(Spoiler for DC Comics released 09/21/2021)
(Words in italics signify actions)
If you missed last week’s report, check it out here.
The GC52 Logo appears on televisions, computers, and all other types of viewing devices at its normally scheduled time. A drone-mounted camera bobs and weaves as a number of Magistrate Peacekeeper robots make their way towards a car overturned in the streets. A familiar large man pops out from behind the vehicle as an energy shotgun blast rips apart a cluster of the robots. The drone gets closer as it becomes clearer that it is lead anchor Dan McMahon in his new attire appropriate for Gotham’s fear state. The lead anchor unloads the rest of the weapon’s charge into the robots before addressing the camera after catching his breath.
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 keep you updated on what is happening up to the minute in Gotham City as the Fear State continues. Sorry, you caught me at such a bad time. Trying to help a group get some supplies across town to those who need them. It’s a 24-hour lockdown across the city. Doing the best we can to help. I was told we would be getting some more backup any minute now… isn’t that right, Ethan?
The broadcast switches to the GC52 outfitted mini Batcave where Ethan sits behind large green glowing computer monitors.
Ethan: Yes, right, getting back up into the city hasn’t been easy but I think we got one of our reporters into the city. Rendezvous at the coordinates I send you. Also, hello again viewers.
The broadcast returns to Dan as he climbs onto another drone, it’s clear now that the team has “borrowed” the Unsanity Collectives tech to get around the city.
Dan: I have to admit, doing this on-the-street action from the hero’s end is way more fun than the villain days of my youth. Seems like Batman and Ghostmaker are making out pretty well with some Bat tech as they try to find whatever Scarecrow left in Batman’s mind. Hoping the tides start to turn soon. Getting too old for this… alright, hold on, this is the spot where Ethan said we’d meet our team. But they’re overrun by those @&*$!?# robots. Keep the cameras on us. I’m going in.
The camera shows Dan leaping from the drone and down to the streets, firing a shotgun blast through one of the robots about to dogpile their reporter. Ethan’s voice narrates the battle as he watches from the home base.
Ethan: Regular guns aren’t allowed by Batman’s rule but these Beam Evisicrator Amplified Negator Breakage Agitator Guns are really something! We call them Bean Bag Shotguns for short. It looks like Dan is about to make contact with our Nightwing reporter Jake who said he would be on the scene in… oh christ.
As Dan gets closer to the pile, the Magistrate robots are tossed like ragdolls across the alleyway as their reporter makes short work of them. A large mech suited ferret flexes after dispatching the threat.
Dan: Oh #&@! me…it’s the Ferret…
Typing furry-iously the ferret announces through his speaker which has been set to Morgan Freeman:
Mr. Tubes: Mr. Tubes here to help save Gotham City, sir!
He turns the torso of his mech around as he hears with his sensitive little ferret ears Batman and Nightwing enter a manhole to escape the Magistrate!
Heading towards their exit he is stopped by Magistrate drones. He punches his palm like they do in all the movies he watched with Jake and looks up to his own GC52 drone as if the camera will help him in his upcoming duel against its own brethren. He tosses his expensive trench coat and fedora off into a trash can to fight the drones. The drones blast his Groucho Marx glasses in half. But his mech is perfectly fine! He then grabs one of the drones and a message pops up on his computer!
Mr. Tubes: What does this say?
For you dear audience you’re in luck as our heroic drone’s camera picks up the image of the screen with two options on it: OVERRIDE and ASSIMILATE. Tubes picks override and takes control of the drone causing it to fight the other Magistrate Drone! While they’re distracted Mr. Tubes notices a small boy in a window beckoning him to come inside so he climbs into the boy’s window causing massive property damage.
Mr. Tubes: Who you?
Zeb: I’m Zebulon! I’m Six years old! Nice ta meet ya, Robot Guy
Mr. Tubes: Hi I’m Mr. Tubes and I am ferret! I am 5 months old! Nice to meet you, Zebulon.
Zeb: Call me Zeb, that’s what my brother calls me! I saw you lost your hat and coat. Do you need clothes? I get cold sometimes, do you? I bet even robots get cold!
Mr. Tubes: Yes, please.
Zeb: My brothers got some clothes that could fit you! Wait here!
Waiting for Zeb, Mr. Tubes looks to the skies of Gotham at a nearby clocktower and watches as Nightwing and Batgirl exit out of it into the night! Zeb returns with a Gotham High Letterman jacket, a pair of athletic shorts, and a hat that says “Back the Bat!”
