Previously on the Justice League, we learned why throwing all the nuclear weapons into the sun might not be such a good idea..
Instead of getting straight to Batman, Superman and Martian Manhunter fighting aliens, we open in ancient Greece, or at least what looks like ancient Greece. There are lots of columns and stuff. A cloaked person sneaks through a temple with many columns. It's Diana and she's at the base of a huge gold statue of Athena. She fully removes her cloak and asks for her mother's forgiveness. For getting naked in the Temple of Athena? Then she takes the gold tiara. There are also some bracelets, a bustier, some rope - you get the idea.
The heroes are hopelessly outnumbered and the aliens have big laser guns that send Superman flying. Batman manages to knock some back with an explosive Batarang, but it doesn't help much. Martian Manhunter takes a hit for Batman, revealing his phasing power in the process, and Superman provides cover by blocking the attack with a tank while Batman gets him to safety in the Batwing. In the Batwing J'onn recovers and his eyes glow. They all fly off. Some alien fighter planes follow them though, and we are treated to a reenactment of the attack on the Death Star as they fly through some mountains.
Both Superman and the Batwing take bad hits, but while Superman crashes, the Batwing is saved by Green Lantern, the John Stewart one. Then Hawkgirl shows up and hits some alien fighters with her mace. Batman wants to know what she's doing there. All the heroes with the power of flight, meaning everyone but Batman, are on the offensive now and they manage to do some major damage. Batman can only watch and keep out of the way of falling debris.
Hawkgirl gets hit and crashes. Fortunately Wonder Woman flies in just in the nick of time to save her with some laser beams and bracelets, destroying the attacking alien fighter. When another fighter attacks them, Green Lantern gets a force field around them just in time. The teamwork is easily falling into place. Green Lantern wonders who the rookie in the tiara is, but Superman doesn't know. The Flash, late to the party, shows up carrying the wing that the Batwing lost earlier. Everyone lands where they are. Then we get all the exposition on Themyscira and Diana, Princess of the Amazons. The Flash thinks she's hot (as does, I am sure, everyone else, but they keep it to themselves). Then J'onn explains that he summoned them all there telepathically.
Now is the time where J'onn J'onzz expositions about the alien invasion. A thousand years ago on the next planet over, the aliens now attacking Earth arrived on Mars. They come down like a meteor shower, destroying buildings and stuff. The green, pointy headed, naked Martians run for their lives. J'onn J'onzz explains that the aliens wanted to make Mars their own and I would really like it if this alien race would be given a name so that I can stop calling them "the aliens," seeing as how there are three aliens in the Justice League alone. J'onn explains that the battle for Mars went on for centuries and that the aliens fed off the Martians' psychic abilities, even absorbing their shape shifting powers. A group of Martian survivors eventually made one final, desperate attack using a nerve gas that paralyzed the aliens. It was successful, but J'onn wound up the only survivor of his species. (Later, Superman will back Martian Manhunter up against a wall, finger jabbing him in the chest, and warn him not to be thinking he can use that "dead alien race" thing to get any sympathy. That's his shtick and he's not going to tolerate anyone horning in on his territory. And if you think that's bad, you do not want to know what he said to Supergirl when she showed up.) J'onn sealed the attacking aliens and kept them in a state of suspended animation until a couple of idiot astronauts showed up and freed them. Flash protests that the astronauts didn't say anything about life on Mars, but Green Lantern is all "government cover up!" He's right, of course. Anyway, the aliens came to Earth because Mars was all used up and while J'onn was being falsely imprisoned, they were sending advance teams, ¦or something. We need to get back to the action. I'm getting bored.
That doesn't happen though. What we get instead is more Snapper Car news bulletins and a general bitching about Superman abandoning them. Then Senator No Nukes is all, "I had no idea this would happen. We must stand together and fight." This is what happens when you elect peacenik hippy types, people. Then it's really hard to describe what happens on the site where Snapper Carr and the army is, but black tentacles rise up from the ground and then something drills back into the Earth. Basically, another one of those weird looking structures forms. Then it shoots a bunch of lasers into the sky, which forms a big grey storm cloud with lightning. It is very loud and our heroes hear it, and see the cloud, from all the way over where they are in the mountainy area. Wonder Woman asks what that was and J'onn ominously responds, "It's begun."
J'onn explains that the "invaders" are nocturnal and want to block out the sun, and I realize that calling them "invaders" is so much better than calling them "the aliens" so that's what I will call them for the rest of the recap. Flash snarks a bit and wants to know why J'onn can't just whip up some more nerve gas, but it apparently can only be made from a Martian plant, a sample of which got destroyed when he was captured. Stupid Earthlings! Wonder Woman says that they will have to take out the factories, and Green Lantern gets attitude with her, because she's an amateur. Superman breaks up the fight though, and Lantern takes charge telling everybody what they will have to break up into teams. Flash calls dibs on the Amazon, which doesn't seem to make Diana all that happy.
