was a man of few words. A high ranking mob captain, he never said anything
if it wasn't to the point. While other mob bosses might be subtle about
giving orders, Mickey never was. "Rub him out" some would say.
"Take care of him" others would speak. Mickey was more direct.
At that command, seven enforcers drew their weapons and approached their target. Mickey had heard of this particular target before of course, but had never had the opportunity to meet him in person. Now that he had he wasn't impressed. This man had a reputation in the city's underworld, one that engendered fear and respect. Now that Mickey was seeing him with his own two eyes
"So you're the big bad Bat," said Mickey, sarcasm dripping in his tone. "You're just another of those costumed freaks nothing to be afraid of. You're no different than the Joker or Mr. Freeze. Just another freak. Another dead freak."
Batman's face never wavered. He simply stood still while Mickey's goons approached him. They all aimed their guns and moved to squeeze the trigger. Then all hell broke loose.
Smoke erupted from all directions just as the first goon pulled his trigger. Several others dropped their weapons as their hands were impaled by golden daggers shaped like the letter "R". The rest were quickly and violently brought down by several well placed boot heels. One goons face bore the imprint of that heel, with a recessed Bat-symbol implanted on his face.
5 seconds had passed. Mickey found himself picked up and thrown against a wall, his lapels grasped by the very man he had spoken down to a moment ago. Batman held him, lifted him off the ground. Suddenly, Batman looked very scary indeed.
"Those weapons." Batman didn't have to move his head to indicate what he had been talking about. Mickey knew. "I want a source. Destination. Details. Now." Batman's voice sounded like crushed gravel and glass mixed together. Inhuman.
"I...I ain't sayin' nothin'," sputtered Mickey. "It ain't worth my life!" A dark stain began to appear in his crotch.
"There are worse things than death, Mickey," said Batman. "You either talk or I sic my partner on you." At those words, a young boy with a dark cloak and domino mask appeared out of the shadows. Robin, the Boy Wonder. As if to drive home his point, Robin threw another "R" dagger, landing close enough to Mickey that his earlobe began to dribble a small trickle of blood. "This time, it's your earlobe," said Batman, "Next time it might be something you value even more."
A noise came from behind them. Batman & Robin whirled into a defensive stance then stopped in wonder. An emerald light emanated that cast a warm glow on the warehouse floor. A green globe that looked to be on fire slowly floated down to their level. Inside were four men. Batman & Robin recognized them immediately: Green Lantern, Hourman, Starman, and Obsidian.
"Sorry if we're interrupting," said Green Lantern. "But we need to talk. From the looks of all this, we have a mutual objective."
Batman, without looking back at Mickey (who had been slowly pulling a knife from his ankle), gave a back-kick to his head, knocking the criminal unconscious. "Concerning?" he asked, no emotion in his voice.
"Intergang", said Hourman.
Faux DC Presents
"INTERGANGWAR" - Part One
Written by Mike Hintze
Edited by "Dynamic" Dave Marshall
36 Hours Earlier
"CHRONAL DISCHARGES CONCURRENT WITH SIMILAR ONES CATALOGUED IN JLA DATAFILES RE: TIME COMMANDER, CHRONOS, EXTANT."
John Henry Irons, aka Steel, turned from his computer console to face his subject. The Higher Authority's artificial intelligence system, D.I.N.A.H., had finished collating the data he had gathered from Rick Tyler, aka Hourman. Tyler had regaled the Justice Society with a fantastic tale of time travel at the hands of the Time Trapper. The JSA's datalink to the JLA database had details about this mysterious individual, but few concrete facts. The Trapper had encountered Superman years ago in a strange plot to create another Earth in a pocket universe, complete with its own version of Superman known as Superboy. This version of Superboy was consequently killed in the future with the Legion of Superheroes at the Trapper's hands, but which as to which version of the Legion had been put into question. They had encountered many versions of the future Legion over the years who was to say there weren't many versions of the Time Trapper himself?
