DC One Million: "End Times" #4

Written by Shadowstar, Edited by Marvelite
Published by the Cosmic Powers Fan Fiction Group in
THE COSMIC POWERS UNLIMITED FANZINE ISSUE #45

Characters are the properties of DC Comics
Click here for black&white text version (good for printing!)

DC One Million:

"END TIMES"

(*ORACLE FACT-FILE: Here's the story so far - the year is 85,273, approximately one million months after the first appearance of Superman Prime in the 20th Century. Superman Prime, Wonder Woman and the spirit of Maleca'andra J'onn J'onzz have been absorbed by the wizard Faust and the mysterious being named Apoch.)

(Meanwhile, Aquaman has been destroyed by magic and Batman eliminated from time by means of magic. The current Superman has deduced an outside force is eliminating the Justice Legion A one by one and has gone to the prison planet of Pluto.)

(And now for the legal stuff. DC One Million and all characters within were created by Grant Morrison during his run on the JLA title and all are copyright to DC Comics and are used in this story without profit, but totally for fun!)


CHAPTER 4

"Apocalypse"

Justice Legion A Roll Call:

Superman Prime = Superman Dynasty = Batman =  The Flash

Aquaman = Wonder Woman = Owlwoman = The Atom

Continued from Chapter 1, Chapter 2, and Chapter 3


833 Centuries ago, a child from a distant world landed on the planet Earth. His name was Kal-El, the last son of the planet Krypton before its destruction. Given powers under the mighty golden Super-Sun of Sol System he gained powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. He became champion of his adopted home, and thus the legacy of Superman began.

Though made an immortal, Kal-El left the Earth in the late 20th Century and passed on his title to the enigmatic "Secondus". Over time he passed on the legacy to another Superman and another until such time that a great Dynasty was made, spanning over time to the present day. Now the Superman Dynasty is at its greatest strength, with the greatest power in a utopian galaxy where the House of El is revered nearly to the level of the ancient gods.

Though that's all about to come crashing down . . .

Now is the time of the 853rd Century's Superman - protector of Earth, leader of the time-traveling Superman Squad and most importantly the Justice Legion A. There he stands, the shapes of his sleek, muscular physique brought to light by the glossy blue and crimson suit hugging his body. Everything about him is shaped after Superman Prime. From the flowing red cape to the wisp of black hair hanging over his sturdy brow - all of it a tribute in human form.

It is speculated he is the most powerful of all of the Superman Dynasty as the powers blessed upon him by the marriage the Fifth Dimensions' Queen Gzntplkz into the House of El have come into full fruition after evolution of the human race. Not only does he have the basic abilities of flight, enhanced strength, speed, freezing breath and laser eye-beams, but also powers Superman Prime never had such as rapport with machines, control of magnetism, super-ESP and invulnerability to magic.

Sadly, all of that would seem to pale next to the evil he must face now. If there is any force in all of time and space strong enough to bring an end to the Superman Dynasty, then surely it's him - Hell, he almost succeeded once!

History is repeating itself and the forces of chaos run rampant through Sol System. And from amongst all of it, Doomsday returns from his dark corner to finish the job he started centuries previously.

The beast stands his ground heavily, focused on his new opponent with angry eyes and a sadistic smile hungry for his blood. An elongated shadow stretches out down the street from his broad, stony shape only 53.472 meters away toward Superman, as if it were a symbol of death coming to encloak him in it's suffocating hold. Doomsday flexes his arms, forcing the pointed blades in his flesh to stretch out further and his blood red eyes to flare violently.

He is a product of a savage alliance between the geneticists of Krypton and the alien scientist known as Bertron during the "Fourth Age" of that planet. Though the experiment backfired as the resulting monster became an unstoppable killing machine, evolving to greater physical heights with each and every death and resurrection. It resulted in the death of Bertron and hundreds of Kryptonians as well as the beginning of the Clone Rights Movement, which ironically resulted in the creation of the Eradicator.

