Appearing in "Never-Ending Battle"
- Aquagirl (Dies)
- Batwoman & Ace (Both die)
- Black Canary (Dies)
- Condor (Dies)
- Cossack (First appearance)(Dies)
- The Creeper (Dies)
- Darkstar (Dies)
- Dinah Lance (Dies)
- Doctor Fate
- Dragon (Dies)
- Kid Flash
- Lightning (Dies)
- Mister Scarlet (Dies)
- Menagerie (Dies)
- Mysteryman (First appearance)(Dies)
- Obsidian (Dies)
- Oliver Queen (Dies)
- Phantom Lady (Dies)
- Red Hood (Dies)
- Steel (Dies)
- Theodore Kord (Dies)
- Wildcat (Dies)
- Zatara (Dies)
- Alee Strange (Dies)
- Alloy (Destroyed)
- Aquaman (Dies)
- Atom-Smasher (Dies)
- Brainiac's Daughter (Dies)
- Bulletgirl (Dies)
- Bulletman (Dies)
- Donna Troy (Dies)
- Golden Guardian (Dies)
- Green Lantern
- Hawkman (Dies)
- Hourman (Dies)
- Human Bomb (Dies)
- Living Doll (Dies)
- Nuculoid (Dies)
- Phoebus (Dies)
- Powerman (Destroyed)
- Power Woman
- The Ray
- Red Arrow (Dies)
- Red Robin
- Red Tornado I (Dies)
- Red Tornado II (Dies)
- Robotman (Dies)
- Sandman (Dies)
- Scott Free
- Tornado Champion (Destroyed)
- Wonder Woman
- Gulag inmates
- 666 (Dies)
- Black Manta (Dies)
- Black Mongul (Dies)
- Blue Devil (First appearance)(Dies)
- Buddha (First appearance)(Dies)
- Cathedral (Dies)
- Catwoman II (Dies)
- Kabuki Kommando (Dies)
- NIL-8 (Destroyed)
- Shiva (Dies)
- Stars (Dies)
- Stealth (Dies)
- Stripes (Dies)
- Tokyo Rose
- Tusk (Dies)
- Von Bach (Dies)
- White and Blue (Destroyed)
Synopsis for "Never-Ending Battle"
- There were voices...and thunderings, and lightnings...and an earthquake. This was my dream...no more.
As Norman McCay and the Spectre watch, Armageddon has begun. The Justice League is locked in a battle with the rogue superhumans who have escaped the "Gulag" and are now out to wage war with them. Superman is fighting a hopeless battle with his equal Captain Marvel, who has been brainwashed by Lex Luthor. McCay pleads with the Spectre to make it stop, but the Spectre says he cannot take action yet, that there must be "a reckoning". All he can tell McCay is, "fear God, and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come."
Meanwhile, at the United Nations general assembly, the Secretary-General decides to take action to deal with the rogue superhuman problem once and for all: nuclear devices that are capable of destroying all metahuman life except for Superman. He sends forth the Blackhawk pilots to do the unthinkable job of delivering this destructive payload, and as he returns to his office and watches the planes take off, he slumps in his seat and hangs his head.
Back at the "Gulag", the Justice League seems hopelessly outnumbered and outmatched when Batman's team of superhumans shows up for assistance. Batman personally confronts Wonder Woman as she kills Von Bach before he crushes Zatara to death, suggesting that the real reason she was stripped of her duties and heritage on Paradise Island was that she was not strident enough with her mission. Angered, Wonder Woman turns on Batman and takes him up into the sky to personally deal with him when they both see the Blackhawk planes arriving with the bombs. Batman helps Wonder Woman see what her regaining her Amazon honor will cost her and others if she lets the bombs drop, and so she helps him take out the planes, though one of them manages to drop its payload down toward the warring crowd.
Back on Earth, Captain Marvel continually pelts Superman with his Shazam lightning bolts as he darts out of the way, until Superman finally grabs Captain Marvel as he calls upon Shazam's name, letting the lightning bolt turn Captain Marvel back into Billy Batson. He grabs Batson's mouth and clamps it shut while he tries to reason with Batson, making him see the urgency of a bomb being dropped that will destroy all superhumans except for Superman. He lets Batson make the decision of what's more important to him as he flies off to intercept the bomb. Batson speaks Shazam's name again and transforms into Captain Marvel, flinging Superman to the ground as he outraces the Man of Steel and intercepts the bomb first. He calls upon Shazam's name three times, and the lightning bolt ignites the bomb, consuming all superhumans in a mushroom cloud except for Superman and whoever was protected by the Green Lanterns' power rings.
