The GC52 Logo appears on televisions, computers, and all other types of viewing devices an hour before it’s typically scheduled time. Lead Anchor Dan McMahon sits at the center of the newsroom behind his desk. For this special, he dons a white collared shirt and a rainbow striped tie.
Dan: Good Morning, Good Afternoon, and Good Evening to all of our viewers from various places within the beautiful multiverse, GC52 has prepared an additional segment to inject a little bit of romance, excitement, mystery and dare I say…Pride, into your lives. Today’s extra segment is all about the people in our shared universe who stand their ground- as an individual, as a partner, or as a family. To kick off our coverage, Becca is interviewing a unique character that claims to have spotted the infamous Batwoman!
Becca: Good evening, multiverse! I’m here in Gotham, on the scene where local vigilante Batwoman has just squared off with the villainous Mad Hatter. Here with me is the sole, um… eyewitness…to the action.
Becca awkwardly shuffles over to a standing Mirror, ornate but cracked.
Becca: Uh, no offence, but this feels a little “Snow White” to me right now.
Mirror: None taken.
Becca: So can you shed a little light on how this all started?
Mirror: Well, an unobservant eye might have thought this was just your standard night of Gotham fisticuffs, but what happened here was far more runs much deeper.
Becca: I guess that’s somewhat to be expected when Jervis Tetch is involved.
Mirror: Exactly. Using his mind-control technology, the Mad Hatter encouraged Batwoman to make personal confessions and confront and past of struggling to find a sense of belonging.
Becca: Confessions? Could you elaborate?
Mirror: Sure. Tetch started with her childhood. He had her talk about the times she shared with her twin sister. Two kids, playing a game of Mirroring each other – something I know a little bit about! Young Batwoman followed and imitated her sister’s dress, makeup, and actions, learning to be a “proper lady”. It didn’t come as easy to her as it came to her sister, but her sister was always there for her to follow.
Becca: That’s adorable. Huh…that’s too wholesome and happy for a Gotham vigilante. Where’s the catch?
Mirror: Then came her sister’s apparent death.
Becca: Ah, there it is.
Mirror: Without her twin, the young hero struggled. With no one there to mimic, she didn’t feel like much of a proper lady, in dress and in actions. Mirrors became hard for her to confront, as she could only see her twin – the kind of girl she was supposed to be and the kind of girl she was not. I feel somewhat guilty about that, personally.
Becca: What made her feel so different? Did she continue to say?
Mirror: Oh, yes. Though she fought hard against Jervis’ influence, she was an open book. See, Batwoman was not the type of girl that girls are expected to be. Batwoman spent less time on her hair and makeup and more time playing sports. Instead of prim and proper, there was rough and tumble. Instead of longing for boyfriends, she wanted girlfriends.
Mirror: Unable to live up to the expectations of herself left Batwoman feeling angry and broken. The “wrong side of the Mirror” is what she called herself.
Becca: Anyone might feel that way. I’VE felt that way.
Mirror: Sure. But let me be the first to tell you – there IS no wrong side of a Mirror. Only a different side.
Becca: So, how did Batwoman defeat the Mad Hatter?
Mirror: It takes mad to know mad I suppose. In a turn of events no one expected, Batwoman’s very-much-still-alive twin sister, the villain Alice, helped our hero.
Becca: She was there the whole time?!
Mirror: Yep! Jervis believed he could heal all the years Batwoman spent feeling different and broken by convincing her to change into another Alice, another villain. The game could keep going. Batwoman confronted the Mad Hatter about his own insecurities, his own fears of being different, being “backwards”. But Batwoman knew from years of the same struggle that there are people out there who feel and are the same sort of different, the same sort of other. And you see yourself in them. That’s where community comes from. That’s where taking pride in it begins.
Becca: She’s not wrong. Did she manage to convince the Mad Hatter.
Mirror: Oh, absolutely not. Alice punched him out the second he resisted.
Becca pinches the bridge of her nose.
Becca: Well, that tracks. There was an attempt at least. One last thing. How did you get cracked?
Mirror: Oh this? Collateral damage. Comes with the territory when your an object nearby whenever the capes roll in.
Becca: Well…I hope you get well soon. [gently pats Mirror, shards splinter off] Okay…I don’t get the seven years of bad luck for worsening a broken Mirror, do I?