Later, in the 20th Century he arrived on Earth where he tore through the legendary Justice League of America with no signs of slowing. The only one left standing was Superman Prime who proved to be his physical equal. The original Man of Steel managed to defeat him, though it was at the cost of his own life. Both were later resurrected, Superman by a lost technology and Doomsday by his own natural means.

It would seem that there was no stopping him until Waverider of the Linear Men arrived and cast him to the end of time where he could not possibly survive.

And now . . . he's back!

"Super-man," grunts Doomsday viciously. He grins through pointed teeth with murderous intent. How much he hates Krypton and all it's children, especially the proud defiance brought together in Superman. "I will break your neck, then drink your blood!"

To Superman Dynasty, the idea of facing a serial killer with ultimate power is an extremely frightening concept. So many times he's faced creation-destroying threats, but Doomsday has a reputation amongst the Supermen and to them can only bring death.

With an echoing roar Doomsday charges forth, threatening to break his enemy in his deadly path. Superman swallows his fright with a hard gulp and decrees to stand his ground. Though he's covering it up well Doomsday can still smell his fear like the carnivorous beast that he is.

Certainly he's afraid, but Superman learned so long ago that he can't allow that to stop him from acting. There are so many things in his philosophy more important than his own self. As a Superman his life is devoted to the protection of Sol System and the Earth's inhabitants. In those final moments he returns the attack and flies forward at full strength.

With his hardest blow the Gargantuan beast is sent flying back. Superman is no less amazed by the relative ease of that first attack. Perhaps Doomsday isn't as strong as he was in the 20th Century - or perhaps the Superman Dynasty has advanced that much further ahead of the original Superman Prime than previously thought.

Either way Doomsday felt the impact of that hit and may very well be down for the count . . . for now.

He takes that moment of rest and recompusure he's so been struggling for as he looks over the ravaged city in the Metropolis Tesseract. The tall silver buildings, once so proud and majestic are now left only half standing with fires burning from the rubble. The flashing lights have died away, leaving only a silhouette of the great city under the simulated sunlight.

The mighty fists of the revived and evolved Doomsday slam into the small of his back, snapping him back into painful reality. "Damn," he curses himself under his breath. "I'm letting myself get too distracted."

He holds himself where the blow collided, still muttering criticisms of his own distractions. From the pain he can tell that Doomsday has made a rapid jump in strength and is now at equal strength with either the Eradicator or himself. He can tell this is going to be more than difficult, taking down this beast as well as the Kryptonians will be impossible.

A good thing he is a Superman.

"You are weak," laughs the monster hideously. "You are nothing next to Kal-El." He lunges forward and after bending his knees launches high into the air as so to stomp him deep into the ground beneath. Fortunately, Superman managed to ignore his pain and move away in time. "You are a disgrace to your lineage . . ."

Debris flies out as the Kryptonian's vessel propels itself from its landing position and back into outer space. Doomsday turns to swear at them, screaming obscenities and making promises of their deaths - every last one of them. This is just the opening Superman's been looking for.

With a single bound he is on his feet, then onto the back of Doomsday and holding on tight. He raises his arms to restrain the cloned monster to lay waste to everything in sight with a barrage of superhuman punches. "I'm not letting go," says Superman as he rockets into the sky trailing his foe in his arms.

Together they rise 5.698 kilometers above the ground in just a matter of 3.76 seconds and float there looking upon the destruction below. Doomsday moves about uncomfortably, enraged that he should be forced into such a position.  He reaches back and snags the Man of Steel's cape, then using it to hurl Superman to the ground below beyond terminal velocity.

The Earth shatters when Superman Dynasty's near-invincible exterior penetrates a layer of it's crust and has been left semi-conscious in a veritable open grave. He has no time to move before the brute's colossal feet pound into his chest with maximum force. Even the strongest of Kryptonians would be able to feel it.

