(Spoilers for DC Comics released 08/17/2021)
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 a lavender-colored coat and isoutlined 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!
There seems to be a bit of a calm before the storm in Gotham. Clown Hunter recently got jumped, I know that doesn’t sound great. It isn’t but what comes from it is quite heart warming. Another member of the Bat-Family with well-known violent tendencies, Red Hood, helped him out. This could lead to a budding mentorship for a misguided young man and could be good for Hood to help someone out. But as it goes in Gotham…all things aren’t well so lets check in with Katie.
Out in the field, Katie stands in front of an Alleytown thrown into chaos. Police cars and yellow caution tape cordon off the remains of a burned church. Her black cat confidant, Felicia, bats at a mouse scurrying through the rubble.
Katie: Hello! The investigation into the St. Thomas Church arson here in Gotham’s Alleytown continues today. Earlier, two police officers found a bathtub in the midst of the decimation. A map of Alleytown was recovered. It’s uncertain what the map has to do with anything, but who doesn’t like treasure hunting?!
The prime suspect, the enigmatic Father Valley, remains at large. His motive for the arson has yet to be determined. Although, I suspect he justified the crime with a good old fashion Bible verse. The Good Book has lots of verses about fire he could have pulled from.
Speaking of Father Valley, a little cat told me the criminal was finally seen with a…bigger cat? Well, she’s not a cat at all. She’s human, but dresses like a cat — if a cat dressed in leather, that is. And had no fur…
In the background, Felicia finally pounces on the mouse skittering around the ashes. She brings it over and lays it at Katie’s feet in triumph.
Katie: Um…thank you, Felicia? You know what cat always catches her prey? Catwoman! Before this mysterious Mortal Kombat sighting involving Catwoman and Father Valley, Catwoman had last been reported missing. I spoke with Detective Hadley earlier. Mr. Hadley is a known associate of Catwoman, formerly left for dead by the aforementioned Father Valley as a result of his ties to the femme fatale feline. He didn’t have much information to offer, but we have reason to believe Batman was involved in Catwoman’s return to Alleytown. I’m assuming Hadley was embarrassed he couldn’t find Catwoman himself. Bat and Cat together again, at least!
A rumbling growl emanates from Felicia’s throat. Above their heads, a petite bird flutters and lands on Katie’s shoulder. The bird wears a translating collar around its neck. Amazingly, bird language is transformed into English as it chirps loudly in Katie’s ear.
Katie: What’s that, robin? Catwoman and Father Valley were fighting each other with swords in an abandoned building until she stabbed him through the shoulder but Father Valley used a remote firing device to launch bullets at a target across from them? Detective Hadley was injured again? But I just talked to him… Hadley almost gets killed, rescued by Catwoman, and then tries to help Catwoman, and is possibly killed for a second time! I wonder if he’s ever heard of a monkey’s paw…or would it be the cat’s paw in this situation? A little cat humor for you while Bradley’s survival status remains unknown. Back to you, Dan.
Felicia jumps in the air, trying to catch the spy robin flying away. The camera cuts away back to the studio.
Dan: Well we can continue the trend of pets in the broadcast as we check in on Bludhaven.
In a crater on a sidewalk of Blüdhaven, he rises… and he is MR. TUBES! HE’S FURRY AND FRIENDLY, BUT OH SO DEADLY IN HIS SUPER MECH SUIT! And this ferret is majorly confused… by why the police are with Blockbuster!
Just above the crater, Nightwing climbs out a window and up to the roof, only for Blockbuster to appear and a police helicopter is firing on the hero from the opposite side! But Nightwing jumps into the vehicle and takes it as his getaway vehicle!
Knowing the city’s major crime boss is just up above, Mr. Tubes activates his mech’s thrusters to get away from the scene.
Three blocks away he turns to the GC52 drone and begins tapping on his keyboard for his mech to say…
Mr. Tubes: It seems the corruption in the city of Blüdhaven knows no bounds as the cops will not only help the crime boss Blockbuster, but are willing to walk side by side and fight on his behalf! Wait a second! What does this big red button do?
Time around Tubes, his mech, and the GC52 camera begin moving faster! The suit is armed with a fast-forward button! As Mr. Tubes begins to walk around the city he realizes people are staring so he walks into a store called “Over the Top” walks up to the counter and whips out the credit card of GC52’s Dan!
Mr. Tubes: I need some clothes, please.
A few minutes pass and the audience is wondering why hasn’t GC52 just cut to a different segment but just then Mr. Tubes emerge from the store in a navy trench coat, a black fedora that says “papa” in small letters on the brim, and Groucho Marx Glasses and he’s ready to get back to work!
Just then he notices a crowd of reporters around his apartment building where one Dick Grayson is announcing his new super charity, The Alfred Pennyworth Foundation!
Mr. Tubes turns back to the camera to report after the conference…
Mr. Tubes: Mr. Grayson is a wonderful man and the reason I was adopted from the pet store, but after announcing these plans to change the city, how will the seedy underbelly of the town react? I assume Blockbuster is going to be mighty angry, will Mr. Grayson be safe from the man that controls the city? Find out here on GC52! Back to you, Dan!
The camera cuts back to a flabbergasted Dan in the studio.
Dan: Was that my credit card? Someone get that ferret. Let’s check-in to see what’s going on with…Brian?
