Spoilers for DC Comics released 02/01/2022.
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 his news desk, steam rising off of his mug of tea. The setting sun sparkles off the crown jewel of the City of Tomorrow in the background. The GC52 intro music begins to dim as the actual program begins as Dan turns to the camera with a smile on his face.
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!
Some rather disturbing news out of Badhnisia tonight. It seems as if the members of Batman Inc have escaped from LexCorp’s new prison facility. You may remember just a few weeks ago that the members of Batman Inc were charged with the murder of an assassin known as “Abyss” before being locked away. Lex Luthor, who purchased and controls Batman Inc, has been forthcoming with information so there seems to be no foul play on his side this time. But the escapees were spotted on the prison rooftop with…Abyss. Who is not dead and seems to be leading Batman Inc against Batman. and Lex Luthor who showed up in a Batman costume…
The broadcast changes to a closeup of a man’s eye before he realizes he’s holding the camera too close to his face. He stands back. It’s Bobby.
Bobby: Here I am everyone! I am trying to get a hold of this camera…just give me a second…ah there we go! Can everyone see?
Bobby shows a high school locker room. It looks like there’s a fight going on.
Bobby: Greetings, GC-52! Or is it GC52? I think the latter makes more sense. For the Boss People of this news division and all of you amazing viewers, we got one hell of a broadcast.
A loud crash is heard, and The Monkey Prince is seen fighting a bunch of lacrosse players.
Bobby: Teenage mayhem ensues as we have a mysterious young man fighting a bunch of lacrosse players at breakneck speed! Look at him go! He’s beating the living daylights out of them. Now normally, I would go, “why are a bunch of teenagers getting beaten up?” But this man, who I think might be a superpowered person, is doing it in such a cool way! Looks like he’s taking on this one guy though! Buddy has his lacrosse stick and the helmet, but I don’t think he’s gonna win this fight!
Batman and Robin enter the scene.
Bobby: And enter the Dynamic Duo! Of course, I was expecting Batman and Robin because this is Gotham City, but it’s them! It really is them! Batman sir, would you like to tell me what you are going to do with this young man, who I now realize reminds me of Sun Wukong, the famed protagonist of Journey to the West?
Batman ignores Bobby and walks past, but Robin glares at me.
Robin: Leave us to our business.
Bobby: Hey now, Mr. Robin! It is my job to cover what’s going on. And speaking of which, would you like to answer a few questions?
Batman throws a Batarang at The Monkey Prince and his head comes off.
Robin: Minimum necessary violence, Batman?
Bobby: NOOOOOOO! DID YOU SEE THAT? BATMAN KILLED SOMEONE. HE KILLED SOMEONE.
Batman: I was aiming for the stick!
Bobby: Respectfully sir, how in the sweet name of superheroes do you aim a Batarang like that? You’re Batman for crying out loud!
Batman: Yes, but—
Bobby: That wasn’t what Batman would do! You’re just my friend Jeffy when he wears a Batman costume and when he thinks it’s cute to act all Dark Knight and kick some ass, while he’s drunk. Dude!
The Monkey Prince: What is even happening right now?
Everyone: What? He’s not dead?
Bobby: Oh no, my time is wrapping up. Well, turns out Batman didn’t kill The Monkey Prince after all.
Batman: I never aim my Batarang to kill. I took an oath to not go down that dark path.
Bobby: My guy, you were shocked too. Don’t play it off like you did some sort of cool Batman thing and go on one of those cool speeches. Anyways, tune in next time!
The broadcast ends.
Dan: The GC52 News Team continues to grow and we welcome our newest reporter Delco Sfigato. Delco has covered some of the biggest news stories of the past 40 years. WOW! He was there during the original Crisis as a fledgling reporter in Metropolis, he saw the Dark Knight Return and he knows who watches The Watchmen. He won a Pulitzer for his coverage of the Death and Return of Superman and bravely continued to report during the events now known as the Infinite and Final Crises. He brought his brand of reporting to the cosmos after surviving the Blackest Night when he covered the War of Light from the back of Space Cabbie’s cab. For the past 10 years, he’s covered local superhero metahuman interest stories in Philadelphia, but he’s on loan now to GC52 with a special report about the new Heroz4U app. Welcome, Delco, to the GC52 News Team Family.
The camera cuts to a short 60-year-old man with a deadpan expression. He has thin black hair slicked back on top with the sides white. He has a coarse black mustache. He’s wearing a black turtleneck underneath a black leather jacket and dark blue jeans that are pulled up just a bit too high. When he speaks, his flat affect matches his expression.
Delco: Thank you, Dan. That was a very nice introduction. I’m happy to be here to talk about something I’m very passionate about as I’ve been a big champion of the superhero community. When I went back to Philly and started covering local superhero stories, there were many times the network wanted me to cover somethin’ that they saw as uplifting that I thought kinda stunk. Stories about kids raising money because Rick Raleigh aka “The Red Bee” was about to be evicted from his rundown apartment. “Isn’t that sweet?”, they’d say and all I could think about was the fact that Raleigh was a member of the Freedom Fighters, he fought actual Nazis, and he’s gotta worry about keepin’ a roof over his head?