The only evidence that the JSA had of Hourman's time travels were his greatly enhanced powers. They didn't know exactly what had happened to change Hourman, but it had been powerful enough to take down Grayven, the self-proclaimed Son of Darkseid, with a single punch. Hourman himself had stated that that same punch had killed Superman in an alternate timeline. Despite D.I.N.A.H.'s diagnostic capabilities, they had decided to call upon one of the men who had designed and built their current satellite headquarters: Steel.
"Thank you, D.I.N.A.H.," said Steel. He approached Hourman, who had been reclined in a diagnostic chair grown from the emerald Green Lantern energy created by both Alan Scott and Kyle Rayner that made up the structure of the Higher Authority. "Rick, there's definitely been an exposure to chronal energy beyond what you experienced at the hands of Extant*. The Higher Authority systems don't show any incursion of such forces in the databanks but if this Time Trapper is as devious as he seems, he could have circumvented the alarm systems with ease. Being a time traveler, we have no idea what advanced technology he has at his whim."
(*See JSA #2 - Mike)
Rick nodded impatiently. He had been strapped into this emerald gurney for hours and all that had been done was confirm what he already knew. His powers had been boosted, or at the very least his awareness of their potential. His killing the alternate Superman had been a prime example of that.
One thing he hadn't revealed to the others was the whole story of what had happened while he had been sent back by the Time Trapper.* He had learned many things on that trip he had been able to see his father again, even if he ended up dying while combating Superman and Monarch. He had fought alongside another Justice Society, one composed of his father, Steel's niece Natasha as SteelHammer, Adam Strange, John Constantine and Bruce Wayne, who had abandoned his Batman identity and had been in large part responsible for the situation they had encountered in a Monarch-ruled Earth. In the end they had prevailed but was Bruce Wayne Batman in this timeline? Rick was sure that he was. His father, however, was still dead. In this timeline, he had died fighting Extant during the Crisis In Time some had called Zero Hour.
(* See JSA #8-10 - Mike)
"As it is, here's my theory on your increased abilities," said Steel. "Your super-strength isn't really any more powerful than it was before. You've internalized the Miraclo drug that your father created so as to always have access to that strength and durability and that seems to have remained stable. Now what are interesting are the spikes we read in your chronal energy discharge when you use that energy for manipulating time. You've shown that you can reverse time's flow for a few seconds, what I've come to refer to as your 'Replay' ability. Now it seems you can focus that manipulation into your fists. When you punch something, you essentially age it to the point it crumbles to dust. I like to call it an 'Entropic Punch'. As for what other abilities you may possess I think it's very plausible that you may eventually be able to time travel yourself. The chronal energy matrix inside of you seems to be self-replicating. Essentially, your time-related powers have no discernible limits."
Rick rested his head against the gurney cushion as he pondered this. Truth be told it scared him.
For what seemed the millionth time that day, he wished his father was there.
"The East Coast Operations are running up to par. We've already compensated for the problem with Tyler Chemicals. I assume all is still well, Ferdinand?"
Victor Ferdinand, Acting CEO of Tyler Chemical, nodded. "I've dealt with Young Tyler myself. My thanks again for the device it came in handy when he realized what had gone on with 'his' company."
"Excellent," said the man known only as Romulus. He paced the meeting room floor with a look of concentration on his face. "I was worried that you would not be able to contain him before the Justice Society became involved. Robert Logan's deceit was unforeseen and untimely."
(*Confused? Go back and re-read JSA # 1-3! - Mike)
Ferdinand nodded his head. "I agree. But to worry about it now is fruitless. Tyler Chemical is under my control, with no one else to worry about. The Justice Society is no longer aware of our existence. They suspect Rick Tyler has been murdered, but they will find no evidence. Your device saw well to that."
Romulus's frown lessened, but only slightly. "This is all to the good. Very well, continue on with the operation. I want Tyler Chemical's output at our co-opted facilities tripled by month-end. Use the drug if you need to, but see that it is done. We came too close to discovery with Rick Tyler I want Tyler Chemical's part in our production brought to a close as soon as possible. Tyler had friends in high places, and I refuse to believe none of them will have checked into his death by way of his company. You're dismissed, Victor."
