JLA: Another Nail

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JLA: Another Nail
Publication information
Publisher Elseworlds (DC Comics)
Schedule Monthly
Format Limited series
Genre
Publication date 2004
Main character(s) Aquaman
Atom
Batman
Flash
Green Arrow
Green Lantern
Hawkgirl
Martian Manhunter
Superman
Wonder Woman
Creative team
Writer(s) Alan Davis
Penciller(s) Alan Davis
Inker(s) Mark Farmer
Creator(s) Alan Davis
Mark Farmer

JLA: Another Nail is a comic book mini-series published in the United States by DC Comics, a continuation of events in the original three-part mini-series JLA: The Nail. Another Nail also occurs outside the official DC Universe continuity, and is part of the Elseworlds story collection. A number of its predecessor's peripheral plotlines are expanded and key incidents in the previous story arc are retold from other viewpoints, revealing new information. The primary difference from the continuity is that Kal-El was never found by the Kents when he was a baby; their truck had a flat tire, caused by a nail.

Plot[edit]

The story begins with a flashback to a year earlier, detailing the war between New Genesis and Apokolips mentioned in JLA: The Nail. The consequences of this war threaten to destroy millions of lives on adjacent planets, and the Green Lantern Corps is summoned to stem the loss of life. One of their number is killed, and the power ring selects Big Barda as its new host. Using the ring in combination with a Mother Box, Barda and Mr. Miracle (who had transferred his consciousness to Barda's armor circuitry from his dying body) shut down a destructive device designed to vaporize all matter within millions of light years of the war. The flashback was shown by Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), who reveals to the rest of the JLA that the Central Power Battery on Oa is weakening. The Guardians of the Universe and Big Barda unsuccessfully investigate.

Oliver Queen, formerly Green Arrow, is dying from injuries by Amazo in the same fight which claimed Hawkman's (Katar Hol) life. His former lover, Black Canary (Dinah Lance), is torn; she wants to help him, but he rejects her and wishes only to die in peace.

Kal-El is adjusting to his new life as Superman. He is unfamiliar with his powers and limitations, devoting himself to heroics with little rest. During a South American mission with the Martian Manhunter, the Man of Steel's strength begins fading as he tries to save a village from Evil Star's attacks. The Martian Manhunter advises him to rest and reconnect with humanity. During his sabbatical, Kal-El bonds with Lois Lane and Jonathan and Martha Kent as they create a new identity for him.

Wonder Woman and Aquaman encounter some of Darkseid's former minions, hidden on Earth. Hawkwoman (Shayera Thal) teams with Zatanna; Green Lantern investigates the energy loss on Oa by questioning a number of superheroes, while Flash (Barry Allen) and the Atom (Ray Palmer) note chronological fluctuations. Batman and a reformed Catwoman continue to fight crime separately from the JLA. He is still plagued by nightmares of The Joker killing Robin (Dick Grayson) and Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) a year earlier, before Batman killed him. Hearing maniacal laughter in the distance after a battle with Poison Ivy; he follows it and encounters Deadman, who reveals a disturbance in the dimensional planes of reality. Demons invade the human dimension, and even the Spectre is helpless. Flash and the Atom accidentally enter another universe, and are captured by the Crime Syndicate of Amerika. Batman, horrified, learns that the Joker has been haunting him. Back from hell because of the dimensional shift, Joker attacks Batman with demonic powers while legions of demons watch in amusement. With the Clown Prince of Crime already dead, Batman can only cause him pain.

As disturbances in dimensions, time and reality unfold, hero and villain are both helpless in the ensuing chaos. Barda and Mr. Miracle use the resources of New Genesis and the Green Lanterns to discover that the disturbances are from a single entity: the Limbo Cell. A massive organism many times the size of our solar system, the Limbo Cell feeds on energy, matter and hyperspace, causing dimensional disturbances across realities. Superman tries to fly a bomb into the cell's nucleus, but his energy drains and he is left helpless. As Kal-El is about to die, he is rescued and revitalized by Amazo (now with the mind of Oliver Queen). Queen fights the Limbo Cell's energy-siphoning with Amazo's powers, and sacrifices his life to deliver the bomb to its nucleus. With the Limbo Cell destroyed, reality heals and disturbances in time and space are repaired.

Batman descends to hell, dragging the Joker with him. As they fight Batman is prepared to spend an eternity in hell, knowing that his sacrifice prevents the Joker from ever harming anyone else. As they fall into the abyss the Joker, screaming, is swept away by an unseen force; a hand reaches out to Batman, pulling him from the darkness. His rescuer, the spirit of Robin, enables Batman to put the past behind him. He rejoins the Justice League, with the caption "Never The End".