(Spoilers for DC Comics released 12/14/2021)
(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. Lead Anchor Dan McMahon sits at the center of the newsroom which is adorned with holiday decorations to mark the end of the year. He’s wearing a chunky baby blue sweater with Mr. Freeze’s face on it. Behind him the large window looking out over Metropolis, snow filling the sky. The Daily Planet globe is visible behind him, snow covering 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, Good Evening, and Happy Holidays 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 for our final show of the year!
Seems like the emergency landing of a plane in Iceland is actually a bigger deal than it was first cracked up to be. Footage recovered from a passenger aboard flight 623’s cell phone suggests that the unexplained incident was caused by multiple Wonder Women… I hope this doesn’t shatter anyone’s feelings about the newly returned Wonder Woman.
Dr. Psy- Dr. Cizko, is back on late night peddling his manifesto The Delusion. I know he’s got something to do with this. His legal team contacted us to let us know we were being sued for slander for how I spoke about him previously. To that I say this, slander is entirely different from the truth, Doctor. Good luck selling your meninist incel book… Now, let’s check in with Adam.
The screen changes to what is clearly a hastily thrown together studio space in a small apartment with a green screen badly attached to a wall.
Adam: That’s right everyone, it’s finally time! After years of waiting the moment is here as we leave the center of Gotham behind to settle into the Hill, no one else to help or be helped by just…me, living in the Hill. And what a neighborhood I chose, it’s full of Batgirls!
The screen behind Adam is filled with images of Gotham’s greatest heroes, the Batgirls.
Adam: They’ve been all over the rooftops of the Hill dealing with zombie construction workers, various hoodlums, and even some Magistrate goons who haven’t got the message about them not being welcome in Gotham anymore. Even the mysterious Seer seems to be present in the Hill, although no one will admit it. But I hear the whispers! With mysterious murders, art shows, and graffiti all over the city, the Hill is sure to be filled with interesting stories for GC52 to cover. But first, we have some very important news. I’m sure you’ve all heard about the brand new vigilante operating in Gotham. The one, the only, the bombastic…
An incredibly blurry photo appears on the screen of a person with a paper bag on their head, punching someone.
Adam: BAG-GIRL. Not much is known about this paper-bag-wearing hero yet but I’m sure the people of Gotham just aren’t ready for it, and I hope Batman is prepared to be out of a job! In other news I found a weird bottle lying in my sink when I moved in the other day with a note addressed to “the news”. Apparently, this is just something that happens to GC52 reporters so here we go.
Adam begins to read from the letter.
We’ve made friends with the scary magic lady from Themyscira now. Gallous the Goat has started calling her Torrid since she doesn’t remember her name and didn’t appreciate all us Manta men calling her “scary magic lady” all the time. The boss took her and Gallous off to Ethiopia the other day, but we lost contact pretty quickly. Heard something about a “Doctor Mist” and then it all went dark, so the Manta boys have been hitting the bars.
You remember that Devil Ray guy? Well, I met one of his goons, Roger the Ray. Says all Rays boys quit because he’s messing around with this “Orichalcum” stuff to make a sick trident and keeps giving people radiation poisoning. Maybe even killed his adoptive parents. I get that, I might hate Aquaman but his tridents are pretty cool. Maybe Manta will let us all get tridents?
Adam looks to the camera with visible confusion etched across his face.
Adam: Well that was weird. Anyways, back to you Dan!
The camera is on Dan as he shuffles through a few pages on his desk, eyes cast downward. There is a strange hesitancy about his movements, which are usually full of confidence and swagger. He has not yet raised his eyes to meet the camera and the viewers of the GC52 News. He clears his throat, ready to carry on.
Dan: You will recall that when we last saw Jimmy he was unconscious in the studio, victim of an unfortunate accident.
Jimmy: Accident, Daniel? I believe I was unconscious because you hit me with a mallet while I waited to surprise you. I thought it would be a delightful segment that our viewers would enjoy.
Dan is straining to hear what Jimmy is saying due to the muffled quality of his voice.
Dan: Jimmy, is everything alright? It is difficult to hear you and I think you called me “Daniel”. The only time you did that was when you were calling yourself, uh, Dickkory Shippers.
The camera cuts to Jimmy. He is standing in the middle of a brightly lit art museum. He is wearing a hospital gown and his entire head is bandaged. There are no other people visible, but there are a few paintings in the background. They appear to be replicas of famous paintings, like the Mona Lisa and Truth Coming Out of Her Well, but all the faces are Dan’s face. Jimmy tugs on the bandages and struggles to get them off. He is using both hands and violently tugging on the strips of cloth wrapped around his head. He bends over out of frame and yanks the bandages free, standing up triumphantly.
Jimmy: DICKKORY SHIPPERS!
Jimmy/Dickkory is wearing the old man make-up he previously donned to disguise his appearance, but it’s smeared due to the struggle with the bandages.
Jimmy: I’m back, Daniel. And I’m here to continue my reporting on the history of the relationship between Jim Gordon and The Joker. I’m here –
As Jimmy/Dickkory delivers this part of the report he freely strolls around the Art Museum exposing his backside to the viewers due to the poorly tied hospital gown.
Dan: Oh god no.
