"Cross World": Years ago, a young Clark Kent visited Gotham City for the first time. His father had warned him about it because, unlike Smallville, where groups of people came together to survive; in Gotham, the strong come together to eat the weak. It d
Appearing in "Cross World"
- Jonathan Kent (Earth 2) (Flashback only) (First appearance)
- Jonathan Kent (Dies in flashback)
- Martha Kent (Dies in flashback)
- Thomas Wayne (Dies in flashback)
- Martha Kane (Dies in flashback)
- Ralph Mangubat
- Gloria Mangubat
Synopsis for "Cross World"
Years ago, a young Clark Kent visited Gotham City for the first time. His father had warned him about it because, unlike Smallville, where groups of people came together to survive; in Gotham, the strong come together to eat the weak. It didn't take long for him to understand why his father had warned him.
Nearby, Bruce Wayne was watching as a group of young boys bullied a young middle-eastern boy named Zack because of his ethnicity. Bruce saw something of himself in the boy, and decided to let the bullying continue, so that he could see for himself the point at which Zack decided to fight back. That moment was stolen from him, though, when Clark Kent intervened, shouting at the boys, and sending them running. Bruce's first impression of Clark was that his compassion makes him weak - and annoying. He was surprised, though, that Clark was able to recognize him as the billionaire playboy that he was, despite his grubby street clothes.
Clark introduced himself as a reporter for the Metropolis Daily Star, explaining that he was investigating the murder of three Wayne Enterprises employees in the last eight hours. Bruce feigned ignorance and warned Kent not to pursue the case lest he cause more harm than good - as he did when he rushed to Zack's defence. He warned that the bullies would likely come back the next day with twice as much aggression because of that intervention. As he coldly told Kent to return to whatever small town he came from, Bruce reflected that Clark will never understand how sometimes there aren't any answers out there - that's what he learned when his parents were murdered, after all.
Despite his feelings about Clark Kent, Bruce had personally offered every employee and associate he had in Metropolis, and sent them cheques to relocate for the night. Unfortunately, one board member, Ralph Mangubat, had refused, trusting in his Special Forces pedigree. That mistake made him a victim of the Catwoman. That mistake annoyed Batman. He was surprised, though, to find her in Metropolis, and behaving so violently. This didn't strike him as in-character for her. As he fought with her, he overheard Mangubat activating a dangerous piece of WayneTech technology, and was forced to break the man's wrist to stop him and override the command. His command set the stolen titanium robots on catching Catwoman.
At that same moment, Superman appeared, and Bruce watched as he tore through the robots effortlessly, with strength he deemed dangerous. Superman, meanwhile, could only imagine that this man dressed as a bat was the murderer himself. As he sensed the increasing heartbeat of Mangubat's frightened daughter and compared it with Batman's requisite cool, he became angry. Rather than fight this threat directly, Batman decided to use a small explosive to blast the visitor out of the building, hoping that he couldn't fly. As Superman fell hard to the ground, he was further annoyed as various household appliances from the apartment above Mangubat's began falling on his head - thrown by the Catwoman.
Despite her apparent joy at causing destruction, though, her actions were not her own. As the one who had possessed her left her body, eyeing the young and angry men below as potential hosts, Catwoman became confused, realizing with some consternation that she had ended up in Metropolis without explanation.
Overcome by their rage, Batman leapt down at Superman who in turn sped upwards to meet him. However, at the moment of intended impact, there was a brilliant flash, and the next thing Clark knew, he was falling toward Smallville at a significant speed. When he lands, he sees Batman there, and believed that he must be the agent of this sudden teleportation - though he appeared to be wearing a different costume. The Batman sensed Superman's hostility, and activated a shield of Kryptonite radiation in order to protect himself. The radiation weakened him, and Batman took the opportunity to try to reason with him, but his own confusion only further confused Clark, who still believed him to be the same Batman he had met for the first time earlier. Angrily, he beat the man, accidentally burning his father's tree down with his heat-vision in the process. Their fight was interrupted by the call of a voice that Clark recognized, though: that of Jonathan Kent, who could not understand why Clark would be behaving in this way.
All of this went exactly to plan.
- This book was first published on June 26, 2013.
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