Synopsis for "The Planet Incarnate"
With Apokolips approaching the planet, and the World Army broken, Dick Grayson had to lie to his son Tommy that they would get through what was to come together. He couldn't be sure. Nervously, he led Tommy to the front of the line for convoys meant to escape certain doom. Unfortunately, his wife Barbara was killed in the line of duty, and the priority placement they'd hoped to get through was no longer valid. Dick knew it was a death sentence for them if they were sent to the back of the line for their failure. Unwilling to let Tommy suffer for his mistake, he begged at the gate for someone to take him. A woman offered to help, but Tommy didn't want to be separated from his father. But Dick had given his word that Tommy would be protected - even if that meant giving him up. As the others left behind began to riot and the military began shooting at the civilians to keep them back, Dick watched as his son's ship began to lift off - and then explode before it had even made orbit.
Apokolips attacked, and began siphoning the energies that remained on the planet. Desperately, the Wonders of the World tried to fend off Kalibak and Darkseid, trying to buy time. Dick, though, found himself attacked by tendrils of some alien energy - not that of Apokolips - and it took him to another place.
Now, Dick is trapped by Brainiac's drones, while Telos forces the cities on his surface to fight one another for survival. Unable to move, the other heroes, trapped alongside Dick, try to reason with their captor. As if to demonstrate the soundness of his plan, Telos makes them watch as he pairs the cyborg population of a doomed timeline with those of another world, born of a Great Creator. However, the citizens of the latter world choose not to fight, rather deeming their captor the true enemy. Grimly, Telos suggests that they need some coaxing, removing their domes and teleporting the heroes of the other world to the dead landscape of the hostile cyborg, where they have no chance to do anything but defend themselves.
While Telos is distracted, the trapped Wonders realize that their bonds are weakening, and Superman manages to break free and attack him. He recovers quickly, though, warning that if they want his attention, they can have it, as disinterested in them as he is. Wishing to help fight, despite the absence of The Green, Green Lantern draws on the alien planet's energies, realizing too late that its power can kill him. Unimpressed, Telos explains that he is the planet. In response, Green Lantern turns the power he siphoned back on Telos, making him crumble away - apparently gone.
While the others try to help Alan, who is spent from the effort of attacking, Dick notices Batman injecting himself with something, and asks about it. Batman responds that it's Miraclo, and denies that there is any possibility that he might have a problem with its addictive properties.
Before they can all fully recover from their battle with Telos, he returns. Knowing Alan can't make another attack like before, Superman stands up to finish things, but unexpectedly, Telos simply disappears back into the planet's surface, explaining that none of these people are worth his time. Alan, having formed a connection with Telos when he tried to absorb its energies, warns that Telos is still alive, somewhere. However, he has learned from that connection that Telos fears something. The key to defeating Telos lies somewhere beneath the surface of the planet, and the fear he sensed seems to be focused around a ruined city nearby. Batman takes charge, sending the Flash ahead to scout for dangers while he and Dick head to a nearby version of Gotham City and try to raise up some allies.
Afterwards, once alone, Batman admits that he only chose Dick to come with him to keep an eye on him. The younger man's bad attitude could get him killed, but Batman isn't willing to let Dick risk compromising the Green Lantern's mission with it. Up ahead, Batman spots Brainiac's drones patrolling the perimeter of the city, and suggests that they must be there to keep civilians in. As such, he simply walks right in, unassaulted. He leads Dick down into the sewers, purposefully, eventually revealing that he hopes to find a Batcave searching everywhere he would search. Within a short time, that is exactly what they find. Finding the place empty, Batman instructs Dick to sit at the computers until he comes back, and not to touch anything.
While sitting down, Dick's chair makes a creak, and alerts Barbara Gordon to his presence there. Disturbed, Dick wonders how he should respond to the face of his dead wife. Fortunately, he is spared saying anything by Alfred Pennyworth, who assures her that he will handle the intruders. Dick's heart sinks as he realizes that this Barbara was certainly not his wife, and Alfred explains that she is a friend of Bruce Wayne, who owns the house they are beneath. Dick explains that he was brought by Dr. Thomas Wayne, the Batman, who has gone to seek this city's Batman. Interested, Alfred wonders what type of man this Thomas Wayne is, and suggests that it may be better for the two men to meet alone.
As the two Batmen meet, they can see in each other the men beneath the masks. Bruce; the son of a murdered father, propelled by that murder to become a vigilante. Thomas; a disturbed man at the end of his life, whose son's death had propelled him to vigilantism. Both wounded men had come to life from opposite ends of the same path, and could now face the only man who could possibly understand him.
The Flash, meanwhile, scouts ahead, and finds the citizens of several cities fighting one another. He reports back to Green Lantern that if they hope to get to the ruined city alive, they will have to circumnavigate a city with a raging battle ahead. After passing it by, though, they discover the bodies of the Justice Riders, executed in cold blood by the Hawkman of another city. Yolanda Montez is driven to tears by the knowledge that these innocents had surrendered and were killed all the same. Clenching his fist, Alan reminds that Telos' rules justify the annihilation of cities. He reminds everyone never to forget who they swore to protect, come what may.
Back at the Batcave, Bruce and Thomas return, explaining that Thomas has got permission to borrow the Batmobile. Before leaving, Thomas offers that if Bruce's own father is anything like him, he'd surely be very proud. Once alone, though, Bruce's mood is darkened by the encounter.
Near the ruined city, Alan worries that the place seems familiar. Suddenly, the company spot a man alone, running from the drones. Jay hurries to grab him out of harm's way. After being saved, the man explains that he is called Deimos. He foresaw their coming, and he promises he can get them off of this planet.
Appearing in "The Planet Incarnate"
- Dick Grayson (Earth 2) (Flashback and main story)
- Wonders of the World
- Yolanda Montez (Earth 2)
- Barda (Flashback only)
- K'li (Flashback only)
- Batman (Pre-Flashpoint)
- Alfred Pennyworth (Pre-Flashpoint)
- Oracle (Pre-Flashpoint)
- Deimos (New Earth)
- Tommy Grayson (Earth 2) (Apparent Death)
- Brother Eye (Futures End)
- Cyborg (Futures End)
- Hawkman (Futures End)
- Superman (Futures End)
- Wonder Woman (Futures End)
- Batman (Just Imagine) (Apparent Death)
- Catwoman (Just Imagine) (Apparent Death)
- The Flash (Just Imagine) (Apparent Death)
- Green Lantern (Just Imagine) (Apparent Death)
- Superman (Just Imagine) (Apparent Death)
- Wonder Woman (Just Imagine) (Apparent Death)
- Superman Red/Superman Blue (Earth-162)
- Supergirl (Earth-3839)
- Joel Kent (Earth-3839)
- Justice Riders (Earth-18)
- Apokolips (Flashback only)
- Earth 2 (Flashback only)
- Dick Grayson's son is called Tommy in this issue, despite being called Johnny in other books.
- The Jae Lee cover is a homage to Flash Comics Vol 1 1