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|JLA: Earth 2|
Cover art of JLA: Earth 2.
Art by Frank Quitely.
|Publication date||September 2000|
Crime Syndicate of Amerika
The graphic novel's title is a subversion of expectations derived from DC's pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths continuity, in which the "primary" DC Universe was "Earth-1", the Golden Age DC Universe was Earth-2, and the home of the previous-continuity Crime Syndicate of America was Earth-3. In this work, the "Earth 2" referred to is the primary DC Universe Earth; it is explained that the antimatter universe Lex Luthor designated it so upon discovering it.
Alexander Luthor, the lone hero from the Antimatter universe, breaks the barrier between Earths 1 and 2, seeking the JLA's help. He kidnaps and takes the place of his evil positive-matter counterpart. Meanwhile, the JLA investigate a plane crash where all the (dead) passengers have hearts on the right side of their bodies, and money bearing the slogan "In Mammon We Trust" and the face of Benedict Arnold. This leads them to Alexander Luthor, who informs them of the other Earth and asks for 48 hours of their time to help the oppressed world. The JLA, except for Aquaman and the Martian Manhunter, follow Luthor to the alternate Earth.
The Crime Syndicate are introduced. Each is an evil counterpart of a JLA member. Ultraman calls a meeting, discovers Luthor's absence, and begins plotting to take over the positive matter universe, while Power Ring and Johnny Quick discuss the possibility of counterparts to themselves.
Green Lantern forms a force field around the moon, trapping the CSA in their lunar base. The JLA and Luthor begin to set the world right. Batman works to clear Gotham City of crime with the antimatter-universe version of his father, police Chief Thomas Wayne, who survived the famous shooting that spawned Batman while Bruce and his mother were killed. In this universe, Bruce had a brother, Thomas Jr., who blamed his father for the deaths and became Owlman out of revenge. The ruthless crime lord Boss Gordon is also brought to justice.
Owlman correctly concludes that 24 hours after the JLA appeared on the antimatter Earth, the CSA will be transported to the positive-matter Earth in order to correct a dimensional equilibrium. When this occurs, the CSA attack the White House and destroy much of Washington DC, then are easily subdued by Aquaman and the Martian Manhunter, who take down the most powerful CSA members with startling ease.
Meanwhile, the JLA's attempts to reform the antimatter Earth unravel quickly; the "opposite" nature of this world means that evil and corruption are the natural order of things and any attempt to improve the society is doomed to failure. This is also why the CSA fell so easily to Aquaman and Martian Manhunter; justice is destined to prevail on the positive-matter Earth.
It is revealed that Luthor has been manipulated by Ultraman's servant, the antimatter Brainiac. Luthor's actions in bringing the two Earths into contact will unintentionally result in the two Earths merging into the same space and destroying each other, with the JLA and CSA being powerless to stop it due to their being on Earths where they, by the nature of the respective universes, cannot win. Brainiac anticipated this and has prepared himself to collect the energy released by the destroyed Earths, evolving into an "Nth Level Intelligence" and essentially becoming a god.
Attempting to stop the collision, Superman discovers that this Brainiac is a biological organism; Superman's code against killing prevents him from harming Brainiac. Convinced now that only evil could win on the antimatter Earth, Superman and Wonder Woman refrain from trying to defeat Brainiac themselves. Flash switches the teams back to their respective Earths. Upon arrival, a vengeful Ultraman gives Brainiac a laser-vision lobotomy to ensure that he never poses a threat again. The two Earths return to their own spaces, and each team ponders their counterparts on the other side of the dimensional barrier.
- Earth-Two, DC's main universe of this name containing their Golden Age storylines
- Earth-Three, the original (pre-Crisis) basis for Earth 2
- Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, an original movie based on the comic.
- Panopticon, the concept to which the name of the CSA's lunar Panopticon refers