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JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE NAIL (1998)

Story: Alan Davis, Artwork: Alan Davis and Mark Farmer

Just about every DC super-hero and villain makes an appearance in The Nail, except for one. This is a world without a Superman. Thanks to a flat tire, the Kents never reach the field where the infant from Krypton has landed. As a result, Lex Luthor is mayor of Metropolis and rules over the city with an iron fist. In this world, super-beings (called metahumans) are looked upon with fear and suspicion. Luthor is doing all he can to eradicate them.

Meanwhile, in Gotham City, Perry White and Jimmy Olsen lead the battle to turn public opinion against the metahumans. Their focus is the Justice League of America, headed by Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, The Atom, Hawkwoman, J'onn J'onzz, and the mysterious Batman. Catwoman has decided to go straight and has turned herself in at Arkham Asylum. Suddenly the place is rocked by explosions caused by the Joker, who has somehow acquired powerful weapons and is setting all the inmates free. It isn't long before Batman is on the scene, but is powerless to stop the Joker from killing Robin and Batgirl. In a rage Batman, with the help of Catwoman, kills him, but is captured on film, making the metahuman situation even worse.

Meanwhile the JLA is fighting all sorts of adversaries, human and alien, but it soon becomes clear there is a powerful enemy behind it all. The JLA is fighting a losing battle. One by one the members are either killed or captured. Catwoman joins a distraught Bruce Wayne back at the Batcave. Bruce finds out the Joker was using Kryptonian technology. He fashions new weapons for him and Catwoman (now in a new costume) to use in the final confrontation. They finally meet the mastermind (you're not going to believe who it is!), but even that is not enough to turn the tide. At the last second they are saved by an Amish farmboy, who finally becomes you-know-who. The storyline is complex, what with all the super-heroes doing battle. Catwoman plays a major role (that's her on the third cover) in this Elseworlds story, well drawn and written.