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Justice League of America: The Nail [Kindle Edition]

MARK FARMER , ALAN DAVIS , Mark Farmer
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 80859 KB
  • Print Length: 150 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics (16 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DY8FE42
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #496,209 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
It's a good premise - imagine the DC universe without Superman, and show the sort of things that he normally keeps in check, like personality clashes in the JLA and Lex Luthor's plans. It's a good story - the enemy the JLA are fighting through most of the book is PR, and it's winning. Many of DC's heroes get brief appearances, and the JLA themselves are put through the wringer. They do get to be heroic - Green Lantern gets the mantle of upright, square-jawed team powerhouse, Martian Manhunter is big, brave, noble (and green), and Batman does his usual thing of knocking down supervillains through determination rather than power. It's good artwork too, though rarely giving that "wow!" factor that makes you just stare at the page for a while.

The main problem is the dialogue. The individual characters have very little to distinguish their speech, and all talk in a stilted way, avoiding contractions ("it's", "I'm", etc) even when under great stress. There's a long scene near the beginning where the JLA wonder what's going on and what they should do, and it sounds like the writer giving us a lecture rather than the characters talking. I've read a couple of the JLA collections by Grant Morrison, and he does a better job of giving them distinct personalities. Also, the ending does fit the story, but I agree with the previous reviewer that it's a bit of a deus ex machina.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story, weak ending . . 3 Mar. 2001
Format:Paperback
The Kents never discovered Superman, and so he doesn't exist. Lex Luthor has managed to make Metropolis crime free. The normal human population is beginning to resent the costumed heroes, and someone seems to be not only encouraging this idea, but setting up the heroes as well.
From this setup a good solid story is told. Lots of characters from throughout DC history are used in different ways, and it's all tied together in a varied, interesting and downright exciting way. The characters actually seem to interact, even if they are at each other throats half the time.
But. This is a DC Elseworlds, and it suffers pretty much the same problem as any other DC Elseworld book, because the entire book is a lead up to . . . well, I won't spoil it for you, but considering that this concentrates on some of the most powerful and resourceful heroes in the Universe, the ending leaves a lot to be desired. Shame really.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GOLDEN AGE TREAT. 23 Feb. 2001
By P. M. Connolly VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
HAWKMAN DEAD, GREEN ARROW MAD ITS A VERY DIFFERENT J.L.A WE SEE HEAR BUT IN A WORLD WHERE SUPERMAN DOES NOT EXIST IT IS VERY DIFFERENT. I LOVED THIS BOOK IT IS SUCH A GOOD FUN READ HARDLY ANY TECNO BABBLE AND A REALLY GOOD FAST PACED STORY ALMOST ALL THE ORIGINAL J.L.A ARE IN IT SOMWHERE AS ARE ALMOST ALL THE OUTSIDERS. THE DOOM P[ATROL AND THE METAL MEN PLUS A HOST OF VILLANS INCLUDING THE JOKER AT HIS MOST EVIL (POOR ROBIN AND BATGIRL. ONE OTHER THING I LIKED WAS HAWKGIRL GETS A GOOD SLICE OF THE ACTION AND I ALWAYS THOUGHT HER ONE OF THE MOST UNDERUSED HEROINES OF DC. ONLY COMPLAINT WHERE WAS ZATANNA SHE IS ABOUT THE ONLY J.L.A MEMBER NOT TO BE USED (THE ONLY OTHER ONE BEING RED TORNADO. VERY VERY GOOD BUY IT NOW.
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4.0 out of 5 stars What if Superman hadn't joined the JLA? 23 Aug. 2003
Format:Paperback
Based around the idea that Superman never met the JLA, this tale shows us a would were the superpowered world is under attack from an enemy very close to the missing hero.
I'd recommend it to anyone who like the Elseworlds tales, as it gives great insight into how the JLA would be without old red pants.
Look out for Batman going Tonto and a shocking discovery in a small Western town!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  35 reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elseworlds "Imaginary Story" of a World Without Superman 17 May 2004
By Duane Thomas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The set-up for The Nail is amazingly straightforward: On the day Jonathan and Martha Kent would, in the "normal" DC Universe, discover a certain crashed rocketship, instead they postpone their trip into town because a nail's flattened one of their truck's tires. Thus they never find the ship, Kal El doesn't become Clark Kent doesn't become Superman. From that one divergence, writer/penciller Alan Davis builds a story that asks, "What would the DC Universe be like without Superman?"

