(Spoilers for DC Comics released 08/10/2021)
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. Lead Anchor Dan McMahon sits at the center of the newsroom behind his desk. This week he’s wearing all black for the first time in a while and is 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: Sorry I was out last week, I was dealing with some…things. While I was out I learned of some other shady information. It seems as if the Black Canary has joined T.R.U.S.T. which stands for Transparent Researchers United For Strategy And Technology. It’s also rumored they’re the ones who bought up all the missing Bat-tech. After an attack on Juliette Ballantine, Canary was swept away from a large function in London. I do hope Canary is still fighting for the side of the good because it’s also been said that Deathstroke is also working with them.
We now move on to another report from ex-GC52 reporter-turned-spy Ethan. Let’s see if he has any answers as to what’s been going on with the multiverse recently.
He picks up a file emblazoned with the DEO logo from his desk, pulling a pair of reading glasses out of his suit pocket. Putting them on, he begins to read from the report.
For storage in DEO Archives regarding Operation: Infinite Frontier.
Report compiled by Agent 17.
I’m starting to feel uncomfortable with Bones’ plan. He’s kidnapped… I don’t know how many heroes at this point. From the security cam footage I’ve been monitoring at the Carrier Ark loading bay, it looks like Green Lantern and Obsidian are very unhappy with the situation, especially the being captured part. This X-Tract Bones is working with, I can’t find any info on them. As I said, I’m not feeling great about Bones’ plan. He’s become far too paranoid about the multiverse situation. Before the Carrier Ark took off I managed to patch myself into the audio feeds. Bones and Chase were arguing about his plan, the last thing I caught was a gunshot. Sounds like good ol’ Cameron Chase took matters into her own hands.
It looks like Hammond’s ship has arrived at its destination, or a destination at least. Still no word from Hector but looks like the captured heroes have command of the ship. Can’t say I blame them, Hammond’s a creep. Anyway, it looks like Jade, Power Girl, the back-from-the-dead Roy Harper, and the others are at some unidentified Earth that is sure to be all sunshine and rainbows. This is all going as well as can be expected.
Dan removes his reading glasses and places the report on his desk.
Dan: Yeah this is going somewhere I don’t even want to think about. Shame I can’t actually speak to Ethan, I’ve got some questions. Anyway, let’s check in with Violet.
Violet has drawn up a new brainstorm map, this time; Earth-11 post-its surround the border while the center shows possible outcomes to where Wonder Woman might end up next.
Violet: Shit’s about to go down! I have the latest tea on Wonder Woman! Diana, Siegfried, and Ratatosk continue their hunt for the wicked god slayer, Janus. Unfortunately, they’ve landed themselves in Earth-11 (essentially a world where everyone is genderbent and a bit wavy). There’s a Miss Martian (Marsha Manhunter) who explains the wibbly-wobbly multiverse…stuff?
Violet: ANYWAY, Janus frees an exile, known as Dane of Elysium, “Wonder Man”; who then fails to storm the Hall of Justice. Embarrassing for him, that sounds extremely emasculating. Then Janus shows up, boo that whore!
We get Diana vs Janus round 2! Rather suspenseful to watch if you ask me, especially since Janus has that head hacking saw that kills you for good, even if you’re already dead! Unfortunate news for Deadman, as he has been taken hostage by Janus and dragged into the next realm.
I fully trust Ratatosk now, what a cute lil sweetie. Siegfried also makes himself useful, not only by being easy on the eye but he can actually defend himself and others! (Oh and talk to birds, did we mention that?!)
Alas, Siegfried and Diana vowed to stay together and protect one another until all of this is over and perhaps even afterward. As always thanks for tuning in!
Violet spins round in her chair to look back at the brainstorm map and the camera cuts back to Dan.
Dan: Well another exciting report from Violet… Let’s check in with one of our newest reporters on the street, Terrence!
The camera cuts to Terrance on a street corner in Gotham. Behind him, a protest is marching down the block.
Terrence: I’m attempting to report from a police protest down in Alleytown! It’s getting a little hectic here and that’s…..that’s Batman. In a suit. Batman is here!?! He’s looking very Iron Man-ish (Can we use that? Like Legally?). Batman is walking all cinematically through the protest, stopping some people with his arms and gadgetry. This doesn’t seem like the regular type of activity from the Batman, could be a new person. There’s 15 people with a Bat logo on their chest in this terrible city. Iron Batman is fighting the Police and now the Magistrate Bots. The new Police Force in Gotham, what could possibly go wrong there?
