"Nightfall": Lex Luthor is having a good day. Now that his legal team has got him acquitted of his crimes, he is a free man, and the majority of his assets - including half of the Metropolis skyline - are his again. On the way back to his penthouse via
- We have watched your world. It is a world very different from our own. A world that wastes its time protecting the weak. Your world fights against the most basic rule of evolution: natural selection. The progression of the human race has been halted by allowing those who offer society nothing to continue to consume, procreate and breathe. This place has allowed the inadequate, incompetent and ignorant to thrive. The destitute are winning. But the war is not over. You are the strongest there are. You were given your power for a reason. Join us and we will take this world together! Aeternus Malum. "Forever Evil."
- -- Ultraman
Appearing in "Nightfall"
- Black Adam
- Black Bison
- Black Manta
- Black Mask
- Captain Boomerang
- Doctor Phosphorus
- Emperor Penguin
- Fearsome Five
- Felix Faust
- Gentleman Ghost
- Harley Quinn
- Hector Hammond
- Hugo Strange
- Joker's Daughter
- Killer Croc
- Killer Frost
- King Shark
- Mad Hatter
- Monocle (Dies)
- Mr. Freeze
- Mr. Zsasz
- Nick Necro
- Poison Ivy
- Professor Ivo
- Professor Pyg
- Royal Flush Gang
- Thomas Kord (Dies)
Synopsis for "Nightfall"
Lex Luthor is having a good day. Now that his legal team has got him acquitted of his crimes, he is a free man, and the majority of his assets - including half of the Metropolis skyline - are his again. On the way back to his penthouse via helicopter, Lex attempts to negotiate with Thomas Kord the sale of Kord Industries to LexCorp. Unfortunately, Kord is more than reluctant to sell. Casually, Lex comments that he could easily throw Kord from his helicopter if he doesn't agree to sell. Kord rightly interprets this as a threat, but Lex clarifies that it is a threat against Kord's entire family. Ironically, just as Lex presents Kord with a contract to sign under duress, the helicopter loses control, and crashes into the side of LexCorp Tower. Struggling from the wreckage, Lex is disturbed by a message appearing on his phone's screen: "THIS WORLD IS OURS."
In Gotham, Nightwing has returned from Chicago temporarily, with intent to return a recently recaptured Mister Zsasz to Arkham Asylum. He is surprised to receive a call from Barbara Gordon who warns that there has been too much turmoil in their lives to let lies the Joker told keep them away from Batman. She suggests they meet with him later - without masks. Just as Nightwing reaches Arkham, an energy pulse shuts down all power in Gotham, and fills his audio receiver with the message: "THIS WORLD IS OURS." Having lost contact with Barbara, Dick is disturbed to see a caped woman fly down to the doors of Arkham, marvel at the fact that the place is actually a prison, and then rip the doors open. Determined, he attempts to intervene, only to be punched in the face by a man resembling Batman - only not. Before he can react, a barbed lasso circles 'round Nightwing's neck and yanks him aloft, as the two villains decide that 'he will do.
Lex looks up to see that Thomas Kord is still alive, but dangling precariously from the helicopter's wreckage over a sheer drop to the street. Lex delays in doing anything about it, particularly when distracted by the thunderous sound of a man who at first appears to be Superman crashing through the skyscrapers around them. He is forced to leap aside as the powerhouse smashes into LexCorp Tower as well, causing Kord to fall to his death. Unconcerned, Lex follows this newcomer, watching as he smashes into his safe and steals a shard of Kryptonite.
At Iron Heights prison in Central City, the Rogues struggle to get through the facility's chicken-wire fence, given that their relatively new powers make it more difficult than they expect. They are hoping to get inside the prison and free the Trickster. Despite his screwing over their last job, Captain Cold insists that Axel is still one of their own, and better off with them than in prison. Unexpectedly, they are all thrown aside by a super-sonic blast as a speedster crashes through the fence and the wall of the prison, ready to cause havoc. Cold is sure that this speedster and the tiny woman on his shoulder are not the Flash and friend.
At Belle Reve penitentiary in Louisiana, Amanda Waller attempts to recruit Black Manta into the Suicide Squad. He is reluctant because he knows that it's never just one mission with Task Force X. There's always another one coming. To sweeten the deal, she asks what he wants in exchange for joining. Sternly, he responds that all he wants is the death of Aquaman. The negotiation is interrupted, though, by an explosion. Two super-powered criminalss, Deathstorm and Power Ring, are on a mission to break the inmates free from several more prisons after this one.
Lex watches with some consternation as this man who resembles Superman crushes the Kryptonite into a powder, heats it into a vapor with heat-vision, and then snorts the gas. The act seems to give him an intense high, and he gleefully shouts that once again, he is the strongest. The sight fills Lex with horror, and he notes with some interest that the symbol on this man's chest is a U, not an S. As he flies away, Ultraman commands Grid to track down more hidden Kryptonite caches - and to tell no one else about them.
Back at Arkham, the now free inmates are interested to have been given strange silver coins that double as communication devices by their saviors. These communication devices happen to be the only kind of communication device that works anymore. In being given these coins, they have been invited to join a Secret Society - and not everybody is immediately on board. It is left to Two-Face to decide, with a flip of the coin. The inmates of Arkham are in.
At the ruins of the Justice League Watchtower on Rhode Island, the criminals assemble in front of those who recruited them, awaiting answers. Their mingling and arguments are interrupted by the sound of Aquaman's trident clanking against the floor. It is soon followed by the Lasso of Truth, and then Superman's cape. From the dais above, Ultraman announces that there will be no discord among them. The world now belongs to them. The Justice League is dead. Broadcasting across the world, Ultraman introduces the members of the Crime Syndicate, explaining that they come from another world. They ruled it until the people of that world turned against them; so they destroyed it. Now, they have chosen this world to conquer next, and have already killed those that stood against them; the Justice League.
To prove their dominion, the Crime Syndicate reveals its prisoner: Nightwing. Holding him up over the crowded criminals, Superwoman takes great pleasure in peeling off his domino mask, revealing his identity as Richard Grayson. Those viewing on their televisions are filled with confusion and horror, unsure of what to do with the knowledge that Nightwing and Richard Grayson are one and the same - especially in cases where that information could affect their secret identities too. The Crime Syndicate warns that they know everything about Dick Grayson, and they intend to hunt down and destroy everything he holds dear, along with everything that might obstruct their doing so.
Ultraman addresses the newly assembled Secret Society, explaining that this world wastes its time protecting the weak at the expense of the strong. That shall end now. With their power, they can take the world together so that a new world order can rise; one that is forever evil.
With the assembled criminals set loose on the world, the Crime Syndicate prepares for its next move. As the sun rises, though, Ultraman recoils from its radiation. The yellow sun stings his skin.
Lex Luthor watches as the sky darkens overhead, squinting to see that an unscheduled solar eclipse is actually the work of Ultraman, pushing the moon in front of the sun. All of this seems like a job for Superman - but Superman is nowhere to be found.
- This book was first published on September 4, 2013.
- No special notes.
- The large spread of all the villains in the Secret Society is an homage to Crisis on Infinite Earths, which contained a similar image with a large number of heroes.
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