(Spoilers for DC Comics released 11/02/2021)
(Words in italics signal actions)
If you missed last week’s report, check it out here.
GC52 News begins at the old faithful time even if the program has been a bit different for the last few weeks. The drone camera opens to lead anchor Dan as he lifts a large piece of rubble to clear a doorway. He wipes the sweat and dirt from his face as he smiles at the camera. From the look in his eyes, it’s clear that things have gotten dire.
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.
I’m not going to sugarcoat this, things are bad. Maybe at their worst. Queen Ivy’s vines have burst from the city streets and have begun to cause collapses through the city. I’m here doing my best to clear the way for the already terrified citizens to get out of the area. Things are dark right now.
I was thinking about Superman this morning, about his departure to Warworld with his Authority team. I couldn’t help but wonder what Batman thought of that. Superman, Clark Kent, his dearest friend taking a team of killers and outsiders to face the deadliest threat out there. But at some point, we have to learn to trust. To put our trust in the people we care about. We know that they have the best intentions even if sometimes we test them on that. Knowing Batman, he must have put the Authority through the wringer to make them prove themselves as heroes.
While it’s a bit high and mighty… Batman has to trust that they’ll put his friend Superman’s life in their own hands with care. Plenty of ways to test that loyalty too. There’s a whole dark multiverse of worlds with evil Batmen and pretty much only evil Batmen… anyway it just made me think about all of those heroes through the city that are doing their best to get us out of this Fear State. Just doing something to make the world a better place can show a whole lot of people that you are good at heart. Speaking of friends, let’s check in on Ethan.
Ethan sits in the Batcave, shotgun pointed to the door in case of Magistrate break-ins as usual when a voice can be heard outside.
Adam: Batgirls! Batgirls! Batgirls!
Adam busts through the Batcave door wearing a black mask with a stitched mouth that was clearly stolen from the cave and sits down at his hastily thrown-together GC52 desk in the corner.
Ethan: One day you’ll get shot doing that!
Adam: People of Gotham…
Realizing his voice is muffled, Adam rips off the mask to reveal a face covered in ash.
Adam: People of Gotham! You’ve probably heard all about how the Batgirls blew up Gotham’s old clock tower. From the same news sources that have been telling us all this time that Batman is dead and all the rest of the Magistrate lies. So it won’t surprise you to hear that this “Batgirls are terrorists” stuff? Just more Magistrate nonsense. Simon Saint’s goons were the real culprits here of course, under the manipulations of the mysterious “Anti-Oracle” who we’re now learning is really operating under the name “Seer”.
Don’t worry though, eyewitnesses reported a purple girl and a goblin dressed in black escaping Gotham’s once-great monument before the Magistrate could destroy it, and although they haven’t been spotted since I have no doubt the Batgirls are on their way to free Gotham from the Magistrate’s evil clutches.
The camera cuts to a disgruntled Ethan still unhappy about the intrusion to the Batcave putting his shotgun away under his desk. Once he’s done, he turns to camera.
Ethan: Hey folks, not much from me today, I’ve been busy prepping for the final push against the Magistrate, but I do have an update about Azrael and his attempts to locate the missing Arkham patients. A brawl broke out on the streets when he tried to apprehend Double X. It did not go well. Double X is dead and in the commotion of it all Detective Stone, who had been investigating the missing patients, was shot.
This is starting to form a web of intrigue that’s going to take a lot of unraveling. There’s more going on here than I can see right now. I’ll keep you updated. Dan?
When the camera cuts to Dan, he looks a bit different. Between segments, he took down another Magistrate drone and added its chest over his bulletproof vest. This is in addition to last week’s arm armor.
Dan: The Peacekeepers have fully infiltrated Ivy’s lair. I hope Ghost-Maker can keep them at bay. I’m going to head into the sewers to try to find a way in… switch to Bree.
The reporter in the white sundress returns to the screen but seems incredibly…off. Her dress is wrinkled and stained with mud in a few places, her eyes stare blankly ahead and appear to be pupilless.
Bree: Glory to Master Grodd….Glory to Master Gro-….
She appears to abruptly cut herself off and blinks steadily for a moment. The pupils of her eyes have returned and her gaze darts around, perhaps as a sign of confusion, before returning to the center of the camera.
Bree: Uh….Am I…in Manhattan again? Did I…walk…from upstate?! I guess that cult meeting didn’t go so well. Wait a minute… I hear fighting, of the super-powered variety. It’s coming from that way… Titans Tower, of course. Frank, switch to the drone!
