(Spoilers for DC Comics released 08/24/2021)
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 striped pastel button-upand 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!
Good news and bad news on the Superman front. Good news first! The stalemate with the Atlanteans and the US has been solved by Superman. He took it into his own hands to take away the object the two sides were squabbling over. Not sure what this means for his friendship with Aquaman but we will see.
Bad news though, something has gone terribly wrong at the Fortress of Solitude. It seems like some sort of aliens have beamed in and things have gone awry. Details are sketchy at the time but I will relay any info once I have it.
Dan shifts in his seat and behind him an image of an interdimensional imp appears.
Now before we check in with everyone tonight, I just wanted to talk about something. The Multiverse. I know people are more aware of it now than ever before. But I just want to reassure you it isn’t all scary spooky Batmen. There is actually one called Bat-Mite. Usually, mites are bad but this one’s very funny. Wonder Woman hung out with him recently as she chases the Reverse Wonder Woman through the multiverse to save Boston Brand from being redeaded. Killed again? Rekilled? Re-Unalived? I’m not sure what you call it. Anyway, hopefully things pan out for Diana and her hunky buddy. Does he bring grease for those abs everywhere he goes? God…oh anyway. Let’s check in with Violet!
Violet drum rolls on her desk in anticipation for her segment to begin. As soon as the camera pans her way she’s upright and ready, beaming.
Violet: I’m back with an exciting update on Harley Quinn! Sirens fans, you’re gonna flip. I certainly did! Catwoman and Harley in the flesh! Still no Ivy… although, I did overhear something about her coming back very soon. Can you imagine the iconic trio back again for a team-up adventure?! UNREAL!
A few days ago I tracked – UH I witnessed Harley with Catwoman; turns out Harley didn’t get the memo about Alleytowns curfew and almost landed herself in with the Magistrate. Fear not, Catwoman saved the day and my sources tell me Harley was on that side of town to put a stop to the drugs being smuggled into Gotham by Hugo Strange (no surprise he’s still acting STRANGE.)
To fill you in on what’s been brewing the past couple weeks; something is cooking under the cracked pavements of Gotham City and it’s beginning to seep out. It’s only a matter of time! I’m sure soon enough we will all be engulfed in smoke and panic once more. Isn’t that exciting?!
The crew all shake their heads in disagreement, some looking very concerned.
Violet: Crane and Hugo met at S.A.F.E facilities and discussed how Strange hired someone to steal Scarecrow’s fear toxin. It turned out to be some newbie Keepsake; Eli is what Strange called him. He appears to be like any other costumed person in Gotham City – which is contradictory to Strange’s entire stick if you ask me, but who am I to judge? Lockwood, a previous Arkham orderly, who is a massive pain in everyone’s ass makes a return at the same location that the dodgy drugs were at. Yeeeaaaah, kinda suss if you ask me! Last I saw, Harley and Catwoman retreated after having it out with Lockwood. That’s all I got for now but I’ll see you all very soon for when the city turns to shit once again! Byeeee!!
Violet is still beaming as she waves to the camera
Dan: Vibrant as usual…. Gotham isn’t doing great. Let’s check in with Isabel.
The camera shifts to both Isabel’s, sitting side by side with their matching microphones.
ISABEL (Blue): Gotham definitely hasn’t been doing great, but recently there’s been some changes – the parasite was apparently caused by an employee of Mayor Nakano’s own office, a man named Hue Vile, who had a strange growth living inside him.
ISABEL (Red): And good news on that front, because Hue Vile was then found dead!
ISABEL (Blue): Yes, and we hope that means an end to the string of attacks caused by the parasite. On the other hand, Batman was recorded on video dropping Roland Worth off the roof of a building! No sources are sure as to what happened inside that building, but I’m sure it was monumental.
ISABEL (Red): Worth did survive, somehow, and is being treated in the private wing of Gotham General.
ISABEL (Blue): That’s all for now, Dan.
The camera cuts back to Dan in the studio.
Dan: Sounds like things may have just quieted down in Gotham, let’s hope nothing bad is around the corner… And now let’s check in with Rook!
The camera cuts to Rook.
