"The Last Temptation of William Batson": JLA Bunker. What used to be Detroit
Read beyond this point at your own risk!
- Billy ain't spoken to his family in years, the other leagues in months. He jumps outta his skin every time there's an alert -- watch him next time, it's weird -- And think about it -- When's the last time you saw him give back his power? No, the question is... what's wrong with him?
Synopsis for "The Last Temptation of William Batson"
JLA Bunker. What used to be Detroit
Billy is having a lot of nightmares about the recent past, and about Hell arising, Neron leading a demon horde. He wakes up, sweating, inside his room in the JLA Bunker. Meanwhile, Question and Vixen are talking about Billy's strange attitude: he is nervous, he's not answering to the messages his family leaves, he jumps up at the minimal danger like it's a worldwide threat, and he never releases his power, getting back to his normal form. He's acting in a bizarre way, and of course Question wants to know why. As they gather, monitoring the situation, an alert arises: something happened at Iron Heights Penitentiary.
It seems Giganta and Manhunter Robot are trying to free up Creeper from jail: orders from the ruler of Kahndaq, Black Adam, as Creeper is a citizen of his state. The JLA of course is there to stop them, but during the fight, someone kills Creeper. It happened again: just under their nose, someone was killed with a common modus operandi, reported in several cases around the globe as well. They start a reunion to find out what's happening, but Johnny Thunder is missing for some reason. The Question, of course, has something to ask: he looked into Iron Heights' shadow drones, and found all their files corrupted when they arrived? Does Billy know something about this? Shazam asks Question to stop from calling him Billy, and also tells him that the Checkmate investigation will surely unveil if there was any relation with the corrupted files and Creeper's death. Both Question and Vixen are now even more suspicious about Billy's attitude now.
The City of Philadelphia
It seems Shazam really has something to hide: Johnny Thunder disappeared because Shazam locked him up, as he must not reveal to the team what he knows about him. One of them has to go, and they will fight to determine who: Shazam comes out triumphant. He comes back to the JLA Bunker, and there, Question and the others were able to recover the files of the Iron Heights drones: they clearly show Shazam murdering the Creeper. And now the Question wants to know: who is he, really? Shazam goes berserk: how could the Question ask this to him? They do not know who he is: not Vic Sage, not Renee Montoya, and for sure not Drake, because Shazam killed him himself.
Then, he explains: he wants them to stop calling him Billy because right now, Shazam and Billy Batson live as two separate entities. To both guard the dangerous prisoner of the Rock of Eternity, and save the world, they asked Neron to allow them to leave as two different persons. So while Billy guards the Rock thanks to his innocence, a power far stronger than the one of Shazam when you are in the realm of Hell, Shazam came back to save the world, in a way he sees fit...
Appearing in "The Last Temptation of William Batson"
- Shazam (Flashback and main story)
- Billy Batson (Flashback only)
- Justice League of America (First appearance)
- Johnny Thunderbolt (Dies)
- Miss Martian (First appearance)
- Powerhouse (First appearance)
- The Question V (First appearance)
- Vixen (First appearance)
- Creeper (Jack Ryder) (Only appearance; dies)
- Giganta (Single appearance)
- Manhunter Robot (Single appearance)
- Neron (Flashback only) (First appearance)
- Demons (Flashback only)
- Amanda Waller (Flashback only) (First appearance)
- Gorilla Grodd (First appearance)
- President of the United States (Flashback only)
- Red Tornado
- Red Arrow (Roy Harper) (Statue only)
- Teen Titans (Flashback only)
- Black Adam (Mentioned only)
- Checkmate (Mentioned only)
- Freddy Freeman (Mentioned only) (Deceased)
- Green Lantern (John Stewart) (Voice)
- Jakeem Thunder (Mentioned only)
- Mary Bromfield (Phone call only)
- Mercury (Mentioned only)
- The Question (Drake) (Mentioned only)
- The Question (Renee Montoya) (Mentioned only)
- The Question (Vic Sage) (Mentioned only)
- Raven (Unnamed) (Mentioned only)
- Task Force X (Mentioned only)
- United Nations (Mentioned only)
- Hell (Flashback only)
- Rock of Eternity (Mentioned only)