The Revelations crisis was a cosmic-level, world-ending threat that was ultimately prevented by the combined efforts of the Guardians and Justice Incorporated.


On Earth, a Neo-Nazis conspiracy called the Millennium Empire enacted a plan to conquer the world. As part of their efforts they had genetically engineered the ultimate Aryan soldier for their cause, transforming one of their own who had been born, bred, and raised for just such a purpose - a man named Philip Adler. Adler was given control of the economic and military forces of the Millennium Empire and readied to put the plan for conquest into action. During the final preparations, Adler became the host for the power of the force of Hate, turning him into one of the mystical Avatars. Allied with the other-dimensional Antithesis, Adler began the creation of an army with which to conquer first America, and then the world. To distract the super-hero community when the time came to move openly, Adler created two metahuman teams, a group of villains to spread chaos and a team of heroes to infiltrate the super-hero community. In a final step to give himself the power necessary to destroy any opposition, Adler had his agents find and secure several magical artifacts, including the Amulet of Osiris and the Spear of Destiny.

The threat of two such beings as the Avatar of Hate and the Antithesis working together attracted the attention of a group of beings sometimes known as the Nemesis. Once the guardians of the balance between the Matter and Anti-Matter Universes, over the preceding millennia the Nemesis people had corrupted their purpose to one where they would pass judgment over any world they saw as having become too evil or too good, and the rise of those two powers on Earth qualified as a great evil. As cosmic beings, the coming of the Nemesis would have an effect that preceded their arrival. On planets that the Nemesis targeted, events would begin occurring that mirrored prophecies of doom or the end of the world on that planet. On Earth, events would begin to echo passages from the Book of Revelation

The Nemesinians are also not without allies. To help with the cleansing of Earth they have formed an alliance with Amethyst and the Houses of Gemworld. Amethyst, a Lord of Order incarnate, has taken control of Gemworld and gained the loyalty of all Twelve Houses, eliminating any dissent. She seeks to impose a Magical Order on the chaos that magic has become of late and had already begun to take steps, having usurped control of the Conclave of Magic, a gathering of mystic beings that had sought to prevent and mitigate large magical conflicts by means of intervention and negotiation rather than force. Through her control of the Conclave, Amethyst would be able to keep many of Earth's powerful magicians from detecting and interfering with the coming End of Days.

The story so far...

Justice Inc. has just finished a battle with the scientific terrorist organization H.I.V.E., having disabled a H.I.V.E. satellite that had been armed with a doomsday weapon, an anti-matter cannon. The team and their allies, former Titans Red Star and Pantha, are preparing to return to Earth using the Russian Space Shuttle they had taken to reach the H.I.V.E. satellite.

In Empire City the Guardians are facing a series of threats. The relative peace that had reigned in the city has been disrupted and everyone from the city government to the police to the organized crime families and street gangs are vying for power and position in whatever the new order will be. The Guardians are facing the eruption of an all-out gang war between the criminal elements of the city while the police and municipal leaders are too preoccupied with their own power plays to do much about it.

But with the approach of the Nemesis planetoid and Nemesinian host, a much greater danger is about to reveal itself...


Rev. I

Justice Inc. are still aboard the H.I.V.E. satellite, trying to decide how to transport all the H.I.V.E. members they have taken prisoner back to Earth. While they are working out what to do, another spacecraft approaches Earth orbit and is detected from the H.I.V.E. satellite. The spacecraft appears to be heavily damaged, so the members of Justice Inc. who are able to operate in space head out to rescue it.

On board the craft are seven wounded Wingmen, hawk-winged soldiers from the planet Thanager, which orbits Polaris in the constellation Ursa Minor. The Thanagarian Wingmen's injuries are too much for Justice Inc. to do more than make them comfortable, but before they die the Thanagarians reveal that they had been attacked while heading to Earth with a warning:

"The Nemesis is coming"

Rev. V

Debbie, the roommate of Tazer of the Guardians (and all-around airhead) has a disturbing dream. When she tries to tell Tazer and some of the other Guardians about it all she can remember is that maybe it was about a person named Vi, and something to do with the Empire City Seaquarium because there were seals or something. Several of the Guardians take this seriously and head to the Seaquarium before the team leader Paladin stops to consider the source and declares it a wild goose chase.


