"Яed Son": The Challengers from Beyond tracked their lead on Ray Palmer to the reality of Earth-30, in the Soviet Union ruled by Superman. The group learns from Bob the Monitor that this reality's Superman have turned the Union into a utopian state, yet with the price of lobotomizing dissenters
- As unthinkable as it seem, you'd be surprised how well the communist system works when it's assisted by a super civil servant. There's peace and stability, and all the necessities of life. Quite a utopian state--at least on the surface.
Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer: Red Son #1 is an issue of the series Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer (Volume 1) with a cover date of February, 2008.
Synopsis for "Яed Son"
The Challengers from Beyond tracked their lead on Ray Palmer to the reality of Earth-30, in the Soviet Union ruled by Superman. The group learns from Bob the Monitor that this reality's Superman have turned the Union into a utopian state, yet with the price of lobotomizing dissenters into "peaceful" citizens of the state. The Challengers later tracked their lead to a hospital which houses lobotomized patients. Jason Todd and Donna Troy search the building and founds what appears to be Ray Palmer. However, after finding Ray they also discover Earth-30's Batman. Following a very brief misunderstanding, they are discovered by Russian soldiers. Jason, Donna, Batman and along with Ray escape after Batman having already set the hospital to explode, and are then rescued by Kyle Rayner. As they travel using Kyle's ring, they are then follow by Superman. Donna Troy allows herself in delaying Superman and allowing the others to escape. Donna is then capture by Wonder Woman.
At Batman's hideout, the group are reunited with Bob, and it is revealed that Ray is the Atom of Earth-30. However, the Earth-30 Ray had previously met Ray Palmer of New Earth which was only a few days ago, who warned his Earth-30 counterpart of a great coming threat. It is also learned from the Challengers that Ray (Earth-30), a American, came to Russia at the behest of Superman who wants him in restoring the shrunken city of Stalingrad and its inhabitants to its former size which had been shrunk by Brainiac. However, once in Russia and realizing how wrong of its rigid society, Ray decided to help Batman in stopping Superman while trying to restore Stalingrad. Ray's secret allegiance was then discovered by a reprogrammed Brainiac robot and which was how Ray ended up in the hospital founded by the Challengers. After hearing Ray's story, the group needs to rescue Donna, in which Ray and Batman agrees to help and plan their own agenda of ending Superman's reign on his birthday. Before Batman could layout his plan, he then requested Ray to plant a micro-bomb inside of his body.
Meanwhile, a captured Donna, strapped with Wonder Woman's lariat, tells the truths of the Challengers, their mission, and where they came from to Superman and Wonder Woman. The two are incredulous of Donna's story, but partially believe her story and sees her as a threat in aligning with Batman. Superman then consults with Brainiac of Donna, in which the robot suggests of extracting a genetic sample from Donna's brain in assuring that she is telling the truth and not one of Lex Luthor's "super weapon", and as well in devising a controlling implant in her brain in which Superman comply. After Superman depart from Wonder Woman in preparation for his celebration, she is then capture by the Atom and Batman with her own lariat, in which Batman executes his plan while Jason and Kyle rescue Donna. The two then rescue Donna from Brainiac, with Kyle destroying the robot.
At a desolated location, Bob and Atom watched Batman used Wonder Woman as bait for Superman, who then arrive and is weaken with simulated red sunlight technology provided by Lex Luthor. The other three Challengers travel to Batman's location as he fights a powerless Superman. However, Wonder Woman frees herself by breaking her lariat, causing her to broken her bounded life force despite Donna trying to stop and warn her, and destroys the generator for the lights, in which she use in subduing Donna. With the generator destroyed, Superman regains his power and beat Kyle, Bob and Jason into submission. Superman then faces Batman and gives him the chance to surrender and be reprogram. Batman chose death and explodes himself with the micro-bomb in which the Atom is caught in the blast as he tried in vain to stop Batman's self-sacrifice.
The Challengers are captured by Superman who express his displeasure of them bringing violence and causing the deaths of Batman and (presumably) the Atom, and discloses to them about being lobotomized for their own good. However, Superman is contacted by a still alive, but scarred Atom from a phone booth within Stalingrad. He threatens him to releasing the Challengers or he will destroy the shrunken city if his demands are not met.
The Challengers are freed as they travel over Russia to their next destination while a weakened and gray-haired Wonder Woman is carted in a wheelchair.
Appearing in "Яed Son"
- Batman (Earth-30)
- The Atom (Earth-30) (First appearance)
- This story runs parallel to that of Superman: Red Son #2, recreating some of the panels that appear there.
- It is revealed that the microbomb planted in Batman of Earth-30's intestines - as seen in Superman: Red Son - was placed there by the Atom of that world. Furthermore, this issue also reveals how Wonder Woman was captured by Batman, which was not shown in the original graphic novel.
- The Challengers briefly visited Earth-30 before in Countdown #30, as Jason Todd mentioned in the beginning of the issue.
- This issue is reprinted in the Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer collection.
- Cover gallery for the Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer series
- Images from Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer: Red Son Vol 1 1
Links and References
The events from this issue or series are related to the Countdown to Final Crisis. Countdown was a weekly series spanning exactly 52 issues, and tying in with plots across many story arcs all over the DCU. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the Countdown Crossover category.