WARNING: This article contains spoilers for#41 by Christopher Priest, Philippe Briones, Jeromy Cox and Willie Schu, on sale now.
Considering he’s just a normal guy with no superpowers, The Fan has been a major pain in the neck for the Justice League. In his short time as the team’s primary antagonist, he’s managed to capture a Green Lantern, learn the entire team’s secret identities, infiltrate the Watchtower’s security systems, and bring the orbiting satellite crashing down to Earth.
The Fan has used each appearance to display his level of fandom by dressing up as members of the Justice League, but he takes things to new heights in Justice League #41 by creating an amalgam of all their uniforms.
Case Of Mistaken Identity
While the Justice League deals with the fallen Watchtower in East Africa, Aquaman pays a visit to the home of Joshua A. Christian, who they believe is the Fan’s real name. What we learn is the Fan stole Joshua’s identity and Watchtower credentials — Joshua was a member of the crew that built the Watchtower — which allowed the Fan access to the League.
The real Joshua A. Christian, aka Deez, is wheelchair bound, and rather than being injured years ago during the Justice League’s public fight with a villain, Deez was run over by a beer truck when he was 19 years old. So one lead comes up a dead end, but the Justice League’s master detective, Batman, has already deduced the Fan’s true location.
A Lexcorp storage facility in Metropolis is where we get our first look at the Fan’s Justice League-influenced costume. We can clearly see references to Superman’s House of El shield, Flash’s winged ears, Hal Jordan’s Green Lantern eye mask and ring, Batman’s cape and cowl and Aquaman’s chainmail armor.
As he teleports into the facility he’s met by Batman, who was waiting in the shadows for the villain to appear. The Fan begins to channel his inner 1980s bad guy by immediately telling Batman his evil plan, from cloning Joshua’s credentials to using the Watchtower’s transporter prototype to travel from location to location.
The Fan claims he’s only trying to help the Justice League, but he sure has a warped sense of reality to think being an aggravation is the right way to go about helping. He appears to be in tune with the Flash’s Speed Force as he attacks Batman with super speed, but the truth is it’s all a light show courtesy of a holographic emitter. Batman takes him down easily, but the larger question remains of how to best deal with the Fan? In his own words, he’s “a problem you can’t solve,” referencing the Justice League’s internal debates on how handle conflicts where they’d be acting as judge and jury instead of staying neutral.
Let’s make one thing very clear… there is nothing wrong with cosplaying as your favorite superheroes. Go to any comic book convention and you’ll see any number of DC superheroes posing for pictures. However, leaving villainy to the comics is always the best option. Though if we’re to give the Fan credit for one thing, it’s his ability to combine every Justice League uniform into a single costume that somehow works (with a little help from artist Philippe Briones, of course).
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