Mirror: I think that’s just a superstition, but don’t quote me on that. Just in case.
She lets out a heavy sigh.
Becca: There you have it, perhaps more information into the identity of the scarlet-clad Bat than we may ever hope to get from the most unlikely of sources. From Gotham, this is guest reporter, Becca. Back to you, Dan!
Dan: Nothing quite like a heart to heart from an unusual source. Batwoman continues to prove why she’s a symbol of strength for many in Gotham. On to a lighter tone, Rook is reporting on Mr. Constantine. How goes your investigation, Rook?
The camera cuts to Rook sitting at a table at The Time In A Bottle in London. They’re still fixing their hair and straightening the mic clipped to their battered leather jacket as the camera takes a few seconds to focus. Suddenly, they realize the camera is rolling, and they clear their throat.
Rook: So, we’re here at a pub, because I was engaging in the classic journalistic pastime of following John Constantine around, waiting for something horrible to happen. Unfortunately, this particular pub is a truce zone. No demons, no hauntings, etc. Also, nobody immediately punched Constantine in the face, which I imagine is a rare and celebrated occasion for him. The good news: the beer is incredible. The bad news: because nothing dramatic happened, all I have is a story I overheard from a silver fox that Constantine was trying to talk into a threesome. The better news — wait, let me introduce this with a little panache —
Rook hops up on the table, and the scant half-inch of beer left in their flagon sloshes back and forth. After a few seconds, the camera pans up to them doing jazz hands.
Rook: The BETTER news is that the story was about beating the shit out of a homophobic skinhead vampire. The silver fox was the sorcerer Extraño, there to stop Count Berlin from magically straightwashing the past. And get this — Extraño was there with Midnighter as muscle. Bad news for an unkillable vampire, because the Midnighter is one of the world’s foremost artists in the medium of pain, and you better believe that bloodsucker was begging for death by sun up.
Rook claps their hands together and sits down on the table. The camera follows momentarily.
Rook: I wish I could provide more details. Unfortunately, that is all I’ve got because some people, like Constantine and Extraño, have “better things to do,”
Rook pauses to make air quotes.
Rook: …Like “each other.”
Some unintelligibly cockney noises can be heard coming from off-camera.
Rook: The bar closed fifteen minutes ago? Wait. Does that mean no refills?
Further british gnashing of teeth is technically audible, but untranslatable.
Rook: This is like the only place I’ve found that sells Old Speckled Hen. Nobody stateside stocks beer with a name that British. I will literally pay you one hundred britbucks or whatever as a tip, just —
A shimmer of iridescence slides on-camera and zig-zags its way to the mug in Rook’s hand, turning it into a chicken on contact. The words “stupid motherfucker of a customer” can be heard scattered amidst the english mutterings.
Rook: HMMM. You are being very generous, and I hope you have a lovely night! I’m going to go off and not tempt fate somewhere else.
Rook and the camera operator promptly sprint out of the bar, treating the viewers to more poorly lit shakycam than a found footage film.
Rook: Thank you for watching, and oh my god, why am I still holding this chicken! This has been Rook for GC52 news!
The camera operator turns around as he jogs, only to discover more hens joining their pursuit. The screen goes dark for a second before the image of the well lit newsroom dominates the screen again.
Dan: Well, you can’t say we don’t know how to have fun here! Not sure if trying to outrun a bunch of…chickens is what Rook had in mind for today but a GateCrasher never fails to make the most out of a sticky situation, as I’m sure Mr. Constantine can relate to. Switching gears, Bree has a very interesting story coming out of Gotham, so here she is folks!
A cheerful grin emerges from the shadows of what seems to be a very old and derelict building. Bree is accompanied by a middle aged man, who is blinking repeatedly in the brightness of a small set of studio lights.
Bree: I’m coming at you live from an undisclosed warehouse in Gotham city, minutes after an alleged sighting of one of Gotham’s most elusive urban legends…The Question! I’m joined on site by Mr. Smith, the key witness! Mr. Smith, can you please recap what you saw for our audience at home?
Smith: W-Well… I was here for a plumbing job but it turned out I had the wrong address, so the wrong place at the right time I guess but- uh I saw a few big dudes, like REALLY big dudes, 4 I think-
Bree: Yes, yes. The Question?