Rev. VI

While resting at the mansion the Guardians use as a headquarters, Tazer hears a thunderous explosion. Looking from the balcony, she sees a column of smoke and debris rising from the direction of the airport. With her speed she is first on the scene and sees that a series of explosions have wrecked most of the runways. Tazer sees a white Lear jet coming in for a landing on one of the damaged runways and tries to use her superspeed to give the plane a push to get it past the crater in the runway but that doesn't work. Suddenly, the crater is filled with some kind of foam which cushions the plane just enough that it only loses its landing gear and skids to a halt.

A voice comes over Tazer's team communicator; it is her former teammate Crossfire, who reveals he is on the Lear jet (in his secret identity) and that there are terrorists on board holding himself and the other passengers hostage. Tazer moves into the plane at superspeed and is able to take down the terrorists. The passengers on board the plane are from King Enterprises and are whisked away by airport security. Crossfire is able to slip away and changes into costume, returning to the tarmac in time for the news crews to arrive so he can get in on the publicity before Rift can arrive to hog the spotlight.

The Guardians investigate the bombings and terrorist hostage taking at the airport and learn that it was done as cover for a team of mercenaries to sneak aboard another plane. The other plane was transporting a team of super-villains recently defeated by the Guardians, the New Secret Society of Super-Villains. The mercenaries had successfully seized control of the aircraft and diverted it to Europe.

Knowing that Darkstorm of the Secret Society wants to seize power in the Balkan nation of Seyvaria, the Guardians assume that is where the plane went. They also track the explosives used in the airport attack to something called Saber Enterprises, which turns out to be a front company for an arms dealer known as the Weapons Master. It soon becomes apparent that the Weapons Master is providing weapons to help escalate the hostilities in Seyvaria, probably to help Darkstorm, so the Guardians decide the head there.

The team leaves Crossfire behind to keep an eye on Empire City while they take their jet over to Seyvaria, where a civil war has broken out almost overnight. While Omen tries to make contact with the provisional government the rest of the team scouts the countryside trying to locate Darkstorm and his allies. They stumble onto the Weapons Master and manage to overpower him but he is able to teleport away and escape to his transport craft, which is red. Omen, meanwhile, is unable to contact the provisional government, but he does meet up with a US undercover agent named Nemesis (aka Tom Tresser, a master of disguise). He tells Omen that the fighting is really bad and that the two sides really, really hate each other. Human Bomb figures it is probably Darkstorm's ally in the Society, the Psycho Pirate, using his emotion control powers to aggravate the situation.

Omen and Nemesis hop into Nemesis' black stealth plane and rendezvous with the rest of the team. First they target the Secret Society and the Guardians are able to defeat the villains, capturing all of them. The Weapons Master is still a threat, however, as he continues to supply advanced armament to both sides in Seyvaria, worsening the conflict. Weapons Master takes off in his transport craft, but some of the heroes are able to sneak aboard, including Nemesis. Nemesis is able to open the aft cargo hatch of the transport, letting Omen land Nemesis' stealth craft aboard carrying more of the Guardians. They once again confront the Weapons Master, but as before the he is able to escape by teleporting away, but not before setting the plane to self-destruct. Paladin manages to pilot it over the Mediterannean and gets a US fighter group to blow the transport to pieces. The team heads back to Seyvaria but as they approach they see large clouds of smoke.

It turns out that the weapons that had been stored in the aft section of Weapons Master's plane had been armed and fueled. When Nemesis opened the aft hatch to let Omen land the plane, the weapons fell to the ground and the armaments and fuel exploded, starting a massive brush fire over a lot of the farmland below. To help combat the massive fire the Guardians come up with an ingenious plan. They take the unconscious Killer Frost, another Society member, and dip her into a large lake. Her natural ice aura causes a section of the lake surface to freeze over, and then Desperado threw the frozen section over the fire and Paladin blasted it apart, dousing the flames. The damage was already done, though, with much of the arable land in Seyvaria having been destroyed.

Having done what they could, the Guardians return to the States and hand Darkstorm and his allies over to the authorities. They then return to Empire City and find that Debbie has once again let herself into the headquarters, where she informs them that for some reason all the food in the mansion has vanished.