Delco takes a deep breath and starts to walk to his right and the camera pans with him. He stops in front of a nondescript office building with the word “HEROZ4U” in large yellow letters across the front.
Delco: That’s why I was first interested in the rise of so-called hero applications. Businesses that are embracing the current quote-unquote gig economy are allowing the general public to have direct access to local heroes. Using the HEROZ4U application on your mobile device, you can see local heroes that are available in your area for emergencies, but also for private security, autograph conventions, and kids’ birthday parties. The Board of Directors tout the company as a lifeline for aging heroes, but it’s important to remember that this isn’t some social safety net or non-profit. This is a for-profit business with a bottom line.
The current face of the operation is Red Tornado, who has been running things since he took over from Manhunter. HEROZ4U has recently challenged the old adage that there’s no such thing as bad publicity when Minute Man’s appearance at a kid’s party almost ended in tragedy after his powers from the Miraclo pills were cut short by 15 seconds just as he was demonstrating his supposed invulnerability by allowing all the little tykes to attack him with a box of hammers. Here with me now to talk about the company is HEROZ4U employee and available hero, The Heckler.
The camera pulls back as The Heckler walks into frame. He has on an off-white button shirt under his yellow suit coat with black lapels. The suit coat has “Ha” written all over it. He has a yellow mask that goes over his head and stops at his nose. He has a big smile plastered on his face.
Delco: Thank you for joining me, Heckler.
Heckler: No problem. It’s your pleasure, I’m sure.
Delco: As I understand it your superpower is…sarcasm?
Heckler: And it cuts sharper than Katana’s blade!
Delco: You’re the current HEROZ4U sales leader, right?
Heckler: Absolutely! I’m crushing it. Some of the bigger heroes show up here thinking it’s easy to do what I do, but it isn’t. You don’t see Plastic Man with my numbers.
Delco: What can you tell me about the recent report that Gangbuster, suffering from dementia, was unceremoniously dumped at the HEROZ4U office?
Heckler’s smile quickly fades and he looks annoyed.
Heckler: Look, man, there’s no pension, no retirement plan. No Heroes VA to take care of us. We aren’t all Ted Kord. Some of these older guys don’t even get enough social security to pay their rent. I think Red does the best he can to help people, but after years of looking out for other people I gotta look out for me now. That’s what we’re all doing here. Trying to scrape by. That’s why Jack O’Lantern left those folks whose plane crashed into the ocean when he got another job on the app that paid triple rates and it’s why ‘ol Minute Man ended up in the Metropolis Comic-Con jail for scarfing down lunch meat in the VIP area. Minute Man a VIP? C’mon.
Delco: There was recently a sighting of Superman at the offices of the Board of Directors for HEROZ4U. Is Superman joining the team?
Heckler: From what I heard, Superman thinks what we do as employees cheapens heroism. But I haven’t seen Superman get his cape repossessed if you know what I mean. Power Girl runs the office when Red isn’t around and she’s been heavy into Max Lord’s book Realize the Prize so it looked like Red was on the way out and Power Girl was gonna be the new boss. The way I heard it though, from either Flying Fox or GI Robot, is that the Board wants to sell and is gonna have Red axe a bunch of us.
Delco: Thank you, Heckler, and good luck.
The camera pans in tight on Delco now.
Delco: We will have to wait and see what is next for HEROZ4U. One thing is clear though for these heroes, the threat from supervillains has now become the threat of simply being useless in a world that has moved on. This is Delco Sfigato reporting live from the HEROZ4U building. Back to you, Dan.
The camera returns to Dan in the studio.
Dan: Well, um, thanks for that Delco… We now go live to Gotham with an update on the ongoing hostage situation within Arkham Tower. Ethan?
The camera cuts to the GC52 mobile studio in Gotham City (actually Ethan’s apartment). Outside the window stands Arkham Tower, lit up by the spotlights of GCPD choppers circling the tower, and the flashing lights of police cars can be seen bathing the plaza outside in a red-blue hue. Ethan steps into the frame.
Ethan: Evening Dan. Unfortunately, I don’t have any info on the current crisis inside but my sources have provided a report on a riot that broke out inside the Tower a few days ago. This took place only a few hours after Mayor Nakano conducted a visit to the new Arkham and agreed to sign-off on further development at the site and authorization for more patients to be moved there for treatment.
Details on how this riot broke out are hazy but my sources sent CCTV footage showing it break out. I’ve tried doing some more digging into what happened but no luck as of now. Though I did find some correspondence relating to an individual working directly with Dr. Wear named Roger. Who this is however I can’t be certain as any records of their presence are non-existent outside a few emails.
I’ll keep digging but for now, back to you Dan.
The camera returns to Dan in the studio.
Dan: Thanks for that update, Ethan. That brings us to the end of our show tonight. 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
- Batman #120 by Joshua Williamson, Jorge Molina, Mikel Janín, Tomeu Morey, and Clayton Cowles.
- Monkey Prince #1 by Gene Luen Yang, Bernard Chang, Sebastian Cheng, and Janice Chang.
- One-Star Squadron #2 by Mark Russell, Steve Lieber, Dave Stewart, and Dave Sharpe.
- Detective Comics #1051 by Mariko Tamaki, Max Raynor, Luis Guerrero, and Ariana Maher.