Smith: Yeah! They popped in and popped the biggest guy, a real good one. I didn’t really mean to hide but I guess they didn’t see me and I didn’t want to be a problem. So I watched The Question hook the guy to a table with his own belt. He musta felt that one in the ego. Anyway, some weird yelps were coming from another room just down the hallway. Question books it over and I kinda hobble behind them. Had a peek into the next room and saw the lady that’s got that big campaign for…what was it? City Council I think? So I can’t really hear what they’re saying but it looks like the other 3 dudes were also taken out.
Bree: Oh, I wonder what Mrs. Johnson was here for. Or perhaps it was a failed kidnapping attempt…The Question always seems to leave behind MORE questions.
Smith: I really couldn’t tell ya. They left shortly after. Couldn’t hear much. I have been watching that show about body language with the wife though and I gotta say, there was SOMETHING going on between the 2 of ‘em. I guess the ladies love a lil bit of mystery.
Bree: INTERESTING…is love in the air for one of Gotham’s best kept secrets? Only time will tell! Back to you Dan!
Dan: Is there a better kept secret in Gotham than what the Questions’ love life is like? I’m inclined to think there is not. However, we’re going to move on to one pair of love birds that Gotham does know quite well. Violet has the scoop!
The camera moves on to Violet beaming at her desk.
Violet: Hello everyone, I have an adventurous and exciting story about Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy! I’ve a feeling you’ll enjoy this; both were seen down in the heart of the city battling an enormous plant monster that threw up everywhere and ate Harley’s mallet. The beast – who was christened Archibald – was accidentally created by, you guessed it….Harley and Ivy! The couple cleaned up their mess quickly though! Not too sure on the casualty numbers but that’s not important nor the best part! They shared not one, but two victory kisses as they spoke about their romantic relationship. I don’t know about the rest of you, but that is the best news I’ve heard in a long time! Back to you Dan!
Dan: Perhaps cannibalistic, sentient plant creatures are worth it if they bring people together. From one green thing to another, we have a witness report on a certain ring bearing hero.
Camera cuts from Dan to Amanda, a waitress where the event took place, holding a broom like a baby.
Amanda: Hi there, world! How are you?! Oh my god, oh my god, I wanna take this grand opportunity to thank my second cousin once removed, Sarah Lyn, you were always there for me since we were little kids, even if you always wanted to play hide and seek. And Frank, if you’re seeing this, you better give me back my cat or-
Someone gives her directions behind the camera to focus
Amanda: Right, right, Green Lantern. Well, it all started with these three men, two young boys and an old man, they came to the restaurant to have lunch together. I was taking and giving orders right and left, y’know, you don’t get to employee of the month by sitting all day! But from what I heard, the old man was the father of one of them, and he was meeting his son’s boyfriend for the first time. It all went normal, they seemed to get along well, and lemme tell ya, they were more than pleased with the attention. But the father and his son suddenly went out back. I thought they were gonna rob the place! I wasn’t about to bother the clients, so I followed them with Bobby
As she says the name, she shakes the broom in her hands as if presenting it
Amanda: But when they were alone, while I was watching from the door, the son turned shadows into a costume! It was unbelievable, I think it was Blue Beetle? No wait, Obsidian! There it is. And then the father started projecting light out of a ring, and I realized he was Green Lantern! The old one, y’know, my father was a big fan of his. If I didn’t know that, a couple seconds more and I would’ve bashed him. I heard he is vulnerable to wood, so if you think about it, I could’ve knocked ‘em out with Bobby. But anyway, he started telling a story to his son, showing everything with the ring. Suddenly there were a lot of weird green things in the room. Apparently, he’d lost the first man he ever loved in an accident, and he was alone, he didn’t even have someone to mourn with. And he couldn’t come out because it was still illegal at the time, he was afraid. But his son, the shadowy fellow, apparently had a lot of rough things happen to him, but he got better, and coming out helped him a little. Green Lantern wanted to feel the same, he wanted to at least feel like himself, so he finally came out, thanks to his son. They promised to help each other from here on out, be closer, and they finally hugged. Y’know, I couldn’t help but to cry, it was just too wonderful. I think even Bobby cried, and I didn’t even know he could do that.