Back in Empire City, the tensions between various factions continued to escalate, with word on the street being that the different crime families were starting to bring in out-of-town talent (including metahuman criminals). Paladin stakes out the airport and spots Tommy Monaghan, aka Hitman, getting off a flight from Gotham City. When Tommy heads for the washroom in the terminal, Paladin follows to have a talk with him. It turns out that Tommy is being courted by all sides to handle the opposition's metahuman forces. Hitman assures Paladin that he only shoots bad guys, and Paladin says he doesn't care how many villains Hitman blows away, but if any innocents are harmed then Tommy will have to deal with the Guardians. Since Paladin followed Monaghan into the washroom, he didn't notice another passenger from Gotham leave the plane - Jason Blood, demonologist

Blood visits the mansion. He had learned of it from an older occult reference book published in 1914 (back when the manor was called Claymore Mansion), and he gives Rift a quick history lesson on the mansion, and does some geomancy on the site. He says that Empire City is at a convergence of seven mystic ley lines, and the manor sits on the nexus point.

In the city one of the criminal gangs has been wiped out by a group hired by another gang. Rift and Desperado question some of the rival gang members about the murders and arrange to meet the meta-human killers, a group called The Company. It is obviously a trap, but the team figures that it is worth it to confront these killers. However, the trap goes bust when Tommy Monaghan, Hitman, kills the metahuman villains before they can ambush Rift and Desperado. The Guardians knows Hitman killed them, but can't prove it, but some veiled threats against Hitman convince him to head back to Gotham. To prevent further escalation, the Guardians visit the leaders of different criminal factions and convince them agree to a truce.

Before leaving Empire, Jason Blood transforms into Etrigan the Demon and confronts Paladin (the having a history dating back to Camelot due to time travel on Paladin's part). Etrigan gives some cryptic warning about a crisis coming and then departs, but the warnings are enough to make the Guardians start to make the connection between recent events and the text of the Biblical Book of Revelation. Seeking some answers Rift casts a spell to summon the Three Witches (Cynthia, Mildred and Mordred), also known as The Witching Hour and The Kindly Ones. With the Witching Hour summoned Rift is allowed three questions, and after much deliberation the questions chosen were:

  1. Have the prophecies in Chapter 6 of the Book of Revelation started coming true?
  2. Who are the people that represent the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?
  3. How can the prophecy be stopped?

The answers given by the Kindly Ones to the questions were:

  1. Events have already begun. Of Chapter 6, the first four seals have been broken, the fifth comes soon.
  2. The four horsemen have been and gone, you have met all four, and they each have two names.
  3. Events in prophecies of doom have a reason for happening, to stop the prophecy remove the reason.


Rev. VI

In a dream, Justice Inc. member Arclight receives a vision from Saint Joan of Arc. In the vision Saint Joan is flanked by other martyrs, including Saint Catherine, Saint Barbara, and Saint Margaret. They warn Arclight that a time of vengeance is coming, where many will die and many will be martyred. Arclight wakes from her dream to find that all the clocks in her apartment have all stopped , frozen at the same time: 6:10 am.

The Nemesinians make their next move, sending a Harbinger planetoid to Earth to soften the populace. The massive planetoid approaches undetected until it is close enough to cause a partial solar eclipse. On the night side of the Earth, the distorted rays of the partially eclipsed Sun cause the Moon to appear red; and the gravitational effect of the planetoid's approach triggers minor earthquakes across the planet.

Planetary defenses are mobilized and the Harbinger planetoid is destroyed before it can approach closer to Earth. Most of the debris is deflected safely away from the planet, but there are still global meteor showers caused by some of the fragments. The destruction of the planetoid also serves to conceal the arrival of Nemesinian advance Harbinger agents who will begin the first stages of the Nemesinian purge of the planet.

Rev. VII

The first goal of the Harbingers is to deal with Earth's mystical defenders, the Elementals. The tidal effects of the Harvinger planetoid have already served to weaken Naiad, Earth's Water Elemental. The Harbingers follow this up with assaults against others who contain aspects of the Water Elemental. A powerful shaman is secretly corrupted by the Harbingers and he uses his magic to drive the other Water Elementals mad. One of these elementals is Justice Inc. member Uktena. The maddened Uktena attacks New Orleans, flooding the city. Justice Inc. arrive and team with the local hero Zodiak. They are able to stop their former ally. In the end the already weakend Naiad had to step in, and she took Uktena and the other corrupted water spirits back to the Green to heal.