"As you wish, Romulus." Ferdinand got up and left the room.
Romulus shook his head. He was mildly psychic and had been feeling something that was not quite right here. Something was off Ferdinand felt right and yet he didn't. He was not telepathic, not like his lord and master whom he only knew as Gradivus but he felt something needed to be done. But what? That was the maddening part.
Finally, he made a decision. If he was to follow his intuition (it had never failed him yet) he would do the most obvious thing. He would have Ferdinand followed and dealt with if necessary. Ferdinand was an asset, no doubt but he could be easily replaced. It would be far simpler to deal with Rex Tyler's wife and the last surviving member of the Tyler family, Wendi. She would control 51% of the company stock and in the absence of Ferdinand, could likely be persuaded to appoint a new CEO. One way or the other.
Romulus picked up his cell phone and dialed. Seconds later, a connection was made. "This is Romulus. I want Ferdinand gone. Kill him."
Victor Ferdinand left the office building where he had met with Romulus and entered his limousine. Instructing his driver to take him to the airport, he closed the barrier window between the driver and himself and took a deep breath. He had entered the lion's den and come out alive. He knew it wouldn't last long, however. His gut told him everything he needed. Romulus was definitely an Intergang Highlord, as they were called, and wouldn't have gotten to that position out of luck. Romulus had an instinct for danger but not one nearly as honed as Ferdinand's, he suspected. He reached into his suit jacket and dialed the emergency number he had been given.
"This is Ferdinand," he said when the other end picked up. "I think I'm suspected. I might need extraction." He waited as the other end gave him instructions. "Very well, just don't fall asleep at the switch. I can't collect my money if I'm dead."
Ferdinand looked out of the tinted moon roof with a special pair of binoculars. He watched for several minutes and saw them. Anyone else might have missed them, but his eyes were keen as a hawk's. He kept an eye on his pursuers as they approached the airport. They would of course be able to evade detection from the conventional authorities.
His limo approached his private jet and parked several feet from the loading stairwell. Smiling as he left the car, Ferdinand instructed his driver to immediately leave, and then he boarded the jet. The door was closed by the stewardess and the engines began their cycling prior to takeoff.
Just as the plane began to move, several streaks of pure white light lanced at the jet from the sky. They seemed to come from nowhere. An instant later, the jet exploded.
Ferdinand opened his eyes and found himself surrounded by luminous emerald walls. He was in a glowing green tube. He looked beside him and saw the stewardess, pilot and co-pilot coalescing in tubes similar to his own. They told me what to expect, he thought, but I still didn't think it would look this alien.
Ferdinand exited the tube and saw he was in a huge chamber with a central control panel in the center of the ring of tubes. The others in the room with him were more confused than he after all, they had no idea what they had run into.
"Where the hell are we?" demanded the pilot. He looked and saw Ferdinand was not quite as confused as the rest of them were. "Sir, do you know where we are?"
"I have an idea," said Ferdinand.
He noticed movement from beside him and saw the stewardess was aiming a small pager-like device at him. Ferdinand, far more agile than he looked, ducked and brought out a silenced pistol. He fired at the stewardess, square between the eyes. She should have fallen dead but instead, she was trapped in an emerald sheath of energy, her pager-device gone and the bullet Ferdinand had fired suspended in midair by another beam of energy. At the entrance to the room, stood Green Lantern, emerald flame emanating from his ring. "You were told no killing, Chance."
Ferdinand got up and saw that the co-pilot had also been restrained by Green Lantern. The Flash was standing beside Green Lantern, holding two of the pager-like devices. "These came from the girl and the co-pilot," said Flash as he tipped his silver winged hat to them. "The pilot is clean."
The pilot was dumbstruck. "My regular co-pilot called in sick today," he said. "I-what-who are you people?"
Ferdinand shook his head. "You don't recognize Green Lantern and the Flash?" he asked.
