JLA: The Nail
||It has been suggested that JLA: Another Nail be merged into this article. (Discuss) Proposed since September 2015.|
|JLA: The Nail|
Cover for JLA: The Nail #1, by Alan Davis.
|Publication date||August – October 1998|
|Number of issues||3|
Flash (Barry Allen)
Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)
|JLA: The Nail (US edition)||ISBN 1563894807|
|JLA: The Nail (UK Edition)||ISBN 1840230649|
JLA: The Nail is a three-issue comic book mini-series published by DC Comics in 1998 under its Elseworlds imprint. The story, written and drawn by Alan Davis, is set in a world where Jonathan and Martha Kent's truck experiences a flat tire caused by a nail, which prevents them from discovering the spaceship outside Smallville with baby Kal-El, negating Superman.
The story's theme is set in the first paragraph:
For want of a nail the shoe was lost,
for want of a shoe the horse was lost,
for want of a horse the knight was lost,
for want of a knight the battle was lost.
So it was a kingdom was lost – all for want of a nail.
Twenty-four years ago, farmers Jonathan and Martha Kent experience a flat tire on their truck caused by a nail, which results in them missing the arrival of a Kryptonian spacecraft and discovering the infant Kal-El. Without Superman, the Justice League consists of Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash (Barry Allen), Hawkwoman (Shayera Thal), the Atom (Ray Palmer), Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern (Hal Jordan).
Journalist Perry White conducts an anti-metahuman campaign with the support of mayor of Metropolis Lex Luthor, deputy mayor Jimmy Olsen and former hero Oliver Queen (Green Arrow). After a battle with Amazo which resulted in the death of Hawkman (Katar Hol), Queen became a bitter paraplegic who claims that the Justice League are aliens conspiring against humanity. Metahumans are eliminated or captured one by one: first the supervillains and then superteams such as the Doom Patrol and the Outsiders.
The Joker liberates the prisoners in Arkham Asylum with energy-generating gauntlets which he uses to trap Batman and kill Robin (Dick Grayson) and Batgirl (Barbara Gordon). Catwoman attacks the Joker and frees Batman, who then damages the Joker's gauntlets and snaps his neck on live television as Arkham explodes. Batman retreats to the Batcave with Catwoman while the Joker's murder tarnishes the Justice League's reputation.
Metamorpho is brainwashed into killing the Thinker and Perry White and dies while trying to tell Martian Manhunter what happened. Green Lantern discovers a force field around Earth that prevents anything from leaving the planet. Seeking the mastermind behind events, the Flash saves Ra's al Ghul and the League of Assassins from an attack by Amazo.
Wonder Woman is framed for the destruction of the White House. Riots erupt soon after and Luthor takes control of the United States, using flying masked robots known as the Liberators to enforce the law. The members of the Justice League are captured by the Liberators (who are shown to be Bizarro clones) until only Batman, the Flash and the Atom remain.
Lois Lane, a journalist investigating the anti-metahuman campaign, suspects a conspiracy. At a metahuman research facility, Lois meets Dr. Lana Lang, who sends her to Smallville where the Kents help shelter escaped metahumans. Lois confronts Jimmy, who reveals that LexCorp discovered Kal-El's empty spaceship and found traces of his DNA in it. Luthor used the alien DNA to create Bizarro clones and turned Jimmy into a Kryptonian. Metahumans have been imprisoned and harvested for their DNA in order to convert humans into Kryptonians and create a Kryptonian society ruled by Jimmy.
Batman, Batwoman (formerly Catwoman), the Atom, and the Flash free the Justice League captives and destroy the Liberators, only to be confronted by an insane super-powered Jimmy. Jimmy defeats the League due to their inexperience with Kryptonian powers as the fight spreads to an Amish community. As Jimmy is about to kill Batman, he is stopped by a farmer who tries to reason with him; Jimmy unsuccessfully tries to incinerate the farmer with his heat vision.
The farmer is revealed to be Kal-El, who was found as an infant by an Amish couple and raised as their son. Jimmy attempts to persuade Kal-El to join him but Kal refuses, unable to ignore his conscience. Jimmy kills Kal-El's adoptive parents in front of him with his heat vision and engages Kal in a fight. Despite being evenly matched, the stress of the fight causes Jimmy’s DNA graft to fail and his body to disintegrate. With Jimmy and the Liberators defeated, the Justice League (without Batman, who resigns from the League after he is acquitted of the Joker's murder) regains public confidence with the help of its newest member: Superman.
The story was followed by a sequel, JLA: Another Nail, which wrapped up several loose ends from the original mini-series, such as the war between the New Gods and the Green Lantern Corps, and Oliver Queen's public betrayal of the Justice League.
- Davis, Alan (1998). The Nail: an Elseworlds tale of the Justice League of America (1st printing ed.). New York, NY: DC Comics. ISBN 1563894807.
- Davis, Alan (1999). The Nail: an Elseworlds tale of the Justice League of America. London: Titan. ISBN 1840230649.
- "JLA: The Nail (1998)". Comic Book DB. Retrieved 2015-06-11.
- Annotations for The Nail #1, #2 and #3 by Jess Nevins.
- Justice League of America: The Nail at the Comic Book DB