bookrev: JLA Vol 8: Divided We Fall by Mark Waid
Great split personality story, so-so fairy tale story
These were originally published as JLA #47-#54.
These stories happen right after “Tower of Babel”, where Batman gets voted out of the JLA. The remaining JLAers are still dealing with that, when the Queen of Fables is freed from a book and attacks with all manner of fairy tales. With the exception of the very interesting twist of an Aquaman / WonderWoman relationship which continues in this story (see panel 32), and the appearance of Batman and his supposed betrayal of the team, I found this story tedious compared to the others.
The JLAers then start to become divided, with the three that sided with Batman facing off with the three that sided against. Here the story gets going, with the six of them going after Dr. Destiny, who is changing reality, while Superman confronts Batman. Dr. Destiny is seemingly defeated at the same time that Superman and Batman agree there will be no secrets. They call the six other JLAers to Batman’s cave, reveal their secret identities, join Batman back to the team….and then meet their alter-egos suited up. Their split-personalities have truly been split!
The ensuing story, with the civilian identities of the JLAers trying to resume normal lives, the superhereo identities of the JLAers battling “fulfillment of wishes” problems full time, with WonderWoman and Aquaman in the middle (they have no secret identities), is one of the best in the series. Both sides, with some exceptions, realize they can’t live without their alter-egos, and that the creature “If” has been fulfilling wishes, including theirs to be separated.
The fact that “Eel” O’Brien, Plastic Man’s alter-ego who is a former criminal, somewhat reunites the team, is one of the best stories on him in the series.
Fav panel: pg 137, where Kyle Raynor obsessivly covers his walls with JLA cartoons.