"Battleground Earth": The Invasion! is fully under way. War rages across the planet, as any and all available superhumans fight for their lives against the aliens. But Earth stands united. Social barriers have dropped, and heroes are teaming up with villains against the threat. Reports
- Victory came because every nation and every citizen of Earth cooperated in this crisis. If we could stand together to defeat an alien enemy, then perhaps we can finally unite to bring about a lasting world peace.
- -- Captain Atom
Appearing in "Battleground Earth"
- Amanda Waller
- Captain Atom
- Phantom Stranger
- The Flash
- Green Lantern
- Justice League International
- Kel Gand (Dies)
- Hero Summit
- Chunk (Cameo)
- Lyrissa Mallor (First appearance)
- Strata (First appearance)
- Tasmanian Devil (Cameo)
- Vulko (Cameo)
- Wonder Woman (Cameo)
Synopsis for "Battleground Earth"The Invasion! is fully under way. War rages across the planet, as any and all available superhumans fight for their lives against the aliens. But Earth stands united. Social barriers have dropped, and heroes are teaming up with villains against the threat. Reports of heroism in the face of death come in from around the world. While a minor cease-fire has been negotiated, the humans regroup and get organized. President Reagan appoints four individuals to the security council commanding our defenses. General Wade Eiling is in charge of the armed forces, Captain Atom is conducting the super forces, Amanda Waller has been placed in charge of intelligence, and Maxwell Lord is acting as the Justice League liaison and advisor. A massive summit is held for all of the super-powered forces, during which they receive information and briefing on tactical strategy so that they can coordinate with the military. It's time to go on the offensive. Superman has also been chosen as a community leader. Although they are unable to discern why the aliens do not simply destroy their planet, they acknowledge that nuclear retaliation is out of the question... rather than allow things to escalate, they must fight through conventional warfare. Captain Atom insists they take the fight to their invaders, and Waller offers the resources of the Suicide Squad to help round up supervillains for the assault.
In space, the Alien Alliance also eagerly awaits the end of the cease-fire. The Dominators clearly intend to betray their allies after they have gained the secrets of the metahumans. Tensions rise, and the Khunds in the Melbourne Earth-Base are concerned about possible incompetence in the Dominion leadership. They have yet to retain any captives with the exception of Australia's Tasmanian Devil. The war-like Khunds are finally impressed to see the earthlings breaking the cease-fire an hour early with a surprise attack.
Unknown to either parties, a lone Dominator researcher believes that he has finally discovered the secrets of the metahumans... in the metagene. Without the knowledge of his caste superiors, he is defying the conventions of his race, and has privately constructed a Gene Bomb which he plans to use to negate their powers.Most of Justice League International, including a few others tagging along fly straight to the alien headquarters in Australia and attempt to do as much damage as they can. Nemesis leads the Suicide Squad in the fight as well. The Daxamites take great interest as observers in this unfamiliar display of superheroics... but perceiving Superman as a personal threat to them, they use their newfound powers under the yellow sun (on par with those of a Kryptonian) to take him out personally. Superman fights valiantly against them blow for blow, although he is outmatched by numbers... until they start reacting to an element in the air poisonous to their species , which takes them out of the fight. Rather than simply accept his victory, Superman brings the Daxamites into outer space away from Earth's atmosphere where they can safely breathe. Moved by his display of honor during battle, they switch alliances... and call in the Daxam fleet to fight by Earth's side. Unfortunately, their leader, Kel Gand dies sacrificing himself to send the communique and put a stop to the senseless violence.
The fight rages all across the world. At the Arctic Circle, the Atlantean army continues to fight against the Gil'Dishpan contingent stationed there, led by Aquaman along with the Sea Devils and the Doom Patrol. In a vicious ambush, the underwater forces attack and the sea runs red with alien blood. They are able to claim total victory.
Lex Luthor makes a contribution to the war efforts... tricking the Dominators into picking up false decoy heroes with bombs implanted inside... leading to massive amounts of destruction when false metahumans are brought to the vivisection table and examined too closely.
The Flash fights both Durlans and insurgents in Cuba. He chases them out into the open and Manhunter guns them down, directing them into a trap. Rudy West is forced to sacrifice himself by detonating an explosion to destroy their base of operations... he goes to his death calmly and with dignity.
