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Dawn of DC follows on from Dark Crisis and explores a changed DCU with the return of the pre-Crisis infinite Multiverse and the disbanding of the Justice League, who are replaced by the [[Titans (Prime Earth)|Tita

Dawn of DC is a branding initiative in 2023 and 2024. It includes some ongoing series as well as many new ones launched throughout 2023 and onwards. Multiple sub-events also tied into it.

History

Prelude

Dawn of DC follows on from Dark Crisis and explores a changed DCU with the return of the pre-Crisis infinite Multiverse and the disbanding of the Justice League, who are replaced by the Titans as the world's premiere superhero team.[1]

The Council of Light brought Amanda Waller back from Earth 3 and tasked her to destroy all metahumans on Earth, both heroes and villains.[2][3] She began by offering a full pardon and expunged records to any surviving member of the Secret Society of Super-Villains who managed to kill a superhero; and retrieved a corrupted fragment of the Helmet of Fate known as the Helmet of Hate from Lazarus Island.[4]

Bureau of Sovereignty

Waller exploited the various crises that occurred over the course of a year to stir up hatred against metahumans. First, the Knight Terrors event lead to widespread fear and distrust of superheroes, giving Waller the opening she needed. Waller gave the helmet and Insomnia's Nightmare Stone to Raven's missing half known as Doctor Hate.[5] After Beast Boy defeated a Star Conqueror known as The Necrostar by transforming into one himself, she sent Doctor Hate to wipe his mind. Reduced to a feral state, Beast Boy attacked the world himself, spreading spores around the world that transformed superheroes into Beast-People, an event known as Beast World. This made the rest of the world fear superheroes as much as she did, so they would be more accepting of the government slaughtering them.[6] Waller used the ensuing chaos to convince the President to activate the "Bureau of Sovereignty" and grant her sweeping executive powers.[7] She used this power to remove Lex Luthor from prison and force him to use a stolen Justice League Teleporter to teleport Chester Runk inside Beast Boy; seemingly killing them both.[8][9] She then ordered the remaining Beast-People to be herded together and killed by drone strikes, adding up to the murder of over a million people. She believed this would cause people to look to tyrannical governments rather than heroes for protection, and allow her to become the de-facto dictator of the USA.[10]

Cyborg prevented the genocide by hacking into the US military's system and calling the drones off. Nightwing then personally met with the President and convinced him to let the Titans try and save the Beast-People rather than destroy them. The president agreed and the Titans were able to draw the spores out of people by using powerful heroes as bait; even successfully reconstituting Beast Boy. However, people were frightened by the Titans' display of power and impunity, and the Bureau of Sovereignty became more popular. Waller took over the abandoned Hall of Justice, renaming it the "Hall of Order".[11]

Titans

During the events of Beast World the Titans destroyed the Helmet of Hate and Raven battled her evil half, but Doctor Hate was able to overpower Raven and trap her in a gem, then assume her counterpart's identity.[11] Trigon became concerned that interacting with the Titans may cause Doctor Hate to turn to good, and so made a deal with Waller to remove their influence from her.[12] He manipulated Trilogy into attacking her and Doctor Hate easily overpowered him. Doctor Hate trapped Trilogy in another soul gem, beginning to build her "Crown of Cages" which would unlock her ultimate power as the "Dark-Winged Queen". Meanwhile, Waller commissioned T.O. Morrow to build a cyborg known as Vanadia to destroy the Titans, programming her to believe the Titans were monstrous impostors.[13] Vanadia proved too much for the Titans to handle and Doctor Hate was injured. She retreated to Hell to heal and took up Trigon's staff, declaring that she would not allow harm to come to her "generals", the Titans.[14] Raven told her darker half that she could tell Hate actually cared about the Titans and didn't want them hurt, but Dark Raven insisted that her interest was purely tactical. The Titans were able to restrain Vanadia and convince her of the truth; but as soon as they did Dark Raven teleported in and destroyed her.[15]

Green Arrow

Waller also worked with Malcolm Merlyn to prevent Team Arrow from ever fully uniting, under the pretence that they would be responsible for a "Great Disaster".[16] When Arsenal and Cheshire broke into her secret base, looking for information on their missing daughter, they discovered that she was spying on every superhero on Earth. Waller ambushed and gunned them down with Peacemaker and Peacewrecker.[17] Oliver Queen eventually returned from exile in space and discovered that the Justice League had disbanded in his absence. He strongly suspected that Waller had somehow engineered the dissolution of the League to weaken the superhero community ahead of some major move against them.[18]