With Earth's Water Elemental out of the picture the Harbingers next target is Red Tornado, the Air Elemental. The Harbingers send agents to kidnap a quartet of speedsters beginning with Sirocco and Zephyr, the Stormriders. They next capture Whirlwind of the Protectors and then target the Flash. The Harbingers accidentally grab the hero Flashback instead of the Flash. When they realize his speed powers are insufficient for their needs, the Harbingers instead nab Max Mercury, the Zen Master of Speed.

Flashback is able to free himself and goes to find Tazer, bringing the Guardians in. They are able to locate the captive sppedsters and free them, but not before four of the Harbingers are able to tap into the speedsters' power. Having absorbed some of the Speed Force from the captives, these "Four Winds" attack the Red Tornado. The Guardians arrive to help defend Red Tornado before the Four Winds can eliminate him. The rest of the team is able to distract the four Harbingers, and Tazer is able to blast them with a full power "Tazer Effect". The disruptive electrical attack, aided by Tazer's own connection to the Speed Force, overwhelms the Harbingers, causing them to explode. Though weakened, Red Tornado is then able to disperse the component parts of the Harbingers to the literal four winds.

While the attacks against Earth's Elementals are going on, other Nemesinian Harbingers are also beginning the effort to identify the handful of humanity they plan to preserve from the destruction of the world. A few Harbinger agents clandestinely set up "recruitment offices" disguised as charities and aid organizations and self-help groups. Through these they begin to identify people they deem worthy of being saved. These individuals are secretly marked with an invisible symbol, the mark of the Nemesis (two crescent moons, one inverted atop the other, one black and one white).



The threat that has drawn the Nemesinian wrath has not been idle. From its dimensional limbo the Antithesis has been reaching out and influencing those susceptible. It has taken over a group of Kali Yuga Doomsday Cultists and begun to set in motion events that will give the Kali Yuga Cultists the means to release the Antithesis from its limbo realm and allow it to manifest fully on Earth.

One group of Cultists is dispatched to New York, where they raid the underworld technology bazaar called Salvagion. The Cultists are after something specific, salvaged months earlier from the ruins of Titans Tower - the plans of the Gabriel Horn. The Gabriel Horn was developed by Karen Beecher and Mal Duncan, Bumblebee and Herald of the Teen Titans, and was capable of opening portals in space to travel between two points; but the design had been secretly influenced by the Antithesis and using the Horn could also open up portals into the interdimensional limbo that Antithesis was trapped in. Using the plans, the Cultists build seven new Gabriel Horns and dispatch groups to different locations where they will use them to help open a path to let the Antithesis manifest on Earth.

While searching for the Gabriel Horn plans, one group of Cultists tried to search the old site of Titans Tower, now the site of the Hall of Justice Super-Hero Museum and secretly the headquarters of Justice Inc. This tips the heroes off the existence of the Doomsday Cult, though not the larger connection to the Antithesis and the coming threat.

In Empire City, Paladin realizes that the scope of the threat requires help so he fills in Justice Inc. on what the Guardians have learned so far. The groups being to coordinate their efforts in the hope of stopping whatever is coming.

Justice Inc. follow the trail of the Doomsday Cultists to San Francisco, where the Cultists have set up operations. The heroes arrive after the Gabriel Horns have been built and distributed, so the Cultists cover their tracks by destroying their base. The Cultists' base used geothermal power, tapped into a magma pocket deep beneath the ground; to destroy the base the Cultists divert the magma flow into the nearby San Andreas fault, which triggers an earthquake. The earthquake destroys the base, and also causes extensive damage to San Francisco. Justice Inc. are torn between following the escaping Cultists or saving San Francisco, ultimately choosing the latter. Among the buildings damaged is the San Francisco location of S.T.A.R. Labs, but luckily the super-powered twins Thunder and Lightning are there and are able to help around the city.

The Cultists with the Gabriel Horns have been sent across the country to locate places of power. Each of the seven horns must be sounded at a ley line nexus, a point where lines of power in the earth converge. This will guarantee the greatest effect on the walls of Limbo, enough that combined they will weaken it enough for the Antithesis to cross over to Earth.

Realizing that someone is targeting Elementals the Swamp Thing, the Earth Elemental, seeks out Corona, the planet's Fire Elemental. To draw her to him Swamp Thing travels to Central Park in New York City, a ley line nexus that gives him the additional power to attract Corona's attention. However the ley line nexus has also attracted one of the Doomsday Cultists with a Gabriel Horn.

