"Rats": In the darkness of the eclipse, forced by the Crime Syndicate, Lex Luthor stumbles through the sub-basements of LexCorp Tower, determined that his superior brain power will be enough to challenge the fate that t
Synopsis for "Rats"
In the darkness of the eclipse, forced by the Crime Syndicate, Lex Luthor stumbles through the sub-basements of LexCorp Tower, determined that his superior brain power will be enough to challenge the fate that the rest of the world has accepted. He is surprised in the dark to find a security guard named Otis down there, who admits that there is no power anywhere in the building, except to every screen that displays the Syndicate's message: "THIS WORLD IS OURS."
Meanwhile, the Teen Titans debate the truth of the Syndicate's claim that they killed the Justice League. Regardless, Red Robin insists that they should head to the ruins of the Justice League Watchtower and rescue Nightwing, whose identity the Crime Syndicate revealed to the world, suggesting to Tim at least, that they intend to keep him alive. However, the worry that the Syndicate may have killed the League gives them little chance as mere teenagers. A further worry that Red Robin is reluctant to voice is the fact that with Richard Grayson's identity public, the rest of Earth's heroes' identities will not be protected for much longer.
In the remains of the Justice League Watchtower, the Crime Syndicate debates how best to assume control over this new world. Owlman is insistent that the best way would be to leave some of this world's infrastructure intact in the form of police and government so that "their" people could replace those present. Johnny Quick, though, would rather simply kill everyone and start anew. They already control everything, thanks to Alfred and the Secret Society. Frustrated by everyone else's hesitation, he and Atomica take their leave. In the meantime, Grid has compiled a list of uprisings requiring quashing, and warns Ultraman that the need is most pressing in Kahndaq.
For the moment, though, Ultraman decides to check on the prisoner they brought with them from their world. The man has been drugged, and as such, remains docile. Owlman declares that they should kill him while they have a chance, after he nearly tore their team apart. Ultraman, though, worries that he might be able to help them, should the doom that chased them from their world follow them to this world. Superwoman agrees with Owlman, but Ultraman insists. This gives Owlman the leverage he needs to insist that this earth's Richard Grayson be kept alive as well. Though he is reluctant, Ultraman accepts the deal, warning Superwoman never to disagree with him in front of Owlman again.
Before heading to Kahndaq, Ultraman orders that Power Ring and Deathstorm be sent to Central City, where Grid informs him that the Rogues have refused to join the Society. With Ultraman gone, Superwoman warns Owlman that it is only a matter of time before their compatriot realizes that the unborn child inside her isn't his. Owlman hopes that by the time their secret is out, the preparations will be in place, and Ultraman will not be a problem anymore. Superwoman hopes not, because she wants this world to be theirs, for their child's sake.
As Lex is annoyed by Otis' nervous babbling, he and the security guard find their way to the lab where Subject B-Zero rests. Five years ago, Lex had got hold of a Kryptonian blood sample. He had tried bonding it to a human with disastrous results, and eventually settled on a clone, with the knowledge that it would be a decade long project. Unfortunately, the clone still needs five more years before it reaches maturity - Lex needs it now. With the power out and the sun blocked by the eclipse, the solar panels won't be able to power the clone's life support systems anyway. He must release the clone.
Uncomfortably, Otis watches as Luthor opens the container in which Subject B-Zero was incubating, and introduces himself. Intending to test his creation's ability to follow his commands to the letter, Lex orders B-Zero to kill Otis. Unfortunately, the clone just grunts, and does nothing. Terrified, Otis begins unloading his weapon into the creature's chest, with no effect, as Luthor angrily commands it to do as he says. Otis' patience runs out, and he turns his weapon on Luthor instead. This seems to trigger the creature's aggression, and it leaps at Otis, tearing him apart. Satisfied, Luthor fetches B-Zero some clothes.
Meanwhile, as police gather outside the Watchtower, they are unexpectedly attacked by Johnny Quick and Atomica, defending their new base. The police are saved from a likely death by the Teen Titans - much to Johnny Quick's delight. Playing on Kid Flash's being from a different time period, Johnny Quick uses his frequency of vibration to tug on the boy, resulting in a temporal rift that yanks Kid Flash and his companions with him, back to the future.
Lex retrieves his most recent - though incomplete - version of his Warsuit, annoyed that he didn't have time to manipulate Kord Industries into adding the other weapons he had planned for it. The creature, meanwhile, dons a Superman uniform, but thanks to its undercooked brain, is put on inside-out. Whatever the case, Lex dons his own suit, and declares that in Superman's absence, this is a job for Lex Luthor.
At S.T.A.R. Labs Detroit, Dr. Silas Stone and Dr. Thomas Morrow have been working hard since the power went out. Their generators will fail soon, but Silas is insistent that they must protect the Red Room, a high security vault containing the most advanced technology in the world. Even as they work, someone outside the lab is attempting to break down the door. When the door finally collapses, the doctors are surprised to see Batman and Catwoman standing there. Batman warns that Silas' son Victor needs him, having had his biological material ripped from its cybernetic support system by Grid. With some surprise, Dr. Morrow wonders how Batman survived, and where the rest of the Justice League is. Shaken, Batman admits that the others didn't make it
Appearing in "Rats"
- Otis (Only appearance; dies)
- Subject B-Zero
- Dr. Silas Stone
- Dr. T.O. Morrow
- Crime Syndicate
- Secret Society
- San Francisco
- Gotham City
- Central City
- Washington, D.C.
- Happy Harbor
- This issue is reprinted in Forever Evil.
- The story of the Rogues' resistance to the Society is told in Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion.
- The Teen Titans are seen in San Francisco, where the pre-Flashpoint version was based, instead of New York, where the current team is based.