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"The Villain's Journey, Chapter Two: The Belly of the Beast": Three years ago, in the Pamir Mountains of Central Asia, David Graves battles extreme weather as he searches for something near Mount Sumeru, a place known by so


Quote1 Graves doesn't know everything. Batman trusts me. Quote2
-- Superman



Appearing in "The Villain's Journey, Chapter Two: The Belly of the Beast"

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Synopsis for "The Villain's Journey, Chapter Two: The Belly of the Beast"

Three years ago, in the Pamir Mountains of Central Asia, David Graves battles extreme weather as he searches for something near Mount Sumeru, a place known by some for its connection to the afterlife. David encounters a temple surrounded by three large deities with six arms.

These gods, the Asuras, were cursed to scavenge at the bottom of the heavens by the other gods.

Exhausted, David begs for help. Instead the deities tell David he must complete the journey on his own power. With his life fading away, David crawls towards the mystical temple.

In the present, Steve Trevor is still imprisoned in a room where David Graves has taken him. Steve frees himself from his restraints, and as he attempts to head through an exit door, he is assaulted by demonic spirits. These entities call out to him, wanting to feed on his personal loss and emotional pain.

Aquaman helps rescue survivors of a cruise ship that has shipwrecked. Some TV reporters get in his face, rudely suggesting that there are other super-heroes more deserving of Justice League membership. As Aquaman shakes off the insults, Cyborg summons him to an emergency Justice League meeting.

At the Watchtower, Batman explains to the other members that an individual named "Graves" has been attacking, torturing, and interrogating Justice League enemies. When Green Lantern asks why this is even a problem, Cyborg tells him that Graves has been collecting information about their secrets, including weaknesses and relationships of the Justice League members.

While the group discusses the nature of this unknown foe, Graves shows up at the Watchtower, using Steve Trevor's access code. Wonder Woman wants to know what Graves has done to Steve Trevor. As she lunges towards him, he uses his powers to incapacitate her, sending demonic spirits that feed off her emotional pain. Diana relives the pain of when her mother was turned to stone.

In flashbacks, we see that David was looking to reunite with his deceased family members, and went to the Asuras' temple to do so. Graves sees what seems to be his family's spirits, and the Asuras tell him he will have his vengeance. Graves absorbs several spirits, turning him into a powerful being.

Back in the Watchtower, the team attacks Graves, but they are bombarded by the spirits, as they feed on each member's emotional pain and personal loss. As Superman is the final victim, the other heroes already lie on the floor, lifeless and emaciated.

Appearing in "Shazam!"

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Synopsis for "Shazam!"

Foster parents Victor and Rosa Vasquez discuss Billy Batson and the events of last issue. Victor suggests that Billy was doing some play acting when they met him at child services, and that he is showing his true colors now. Rosa defends Billy, suggesting that Billy's encounter with Mr. Bryer has left Billy traumatized. Mr. Bryer is the richest man in Philadelphia, and the father of the four nasty bullies who are bullying Billy's new family at school. Mr. Bryer is a pretty nasty fellow himself, and Billy had the guts to stand up to him. But now Billy has hardly touched his hamburger, and Victor is concerned. Victor expresses frustration, telling Rosa that Billy never gave them a chance.

In fact, Billy is in his room, packing that hamburger in his backpack. He leaves the pickles behind, and sneaks out. Billy heads to a zoo, crawling in through a breach in the brick wall, and feeds the hamburger to Tawny, a tiger that Billy seems to know personally. Freddy tails Billy, but is eventually spotted by him. Billy pushes Freddy, who tumbles down in the snow. Freddy admits he previously lifted Billy's wallet out of curiosity, but did not steal anything.

Billy and Freddy discuss the problem with the Bryer brothers. Freddy reveals that the four bullies have been bothering them daily for quite a while. Freddy usually distracts the bullies so that Mary can help the younger ones get away.

Freddy tries to convince Billy to give Mr. and Mrs. Vasquez a chance. But Billy defiantly says "They aren't my parents."

Freddy thanks Billy for intervening when the bullies were bothering them. They consider heading to the Bryer home to get even.

45 miles north of Baghdad, Dr. Sivana continues the archaeological dig at the Tomb of Black Adam. Aided by his magical right eye, (see last issue), Sivana is now able to read the hieroglyphs. They tell him that he can release Black Adam and bring magic to the world with the utterance of a single word. Sivana quietly speaks the word "Shazam", the magic lightning hits, and a hooded Black Adam stands before him, asking for the Wizard.

Notes

  • This book was first published on June 27, 2012.
  • A reporter mentions that Vibe would have been better suited for the Justice League rather than Aquaman.
  • The woman who Wonder Woman visits on the Apache Reserve is Giganta.
  • Cyborg mentions that he gave Steve Trevor an access code to the Watchtower in case someone tried to force it out of him. If activated, it would trigger a silent alarm to warn the league that he's been tortured.

Trivia

  • The Pamir Mountains are a mountain range in Central Asia.
  • Mount Sumeru is the home of the Gods in Hindu-Buddhist tradition.
  • Semeru is a mountain in Indonesia whose name is derived from Mount Meru.



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