"Forever Numb": The continued existence of Victor Stone was a modern miracle. Seventy percent of his body was destroyed in the fallout of an interdimensional rift, and his father Silas Stone made history by saving his life by forging a
- I will destroy this entire world if it will make me feel something. That is why I agreed to join those that are attempting to conquer it.
- — Grid
Synopsis for "Forever Numb"
The continued existence of Victor Stone was a modern miracle. Seventy percent of his body was destroyed in the fallout of an interdimensional rift, and his father Silas Stone made history by saving his life by forging a new body thanks to powerful technology. That body, though, now belongs to Grid. For years, he had been a mere anomaly in Victor's system, slowly gathering data. He believed that Victor's ability to feel emotion was the only barrier to feeling emotions himself, and when the Crime Syndicate struck, he took that opportunity to remove Victor from his body. It has been three days since then, and he has since infiltrated every computer system on earth. He knows everything about everyone - but he still can't feel.
In the meantime, the Syndicate is at work, but Alfred Pennyworth was left behind to ensure that none but Owlman be allowed to see the captive Richard Grayson. Grid is not interested in Grayson, though. The Syndicate brought with them another prisoner, from their own world - and that is who he is interested in. This prisoner stirs from his sedation, and Alfred sees that he gets another dose of Ketamine. With Alfred out of the room, Grid takes the opportunity to download information on the Syndicate members from their communication devices, hoping they can teach him about feeling.
Five years ago in the Coast City of Earth 3, janitor Harold Jordan was spying on his boss, Carol Ferris - head of Ferris Aircraft - when he was caught by Carol's father, and put to work washing the planes. Unfortunately, Carl Ferris discovered Harold's notepad, and realized that he had been taking notes to sell Ferris Aircraft's secrets to competitors. When he was found out, Harold cowered on the floor, begging to be let go without being hurt. In his grovelling, Harold Jordan heard a voice indicating that he had been selected for his weak will to wear the Ring of Volthoom. In order to gain its power, though, he would have to take it from its previous wearer. Abin Sur was eager to be rid of it, and died soon after. As soon as Harold put on the ring, though, he realized it was a curse. While he would have power, the ring would take everything he was from him. The ring demanded to be charged, and opened a portal to a pocket dimension, where a horrible creature waited.
The tale of Power Ring doesn't disturb Grid, nor does it inspire any sympathy or even sadistic glee in him. He feels nothing at all. So he moves on.
In the Central City of Earth 3 five years ago, Officers Mick Rory and Leonard Snart were eager to be rid of the criminal Jonathan Allen. They had caught him at last, and now that they had him, they wanted him to die a slow death, along with his girlfriend, Rhonda. They would never get the chance, as Rhonda crashed a transport truck into their van, freeing Jonathan from the back. They were thieves, killers, and lovers. When they discovered that Rory and Snart had survived, they took the opportunity to torture them. They had already killed most of the officers' friends to that point. Knowing that both men had families, Rhonda suggested that the two policemen should fight to the death to see whose family would live. In the end, Mick killed Leonard, but Johnny shot him anyway. Their deaths triggered alarms, thanks to chips embedded in their bodies, and the pair were forced to run for their lives. Cornered on the roof of S.T.A.R. Labs, they intended to go down in a blaze of glory. A sudden lightning strike hit a nearby satellite dish, and Johnny was caught by the current. Rhonda, meanwhile, was thrown back into a device containing by Ray Palmer. The electrical overload from the lightning strike triggered it, and both of them were changed by it. From their example, Grid wonders if he can learn love as they do still.
Martin Stein had been considered one of the foremost minds in theoretical biology, despite the controversial nature of his experiments. He would lure homeless people into becoming his guinea pigs in his quest to discover the means of creating life from death. His genius, though, brought him attention from the Syndicate's enemies, who hired him. Instead of helping them, he used their facilities to further his work, and began to experiment on himself. He fused his body and mind with those of a corpse, and became Deathstorm.
The remaining Syndicate member for Grid to look into is Superwoman. She had stirred such emotion in the other members of the Syndicate that he hopes to learn why they both love and hate her. Unfortunately, her files were deleted - which would be suspicious, if he could feel that.
Elsewhere, Dr. T.O. Morrow and Silas Stone work to bring Victor Stone back to life by whatever means they can. Despite the fact that Victor may yet survive, Silas feels incredible guilt for letting his son enter this world of heroes and villains. While heroes have to win every time, the villains only need to win once to ruin everything. Weakly, Victor wakes and responds that however bad things may seem, the villains have not yet won.
Appearing in "Forever Numb"
- Crime Syndicate
- Doctor Silas Stone
- Doctor T.O. Morrow
- Sarah Charles (Flashback only)
- Nightwing (Mentioned only)
- Alexander Luthor of Earth 3
- Carol Ferris of Earth 3 (Flashback only)
- Carl Ferris of Earth 3 (Dies in flashback)
- Abin Sur of Earth 3 (Dies in flashback)
- Central City Police Department
- Atomico (Dies)
- Earth 0
- Earth 3 (Flashback only)
- Abin Sur's Starship (Flashback only)
- This issue is reprinted in Justice League: Forever Heroes.
- This issue gives the New 52 Origin of Power Ring, Atomica, Johnny Quick, and Deathstorm.