"Nexus": In a desert on Earth 2 is a city called Nexus. It was created by Superman - Val-Zod - to be a waypoint, a crossroads, where outcasts could find some solidarity. It is a beautiful city as the red sun dawns over it - and the perfect site for an ambush, as Batman tries to snare Superman fo
Appearing in "Nexus"
- Green Lantern (Flashback only) (Cameo)
- Jimmy Olsen (Flashback only) (Cameo)
- Red Tornado (Flashback only) (Cameo)
- TSS Overwatch-One
Synopsis for "Nexus"
In a desert on Earth 2 is a city called Nexus. It was created by Superman - Val-Zod - to be a waypoint, a crossroads, where outcasts could find some solidarity. It is a beautiful city as the red sun dawns over it - and the perfect site for an ambush, as Batman tries to snare Superman for the murder of Terry Sloan.
As Superman untangles the cord around him, the Flash intervenes in the fight and starts arguing with Batman. Flash argues that Superman would never kill, while Batman says he got the motive data from Mister Terrific - Terry Sloan is the reason for the violent break-up between Val-Zod and Power Girl. He dismisses Flash, saying he is a coward besides. Superman separates them, saying he will tell the story...
When Val-Zod arrived on Earth, he was immediately taken to the underground lab of Terry Sloan, and prodded for ideas. Sloan went on to be a controversial hero in the first war with Apokolips, some six years ago, particularly when he detonated the firepits to stop the invaders, holding back the Parademons, but at the cost of billions of lives. When the Parademons returned under Darkseid, Val-Zod was freed from Sloan's lab, prepared to fight the invaders in a modified Superman costume... and introduced to Power Girl, Superman's protegé and de facto daughter.
Val was separated from Power Girl during the retreat from Earth due to a convergence of unfortunate events, but he caught up with her on Earth 2. Together, they and a few friends set up the greatest city on the planet - Neotropolis, built with discarded Sloan nanotech, using the TSS Aurora for building matter, supplied by the Flash's super-speed, nourished by the Green Lantern's connection to the Green, and with communications supplied by Jimmy Olsen. With the yellow sunlight, Val and Power Girl had the power to help the city. And under the red sun, they enjoyed their time off together. Power Girl - Kara - was enamoured with all, placing great trust in him.
But a canny young woman in a basecall cap calling herself "Anarky" blew up a building to access a leftover starship engine, then engineered an anti-government riot to protect herself. Terry Sloan sent teleporting Sandman troopers from Overwatch-One to catch Anarky, but ended up attacking civilian bystanders instead. Val and Kara, without powers under the red sun, punched one of the Sandmen to get a teleport device, determined to get answers.
On Overwatch-One, the duo faced Sloan, accusing him of stealing the engine. He plead ignorance, insisting that another actor was at play. Val refused to believe him, calling him a liar. Sloan responded by pointing out to Kara his long history with Val - how he intercepted his craft before it hit Earth, how he gave him a goal and a home - and then revealing that Val designed the equipment that created the very firepits where Superman died.
Kara had asked Val if this was true. He had assented that it was, but had told no-one because he had no idea how to bring it up. Overwhelmed with emotion at the idea that her boyfriend might be partially responsible for the death of her father, she then shot out a nearby window and jumped, from orbit, aiming for an area of the planet currently under the yellow sun. Val, desperate, had jumped after her. Val admits that he has no idea how they survive, but he suspects that Green Lantern had a hand in it.
On the ground, Kara, fully empowered, called him a liar, and broke up with him via concussive eyeblast. Landing in the desert, Val was left with nothing but regret.
He put his lost love for Power Girl and his guilt at the lives his idea took into Nexus. In the same fashion, Power Girl poured her rage and passion into Neotropolis. He can live with this.
Batman derides his motivation, but he trusts that the story is real. He tries to recruit Val to help him find Terry Sloan's killer, citing the theft of the Source Vault, and explaining that if the thief is also the party responsible for the theft of the engine, the fight will need his help, far more than he is needed hiding in Nexus with a coward like Flash.
Flash takes umbrage at this, saying that he was being called on for days on end by people who would have died, that he was unequal to the task, and that Batman, who has never been a public hero, has no right to criticise him.
At this point, Mister Terrific radios Batman. Someone has hacked the controls on Overwatch-One, sending it on a collision cource for Neotropolis - and the perpetrator has scrawled the symbol from Anarky's baseball cap onto the side of the station!
- This book was first published on September 9, 2015.
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