Nemesis of Justice Inc., in his secret identity, is meeting a friend in Central Park. He senses a presence, and sees that Swamp Thing has located Corona and they have met in the park. Suddenly there is a commotion; someone has attacked a police officer. Before Nemesis realizes the true nature of the threat the Cultist is able to use the Gabriel Horn. The ley lines react to the disruption of time and space as a portal is opened, as does Swamp Thing who is wracked with pain. The pain also affects Corona, who snaps and begins blasting everything in the park. Nemesis subdues the Cultist, and soon other members of Justice Inc. arrive as well as some members of the New Conglomerate and some of the Guardians. Combined they are able to subdue Corona, but not before she has burnt a great portion of Central Park.

The captured Gabriel Horn is sent to S.T.A.R. Labs in New York for Mal Duncan, Karen Beecher, and Human Bomb to examine. Meanwhile the cultist is questioned by Justice Inc. leader Mindblade. The Cultist does not know where the other six horns are, but he does reveal that they are to be used at other ley line convergence points. A look of worry comes across Paladin's face as he recalls Jason Blood's words from a week earlier "Empire City sits on the convergence point of seven ley lines." The heroes race for Empire City...

The second Cultist sounds his Gabriel Horn in Empire City, opening a portal that warps part of the core of the Bayshore Nuclear Power Station into Empire Harbor. The Guardians act quickly to prevent the rest of the core from melting down, thanks in great part to their newest member, Frostbite. However the Cultist escapes, and the portion of the nuclear core that was transported into the harbor leaks radioactive materials out into Long Island Sound, poisoning the water.

The use of the third Gabriel Horn in Midway City opens a portal to space, which draws an asteroid through. The asteroid plunges into Lake Huron where the waters waken hibernating alien plant life from inside the space rock. The alien plants spread quickly and are soon infesting Lake Michigan and Lake Superior as well, threatening the water supply for millions of people and causing an ecological disaster.

The disruption to the Green draws the Swamp Thing to the Great Lakes. He is able to draw the alien plant life into himself, containing it and limiting the damage. Swamp Thing must maintain his concentration to hold the alien life as he slowly begins to absorb and eliminate it. He is the last of Earth's Elementals to be sidelined as the end of days approaches.

Based on the analysis of the Gabriel Horn taken from the Cultist that attacked Central Park, the Human Bomb has been attempting to build a device to track the remaining Horns, but so far has not been successful. While he continues his work, the captured Horn has been handed over to Dr. Richard Dwyer, the head of the Millennium Research Group, a scientific thinktank based in Empire City. Unknown to the heroes, Millennium Research Group is part of the megacorporate alliance controlled by Philip Adler. Meanwhile the Guardians, Justice Inc., and their allies split into mutliple teams to try and intercept the remaining Gabriel Horns before they can be used. Stretched thin the small teams scatter to try and cover as many ley line junctions as they can.

The fourth Gabriel Horn is sounded in Washington State and causes Mount St. Helens to erupt again, more powerfully than the 1980 eruption. Felicia Albrecht (alter ego of Cat) and Desmond Farr (of the Monster Hunters were the ones who were covering the area near Mount St. Helens, but they were not able to locate the Cultist until it was too late.

The eruption throws up a massive cloud of ash and dust into the air, blanketing much of North America and obscuring the Sun, Moon, and stars from view. But the eruption has also melted part of a nearby glacier which has awakened Jon, the Viking Prince, who had been imprisoned in the ice by Odin for over fifty years, since Jon's last known appearance in Europe during World War 2. Jon is recognized by Paladin, who had encountered the Viking Prince twice before during a time travel adventure. Jon reminds Paladin that during their first encounter in the 10th Century that the Norns had decreed that the two would meet three times, and that the third time would herald the end of the world.

According to scripture, the fifth horn involves a star falling from Heaven with the key to the bottomless pit, unleashing a plague of locusts. Mindblade is worried that it may mean something will free the prisoners locked up in the Slab (Slabside Penitentiary, a prison for metahuman criminals).


