"Truth and Consequences": As Metropolis is recovering from a demonic attack, Paul is busily recounting how the accompanying news headline he's reading may just be his favorite - all of the newspapers claimed it was all a mass delusion. He finds it astonishing that people have the ability to conv
Appearing in "Truth and Consequences"
- Peggy Lincoln (Dies)
- Diana Lincoln
- Jimmy Mahoney (Dies)
- Nelson Bell
- Jenet Klyburn
- Elongated Man
- Martian Manhunter
- Hyacinth (a nurse) (First full appearance)
- Stanley Dover
- Unnamed Oncologist
- Wonder Woman
- Flash (Jay Garrick)
- Robin (Tim Drake)
- Green Lantern (Alan Scott)
- Booster Gold
- Blue Beetle (Ted Kord)
- Ray (Raymond Terrill)
- Power Girl
- Captain Atom
- Tempest (Garth)
- Aquaman (Orin)
- Captain Marvel
- Doctor Fate (Hector Hall)
- Guy Gardner
Synopsis for "Truth and Consequences"
As Metropolis is recovering from a demonic attack, Paul is busily recounting how the accompanying news headline he's reading may just be his favorite - all of the newspapers claimed it was all a mass delusion. He finds it astonishing that people have the ability to convince themselves of something when they do not wish to face the truth, citing the Spectre as an example of this. Some believe him an embodiment of the Lord's Wrath, while others believe he is a fake; Paul think it is just a matter of whether or not one believes in an afterlife, citing his own uncertainty. However, he hopes there is an afterlife - it would allow him to reunite with Peggy, who had succumbed to her cancer. Noticing the snow falling outside, he begins to recall the holiday season he spent with Peggy, Diana (now a practicing oncologist at Metropolis General), and Diana's boyfriend, Stanley Dover.
Just as they are hanging the decorations on a Christmas tree, Diana is called back to the hospital, and promises to return as soon as she can. At the hospital, Diana meets with her patient: Dr. Jenet Klyburn from S.T.A.R. Labs, who immediately guesses the diagnosis Diana was about to make - her test results were positive and she has cancer. Diana affirms that they will be able to treat it, and assures her that they will do everything they can.
Meanwhile, Paul hears of the murder of Elongated Man's wife, Sue Dibny. The entire superhuman community turns out for the funeral, along with a lot of ordinary people who had also been touched by the Dibnys in some way. Despite his fondness for the Elongated Man, Paul had his own troubles to deal with; he and Peggy visit the doctor, who confirms that her cancer is worsening, and has become very aggressive. Because it has spread to her bones and marrow, it is virtually untreatable, save for a few aggressive treatments. Peggy declines these and plans to face it on her own terms, determined to make what little time she has count.
On the walk back from the hospital, Paul tries to maintain a positive attitude about the situation (with some difficulty). Peggy offers to buy him a newspaper for his collection; however, Paul declines as tears start streaming down his face, saying that it is too painful for him at a time like this, though Peggy tries to convince him that they will get through this. Paul reveals that, to this day, that paper is the only hole in his collection. He then recounts how the superhero community began a manhunt for Sue's killer. In the end, Paul and Nelson, while eating in a diner, learn that Jean Loring, ex-wife of the Atom, was the murderer, and committed the crime in an attempt to win back Ray. While Nelson notes that at least Jean has been sentenced to an insane asylum, Paul adds that he feels sorry for Elongated Man more than anyone. Paul then gets a phone call from Peggy, who is checking up on him; after hanging up, Nelson gets a call regarding a long-missing exo-suit, and the two head for the Metropolis national bank.
Once there, they discover that the man who stole the exo-suit, going by the moniker "Armory", is using it to commit a robbery; he is eventually stopped by Superman, who also saves Paul and Nelson during the conflict. Superman strips the armor off Armory, piece by piece, and leaves the criminal in custody by the two detectives. Later, while Paul is taking care of some paperwork at headquarters, he gets a call regarding Peggy's condition that sends him running straight to the hospital.
Once there, he meets up with Diana, who informs him that Peggy took a turn for the worse and collapsed on the kitchen floor. When Paul asks what she is doing for her, Diana lets him know that she is making her comfortable, which is all they can do, since it looks like that it is time to say goodbye. At her bedside, Peggy says her final goodbyes to her husband and daughter, who have given her a wonderful life with has no regrets, and then finally closes her eyes forever.
Her funeral, Paul recalls, was small and private, with only himself, Diana, Stanley, Jimmy and his family in attendance. He did not invite many of her friends, wanting them to remember her as she had lived. He takes the next month off from work to mourn; at the same time, several citizens are being transformed into OMACs. Following his mourning period, Paul returned to duty and helps Nelson inspect the secured exo-suit in S.T.A.R. Labs, along with Dr. Klyburn and Jimmy; they had kept the exo-suit for future emergencies. Dr. Klyburn then tells Paul that she owes a huge debt of thanks to Diana for helping to put her own cancer in remission. Jimmy accepts Paul back, apologizing for initially suspecting him of the theft of the exo-suit. As the detectives are about to leave, however, Nelson is suddenly transformed into an OMAC.
As the Nelson-OMAC destroys the facility and attempts to kill Paul, it is shot in the back by a missile fired from Jimmy, using the exo-suit. Jimmy manages to finish off the OMAC, although not before sustaining several wounds and falling to the floor; the fallen OMAC transforms then back into Nelson. Paul rushes to Jimmy's side, assuring him that they will get help, but a dying Jimmy reminds Paul that he always owed him for getting him paroled, and asks to tell his wife and son that he loves them. With his last breath, Jimmy says how good he felt to be able to walk again. Paul is greatly saddened and takes out his police badge as he decides to retire from the police force.
In the present, Paul reaches for his newspaper, but is stopped by a nurse, to whom he had been recounting his story the entire time. She tells him that it is time for him to go to sleep, to which he reluctantly agrees, despite him saying that there is more to tell. The nurse tells him that it is the exact same story every night, and that she has heard it so much she knows it by heart. He claims it is true, to which she agrees, assuming that it is as true as those told by the other residents. As the nurse tucks him in after he takes his pills, she reminds him of the visit by Diana and her family tomorrow.
On her way out, the nurse muses that at least Paul still has his dreams; Paul, drifting off to sleep, replies "And what dreams they were, Peggy's darling. What dreams they were..." As Paul falls asleep, the scene pans to a clear plastic case bearing the original Atom's business card that Paul kept decades ago, with a note thanking Paul for saving his life.
Appearing in "Snapshot: Redemption!"
- Blue Beetle (Dan Garrett) (Dies)
- Justice League International
- Oracle (Barbara Gordon) (Cameo)
- Thomas M. Kord (Cameo)
Synopsis for "Snapshot: Redemption!"
While investigating the events that led to the discovery of Checkmate and his eventual demise, the Blue Beetle reflects on his life, on the events that led him to become a superhero, and about his career as a crime fighter.
- The issue takes place during the events of Identity Crisis and the OMAC Project.
- The variant cover is a sort of homage to Secret Origins (Volume 2) #2
- No trivia.
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