Before I continue, I should point out that I have read worse comics than Extreme Justice. In actuality, the series wasn’t all bad. For instance, while the situations were idiotic, the characters were fine for the most part. There were some decent relationships like Captain Atom/Blue Beetle, Amazing Man/Maxima and Blue Beetle/Firestorm. In fact, Blue Beetle came out looking all right throughout this whole mess. He got to be his regular jokey self without Martian Manhunter yelling at him for not being serious. Plus he was actually useful in fights and wasn’t relegated to just hang out in the Bug and pilot.
As we last left our heroes, Captain Atom found himself before an unmasked Monarch, who was apparently Nathanial Adam. How could this be? The explanation was that when Adam was blown into the quantum field all those years ago (his origin), a quantum clone was created out of some alloy that escaped back to Earth while the real Nathanial Adam just hung out in space for a millennia, never taking the time to get rid of what had to be the dirtiest, nastiest pair of underwear in the universe.
The original Monarch showed up one day and the two became great friends. Monarch taught Adam much over the years, including the life Captain Atom stole from him. Monarch found a way out of the quantum field eventually and upon his death, sent his armor to Adam. Adam became the new Monarch and escaped. He felt that the original Monarch had the right idea of how to bring world peace, but spoiled it with some bad decisions.
The important thing from that gibberish is this: Captain Atom isn’t the real Nathanial Adam. Oh boy. You know how popular these storylines are. Just ask the many fans of Ben Reilly and Deadpool’s arch-nemesis T-Ray.
Nothing important happened with Monarch for a while, other than a bit where he had some “quantum beasts” attack Extreme Justice before destroying the creatures to make himself look like more of a hero to the on-looking crowd. The only important part to come out of this was Amazing Man absorbing the power of one of the creatures and permanently bulking up from it. That will come into play later.
And here’s an interesting little interlude. A spaceship crashed in the Nevada desert and a couple aliens walked out. They came in peace, but due to their inability to understand English and the fact that the first people they met were a bunch of freaked out rednecks, a misunderstanding led to acts of violence. Extreme Justice showed up to fight these aliens. Sounds decent so far, doesn’t it? Well, let’s take a look at our alien friends.
Yes, that’s right. They made the Wonder Twins canon and extreme. God help us.
The fight ended when some special gizmos were destroyed and it forced the Wonder Twins to teleport back to their home planet, into some villain’s captivity. As a cliffhanger, the villain asked the two, “Where is the Flesh Driver?”
The Flesh Driver? I could’ve told him that. They have the first three on DVD at West Coast Video, but you have to go into the special back room.
At least the Wonder Twins would play into a later arc. Let’s delve into a two-issue storyline that was far more random for the fact that it had absolutely nothing to do with anything. It started out when Captain Atom proposed to Plastique and she accepted. For reasons I don’t remember, Cap figured it would be a good idea to have Maxima set up the bachelorette party.
Enter Carol Ferris. Those who know their comics might recognize the name; she was Hal Jordan’s main romantic interest and the occasional vessel for the female anti-Green Lantern Star Sapphire. She was hired to help oversee maintenance for Mount Thunder (EJ’s headquarters). For no reason at all, Captain Atom decided that she should go to Plastique’s party. Maxima also had the current female roster of the Justice League show up: Fire, Icemaiden and Gypsy.
Dark days for the Justice League, man. Dark days.
Right about here is when things got incomprehensible. In fact, just now I looked up the backstory of this arc to understand what was going on. That internal monologue was the most recap we got in these two issues of clusterfuck.
See, Carol had Star Sapphire living inside her as a separate entity. Then one day, Carol had part of her personality extracted from her mind and given a physical form as a guy named Predator. Predator became a vigilante for a while, but also tried to get with Carol, which… seems kinda wrong and disturbing. Later, Predator revealed that he wasn’t part of Carol’s personality, but was some kind of mental parasite. Not only that, but he somehow impregnated the Star Sapphire entity.
Somehow, the writer of Extreme Justice figured that none of this needed any explanation.
The demon Neron (aka Satan-Lite) showed up and made a deal with Carol over the baby. He impaled her stomach with a sword or pipe or something and all of the sudden, a pregnant Star Sapphire showed up out of thin air. Maxima reacted to this like anyone would in this situation, by tearing off her clothes and running into the bathroom. Maybe she just downed too many Heinekens.
Sapphire cut Maxima in half (cliffhanger), but it turned out that it was only a decoy that Maxima created for no explained reason while the real deal was back at Mount Thunder. The Justice League girls and Extreme Justice fought Star Sapphire for a bit until Maxima made the amazing connection that this giant grape of a woman was really pregnant. With Firestorm’s assistance, she helped Sapphire give birth. Predator, who had spent the entire issue hopping from host to host on his way to the party, showed up just in time for Neron to reappear and vaporize both Predator and Star Sapphire. Neron stole the baby and neither he nor Carol Ferris were heard from again in the pages of Extreme Justice.
…I’m sorry, I blacked out for a good twenty minutes after typing that. Let’s cleanse the palette by seeing what Booster Gold was up to during all of this.
Booster had been getting more and more irritable. Though he tried to hide it, he was in constant pain and Blue Beetle wasn’t making any real progress in finding a way to heal his massive injuries. Plus Booster started to get jealous at how much time Beetle spent hanging out with Firestorm. Finally fed up, Booster sought out the Monarch to heal him. Beetle noticed that Booster’s armor had flatlined, so the crew went off to break into Monarch’s lair for the 38th time. To their surprise, they found Booster in perfect health, no longer needing to wear that big pile of life-support.
There was a price, though. Finally, we were shown Monarch’s big plan. He put some cell stuff into all those people he cured, which allowed him to morph them and make them his soldiers so he could take over the world and create a utopia. After Booster was constrained, his kickass futuristic DNA started to reject it and reverted him to normal. As for the others who were cured, Beetle came up with a way to jam the frequency across the planet so that Monarch would be completely unable to control anyone.
And with that minor setback, Monarch II was never heard from again. Ever. Anywhere. That stuff about Captain Atom not being the real Nathanial Adam? Never mentioned again after the series ended. In the meantime, he decided to accept who he was and by doing that, he got a haircut. After losing the mullet, he started to resemble Charlie of Street Fighter fame.
As for Booster, he was given a new outfit. Using some technology Beetle stole from the Wonder Twins’ ship earlier, he fashioned a thinner set of armor that strongly resembled Booster’s classic look. Skeets’ mind was placed inside the armor so that he could be there to instruct Booster on how to access his new powers. I read this and thought it sounded all right.
But between you and me, you know what Booster Gold really needed?
And I think that would be a good place to end this article. But there’s still plenty of fun left to be had. Not only do we get the return of the Wonder Twins, but we get Maxima’s introduction to pornography and The Extreme Legion of Doom!