Mr. Tubes: I must go help stop the Magistrate.
Zeb: Not alone you’re not!
The two then exit the window as Zeb’s mom turns the light on! But the drone drops down as she enters the empty room and the camera cuts out before returning to the camera set up in the mini Batcave where we see Ethan with his face in his hands.
Ethan: I don’t… I… What the hell was that? This #@*!&?# ferret’s gonna be the death of me.
He changes a frequency on a radio that’s been set up at his desk. Almost immediately, Dan’s voice comes through slightly garbled by static.
Dan: That ferret didn’t even help me out getting those supplies across town. Luckily these Unsanity Collective drones can carry a bunch of heavy-duty equipment so I managed to get them across town pretty easily. Speaking of, do you have any more info on the Collective?
Ethan: I do. I managed to use the drone’s internal hardware to backdoor into their systems. Not something I feel particularly great about but if we’re gonna help them out we need to know how they work. I’ll send you the info I got later. I did also find details on who Miracle Molly was before the Collective, and it’s really not my place to divulge this. She made choices of her own free will to find a better life than she had before, and who can fault her for that.
As he’s talking, Ethan notices an alert pop up on one of the monitors he’s been using. He selects the alert and as information scrolls by, a map of Gotham appears on screen, with the alert indicating whatever situation is going down is in Alleytown.
Ethan: Oh crap, this is bad Dan, really bad. The Magistrate are redoubling their efforts to take Alleytown. There’s a whole fleet of drones and troopers on the streets. I can’t get a read on Catwoman’s location either. Looks like she was spotted at the harbor earlier today but the last report I’ve got is she was ambushed by Magistrate forces before promptly defeating them and vanishing into the night.
Dan: I’m heading there now. If Catwoman’s preoccupied, the people of Alleytown are gonna need help.
Ethan: Hold off on that just one moment Dan, I’m getting a report of something I don’t quite believe… It looks like a group of Batman’s rogues have taken to the streets, not to take advantage of the chaos ensuing but to stop Alleytown forces, but to help the people of Alleytown.
Looks like Clayface is there, Cheshire, hell, even Croc is there. And it looks like they’re doing good work keeping Magistrate forces at bay. So yeah, let’s leave this situation develop for a bit Dan, besides, I’m getting alerts from Burnside of civilians in need of aid. You best head there.
As Dan gives an acknowledgment over the radio, Ethan turns to the camera.
Ethan: Okay viewers, I think that’s going to be enough from Gotham for now. As soon as we’ve got more to report on you can be sure we’ll be back. Now over to Jerry in the studio.
Jerry sits at the news desk, his mouth full of a burrito he just took a very large bite from assuming he wouldn’t be on tonight. The sudden shock of the camera light turning red causes him to squeeze his burrito all over his shirt.
Jerry: Aw man, my mom just bought me this shirt… let’s check in with Terrence in Amnesty Bay.
The camera cuts to phone-camera footage of a sunny beachside town. The screen flips and we see Terrance walking on the beach.
Terrence: Enjoying and vlogging my day off at Amnesty Bay just in case I run into Aquaman, Aqualad, or anything weird really. Aquaman and his Sea Friends live nearby so it’s only a matter of time before-
As he’s talking, Jackson Hyde bursts from the ocean, right on time.
Terrence: Jackson Hyde! Aqualad! Can I get a few words?
Jackson: I prefer Aquaman-In Training.
Terrence: Sure you do. How’s it feel really making a splash in Amnesty Bay? A Hero of both Worlds?
Jackson: You’re a pun guy huh?
Jackson: It feels great man. It’s my little piece of home, away from the Titans and personal life. I’m striking a balance.
Terrence: You and Aquaman have set up shop here for a while now, how’s it been working with the on-and-off King of Atlantis and his wife Mera?
Jackson: It’s been an honor to help out Arthur and Mera. They’ve been teaching me the ropes, getting me more hooked into all things Atlantean. I’m going to be protecting this place whenever they have business elsewhere. Amnesty Bay’s Aquaman. Nah, scratch that…just Aquaman.
Terrence: Love that for you my Black Man. We need as many Black Superheroes out there as possible.
Jackson: I appreciate that man! Gotta run though, meeting my mom for breakfast and running other errands Hero-based and not.
