(Spoilers for DC Comics released 11/09/2021)
(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 report opens abruptly as Lead Anchor Dan McMahon presses his back hard against the brick corner of a wall. His bean bag rifle is pressed close to his chest as he reloads.
Dan: Viewers, I am transmitting from what I think is a few blocks from O’Neil Boulevard in Alleytown. A heavy concentration of Magistrate drones have descended upon a group of citizens who have decided to fight back. The siege of Alleytown rages on, but no matter what we are going to push them back. Things are blowing up across the city… it’s the darkest hour. Stick with us tonight as GC52 is the ONLY news team coming to you LIVE from Gotham City. Let’s check in with… hold on.
The camera pans away from Dan and to the vines covering the city as they begin to blossom. A pheromone starts to seep out and into the air. Dan’s dirt-covered hand presses against his ear.
Dan: Harley and Ivy… they’re back together. Good for them. Ivy is helping Gotham… those plants are restoring the peace. The tides are changing… I hope Batman is having the same luck. Let’s check in with one of our other correspondents.
The camera cuts to Mr. Tubes and his ghostly sidekick Zeb crashing into Magistrate Troops. Walls come crashing down as the duo comes upon an alley and sees the cheerful reunion of Nightwing, Robin, and the Batgirls across the street! Zeb grabs the GC52 camera drone and points it in the direction of the heroes.
Zeb: Look Mr. Tubes it’s the Batfamily!
Tubes begins to type furiously, using his ferret paws tapping the buttons of his mech’s console to speak.
Tubes: They appear to be setting a trap!
And they were indeed setting a trap to get some Magistrate suits to reach and infiltrate Skybase-01 to stop Seer. The heroes proceed to lure and take the spoils of the mugging for justice and fly upwards but there was a few extra troops on the ground when Tubes and Zeb show up!
Zeb: Look, they took the armor for the jet packs! Do you have a jetpack?
Tubes: No I do not think so. I have tapped all the buttons.
Tubes, as a ferret, does not know what a jetpack is. In his curiosity, Tubes leans down to touch an unconscious trooper’s armor and on the monitor, the words OVERRIDE and INTEGRATE popped on the screen. Tubes, still a ferret, doesn’t know those words, but having used the OVERRIDE function before clicks INTEGRATE. Upon doing so the armor is pulled apart by nanomachines and implemented into the mech. Now there are new buttons on the console, so he presses it. Mr. Tubes now has and knows what a jetpack is.
The pair flies into the air only to reach Skybase 01 as Oracle announces that they have taken the base and will be crashing it into the ground. As they’re trying to jump back out the hole they made and entered, a bruised Simon Saint tries running past them until Zeb solidifies his body to trip the jerk rendering him unconscious. The two glide back to the ground.
Tubes: It looks like this battle will soon be at its end. I need to get back to Blüdhaven in case my owner returns. But what will you do? Do you plan on haunting your family forever?
Zeb: I…don’t know…
Tubes: It may be best you don’t.
The pair fly off in the direction of Blüdhaven! The camera feed cuts to Adam, fast asleep at his small GC52 desk in the corner of the cave.
Ethan: Um…Adam, you’re up now. Adam? WAKE UP!
Adam: …huh? What? I wasn’t sleeping, I was just…resting. Sorry folks, those Magistrate chumps blew up my house so I’ve had to stay in this awful hotel. I won’t name it but let’s just say it would go well with Watson.
The room was bad enough when these two teenage girls moved into the room beside me and didn’t seem to ever leave their room. I don’t know what the heck they were doing but I haven’t slept a wink in weeks because they were blasting their TV that damn loud.
They started watching some creepy horror movie when frankly we’ve had enough fear in Gotham recently, and just when this spooky voice starts a weird nursery rhyme about killing Batgirls and things were getting interesting they threw their damn TV out the window. That was the final straw, I gave that place a one-star review and have been staying…not in the office. That’s for sure. Definitely no pillow under this desk!
Ethan: Do you have any actual news that isn’t about your housing crisis?
Adam: Oh yeah sure, the Batgirls have been about. But another thing! I rented this fancy new place in the Hill and am just about to move in when I see some guy is running around graffiting everything and the sign says “Welcome to Hell” now? What’s all that about?
