(Spoilers for DC Comics released 08/03/2021)
If you missed last week’s report, check it out here.
(Words in italics signal actions)
The GC52 Logo appears on televisions, computers, and all other types of viewing devices at its normally scheduled time. News Channel Intern Jerry sits at the center of the newsroom behind his desk. He’s wearing a gray suit that looks three sizes too large for him and his tie is clipped on, behind him is the large window overlooking 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.
Jerry: 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! I’m Jerry, the intern! Dan is out this week doing…something. But I’m here in his place. Sure, Dan could have asked one of the numerous reporters and journalists on staff but here I am. Barely passing my courses at Metropolis University…go Bulldogs.
Anyway, yeah. So I was reading Dan’s emails earlier and he got another message from those people at the Lake House. Not going great from what I can tell. Sounds like there is a big scary building of like black stone. I don’t know why anyone would stay there but it is what it is. Let’s see what Kevin is up to!
The camera pans over the broken rubble of the Hall of Justice. Kevin crouches in the ruins, as occasional explosions ring out above him.
Kevin: Hi Jerry, I’m still here at the Hall of Justice where the battle between the assembled Justice League and the alien we’ve been told is called the Synmar Utopica is still raging. Others would have fled, but your intrepid reporter has stayed in place *under his breath* after my escape car was destroyed. And the second one.
An old wooden door opens in the background seemingly in the middle of nowhere, and Naomi steps out, looking determined.
Kevin: And I think I’ve just seen – yes, that is the mysterious Naomi, recently appearing as part of the Justice League! Naomi, what can you tell us about this ongoing incident?
Naomi is surprised to see the camera and her eyes widen. She looks uncertainly between the explosions above and Kevin, then tries to puff herself up a little.
Naomi: Uh..hello, citizen! There is umm….no reason for concern. I hope.
There is a blaze of scarlet lightning as the Flash runs by, yelling something. Kevin lets out a squawk and tries to hide behind a fallen section of wall, leaving Naomi speaking awkwardly to the camera.
Naomi: The uh…Justice League is…on it? That didn’t sound right, I’m sorry – we are on it. Totally. So ah, no need to worry.
Aquaman crashes down onto the ground, roaring. He immediately picks himself up and leaps atop the rubble Kevin is hiding behind, shouting oceanic obscenities. Kevin tosses his microphone in the air and flees the camera entirely.
Naomi: But uh…yes it’s probably a good idea to get to safety. Like…now. Just in case.
Kevin’s screams sound distantly. Naomi looks after him, then up at the fight raging above, then back at the camera.
Naomi: So …yeah. You should – oh my god, is that Black Adam losing his $&@# on that alien??? I – I gotta get back there. *Under her breath* Oh my god this is crazy how is any of this happening. *Back to camera* Ummm just hold on out there and we have totally got this. And you guys should probably get a new reporter honestly because this guy seems –
There is another explosion above and a terrified scream sounds in the background before Naomi breaks off, eyes widening, then leaps off to deal with some new threat. The camera shakes and then cuts back to the studio.
Jerry: Right…um…I don’t know, I’m not an actual news anchor, cut to Katie.
Onscreen, a video plays. A long shot camera angle shows a wetland world shimmering with hues of pink and green. The forest appears to swarm with verdant colors. A cluttered forest of trees sway and branches stretch toward the horizon as if they are alive, beckoning to a life unseen beyond the dusk. A helicopter circles overhead. Its spinning propellers beat loudly, biting through the forests’ clandestine silence. The camera cuts to Katie in the news studio.
Katie: You just saw recorded footage from the Kaziranga Forest in India, where the ground, roots, and plants seem to be moving. Recently, a destructive Prescot bio-agent was unleashed across ninety square miles of India’s Kaziranga here. The bio-agent is a threat to the lands’ interconnected vegetation network. A possibly related unidentified source may be causing a kind of tectonic shift from below. Fertile wetland area has not reacted to a disturbance like this in years — a swampy situation indeed.