He can feel the world fading away when he opens his eyes - unconsciousness, maybe death is all that can follow. Whatever it takes, he can't let it end this way. Doomsday almost destroyed the Superman Dynasty once - he'll be damned if he succeeds this time.

Not even the stars are on his side and the world around goes dark, though is perfectly awake and very much alive. He wonders what it could be this time, knowing deep down he won't be able to stop the Kryptonians and the Eradicator and Doomsday and the end of the world simultaneously!

A wave of fire descends from the sky, pouring down from the heavens thought not touching the Metropolis protected under the barriers of Tesseract Space*. The flames pass, and all that's left after is a tainted sickly orange sky with a burning red orb illuminated in its center.

(*ORACLE FACT-FILE: Tesseract Space is an infinite amount of space placed inside a finite amount of space. The technique involves stretching space to a degree then folding into a pocket dimension, allowing a Tesseract to be formed. With this done something the size of a stellar computer or even a city can be place into something as small as a pinhead.)

Superman breaks into a sweat as his solar cells absorb the radiation poisonous to his system. It strikes him that whatever force has been taking down the Justice Legion A has struck again, and succeeded by taking down the Man of Steel by converting the great Super-Sun into a red star.

Finally, it would seem, that the Superman Dynasty has ended . . .

* * * *

The image of Superman Dynasty, dead and defeated is projected into the Justice Legion A Headquarters through the Cosmic Eye. Truly, it is a sad sight. The greatest hope of today, the symbol of all Sol System has accomplished and is yet to become lies defeated and left for dead in the killing fields.

The Justice Legion A - or what's left of it (Batman, the Flash, Aquaman and the Atom) - are gathered around, mourning the passing of Sol System's greatest hero. What can they do now? They've each been defeated one by one, and now Sol System is open for any kind of attack.

They watch in horror as Doomsday continues to tear up the Metropolis Tesseract while they themselves are powerless to act. Batman's judgement has been placed in question, the Flash has been stripped off his speed, Aquaman isolated in a hydro-tank for healing, Wonder Woman is missing, Owlwoman is in exile . . . and now the Superman Dynasty has been ended.

Surely there are hundreds of other Justice Legions, but none are as strong as to be able to end Doomsday - the beast who killed the Supermen.

All that remains of the legendary team is the new Atom - a nameless figure from another dimension. As the story goes he was a scientist from another reality, experimenting with dimensional singularities - the bizarre structures found at the center of black holes. He discovered it by accident when analyzing the make-up of super-strings and managed to contain one in a suppressor field.

The resulting radiation changed him forever, leaving him able to atomize his very structure and break his being into two to millions of little atomic men. He used this new ability to try and find away to neutralize the singularity, but instead was caught on a dimensional gateway and landed in Sol System-2 in the 853rd Century where he met Superman Prime. Sadly, doing this caused his own reality to collapse behind him.

Though he hasn't yet given up hope. There is every chance his reality was absorbed into the one he has traveled, and that he may someday be able to see his family and friends once more.

"Well," hisses a new voice from behind, "I'd say you all look to be in a rather serious predicament."

The Justice Legion A turn away from the Cosmic Eye to see a demonic, armor-clad figure with a flowing green cape, long, silver streaked hair and vicious emerald eyes. He is the master of the Shadowlords of Hell - has mysterious face is known to every hero across Sol System, as their souls are his own personal prey . . .

"Allow me to introduce myself," he says bluntly, licking his jagged teeth with his fork-tongue. "My name is Neron, and I've come to make you an offer you cannot possibly refuse."

Batman and the Atom step forward preparing for battle without a word - much to Neron's amusement of course. It's been that way with humans for nearly all of time. On many worlds Neron is known as a god of gift-bearing, buying souls in exchange for physical reward and a place under him secured forever in the afterlife.

Humans however, are a little less ignorant and have realized the truth about his kind. This has made business a little difficult . . .

"Don't insult me," he laughs in a sinister manner. The insincere smile on his face reminds them of that of either a salesman or an extremely devious child who knows something that they don't. "I've come to make you all an offer you cannot possibly refuse."

