JLA #8 and #9 “Power and Glory, parts seven and eight”
Brian Hitch, writer and penciler
Superman has taken a severe beating by the Kryptonian “god” Rao.
The rest of the JLA lures Rao into a trap which shocks him with a large current of electricity, breaking his connection with his worshippers and depleting his power. The plan works, and Rao is beaten. Unfortunately, the already injured Superman was also caught in the electrical bolt, and collapses in cardiac arrest, his Heart stopped.
Wonder Woman leaps into action and starts CPR on Superman.
After fifteen minutes with no success, she pulls out one of Zeus’s Lightning Bolt spears and strikes Supeman through the chest, calling down an enormous lightning bolt from the skies, which – lo and behold! – restarts his heart and brings him back to life!
1. Don’t shock a flatline. You cannot jump start a heart — the body is not a dead car battery. Shocking a stopped heart will NOT work. (For a more in depth explanation, skim this post from last week).
2. A defibrillator discharges 100-360 Joules of energy, depending on how it’s set. A normal lightning bolt carries roughly one billion Joules of electricity.
3. This bears mentioning, though I hope it’s common sense: never pierce someone’s chest with a spear in an attempt to restart the heart, even if you do possess one of Zeus’s weapons.
4. Wonder Woman goes straight to CPR, which is just what she should do. If someone’s heart has stopped — start chest compressions as soon as you can. Early CPR has been shown repeatedly to increase the odds of survival. Also note that she has good form (look at those straight arms — no Hollywood elbow-out chest compressions), and is performing both compressions and rescue breathing.
5. Only Wonder Woman is performing CPR. Resuscitation is very tiring; you’d think someone else would step in and help — unless they can’t. Good CPR takes strength and endurance; Wonder Woman is probably the only JLA member with the strength to compress Superman’s chest or re-inflate his lungs.
6. Finally, some food for thought: What stopped Superman’s heart? Was it the trauma from the beating? The electrical shock? Or a combination of the two? Superman has not recovered from the damage he suffered during his fight, so if that trauma was what caused his heart to stop, then he’s likely to slip into cardiac arrest again shortly.