An insider revealed to us that an ex-Prescot employee entangled himself in the twisting roots of this situation. From my perspective, it sounds like any human who flees inside a biological warfare zone is on a suicide mission.
Inside the forest, a group of…abnormal superheroes titled Task Force X has been deployed to locate and retrieve the elemental force and the Prescot-affiliated agent. Task Force X, also referred to by the moniker “The Suicide Squad,” consists of five members. Each infamous metahuman possesses abilities someone deemed well-suited to this mission. I’ve received communications about one particular member feasting on foliage and another walking around like a green, toxic waste globule. Fires have also erupted from the marshland…the last thing they need to deal with is a heatwave trapped inside dense greenery!
One can’t help but ask: Is this squad saviors or saboteurs? Who is the real villain here? Hopefully they don’t burn the entire forest down. It’s suffered enough damage already. I will update you as the story —
Cracking sounds cascade throughout the studio. On Katie’s left, a teeth-shaped indentation now replaces the wall paneling. Garbled words “Nom Nom” can be heard moments before an anthropomorphic shark barges through the wall.
King Shark: WHERE TASK FORCE?
Katie stands up and begins backing away from the large and oddly muscular shark man.
Katie: Umm…they’re…in the forest.
King Shark: I’M KING SHARK! I’M A GOD! I WANT DINNER!
Katie: No, no dinner here. We are not dinner! Your friends are there! I bet they have dinner!
She points to the screen with rolling forest footage.
King Shark: FRIENDS?!
King Shark turns around, bites through another portion of the building, and runs away as fast as an anthropomorphic shark can run.
Katie: Uhh…that was…fishy? Over to you, Jerry?
Katie grasps her heart, trying to catch her breath after her sharknado encounter. The camera cuts back to Jerry.
Jerry: Dan goes away and then suddenly shark’s are attacking the studio. I really hope he didn’t eat anyone, that’ll be a hell of a mess to clean up.
But in some news from Gotham, Mayor Nakano just had a live report where he gave the Magistrate more authority in the city. I can’t say much but all I can say is that Gotham is about to fall into something very, very dark. If you have the means, please leave before it gets bad…
We turn now to Thomas’s continuing coverage of New Korugar, where Green Lantern Quintela has taken the fight to Sinestro in a burst of vengeful–
Live footage from Korugar interrupts Jerry, with a camera close up to Thomas’s face.
Thomas: Jerry, my journalism training demands that I ask everyone to shut up, as this is no ordinary report. We have CRUZ NEWS!
Jerry: Holy shit CRUZ NEWS!
Jerry slams his palm down on a bright green button, setting off air horns and causing green CGI fireworks to explode all over the screen.
Thomas: I know, Jerry. The details are flying in hard and fast. Jessica Cruz has been spotted on New Korugar in full Yellow Lantern attire, engaged in combat with not only Lantern Quintela but what appears to be a heavily armored Lantern Baz. Is she an undercover agent, a double agent, or maybe one of those subtly characterized yellow lanterns we’re treated to every few years?
Jerry: Thomas, do we have identity verification, or is this another lady in a hood breaking bad?
Thomas: Jerry, she has a glowing symbol over one eye. She monologues about the nature of fear. She recognizes Lanterns Quintela and Baz, letting them escape alive while attempting to avoid Sinestro’s attention. This is a new side of Lantern Cruz, one that is only hinted at for now but perhaps will be elaborated upon at further length in a future, once-a-year kind of report… an “annual,” if you will.
Jerry: This all sounds expensive. Any word on the status of Lantern Stewart and the spaceship full of Lanterns?
Thomas: Focus, Jerry! This is an unprecedented twist in our Oa coverage — a Lantern, changing their ring and serving with the enemy. It’s unheard of!
Jerry slides a stack of tapes labeled “Red Lantern – Gardner” deeper beneath the news desk.
Jerry: Too true, Thomas. We have a news alert showing Lantern Kilowog sending a distress call asking for backup. Will that affect the Cruz News at all?