Although the Warlords of Okaara sweep through Moscow like storm troopers, they are opposed by the New Guardians and the Rocket Red Brigade. This is one area where the Alliance seems to be prevailing and the heroes are struggling to fend them off and preserve the city.
Khund Command is strangely called to withdraw from Earth-Base and return to the fleet in outer space. The Justice League sends a team up to the Moon to pursue, although they are outgunned and pinned down by enemy fire. They regroup with Superman and the Daxamites, under cover of Green Lantern's force field. The Alliance high command is clearly begins to feel paranoia directed towards the Dominion leadership after questionable orders seem to betray external interests.
Rioting at Starlag against the Citadelians ensues after Vril Dox slips aggression drugs into the food supply for a distraction. Along with Garryn Bek and a mysterious Durlan, he breaks into the maximum security block... and frees the Omega Men along with a number of metahumans and other more powerful prisoners. The combined forces turn the tides against their captors... although many are killed in the conflict, including Primus.
Finally, the Daxamite fleet arrives... with a message of unmitigated support for Earth's fighters. Proposing a new alliance, they announce that any attacks toward humanity will be interpreted as direct attacks on Daxam, and responded to in kind. With an army of super-soldiers each with the strength of a man of steel now on their side, the war turns irrevocably in our favor. Now pushing the offensive with their own personal cavalry, the League rides through the enemy fleet and decimates them. It's an absolute massacre. All across the world, the tides turn and the fighting forces are able to drive back their enemies. It's a triumphant victory.
The alien command deteriorates and falls to pieces as troops are forced to evacuate world-wide. A fraudulent transmission from the Martian Manhunter posing as a caste leader destroys any remaining shred of credibility for the Dominators. A call for surrender goes out across transmission signals, and the Alien Alliance is destroyed lest they risk further damage and humiliation. Determined to prevail regardless of their circumstances, the Dominators are prepared to unleash a doomsday weapon and simply obliterate the Earth... until they strangely turn on each other, and kill themselves. Deadman had infiltrated their leadership and been manipulating events all along.
The cry goes out around the world, and although the great losses during the war are mourned... Earth celebrates the day its citizens worked together and put aside their differences for the greater good of their world. Faced with extinction, mankind stood united. There is a sense of comraderie, and humility even in the greatest of heroes... from the most powerful supers to the smallest infantry soldiers. As people struggle to rebuild cities from the rubble, Captain Atom gives a public address on national television. The Alliance agreed to an unconditional surrender, and were granted only enough supplies to get back home, having pledged that they would never again dare to attack Earth. With the help of the Daxamites, the Dominators and Khunds are personally escorted from our system. The news media is unanimous in their support for the super-heroes... who stood firm when they were needed most, and worked side by side to defend us all. The day will forever be remembered as one of the greatest in the history of the world.
- This issue marks the first usage of the word "metagene".
- All of the Invasion! First Strike tie-ins take place directly before this issue. Invasion! Aftermath takes place afterward.
- Superman was sent to meet with the Dominators in Adventures of Superman #449.
- This issue is reprinted in the Invasion! trade paperback.
- The cover to this issue is inspired by the Marine Corps War Memorial honoring the men who fought during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II. This iconic image has also been used for the cover to Countdown to Final Crisis #15.
- In Who's Who in the DC Universe #14, an alternate interpretation of the hero summit is used in a pin-up by artist Bart Sears to illustrate the event for a profile.
- Likewise, Superman's fight with the Daxamites is used as inspiration for an illustration in JLA in Crisis Secret Files and Origins #1 by artist Frank Fosco, in a similar manner to a Who's Who entry.
- Guy Gardner challenging people for authority is an ongoing joke, which has sometimes led to embarrassing consequences for the GL. He briefly challenges Superman in this issue... notably, his disputes with Superman for supremacy will eventually lead him to quit Justice League International in Justice League America #63.
- Swamp Thing appears at the super-hero summit, although this is incongruous with his other appearances. Shortly before the invasion, the Dominators blasted him backwards into the Timestream and he is trapped in the past. This occurred in Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #80.
- Marvel Comics' Spider-Man can also be seen in the back at the super-hero summit.
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