Jimmy: – at the Rosenberg Museum of Post-Modern Art, formerly the Dini Skating Rink. I took the liberty of hanging up some of my own recent work. Back when this was the Dini Skating Rink there was an incident here involving a Joker copycat and the son of Jim Gordon, the now murderous sociopath. In the aftermath of the shooting of Barbara Gordon by the Joker as part of his plan to drive then Commissioner Gordon insane, James Jr. developed a bit of an obsession with The Joker. It got to the point where Jim Gordon’s ex-wife and mother of James Jr., along with her new husband, were terrified of James Jr. and sent him to live with Jim Gordon and Barbara here in Gotham.
Jimmy continues to walk around the Museum as he delivers his news report. His voice vacillates from the gruff, matter-of-fact tone of the Dickkory Shippers persona to a higher register sing-song pattern. As Jimmy/Dickkory passes other paintings, it’s more of the same: Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan, Saturn Devouring His Son, Girl with a Pearl Earring. But all the faces are Dan’s face.
Jimmy: That first night James Jr. stole his father’s gun and ended up with the Joker copycat. Gordon wasn’t cleared to return to work yet, but a young officer Montoya helped him find his son. Gordon was ready to kill the copycat, thinking he was the real deal Joker but was stopped by the Batman. It was a troubling set of circumstances and a clear sign that both Gordon and his son needed professional psychiatric counseling.
You know, Daniel, after I was hospitalized with my most recent concussion as a result of you hitting me in the head with a large mallet, you may recall that that happened and was something you did to me, I started seeing a new doctor. He’s really been able to help me navigate these current, difficult times we live in and find the humor in everyday life. He’s also encouraged me to find a hobby, like painting. Do you like my paintings?
The camera cuts back to Dan. He is annoyed and wary, but mostly he finds Jimmy/Dickkory tedious and exhausting.
Dan: I don’t, Jimmy. I don’t like them at all.
The camera cuts back to Jimmy/Dickkory. His expression sours to mimic a mask of tragedy then transforms again to a look of pure rage.
Jimmy: IT’S DICKKORY, DANIEL! Well, my new doctor friend loves them. He says I’m getting better, Daniel. He’s here with me now and I don’t think he’d like your negative attitude. I don’t think he’d find it funny at all. DOCTOR, J!
The bright lights flicker, dim, and blink off. Jimmy/Dickkory’s silhouette is barely visible but it’s clear someone new walks into frame, taller and thinner than Jimmy with wild hair. His mouth opens wide revealing teeth like a Great White.
DOCTOR J: Heh. Heh heh heh. HA! HAHAHAHA!!! Hello, Daaaaaaniel!
The camera cuts out before returning to Dan with his head in his hands.
Dan: I don’t have time for this. Let’s go over to Ethan in Gotham who has an update on Nightwing’s activities this Christmas Eve.
When the camera cuts, Ethan can be seen standing in front of the window of his DEO safehouse, looking out at the recently-constructed Arkham Tower. Snow flies through the air as it begins clinging to the rooftops of Gotham. Ethan turns to the camera.
Ethan: A warm winter’s greeting folks! My investigation into Arkham Tower is still ongoing but I do have some news about Nightwing. Seems that while Scarecrow has been held in the Tower since the city was plunged into chaos during the Fear State, some of his crew have been trying to ruin the holiday cheer for everyone on the one night of the year the people of Gotham can rest easy.
But luckily, Nightwing was on the scene, first stopping their attack on some last-minute shoppers at a supermarket in Bludhaven, before bringing them to justice in the ruins of Wayne Manor. I do hope this was all wrapped up in time for Nightwing to get to spend some time this evening with his family, Bat or otherwise. No one should be alone over the holidays. Speaking of…
Ethan activates a dial on his watch and a portal opens that he promptly steps through. With no one to focus on the camera returns to the GC52 Studio. Dan looks up, a hint of sadness on his face before the portal opens up in the studio and Ethan walks through. The sadness lifts from Dan as his good friend walks up to him.
Dan: Ethan? Haha, you made it! Well, folks, looks like that’s all we have for you. Thank you for tuning into our show all year as we’ve attempted to deliver the news in the most honest, truthful way we can. In a year full of Infinite Frontiers, we have been by you through thick and thin. No Fear State could stop us from bringing you the news you need to know. Even if the new year will be filled with Trials and Shadows of Bats, we are going to be right by your side the entire time. Until then, we’ll be back in the new year. For now, instead of my usual sign-off, I’ll simply say Happy Holidays!
The screen cuts to black as GC52 draws to a close for the year.
Books Covered this Week
- Wonder Woman #782 by Michael W. Conrad, Becky Cloonan, Marcio Takara, Tamra Bonvillain, and Pat Brosseau.
- Batgirls #1 by Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad, Jorge Corona, Sarah Stern, and Becca Carey.
- Black Manta #4 by Chuck Brown, Matthew Dow Smith, Marissa Louise, and Clayton Cowles.
- The Joker #10 by Matthew Rosenberg, James Tynion IV, Francesco Francavilla, and Tom Napolitano.
- Nightwing: The Bats of Christmas Past by Tini Howard, Christian Duce, Sarah Stern, and Becca Carey.