The Magistrate is beating on Bats and the Police are aiding them. It’s looking bad but there’s definitely more to this story. I’m getting some pings about heists and robberies along the Shipyards and I’m guessing it has to do with the recent activity with the Fox Family and Wayne Enterprises.
One of my sources has been investigating and keeping tabs on the Fox Family since the Joker War and the return of one Tim “Jace” Fox has been making waves. That’s probably a line to keep open, who knows what the Fox Family has been up to in these tumultuous times.
As the Magistrate continues to use excessive force on the protesters, the camera cuts back to Dan.
Dan: It’s truly getting worse in Gotham…
The Isabels are on screen now, but they have two microphones this time, each helpfully color-coded the same as the person holding it.
Isabel (Blue): Hey, Dan. I just had a quick question before I start my report, how’s Jimmy doing on that Joker report? Just, y’know, wondering how murderous the Joker’s been lately. No reason.
Isabel (Red): You’re always so weird. What does that even – whatever, hey Dan, hope your week’s been going well. Cause mine has, considering Freeze AND, you remember that guy in the yellow right? Cheer? They’re both in custody. Batman’s free, the whole family showed up to beat up all the bad guys, it seems like that’s all been pretty much dealt with!
The Isabel in blue has been gesturing at the other with their head during this whole speech, they sneak in a quick ‘off with their head’ motion at the end there. There couldn’t be anything bad happening here, right?
Isabel (Blue): That’s great for you, I’m sure. But it’s not so on my end! While there’s not been a single explosion since the last time we spoke, there isn’t much more information on the strange parasite that’s shown up a bit too many times in the Gotham Hospital recently. Should we be avoiding the water again? Air vents? The docks? It feels like they’re covering it up, Dan. And Batman –
Isabel (Red): He’s fine! I already got that in!
Isabel (Blue): You didn’t even mention The Jury! Barely an hour ago, every visible screen in the city blanked out, replaced with a message for Batman, instructing him to deliver Bruce Wayne to The Jury. What he’s been accused of, where he’s supposed to be delivered to and who The Jury is were not addressed, and we haven’t been able to track down any more information yet, but we’re working on getting some more. Back to you, Dan.
The Isabel in red stares at the one in blue, aghast that they took their sign-off privileges before the camera cuts back to Dan.
Dan: Thank you, Isabel, now we take you to the… what? Is that really what the segment is called?
Adam sits at his desk as a montage of Gotham’s famous couples flash past, superheroes, supervillains, and celebrities alike.
Adam: Hi, I’m Adam, and welcome back to the Gotham Gossip corner as we once again investigate the drama in the gloomy streets of Gotham! Has the Condiment King found his Condiment Queen? Who has Crazy Quilt been caught sharing those covers with? And who is the new bright light in Killer Moth’s life? All this and more in the latest Gotham Gossip corner!
The background changes to show Robin, standing over the rooftops
Adam: Continuing our recent story on Gothams own Boy Wonder, he was last seen investigating a pain cult run by something called “Chaos”. With dozens of teens from all over Gotham being abducted, it was up to Robin to save the day once again. After a shocking reveal that these Chaos “creatures” were nothing more than weirdos in suits covered in eyes, like off-brand biblical angels, Robin was provided the perfect opportunity to infiltrate the group just before they sacrificed one of the abducted teens.
Although sources on the events inside the cult’s lair are vague, we hear Robin fought side-by-side with the teen he rescued, and according to one source: sparks were flying. With the cult defeated and the youths of Gotham freed, we sat down with Detective Williams, the lead detective on the case.
We cut to the young Detective Williams at a crime scene on the streets of Gotham.
Adam: So Detective Williams, what can you tell us about the hero of the day, Robin?
