If you missed last week’s news report, check it out here.
(Spoilers for DC Comics released 06/01/2021)
(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 the same outfit as last week… his clothes look singed and battered as if he’d been through something quite difficult.The Daily Planet globe is visible behind him as he stares off blankly into space, face turned away from direct eye contact with the camera. The GC52 theme music begins to dim as the actual program begins. Dan barely moves until the audience can hear Jerry snap.
Jerry: Uh, Dan, you’re live. Are you okay boss?
The snap to attention isn’t quick but rather a slow turn towards Jerry and the camera.
Dan: I’m sorry, I just got back from the other Earth after being invited to that Lake House by an old friend, Walter. I barely made it out of there alive, Jerry. I was so scared that I’d never make it back to our Earth. I was given a label of “News Anchor” and a symbol. I cannot describe just how dehumanizing that is to have your identity boiled down into a simple phrase as you fight for your life against an apocalypse that you were hand-picked to survive against like a prized pig.
Jerry: Jesus Christ, why don’t you go home? That sounds like you need a day off. We are live…
Dan’s eyes widen and he takes a deep breath as it clicks just where he is before that familiar voice and charm return like someone opened the floodgates.
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: As usual, a lot of stuff is going down in Gotham City. Batman seems to have it covered… but does he really? The Mayor signed off on Simon Saint’s Peacemaker Program. I have some weird itch in the back of my mind that it isn’t going to be good for the state of the future in Gotham. There has been footage of a large explosion in Gotham… the fires… just like at the Lake House…
Jerry: CUT TO GREEN LANTERN COVERAGE!
An image of static clears up and Thomas is shown listening to a pair of earbuds, which he quickly removes from his ears. Superimposed behind him is an image of some Green Lanterns at… school?
Thomas: Oh hey, sorry about that. Another broadcast just dropped from Lantern Mullein. Even in their dismantled state, the Green Lanterns are a memo-based organization. Her latest message is a reassurance that the Lanterns across the universe will be recovered and accounted for. At the moment, though? The Corps consists of her, a recovering Lantern Baz with a medicinal arm enhancement, and Teen Lantern Quintela. Fortunately, the United Planets have their back, led by an alien race that is always baring their teeth, either smiling or modeling for a part in the next Doom videogame…
Thomas holds a finger up to his earpiece.
Thomas: I would like to apologize to the United Planets for resorting to a stereotyped description like that. It’s just, who can Oa turn to in its hour of need? Hal Jordan can’t charge in and punch Sinestro this time. As for Lantern Stewart and his starship of a thousand Lanterns, there’s still no communication. Lots of superheroes tend to phase into some kind of altered state at the edge of the universe-
Thomas pauses again.
Thomas: Yes, our fact-checkers can confirm that has been the case often enough to be a safe assumption. The question remains, will the lost Lanterns return as the heroes we once knew, or will they bear scars and transformations from unknown cosmic forces and beings? Stewart is no stranger to a cosmic odyssey here and there, but who knows how he might power up in this unprecedented leadership role? Our computerized AI scenario artist has a most-likely rendering to share of the state of affairs out there:
The image seen behind Thomas now comes to take over the whole screen.
Oh no. We’re boned. Back to you, Dan.
Dan sits with an ice pack on his forehead and an iced coffee on his desk. His wardrobe has changed to what looks to be a hand-knit sweater they keep for breakdowns like this. It has the GC52 Logo on the center.
Dan: Sorry about all that before, I know Batman has this covered. I was just letting the terrible Memorial Day Weekend get me down. I saw reports that former Teen Titan, Crush, was having some romantic troubles. She went to her girlfriend’s birthday party and sort of let out an alien spore of some sort. I do feel for her. Crush is the daughter of intergalactic criminal, Lobo so things can’t be easy for her but it seems like she is headed off planet to work things out. Sending her our best! Let’s check in with Katie!
When the camera cuts over, Katie is dusting off her shirt and sneezing.
Katie: Ugh, my allergies are atrocious today. All these plant spores and — Oh hi! Welcome. I didn’t know we were filming already ha…ha…
She sneezes again violently.
Katie: Whew! I’m standing here in front of Prescot Headquarters to give you an official update on the missing individuals inside the lab. Unbeknownst to my allegedly reliable witness, Ms. Jennifer Reece and her male companion were only missing for a few moments. It was the end of the day, and we all know how our minds can play tricks on us after long hours in this hell-hole rat race.