"Speak your peace," growls the Batman in an equally dark and demonic fashion.

"I come offering you new power . . ." This sparked among them slight curiosity, especially from the Flash who even after such a short time is beginning to feel empty and incomplete without his connection to the Speed Force.

"Yes, but at what price?" queries the Atom.

"Your very souls." For a moment there is an awkward silence. "I know my price is steep, but it's the only way you can hope to succeed against the forces of chaos at work here."

"Listen to him, guys. He knows what he's talking about." From the shadows behind the demon steps Owlwoman, looking perfectly well and grimly serious in her plea. It is madness, but it seems she has submitted herself to Hell for the sake of each and every person in Sol System.

"I think not, Owlwoman," says the Atom staring angrily at the demon. "I'm a bit reluctant to see myself, or my teammates resign their souls somewhat impulsively, even if it is for the greater good. Surely, there has to be some other way."

"Why not let them answer for themselves?" Neron barks out of frustration. Who is this mortal to keep him from granting what everyone around desires so deeply? "Batman - how much would you like to forget? You can forget the Batman, live in a better world in love and happiness without ever knowing the Dark Knight. It's either that, or carry around what you know now forever . . ."

The Batman looks into the Cosmic Eye and presses some buttons on his costume knowing what it is he is going to do. "Like Superman, the world needs a Batman. My answer is no."  With an echoing roar of his Boom Suit he disappears into space to a destination unknown.

"Very well," muses the demon. "What about you, Flash? Don't you miss it? Don't you feel the need for speed? Or do you want something new? Do you want something that will make you strong, giving you the power to stand up to what you have been running from?"

"No," states the Flash sadly. "Being a part of the Speed Force left me flirting with Heaven every single time I lifted my feet. Anything else is just not the same."

"Leave, Neron," orders the Atom. "You have no more business here."

"Oh?" He sounds somewhat surprised by the Atom's remark. He has another card up his sleeve. "Tell me, how much would you give to see your loved ones again?"

He looks over to the Flash who looks bewildered by the goings on. It would be no less than hypocritical of him to coax his comrades out of a deal with the devil, and then himself accept. "No, Neron."

"Very well then." He smiles wickedly, giving a deadly stare to Owlwoman. At lest, if any, he managed to claim her. A mystical green flame bursts from around his feet for only a moment, engulfing him and taking him back to the dark dimension from which he came.

* * * *

The Eradicator soars above the ground in a bright aura of raw energy, lashing out in all directions uncalculated, animalistic savagery. His glowing, yellow eyes focus on Doomsday below whose attention he has finally managed to grab. Now is the chance to prove pure Krypton's power over the so-called 'Superman Dynasty'.

"Doomsday," he calls at the top of his superhuman lungs. "You are Krypton's greatest mistake, and when I kill you, you WILL! STAY! DEAD!"

The beast grins sadistically. Finally, another Kryptonian to destroy - one of pure blood who made him the way he is. One to destroy once and for all. He wonders, if God is real he must be good for bringing him back to destroy those he so hates. Finally, vengeance is his!

The two titans veritably fly to each other, meeting half way, both anxious to lay blows and gain first blood. The power of the Eradicator tears and burns away at Doomsday's flesh, leaving it open with blue blood. Though the pain just adds to his rage as well as his determination to end the legacy of Krypton's world once and for all.

"You should all be dead," growls Doomsday through battle. "You should all have died 833 Centuries ago!"

From the sidelines watches Superman Dynasty, growing weaker with each passing second. The rays of the red sun above make him sick to the stomach, leaving him nearly unable to move without becoming violently ill. Though he has to escape before he too becomes involved in the maelstrom of violence between the Eradicator and Doomsday.

"You're not going anywhere," says the Eradicator turning in mid-air and sending a bolt of energy in Superman's crawling path. He's being too cocky and boastful. Does he really think he can defeat Doomsday as easily and have enough energy for him?