The screen cuts to black for a moment before the feed is replaced with drone footage. As the drone gets closer- but not too close- to the roof of Titans Tower, a few figures emerge on-screen, and muffled voices can be heard.
Bree: Hmmm…I seem to have arrived at the very end of all of the action. I see…a large Gorilla arguing with…a smaller Gorilla. The Titans Academy faculty are standing around with a handful of students.
The reporter is no longer seen, but her vocal narration is played over the drone footage.
Bree: It’s too windy for our mics, so I have a lip-reading expert in my earpiece to pick up on what they’re saying. I’m being told…big Gorilla goes by Grodd and is little Gorilla’s uncle. I’m not an expert on Gorilla identification but I am fairly confident the nephew, Gregg, is a student. Now they’re talking about…a failed plan at world domination?! Via mind control…well, that’s one mystery solved at least. You wouldn’t catch me carpooling let alone walking back to-anyways, Gregg seems to have succeeded in stopping this with the help of some other students. Maybe the kids aren’t so bad.
I hear the sirens so Grodd will likely be spending the last day of summer vacation- and many more days to come- in Belle Reve. Oh! There seems to be… Our lip reader can’t tell exactly but this Gregg seems to be talking to and about another student, Summer, quite a bit!
Her tone becomes less serious and almost playful, regular viewers may recognize this transition as a personality she typically takes on when interpersonal drama becomes the key component of her story.
Bree: These very special youths are always full of very special surprises, and mayhaps some very special ties are forming. All’s well that ends well, right Dan?
When the camera cuts to Dan, he’s sitting on the sidewalk ringing sewage out of his hair.
Dan: Some days it doesn’t feel that way. I got through the tunnels but stumbled upon a showdown with Batman, Miracle Molly, and Scarecrow… he’s built a fear bomb. Using Peacekeeper-01 and that Mad Hatter tech… if he sets it off… Gotham is going to change forever. I’ve got to help stop this. I have to do more.
The camera cuts from Dan to a tired Raleigh with deep baggy eyes.
Raleigh: WE’RE BACK! We’re getting the signal again! Viewers, we’re covering Mister Miracle’s adventures, and it seems like the end of the road!
The screen shows a battlefield in a destroyed city in the future, as Mister Miracle sits in the Mobius chair and faces N’vir.
Raleigh: Miracle’s been beaten to a pulp by N’vir already, but he seems determined to finish the fight right here and now. He’s greatly outnumbered against N’vir and her army, but the Mobius chair looks like it’s powering him…
N’vir flies above and ignites a multidirectional light in the sky.
Raleigh: HOLY $#!%, she set off a machine called War-Killer, and it’s wiping out the rebellion like they’re nothing! Can Mister Miracle actually fight against THAT? He’s just trying to survive now, while Oberon goes to solve a signal that’s preventing them to go back to their timeline.
Wait, he’s taken off his mask? He’s not trying to fight her…He’s not even using the mother box! I think his plan is to just reach out somehow. Miracle’s asking her not to repeat the mistakes of her parents, and decide for herself who she is. But it’s useless, she’s still trying to kill him. The fight is unbalanced, there’s blood everywhere, it doesn’t look good for…Woah! Someone just saved him with a ray gun! It’s…Miracle’s parents? God, this is getting confusing.
Raleigh gets closer to the screen.
Raleigh: N’vir is taking the power out of the World-Killers and injecting it onto herself, but Mister Miracle just realized something she clearly hasn’t. When she traveled through time, she damaged the timeline, and it is actively healing itself and erasing her from it. The timeline recognizes the power that caused the initial breach, so the more power she gets, the more it tries to eliminate her. He’s approaching, not fighting her but…Containing her! He’s draining her power to save her!
Miracle lowers to the ground holding N’vir.
Raleigh: What the…! Some members of the rebellion wanted to confront her, but someone teleported her to an unknown location. Dammit! Before Mister Miracle could even properly talk with his parents, an emergency boom tube set by Oberon got him back to the present too. But at least he knows they’re safe. He’s at peace. And he knows himself now.
Apparently, he’s going to contact his agent to make an important announcement to the public about his identity, and he’s gonna try to mend his mistakes with the girl he dated. He might’ve suffered a lot, but this feels like a happy ending to L.A’s most famous superhero. It seems like my work here is done, at least for now.
The camera cuts back to Dan.