Rev. IX

The Human Bomb has completed work on the device needed to track down the remaining Gabriel Horns. The Guardians and Justice Inc. again split into teams, this time using the device to home in on the Cultists. Unfortunately the heroes overlook the first Horn, assuming it is in safekeeping. The scientists at the Millennium Research Group have been working on a Solar Probe, one with the ulterior objective of locating the Spear of Destiny, a powerful artifact sought by Adler that was thrown into outer space by the Spectre. The scientists have adapted the Horn's warp gate technology to their Solar Probe to get it to the sun faster.

The Probe is launched and the Gabriel Horn technology is activated once it leaves Earth orbit. The warp gate succeeds in drawing the Spear of Destiny back to Earth, but that is not all it brings back. The portal also transports the giant plasma creature known as Brimstone, which had been trapped in the Sun by the hero Firestorm, to Earth.

At the same time there is an additional consequence of the return of the Spear of Destiny to Earth; thanks to weakened dimensional barriers from the Gabriel Horns and the Spear being powered by, and in return powering, Brimstone, the super-powered beings called the Daemen are able to escape the pocket dimension they had been imprisoned in by the Spectre a year earlier. Together Brimstone and the twelve Daemen begin a war of terror across the Earth.

Heroes from multiple teams including the Justice League, Justice Inc., the Guardians, and the Protectors all converge on the creatures to try and stop their rampage. Empowered by the tainted Spear of Destiny, Brimstone seems unstoppable. None of the heroes' attacks appear to have an effect on Brimstone, and those that are not engaging Brimstone are busy trying to contain the Daemen.

As the rampage approaches Washington DC, Nemesis attempts to use his energy draining powers to drain Brimstone's plasma energy body, but suddenly finds himself stripped of his powers thanks to the Spear. The now powerless Nemesis is rescued by his teammates before he could be incinerated by Brimstone's plasma. In the end Brimstone's rampage is finally stopped when the Human Bomb flies into the heart of the creature and detonates his powers at full strength, obliterating the monster at the cost of his own life. At the same time that Brimstone is destroyed, the Daemen also vanish, ending their threat.

With Brimstone defeated, the Guardians and Justice Inc. are finally able to use the tracking device built by the late Human Bomb to track down the groups of Kali Yuga Cultists with the two remaining Gabriel Horns. One is located and that Gabriel Horn is destroyed, but the remaining ones have left the United States, scattering to far off locations making it difficult for the heroes to locate them.

Knowing they are being hunted by the heroes, these Cultists begin to move in groups for protection. One group reaches Scandinavia before using their Gabriel Horn. The sounding of the Horn opens a portal, the effect of which is to allow the essences of the four dispersed Nemesinian Harbingers who had attacked Red Tornado to partially reform. Though still Ethereal, the four are able to possess the bodies of four of the Cultists, giving them material form again so that they can continue their mission.

Rev. X

While most of the team were battling Brimstone, a few of the Guardians were still in New York City at Guy Gardner's Warriors restaurant, which was being used as a staging point for many of the heroes. On the roof of Warriors, where a jet was preparing to take the remaining Guardians to the battle, there was a bright light. The being known as Takion arrives and takes Tazer away in a Boom Tube to New Genesis. It turns out that the threat posed by the Daemen did not end with their disappearance when Brimstone was destroyed. Instead Tazer joins six other teenage heroes and they are sent by the gods on a mission to stop a new threat to the Earth.

Succeeding in their mission, the seven teenagers are returned to Earth where the six others agree to stick around to help their new friend Tazer fight the Revelation threat. Also, thanks to the being known as Pariah, Tazer is able to tell the Guardians and Justice Inc. some more details of the true threat they are facing, that some kind of big evil is happening on Earth and that is drawing in some kind of cosmic force that will destroy the Earth to stop that evil. This cosmic force is what is causing events on Earth to follow a pattern resembling the Book of Revelation stuff.

Elsewhere, Amethyst attempts to obtain the powerful Zodiac Amulet from Rift so it cannot be used against her and her allies during the coming conflict. She brings Rift to Gemworld and attempts to seduce him, but the effort is interrupted by the arrival of the sorceress Aurora. Aurora is able to distract Amethyst and her forces long enough for Rift to flee and escape back to Earth. It is the first indication to the heroes that Gemworld is somehow tied to the evolving crisis.


Rev. XI

At an alternative energy research facility in Japan owned by a company called the Raiden Corporation, a pair of scientists are bombarded by extradimensional energies and transformed. Overwhelmed by the powerful energies the two are driven mad and use their newfound power to flee the facility.