Before being able to return to his previous battle, the cloned monster slugs him over the top half of his body. With his enhanced hearing Superman can hear every bone in his spine shatter with a series of wet snaps, leaving him to fall to the ground beside him.

Now is the time for Doomsday to move in for the final kill. "Two instead of one," he laughs evilly. "Fate has been very kind to me . . ."

Superman lifts himself unsteadily on his arms and tilts his head up. With all the compressed air left in his lungs he forms a 12.835 meters of ice between them. According to his calculations it will hold him off for no longer than 15.75 seconds. Hopefully it will be enough for the Eradicator's bones to reform.

"Listen to me," he pants weakly, crawling eventually to the side of his unlikely ally. "He's going to break through here really soon, and if you want to survive to see tomorrow I urge you to hear my plan." He accepts the soldier's silence as compliance.

"I've been communicating with L.O.I.S., the central mainframe of Metropolis. On my command a Tesseract containing a massive stellar computer will open. All you need to do is knock him inside. Then, the computer increase it's density until it reaches critical mass and destroys itself. Even if that doesn't destroy Doomsday, then at least he'll be imprisoned inside."

The spiked fists of Doomsday become obvious through the semi-transparent ice. It shakes rapidly and cracks bit by bit coming ever nearer to the verge of collapse. "Alright," says the Eradicator. "Just this once, 'hero'."

The very movement Doomsday prepares to lay down his ice-breaking attack the Eradicator launches himself upward with his fists flying outward. Slightly stunned by the attack, the monster shakes himself and prepares a new assault.

Meanwhile, his Kryptonian nemesis scans the area as quick as he can, desperate to find something similar to an open Tesseract. There he finds it, around 122.381 meters away, 30.9 degrees to his right. An open tear in the fabric of space with yellow rays of light pouring out - there's no mistaking it. Now all he needs to do is lure, most probably force Doomsday inside.

He threatens him with bursts of energy jumping from his palms. The look on Doomsday's face says that he's more than happy to oblige in a full-on war, wreaking carnage across the already scorched city. He's falling right into it - the monster is hungry for blood. He'll follow him right to the dark, fiery pits of one of the two Hells.

Finally, he charges, bounding toward him with inhuman strength. With every step he gains more momentum, gaining enough force to break the planet in half upon collision - just as he's been anticipating. He reaches out and grabs the throat of the rampaging beast, then flying in the air and spinning around in a tornado of lightning.

His body flies toward the open Tesseract and eclipses the golden rays flying out. Doomsday plummets into the heart of the stellar computer, which engulfs him in sea of blood and fire.

The deed is done and the Eradicator screams, "Close the Tesseract, Superman!"

No response. The Man of Steel is outcold - maybe dead. The Eradicator curses himself and races to his side. He listens closely and realizes that his heart has stopped. Power jumps from his hands and he super-charges them, then pressing hard down on Superman's chest, hoping to maybe, hopefully revive him long enough to entrap Doomsday.

"Wake up, damn you!" He continues to lie still and lifeless. "I COMMAND YOU TO LIVE!"

Superman's eyes open just for that split second, wide and realizing what he must do. He knows he can't pass on without saving the world, just like he was destined to from the day of his birth . . .

The bright light of the stellar computer disappears as the Tesseract closes. Now the fight is over - for Doomsday, for the Eradicator . . . especially for Superman Dynasty. "I must admit, El. That was one of the most intense battles I've ever had the pleasure of living through. Truly, a pity you won't."

"You'll have to get through me first," says the Batman bluntly.

"Where did you come from?" The Eradicator seems somewhat surprised he managed to sneak onto the scene without alerting his super-senses. Nether-the-less, this new threat is posing a threat to him accomplishing his mission objective. "And who are you?"

"I'm really getting sick of people asking me that," groans the Dark Knight who then throws to the Eradicator a barrage of Datarangs. They are returned with a wave of energy, which wipes them out instantly upon contact.

"You're dead now," he laughs. "And to think, I never even caught your name."