Dan: Thank you for sharing that story with us, Amanda. It’s important to remember our heroes are people too, family relationships are complicated for everyone. Moving on to other relationships, Rodrigo is live with some very interesting going ons’ of the speedster variety.
The camera cuts and we see Rodrigo holding a Mirror and applying some makeup. For someone that is just putting on some lipstick they look pretty confused.
Rodrigo (whispering to themselves): Was that a person inside my Mirror?!?
They suddenly realize they’re live and snap out of it.
Rodrigo: Well, hello there! This is Rodrigo, your favorite reporter from the future, bringing you the most recent Flash sightings here in Central city. Early this afternoon Flash made a visit to the Flash Museum, in what seemed to be related to an investigation on a stolen item. After that, they were seen in a department store trying on a bunch of different outfits. I actually loved how they looked with that skirt but we all remember what happened the last time they were spotted with a skirt. Anyways, that has been all for…
Surprised Rodrigo holds a finger up to their earpiece and begins to speak.
Rodrigo: What do you mean people just watched how Flash was dragged into a Mirror?… Mirror Master? There hasn’t been a Mirror Master attack since… Wait, that was the thing somebody stole from the Flash Museum… Yeah, that actually explains a lot… They are out of the Mirror now?… A person with a Mirror on their face?… Flash is buying makeup?… Ok, thanks for the update.
Rodrigo turns directly to the camera as if talking to the audience.
Rodrigo: So I was just informed that the Flash was in a fight with a new villain named Reflek. I was also informed that The Flash was seen buying makeup just after said fight. This coupled with their other purchases seems to me to indicate that a certain speedster is preparing for a date. I have heard rumors that they’ve been dating Princess Andy Curry from Atlantis. Now, I don’t know about you but Flash dating Aquawoman sounds like a couple goals to me!
That’s all from me tonight, until next time!
Dan: Thank you for the story, Rodrigo! Never a dull moment in the life of any speedster, as they make the most of every single fraction of one. Bree has returned from Gotham to join me in the newsroom! She has an interesting tidbit on…Property value? Did I read that right, Bree?
Bree: Yes! 5 properties on Victory Boulevard have sold overnight to an anonymous buyer. My sources in the area are unsure exactly how or why, but they did hear a lot drumming and…a flute that night. Some older residents might know a shady character that went by Pied Piper, rumor has it he’s involved in this deal. The drums have been linked to a more upstart rogue that goes by Drummer Boy. All in all, a very perplexing evening.
Dan: What could a couple of morally grey music-based vigilantes want with a few apartments?
Bree: That is still the big question, Dan. However, there are rumors circulating about the property going back to its roots as geared to income apartments. Or even free dwellings for the disenfranchised. Really makes you reconsider what vigilantism is all about, right Dan?
Dan: Well, I guess you could say that. A housing crisis is a crisis that can span infinite earths. Perhaps-
Dan pauses and seems to look just past the camera. Non verbal communication seems to be happening between him and the production crew. The anchor mouths the word “Now” before reengaging with the camera.
Dan: GC52 is getting an exclusive, hot off the press live interview from a source that has seen a certain masked crusader in the print multiverse for the 1st time!
Camera cuts from Dan to a squirrel dressed in a fedora and a hat, smoking from a little pipe while sitting on a garbage can.
Dan: Good morning, Mr…?
Raymond: You can call me Harris, Mr. McMahon. Raymond Harris.
Dan: Well, Mr. Harris, what can you tell us about what happened this very night that is just finishing?
Raymond: It all began at around 22:00. The neon lights hid away from the fur of my face as I paced around the city, silently, almost as if the shadows finally consumed away my little soul, becoming only one. I’ve started investigating the death of an old friend of mine earlier this month, a white rat named Veronica. Apparently, she died because of some chemical spilled on the street. The police didn’t even try to look into it, the whole damn city didn’t care that the next time I played poker with my friends, she wouldn’t be there. So I took the matter into my own hands.
Raymond I’m more of a fisticuffs kind of squirrel, so it took me some time. But it all led me to the League of Assassins. With information given by the rat king, who aided me as a last gift to Veronica, I traced them to a factory that they apparently used as headquarters. When I was at the front, I saw one of these superheroes go from one building to the roof of the factory. I recognized her from the TV. I saw her at the bar I go to drink some scotch when my whiskers are not focused enough. The name’s Dreamer. With this unexpected change of events, I had to make my way as fast as I could into the building.