Raiden Corporation is a division of Kei Manga Corporation, and the facility had been researching the energies given off by what turned out to be the body of the real Nemesis (whose consciousness had, unknwon to him, been transferred into another body engineered to replicate his original). When the Spear of Destiny seemed to strip Nemesis of his power during the confrontation with Brimstone, the Nemesis energies had returned to their source. As a result of this, the Nemesis energies overwhelmed the instruments at Raiden and the two researchers were empowered by the Nemesis force. With the coming of the Nemesinians and the rise of Adler and the Antithesis, the researchers were driven mad by the visions their new cosmic senses were giving them.

Their bodies ill-equipped to contain the power, the two researchers are leaking exotic energies that damage the environment around them and cause a form of radiation sickness to anyone who gets too close. As a force of balance, the Nemesis power also gifts the researchers with a shield that deflects all forms of energy that are directed at them. Unable to resist the compulsion the Nemesis power puts in them to seek out the source of the imbalance, the two researchers take flight and head towards Empire City. All attempts by authorities to stop the pair prove ineffective; all attacks are simply reflected back as the pair continue to emit dangerous energies and begin to spout seemingly nonsensical prophecies of doom.

When the two reach Empire City, the Guardians and the Protectors try to stop their path of destruction. When all attacks prove useless, Ladyhawk from the Protectors uses her "Death-Ray" from her weapon to strike them down. (Being secretly a Valkyrie, Ladyhawk has the power to slay nearly any foe. This proves to be the only attack that can get through the pair's defenses.)

The bodies of the two researchers are taken to the Millennium Research Group facility in Empire for examination. Meanwhile, the Guardians set out to learn where they came from, as the pair fit the passages from Revelation concerning "two witnesses".

Paladin, Omen, and Tazer go to Japan to track down where the two originated. They identify them as employees of Raiden Corporation who were involved in an accident with an experimental energy production facility that drew on some kind of extra-dimensional source. Meanwhile, Crossfire uses his business contacts to learn that Raiden Corp. is owned by Kei Manga Corporation. Paladin, Omen, and Tazer are joined by Rift when they investigate Kei. They learn little, other than a seeming connection between the multimedia company and the hero Nemesis that they are familiar with. The rest of the investigation is interrupted by news that the head office of Adler's company (the one that owns the Millennium Research Group) in Atlanta has been attacked and destroyed by metahuman terrorists called the Soldiers of Anarchy.

In the aftermath of the attack the Guardians meet Adler in person, unaware that he is the one that they have been trying to identify. Adler has acquired powerful magical protections that conceal his true nature and motive. The to Guardians he appears as a relatively young, and very charismatic person. Adler refuses to allow the destruction of his central offices to slow him down and sets up a new office in Empire City (having already established a presence there with the Millennium Research Group).

Back in Empire, Tazer sees that Debbie has gotten a tattoo that looks just like the symbol Nemesis has on his forehead. She says she thought it was a trend because she's seen it on a few other people on TV. Debbie possesses a strange ability to see through illusion or deception, something neither she nor her friends are aware of; so Debbie has been perceiving the invisible mark that the Nemesis Harbingers have been placing on those they are marking to be saved to preserve some of humanity from the coming destruction. Debbie, naively unaware of the significance of the mark, instead simply thought it was an interesting, and trendy, tattoo and therefore got one for herself.

Before Tazer can pursue the matter of Debbie's new tattoo any further, a warning comes from the Millennium Research Group that the four energy beings that Tazer had fought before (the four Harbingers who had attacked Red Tornado and been dispersed by Tazer's powers) have entered the containment area where the bodies of the two "witnesses" were being kept. Having reconstituted themselves thanks to the sounding of the sixth Gabriel Horn, the reformed Harbingers had been making their way to Empire, drawn to the Nemesis power they could sense in the bodies of the researchers. The four energy beings enter the two bodies and the bodies re-animate. The Guardians and the Protectors begin attacking before the two researchers can fully awaken.

During the battle the two reanimated researchers begin experiencing some kind of power surge and Rift teleports them to orbit to prevent them from flash-frying both super-teams. In orbit, a portal opens to an alien world where an army is readying itself, and they all have a symbol like Nemesis. The two "researchers" go through the portal, and as it closes an earthquake shakes Empire City.