He turns, and there behind him is the Batman. Enraged, the cyborg throws a heavier blast in his direction, only making the image of his foe flicker. It's a hologram! From his right a second Batman attacks, followed by a third from behind and a half-dozen more from every other direction, each throwing semi-transparent Datarangs through the Eradicator.  

He explodes in a ball of golden plasma, wiping out the many Avatars* assaulting him. "I don't care to fight body-doubles, stranger. So why not just come out and fight me like a man?"

(*ORACLE FACT-FILE: Batman can create semi-solid holographic variants of himself known as "Avatars", making him capable of existing in more than one place at one point in time.)

The real Batman steps out into plain sight, holding a small, black cylindrical contraption in his grip. A small white light strobes from it, making things difficult for even the Kryptonian to see. The Eradicator holds back his arm, ready to throw a lance of fire at his defiant new enemy.

"Listen to my voice," says the Dark Knight flatly. "Listen to the deep, flat tone I'm speaking in now. You might not realize it, but those Datarangs are good for a lot more than fighting. I use them in my duties as Pluto's warden to genetically tag the criminals I lock in Tesseract Space, but they can also re-arrange computer programming to my specifications on contact . . ."

"What . . . are . . . you . . . saying?" The Eradicator feels a strange weight encompass his being, slowing down his movements, his thoughts - everything.

"In short," the Dark Knight continues, "they've entered your system and changed your mission parameters. You are now programmed to obey anything I say, and you have no conscious power to overcome it. Is that understood?"

"Yes . . ." he manages to say as the system merged with his body overrides what free will he has left. He is the unwitting slave to the forces his masters are set out to eliminate.

"Excellent," muses the Dark Knight. "My name, just so you know, is Batman - though right now I doubt you know much of my reputation just like the rest of Sol System. Now, pick up Superman and return with me to Justice Legion A Headquarters."

The subservient man-machine known as the Eradicator complies with his orders and holds the body of Superman Dynasty in his broad arms. The Batman reprograms his personal Boom Tube, then reassuring him, "Don't worry. I don't doubt your base system is undoing what I've done, but you'll be safely locked away on Pluto before you can break free."

And with the explosion of an opening Boom Tube the three of them disappear to the planet Jupiter.

* * * *

"What happened to Neron?" The Atom explains to Batman, as the others look over the Eradicator suspiciously as he bears to them the body of Superman Dynasty. Quickly, Flash and Owlwoman drag him off to the Purple Ray chamber in hopes that his life, maybe his powers would be restored.

By orders of the Dark Knight, the Eradicator entraps himself in a stasis field until such time as he can be dealt with properly. The Batman sighs, knowing that as soon as he's locked away he'll have the angry, conservative half of the planet Krypton against him - from a moral perspective at least.

Bright lights flash from the next chamber as the Purple Ray does its work on what remains of Superman Dynasty. Everyone is rather disheartened by the situation, though the two remaining leaders, Batman and the Atom, do their best to cover it up to keep morale amongst the team higher than it has been for the past few turbulent days.

"So . . . what now?" asks the Flash. He marches around in annoyance - perhaps a withdrawal symptom from his severance with the Speed Force. "We've been sitting around while whatever force is at work has taken apart the Justice Legion A and left us powerless or near dead."

"Yes, we've been systematically eliminated, and we still have no clue as to who and why," says the Atom trying to unravel it.

"The most likely suspect would be the demon Neron," ponders the Batman. "As for why, I'd say he'd be coaxing us all for our souls by making one of those deadly deals with him."

"And it nearly worked too," blurts the Flash, then stopped by Atom. They both look over to Owlwoman who is slumping in her corner sadly, fighting back tears and trying her damnedest to put on a brave face for the rest of the team. "Sorry, Owlwoman. I forgot that . . ."

"Forget it," she interrupts. "I'm still far from dead. I have a whole lifetime in which to reclaim my soul, right?"

