(Spoilers for DC Comics released 04/27/2021)
(Words in italics signal actions)
The GC52 Logo appears on televisions, computers, and all other types of viewing devices at its normally scheduled time. Lead Anchor Dan McMahon sits at the center of the newsroom behind his desk. This week he’s wearing a plaid suit jacket outlined by the large window behind him looking out over Metropolis. The Daily Planet globe is visible behind him as the setting sun sparkles off the crown jewel of the City of Tomorrow. The GC52 theme music begins to dim as the actual program begins.
Dan: Good Morning, Good Afternoon, and Good Evening to all our wonderful viewers from the docks of Coast City to the furthest reaches of Oa, you are watching the multiverse’s best news show that brings you the news that you need to know! As always, I’m your host, Dan McMahon, doing my part to bring you up to the minute updates on the worlds you live in!
Dan: Another week and another Invasion, the typical affair. The only problem is that some of the vessels are of Warworld origin. For those of you who don’t know what Warworld is, I can give a bit of context. It’s a planet ruled by a heinous villain named Mongul who enslaves every race in the universe to fight for his and other’s amusement. It’s a big problem for the universe at large but we have mostly been exempt because we have protectors against such things but them showing up like this? Even Superman looked shocked at what he found inside the ship and although we couldn’t make out what he saw, we heard some alien language. We will keep you updated as we can. Let’s check in with Violet who has been hired on as a freelance reporter against my better judgment.
The camera cuts to Violet standing on a Gotham street corner.
Violet: Good morning Gotham! I have breaking news! I ventured back out into the streets and managed to tail Harley and her new friend, Kevin, for a few blocks. They gave me a HUGE craving for a caramel frappe, so I picked one up and continued my stalk-*AHEM* …observation from distance. I heard Harley raging over the news about Hugo Strange starting up a new program named S.A.F.E who’s mission is to re-home the troubled individuals of the city (A.K.A. crazy clown people). I mean sure, that sounds good in theory, but Hugo Strange of all people? The guy gives me the creeps.
Harley and Kevin disappeared into an old thrift store, and I’m no *bleeping can be heard over the audio* I was going to follow them I swear! But S.A.F.E orderlies pulled up outside and beat me to it! I hid in the shadows of an ally and the next thing you know the store window smashes through! It was one of the orderlies! Harley and Kevin tied them up and escaped in their van. I’ll try to fill you all in as soon as possible, things are getting intense! Oh, that reminds me. Dan, do you think I could get a taser on company expenses? It is crazy out there after all.
The video feed cuts back to an exasperated Dan in the studio.
Dan: Right, um… Thanks for that Violet, and no, you can’t have a taser. The medical bills alone would put us out of business. Anyway, let’s go over to Ka–
As Dan is about to go onto the next segment, a burst of static takes over the screen. The image clears, flying cars are seen zooming overhead. The neon-drenched skyline in the background produces an image that’s as incomprehensible as it is beautiful. It’s Aidan, after vanishing last week, he’s back.
Aidan: I.. I’m.. in the FUTURE?!
Not sure whether he’s excited or terrified about this development, Aidan turns around only to see a DOMINATOR the size of a SKYSCRAPER. Definitely terrified, Aidan runs for dear life down the street ahead of him. Before he can even process anything else, a GOLDEN SHIP SHAPED LIKE A BEETLE swoops him off the ground. Inside– IMPULSE, the Flash of the 30th century and a woman who has a curious resemblance to modern superheroes Booster Gold and Blue Beetle.
Aidan: Thanks, Impulse and uh… Booster Beetle? What was that? Oh. Yeah, yeah, the Queen of the Quantum Realm, Waverider Warrior, Tiara of Time– couldn’t you have just led with Gold Beetle?
Everyone goes silent. Impulse whispers into Aidan’s ear. It’s hard to hear over the rumbling engine and Aidan’s own, unspeakable panic, but he got the gist. He seems rather unscathed by what he just heard.
Aidan: Listen, I don’t know how I got here, or why we still have a live feed, but it appears this is actually The Flash of our time’s consciousness in Impulse’s body! How is this even possible? I have been told that the speed force itself is injured, has cut all its users off, and has chosen The Flash to tend to its wounds by zapping him throughout time into the bodies of other speedsters. Why? That’s the mystery. Oh, and the Dominator chasing us? They “absorbed” residual speed force energy that then amplified their height due to the species’ physiol-
Gold Beetle’s ship suddenly crashes through the roof of the 30th century’s Flash Museum. Aidan, taken aback, falls out the side window when all of a sudden lightning is heard in the distance. He quickly puts the pieces together while falling through the air.
