DC Database

""Empire of Shadows"": Far beyond the reaches of Earth 0, deep within the Dark Multiverse, lies a world ruled by the Empire of Shadows, a mighty army of warriors, soldiers and killers led by the al Ghul family. The Babylon Citadel, located in Gotham City, is home to the patriarch of the al Ghul

Quote1 When you asked help for Warworld, I said no. But when I needed you, practically the next day, you didn't hesitate. And you were right. Your team came through. Quote2
Batman (Bruce Wayne)

Batman/Superman Authority Special #1 is a one-shot with a cover date of January, 2022. It was published on November 2, 2021.

Synopsis for "Empire of Shadows"

Far beyond the reaches of Earth 0, deep within the Dark Multiverse, lies a world ruled by the Empire of Shadows, a mighty army of warriors, soldiers and killers led by the al Ghul family. The Babylon Citadel, located in Gotham City, is home to the patriarch of the al Ghul family and his sinister wife, Talia. Husband and wife receive a visit from their children, victorious after crushing the last meaningful resistance against their rule.

Their first son, Saif, brings his parents the broken ring of a Green Lantern slain at the battle of Oldtown. Their second son, Taj, offers the battered helmet of Doctor Fate, who fell at the battle of Blackgate. Their only daughter, Janan, offers no physical gift but something of greater value: the means to travel to another world that is yet to know the glory and mighty of the al Ghuls. With this gift, the Empire of Shadows can unite all worlds under its banner.

Meanwhile, on Earth 0, the new Authority prepares for its mission in Warworld, but before their big mission can begin, they must first take a detour, courtesy of Superman's old friend, Batman. The Dark Knight isn't impressed with Superman's new team but otherwise accepts their help for an important mission that must be completed before travelling to Warworld. He informs Superman and the Authority about the Empire of Shadows and its control over a universe located in the Dark Multiverse. Thanks to its control of dark magic and a mysterious substance called Lazarus Resin, the Empire of Shadows has assumed complete control over its own universe and worse, they're planning to expand to other universes.

That's where Superman and the Authority come in. Batman needs them to extract his source of intelligence from this dark universe before the Empire of Shadows can use it to invade Earth 0. Steel asks Batman why does he not ask the Justice League for help, a question answered by Manchester Black: the Justice League only plays defense and Batman would rather attack his enemies when he can help it. He doesn't need a Justice League; he needs a hit squad or, as Batman calls it, an extraction team.

Batman would not ask the Justice League for help because Ra's al Ghul might see the League coming but he won't see the Authority coming. Midnighter believes that Batman sees the Authority as expendable but otherwise accepts the mission.

At the Babylon Citadel, the al Ghul children discuss their father's mental state. Saif believes the al Ghul patriarch has gone senile and that it's their mother who truly keeps the Empire running but Janan disapproves of this opinion. Their father was indeed listening to everything they said, and should they fail in their mission, he will be displeased and complete their mission himself just to teach their children a lesson. Janan takes her brothers to the dungeons, where she holds her prisoner: a Fuginaut, a biomechanical entity that can travel across universes and the key to Janan's plans to invade Universe-0.

The Authority undertakes a training session with Batman, who isn't impressed that the team members are concerned less about their cohesiveness as a team and more about their individual matters. Should the mission fail, Batman says, the ensuing catastrophe could be worse than Barbatos, but Superman believes the Authority can handle this.

Batman talks to the Authority's resident expert on magic, the Enchantress, and asks her to focus on their target: the Fuginaut captured by the Empire of Shadows. Once she has a mental picture of her target, the Enchantress can teleport the Authority into the Empire of Shadows' world. The Authority makes its way into the Babylon Citadel, where it is suddenly attacked by the Empire of Shadows' army, a collection of undead bat-soldiers. As Janan kidnaps the Enchantress, the Authority is left to fight the Empire's army without any kind of magical support. Using his X-ray vision, Superman deduces that Taj is leading the assault and separates him from his army.

Janan and Saif forcibly connect June to a machine created from the remains of the dead Fuginaut and use her to power up the machine, which brings them to Universe-0. The al Ghul siblings expect this new world to be undefended, only to find themselves cornered by Batman and Midnighter, who had anticipated this setback and elected to return to Earth 0. Working together, Batman and Midnighter incapacitate the al Ghuls and save Enchantress.

The al Ghuls are displeased that Batman would take up arms against the Empire of Shadows, which eliminated crime, disease, and poverty in their world, but Batman rejects that cruel logic, as peace ruled by tyranny isn't really peace. Enchantress vanishes the al Ghuls back to where they came from while bringing Superman and the Authority home. Although the Fuginaut is dead, the Authority has removed the Empire of Shadows' means to travel across universes and Batman considers that outcome a success.

While the Authority continues its preparations for its Warworld mission, Superman wonders whether they should have kept the al Ghuls hostage, but Batman discourages that idea. Had Talia discovered that her children had been kidnapped, she would have done anything to get them back. The Empire of Shadows had been in power for too long that they had convinced themselves that Earth 0 would be an easy conquest but now that they know that Earth 0 is defended, they will have to reassess their plans. For now, however, Earth 0 is safe, and its heroes have time to prepare should a confrontation take place. Batman and Superman part ways, knowing that they have more pressing matters to attend to.

Meanwhile, the al Ghul children report their failure to their father, who admits to not feel disappointed. Instead, he teaches his children that not every failure brings dishonor and they can use this setback as an opportunity to learn about their enemies. As the al Ghul patriarch rises from his throne, he reveals himself to be an old Bruce Wayne, who looks forward to the next time he sees his enemies again.

Appearing in "Empire of Shadows"

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