Terrence: Thanks for the words, Aquaman!
Terrance checks his phone was actually recording all that before stopping the video. Before the camera cuts to them, we can hear Brian talking to Jerry.
Brian: Well Jerry, I really can’t say how or why I keep ending up in these types of situations but here we are.
The reporter in the ill-fitting suit graces the screen. The fake mustache is barely hanging on and sweat is dripping from their brow. They appear to be crouched behind a large boulder, surrounded by rocky cliffs of a deep orange color.
Brian: Perhaps I should have known better to follow- er, supervise from afar a couple of super-powered teens. Anyways, I couldn’t find an exit on my own so that means the only way out is through whatever portal these kids are gonna spring. Some guy named Neron showed up- He really could have been a shampoo model if not for the glowing white eyes, which apparently means he’s a demon. Now, if you look just behind me…
The camera pans to just behind the reporter’s left shoulder. Three figures are seen in the distance, seemingly locked into a tense negotiation. A large, black smear suddenly appears in the sky and unfurls into a…Raven?!
Brian: Oh thank god, a real adult is here to deal with this. Mrs. Raven seems to be intimidating this Neron fellow…and now he’s leaving! Just popped out of here in a flash of green light- Oh no, I do hope the others don’t plan on staying. Wait…I can hear…something about a rock? Ah yes, must be about the one they trespassed into here to find. Yikes, that Dane fella isn’t looking too good, I hope that means they’re leaving-
A bolt of lightning cuts through the sky and hits Shazam. He seems to stand up a little straighter and if you squint, you can see he’s smiling.
Brian: Divine intervention! That means they’ve fixed whatever they need to fix, right? Right?!
The Reporter looks….frazzled, to put it mildly. Shazam exchanges a few more words with the others before flying off into…a golden doorway?! Whether it had been there all along or just appeared, is unclear.
Brian: Oh this looks bad….uh….I’m going to cut this here and try to move closer to Mrs. Raven in case she does pop open a handy dandy portal. Pray for me, folks.
The mustache gives up holding on and can be seen sliding off the reporter’s face before the feed cuts completely. When it returns to Jerry, he is feverishly Tide Pen-ing his shirt.
Jerry: Mom is going to be so mad at me. Cut to the next report.
The camera focuses on Brandon, who is outside Terrifitech’s Central City branch. The exterior looks abused, with the fencing having been torn apart and the building itself having an elephant-sized hole in it. Brandon himself is wearing an overly elaborate gas mask that looks like it belonged in the trenches of France over a century ago.
Brandon: It was actually a slow news day in Central City when it comes to Flash-related stories. None of the Rogues have reared their heads lately, and even the Flash seems to be off-duty today. All of them.
Brandon slides to the side, showing more of the damage to Terrifitech.
Brandon: In a non-super news story, though, a mad scientist tried to break into Terrifitech to steal top-secret technology, only to be thwarted by a father-daughter team. Wally West, a recent employee of Terrifitech, actually was instrumental in stopping a villain the police are calling Doctor Nightmare from using dream-inspired monsters by…
Brandon pauses to look at some notes he scribbled down.
Brandon: …using the dreams of his daughter Iris to fight them. Man, that’s either child abuse or super heartwarming. When asked how the two of them were able to resist the sleep gas Doctor Nightmare dropped over the city, the Wests blame it on an abnormally high metabolism. Huh, anyway, back to you at the studio.
The feed cuts back to Jerry.
Jerry: Well that’s all we have for you tonight folks. 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 Jerry the Intern. Be strong in all your convictions.
Books covered this week:
- Batman #113 by James Tynion IV, Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey, and Clayton Cowles.
- Nightwing #84 by Tom Taylor, Robbi Rodriguez, Adriano Lucas, and Wes Abbott.
- Batman: Secret Files – Miracle Molly #1 by James Tynion IV, Dani, Lee, Loughridge, and Tom Napolitano.
- Catwoman #35 by Ram V, Nina Vakueva, Jordie Bellaire, and Tom Napolitano.
- Shazam! #3 by Tim Sheridan, Clayton Henry, Marcelo Maiolo, and Rob Leigh.
- The Flash #774 by Jeremy Adams, Christian Duce, Hi-Fi, and Steve Wands.
- Aquaman: The Becoming #1 by Brandon Thomas, Diego Olortegui, Wade von Grawbadger, Adriano Lucas, and AndWorld Design.