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World's Finest Vol 1 299

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"The Pantheon, Part 4: The Shadow of the Executioner": Batman and Superman rest after having defeated the Pantheon in combat. They stand under the Cosmic Tree in Africa, which the Pan


Quote1 I can prove my loyalty -- by executing him! Quote2
-- Batman



Appearing in "The Pantheon, Part 4: The Shadow of the Executioner"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Villains:

  • The Present (of the Sensitives)

Other Characters:

  • Major Bowie (Single appearance)
  • Majoe Tolston (Single appearance)
  • The Sensitives (Single appearance)
    • The Future (Single appearance)
    • The Past (Single appearance)

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:




Synopsis for "The Pantheon, Part 4: The Shadow of the Executioner"

Batman and Superman rest after having defeated the Pantheon in combat. They stand under the Cosmic Tree in Africa, which the Pantheon's leader Zeta has retreated into. Batman angrily confronts Superman about their recent disagreements. Batman insists that justice should be more important than the law, and that's why he quit the Justice League to start the Outsiders. Superman insists that it's their responsibility to set an example for humanity, and they can't expect others to follow the law if they refuse to do themselves. They decide to momentarily put aside their differences and work together. Each one internally reflects on how stubborn the other one is, despite their respect for each other. They enter the Cosmic Tree together to follow Zeta. Inside, Zeta explains that he is still considering his place in the world. Zeta tells them that if they process, they shall pursue separate paths, and find themselves in separate worlds. However, they shall both confront the same peril, which the Pantheon was only a small part of. Batman and Superman proceed further into the tree.

Batman and Superman are both transported to different parts of an alien planet very far away. Batman meets green aliens at the top of the Cosmic Tree who tell him that their world is in danger of over-population. The Cosmic Tree is a portal to other worlds that they use to seek out new colonies for their people. They live in fear of their enemies down below, who they claim are willing to commit genocide so their people can survive.

Superman arrives at the bottom of the Cosmic Tree, where he runs into a trio of green aliens called the Sensitives who can see through time. These aliens claim that the aliens at the top of the tree are dooming their race by preventing them from colonizing new worlds. They elect Superman as their champion, and he approaches the guards at the base of the tree. The guard stabs Superman with a spear, and Superman realizes that the planet must have a red sun. It's revealed that the Sensitive known as "The Present" is manipulating Superman for his own ends, and also created the Pantheon.

Batman and Superman both agree to help their respective groups of aliens. The aliens both claim that they have been unable to contact the other side for years. It's explained that any scout sent up or down the tree is quickly killed by the other side as revenge. The Present reveals himself to Superman as the villain responsible for this conflict. The Present is one with the tree, but it is dying, and he needs to take over another world so he can survive. Batman and Superman both decide to climb the outside of the tree instead of going inside, so they won't be killed by the other side's guards. Superman is weakened by the red sun and falls while trying to climb up the tree, but Batman catches him while climbing down. They compare stories and establish that neither side wants this war or knew the tree was dying. Their society is nothing but total consumers who produce nothing, and if they make it to Earth they will continue their neverending cycle of overpopulation and colonization. To accomplish this, the aliens will have to wipe out humanity in a global genocide. The Cosmic Tree itself is the weapon that will destroy humanity.

In space, Mu of the Pantheon lands on the moon. He has slaughtered the astronauts in the rocket that brought him there, and mission control frantically tries to reach them. Mu begins burrowing to the center of the moon, with the intention of blowing it up.

Batman takes Superman to the top of the tree, but the aliens condemn Superman as an outsider. They decide that Batman is a traitor for letting Superman into their sanctum. Batman offers to prove his loyalty by executing Superman in a public ceremony. Superman is tied up and Batman is given an axe to kill him. Batman releases Superman at the last second and throws him into the Cosmic Tree back to Earth. Superman regains his powers and flies to the moon, where he's able to stop Mu just in time. Returning to the Cosmic Tree, Superman sees that the portal he entered through is gone. This means that Batman is trapped on an alien planet with no way home, and Superman cannot fly there because it has a red sun.



Notes

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