"The Villain's Journey, Chapter Two: The Belly of the Beast": We begin three years ago in the Pamir Mountains of Central Asia. David Graves battles extreme weather as he searches for something near Mount Sumeru, a place known by some for its connection t
Appearing in "The Villain's Journey, Chapter Two: The Belly of the Beast"
- David Graves (Flashback and main story)
- Weapons Master (hologram)
- Key (hologram)
- Scarecrow (hologram)
- Scavenger (hologram)
- Captain Cold (hologram)
- Cheetah (hologram)
- The Asuras (First appearance)
- Hippolyta (Flashback only) (Statue only)
- Vulko (Flashback only)
- Martian Manhunter (Mentioned only)
- Patty Spivot (Mentioned only)
- Vibe (Mentioned only)
- Central Asia (Flashback only)
Synopsis for "The Villain's Journey, Chapter Two: The Belly of the Beast"
We begin three years ago in the Pamir Mountains of Central Asia. David Graves battles extreme weather as he searches for something near Mount Sumeru, a place known by some for its connection to the afterlife. David encounters a large deity with six arms. Exhausted, David begs for help. Instead the deity tells David he must complete the journey on his own power. At the urging of this deity, David continues to head towards a mystic temple of some sort; at first rowing his small boat, then attempting to walk, and finally crawling the rest of the way.
In the present, we see Steve Trevor, still imprisoned in a room where David Graves has taken him. The room is windowless and has large pipes exposed, suggesting it is a basement of some kind. Trevor is bleeding and exhausted from being tortured by Graves last issue. Trevor is bound to a chair with clamps that restrain him at the wrists. He struggles and breaks free. As he attempts to head through an exit door, he is assaulted by some supernatural entities that use ghostly arms and hands to grope at Steve. The entities call out to Steve, suggesting they want to feed on Steve's personal loss and emotional pain.
Aquaman helps rescue survivors of a cruise ship that has shipwrecked. Some TV reporters get in his face, rudely suggesting that there are other super-heroes more deserving of Justice League membership. Aquaman shakes off the insult. Cyborg summons him to an emergency Justice League meeting. Aquaman tells Cyborg he is too busy. But then Aquaman reminds himself of an earlier time when he served the needs of Atlantis as its King, out of a sense of duty and responsibility, even when it was difficult. Aquaman tells Cyborg he is on the way.
At the Watchtower, Batman explains to the other members that somebody named Graves has been attacking, torturing, and interrogating Justice League enemies. When Green Lantern asks why this is even a problem, he is told that Graves has been collecting information about their secrets, including weaknesses and relationships of the Justice League members. Cyborg proceeds to provide some of the details.
Graves shows up at the Watchtower, using Steve Trevor's access code to get past the satellite's security system. Wonder Woman wants to know what Graves has done to Steve Trevor. As she lunges towards Graves, he seems to use occult powers to suck the life out of her, leaving her emaciated and in shock. Demons help him accomplish this; demons he first encountered in the Pamir Mountains.
In flashbacks, we see when Graves first encountered the demons. David was looking to reunite with his deceased family members. He sees them in spirit form. The deities tell Graves he will rejoin his family, and he will have his vengeance. Then Graves seems to absorb several of the demons, rather painfully. The images suggest that Graves may be absorbing the spirits of his deceased wife and children.
Back in the Watchtower, Batman says, "Take him," and the team attacks. But each member in turn has his life force sucked out, as the demons feed on each member's emotional pain and personal loss. As Superman is the final victim, the other heroes already lie on the floor, lifeless and emaciated.
Appearing in "Shazam!"
Synopsis for "Shazam!"
Foster parents Victor and Rosa Vasquez discuss Billy Batson and the events of last issue. Victor suggests that Billy was doing some play acting when they met him at child services, and that he is showing his true colors now. Rosa defends Billy, suggesting that Billy's encounter with Mr. Bryer has left Billy traumatized. Mr. Bryer is the richest man in Philadelphia, and the father of the four nasty bullies who are bullying Billy's new family at school. Mr. Bryer is a pretty nasty fellow himself, and Billy had the guts to stand up to him. But now Billy has hardly touched his hamburger, and Victor is concerned. Victor expresses frustration, telling Rosa that Billy never gave them a chance.
In fact, Billy is in his room, packing that hamburger in his backpack. He leaves the pickles behind, and sneaks out. Billy heads to a zoo, crawling in through a breach in the brick wall, and feeds the hamburger to Tawny, a tiger that Billy seems to know personally. Freddy tails Billy, but is eventually spotted by him. Billy pushes Freddy, who tumbles down in the snow. Freddy admits he previously lifted Billy's wallet out of curiosity, but did not steal anything.
Billy and Freddy discuss the problem with the Bryer brothers. Freddy reveals that the four bullies have been bothering them daily for quite a while. Freddy usually distracts the bullies so that Mary can help the younger ones get away.
Freddy tries to convince Billy to give Mr. and Mrs. Vasquez a chance. But Billy defiantly says "They aren't my parents."
Freddy thanks Billy for intervening when the bullies were bothering them. They consider heading to the Bryer home to get even.
45 miles north of Baghdad, Dr. Sivana continues the archaeological dig at the Tomb of Black Adam. Aided by his magical right eye, (see last issue), Sivana is now able to read the hieroglyphs. They tell him that he can release Black Adam and bring magic to the world with the utterance of a single word. Sivana quietly speaks the word "Shazam", the magic lightning hits, and a hooded Black Adam stands before him, asking for the Wizard.
- This book was first published on June 27, 2012.
- A reporter mentions that Vibe would have been better suited for the Justice League rather than Aquaman.
- The Pamir Mountains are a mountain range in Central Asia.
- Mount Sumeru is the home of the Gods in Hindu-Buddhist tradition.
- Semeru is a mountain in Indonesia whose name is derived from Mount Meru.
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