"Flashzone": Thanagar is divided into two worlds. In the skies, the decadent aristocracy enjoy their lofty perches which were built on by the oppression of the underclass and cast-outs who live in the slums of Downside. A squadron of wingmen led by Commander Byth Rok head to a flash zone which i
- Welcome to Downside, Ensign Katar. You don't belong here, you know.
- -- Byth Rok
Appearing in "Flashzone"
Synopsis for "Flashzone"
Thanagar is divided into two worlds. In the skies, the decadent aristocracy enjoy their lofty perches which were built on by the oppression of the underclass and cast-outs who live in the slums of Downside. A squadron of wingmen led by Commander Byth Rok head to a flash zone which is basically a sector under crisis or as they call it jamming. Ensign Katar Hol observes the squalor in the slums but notices a statue of Kalmoran, the hero who defeated the legions of Polara and became the first High Mor of Thanagar during the Empirium Era. Captain Kragger offers Katar an experimental opiate from Illoral to relax his nerves before descending into the flash zone but Katar refuses. Katar spots a wingless hostile named Shindat Crespa holding a squeaker at gunpoint in a nearby building. Side note: Squeakers are Thanagarian juveniles who haven't fully matured. Wingless are Thanagarians who are fully matured but never sprouted any wings and are cast out into the slums of Thanagar. Captain Kragger and Ensign Katar find another entry point into the building in order to flank Shindat from behind. Before flanking the Shindat, Kragger inquires why Katar, the son of the esteemed Dr. Paran Hol from the High Towers, is getting his hands dirty with the Wingmen. Katar ignores the question and busts in. Shindat says he won't hurt the squeakers as long as he talks to Commander Byth. Katar lowers his weapon in order to negotiate but Kragger comes in from behind and shoots Shindat. Kragger notices Katar's unnerved reluctance to what just happened and offers the ensign the opiate one last time. Katar brushes it off and starts escorting the squeakers to the pick up rendezvous.
Afterwards, Katar does a sweep of the room where Shindat was and notices a peculiar wall with Velmar padding. Katar tears its down and discovers an arms cache. Commander Byth comes in from behind and congratulates Katar on his admirable performance with the squeakers as well as the discovery of the arms cache. Katar suspects Byth had a hand in arming Shindat. Byth brushes off Katar's suspicions by stating his reputation in the slums of Thanagar is infamous and any low life will try to discredit the honor of a wngman. On the way back to the High Towers, Kragger makes one last attempt to offer the opiate to Katar and Katar finally accepts. Later that night, Katar attends a party with his father who wants to introduce him to Commissioner Andar Pul. During the introductions, Katar also meets Administrator Porvis Thal and his ravishing daughter Shayera. Paran rambles on about Katar's academic obsession with Thanagar's history and his collection of artifacts. Shayera is intrigued by Katar's fascinations and asks him to escort her to the dance floor while her father gets drunk on Polaran wine. Shayera notices Katar's disappointment in Thanagar because the planet no longer crafts, composes or produces anything. Thanagarians simply live off of off-world goods and labor. Katar considers his father as Thanagar's last artisan who invents new ways to better those who live in the skies. All of a sudden, an alien waiter trips and spills wine over Shayera's dress. The aristocrat part of Shayera showed such anger and contempt for the alien's clumsiness. The host of the party informs Shayera that he will have the waiter expelled from the High Towers and into the Downside for this offense. Both Katar and Paran defend the waiter stating the socio-economic turmoil in the Downside will soon reach a breaking point if things continue to run they are now. Both the commissioner and administrator tell the Hols to keep their righteous notions to themselves less they attract opposition that could damage their reputations.
The next day, Kragger remarks about Katar's discovery of Shindat's arms cache. Kragger tells Katar that someone has been supplying the Downside with weapons and organizing them. Kragger has an informant named Kutch'm Ht'Tar who might have some notion as to who the supplier is. As Kragger interrogated his informant, both wingmen come under attack by three assailants. Kutch'm and Kragger are killed but Katar manages to take out one. The two assassins scatter into the dark recesses of the Downside while Katar cradles Kragger's lifeless body. From afar, Byth observes his attempted assassination of the two wingmen. Byth is disappointed that Katar wasn't eliminated but at least Kragger won't be snooping around nor will Kutch'm be informing on anyone.
Shayera and her father take Katar on a hunting trip to take his mind of what happened in the Downside. Administrator Thal flies off with his latest hangover thus leaving the two alone. Katar finds another statue of Kalmoran and tells Shayera about his final days. Before Kalmoran founded Thanagar, it was an enslaved planet by the Polaran home world. Kalmoran was a slave who rose up against his oppressors and raised an army of three thousand. Kalmoran stormed the Polaran garrison and liberated every planet that was under Polaran dominion. When he knew death was upon him, Kalmoran laid in the arms of his queen and gazed at the stars before closing his eyes for the final time. Shayera interrupts Katar's story by ingesting an opiate and starts shooting at Illorians that were foraging. One of the Illorians she didn't kill limped away but was fatally wounded. Katar goes off to put the creature out of it misery. Katar follows the blood trail to a cave where he finds the Illorian dead with its mate and baby grieving. Katar leaves the frightened widow and the child to their grief. Katar felt nothing but heartache and disappointment for his race. He decides to hang his necklace which bears a likeness to Kalmoran on the hand of Kalmoran's statue without giving a second thought.
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Links and References
|Crisis Reboot |
After the Crisis on Infinite Earths, a 1985–1986 maxiseries which completely reset the continuity of the entire DC Universe, all of DC's major characters and franchises needed to be updated to reflect the changes in the events of their lives. Multiple story arcs were put out to explain these rebooted versions of popular characters.