In fact Arsenal was not killed, and instead began working for Waller, as she had implanted a bomb in his brain and was holding Cheshire hostage.[19] Oliver broke into the Hall of Order looking for information on Roy and Waller's plan. He was caught, and Waller asked him to join her for the war she claimed was coming between superhumans and normal people. He refused but she promised to reunite his family and deliver Merlyn to him if he helped her. The first thing she ordered him to do was steal the records from Sanctuary for her.[3] Oliver agreed when she told him that Arsenal had disappeared on the same mission.[20] He successfully obtained the records and saved Roy, but refused to hand them over unless Waller delivered Merlyn to him. In response, she teleported him to the post-Great Disaster future to face Merlyn.[21] In the future Merlyn attacked Green Arrow with an army of holograms, but Oliver used the implants to bring all of Team Arrow to the future with him and they defeated the holograms. Oliver then beat Merlyn in an archery duel and handed him over to John Diggle to be imprisoned. Team Arrow returned to the present, disabling the teleport implants for good.[22]

As part of his deal with Waller, Oliver snuck away from Team Arrow in the night and joined up with the Bureau of Sovereignty. He originally only agreed to guard the weapons and technology that Waller seized from the people she arrested. However, Waller was quickly able to manipulate him into taking missions in the field by sending him to arrest superheroes who had gone "rogue". Olive was forced to agree so he could attempt to bring his friends in non-lethally, whereas the Bureau's other operatives would have killed them on sight.[23][24]

Dreamer

As another part of her larger plan, Waller drafted Dreamer into the Suicide Squad by threatening to reveal the location of her hidden hometown of Parthas if she did not cooperate. Dreamer reluctantly joined the Squad, but had dreams of a future filled with death and carnage caused by Amanda Waller.[25] Waller learned that the Council of Light was in fact a front for Brainiac as part of a plan to weaken Earth by eliminating it's superpowered defenders. She cut ties with the Council but continued her campaign against the heroes regardless, despite knowing of the potentially devastating consequences.[26]

Dreamer's first mission with the Squad was to overthrow the new democratic government of Gamorra, so the Bureau of Sovereignty could use it as a staging ground and prison for America's superheroes. Nia went along with it up to a point, but when the Squad began murdering Gamorran soldiers she attempted to stop them. Following his conditioning, Bizarro tried to kill her and she fled into Dream Realm to escape. Waller revealed the existence of Parthas as she had threatened, sparking backlash and protests from anti-alien bigots. Dreamer confronted Waller in her dreams, digging up a memory of an argument she had with her deceased husband when she first entered politics as an aide for a right-wing city councilman whose policies had actively hurt her community and family. Nia told Waller that she didn't even believe she was acting for the greater good anymore and was secretly wracked with guilt. Waller refused to change course and consciously woke herself up before Dreamer could attack her. She started using medication which prevented her from sleeping so that Nia could not attack her in her dreams.[27]

A mob of racists riled up by Waller descended on Parthas, destroying buildings and terrorising the refugees. Dreamer was force to come out of hiding to protect it and the Suicide Squad recaptured her.[28] Nia broke free of captivity as she was being brough back to Gamorra and was able to destroy the prison which Waller was building, then went to her office to confront her where Waller told her they would simply rebuild the prison. Dreamer was about to murder Waller when she had a vision of the future and realised that Waller was holding her family and had rigged up bombs which would detonate and kill them if Waller's heart ever stopped. Defeated, Dreamer returned to the Suicide Squad.[29]

Batman

Zur-En-Arrh, a constructed personality in Batman's mind, spread through the Collective Unconscious to create an alternate personality in the mind of every Batman in the Multiverse.[30] Zur-En-Arrh transferred itself and all its multiversal variants into Failsafe, a powerful robot which Batman had created to stop him if he ever went too far and killed one of his enemies.[31] As Failsafe, the Zur-En-Arrh declared itself the true Batman and embarked on a campaign to end crime in Gotham City, essentially taking over the city and imprisoning Bruce in the basement of Blackgate Penitentiary.[32] He claimed to the members of the Batman Family and Batman's superhero friends that he was Bruce Wayne and had defeated the rogue Failsafe; but his body had been damaged beyond repair in the fight, requiring him to transfer his consciousness into the robot. Failsafe initially convinced Damian Wayne that he was the boy's father,[33][34] and imprisoned him when he discovered the truth. He replaced Damian as Robin with a teenaged clone of Bruce.[35]

Failsafe built Amazo robots based on the members of the Justice League to hold the minds of the alternate Batmen of Zur-En-Arrh. Amanda Waller sent a strike team to Wayne Manor to try and apprehend Failsafe, but Robin easily defeated them. Failsafe went to Gamorra Island and confronted Amanda Waller, ordering her to stay away from him. She told him that they both wanted the same thing: absolute control, and should work together. However, Failsafe had Bruce Wayne's memories and so regarded the superheroes as his friends, and refused to help her destroy them.[35]

Bruce Wayne escaped prison and was able to make contact with the rest of the Bat-Family. They launched a coordinated attack on Failsafe's headquarters in Blackgate; and were able to rescue Damian, overpower the clone and deactivate the machines Failsafe was attempting to use to brainwash Batman's enemies. Bruce and Red Hood attacked Failsafe directly, with Bruce in a new suit of powered armour that had counters for Failsafe's weapons. During the fight, Zur-En-Arrh killed Jason, and, as "Batman" had now killed, the original Failsafe program inside his android body reactivated to stop him. The Zur-En-Arrh personality was seemingly erased and the Failsafe android shut down, just as Bruce had planned. Jason then returned to life thanks to a small canister of Lazarus Resin hidden in his costume.

