"The Culling: Part One": Red Robin wakes to find a sharpened spear aimed at his neck, and the girl holding it warns that one false move will see it slice his throat. She introduces herself as Artemis,
Appearing in "The Culling: Part One"
- Teen Titans
- Legion Lost
- Artemis (First appearance; dies)
- Thunder (First appearance)
- Lightning (First appearance)
- Fist Point (Kevin) (First appearance)
- Ravagers (First appearance)
- Beast Boy (First appearance)
- Terra (First appearance)
- Windshear (First appearance)
- Brighteyes (First appearance)
Synopsis for "The Culling: Part One"
Red Robin wakes to find a sharpened spear aimed at his neck, and the girl holding it warns that one false move will see it slice his throat. She introduces herself as Artemis, and her companions as Thunder and Lightning. They distrust him, as he wears the strange armour that Harvest forced him into. Leaping up, he disarms Artemis in a deft movement, and explains that if he had wanted them dead, he could have done it by now. Thunder and Lightning are impressed enough to trust him, and they invite him to join them in facing something called the Culling.
Artemis explains that the Culling is when Harvest pits all of the teen metahumans that he's gathered against one another in a battle royale. Those left standing are inducted into Harvest's team of Ravagers, and those left are dead. Unfortunately, the group runs into an imposing looking thug who calls himself Fist Point. He demands that they pay a toll for crossing over his turf, or die. Fortunately, Artemis manages to knock him off his feet, and she warns that his skirmishes are just playing into Harvest's hands, adding that the next time this happens, one of them will end up dead. Red Robin's surprise leads Artemis to comment that he sounds like the other new arrivals, pointing to the remainder of the Teen Titans.
Reunited, the team waits while Solstice tries to convince Superboy to join forces with them. Kiran explains that he will have to earn the trust of the rest of the team, but he will not survive if he tries to go through the culling alone. Reluctantly he joins them, and though Cassie complains that it is Superboy's fault that they are trapped there at all, Red Robin suggests that perhaps this place is exactly where they should be - to save all of the trapped metahumans from Harvest.
Meanwhile, one mile below the Titans, three lost members of the Legion of Super-Heroes are just as perplexed by their captivity. Tyroc's powers can't break through the walls, and Timberwolf isn't very encouraging. Their companions return from scouting to report that there is no perceivable way out of the Crucible. Gates informs them that while his teleportation doesn't work, it seems that the technology preventing it from working comes from the 31st Century.
Elsewhere, Harvest admits to his Ravagers that the reason he brought the legionnaires to this time in the first place was to have a trained paramilitary organization at his disposal. Now, he will put both the legionnaires and the Teen Titans to the test - by fighting each other. He sends Leash to gather up those Titans he wants to test. He grabs all of the Titans except Skitter, and takes Lightning in her stead. Then he tosses them into the Crucible with the Legionnaires.
The Legion members are put off by the fact that these opponents are much younger than they. Neither team seems inclined to hear the other out, and both are ready to defend themselves against the other. From his chamber, Harvest and the Ravagers watch as the two teams battle - but it is clear that neither team is using deadly force. Harvest explains that the sole purpose of having the Titans and Legion fight each other was to wear them down for the Culling, where the other children, who have been trapped there for much longer, may do better at killing them. He sends Leash to grab a few more teens from the Colony, and let the Culling begin.
The Titans and the Legion begin to see hundreds of teen Metahumans being brought in to the Crucible, but each of them seems to have undergone some kind of mental manipulation that makes them eager to fight. The heroes realize that they have similar goals, and they agree that their priority should be to prevent these new arrivals from killing each other.
In the course of their fighting, the Legion discovers a boy who is a Salorian-Human hybrid - obviously a victim of the Hypertaxis virus. This begs the question of whether Harvest may have had something to do with the virus' release. Elsewhere, Red Robin watches as Artemis - despite the nudge from Leash's mental manipulation - avoids killing anybody. Unfortunately, she is unique in that respect, and it isn't long before Fist Point appears, and kills her. After angrily knocking the boy out, Red Robin cradles the dead girl in his arms and cries out that he and his friends are going to come for Harvest, one way or another. With Artemis' death uniting them further, the Titans and the Legion join forces finally to save the other colonists and stop Harvest.
Laughing, Harvest exclaims that he has foreseen all of this, and he sends his Ravagers to kill all they can.
- Story continues in Superboy Vol. 6 #9.
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