I just reread the six issue The OMAC Project series from right before Infinite Crisis (and immediately following the more than once referenced here Countdown To Infinite Crisis!) and it got me thinking about a couple of things.
1. Members of the Justice League took a hard line stance when Dr. Light raped Sue Dibney, and decided to erase Light's memory so that he would no longer know her identity, or any of the other secrets he could use to strike at hero's personal lives. Erasing somebody's memories is effectively acting not only as a vigilante, but as judge and jury as well, and when Batman walked in on them doing it, they made a dangerous choice; they took his memory of the incident. Batman being Batman, he ultimately figured out what had happened (World's Greatest Detective right....shouldn't these idiots have known that?) and in order to prevent such abuse in the future he created Brother Eye, who was later subverted by Maxwell Lord, Checkmate's rogue Black King. Lord used Brother Eye to create the OMAC protocol which ultimately threatened every meta on Earth.
It's an interesting story, but it left me wondering very strongly.....why was Batman viewed as the 'bad guy' by Superman for creating the Brother Eye? His reaction to vigilante criminal conduct within the JLA was not only appropriate, but might have been too restrained! Superman's reaction should have been....."Good thinking....but next time don't lose control of it!"
2. Wonder Woman executed the enormously dangerous Maxwell Lord, and Brother Eye broadcast it to the entire world. Diana was immediately cast in the role of 'fallen hero.
Maxwell Lord subverted the will of Superman, and was prepared to use him to further his agenda of metahuman murder. I repeat: Superman. Under Lord's control! Diana did what was required, and while the action was repugnant, it was very, very necessary. Should the world have been shocked.....or relieved? You all know that I like my heroes to be HEROIC, and that means that you use any and every means possible to resolve situations without violence (which is why the Punisher is a murderous thug) but there is a line called necessity.....and in this case.....I'm with Diana.
3. A lot of work went into making the DC universe darker and more grim than it had been in previous decades, and that work was pulled to the fore and highlighted in anticipation of Infinite Crisis. The last two Crisis installments were meant to bring DC back to a state of truer heroism (at least I certainly see that when I look at the chronology) and to me this series seems like a real look at the DC Universe's failure under a microscope. Heroes acting without regard for laws? Betraying each other? Taking actions to prepare for the annihilation of meta humans in an effort to save normal people? All these things are present, but the most obvious picture being painted in this series for me is the breakdown in relationships amidst the heroic community, most notably between the Big 3. I think this book illustrates everything that goes wrong in the dark, grim and gritty storytelling that was so popular in the nineties and early this century. Real heroes can't survive in that darkness without sacrificing what they stand for.
Plus.....I liked the book.
Did I mention that part?