Enraged by the massive loss of life by this extreme act, Superman flies off in a rage toward the United Nations and seals the doors shut, terrifying all the people within as he threatens to pull down the whole building on top of them. The Spectre takes Norman McCay to the United Nations building to try talking some sense into Superman, to make him see the humanity that he's ignored all those years believing that he was a god. Superman eventually relents, and joined with Batman, Wonder Woman, and the survivors of the battle, he forges a new relationship with the people to not solve their problems for them, but to solve their problems alongside them, not imposing their power among men but working to earn their trust. As the gathered heroes remove their masks and helmets as a symbol of good faith toward that end, Superman hangs the cape of Captain Marvel on a flagpole as a memorial.
At the conclusion of the tale, Batman turns his ruined Wayne Manor into a hospital, using Lex Luthor and most of the members of his Mankind Liberation Front as part of his "staff". Wonder Woman is restored to her rightful place as the princess of Paradise Island and now begins her role as a teacher of superhumans. Superman begins his work restoring the Kansas wasteland into a productive and fertile land for farming. And the Spectre, after showing Norman McCay his once human side as Jim Corrigan, returns the pastor to his church, where he now preaches a message of hope to his congregation.
One Year Later...
Superman and Wonder Woman meet with Batman in their civilian identities at the Planet Krypton restaurant, where they share news with each other about what's been going on in their lives over the past year. However, the real reason for this meeting is the news that Diana and Clark wanted to share with Bruce, which he easily figures out: she is pregnant with Clark's child. What catches Bruce off guard, though, is that Diana wants him to be the godparent, despite Bruce's record as a parent with his former wards. Both Clark and Diana see that Bruce can teach their child things they themselves cannot teach: lessons about mortality and morality from a man they both trust. As Clark and Bruce make their peace and then leave together with Diana to discuss what a future they will have with the child, Norman McCay is seen with Jim Corrigan talking about "the Spectre Platter".
- This issue is reprinted in the Kingdom Come trade paperback, hardcover edition and Absolute slipcase edition, which feature the "One Year Later" epilogue scene.
- Throughout the entire Gulag battle, Magog is seen avoiding the fighting and attempt to save as many lives as he can, and have discarded his helmet symbolizing that he have finally reached humility by the end of the story.
- Translation of Von Bach's German dialogue when he is about to kill Zatara: "Du wurst wie eine wanze zerquetscht" ("You will be squashed like a bug!") Though the translation is in error and that the correct sentence should be "Du wirst wie eine Wanze zerquetscht werden!"
- The translation for the various dialogues at the U.N. Building: "The lunatic is already here!" or "Here comes the madman!" (Filipino), "My God! He's going to kill us all!" (Greek), and "Run! Run for your lives!" (French).
- Among the gathered crowd standing behind Wonder Woman, the Green Lanterns, Superman, Batman, and Flash are: William Moulton Marston, Harry G. Peter, Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Martin Nodell, Bob Kane, and Bill Finger; the creators of Wonder Woman, Superman, Green Lantern, and Batman, respectively.
- Captain Marvel's use of the Shazam lightning bolt against Superman during their one-on-one confrontation would be repeated in another similar battle between the two heroes in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Clash".
- Menagerie is seen changing into a Jabberwocky from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass and a Green Martian from Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter series.
- In the "One Year later" epilogue:
- The long-haired Superman waiter that greet Clark and Diana is a clear reference to the long-haired version of Superman following the "Death of Superman" storyline. Also the waiter bears an uncanny resemblance to actor Dean Cain, who portrayed Superman in Lois & Clark.
- A cook is dressed as the Martian Manhunter behind the counter.
