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"Deathblow": At the S.T.A.R. Labs Metropolis branch, the scientists under the lab's employ are expecting an attack by a fighter from another city. Though the building is well fortified, they look to Aquaman for insight into anything they might have missed. He recalls


Quote1 Everyone always thinks Batman' is the dark one in the Justice League... but the fact is the truly dangerous one is you. Quote2
-- Dane Dorrance



Appearing in "Deathblow"

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Synopsis for "Deathblow"

At the S.T.A.R. Labs Metropolis branch, the scientists under the lab's employ are expecting an attack by a fighter from another city. Though the building is well fortified, they look to Aquaman for insight into anything they might have missed. He recalls that when the Lava Men brought siege to Atlantis, they had got in through the un-guarded sewer system. In that very moment, the sentries in the sub-basement lavatory go radio-silent, murdered by Deathblow.

Despite Aquaman's attempts to bolster his companions' spirits, they are quickly and easily cut down by Deathblow. Angrily, Aquaman punches him hard, causing the assassin to note that the Atlantean's file had said he was strong. He tries to make Aquaman angry to unbalance him, but instead, he only makes him angry enough to break his neck with one punch. Seeing him dead, Aquaman wonders if this means he has won, and Telos will let his people live. Unfortunately, Deathblow rises - admitting that his super-power is that he can't die. Worriedly, Aquaman shoves the survivors into the hall and warns them away. When he turns back to Deathblow to face his challenge, the assassin is surprised when he suddenly bolts away.

He leads Deathblow to the power plant, waiting behind some cover for the right moment. When Deahtblow catches up, he fires his retractable hook into the wall behind the assassin. He then begins reeling it in, and releases the coolant from the pipe that the hook had been lodged in. When the water touches Aquaman, it gives him renewed strength, and Deathblow has to wrench himself out of his grip to get somewhere dryer.

As it turns out, Deathblow knows about a contingency plan that S.T.A.R. Labs had, thanks to International Operations. They designed a way to take down Aquaman, if he turned on them. Before the scientists can stop him, Deathblow activates their "Drydock" subroutine, and Aquaman starts feeling the heat. Confused, he pulls the fire alarm, hoping the sprinklers will turn on, but they don't. Calling out, he demands to know what's going on. Over the intercom, Dr. Dorrance explains that when Arthur took over the Aquarium a year ago, he'd created this dehydrator system, just in case he proved to be a threat. While the general populace have always believed Batman to be the darkest member of the Justice League, it was always Aquaman who was truly the most dangerous.

Deathblow prepares to kill a weakened Aquaman, taunting that the nearest ocean is a universe away. This sparks a realization in Dr. Dorrance, though. He recalls that every cell in the human body evolved from cells that had once subsisted in the sea. The human body contains a large percentage of water. Hearing this, Aquaman thrusts his hook into Deathblow's throat, sending blood gushing forth. Coldly, he admits that if it had been anyone else, he wouldn't have done it, but since Deathblow can't die, he feels no guilt, drawing strength from the blood pouring from his veins. Blood is the chemical equivalent to seawater.

Arthur drags Deathblow to Dorrance, urging the doctor not to worry about the dehydrator. He wonders what he's supposed to do with Deathblow, given that he may soon return to life. Suddenly, monitors reveal that Deathblow's city of San Diego is vanishing - and Deathblow along with it. Arthur assumes this means he's won, but stumbles as an earthquake causes him to lose his balance. Hurrying outside to see what's going on, Aquaman sees that the city is still standing, but he can't be sure they're in the clear. He determines to go on patrol and see that the city is ready for whatever threat is coming.

Appearing in "Divergence: Doctor Fate"

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Synopsis for "Divergence: Doctor Fate"

A storm is raging over Bay Ridge in Brooklyn, and Khalid Nassour's cat Puck is getting skittish. His father worries about the rain, a bit wary after having had to work extra shifts to pay for all the damage that was done by Hurricane Sandy. The Nile had never been so vicious as that hurricane. The Nassours had come from Egypt, and though he was a trained doctor, Khalid's father couldn't practice with a license from that country, and had been forced to become a cab driver. His plan for Khalid is to ensure that he becomes a doctor and be allowed to practice. Despite the rain, Khalid begs his father for a ride to the garden to meet with his girlfriend Shaya.

On the way, Khalid is puzzled by a jackal he sees running around the city. As the water from the bay starts rising, threatening further floods, the jackal meets with the cat Puck, and they communicate, discussing the fate of mortal man. The flood must come, restoring the Maat that governs all worlds.

Finally, Khalid meets with Shaya in the gardens and she gleefully notes how lovely the flowers smell, now that the rain appears to have stopped. Despite it being nice to see her, Shaya warns that she has to go. Both of them are headed to med-school, and she fully expects that they won't have much time for one another until they have actually graduated, and become certified. Frustratingly, she kisses him, and hurries toward the subway stairs. Unfortunately, the subways are flooded. She catches a cab, leaving Khalid with his thoughts.

He is surprised when he spots his cat, which he believes to have followed him. In Shaya's absence, the rain has begun again, and he leaves the cat to find its own way home, seeking shelter for himself in the Brooklyn Museum, hoping to find something for Shaya in the gift shop.

In the museum, he suddenly hears a voice coming from a mysterious Egyptian statue, holding out a golden Helm, and warning that the tide is upon him.

Notes

  • This book was first published on May 13, 2015.
  • "Divergence: Doctor Fate" is an original eight-page story, providing a "special sneak peek" at Doctor Fate (Volume 4). It was also released separately as a free digital comic. It can be read here: DC Sneak Peek: Doctor Fate.

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