"Rock of Ages, Part Four: Wasteland": Three heroes had been recruited and sent to the furthest reach of the universe. Making their way back as light-squared energy beings, they re-entered earthly spacetime. However, they got the date wrong, and arrived in the bodies of their alternate selves. Aq
- The gods came, Aquaman. They obliterated us. There are no heroes. I'm just Ray Palmer, a guerilla trapped behind enemy lines... I was a scientist, and science lost out to... religion.
- -- The Atom
Appearing in "Rock of Ages, Part Four: Wasteland"
- The Justice League
- Cosmic Staff
- Helmet of Fate
- Superman's electromagnetic containment suit
- Robin's costume
- Captain Marvel's gauntlets
- Mister Miracle's cloak fastenings
- Martian Manhunter's harness
Synopsis for "Rock of Ages, Part Four: Wasteland"
Three heroes had been recruited and sent to the furthest reach of the universe. Making their way back as light-squared energy beings, they re-entered earthly spacetime. However, they got the date wrong, and arrived in the bodies of their alternate selves. Aquaman entered his body during a fight with the Deep Six, but he had just summoned a mutant whale to knock the villains aside. As Aquaman makes his way to Metropolis to summon help, he wonders why his hand is so old. But by the time he works it out, he is too late - and from the state of Metropolis, he has been for a long time now.
As a flying soldier patterned after a Parademon appears to suffer a nervous breakdown, Aquaman meets Wonder Woman - alive and kicking in this grim future. Fighting through a horde of flying soldiers, they punch through the pavement and escape into the old sewers. The rogue trooper follows them, but as they prepare to kill him, he reveals his name: Kyle Rayner.
Looking for help, the three heroes track down Wally West. Living in a worker's dorm in the Keystone Ghetto Firepit construction site, Wallace West is out of shape, dying by degrees and cut off from the Speed Force. The day is dire.
A meeting of heroes may help them, but no-one is hopeful; superheroes have been a target of the new regime, ever since Darkseid took over when he invaded Earth after the JLA destroyed the Philosopher's Stone. Superman committed suicide after killing his brainwashed wife. Batman was captured eight years ago, Aztek is dead. However, Aquaman refuses to give up hope. The Atom, remembering who Aquman used to be, is empowered by the outburst, and convinces them to try a plan.
On New Genesis, remade as a mirror of Apokolips, Darkseid consults with DeSaad, who is on the Earth. Granny Goodness downloaded herself into New Genesis' Mother Box, becoming the merciless Grandmother Box. DeSaad's stronghold in Las Vegas, where victims are brought to be tortured to death. As Kyle goes in the front with the Justice League masquerading as his prisoners, the Atom travels into the facility in a phone line. He is attacked by nanobots, but shrinks down to a quantum scale and hitches a ride the rest of the way within them.
Outside, the heroes worry that the Atom has not made contact. They break through the door, and prepare to fight, but there is... nothing. No troops, no security, just a loud of posters. Wary of a trap, they go further into the complex. Confronting "DeSaad", they hear the truth: Batman defeated DeSaad and took his place two months ago. After a battle of wits, he convinced DeSaad to download himself into a Mother Box. Masquerading as DeSaad, Batman has had contact with Darkseid, which led him to one belief: Darkseid must be stopped, no matter the cost, because any alternative is better than that. Darkseid should be on Earth by now, but Batman wants the heroes to attack the Moon first.
In Metropolis, there is a drop in air pressure, and the few remaining babies start to cry. As the sound of thunder splits the sky, the people of Earth must once again face the fact that truth and justice are abstracts... and Darkseid Is.
- Future Darkseid is distinguished from his modern self by a pharoanic beard ending in an omega symbol.
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