A reporter in an ill-fitting tan suit and a crooked mustache appears on screen. They seem to be sweating profusely.
Brian: Hello there Dan, I seem to be reporting live from well- uh, Hell itself.
Dan: Are you sure it’s not just Florida?
Brian: There is a very distinct lack of flamingos and truck stop motels, so I’m pretty confident in my assumption.
Dan: Oh? Well, how did you end up at Satan’s Doorstep, Brian?
Brian: I was following two kids from Titans Academy- Billy and…Dane, I think? And before I knew it I was stepping through some sort of portal thing into this. The kids must’ve gotten into a sticky situation at the casino down the road. Staked the place out from here and saw them get chased out by some unsavory lookin’ fellas. These kids really have a knack for stirring up trouble, eh?
Some distant yelling followed by thunderous booms can be heard in the near distance, the camera attempts to zoom in on the source of the noise. Although the video is fairly grainy, you can make out what looks like a handful of demons surrounding a MUCH larger red demon…and SHAZAM?!?!
Brian: Hey! That’s one of them unsavory folks, but…bigger. Much bigger. I think that’s my queue to find an exit from this place, until next time, Dan!
The reporter tosses their mic before darting even further away from the distant conflict, then the feed abruptly cuts to black.
Dan: Resuming our coverage of the rash of fires in Central City, we cut back to Brandon. Are things now under control?
Brandon is standing on the Central City pier, with the whole thing looking worse for wear. The wood of the pier is both sopping wet and torched, with police cars scattered around behind him. There are also a few fire trucks and an ambulance speeding off into the distance. Brandon, meanwhile, is looking rather disheveled… like he was caught in a wind tunnel.
Upon hearing Dan, Brandon finally faces the camera and realizes he’s on the air. He panic-adjusts his hair, then tries to catch up mentally.
Brandon: Uh-w-well, the hospital was a total loss. The Kid was able to confirm that it was Heatwave, which is actually strange. According to Flash, Heatwave had gone legit and wasn’t into crime anymore. I was trying to track down a lead on Mick Rory’s hideout when I…
Brandon looks distracted, mumbles something about red lightning.
Brandon: I found myself dragged out to the pier. The Pier was already on fire, and the Kid arrived just in time to save a kid from being burned. The fire didn’t last long, nor did the fight. I couldn’t pick up why Mick gave up so fast, but it looked like he and the Kid were sharing a moment. Whatever happened to make Heatwave fall off the straight and narrow, I hope the man gets the help he needs.
There is a streak of red and yellow as the Flash runs off. Brandon is about to say something else but vanishes in a bolt of red lightning himself. The camera, held up by a tripod, falls over and cuts to static.
Dan himself is quiet for a few minutes, blinking. He shuffles some papers in front of him, then speaks once more.
Dan: …I’m sure Brandon is fine. We’ll just take the camera out of his next paycheck.
The camera cuts to a feed coming from a handheld camera, maybe a phone. The shot shows Cass in a really small dark room made out of metal. They look extremely tired, but also somehow full of Energy. They are using the same clothes as their last transmission.
Cass: Oh my God, you finally picked up my signal! I have been trying for like four hours… Anyways. Hello there! I’m Cass, your favorite reporter from the future! I would ask for help, but I think the station won’t be able to find me, so let’s talk about the news. My access to the Fortress of Solitude’s security system has let me know that Superman and Manchester Black are recruiting.
Until now the recruits seem to be Steel, who was seen fighting some kind of living internet invasion (of course this happens while I’m kidnaped… this is why I will never be the next Lois Lane). The Man of Steel and…the British guy also recruited a famous superhero couple (and infamous murderers): Apollo and Midnighter, who were last seen fighting a giant robot powered by human brains (and also having some relationship problems… love that sweet sweet gossip). Finally, the team recruited the magic-user, June Moone, also known as The Enchantress. This seems to be an… interesting decision taking into account she is clearly going through some (reality-bending) stuff.
Anyways, it’s time to ask: can Superman finally change the world for the better? Can we trust Manchester Black? Are Apollo and Midnighter going to stay together? Can the fortress of solitude cameras get a better shot of Superman shirtle–
Suddenly the noise of a door opening off-screen interrupts Cass, and a big shadow is seen covering almost all of the room.
Mysterious Voice: What the hell is that? Give it to me!!!
Suddenly the feed is lost.
Dan: Who even hired this guy?
Dan lets out a deep sigh.
Dan: 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:
- Batman – Secret Files: Clownhunter #1 by Ed Brisson, Rosi Kämpe, Andrew Dalhouse, and Simon Bowland.
- Catwoman #34 by Ram V, Fernando Blanco, Jordie Bellaire, and Tom Napolitano.
- Nightwing #83 by Tom Taylor, Bruno Redondo, Adriano Lucas, and Wes Abbott.
- Shazam #2 by Tim Sheridan, Clayton Henry, Marcelo Maiolo, and Rob Leigh.
- The Flash #773 by Jeremy Adams, Will Conrad, Alex Sinclair, and Steve Wands.
- Superman and the Authority #2 by Grant Morrsion, Mikel Janín, Fico Ossio, Evan Cagle, Travel Foreman, Jordie Bellaire, Sebastian Cheng, Dave Stewart. Alex Sinclair, and Steve Wands.