Aidan: NO, not again… not aga–
Just as before– KRAKOOM! Thunder strikes. Aidan vanishes. History repeats. The feed goes blank, disconnected entirely.
Dan: Well. He was here and now he is gone… Thanks, Aidan. All of this future talk has me thinking about that recent Tred Talk by the Trojan CEO… robotic implants cannot be good right? Sure, technology can make things better and I support that but this feels insidious. The company is called Trojan. Like a Trojan Horse? Maybe I have just seen one too many sci-fi movies but look at Metallo, that’s a robo villain who was once human. Just be careful out there? Let’s see how Katie is doing in Gotham…
The camera cuts over to Katie standing in front of a funhouse with a clown face.
Katie: Hello again from Gotham! Our own cowled crusader ran into some trouble after investigating a reportedly “haunted” funhouse. Batman and Robin found the Joker and a gang of evil clowns engaging in some serious clowning around. Thankfully, the world’s best teenage detectives (and Scooby!) happened to be in Gotham City again. Mystery Inc. came to Batman and Robin’s aid and defeated the Joker and his insane clown posse. The group has dealt with clowns before, so these jokers were no match for Batman and the gang. It’s not clear whether Scooby acted as anything more than a distraction, though. He’s known to shake and shiver in fear. No Scooby Snacks were found at the crime scene.
Curiously, eagle-eyed sources spotted Robin donning a different look this week than the last time he had a Scooby-Doo team-up. For all you fashion-curious freaks, you’d be intrigued to know that Robin was seen wearing his full-length red bodysuit accented by black garments after the battle. Maybe he’s trying to impress Batman with a new look.
You might wonder, Scooby-Doo, where are you now? In a strange turn of events, witnesses last saw Scooby, Shaggy, and the gang blindfolded in the Mystery Machine as it was driven by . . . Robin? Does he even know how to drive? I’m surprised Fred let anyone touch his precious vehicle. We all know Fred has a . . . unique relationship with the van. Anyway, that’s all the news for —
Suddenly, a swarm of bats flies overhead. A note flutters down from above as Katie screams in terror. She swats at the air before picking up the paper.
Katie: God, the bats in this city are out of control! Wait . . . this just in. I have received an anonymous note informing me that Robin did not kidnap Mystery Inc. According to this, Robin took the teens to Batman’s secret lair! What I wouldn’t give for a chance to see all the gadgets and collectibles he must have in there.
If this source is accurate, the more pressing issue seems to be that a phantom infiltrated Batman’s secret hideaway and is threatening everyone inside. While the Scooby gang is quite certain the ghost is merely a phony phantom, this piece of paper says Batman is worried about how someone could enter his hideaway in the first place! We’ll have to count on Mystery Inc. to do what they do best: solve mysteries and catch that villain. They’ve got some work to do!
This is Katie signing off. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but here’s hoping more bats will deliver information on this case. I like my cat informants so much better . . . Back to you, Dan!
Before the camera cuts away, Katie is seen crouching down. She pets a black cat as it drops something in its mouth into her hand.
Dan: Thanks for that Katie. I do love that dog. Now let’s go over to Bruce Spruce, who’s been following leads on the whereabouts of Robin.
Raucous cheering and applause can be heard as Bruce Spruce appears in the middle of a crowd, being smashed together on every side by rabid fans.
Bruce: This is Bruce Spruce coming to you live from–
A vicious glare meets Bruce’s, from a very large man, urging him to consider his next words very carefully.
Bruce:-Coming to you live from… The Big Match, yes, The Big Match, where Robin is fighting “The King Snake.” He looks… considerably less like a snake than I was led to believe, folks. This is a tremendous disappointment.
The camera pans to the match and zooms in as Robin beats The King Snake into the floor, leaving him alive.
Bruce: Ouch! That small child just beat the $&%* out of that large man with the stupid tattoo! He may not have looked like anything resembling a real snake, but damn was that satisfying to see! Let’s see if we can get an interview with Robin himself. Robin! Robin! After him Geoff! We must give chase!
Bruce and Geoff the camera operator are almost immediately knocked to the floor. They lose track of Robin but quickly regain their composure. They head outdoors and stumble across Robin waiting for a ship and continue to follow, sneaking aboard as well, they listen while the passengers talk.