- The restaurant's patrons are caricatures of Nick Bertozzi (waiter wearing the Captain Marvel costume), E. Nelson Bridwell, Mike Carlin, Chantal d'Aulnis, Paul Dini, Mark Gruenwald, Sol Harrison, Maura Healy (Alex Ross' lawyer), Ann Ivan, Patricia Jeres, Bob Kahan, Jenette Kahn, Laurie Kerr, Charles Kochman, Jay Kogan, Steve Korte, Shira Levine, Paul Levitz, Elliot S. Maggin, Rich Marlow, Mike McAvennie, Maureen McTigue, Scott Nybakken, Ken Sanzel, Amy Schmetterling, Rob Simpson, Julie Shwartz, Scott Sonneborn, Laura Strohl, Curt Swan, Martha Thomases, Bruce Timm, Peter Tomasi, David Vinson, Bob Wayne, and Mort Weisinger.
- The T-shirt salesgirl is wearing a Batgirl costume from the 1960's Batman TV series. She is reading a Young Love comic book. Above the salesgirl's kiosk are the corporate logos of Graphitti Designs, DC Comics and Warner Brothers.
- On the wall are: a older version of a Challengers of the Unknown costume; the Bat-Ship from the 1960's Batman TV series; Jonni DC; and the 1970's DC Comics Logo.
- A display case of kryptonite (green, red, gold, blue, white and jewel) and the H-Dial from Dial H for Hero.
- On the menu Clark is looking shows: the Silver Age Flash offering "fast special"; Gin Gold Soda (the elixir that originally gave Ralph Dibny, the Elongated Man, his stretching abilities); the Silver Age Green Lantern Hal Jordan 'green-lighting' other specials; and Superman's mischievous enemy, Mr. Mxyzptlk (spelled in Silver Age spelling) offering mozzarella sticks.
- Jonah Hex can be seen as a stuffed figure put on display in Planet Krypton. This is a reference to his last adventure, where he is killed by George Barrow and taxidermied as a circus attraction by L.B. Farnham. That's actually his dead body on display, not a dummy.
- A picture of King Tut portrayed by Victor Buono from the 1960's Batman TV show.
- On Bruce, Diana, and Clark's table are Bulletman and Bulletgirl salt-and-pepper shakers, and a ketchup bottle bearing the Warner Brothers logo. Bruce's coffee mug is model after a Green Lantern Battery, Clark's Shazam! glass and Diana's Flash's insignia on a glass are based on 1970's Pizza Hut giveaway. Also the swizzle sticks in Clark's mug are in the shape of Green Arrow's boxing glove and boomerang arrows.
- Props of the wheelchair belonging to Chief of the Doom Patrol, and the Cosmic Treadmill.
- On the table belonging to the DC employees is a Chemo-shaped glass.
- Bruce gives the waitress dressed as the Carrie Kelly version of Robin from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns a once-over look. In the Power Girl Chicken Sandwich item on the menu that the waitress suggests, she says that the cut is breast -- a rather suggestive in-joke referring to Power Girl's physical appearance.
- Two posters of the Superman serials from 1940's: Superman in Scotland Yard and Superman and the Jungle Devil.
- Hanging in the ceiling are a panel of Qwisp, Silver Age sidekick of Aquaman; and models of Wonder Woman's Invisible Plane, Starro, and Bizarro World.
- Despero's chessboard from Justice League of America #1, and a model of the key to Superman's Fortress of Solitude.
- Alex Ross himself is seen "screaming at" Dan Raspler and Mark Waid.
- A shelf holding two Green Lantern Batteries, a Phantom Zone Projector, and Bottled City of Kandor.
- A promo poster of Superman: The Movie.
- Also on the ceiling are models of the JLA Satellite, a Blackhawks plane, a Super-Turtle doll, and a Beppo the Super Monkey doll.
- Phil Sheldon from Marvels who previously makes a cameo appearance in Kingdom Come #2 is sitting next to Jim Corrigan and Norman McCay. Also sitting next to Norman is Uncle Sam, from U.S.
- The headgears in the cabinet behind Jim Corrigan and Norman McCay are the Golden Age Hawkman's helmet, Sargon the Sorcerer's turban, Enemy Ace's headgear, and Sgt. Rock's helmet
- Covers of Whiz Comics #2, which debut the first appearance of Captain Marvel, and New Fun Comics #1, which is generally regarded as the very first DC Comic. Opposite to the covers are the equipment of the Golden Age Sandman.
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