"Liberty?": In Skartaris, Deimos has achieved the feat of summoning Telos' master, Brainiac, trapping him in a T-Sphere. Having peered into his captive's timeline, using the absorbed powers of the Time Masters,
- Citizens of Telos. There is no more need to fight. You will all have a place in my new reality. As long as you pledge your lives to me. I have banished the being that brought you all here. I saved your lives. I will protect them. For a price.
Synopsis for "Liberty?"
In Skartaris, Deimos has achieved the feat of summoning Telos' master, Brainiac, trapping him in a T-Sphere. Having peered into his captive's timeline, using the absorbed powers of the Time Masters, Deimos now knows the forbidden knowledge of Telos' identity. Telos is not a planet, created by Brainiac, but rather he was once a man - a man with a family. When danger came, he failed to run. The blood moon shone, and Brainiac came with an offer. He would allow this man to rule a planet in eternal servitude in exchange for the lives of his wife and children. With little choice, he'd agreed. Hearing all this, Telos crumples to his knees, begging to know what his real name was. Nearby, Dick Grayson watches on, realizing that Telos is no different from himself and the other survivors on the planet. They are the last survivors of lost worlds. Telos could be of help to them, now that he knows the truth.
Outside the castle of Shamballah, Travis Morgan, the Warlord, and his wife Tara, see their home in flames and worry for Skartaris' future, if Deimos gets what he wants. Before they can reach the castle, they are attacked again by Lizardmen. In the skirmish, Tara is thrown from her horse, and before Travis can get to her, one of the lizardmen thrusts a sword through her back.
Angrily, Brainiac commands Deimos to return Telos to his former state. The sorcerer refuses, feeling he has the upper hand, but his concentration on Telos causes the force-field keeping his enemies back to fall, and Machiste attacks him. Unfortunately, Deimos is not as defenceless as he appears, and paralyzes Machiste with magic, thrusting his fist right into the man's chest, and tearing out his heart. Turning to the others, he holds the heart up, and explains that he has seen the future in which they all stand against him - and they all consequently die.
Upon learning from Dick that Batman has been killed, the other Wonders of the World decide that they should at least go down fighting, and go on the attack. Superman takes the lead, admitting that while the magic may hurt him, it won't stop him. Meanwhile, Telos gets to his feet, assured of the fact that he is only Telos, and grinning, Brainiac commands him to kill Deimos.
Outside, Travis fights the lizardmen away from his wife's body, and finds her alive - but very weak. Taking her in his arms, he kisses her and promises to be back with help - or to join her soon in death.
The Flash attempts to run fast enough to open the Speed Force, so that they can push Deimos into it - but he is still too powerful for them. With both Jay and Superman down, Green Lantern wonders if their only remaining option might be to release Brainiac. Unwilling to let himself be stopped, Deimos sends Brainiac back to the place he was taken from. Despite that seeming victory, Deimos is surprised when the walls crumble, and the Warlord charges through riding a Triceratops.
Deimos grabs him up, draining him of his life force, aging him decades until he is reduced to dust. At the same time, tremors cause part of the chamber to cave in - and it appears Yolanda might have been caught on the wrong side of it. Unable to find her before they are killed themselves, Jay, Alan, Dick, Superman, and Mariah make a run for it. With no one left to save her, Yolanda is surprised when it is Deimos who offers his hand, reminding that joining with him is the only chance of survival.
Outside, Jay decides to enact a plan to try and find Yolanda. Dick, meanwhile, spots a Batarang on the ground, and supposes that maybe what Telos had said about his destiny being linked with that of the Batman was right - and maybe it's time the link got stronger. Dipping his fingers down into the mud, he draws a bat-symbol on his chest.
Deimos shows Yolanda to a chamber even deeper beneath the planet's surface, explaining that while she doesn't remember it, she was present during the first nexus event - the Crisis. He notes that while her friends may be trying to stop her, they are unaware that their plan to rally the other cities against him is his plan. He will get there first. He calls out across the planet to warn the champions of each city that there is no longer any need to fight. Each world will have a place in Deimos' reality - so long as they pledge their lives to him. He promises that Telos is gone. He saved their lives, and now that he's done so, he will protect them - for a price.
Appearing in "Liberty?"
- Wonders of the World
- Dick Grayson (Earth 2)
- Yolanda Montez (Earth 2)
- Telos (Flashback and main story)
- Warlord (Pre-Flashpoint) (Dies)
- Tara (Pre-Flashpoint) (Dies)
- Mariah (Pre-Flashpoint)
- Machiste (Pre-Flashpoint) (Dies)
- Parallax (Hal Jordan) (Pre-Zero Hour)
- Flash (Pre-Crisis)
- Superman (Pre-Flashpoint)
- Lois Lane (Pre-Flashpoint)
- Jonathan Samuel Kent (Pre-Flashpoint)
- Supergirl (Pre-Crisis)
- Ape-Men (Earth-AD)
- The Jerome Opeña cover is a homage to Detective Comics Vol 1 38