Bruce: Alright folks so it looks like we’re headed to a place called “Lazarus Island” where some sort of tournament is going down. There are some potentially heavy hitters here and some familiar faces too, so it’s going to be a crazy ride–oh no, I think they heard that! Apparently, there’s some sort of rule about the outside world knowing where we are. Oh $#&% oh $#&%! The network knows exactly where we are though so send someone after us! Save us before it’s–
The feed cuts out and the camera goes back to Dan.
Dan: #!%&, that’s one for the legal team to sort out. Bree? You’re up, I’ve got to make a call.
A female reporter with a cheery disposition is seated at one of the newsroom desks, this time in a power suit as opposed to the yellow press vest she had been seen in last week.
Bree: While Dan is on break, I’m here to report an exclusive exposé on Titans Academy! Or, well, an exposé in progress. Our mole- I mean, informant, has been inside the tower for a week now. Still, there is MUCH we have uncovered! My source shares tales of teenage angst powerful enough to topple the hierarchy of the veteran Titans’ rule! And maybe… an old enemy thought dead is sneaking around the tower!
A blurry photo of a figure cloaked in black appears on the monitor behind her. The quality is reminiscent of every photo that claims to prove the existence of Bigfoot.
Bree: My informant tells me the older Titans have dubbed this figure “Red X”, in their hallway whispers. Red X was an ex-member of the team that disappeared a few years ago without an official explanation. Why the Secrecy? What could the sudden arrival of this old Titan mean? We’re continuing to dig for answers on the Public’s behalf.
The photo on the monitor disappears and is replaced with another grainy image. The photo seems to have been taken from a low angle and around a sharp corner, half of the image is occupied by a wall and the other half is 2 figures standing across from each other. Their heads don’t quite fit in the frame and are cut off at the chin.
Bree: Are tensions perhaps running high between the old guard? Many of them have a complicated history. Here, Cyborg and Nightwing are visible and displaying anxious body language. My source was not able to hear the entire conversation, but relationship troubles seem to plague the team. How well will they be able to mentor when they can’t present a cohesive front to their students? And now, GC52 viewers…
The image disappears again. Bree is silent for a second. Her expression shifts from what you’d associate with jovial gossip to a blank, cold kind of seriousness.
Bree: The image that has haunted me since it landed in my inbox. The Titans have yet another dangerous enemy… Superboy.
The monitor showcases a 3rd low-quality image. Taken outside, at night, 4 figures are barely visible. A red ‘S’ on a black t-shirt is just barely legible.
Bree: My informant has told me the student being accosted goes by Bolt, another speedster. Why Superboy has returned is unclear, as is the identity of his two companions. This is, unfortunately, all the information I have at this time.
The final image disappears, and the seriousness in the reporter’s expression is replaced with her initial cheer. Outro music begins to play.
Bree: That’s my time for today, tune in next week as the GC52 team continues to work to uncover the Titans’ best-kept secrets!
While the outro music is playing we hear a commotion in the studio and the video feeds cuts to Dan running back to his desk.
Dan: Cut that damned music. I’m not on break and we’ve still got one more story… Wait, what do you mean he’s not here yet? We lose Ethan last week and now his replacements not made it? Christ! Well, folks…
That’s all we have for you, so as always… be it the Bat Symbol in Gotham, a red streak through Central City, or a golden lasso on Themyscira… GC52 has you covered with the news you need to know. Till next week, I’m your host Dan McMahon. Be strong in all your convictions.
Books covered this week:
- Action Comics #1030 by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Daniel Sampere, Adriano Lucas, and Dave Sharpe.
- Harley Quinn #2 by Stephanie Phillips, Riley Rossmo, Ivan Plascencia, and Deron Bennett.
- The Flash #769 by Jeremy Adams, David Lafuente, Brandon Peterson, Mike Atiyeh, Luis Guerrero, and Steve Wands.
- The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #3 by Sholly Fisch, Randy Elliott, and Silvana Brys.
- Midnighter: The Passenger #2 by Becky Cloonan, Michael Conrad, Michael Avon Oeming, Taki Soma, and Dave Sharpe.
- Robin #1 by Joshua Williamson, Gleb Melnikov, and ALW’s Troy Peteri.
- Teen Titans Academy #2 by Tim Sheridan, Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona, and Alejandro Sanchez.
With thanks to this week’s contributors Dan, Violet, Aidan, Katie, Alex, and Bree.