Justice League of America: Pyre

Summary

January, 1986: Martian Manhunter realizes that the Conglomerate's fights have been staged. General Glory (Lobo) snaps and, before Maxwell Lord pacifies him, also knocks out Guy Gardner, who awakes with a complete personality change. Despero heads for Earth, contemplating how he has changed into a powerful mystical being through the Flame of Pytar. Ralph Dibny (Elongated Man) learns that his wife Sue is pregnant. Catherine Cobert contacts the JLA, suggesting it become Justice League International. [“Justice League of America: Pyre, Chapters 1-2”]

Full summary:

  • January, 1986: J'onn J'onzz, studying video of the Conglomerate, notes that some of their fights have been staged, including a terrorist attack at the U.N. and a confrontation with Amos Fortune weeks later. Maxwell Lord's attempted hostile takeover of Heywood Industries is thwarted with the help of Bruce Wayne. Hank Heywood III's net worth is now estimated to be between 150 to 200 million. As General Glory, Lobo snaps and attempts to kill the hairdresser, then knocks Guy Gardner out with one punch. Maxwell Lord uses his mind-controlling power to pacify Lobo. The JLA has a scheduled meeting. The rebuilding of the JLA satellite by Hawkman, Hawkwoman, and the Green Lantern Corps is expected to be completed by the end of the next week. Green Arrow tries to convince Black Canary to move to Seattle. Amos Fortune arrives at Maxwell Lord's office to receive his one million dollars for staging a battle with the Conglomerate. Guy Gardner awakes but is knocked out again accidentally by Ice. Guy awakes again later, and the Beetle is shocked to see he's undergone a complete personality change. [“Justice League of America: Pyre, Chapter 1: One Punch”]
  • In space, Despero recalls how he became what he is now. While imprisoned on Takron-Galtos since the Crisis and mocked for his ineffectual forays against the JLA, Despero learned of the legendary Flame of Pytar on his home planet of Kalanor. Escaping from prison, he traveled to Kalanor and entered the Flame of Pytar twice, where he was transformed until he fell unconscious. After he was transported back to the prison planet, Despero awoke and began heading for Earth to take his revenge on the JLA. The Conglomerate members are disturbed by Guy Gardner's new goody-two-shoes personality. Ralph Dibny (Elongated Man) learns that his wife Sue is pregnant. Despero passes Pluto. J'onn J'onzz and Nubia discuss the Amazons and reproductive biology. On Rann, Sardath tries to remove Zeta radiation from Adam Strange's body in order to send him back to Earth. J'onn is contacted by Catherine Cobert, who proposes that the JLA take a few foreign members and become Justice League International. Despero passes Neptune. Zatanna's manager, Jeff Sloane, arrives at the Secret Sanctuary. [“Justice League of America: Pyre, Chapter 2: Transformed”]

Summary

January 31: Maxwell Lord is secretly using the Construct to gain power. Adam Strange finally manages to drain enough Zeta radiation to return to Earth. Despero breaks through the JLA satellite, bringing Green Lantern with him down to the Earth. Adam Strange arrives in Australia and heads for the nearest JLA transporter. In Georgia, Despero builds a pyre and prepares for the JLA's arrival. The JLA attacks Despero, and an hour later, the Conglomerate head to Georgia. Adam Strange also reaches Georgia. Despero knocks out all the JLAers except Martian Manhunter and Wonder Woman II. [“Justice League of America: Pyre, Chapters 3-4”]

Full summary

  • January 31: Maxwell Lord visits the subbasement of Conglomerate headquarters, where the artificial computer life form called the Construct awaits his orders. Lord asks his team how their battle with the Royal Flush Gang went, only to find that General Glory (Lobo) is furious with Guy Gardner. Despero passes Uranus. At Conglomerate HQ, Animal Man explains to Maxwell Lord that Guy Gardner wouldn't even let the Conglomerate touch the Royal Flush Gang, saying violence wasn't the answer. The Beetle makes plans to return Guy to his old self. As Despero passes Jupiter, he destroys the spacecraft of an alien named Manga Khan. In Happy Harbor, Sue Dibny and Dinah Lance (Black Canary) discuss motherhood and Oliver Queen's fears about turning 40 next year. At Conglomerate HQ, the Beetle and Firestorm maneuver Guy Gardner into fainting when he sees Beatriz daCosta (Fire) emerge naked from the shower. Sargon the Sorcerer looks up from his book as Fire chases after the Beetle. Despero approaches Mars. On Rann, after a week of draining Zeta radiation from his body, Adam Strange finally starts disappearing and returning to Earth. At the JLA satellite, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Hawkman, and Hawkwoman are completing repairs, when Despero approaches and breaks through the satellite, colliding with Green Lantern. Hawkman summons the JLA. Despero and Green Lantern collide with the Earth in southern Georgia, knocking out Green Lantern. Adam Strange materializes in the Outback of Australia and immediately heads for Sydney. An hour after Despero's impact, Animal Man sees a report of the destruction it caused in southern Georgia, and he gathers the Conglomerate to deal with it. [“Justice League of America: Pyre, Chapter 3: Impact”]
  • Despero makes preparations to deal with the JLA, assembling a stack of trees into a pyre. Green Arrow and Black Canary arrive before Despero can kill Green Lantern. Then J'onn J'onzz arrives with the other JLAers and begin their attack. The JLA battles the powerful Despero, who rips off Steel's bionic arm. In Sydney, Australia, Adam Strange reaches the JLA transporter tube and transports to the JLA satellite, where he finds it damaged. He discovers that Hawkman and Hawkwoman last used it to travel to Atlanta, Georgia, and uses it himself to go there. Despero uses his mystical third eye to foil Zatanna's magical spell and knocks out all the JLAers except Martian Manhunter and Wonder Woman II, whom he approaches. Adam Strange learns from J'onn J'onzz how Despero devastated the JLA just before Despero attacks him. [“Justice League of America: Pyre, Chapter 4: Full Circle”]