Meanwhile Vandal Savage, the newly appointed Commissioner of the Gotham City Police Department, assaulted Blackgate with the help of United States Army troops provided by Waller. The Bat-Family fled just as the army broke through the walls.[36] The Bureau of Sovereignty retrieved Failsafe and his army of Amazos, known as Task Force VII, from Blackgate and forced the Time Commander to use his powers to restore them.[26][37]

Absolute Power

Brainiac kidnapped the Superman Family to serve as fuel for his new creation, the Brainiac Queen. They, along with Lex Luthor, his daughter Lena Luthor and Lobo, were able to defeat Brainiac and destroy his ship. The Queen was presumed destroyed but in fact Brainiac's final act was to jettison her from the ship in an escape pod.[38][39] The Brainiac Queen's pod crash-landed on Earth and the Bureau of Sovereignty found her intact, but with her systems wiped clean. Waller had the two of them placed in a simulation where she spent twenty subjective years raising the Brainiac Queen as her daughter and training her to fight superheroes. When the simulation was over after only twenty hours in the real world the Queen awoke, totally loyal to her "mother" and ready to destroy the superheroes.[37]

Waller began to display signs of emotional instability, likely due to sleep deprivation and the mental strain of the simulation. Her actions also became more overtly authoritarian as she used her power to raid superheroes' homes and bases, and shut down media critical of her.[40] She started to see her mission in grandiose, even messianic terms, claiming that "humanity triumphs" when superheroes are eliminated. Eventually, she openly defied direct orders from the President, deeming herself above any legal or governmental authority.[41]

Waller also blamed speedsters for a recent series of reality disruptions and crises, claiming that their powers were causing reality to break down.[40] The Bureau of Sovereignty began hunting down and arresting any members of the Flash Family they could find.[42] Waller dispatched Green Arrow in the Justice Buster armour to arrest Barry Allen, but he was defeated by the combined strength of the Flash Family. Green Arrow ejected from the armour and got away without the Flashes discovering who he was. As the Justice Buster had proved to not be up to the task, Waller decided to expedite Task Force VII into the field.[24]

The Brainiac Queen generated endless fake footage of superheroes rampaging through the streets and slaughtering civilians. Most of the media uncritically reported this as fact, and the Queen hacked and took over outlets that did not. This caused widespread fear and hatred of metahumans, to the point that some heroes were attacked by angry mobs. Due to the Queen's alien software, Cyborg and Oracle were unable to stop her, so the deepfakes flooded the media non-stop for seventy-two hours. Believing that Waller was simply trying to discredit them, the heroes went out in force to save as many people as they could to counter the narrative, banding together in groups for protection.

However, unbeknownst to them, this was exactly what Waller had intended. By coming out into the open in a small number of clusters rather than spreading out across the world, they were easy prey for Task Force VII. The Amazos attacked the groups of heroes and drained their powers. The power theft was so comprehensive that items like the Cosmic Rod or Starheart no longer functioned, and magic users were stripped of their abilities. Even The Spectre was banished. This was an all-out assault, not the subtle manipulations and subterfuge Waller had employed in the past.[41] Task Force VII arrested the heroes and took them to Waller's black site prison on Gamorra, including children and citizens of foreign nations.[43]

Waller revealed herself to the public for the first time and announced she had "saved" the world from rogue superheroes. With the vast majority of heroes powerless, Batman ordered a general retreat, telling everyone to get to safety and await further instructions. However, Green Arrow had told Waller about the secret frequencies the Justice League used to communicate, meaning that the Bureau could tap the heroes' communications. Arrow entered the channel and told his former comrades that the Bureau had sealed Earth off from any possible escape or aid from space, alternate dimensions or time travel. He also told them that the power theft was permanent, even if they somehow managed to destroy the Amazos.[41] As a result of absorbing the heroes' powers, Task Force VII also started to take on some of their personality traits. In some cases this caused glitches in their programming as the consciences they had absorbed from the heroes conflicted with their ruthlessness.[43]

The few depowered heroes who managed to escape capture retreated into hiding as best they could and began to organise an underground resistance against Waller's regime. However, they were scattered and isolated, with their only secure means of communication being messages carried by Barry Allen, the only speedster to keep his powers. Batman went to Titans Tower to extract Cyborg, who was trying to hack into the Bureau of Sovereignty's systems, as it would only be a matter of time before the Bureau found him. Cyborg was able to discover that Waller had a Mother Box and was keeping it somewhere off the coast of Gamorra. They were attacked by Paradise Lost, one of the Amazos, who captured Cyborg but was called away by Failsafe before they could take Batman. Bruce informed the others through Barry what he had learned, and said he would recruit Catwoman to help him steal the Mother Box away.[44]

Issues

Notes


Links and References


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