Williams: I may not have been in the city long, but you run into a lot of superheroes in Gotham. This case with Robin was certainly on the stranger side of those encounters, and that includes that creepy yellow guy with the green hair. Guy clearly had a lot on his mind, brooding up on a fire escape like those hero-types usually do. I just thought he needed someone to talk to I guess. He kept talking about how he just broke up with his girlfriend and didn’t know why, just really normal teenager stuff. I can’t imagine it’s easy being that age, figuring yourself out with all the masks on top.
Defining who you are is tough, and I’m sure Batman as a role model doesn’t help. I did my best to talk to the kid and let him know that it’s normal to still be figuring yourself out at that age, and that worrying about it isn’t going to solve anything. It looked like something clicked for him in the end as he grappled off into the darkness, so I hope I was able to help. Hey, this is all anonymous right? I don’t think I’m allowed to be helping capes with their personal lives right now…
Adam: Yes, of course, Mister anonymous detective whom we never named. That’s all for today folks, but who knows what drama will unfold in Gotham next. Back to you Dan!
The camera swings around in the studio to Dan’s lead anchor desk.
Dan: That was actually really insightful, lets see how Katie is doing with the dogs.
Katie sits in the studio, flipping through a script. Felicia the cat bats at a cord dangling off-screen. When she realizes the camera is rolling, Katie hastily puts the paper down and places Felicia in her lap.
Katie: Ah, hello all you cat-lovers…and…and dog people out there.
She winces as if thinking about dogs physically pains her. Felicia purrs in solidarity.
Katie: Sorry, I was going over production notes again. What a wild week! The most tolerable dog in the world went on a globe-spanning adventure this week! Great Dane Scooby-Doo and his crew, with guest appearances from his cowled crusader pal Batman, Batman’s on-again-off-again woman, Talia al Ghul, and violet vigilante, The Huntress. My inside informant caught the large ensemble of characters–I mean detectives — heroes? — whatever. FELICIA caught footage of the aforementioned mystery-solvers joining forces after apprehending a leather-clad ruffian named “The Fontz.” He was not having a happy day.
Talia recruited the Mystery Inc. teenagers, Scooby, and the crime-fighting heroes after her father, legendary super-villain Ra’s al Ghul was reportedly kidnapped by Bane! An outsider was attempting to locate one of Ra’s al Ghul’s infamous Lazarus Pits. As the League of Shadows tried to close the pits, the outsider infiltrated and captured Ra’s! Apparently, Talia really only wanted Velma and her genius detective skills on the case. It’s not like Ra’s al Ghul would have thrown himself at Batman’s feet for rescuing him… Nevertheless, Velma saw the dangers of the situation clearly and invited everyone along to solve the mystery of the stolen League of Assassins leader.
Felicia jumps on the desk and starts pacing around. Clearly, it’s time to eat, since it’s been more than thirty minutes since her last meal.
Katie: Felicia, stop kitten around. You’re as hungry as Scooby-Doo! If only you could subsist on Scooby Snacks…AHEM. To wrap things up, since I obviously have obligations, I’ll give you the rundown on those meddling kids. Talia took everyone over to Venice, Italy on her private jet. Were Scooby Snacks allowed on the plane? It’s hard to say. I wouldn’t want crumbs ruining my personal air carrier.
Velma’s instincts were no match for the kidnapper. Clues led the gang to fight a mummy in Cairo, Egypt, where Scooby licked up unidentified Bane venom on the ground which thankfully turned out to be nothing but a spilled sports drink. Dogs will really just eat anything, huh, Felicia?
During their time in Luxor, Egypt’s “Lost” City of Aten, the group found Ra’s al Ghul tied up. It turns out, the villain was none other than a pro wrestler impersonating Bane — and also the mummy they encountered? Mac Vennie wanted to restore his old strength for an epic wrestling comeback through the regenerative Lazarus Pit. HA. Ra’s allowed himself to be kidnapped because…Vennie could have made a good ally? A washed-up wrestler? Oh boy. There’s so much drama in the al Ghul family, no wonder Talia asked a trustworthy turtlenecked teenager for assistance. Velma didn’t lose her glasses once, either! Case: Closed. Cat: Hungry. Me: Off to feed the cat. Back to you Dan!
Felicia starts biting Katie’s fingers. She exclaims how her fingers are not food as the camera cuts away to Dan.
Dan: Thank you, Katie, now go feed that cat! Corporate won’t like it if we end up with another reporter eaten by their own pet.