Rook: My partnership with the underground news stream “The Truth” has been interesting, thus far. Based on a tip from their leader, I’ve used GC52’s interdimensional viewing tech to peer in on the tyrant of Gomorrah, a man named Henry Bendix, and learn a few of his secrets.
Well, in theory, at least. Bendix seems to have shielded most of his capital from this kind of tech, which is a pain. Still, I’ve been able to gather one important detail: he’s very interested in our new Superman, Jon Kent. His recent actions seem to have made him an enemy.
Earlier today, Kent flew a boat of Gomorran refugees from dangerous waters of Bendix’s supposedly-prosperous nation into the Metropolis harbor, saving their lives. Police were on scene to take the refugees into custody, but Superman used his heat vision to melt their restraints, saying “these people need help, not handcuffs.” After a tense (and very televised) moment, the officer in charge relented.
Among other things, this means the refugees are free to tell their stories about the real Gomorrah behind Bendix’s carefully crafted propaganda, something Bendix has been intent on avoiding. After this, I suspect a clash between our young man of steel and the forces of Gomorrah may be on the horizon.
Dan: I hope things go well for our young Man of Steel! Let’s check in with our little league escape artist!
The camera cuts to Raleigh, the escapist artist apprentice, inside a ventilation system.
Raleigh: Hello citizens of the world! I’m now infiltrated inside the house of an old man who rescued our Miracle Man after he was defeated by N’vir. It was a rough fight and he even got his suit destroyed! But see! He’s waking up now.
She makes space for the camera to look through the grille, and the audience distinguishes a room with Shilo, the new Miracle Man in a bed just regaining his consciousness, the old bald man with a white beard, and Shilo’s manager.
Raleigh: The person who rescued Shilo, Oberon, is mentioning to him how little he knows about both the thing that gives Miracle his powers, the mother box, and the previous Miracle Man, Thaddeus. This is all exclusive information from your favorite news channel, GateCrashers! And I only had to commit breaking and entering!
Oberon brings out an old projector and turns it on for Shilo to see.
Raleigh: The video’s a message from Thaddeus! He seemed real…Sad. He’s telling how he fought alongside black workers in protests, hoping to aid them as Miracle. He discovered the mother box that gave him the powers as a child, and used it for playing only until he saved both himself and his mother from the KKK! Then went on to help black communities in the south, and there met with his future wife, a soul singer from Alabama. They even had a child together!
Shilo asks to stop the film in outrage, Raleigh inclines even more into the grille.
Raleigh: Holy…! Shilo just discovered that the previous Miracle Man was his grandfather! That projection was made to show him the truth, to teach him to use his powers for good. But he’s so conflicted. He has always been discriminated against. Being Miracle Man was the only time he ever felt free. When he wasn’t himself in the eyes of the public. According to Oberon, coming to terms with himself, loving himself is the only way to recapture the mother box powers through the artifact holding Thaddeus’ ashes, but how can he ever do that?
Arising from the artifact, energy connects with Shilo, almost as if alive, with words from his grandfather.
Raleigh: It appears to be saying something to him…The suit! The suit is regenerating all around him! He must have done it, somehow. I don’t know what that machine said to him, but it must have been one hell of a speech! He’s ready now, ready to face off with N’vir. That marks the end of my part in this awesome broadcast, folks! He’s prepared to go, and although I’m going now, you can be sure I’ll be there next time!
The camera cuts back to Dan.
Dan: Thank you! Oh, it seems like we have a report coming in from Jake about the big tournament!
The swirling noise of the GC52 Drone returns high above the island nation of Corto Maltese trailing a hot air balloon flying with two passengers, who just happen to be LADY SHIVA and GC52s Jake! And Shiva is looking through a telescope at ROBIN surrounded by the former Robins!
Jake: So why are we following Robin all the way here? We should probably get back to Lazarus Island, shouldn’t we? To watch the tournament?
Shiva: The tournament won’t start until everyone has died at least once, and according to my sources on the island that only happened today so we have time to watch this interesting development. And it has begun. Let us go.
Without warning, Shiva tosses Jake from the hot air balloon down to the city below! Then she jumps herself, catching him midair! They fall onto a large bundle of mattresses and the drone picks up the image of a foreclosing sign on the window of a mattress store. As it turns to the back of the building to see that Shiva and Jake are completely fine!