Dan: We’re now going to check in on Jimmy who was last seen trapped on a boat and hiding from Lady Bane.
The camera cuts to Jimmy. He is wearing the same clothing he was seen in last time. He looks beat up and filthy with a bandage over his right eye. His location is unclear. He delivers his report in a loud whisper.
Jimmy: Good Evening, GC52 viewers. I apologize, but I am currently hiding.
Dan: Jimmy, are you still on the boat?
Jimmy: No, Dan. That was ages ago. I am back in Gotham where the creature has been terrorizing the Batman’s rogue’s gallery. I was able to make it past the GCPD guarding the area to where I last had a run-in with the creature and, Dan, I saw him. I. Saw. The. Batman. It was incredible! I overheard the Batman and Killer Croc discussing the creature. Apparently, the Batman thinks the creature wants to either suckle from Killer Croc or mate with him and is becoming increasingly angry and unpredictable that neither is occurring.
Batman’s theory is that the original species that first led to Waylon Jones’ transformation may be a hermaphrodite. Batman was talking about a plan to use Konstantin Volkov as bait before I actually witnessed the Batman hit the creature with some type of powder that seemed to burn the creature before running off. Oh, and, Dan, I think I heard the Batman laugh?
The camera cuts back to Dan. He looks bewildered as though he isn’t sure if Jimmy’s reports are real or delusions that are some sort of after-effect from the Joker toxin and creature pheromones that led to the creation of DIckkory Shippers. He trudges on regardless.
Dan: What was Batman’s laugh like?
The camera cuts back to Jimmy. He has shifted position somewhat into a runner’s stance at the start of a race and is talking to his cameraman Bobby.
Jimmy: Are you ready? Yeah, get ready.
Dan: Jimmy! Batman’s laugh?
Jimmy: Oh, it was horrible. Like a door that had never been used creaking open. Dan, we haven’t seen or heard from the creature or the Batman in some time. We are going to make a run for it and head for the cave entrance. Let’s go. Now!
Jimmy is running toward the cave entrance with his cameraman Bobby still holding the camera on Jimmy and running behind him. The light from the camera is bobbing all over the cave walls. Jimmy delivers the next part of his report through panting breaths.
Jimmy: We had been hiding there for a few minutes after Batman and Croc disappeared with the creature chasing them. The creature was huge. Massive. Easily one of the scariest things I have ever seen. I wasn’t able to discern the Batman’s plan with Volkov but it may have involved the Batmobile. Here’s the entrance up ahead.
As Jimmy emerges from the cave there are a few people standing around looking up at the sky. It’s a normal scene until it becomes obvious that one of the people is Killer Croc and one is the Batman. It’s impossible to hear them from this distance. Jimmy follows their gaze and the camera follows his. It’s the creature. It’s massive and flying towards them with its giant wings expanded.
Suddenly the sound of a car engine and squealing tires. Batman rushes toward the creature. The creature screams. It’s a bloodcurdling noise. As everyone around, including Jimmy, is frozen with fear, the Batman runs toward the creature and jumps into its open maw.
Jimmy: Holy Mary, Mother o-
Jimmy is cut off as the creature continues straight towards him and swallows him too. The camera cuts back to Dan in the studio.
Dan: -of God! I think we lost him.
Dan pauses for a moment and presses his finger to his ear as a communication comes through from Ghost-Maker.
Dan: They’ve got her… the other Ivy. The pure Ivy. She’s with them in Queen Ivy’s lair. The city may be saved by the one and only fantabulous Harley f#%*ing Quinn!
With those last words of hope, the broadcast feed ends and the screen turns black.
Books Covered this Week:
- Batman #116 by James Tynion IV, Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey, and Clayton Cowles.
- Batman/Superman: Authority Special #1 by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Trevor Hairsine, Jonathan Glapion, Scott Hanna, Rain Beredo, Ben Templesmith, and Tom Napolitano.
- Batgirls by Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad, Jorge Corona, Sarah Stern, and Becca Carey.
- Arkham City: The Order of the World #2 by Dan Watters, Dani, Dave Stewart, and Aditya Bidikar.
- Teen Titans Academy #7 by Tim Sheridan, Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona, Alex Sinclair, and Rob Leigh.
- Mister Miracle: The Source of Freedom #6 by Brandon Easton, Fico Ossio, Rico Renzi, and Rob Leigh,
- Batman: Reptilian #5 by Garth Ennis, Liam Sharp, and Rob Steen.