Thomas gives Jerry a stern look through the camera.
Jerry: Nevermind. Moving on… Looks like Lobo is out of space prison which can’t be good I think. His poor daughter really needs someone to just help her but uh, don’t know if that’s really something her dad will do…
Looks like we have more Task Force X news for you today folks, so let’s see what Jordan has for us, live from Belle Reve.
The camera cuts to a dark small room. A light flicks on revealing Jordan viewing a monitor and rummaging through stacks of papers and files.
Jordan: Hi there GC52 viewers, welcome back to our branch here at Belle Reve penitentiary. I’m Jordan Edwards, GC52’s Task Force X liaison. It’s been incredibly busy here of late. Peacemaker has taken a Squad to India in search of Swamp Thing. Regardless, I’ve been a little busy following Superboy’s Squad.
The young Kryptonian clone and his team have just recently acquired a new puppet for Waller. My informant tells me this is someone known as Night Terror. Whoever they are, this individual is now within our walls here at Belle Reve, another lamb to the slaughter as it were.
Anyway, Superboy’s Squad has just arrived at Earth 3 moments ago in search of Bloodsport and Black Siren. We lost contact with DuBois, and Waller obviously considers him too important to leave behind. If Waller thinks it’s worth getting you back, you know they’re important for some reason.
Marching boots storm down the hallway. A prison guard veers into the room. Jordan covers his camera.
Guard: What are you doing here? I heard voices
Jordan: Oh just running tests on vocal restraining technology for Black Siren. I just need to test the frequencies
Guard: Hmm alright. As you were. Stay here. False Face is starting a riot again
The guard runs off. Jordan waits until he hears the hallway door slam. He uncovers the camera and turns on the monitor again.
Jordan: Sorry about that, viewers. Reporting on a top-secret government black ops group has its fair share of setbacks. Anyway, the Squad seems to be in combat now with Ultra Man. We seem to have missed a lot as Bloodsport has returned with Black Siren in tow. Most of the Squad has just escaped through the new portal technology Waller has gotten a hold of.
It seems Superboy has been left to fend for himself. Wait! No, he’s just made it through the portal. I’ll cut to our interdimensional feed to see what’s happening and OH! Well, this is certainly an interesting turn of events. It seems Superboy and the Squad are in a decimated city somewhere in Russia. Not only that but they’re being confronted by…Superboy. Waller’s gonna need to do some explaining.
Jordan’s ears perk up as he hears voices getting closer.
Guard: Somebody get a hold on Rainbow Creature, and call our damn containment unit!
Jordan: Well viewers, it seems like that’s all I have time for right now, I’ll see you next time. In the meantime, I’m gonna lie low a bit.
Jordan covers up his camera and the feed cuts back to Jerry in the studio.
Jerry: Well folks, that’s all we have for you today. I hope Dan’s back next week, but anyway, 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 Jerry, the intern. Be strong in all your convictions.
Books covered this week:
- The Nice House on the Lake #3 by James Tynion IV, Álvaro Martínez Bueno, Jordie Bellaire, and AndWorld Design.
- Justice League #66 by Brian Michael Bendis, Phil Hester, Eric Gapstur, Trish Mulvihill, Hi-Fi, and Josh Reed.
- The Swamp Thing #6 by Ram V, Mike Perkins, Mike Spicer, and Aditya Bidikar.
- Batman #111 by James Tynion IV, Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey, and Clayton Cowles.
- Green Lantern #5 by Geoffrey Thorne, Tom Raney, Marco Santucci, Andy MacDonald, Michael Atiyeh, and Rob Leigh.
- Crush & Lobo #3 by Mariko Tamaki, Amancay Nahuelpan, Tamra Bonvillain, and Ariana Maher.
- Suicide Squad #6 by Robbie Thompson, Eduardo Pansica, Julio Ferreira, Dexter Soy, Alex Sinclair, and Wes Abbot.