"Yeah," said the pilot, "But where are we? What is all this?"
"Welcome to the Higher Authority," said Green Lantern. "22,300 miles above the Earth. D.I.N.A.H., please open an observation port."
"CERTAINLY, GREEN LANTERN," replied the station's artificial intelligence. A section of the wall irised open to show a spectacular view of the Earth below.
"Mr. Ferdinand," said the pilot, "You know these people?"
"Not really," said Ferdinand as he reached up and peeled off his face. The man beneath the latex mask was not Victor Ferdinand, but was a younger man, graying slightly at the temples and much better looking. "But Christopher Chance does."
"The two Intergang agents have been checked for those suicide devices and they've been neutralized," said Obsidian. "They're sedated in the brig now."
The main meeting room of the Justice Society was as full as it had been for a while. At the chairman's seat was Rick Tyler, the Hourman. Next to him sat Obsidian, the Flash, Green Lantern, Wildcat, Starman, and Christopher Chance, also known as the Human Target.
"And my pilot?" asked Chance, with a hint of sarcasm.
"He's been set up in the guest quarters," said Flash. "It's been explained that we're in the middle of an investigation and that he'll need to 'stay dead' for a while. He was surprisingly agreeable about the entire thing."
"Mr. Chance," said Hourman, "You called in the emergency pickup what went wrong?"
Chance dabbed at his face with a towel held around his neck. He had taken a short shower to clean up after shedding his Ferdinand disguise. "I don't know. I did everything down to the letter. There should have been no way for them to see through my disguise short of having a telepath present, and I've been told that even then I'm hard to get by. None of our intelligence had Romulus as a telepath."
"Perhaps," said Mikaal Tomas, one of the current bearers of the name Starman, "You could bring us all up to speed on the events leading up to this?"
"Sorry, Mikaal," said Hourman. "I realize everyone here hasn't been filled in on all of what we've been doing these past couple of months. I was recently informed of a criminal organization infiltrating and controlling my father's company, Tyler Chemical. This was of course, without my knowledge but not that of my father's friend, Victor Ferdinand, who was appointed CEO in my father's absence. After Dad died, I let Victor continue, as I wasn't as interested in getting involved in the big corporate world. Between my mother and me, we control 51% of the stock, with Victor acting as our proxy. Somehow, he began working with Intergang. You may have heard of them from Metropolis.
"Intergang was thought disbanded and destroyed several years ago in an expose by Clark Kent in the Daily Planet. With that information, Superman had been able to take them down." Flash, Wildcat and Green Lantern smiled at this. "Turns out that wasn't entirely the truth. I was informed by an Intergang insider who was killed before I could react. I eventually confronted Victor about this and was almost killed. I had Flash come in and get myself and Victor out of there and that's when I began hatching my plan."
Christopher Chance joined the conversation. "I was contacted by an old friend," said Chance as he gave a wink to Wildcat, "and brought in to take Victor's place. Once I had gotten enough information, I assumed Ferdinand's life. I was then able to eventually get more involved with the Intergang side of the affair. I found my contact was a man named Romulus. I was gaining credence in Intergang's eyes for my part in 'killing' Rick Tyler. These pager-like devices pack a real wallop, with no evidence to show otherwise. Very spiffy things."
"We've had Steel and Mr. Miracle examine the devices and they've told us the technology is very similar to that of an Apokoliptian Boom Tube," said Flash.
"Superman told us that Intergang had been funded by sources from Apokolips," said Hourman, "But outside of some of the same technology, we believe that this incarnation of Intergang is headed by someone other than Apokolips. We don't know who but the highest we've been able to get is Romulus. At least, until he decided Mr. Chance here had to be rubbed out. We had setup a previous escape plan where Mr. Chance would be able to place a call to the Higher Authority and initiate an emergency teleport scenario."
Chance continued, "I noticed some cloaked Intergang Blindspot agents following me from above. I assumed that if I was being followed, the jig, as they say, was up. I assumed they would wait until I was at the airport before doing anything and I was right. I never realized that they would have killed their own agents onboard as well."