"But like the Flash said, Batman," continues the Atom. "What now? The Justice Legion A are now completely powerless."

"I wouldn't be so sure of that," he explains much to the other's curiosity. "Demons, by nature, are tricksters, liars, thieves and sadists. Though they are beings on a spiritual level, they have no power over us as human beings, or the world around us - only influence or suggestion."

"What are you saying?"

"I've only just realized it now, but I believe that it was all just a bizarre simulation on Neron's part. Aquaman's spontaneous combustion, Owlwoman's instability, planet Pluto reverting back to the times before the Massacre - it was all but an illusion. The Flash being cut off from the Speed Force, Superman facing the Eradicator, Doomsday and the Super-Sun all at once? It was just a mind game - and the only reason we are left powerless is because our unconscious minds have been convinced to believe it all actually happened."

"So we still have our powers?" The Flash is immediately excited by the opportunity to run free across the cosmos again. "So, why would Neron want our souls anyway?"

"A sadistic game," he suggests. "It could also be possible that he would want us for some greater purpose . . ."

"The latter would be correct, Batman," speaks a new voice. He recognizes it immediately as an immortal member of the past JLA. "I'm afraid you, and the Justice Legion A have been caught in the rivalry between the two Hells."

"Everyone," says Batman, "I'd like for you to meet the angel Zauriel of the 20th Century JLA. He's long since been dead on the physical plane, but has obviously returned to aid us in some divine way."

Another voice, another demon hisses. From behind the angel steps a red clad figure with a blue cape, spiked garments and a demonic stature. "And so am I, to help I can. It is I, the demon Etrigan!"

"Explain yourself," says the Atom.

"Very well," Zauriel speaks softly and calmly. "In the 666th Century, when Satan was destroyed once and for all by the Source, or God, or whatever it is you know him as, Hell was left without a leader and the two main contenders were the demon Neron and our supposed ally - the demon Etrigan."

"You doubt that Etrigan is a friend?" he scoffs, turning away from the angel in disgust. "Etrigan stay with JLA until the very end . . ."

"So Hell was divided into two sides - the Firelords, lead by Etrigan and the Shadowlords, lead by Neron. They both fought over souls, weapons and all the rest, but in particular, control of one man - the immortal Felix Faust. Since he was made immortal in the late 20th Century he has honed his magical skills until he finally became the master of Chaos, so he is an extremely valuable asset to either one's cause."

The Flash races up and asks, "So how are we involved in this?"

"Since that time Faust had disappeared, and became a nomad in Sol System. Now, it seems, he's had enough of life and is preparing to destroy reality by summoning the so-called 'Prophet of the Anti-Sun' named Apoch so that he may be at last put to rest. Now the forces of Hell, wanting to put a stop to this line of action have been planning to abduct him back into their armies. Neron happened to try by attempting to seize control of your souls . . ."

Batman looks grimmer than usual - even through the mask. "So, due to his loss, we now have two sides of Hell preparing to wage war on Sol System for the life of this one man? It is pure madness!"

"I know," says Zauriel with a knowing glance. "Sadly, that is often the way. This is what the Justice Legion A is here to prevent."

"Let's gather the team," orders the Dark Knight, heading over to Aquaman's chamber. He presses a number of buttons on the holographic pad illuminated in front of him, commanding the system to drain the rejuvenation tank and let the revived Legionnaire free.

"What's going on?" asks Superman Dynasty from the door to the Purple Ray chamber weakly. He takes a step, stumbling at first, then composing himself to act as if he is perfectly well.

"We are going to need you, Superman," says the angel calmly. "The Justice Legion A are headed to the planet Maleca'andra J'onn J'onzz."

"Come on, Superman," says Batman almost playfully. "We're going to save the universe."


NEXT ISSUE: The Justice Legion A are together once more and are off to the planet Maleca'andra J'onn J'onzz to do battle with Faust. But are they too late to prevent the rising of Apoch - the god of destruction? This, next week in Chapter 5, "Endgame". Stay Tuned . . .

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