At the end of Scott Snyder‘s Dark Nights Metal story arc, it’s revealed that the actions of the Justice League that saved the universe from Barbatos have inadvertently broken the Source Wall. It’s explained that while the Source Wall was considered the edge of the DC Universe, it also serves as a means of hiding it from the rest of the multiverse and it’s dangers. JUSTICE LEAGUE: NO JUSTICE #1 lets us know just how valuable the Source Wall actually is.
In this first issue, the Guardians of the Universe dispatch the Green Lantern Corps to the Source Wall breach to determine the damage. Guy Gardner sums up the damage as only he can: “You and your friends on the Justice League broke the damn universe. The old rule book… it just went up in smoke”. The next few pages show the Titans, both Teen and adult, as well as the Suicide Squad engaged in a (losing) battle against an unseen foe, all the while being monitored by Amanda Waller. She initiates “Protocol XI”, all the while saying that she is being forced into it.
It’s revealed that Brainiac is responsible for the abduction, leading Superman to believe that his old foe is launching yet another attack on Earth. After Brainiac telepathically shows Superman just how easy he feels it is to defeat the Justice League, he reveals his true motivation for coming to Earth: not to fight, but to recruit. The abducted heroes and villains wake up on a Brainiac ship with no understanding as to why they are there. After the standard “hero/villain misunderstanding and face-off” it’s determined that Brainiac has divided the abductees into “teams” for a fight against four cosmic gods. These gods, called Omega Titans, seeded various planets in the universe with their energy with the belief that theirs is the dominant power of intelligent life. Brainiac explains that at the end of the universe the Omega Titans would return to those planets, determine which energy was supreme, and reabsorb said energy by destroying the planet. When Batman looks at the assembled mixture of heroes and villains, he sees that the numbers for each team are uneven and asks where the rest of the heroes are. The next page answers his question, with a team composed of Starro, Lobo (looking just as badass as ever after the editors wisely got rid of the “emo Lobo”), Sinestro, Etrigan the Demon, Deathstroke the Terminator, and Lex Luthor.
On Earth, it’s revealed that Protocol XI is a group of the most powerful psychics on Earth, such as Maxwell Lord, Hector Hammond, Red Tornado, and others. Abducted and forced to use their powers in concert, Waller’s goal is to “hack Brainiac” and learn everything he knows about the universe so America, and by extension Earth, can be better prepared. Back on Brainiac’s ship, tempers and attitudes clash, with the most visual being between Sinestro and Starfire although each show various degrees of mistrust and hostility towards everyone else in the room. Brainiac ends all of that, however, when they arrive at Colu and they have a chance to see an Omega Titan. Brainiac has brought them all there to attempt to save his planet from an Omega Titan as well as explaning that he has made sure that Earth will be next should they fail. However, as Brainiac starts to give the various teams their orders… his head explodes. The final words of the issue, said by Lobo, says it all… “We’re SO fragged.”
Scott Snyder, along with James Tynion IV and Joshua Williamson build upon their work in DARK NIGHTS: METAL in a truly fantastic scale, showing that they can write truly cosmic stories as well as adding some depth and expanding the sandbox of the DC Universe with some much-needed story possibilities. Francis Manapul, keeping up with his amazing work on Aquaman and Batgirl, shines in this issue and gives a true level of scope to the story.