Oh — wait. I mean, not this job of course! I always feel like doing yard work and pulling weeds when I get home from reporting all day . . . Ahem.
Anyway, you should disregard any false reports of people disappearing in the technician lab that night. My real quick-footed confidante provided me with details on Ms. Reece’s friend. Mr. Levi Kamei had recently traveled back here to New York from his New Delhi trip. I am to understand that Levi and Jennifer exited Prescot Headquarters that same evening, unharmed and certainly not after vanishing in plain sight.
Katie’s trusty black cat leaps from the ground onto her shoulder. The cat holds a small piece of paper in its mouth and tries to thrust it into Katie’s own mouth. She turns her head away and snatches the note.
Katie: Felicia, we’re not that close! Cats, right! Who knows where their mouths have been . . .
She shakes her head in awe of the cat’s delivery.
Katie: Apparently, collecting the DEETS — that’s where! Forget everything I said earlier! Those two were definitely up to something! Less than an hour ago, a cleanup crew in yellow hazmat suits and a man with a ventilator swept the room in the Prescot Headquarters building. The team found a peculiar piece of flora left behind and extracted data from Jennifer’s tests on Levi. Not to waterlog the story further, but Amanda Waller of Belle Reve has been contacted in regards to this investigation? Don’t tell me the Suicide Squad is going to make this phenomenon more swampy? Do we need a crossover?
I’m signing off tonight and warning you all to stay away from flowers these days! They could give you more than just a–a–allerg–ACHOO! Ugh. Over to you, Dan.
Before the camera cuts back to Dan, Katie can be heard assuring her black cat, Felicia, that she definitely isn’t the cause of Katie’s sneezing.
Dan: Thanks for that Katie! Well, looks like 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. I’m gonna go sleep for a week.
As Dan finishes the outro and the music starts to play, the credits roll and a burst of static takes over the screen. When the picture returns to normal, the GC52 studio has vanished, and instead, security camera footage of an office is being played. At his desk, Mr. Bones, a cigarette in his mouth, is listening to an audiotape. We’ve seen this room before.
On the audiotape a voice is speaking, one of Bones’ agents in the field, delivering a report of an incident involving the Justice League Dark. It’s difficult to make out every word but what can be heard makes for tense listening.
The voice on tape: — Merlin… more power — Zatanna… controlled — Backup requested…
Mr. Bones: That’s gonna get out of hand. Agent 17, can you come in here?
Agent 17, Ethan, the GC52 reporter-revealed-spy, enters the room wearing a black suit and tie. The type all secret agents wear.
Mr. Bones: Good, good, Agent. Assign two more people to 14’s JL Dark investigation. It sounds like it’s about to kick into high gear.
Ethan: Very well sir, but there’s actually something you need to hear. We’ve had reports from our sources in the Hall of Justice. It sounds like the League has jumped over to another universe, tracking down that Brutus guy who was rampaging around here the other day.
Mr. Bones: They… went… to… another… universe… and didn’t tell anyone? I’m gonna wreck their whole world when they get back. It’s not like the whole purpose of the DEO is to be informed when something like this is happening, right, Agent?
Ethan: Yes, sir. Should I assign anyone to actively monitor the situation?
Mr. Bones: No, no, just have our contact inform us the MOMENT they’re back.
Bones takes a drag on his cigarette and static overtakes the screen again, before cutting to black, the broadcast ended.
Books covered this week:
- The Nice House on the Lake #1 by James Tynion IV, Álvaro Martínez Bueno, Jordie Bellaire, and AndWorld Design.
- Batman #109 by James Tynion IV, Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey, and Clayton Cowles.
- Green Lantern #3 by Geoffrey Thorne, Tom Raney, Marco Santucci, Michael Atiyeh, and Rob Leigh.
- Crush & Lobo #1 by Mariko Tamaki, Amancay Nahuelpn, Tamra Bonvillain, and Ariana Maher.
- The Swamp Thing #4 by Ram V, Mike Perkins, Mike Spicer, and Aditya Bidikar.
- Justice League Dark: The Trouble with Books by Ram V, Xermanico, Romulo Fajardo Jr, and Rob Leigh.
- Justice League #62 by Brian Michael Bendis, David Marquez, Ivan Plascencia, and Josh Reed.