Jake: How the hell are we still alive?!
Shiva: I have much to teach you. Like minding your tone. Now let’s follow the birds.
The pair climb up the buildings as they follow the Robins from a distance. They watch as the young Robin dispatches Spoiler and that other Robin. Shiva stops for a moment but urges the extremely winded Jake forward to follow Robin, Red Hood, and Nightwing.
Shiva: Timothy you failure.
Then as Jake follows the three remaining heroes with the Drone at his back he stops noticing that Robin hugs Red Hood. Is it an act of affection? Not at all as Robin shocks Red Hood and runs off.
Jake: That was brutal folks! Oh shit, he’s running again!
It isn’t long before Robin is stopped by Nightwing only for the latter to give him something and let him go on his way alone back to Lazarus Island!
Just then a rope drops from the sky as Shiva has somehow gotten back in the balloon!
Shiva: Come we must get back to the boat.
Jake: But how…
Jake grabs the rope but before he can climb up the balloon is in motion again towards the dock!
After arriving at the boat, they leave without hesitation! Making it back to the island just as the tournament begins! But before it can transmit any more video the drone dies, the feed cutting to the studio.
Dan: Honestly always astonished any of our field reporters are alive…
The newsroom appears shaky, contorting and twisting. On camera, film strip reels flash around the room. Images of Batman and Superman in different multiverses add an ethereal atmosphere. Abruptly, everything stills. Katie’s cat jumps toward the camera lens for a moment. She can be seen scooping Felicia up and hurrying to her seat after stumbling momentarily from dizziness.
Katie: Woah! Holy strawberries! We were in quite a jam just a second ago! Peculiar happenings continue rattling the multiverse like a baby with a…rattle. In a divergent World of Tomorrow, Batman, Robin, and Superman raced to locate Auteur.io. The powerful filmmaker has been manipulating realities from his home base in the Archive of Worlds. Apparently, he thinks of himself as some Tarantino-esque director over the multiverse. If only Auteur.io took some lessons from film industry professionals, he might have succeeded in his plan to…fashion a perfect world? Is that what he was trying to do?
Felicia looks up curiously, a mischievous glint in her green eyes.
Katie: Auteur.io used the demon Etrigan to send Superman’s mechanical robot doppelgangers after the caped trio, crashing their plane. I’m not sure why anyone thought an attack in the air would be effective. Superman can fly after all. It’s a bird, it’s a plane and all that, right?
Upon hearing the word bird, Felicia’s ears perk up.
Katie: Sorry, girl. No birds here. Although, I wonder if any of the Birds of Prey would be interested in cat sitting later this week? I’ll make a note of that.
My multiverse sources sent a little birdie to inform me about a confrontation between Superman, Batman, and Robin with Etrigan inside Batman’s fortress of Solitude. Thankfully, they monologued their way out of the situation and managed to sway Etrigan to their side. Etrigan apparently didn’t want to destroy the world–he was just trying to impress his boss. Actors and their drama!
An amulet, the Phantom Zone, and a few ginormous versions of Superman and Batman were involved with foiling Auteur.io. If these guys had Facebook, all their statuses would probably read, “It’s complicated.” In any case, I can report we are all safe from at least one power-hungry filmmaker for now. I’m wondering if there are god-size versions of Felicia out there! I could use a giant cat to protect me from these giant headaches I get from this job!
Felicia meows inquisitively and the camera cuts back to Dan. The camera is on Dan staring slightly off to his left. He feels, more than sees, the red light of the camera on him and clears his throat, turning to face the camera at the same time to address the millions of multiversal GC52 News viewers. He is suddenly very somber.
Dan: I need to share some difficult news with you tonight. I had hoped that GC52 Senior Correspondent Jimmy would be back with us tonight reporting about the most recent developments from the other Gotham City in the multiverse where Batman’s rogue’s gallery is being attacked by some strange creature. Unfortunately, it is taking Jimmy longer to recover from his fall than expected. So now on the scene i-
The camera is still on Dan, but he is cut-off by the blaring voice of –
Dickkory Shippers: DICKKORY SHIPPERS here, reporting live from a Gotham City that appears –
The camera abruptly shifts to a scene of Dickkory Shippers outside the Gotham City Botanical Gardens. A few GCPD police vehicles are in the area in the background.