Summary

Adam Strange reaches the JLA and learns what happened just before Despero knocks him far off, where he meets Batman and Looker. Superman, Aquaman, and the Conglomerate also arrive. Despero attempts to recreate the Flame of Pytar to take over the world. As Superman and the Conglomerate attack Despero, he kills the Beetle. Under Sargon the Sorcerer's spell of concealment, Batman and the others rescue the beaten JLAers. Martian Manhunter removes the mental blocks on Lobo's mind, allowing him to fight Despero. After another battle, Despero appears to win and even conquer the Earth, but this is an illusion caused by Martian Manhunter. Green Lantern sends the unconscious Despero into space, which Manga Khan intercepts. Animal Man dissolves the Conglomerate. [“Justice League of America: Pyre, Chapters 5-6”]

Full summary

  • Now that he has defeated the JLA, Despero plans to recreate the Flame of Pytar and use its mystical power to conquer the Earth as the beginning of his own Kalanoran Empire. After being struck by Despero, Adam Strange falls from the air, his landing cushioned by a grove of trees, and he meets Batman and Looker. Adam learns that Batman and Looker arrived only moments earlier to coordinate the arrival of Superman and Aquaman. The Conglomerate heads south to find Despero, while Maxwell Lord in New York is angered that the team left without his permission. The Conglomerate arrives after Batman coordinates with Fire. Watching the Conglomerate's arrival, Aquaman still feels guilt over his earlier abandonment of the team that led to several apparent deaths during the Crisis, and he vows not to leave the team again. Hanging all the defeated JLAers on his giant pyre of trees, Despero attempts to recreate the Flame of Pytar there with which he can take over the world. Superman and the Conglomerate attack Despero, and he kills the Beetle. Meanwhile, Sargon the Sorcerer casts a spell of concealment, allowing Batman and the others to rescue the JLAers while making it appear they were still hanging from the pyre. Sargon also teleports General Glory (Lobo) out of the battlefield while Batman keeps Despero distracted. [“Justice League of America: Pyre, Chapter 5: Day of Despero”]
  • After Looker fails to do so, J'onn J'onzz successfully removes the mental blocks placed by Maxwell Lord in Lobo's mind. Just as Despero is about to attack Batman, the Red Tornado (now a force of nature) appears and strikes him with powerful bolts of lightning, and Lobo is transported back for a full-out battle with Despero. The JLA and the Conglomerate attack Despero. Then Despero uses his mystical third eye and causes everyone to be knocked unconscious. Despero hangs the defeated JLA and the Conglomerate and successfully builds the Flame of Pytar, which engulfs the heroes in flame and transfers all their powers to Despero. The empowered Despero conquers the world city by city, defeating the Outsiders, the Titans, and the Doom Patrol, amongst others, until the world surrenders after 24 hours. Despero then begins his conquest of space, defeating planet after planet. But this is all an illusion planted in his mind by J'onn J'onzz. As Lobo and the others continue to fight, Despero collapses. Green Lantern sends Despero's unconscious body to Oa and tells the JLA about the alien invasion. J'onn J'onzz contacts Harbinger and pledges the JLA's help in concluding the battle against the Alien Armada. The Beetle is found dead. Hours later, in Maxwell Lord's office, Batman, Guy Gardner, Animal Man, and the Martian Manhunter confront him but have no proof to arrest him with. Animal Man dissolves the Conglomerate. Wonder Woman II and Aquaman pacify Lobo's thirst for revenge by introducing him to dolphins. In orbit around Jupiter, Manga Khan intercepts Despero's body before it can go to Oa. [“Justice League of America: Pyre, Chapter 6: The Conquest of Earth”]

Summary

February 7: The JLA and Conglomerate attend the Beetle's funeral. Lobo returns to space. The JLA satellite is repaired. Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Firestorm, and Red Tornado rejoin the JLA. [“Justice League of America: Pyre, Epilogue: The League Stands”]

Full summary

  • February 7: One week after Despero's defeat, Prof. Ivo watches a report on the JLA and makes plans against the team. The JLA and the former Conglomerate attend the Beetle's funeral. Now bored, Lobo says goodbye to Wonder Woman II, Aquaman, and the dolphins and heads back into space. The JLA satellite is finally completed, the injured heroes heal from their wounds, and Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Firestorm, and even Red Tornado rejoin the JLA. The Conglomerate members decline an offer of membership and plan to meet with Catherine Cobert to discuss her proposal of an international team. [“Justice League of America: Pyre, Epilogue: The League Stands”]

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