Despite his dibs calling, Flash winds up paired with Green Lantern. They get to the site of one of the factories for sky covering cloud making and Lantern wants to give Flash the plan, but Flash is having none of it. He speeds over to three of the white, three-legged invader things that I described badly in the last recap and draws their fire, but he's the Flash so he easily gets out of the way. At first it seems like he might actually be doing something useful, like getting them to hit the factory when they are aiming at him, but then he gets trapped in a big puddle of muck and has to be rescued by GL. GL expresses his hope that the others are having better luck.
Batman and Wonder Woman are skulking around and hiding behind big rocks near another one of the factories. Unlike where Flash and GL's factory was, there is still sun here. Wonder Woman is pissed because "hiding like cowards is not the Amazon way." Batman says that they will strike when they find the invaders' weakness. Then J'onn shows up, phasing up from the ground, to inform them that he has scouted the outer walls and there are no openings. "Then we'll make our own!" Wonder Woman proclaims before flying off. J'onn moves to go after her, but Batman wants to see what she can do. Really he's just scared and doesn't want to be left alone. Anyway, Wonder Woman can do a lot. She uses her lasso to pull the legs out from under one of the white invader things and it topples over, creating a big hole in the side of one of the factories. The men folk are impressed. When Batman and J'onn catch up with her, Wonder Woman is fending off some invaders with her bracelets. The invaders run away and Wonder Woman and J'onn follow them, but Batman notices something and glances up at the sky as sun shines through the big hole Wonder Woman made. Could the fact that the invaders are nocturnal be significant?
We cut to Superman and Hawkgirl beating down on their own white thing in a city. The invaders have already blotted out the sun here. Superman manages to break off the pointy bottom part of one of the legs and throws it like a javelin through the factory. He and Hawkgirl fly into the newly created hole. Hawkgirl smashes a bunch of invaders with her mace until they are goo. Superman is taken aback. He wouldn't have gone for the turning the invaders into goo approach, because he is a wuss.
Cut to Green Lantern, still using his ring to free Flash from the muck, and lecturing him for good measure. Then they get attacked. Green Lantern's got his protective shield around him, but then he gets hit with something that turns to gas on impact. He starts to cough and passes out. Flash rotates his arms super fast to clear the gas and speeds GL out of there. I kind of have to wonder why they don't have a super strong person on their team. Wouldn't it have made more sense to have Martian Manhunter with them instead of with Batman and Wonder Woman? Maybe Batman wanted to keep an eye on the two people he knows the least about?
Superman and Hawkgirl are flying through the factory. They land and Hawgirl notes that the invaders are close "[she] can almost smell them." Superman wants to know if she's always so eager to fight and she's all "My home, Thanagar, is a war-like world. There one must strike first or die." Then that gas that took out Green Lantern floods the room and Hawkgirl falls to her knees coughing. Superman tries to help by pushing on the wall (I'm not sure why), and gets electrocuted and passes out.
Batman, Wonder Woman and Martian Manhunter are fighting invaders in the factory they infiltrated, but their way keeps getting blocked. Batman says "It's almost as if they know what we're thinking." Maybe the invaders absorbed that power from the Martians along with the shape shifting. J'onn can sense that Superman and Hawkgirl have failed. Then they all run in another direction and practice evasive maneuvers while the invaders tail them. Neither J'onn nor Diana complain that Batman is slowing them down while they easily lead into a corridor above them and then have to wait for him to use his grappling hook. They reach the central core, and J'onn tells them that if they remove the ion matrix crystal it will shut down the whole plant. Batman creates a diversion.
Batman and Wonder Woman start taking apart the inside of the factory and fighting the invaders. A Batarang hits one part and a bunch of black ooze smothers some invaders. Wonder Woman disconnects a tube and that gas comes pouring out. J'onn manages to remove the ion matrix crystal, but gets shot and falls to the ground, dropping the crystal. Wonder Woman rushes to him, and flies through one of the invaders while she does it, which is rather cool looking. Batman tells Wonder Woman to get J'onn out of there. Then he uses his grappling hook to swing on over to the crystal. They all head towards a rapidly closing passageway. Wonder Woman and Martian Manhunter make it through, but Batman does not.
Batman's surrounded. He tosses the crystal to the ground and smirks. On the other side of the wall, J'onn and Diana see that Batman is obviously being shot. Wonder Woman wants to help but J'onn stops her because there's nothing they can do. Oh my God! Do you think Batman's really dead? "Hera help us."