heroes convene. Now that the crisis of the Godwave has passed, they are returning to the "JLA Revenge Squad" and their attack on Star City. Aquaman points out that his doppelganger was sighted in the Indian Ocean, seconds before a massive mass of water disappeared. Batman contacts the group with his theory: an anti-League is forming from their opponents. A series of explosions in the sky over the Mojave Desert lead him to believe someone is stealing air... but the matter is tabled, since the missing chunk of the Indian Ocean has turned up in the San Fernando Valley. Green Arrow is already on scene, and Green Lantern runs off to help him as Superman and Martian Manhunter go after the source of the teleportation signal that swamped San Fernando. Flash, Aquaman and Aztek remain in the Watchtower, but a strange ululation starts.
In San Fernando, Green Arrow manages to get most of the people in danger onto a raft, before Green Lantern shows up to suck up the water. The two young heroes go to get a meal. At the cafe, they begin ranting about how hard it is to be the new guys now that Wonder Woman is dead. hey are beginning to wind down when Circe, introducing herself as a psychiatrist and plays on their stress, likening them to cannon fodder and bringing up their absent fathers. Green Lantern leaves, but Green Arrow stays.
A the Watchtower, Flash, Aztek and Aquaman have found the source of the strange sound: Metron of the New Gods, who tells them that they must find the Philosopher's Stone, or all reality will suffer. Flash and Aztek are cagey, but Aquaman takes charge.
Superman and Martian Manhunter have come to the Injustice Gang satellite - or so they think. The satellite is actually a hard-light hologram, like the Revenge Squad doppelgangers, and the Joker is in control of the environment. Superman's adherence to the scientific method does him little good, but Martian Manhunter uses his powers to alter his brain, mimicking madness.
At a coffee bar in the San Fernando Valley, Green Lantern and Green Arrow are bemoaning their position as the rookies on the JLA. They admit that they are over-reacting, but Circe arrives, passing herself off as a psychiatrist, and begins playing on their insecurities to turn them. Green Lantern walks away, but Green Arrow decides to stay.
In his quarters, Lex Luthor makes a closer examination of the object he has been carrying around, which appears to be a red crystal heart with a glowing blue flame inside. It resonated in sync with the thought patterns of an alien in Lexcorp's basement. However, it seems to be much more.
In New York, Eel O'Brien is holding court in a small bar. He is approached by a small-time hood named "Matches" Malone, who identifies him as "Plastic Man". Eel's face contorts in an inhuman fashion, and the two men go into a back room to discuss something.
Superman and Martian Manhunter have made way through the Joker's maze, to find a simple CD player. Superman uses his super-vision to check, but all he finds are some sensors and the message "DEAR SUPERMAN: YOUR. OPTICAL. SCAN. TRIGGERS. THE. BOMB." The space station explodes.
At the Watchtower, Metron is shouting about an "ultimate computer" and demanding the JLA's assistance. The Injustice Gang use "the alien" to mimic Martian Manhunter's telepathy, and Flash and Aquaman agree to help Metron.
In the Batcave, Batman has returned from a mission as "Matches" Malone. Robin and Nightwing have been covering for him in Gotham, fighting the Surgeon and his Crime Consultants. Batman is working on his plan. Aquaman recognized Ocean Master's mind as part of the Revenge Squad, and by following the money, Batman has found the team led by Lex Luthor, who is using classic corporate tactics. However, someone else know those tactics too - Bruce Wayne, who is already developing a counter-plan...
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