It's a pretty grim place, actually, in which the Justice League of America consists of Aquaman (in the old yellow and green outfit), Atom, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkwoman, Martian Manhunter and Wonder Woman. Basically THE classic lineup, only no Superman, and Hawkwoman replaces Hawkman.

Barry Allen is still alive and the Flash.

Green Arrow, crippled in battle, has subsequently gone insane.

Batman, his friendship with Superman never teaching him the benefits of cooperation with other heroes, is at best an ambivalent JLA member. Operating in secrecy, dealing brutally with criminals, he's the superhero most feared and hated by the general populace.

Hawkman is dead; Hawkwoman soldiers on. This is to the good. The Silver Age Hawkgirl (here updated to Hawkwoman) was always criminally underused. Hawkman was the only Silver Age DC hero with a female counterpart as strong-willed, intelligent, competent, and even cooler than himself. The fact she was also his wife showed Hawkman was no dummy, either.

Green Lantern is still Hal Jordan, and, absent Superman, his ring makes him the most powerful hero in the DC Universe.

Lex Luthor, mayor of Metropolis, has turned the city into an anti-metahuman police state in which there are no superheroes but no superpowered crime, either. Because Metropolis never had its own costumed defender to deal with supercriminals, the people support him. Jimmy Olsen is deputy mayor.

Gotham City Police Commissioner Jim Gordon is dead, murdered.

In this world, a propaganda campaign to discredit metahumans moves into action. Without Superman as a universally respected symbol of superheroic good, it enjoys a measure of success. All over Earth, metahumans are beaten and kidnapped, most ominously by the Liberators, masked, black garbed, flying figures with Superman's powers. Most metahumans are put into a concentration camp, some killed outright. Finally, only a handful are left. The story proceeds from there. Who is the mastermind behind this plot? Where is Kal El? How does he fit into it all?

The Nail is an excellently written and drawn mainstream superhero tale (if you can call an Elseworlds "imaginary story" mainstream). Alan Davis is a talented writer, but it's his artwork here that will truly blow your mind. He has a real feel, and obvious love, for the Silver Age DC characters. In particular his redesign of Hawkgirl's uniform into Hawkwoman is superb. Every major hero in this story gets their own full-page splash. Each could stand to be framed as it truly captures the essence of a character. Mark Farmer's inking perfectly complements Davis' work.

The rear covers of the original 3-issue mini-series collected in this volume all ran a "colloquial adaptation of a verse by George Herbert (Jacula Prudentum 1651)": "For want of a nail the shoe was lost, for want of a shoe the horse was lost, for want of a horse the knight was lost, for want of a knight the battle was lost. So it was a kingdom was lost - all for want of a nail." It's worth noting that, in addition to the obvious nail in the Kent's tire beginning the story, Superman is "the nail" of the DC Universe, the overriding symbol of everything a superhero should be, that holds together "the kingdom" of the DC Universe. His absence causes all the bad things occurring in The Nail, that nearly destroy every facet of the superheroic ideal on this world.

It's sad that, since 1986 and the post-Crisis revamp of the Man of Steel, the DC Universe hasn't really had Superman, only a character somewhat resembling him. Perhaps, in subversive fashion, that's what Alan Davis is saying in a story in which the "worst of all possible worlds," a world without Superman, isn't all that different from the current DC Universe. In the end - not to give away too much of the story - it's the return of Silver Age virtues that saves the day, and this "DC Universe" as well.

