How a ‘what if’ justice league turned two heroes into mighty foes

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JLA: The Nail is a unique deviation from the DC Universe where two classic heroic figures have become major enemies of the Justice League.

The DC Multiverse – and the relatively recently revealed Dark Multiverse – is full of unique realities that feature dangerous versions of classic heroes. But an alternate post-Crisis reality was one of the darkest, turning two major elements of the DC Universe into the Justice League’s most personal (and dangerous) enemies.

In the world of JLA: the highlight by Alan Davis and Mark Farmer, two classic heroic figures – Jimmy Olsen and Green Arrow – ended up becoming staunch enemies of the titular superhero team.

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JLA: the highlight takes place in an alternate version of the DC Universe, which has become dramatically different due to one seemingly benign change: the day Jonathan and Martha Kent could have found the child Kal-El and raised him as their son Clark (leading him to become Superman), a nail in the road caused a flat tire in their truck. Instead, it was a benevolent Amish who found and raised him – settling him with a deep-rooted pacifism and convincing him to stay in Kansas instead of venturing out into the big world. Without his presence, the Justice League was still formed – but without a moral center on which to gravitate humanity, relations were much strained between the public and the superheroes, and the Justice League was missing one of their most notable figures. stronger.


A member of the Justice League in this world for a while was Oliver Queen, aka Green Arrow. Like most variations of the character, he initially devoted himself and his fortune to helping protect audiences. But a first battle with Amazo ended badly for the helpless hero – breaking ranks in an attempt to show off his own skills, Green Arrow was seriously injured and left paralyzed. Meanwhile, Hawkman rushed to his aid – and was killed as a result. A bitter Oliver turned his rage outward – eventually turning against his former allies and becoming an outspoken critic of the superhero community as a whole. But Oliver’s crusade was nothing compared to that of the Jimmy Olsen of this world.

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Without Superman to distract him, Lex Luthor became one of Metropolis’ most beloved figures, stoking these anti-superhero fears and drove him to success – even becoming elected mayor of Metropolis, with Jimmy Olsen as his assistant in chief. Luthor had gained such a technological advantage by finding the remains of Kal-El’s ship. His attempts to graft Kryptonian DNA onto other beings, however, seemed to fail – until Jimmy revealed that the process had given him immense powers. The process also pushed Jimmy to the limit, inspiring him with a deadly “Kryptonian” mindset that sought to destroy humanity and rebuild the world with that alien perspective. Olsen played into the fears of the Hero Community in an attempt to weaken Earth’s defenses and capture the heroes, also giving him a chance to steal their powers.

Although he was eventually exposed, there wasn’t much that could be done to stop Olsen in a direct confrontation – at least until their battle brought them to the Amish community where Kal-El was raised. . After murdering Kal’s foster parents, Jimmy forced the reluctant Superman into a deadly battle – but the resulting superimposition of his powers emptied Jimmy and caused his body to disintegrate into nothing. Olsen died a villain in this world – unlike Queen, who in the sequel story JLA: another highlight had his mind implanted in an Amazo robot and redeemed himself by sacrificing himself to save all of reality around his friends and loved ones. Corn The nail serves as a deadly reminder of how easily some of the DC Universe’s greatest allies could become even more formidable foes.

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