JLA: Another Nail
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (May 2008)|
|JLA: Another Nail|
|Publisher||Elseworlds (DC Comics)|
JLA: Another Nail is a comic book mini-series published in the United States by DC Comics, a continuation of events seen in the original three-part mini-series JLA: The Nail. As with its predecessor, Another Nail occurs outside of the official DC Universe continuity, belonging to the Elseworlds collection of stories. Many of the peripheral plotlines from its predecessor are expanded upon, and important moments from the previous story arc are told from new viewpoints, revealing new information. The main break from the normal continuity is the fact that Kal-El was never found by the Kents when he was a baby, due to their truck suffering a flat tire from a nail.
The story begins with a flashback to one year earlier, detailing the war between New Genesis and Apokolips which had been mentioned in JLA: The Nail. The fallout from this war threatens to destroy millions of lives in the adjacent planets. The Green Lantern Corps are 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 wired his consciousness into Barda's armor circuitry from his dying body) are able to shut down a destructive device meant to vaporize all matter within millions of light years of the war.
This flashback is revealed to have been shown by Hal Jordan, who reveals to the rest of the JLA that the Central Lantern Battery on Oa is losing power. The Guardians of the Universe are also unsuccessfully investigating the matter along with Big Barda.
Oliver Queen, formerly Green Arrow, is dying as a result of the massive injuries he sustained at the hands of Amazo in the same fight that claimed the life of Hawkman. His former lover Black Canary is torn; she wants to help him, but he spurns her concerns and wishes only to be left alone to die in peace.
Kal-El is adjusting to his new life as Superman. He is unfamiliar with the extent of his powers and his limitations, and has devoted himself fully to heroics with little rest. During a mission in South America with the Martian Manhunter, the Man of Steel's strength begins to fade while trying to save a village from Evil Star's attacks. The Martian Manhunter advises him to take a rest and reconnect with humanity. On his sabbatical, Kal-El bonds with Lois Lane and Jonathan and Martha Kent as they create a new identity for him.
Meanwhile, Wonder Woman and Aquaman run into some of Darkseid's former minions, hidden on Earth. Hawkwoman teams with Zatanna, and Green Lantern tries to investigate the energy loss on Oa by questioning various superheroes, while Flash and the Atom take note of chronal fluctuations. At the same time, Batman continues to fight crime apart from the JLA. He is still plagued by nightmares from when The Joker killed Robin and Batgirl a year earlier, before being killed by Batman. Hearing maniacal laughter off in the distance after a battle with Poison Ivy, he pursues the noise and discovers Deadman.
Deadman reveals that there is a massive disturbance in the dimensional planes of reality. Demons are seen crossing into our dimension, and even the Spectre is seen to be helpless. The story is further complicated when Flash and the Atom accidentally cross into another universe, and are captured by the Crime Syndicate of Amerika. Finally, Batman discovers to his horror that the Joker really has been haunting him. Back from Hell due to the shifting in dimensions, Joker attacks Batman with new demonic powers, while legions of demons watch in amusement. Only this time, with the Clown Prince of Crime already dead, Batman can merely cause physical pains to the undead villain but can never kill him as they battle.
As disturbances in dimensions, time and reality unfold, both hero and villain are seen to be helpless in the chaos that follows. Barda and Mr. Miracle are able to use the resources of New Genesis and the Green Lanterns to discover that all of the disturbances are from one entity: the Limbo Cell.
Seen as a massive organism many times the size of our Solar System, the Limbo Cell feeds on energy, matter and eventually subspace itself, causing the dimensional disturbances across different realities. Superman tries to fly a bomb into the cell's nucleus, but his lifeforce is drained 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. It is revealed that Queen can fight off the energy siphoning of the Limbo Cell with Amazo's powers, and he bravely sacrifices his life in order to deliver the bomb into its nucleus. With the Limbo Cell destroyed, reality heals and the disturbances in time and space are repaired.
Batman descends into Hell, dragging the Joker with him. As they fight, Batman is prepared to spend an eternity in Hell knowing that his own sacrifice prevents the Joker from harming anyone ever again. As they fall into the abyss, the Joker is suddenly swept away screaming by an unseen force. A hand reaches out to Batman, pulling him out of the darkness. Seeing that his rescuer is the spirit of Robin, Batman can finally put the past behind him. The story concludes with Batman rejoining the Justice League, with the caption "Never The End".