"They obviously thought you were a bigger threat than what the onboard agents could handle," said Green Lantern. "So now, if all went well, they won't have noticed the teleportation signature and will assume you were killed. Now what?"
"Now," said Hourman, "We go to the next level. Ready, Mr. Chance?"
"This one will be interesting, I'll give you that," said Chance. "But hey, why not? You're footing the bill."
The office building was quiet as Green Lantern phased through the floors to the meeting room where Ferdinand had met with Romulus. Chance's directions had been accurate enough and Green Lantern found himself inside the room. Invisible and intangible, he began to scan the room for any trace of alien energies and found them. Okay now to follow them wherever they lead
Willing his emerald energies to life, Green Lantern created a boom tube of his own and entered it.
Seconds later, he emerged in another room. Where, he could not begin to guess. Still invisible, Green Lantern phased through the far door and into a corridor. From there, he phased up and up, until he came out into blinding light. Sunlight. It had been dark when he had arrived at the previous meeting place, so he was most likely on the other side of the world. He willed the ring to open a communication line to the Higher Authority. He wondered briefly if he was still on Earth, when he received a response.
"You're coming in loud and clear, Alan," said Wildcat. "We're placing you somewhere in Central Africa."
"Wait for my call," said Green Lantern. "I'm going to check the area out."
"Gotcha," replied Wildcat.
Green Lantern moved higher in the sky to get a better view. What he saw shocked him. He saw a huge paddock outside of a dome-like building where several people dressed in the same gray coveralls were shambling around as if in a daze. One of the people was shooting sparks out of his fingers as he walked. Another was floating inches in the air for a brief time before thumping down to the ground again. He sped to the building itself and phased inside. There were beds for as far as he could see, with people either unconscious or tied down into them. One of the people looked up at Green Lantern and began to scream "He's here! He's here!" until one of the orderlies came and sedated him. Green Lantern was as certain as he could be that was undetected. He then went to the far side of the building and saw a door to an office. He entered. The room was dark, with a one way mirror looking into the bedridden area. He turned solid enough to close the door, and then went to a computer terminal on the desk before him.
He was not a computer hacker, but he had learned that there were few things his ring could not accomplish with enough willpower behind it. He focused his will onto the computer and began to access its files.
"Well played, Mr. Scott," came a voice from behind him as the speaker clapped his hands.
Green Lantern looked up and saw the last thing he expected. "You-you can't be-There aren't anymore--"
He never got another word out. Darkness enveloped him as he fell deeper, deeper into unconsciousness. Through it all, he heard nothing but laughter.
Green Lantern stood by as his fellow JSA members materialized from teleporting beside him. He saw Wildcat, Starman and Flash. "Hey, Alan," said Wildcat, "There's nothing here."
Green Lantern slowly looked around. All around them was undisturbed African desert. His cape and costume were full of blowing sand.
"What happened?" asked Flash.
"I arrived here from following the Boom Tube energies from Chicago," said Green Lantern. "When I arrived, all I saw was desert. I called Ted on the Authority, checked the area out, called Ted back then you all arrived. There's nothing here. I can't even detect any further trace of a Boom Tube from here. The trail just ends."
"On to Plan B then," said Starman.
Wendi Tyler sat on her veranda reading the latest Jackie Collins novel. She set it aside to have a drink of her iced tea, when she heard movement from beside the house. She got up to investigate, when two men in business suits came around the corner.
"Mrs. Tyler? Hi, we're from Intercontinental Investments and were wondering if you had a moment?" said one of the men.
"Oh, well, I have an investment advisor already," replied Wendi, "I don't think I'm interested in changing firms. How did you get past the front gate?"
The other man raised a small spray bottle up to her face and fired it. Gas immediately enveloped Wendi's head. A second later, she collapsed to the ground.
"Romulus wants her ASAP," said one of the men. "Let's get a move on; we don't want to be late."
