A young boy is going through an operation to have a tumor removed from his brain. However, according to The Atom, this isn't just another tumor, it's actually a civilization living inside of the boy's brain. The Justice League shrinks down to size, and they enter the body hoping to reason with the civilization before the doctors perform their surgery and wipe them out. -summary
JLA (Justice League America) volume 7 written by Mark Waid and several others collects JLA 42-46, JLA Secret Files 3, JLA 80-Page Giant 1. There's a total of two stories and several smaller ones to cap off the book. The main story called Tower of Babel is no doubt the reason why I would consider this book a must have. It's among my favorite JLA stories ever and it's considered a classic. The story was so well received that it was revamped and reused in the Justice League animated series as the three part arc Starcrossed. I also remember a while back that the storyline was going to be adapted into a straight to video animated feature. I hope it's still in the works.
The first story titled, Half A Mind To Save A World, follows the JLA as they try to save the young boys life along with the entire race that inhabits his body. The story has an intersting premise, and outside of some type of subtle character analysis taking place with Superman that could easily go unnoticed, along with homage being paid to his origin story, there really isn't much going on here. The action really isn't much, and truthfully, it's a boring story. I couldn't wait to get through it, and I haven't re-read it since.
Now the best part comes in the form of the Tower of Babel. This story begins when one of Batman's greatest enemies, Ra's al Gul, concocts another plan for world domination. The plot is pretty much your basic good guy vs. bad guy, which follows the Justice League trying to stop his mad plan. However, the brilliant storytelling which consists of everything in between completely conceals the lack of originality.
I can't really think of enough adjectives to praise Mark Waid's direction. Ra's puts together a two point plan; heavily distract Batman, and remove the Justice League as a threat, in order to throw the world into complete chaos. He begins his plan by stealing the corpses of Batman's parents, and uses the Dark Knights own research along with possible plans against him. Through out the years, Batman has been gathering information on the JLA consisting of their strengths and weaknesses. He devised perfect methods on countering all of their abilities, in order to defeat them should they ever turn rogue. This story plays heavily on Batman's trust issues as well as paranoia. Those who remember Agamemno would understand why he did it. The tale is gripping once it begins to catch its stride, plus the plan put together by Ra's villainy is at its finest.
The aftermath of the story ends with consequences that would be carried on into other stories, as well as play into the trust issues of Batman's proteges Nightwing and Robin, in which, their respected teams will no longer feel the same about them. In a way, they soon become guilty by association.
The action panels really aren't that great, in fact, they're simply good at the very best, because it's all overshadowed by the strong story, plot, character development, and interactions. When Batman has to face those who trusted him for so long, the distrust can be felt through the pages. The League were indeed hurt by his betrayal to the point where it's kind of hard to tell who was hurt the most.
The art is kind of shaky for the first story. Eventually, it gets better and stays strong up until the very last page. The character designs become better especially, and the artwork is very easy to follow from page to page, but the thing that caught my attention on various occasions were the facial designs. During certain moments, they play heavily into events that took place in the story, and they can tell so much about the characters due to their recent experiences.
There are also some unrelated stories by the end of the book which are also quite entertaining. One develops the friendship between Aquaman and Wonder Woman, while the other deals with a murder in Gotham City and Superman is the prime suspect. This sets Batman after him for answers.
JLA: Tower of Babel is an excellent story that I would definitely recommend to Batman fans. It pretty much solidifies him as a character to take very serious. This story is proof that he can take down just about anyone if he's allowed to study his opponent. Even if you're a Marvel only fan, I recommend giving this story a look. It may change your mind about DC, and you will learn they are capable of very strong stories.