Or perhaps I'm projecting too much into a simple funny book story. Read The Nail, and you decide.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book that brings you back to the Silver Age of Comics 15 Jan. 2001
By David Suiter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The main focus of this story was to see how the other heroes of the DC Universe would function without Superman to help them win public approval and win acceptance from the public. Without Superman to lead them the heroes were slandered by the press and their lives were made miserable by the government. A different look at the DC Universe. Everything was changed all because there was no Superman.
What Alan Davis's goal of the Nail was to bring back the fun of the Silver Age of comics. The age where everything was simple and the characters were happy. Since Davis was raised on the heroes that appear in this book he uses them to the best of their ability. From Hal Jordan and Barry Allen still being alive to Hawkwoman having a very strong roll. A fun story with a little camp (See Villian at the end of story) and a lot of wonder. The best characters, amazing art, and a story with intrigue.
My only gripe is that it was not long enough. It felt rushed and hurried and the beginning left you more confused then needed. I would have liked a little more depth on either end of the book. But all in all a great read.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The nail at the center of the moral universe. 23 Jan. 2003
By OAKSHAMAN - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"For want of a nail the shoe was lost, for want of the shoe the horse was lost, for want of the horse the rider was lost, for want of the rider the kingdom was lost...."
Imagine a world without Superman. Imagine a world without the concept of Superman. You quickly see that the Kryptonian is more than merely the most physically powerful of the world's heroes. Superman is the one constantly good and true fact in the world. He is the nail at the center of the moral universe. Without his example and leadership would the rest of the super-heroes have the will and determination to oppose and triumph over evil no matter the cost? That's what this Elseworlds tale explores.
I found this tale to be one of the all time best in the history of graphic novels. I rank it up there with _Kingdom Come_ and Millar's _Dark Knight_. It is also an eye opening story about team work and the importance of a true leader. You can have all the greatest individual talents in the world on an all-star team, but without that selfless team leader who inspires everyone to forget their own egos and agendas and to play for something greater than themselves, then the team will crumble when the going gets tough and ruthless.
Yeah, I liked this story alot.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Silver Age Tribute for the Ages 15 Jun. 2000
By Joe Wolfe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have been a JLA fan for the last 20+ years. The current title has been going in a brilliant direction for the last 4 years, and "The Nail" was a great supplement to the ongoing series. For what I believe was his first go at writing rather than just drawing (he followed this with an run at "X-Men"), Alan Davis put together a very engaging story. Davis took his own opportunity to pay tribute to some characters that he has never drawn before and some with which he made notable runs. While Davis had a solid history on Batman titles in the mid- to late- Eighties, his version in "The Nail" was more reminiscient of Neal Adams with a splash of Brian Bolland. Davis' Green Lantern also invoked 1970s Neal Adams (and what different fates GL and Green Arrow meet in this alternate reality). Another highlight that satiated my taste for eye candy (Did I mention how outstanding the art is in this book?) was the use of a full splash page somewhere in the series for each JLA member. Anyone ever pick up "JLA #200" back in 1981? God, they should reprint that one or something! Anyway, I thought the story made for a good murder mystery - there was a high enough body count to warrant that label. I was racking my brain at the time of the series' 3-part run as to how Kal-El would fit into a DC Universe that knew no Superman. I couldn't have picked a more interesting fate than the one Davis chose. Nice work, and recommended for those who consider themselves DC scholars of the last 30 years.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A World Without Superman. Think About IT!!!!! 12 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Imagine, a world without Superman, and that is just what DC did. The Justice League made up of Green Lantern (Hal Jorden), The Flash (Barry Allen), Aquaman (without a beard), Hawkgirl, Wonder Woman, Atom, Martian Manhunter, and a particularly grim Batman, was amazing. Lex Luther the Mayor of Metropolis? Robin and Batgirl murdered by the Joker? Batman a Killer? Jimmy Olson the world's most powerful villian? Superman raised in an Amish home? Exactly. Find out for yourself just how good, JUSTCE LEAGUE: THE NAIL is. I recommend it to everyone.
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