Wendi Tyler awoke much later, strapped into a comfortable chair in a dark room. There was a light on, but it was shone directly onto her face. She could tell others were in the room with her, but could not make out who they were.
"Mrs. Tyler," said one of the figures before her, "We need something from you. Its something we're going to get, whether you like it or not. I do hope you'll give it to us willingly but rest assured, you will do as we ask one way or another."
Wendi gave her captors a fierce look of defiance. "My husband was one of the greatest heroes this world has ever seen. You don't stay married to a man like that without learning to deal with men like you. You'll get nothing from me."
The voice sighed. "Very well, Mrs. Tyler. We do this the hard way then." There was noise as equipment was moved closer to her. A headset was fixed onto her head. "Check for positive contacts, then begin the reformatting. Notify me when you're done. I'm going to check on the status of the Gotham shipment," said the voice.
"Yes, Highlord Romulus," replied another voice. Footsteps sounded as Romulus left the room.
"Hold on, Mrs. Tyler," said the other voice. "I'm told this hurts one hell of a lot."
"Not as much as I'm going to hurt you," said Wendi Tyler in a decidedly masculine voice. She raised her arms up, dropping the handcuffs that had restrained her. She latched the handcuffs around the wrists of the other man while striking his temple. He collapsed like a rag doll into the chair Wendi had been sitting in. Wendi attached the headset to her captor's head and turned to the reformatting device the headset was plugged into.
"Pleasant dreams," said Wendi as she ripped her face off, dropping it to the floor. Wendi Tyler was gone. Christopher Chance had taken her place.
He raised his voice and spoke. "Let's do this," he said. A dark shadow cast by the light suddenly came to life as Obsidian opened a portal from the Shadowlands. Obsidian entered the room then closed the portal.
"All right," said Chance. "If you can do what you say you can, Obsidian, then you heard every word I did. Romulus just left this room."
"I've been tracking him through the ambient shadows in this place. He's not far," said Obsidian. "Let me teleport over to him, then we make some noise." Obsidian disappeared in a puff of ebony mist.
Seconds later, Obsidian reappeared with a bound Romulus wrapped in shadowstuff. Obsidian held a small device in his hand. "Steel's suicide deactivator seems to be working. So far his head is intact."
"Let's get out of here," said Chance. Obsidian opened another portal and the three men left the torture room.
Wendi Tyler paced back and forth in her guest quarters onboard the Higher Authority. The door to her room opened and she was relieved to see her son, Rick, dressed in his Hourman garb.
"Is it over, son?" she asked. "Did you get the bastards?"
"We're almost there, Mom," replied Rick. "We've got the man Victor reported to. Ted and Todd are working him over now."
"I hope that bastard Victor is dead," she said. "I can't believe he would betray us like this!"
Rick sat down with his mother on her bed. "Neither can I, Mom. I always thought of him as one of the good guys. We have him held in a holding cell."
"What did they do to change him so?" asked Wendi. Tears began to fall down her face.
"Victor told us they had incriminating photos of him with an underage girl," said Rick. "They threatened to go public with them. Turns out Victor has some particular tastes when it comes to women."
"My God," said Wendi. "Rick, promise me. Promise me you will rid Tyler Chemicals of this Intergang for good. Promise me!" The look in her eyes was as desperate as he had seen her since his father died. "Besides you, this company is all I have left of your father promise me you'll destroy these monsters!"
"I promise, Mom," said Rick.
Romulus sat in his emerald restraints as calm as a cat. One might think he was there of his own free will. The bruises on his face showed otherwise.
"You're gonna talk," said Wildcat. "It's just a matter of whether you'll have any teeth left when we're done."
Obsidian smiled as he approached Romulus. "You remember the ride over here? Not too pleasant, huh? Imagine spending a day there, without me to protect you. There are fates worse than death, man. Believe it."
Romulus continued to smile. "I know you all well enough to know that you can't kill me. A few hits to my face are nothing compared to what my master will do should I betray him. You're the men riding the white horse in from the sunset nothing you do will make me talk."