Ethan: Yeah ok, we’re moving on now.
Adam: AND ANOTHER THING-
The camera quickly pans away from Adam as his housing rant continues in the background. When the feed cuts back to Dan, he’s firing his weapon towards a group of drones who seem to be on their last legs.
Dan: Take that you bucket of fascist bolts! Check-in with Ethan. I have some robo-brains to bash in.
For the first time during the darkest moments of the Fear State, a smile paints Dan’s face and the camera cuts to Ethan in the Batcave. In the background, Adam can still be heard ranting about his housing problems.
Ethan: Evening folks, as you can probably tell we’re wrapping up business in Gotham tonight, one way or another. I’ve been doing some digging into this Gardener that’s been helping out with the Poison Ivy business going on lately. It seems she knew Ivy before her transformation, to what extent, that’s for them and only them to know.
You may remember a couple years ago Ivy took control of everything, not just plants, but every single person around the world. Even the Justice League were taken over. This ended up being averted thanks to Batman, Catwoman, and Harley Quinn. But what my digging has found is that it was the Gardener who warned Batman about the approaching attack. It seems we owe our current free will to this person.
Now we wait to find out what role she will play in concluding this Magistrate business. In the meantime, looks like we’ve got an update from Belle Reve. But first, let’s go to Rook, live from Metropolis.
The camera cuts to Rook standing on a street corner in Metropolis.
Rook: Another day, another disaster defused by Superman. At least, that would be the case if today was like any other; however, we might just be looking at a new record.
After being supercharged by one of Gamorran president Henry Bendix’s (likely off-the-books) technologies for some (likely nefarious) reason, Jon Kent had a lot of power. Almost too much, even, particularly for someone who can hear everyone calling out for help across the world.
So what did he do? Well, everything. For everyone. From saving the inhabitants of a small Luxembourg town from a flood, to helping a lost little girl in Costa Rica, to carrying a bridge full of patients to a hospital with room to treat them, to rescuing three journalists from kidnapping, to dozens of other daring feats.
In fact, those might have been a few too many feats. The strain began to pile up, as did mistakes. Luckily, a…new friend intervened and insisted on Superman getting a chance to rest. After all, when you’ve got everyone, who’s got you? So a pair of noise-canceling headphones and nine hours of shuteye later, Superman was right as rain and ready to…well, save some other people, but with his head on his shoulders. Whatever Henry Bendix had planned will have to wait, but with Superman on the job, it won’t be waiting for long.
The camera cuts to Jordan sitting in a cramped little room rustling through old VHS tapes
Jordan: Greetings. Welcome once again to GC52’s Belle Reve branch. As always I’m here to give you top-secret updates on the current happenings of Task Force X, Amanda Waller’s own personal Suicide Squad. You’d think after the Squad’s last mission to literal Hell, they’d get a little time off. But no rest for the wicked I guess, because now Waller has sent them all to space.
The Squad today consisted of Match (our former Superboy), Nocturna, Culebra, Talon, Black Siren, Ambush Bug, and the new field leader, Major Force. The Squad ventured to the remains of Green Lantern headquarters Oa. They were given the mission objective of finding and locating a certain prisoner deep underwater.
In venturing down into the darkness the Squad encountered some massive squid monster and a Green Lantern, Jo Mullein. Ambush Bug and Major Force managed to sneak by and retrieve the prisoner though. A charming fellow with a name we can’t quite decipher, Ambush Bug seems to have named him Yorick. Unfortunately, the Squad’s victory seems to have been short-lived. Last contact mentioned an attack by the Thanagarians, so that can’t be good. I’ll be sure to update you when more word comes in.
Back here at Belle Reve though there have been some interesting developments. I’m getting the feeling that Dr. Rodrieguez isn’t exactly following Waller to the letter. I’ve been intercepting pieces of strange transmissions outside the base. Perhaps to a certain Colonel Flag? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
Dan stands with his boot on the crushed head of one of the Magistrate’s drones as he checks in on the show.
Dan: That brings us to Thomas, our Oa correspondent, with an update on the still fractured Green Lantern Corps. Is it snowing in space?