Dan turns to face another camera in the studio. A graphic appears on the screen of The Joker’s face superimposed over the Eiffel Tower.
Dan: You may recall that The Joker was last seen in Belize during an attack on a resort compound. Former Commissioner Gordon was spotted there too. Now there have been new sightings of The Joker in Paris and so, fresh out of the hospital after his last ordeal, intrepid reporter Jimmy is here with a special report. Jimmy.
The camera cuts to a beautiful tree-lined street along the Seine River. There are a few people in the background going about their day. As the camera pans from left to right the Eiffel Tower comes into view in the background and walking into the frame is a tall gentleman, medium build, white hair, and about 75 years old. He is dressed in a well-tailored navy blue suit that looks like it was purchased in 1976.
Dan: I’m sorry. Who are you? Where’s Jimmy?
Dickkory Shippers: This is Dickkory Shippers with a special report from Paris, France where The Joker has recently been spotted after narrowly surviving his ordeal in Belize. Daniel, my sources have confirmed for me that Jim Gordon has been seen here as well. He has been investigating a cabal called the Club of Villains run by the notorious Le Bossu. That’s French for The Hunchback, Daniel. I also learned, Daniel, that-
Dan: Dickkory. DICKKORY!
Dickkory abruptly stops, visibly annoyed at being interrupted. The camera cuts back to Dan in the studio.
Dan: What happened to Jimmy? Why are you delivering this report?
The camera cuts back to Dickkory still wearing the same expression of annoyance. He takes a moment to gather his thoughts.
Dickkory Shippers: As I said, Daniel-
Dan: My name is Dan and I’m the-
Dickkory Shippers: As I said, Daniel, I’m DIckkory Shippers and I was reporting the news back when there was only one Universe. I broke the story of The Joker’s Five-Way Revenge. So when I heard The Joker was at it again and your reporter was hospitalized and traumatized, I came out of retirement and answered the call. Now, I learned that Jim Gordon was assaulted by several of Le Bossu’s thugs, but managed to return to his swanky hotel that he clearly can’t afford on his pension. It’s not clear yet to me who is bankrolling Gordon.
I was able to find out though that late yesterday Gordon was picked up by Interpol in connection with the murder of 4 individuals in a laboratory in Montmarte. Gordon had been using a public phone at the time he was taken into custody. Sources tell me that he had placed a call to none other than another former commissioner and current private dick, Harvey Bullock. An anonymous eyewitness confirmed to me that an individual matching the description of The Joker was spotted lurking on a rooftop above.
Could The Joker and Gordon be working together? Were the murders in Montmartre related to some new dastardly plot? What was so important that Gordon would call Bullock knowing it was 4 a.m. in Gotham City? Dickory Shippers won’t rest until he uncovers the truth! Back to you, Daniel.
Dan: Well, I definitely don’t like that guy. Anyway, 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:
- Detective Comics #1041 by Mariko Tamaki, Dan Mora, Jordie Bellaire, and Aditya Bidikar.
- I Am Batman #0 by John Ridley, Travel Foreman, Norm Rapmund, Rex Lokus, and ALW’s Dave Lanphear.
- Infinite Frontier #4 by Joshua Williamson, Paul Pelletier, Jesús Merino, Xermánico, Norm Rapmund, Raul Fernandez, Hi-Fi, and Tom Napolitano.
- The Joker #6 by Jame Tynion IV, Guillem March, Arif Prianto, and Tom Napolitano.
- Wonder Woman #777 by Michael W. Conrad, Becky Cloonan, Emanuela Lupacchino, Wade von Grawbadger, Jordie Bellaire, and Pat Brosseau.
- The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #5 by Ivan Cohen, Randy Elliott, Carrie Strachan, and Saida Temofonte.
- Red Hood/Batman: Cheer #6 by Chip Zdarsky, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Scot Eaton, Julio Ferreira, Oclair Albert, Marcus To, Adriano Lucas, and Becca Carey.
- Tim Drake: Sum of our Parts #3 by Meghan Fitzmartin, Belén Ortega, Alejandro Sánchez, and Pat Brosseau.
- Black Canary: Cover #1 by Joshua Williamson, Trevor Hairsine, Rain Beredo, and Steve Wands.