The door to the room opened. Hourman walked in. He looked at his two teammates. "Give us a few minutes," he said.
The look in his eyes spoke volumes. Wildcat walked up to Hourman and set his face close to him. "Kid, don't do anything drastic, okay? We don't operate that way."
Hourman looked Wildcat in the eye and smiled. "Don't worry," he said. "I won't lay a finger on him."
At least partially satisfied, Wildcat motioned for Obsidian to follow him out. "We'll be right outside the door, kid," he said. They exited the room. The doorway irised shut.
Wildcat and Obsidian got themselves a coffee as they waited. They hadn't drunk more than a sip when a scream came from the prisoner's chamber. The walls in the Higher Authority had remarkable sound baffling ability. For them to hear a scream out here meant it would have been deafening inside. They made a dash for the doorway. Before they could reach it, it opened and Hourman exited.
"What the hell did you do, kid?!" asked Wildcat. He ran past Hourman and saw Romulus. He had tears streaming down his face, sobbing like a baby. Wildcat looked down and saw why. Romulus's right hand was nothing but powder. "You said you wouldn't lay a finger on him!"
"Well," replied Hourman, "I guess just one, then." His right index finger shimmered as if in a heat haze, and then returned to normal.
"There's a shipment of some kind of important weapon being sent from Gotham City tonight," said Obsidian. "We have a location and details. Romulus was apparently willing to talk." He gave a look of disappointment to Hourman. Hourman said nothing.
"All right then," said Green Lantern. "Let's do this by the numbers, right, Mr. Chairman?" He gave a stern look towards Hourman, as did the Flash and Wildcat. Starman's face gave away nothing.
"By the numbers," said Hourman. "Starman, myself, Green Lantern and Obsidian will head to Gotham. Flash and Wildcat will head to the other major lead Romulus gave us."
They all headed to the teleporters. Hourman knew that his actions tonight had cost him dearly.
"What the hell are these?" asked Obsidian as he picked up one of the weapons from the confiscated crates. It resembled a handheld computer, with a stylus and a small screen.
"If Intergang is back," said Batman, "Then that could be just about anything. Especially if Apokolips is involved." Batman had begun examining another of the devices. It was in several pieces already.
"Find anything interesting?" asked Green Lantern. "We could bring one to Steel for analysis."
"Steel is an asset," said Batman, "But won't be needed here. If I'm correct, then this is the last thing I expected in a weapons shipment in Gotham City."
"What is it?" asked Hourman.
"It's a detector," said Batman. "A metahuman detector to be precise."
"You mean it detects superhumans?" asked Obsidian.
"Yes," replied Batman.
"But why would these criminals be smuggling something like this?" asked Starman.
"That is an excellent question," said Batman.
Unnoticed, above the assembled heroes, someone watched through a pair of binoculars. The observer shifted his weight as he zoomed in for a closer look. Behind the man, someone cleared their throat. He turned to see who it was had discovered him.
It was Robin.
"Enjoying the show?" Robin asked as he brought out his collapsible bo-staff. Robin was surprised when his quarry also brought out a collapsible staff of his own, albeit far more high tech than his own. The staff crackled with energy.
The observer lunged at Robin, knocking him aside as his bo-staff was sheared in two by his opponent's attack. The attacker grabbed Robin by the cape and threw him against the far wall. Momentarily stunned, Robin was helpless as his attacker approached him for the kill. What surprised Robin was not that he had been beaten - he knew he wasn't the best hand to hand combatant out there, albeit not far from it - no, what surprised Robin was what his attacker was wearing. He had read the Batcave files enough to know what he was looking at.
His attacker was dressed in a stylized yet recognizable uniform Robin had seen before. His attacker was dressed very much like an android Manhunter.
Next Issue: "Intergangwar" concludes as the fight is taken
even further as the team confronts the criminal organization's head in
downtown Metropolis! Plus the JSA meets the new Manhunter
threat or their newest member?