The feed cuts to Thomas sitting in front of a small writer’s desk, in a space smaller than a college dorm room. He is sloppily dressed and looks sleepless.
Thomas: Nothing of the sort, Dan. I was just about to catch up to Lantern Stewart a few days ago to ask about the latest developments with his New God friends when they disappeared through a portal to stop some sort of interdimensional brainwashing.
Dan: How will we know if the anti-brainwashing mission is successful?
Thomas: That’s what has kept me awake for three straight days. How will any of us know? These are gods and meta-gods tussling over our heads! What about our simple biology even approaches the feats they accomplish before breakfast? Did you know some of these “gods” refer to themselves by mega-generations of “old” and “new?” We are less complex to them than building blocks. Our most advanced mathematics mean as much to them as a flea’s taxes do to us.
Dan: Heady stuff. Are there no more leads, then?
Thomas: Oh, I’ve been keeping tabs on Stewart via his LinkedIn profile. He recently changed his job title to ‘Ascended,’ whatever that means, and recently updated his banner image to some glowing hellscape or another. Or maybe it’s what heaven looks like to the latest generation of gods and blue-skinned patriarchs. However, nothing escapes the vanity of social media, not even Lantern Mullein laying down the law on Oa.
Dan: Good old social media. Straight up replaced our Blue and Gold coverage. Makes me fret for the future of traditional media, like multiversal cable news.
Thomas: Television is still doing okay! I just saw Blue Beetle and Booster Gold on a talk show reminiscing about the good old days with their former teammate Guy Gar–
Thomas’s feed cuts to static. When it cuts back to Dan, he’s standing looking out over Morrison Harbor as the fires from the remains of the Magistrate ship rage from the waters as it sinks to the fathoms below.
Dan: It’s over… we won. The Bat-family did it. They beat Simon Stagg and his fascist regime. They beat Scarecrow. The city is saved once again by those vigilantes that the spineless Mayor refused to call off his witch hunt for. Those other news channels… the ones who lied and spread false information are now singing a different tune. But us… GC52… we were here. We were in the city doing what’s right.
Dan sits, letting his feet dangle over the water as he removes his bulletproof vest and Bat symbol headband, letting them fall behind him as he watches as the Bat symbol lights up the skies once again. A beacon of hope, a beacon of a brighter future for Gotham. The light that reminded him growing up that there was something better out there. The camera watches as he is unaware tears are stinging his battle-worn cheeks as the nightmare ends while a familiar face sits beside him. As he sits, he cracks two Miller High Lifes before handing one to Dan.
Ethan: Well, I’ve reported everything to Chase and closed up the Batcave as if we were never there. You gonna be alright? You’ve been on the streets for days…
Dan: They won’t know we were here. Hell, Batman himself may not even know we were here. But we will know. We did the best good we could with the tools we have. I hope it was enough.
Ethan: Being good is good enough.
Dan almost instinctively reaches for his neck scar but stops.
Ethan: I know you don’t like talking about it but I saw the files that Bones has on you. We ever going to talk about your time on the Suicide Squad or no?
Dan: Another day, today I want to look forward. I’m glad you made it back super spy. Cheers, to GC52 brother.
The broadcast draws to a close as Dan and Ethan klick their cans together and the camera pans up to the Bat-Signal shining across the Gotham skyline.
Books Covered this Week:
- Batman #117 by James Tynion IV, Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey, and Clayton Cowles.
- Nightwing #86 by Tom Taylor, Robbi Rodriguez, Adriano Lucas, and Wes Abbott.
- Batgirls: Fear State #3 by Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad, Jorge Corona, Sarah Stern, and Becca Carey.
- Batman: Secret Files – The Gardener #1 by James Tynion IV, Christian Ward, and Tom Napolitano.
- Superman: Son of Kal-El #5 by Tom Taylor, John Timms, Hi-Fi, and Dave Sharpe.
- Suicide Squad #9 by Robbie Thompson, Eduardo Pansica, Julio Ferreira, Dexter Soy, Marcelo Maiolo, and Wes Abbott.
- Green Lantern #8 by Geoffrey Thorne, ChrisCross, Marco Santucci, Juan Castro, Michael Atiyeh, and Rob Leigh.