"In Your Head": Courtney Whitmore is in danger of being trapped within a memory of the night she stole the Cosmic Staff from her step-father Pat Dugan, and became a vigilante. Fortunately, [[J'onn J'onzz (Prime Earth)|Martia
- Nothing like flying on a sunny day.
Appearing in "In Your Head"
- Pat Dugan (Flashback only)
Synopsis for "In Your Head"
Courtney Whitmore is in danger of being trapped within a memory of the night she stole the Cosmic Staff from her step-father Pat Dugan, and became a vigilante. Fortunately, Martian Manhunter is still trying to invade the illusion and bring her to her senses. Unfortunately, it is not working yet.
Courtney remembers how she was caught on video while using the staff, and from that point on, she had played into the attention she got for her heroism, making herself a more showy costume, and not shying away from any cameras. In her heart, though, she had only wanted to make a difference - and maybe to put the screws to her step-father. She had not expected, then, that her videos would reach ten million views.
At that point, Pat confronted her, warning her of the danger of the Cosmic Staff. He had worked with the staff's real owner, until he died. It had been too much for the man who used it, and she is only a girl. Using Pat as his voice, J'onn warns that she must wake up - that she is trapped in a memory. He followed her out of the prison via her mind, and now they are under attack by the Secret Society, and if she doesn't wake up, they will die.
Taking control of her body, for both of their sakes, J'onn uses her to fight back against the Society, against her complaints. His presence in her mind hurts, and she is close to blacking out again. She fades in and out of her memories of Pat agreeing to train her. J'onn continues to try to pull her out of the memory, and protect her from the battle, but she returns to memories of being caught in a lie after promising not to use her powers until her training was done. Grimly, J'onn warns that she must stop retreating into the past, and return to the here and now.
Her refusal to follow his rules led Pat to accelerate Courtney's training, teaching her the importance of properly controlling the Cosmic Staff. He explained that Sylvester Pemberton was the previous owner of the staff, and he could have spared Courtney's mother some grief if he'd never brought it into their house. Guiltily, she admitted that she had acted out of turn in trying to undermine him, and he professed that he understood why she felt how she did about him - but he was concerned about her safety for her mother's sake as well as her own.
J'onn pulls Courtney back into the fight, guiding her through the use of his power in fighting off the likes of Giganta and Shadow Thief. When Deathstroke attacks, though, J'onn advises Courtney to flee. As they fly over Washington, D.C., Courtney realizes that the Syndicate and the Society have laid waste to the country. Her first instinct is to check on her family, but first they must get J'onn out of her head. He, however, is more concerned about locating the prison they just escaped from, sensing that it has something to do with Firestorm. Still, he understands the need to get out of her head, and guides her to the LexCorp Tower in order to focus on the separation.
Despite getting to safety, Courtney still struggles to stay in the present, sinking back into a memory of a super-villain threatening the lives of his hostages unless a super-hero showed up. Pat had warned her not to go, knowing it was a trap. Even as she is deep within the memory, J'onn warns that her family is not whom she should be thinking of first. It is the needs of the many that are most important. Angrily, Courtney pulls J'onn into the memory, and begins attacking him, exasperated by the constant orders and directions, believing that when she listens to those commands, things always end up worse. None of these people who think they're superior to her know any better than she does.
Having ripped J'onn out of her psyche, Courtney warns that he should go find the Justice Leagues. She will find her family by herself. As she flies off, J'onn ponders his next move. They don't stand a chance against the Syndicate or its Society alone. The world needs a Justice League. Seeking the prison with his mind, he finds it more easily than expected. After all, the prison isn't a place, it's a person. The prison is Firestorm - and he is well on the way toward a nuclear meltdown.
- This book was first published on December 11, 2013.
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