Raymond: I went through the ventilation system, and arrived at the scene just in time to see the members of the League give the chemical to their boss. The same chemical that killed Veronica. But suddenly the kid dropped down from the roof, and took the chemical. She then started to beat the shit out of them, they couldn’t even touch her. I have to say, I was impressed. With the other ninjas out of the way, she took out two swords and went for the big boss. The piece of shit was tough, but he went down in less time than I take to finish a good old scotch.
Raymond: I thought that maybe she would be good to have as an ally, in case I ever need help. Or she needs my help. So when she went away with the big goon and all, I followed her. But instead of a headquarters or something, she went to the theatre, apparently she had a date with her boyfriend. So I just left, guess it’ll have to be another time.
Raymond Harris keeps smoking the pipe as the camera cuts back to Dan.
Dan: Thank you, Raymond for…that. Sorry about Veronica, I hope you get your closure for her. Dreamer is as cool as ever though! Very excited to follow her future adventures! And going from dusk till dawn, Jordan is reporting from the Multiverses Pride Parade!
Cut to shaky camera phone footage of a parade in progress. A big crowd is out and about. Rainbow flags everywhere. The phone quickly turns around to Jordan, sweaty but upbeat.
Jordan: What up Dan! Woooooo! It’s ya man on the street and we’re out here today at the local Pride Parade and IT. IS. HOT! But that’s not stopping all these lovely people from….wait, is that…?
Camera zooms past Jordan’s shoulder to show Jackson Hyde as he walks down the street with Syl.
Jordan: Y’all seeing this? That’s Aqualad! And who’s that? Oh, wait, it’s one of those new students at the Titans Academy. Syl, right? Mmmm, they seem awfully close, I wonder what’s up with – –
People scatter as rain starts to fall. The camera is shaky again as Jordan runs somewhere to get dry. The camera turns as Jordan brushes at a stain on their shirt.
Jordan: Dammnit, I just got this shirt! Who spilled that bloody mary on me? I knew I shouldn’t have worn all white today.If this ain’t some bull–
Camera cuts up to the sky as the clouds open up. A shadowy figure descends to the streets.
Jordan: Oh great! If things weren’t bad enough, here comes a supervillain. Always a supervillain. Grocery store, supervillain. Big meeting at work, supervillain. Tickets to BTS, supervillain. Why can’t you ever come when I’m on a bad date!
The camera is way out of focus as a blurry Jackson rushes in to fight off Eclipso.
Jordan: Aww, come on! Focus! I’m missing all the action! Sorry ya’ll, it’s just, why do they always have to change the camera on these things? The last one worked, leave it alone. Now there’s all these new modes and I just can’t.
Suddenly the camera snaps into focus just in time to see the JLQ arrive!
Jordan: Hold up, what’s this? Gregorio? Batwoman? Steel? Midnighter and Apollo? Is this the new JLQ we’ve been hearing about? I’m going in for an interview!
Jordan runs into the fray as heroes fly all around..
Jordan: Hello, Batowman would you care to–
Batwoman swings by on a grappling hook.
Jordan: She seems busy. Traci! Traci girl it’s me! Can you comment on–
Traci 13 animates some street lamps and charges past the camera.
Jordan: Y’all ain’t right! I’m just trying to do my job, same as you.
The camera pans around to show a rainbow peeking out behind the clouds. The crowds swarm back into the street to celebrate. Midnighter approaches the camera with a smirk.
Midnighter: Hey, you feeling okay?
Jordan: Yeah…I just…I think there was something in that rain. All this negativity came over me and–
Midnighter moves to the side as sounds of heaving come from off camera.
Midnighter: Yeah, I saw that coming a mile away.
As Jordan speaks, it’s clear he is feeling a bit weak in the knees.
Jordan: I almost threw up on Midnighter. This is the best day of my life. Back to you Dan.
Dan: And after the rain comes the rainbow, thank you Jordan! Well, that’s the end of our scheduled content for this special. Thank you for watching folks, stay loud and proud, and Goodbye for now!