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Justice League of America: The Nail by Alan…

Justice League of America: The Nail (1998)

by Alan Davis

Other authors: Mark Farmer (Inker)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Justice League, DC Elseworlds, Justice League of America: The Nail (1)

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1293142,745 (3.69)3



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A JLA Elseworlds graphic novel, and one of the classics (in my mind at least). It seems to be based on the colloquial adaptation of a verse by George Herbert (as the comic states it, The Want For a Nail... verse.)

The specific question is, What would happen if the Kents didn't find Kal-El? The story focuses on the JLA and how there being no Superman changed all their lives.

I did like that they kept Lois Lane just as she's always been. And I also liked that the author gave us a bit of a Catwoman/Batman relationship too. Not enough writers take that complicated relationship on.

The book works because most who will read it already know the Superman story and boy does it work well. I just wished I liked the art a little more. ( )
  DanieXJ | Jun 19, 2016 |
Basically a what-if story that starts with the simple premise that the Kents have a flat tire so they aren't driving by when Kal-el lands on Earth. As a result, there is no Superman. Somehow there is still eventually a Justice League, but a political battle erupts with humanity distrusting "metahumans" and wanting them all rounded up or kicked off the planet, very X-Men-esque. Also Lex Luthor is the mayor of Metropolis and Perry White and Jimmy Olsen are kind of dicks. Actually Jimmy Olsen is a whole lot of a dick.

Kind of a flimsy premise, but the story is told in a fun way. All of the characters are silver-age in their behavior and visual style, and it's neat to see everyone operate with no knowledge of Superman. Lots of characters die (or are already dead), and there are tons of cameos by even the corniest of the DC universe. There's a bit of a strange dichotomy between whimsical scenes of The Atom humorously explaining how he adjusts his size to break into a hideout right along scenes in which Batman is so scarred that he can't speak for days.

Overall, an interesting Elseworlds story, though I think it takes too long getting to the inevitable Supes reveal. ( )
  rodhilton | Nov 14, 2014 |
The Nail is an "Elseworlds" title, which means that this book is out of continuity. Kal-El (Superman) is not found by Ma and Pa Kent (due to the eponymous nail in their car's tire), and the Justice League of America forms without him. The first thirty pages or so are just characters standing around talking about various nefarious plots, a few of which appear to be just filler. Eventually, we see much of the DC universe pass through the story even though some of our heroes are now villains. I thought the ending was pretty predictable. The main highlight of the book, though, was the art, which has a Silver Age feel to it. If you are a DC fan, this is an interesting take on the characters, but I'd recommend skipping it if you're new to this universe. ( )
2 vote legallypuzzled | May 9, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Davis, AlanAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Farmer, MarkInkersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mulvihill, PatriciaColoristsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prentice, PatriciaLetterersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Kansas. Twenty-Four years ago.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Written by Alan Davis; Art by Alan Davis and Mark Farmer Taking place in an alternate reality, JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA: THE NAIL examines the nature of a world without Superman. Years in the past, a flat tire caused by a nail prevents the Kents from discovering a small rocket ship with an alien baby inside. As a result, the world's greatest hero never comes to be. Now, without a symbol of unimpeachable integrity or a selfless leader who inspires greatness in their ranks, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Aquaman, the Atom, and Green Lantern must battle public contempt and personal mistrust as they attempt to work together to protect a world that fears them.

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