Dickkory Shippers: – to be plunged into some kind of eternal darkness. I’ve been here two days investigating this story and I’m not sure I’ve seen the sun. Daniel, I’m standing outside the Gotham City Botanical Gardens –
Dan: It’s still just Dan, Dickkory.
Dickkory Shippers: – where, earlier today or earlier tonight, who can tell everything is so shadowy, the Joker had taken over twenty people hostage. Luckily for them, the Batman showed up and was able to free the hostages, Daniel.
The camera cuts back to Dan at his desk in the GC52 Newsroom. He is doing his best to remain calm and professional, but just under the surface he is seething with contempt for Dickkory Shippers and is surprised by how much he genuinely wishes for Jimmy to return.
Dan: I’m glad to hear the hostages were freed. Have you learned anything more about the creature?
Dickkory Shippers: I’ve learned from a contact in the GCPD that the creature is being blamed for the deaths of Deadshot, Hugo Strange, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, and Two-Face. In addition, 19 others are dead and almost twice that seriously injured. Before tonight, the Joker and Killer Croc were the only two villains whose whereabouts were unknown.
Dan: Was the creature spotted tonight?
Dickkory Shippers: No, Daniel, but it was here. The Joker was suffering from delusions that the Batman had created the creature. The Joker used the hostages to draw out the Batman, attacked the Batman, and, in turn, was attacked by the creature. That just leaves Killer Croc on the lam. Some here on the scene wonder if the creature is Killer Croc after some mutation. However, I was able to learn that a hormone has been found in the blood of the survivors of the creature’s attacks that closely resembles the estrogen of a large reptile, like that found in a pregnant crocodile. Perhaps Killer Croc has a Killer-
Dickkory Shippers: Back to you, Daniel.
The camera cuts back to Dan in the Newsroom. He is fuming. He appears though to be ready to ask Dickkory Shippers a follow-up question but is stopped when Dickkory begins talking.
Dickkory Shippers: A large pregnant crocodile? What is this nonsense? I can’t believe I return from retirement and this is what passes for news? And why is everything so G-D dark?
Dan: Dickkory? Dickkory, we’re still live. Dickkory, do you have any updates on Jimmy?
The camera cuts back to Dickkory Shippers, visibly annoyed.
Dickkory Shippers: Who? WHO? (Indistinct whispering from Cameraman Bobby is heard) Oh, him. He’s fine. A little shell-shocked.
Dan: Dickkory, no one says shell-shocked anymore. Here at GC52, we take every member of the team’s mental health very seriously.
Dickkory Shippers: He’s fine, Daniel. I checked in with him a few days ago about this story and he was in good spirits. I’m sure he’s excited to get back to work. Back to you, Daniel.
Dan: One more question, Dickkory.
Dickkory Shippers: (seething at not being able to sign off) Do they call you an anchor because you’re weighing everyone down? I said back to you, Daniel. That means my segment’s over. (Gesturing to Cameraman Bobby) Shut it off. I’m done. I’M DONE!
The screen goes black and then quickly switches to Dan in the GC52 Newsroom.
Dan: What Lazarus Pit did they dredge this guy up from? Ugh, 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:
- Action Comics #1034 by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Christian Duce, Adriano Lucas, and Dave Sharpe.
- Wonder Woman #778 by Michael W. Conrad, Becky Cloonan, Travis Moore, Tamra Bonvillain, and Pat Brosseau.
- Harley Quinn #6 by Stephanie Phillipa, Laura Braga, Arif Prianto, and AndWorld Design.
- Detective Comics #1042 by Mariko Tamaki, Vikto Bogdanovic, Daniel Henriques, Jordie Bellaire, and Aditya Bidikar.
- Mister Miracle: The Source of Freedom #4 by Brandon Easton, Fico Ossio, Rico Renzi, and Rob Leigh.
- Robin #5 by Joshua Williamson, Gleb Melnikov, Luis Guerrero, and ALW’s Troy Peteri.
- Batman/Superman #21 by Gene Luen Yang, Ivan Reis, Danny Miki, Sabine Rich, and Saida Temofonte.
- Batman: Reptilian #3 by Garth Ennis, Liam Sharp, and Rob Steen.