The earthquake sunders the part of Empire City where the Millennium Research Group is located, causing great devastation and killing several thousand people. Only the presence of the Guardians and the Protectors keeps the death toll from being even higher.

Based on what the Guardians had learned about the "witnesses" and the connection to Kei Manga Corp., Nemesis heads to Japan to confront Kei. Nemesis, supplementing his lack of powers by borrowing the shape-shifting Morphenite from former Justice Inc. member Metalmorph and accompanied by his teammate Night Flick and the team's latest member, Edgerunner, infiltrates Kei Manga Corp. headquarters in Tokyo. Soon the rest of Justice Inc. are summoned and the team defeats Kei security and make their way to Kei's Research and Development labs, where Nemesis learns the truth of what had been done to him.

Unknown to the heroes, the group of Kali Yuga Cultists with the last Gabriel Horn are also in Tokyo. While Justice Inc. are still battling Kei's forces the Cultists sound the Horn. The Horn opens the portal in orbit that links to the Nemesinian Worldship, the portal that the Harbinger-revived "witnesses" had traveled to. The link to the Worldship sends a wave of energy feedback to Millennium Research Group, causing the earthquake that devastates Empire City. In Tokyo, the space-time disruption caused by the sounding of the Gabriel Horn nearby causes a breach in Kei Manga Corporations own interdimensional travel network. The breach pulls in the members of Justice Inc., sending them on a journey across several parallel realities and removing one the key allies of the Guardians as the crisis is growing worse.

The use of the seventh Gabriel Horn has also finally weakened the barriers with Limbo enough for the Antithesis to cross over. Now manifest on Earth, the Antithesis joins Adler in Empire City where they can move onto the next phase in their domination of the planet.

Rev. XII

Having thwarted Amethyst's earlier attempt to acquire Rift's Zodiac Amulet, Aurora flees Gemworld. She travels to Earth, but her dimensional transit is detected by the Antithesis. Sensing the sorceress' power, Antithesis attempts to disrupt Aurora's travel. The disruption causes a dimensional tear to appear in the sky over Empire City and Antithesis sends down a rain of fireballs to try and target Aurora. Several of the Guardians arrive on the scene and Rift recognizes Aurora. They are able to shield her and get her back to their headquarters.

Back at Rift's mansion Aurora is able to tell the team about herself. She reveals she is the Crown Princess of Gemworld, but from the future where her family rules over the Twelve Houses. Aurora also tells the Guardians that they will be the ones to help her family overthrow Amethyst's current despotic rule at some point in the team's future. To offer some evidence of her claims, Aurora reveals that she has Rift's Zodiac Amulet, or more precisely the Zodiac Amulet from the future which she inherited. She warns that both Rift and herself will be targeted by both the Antithesis and by Amethyst, the former seeking to destroy the power of the Zodiac Amulet and the latter seeking to control it.

The Antithesis knows the Nemesinian Worldship is coming and is seeking a way to strike preemptively. Global Industries has been researching interdimensional transport technology at their Silver City complex in upstate New York, so the Antithesis plots to acquire it. Antithesis begins by transforming several of the Kali Yuga Cultists into creatures like his servant Gargoyle (who is part of the Soldiers of Anarchy as Draco). The Soldiers of Anarchy and the transformed Cultists are sent to attack the Silver City complex and steal the technology that the Antithesis wants.

Security at the complex does not stand a chance against the assault but Global Industries send in their corporate hero team The Conglomerate, who are led by Global CEO Michael Bennett in his Cyberhawk power armor. The Guardians also respond to the attack and leave Empire City to head to Silver City to help. With the Conglomerate on hand, Global security begins making headway in driving off the Soldiers of Anarchy; and when the faster members of the Guardians like Tazer and Rift arrive on the scene the attackers are facing defeat.

Unwilling to accept the failure, the Antithesis arrives on the scene itself. With its power to influence minds and project negative emotions, the Antithesis soon has the heroes battling against each other. However the Cyberhawk armor has powerful psionic shields that are able to protect Bennett against the Antithesis' mental attacks. Antithesis focuses its mental attacks on Bennett and the psi-shielding burns out, frying Bennett's mind but also sending feedback that momentarily distracts the Antithesis. This enables Rift to recover enough to use his magic to help free the others. This and the arrival of the rest of the Guardians, including their newest ally Balance, forces the Antithesis and the Soldiers of Anarchy to retreat.

The feedback from his armor's mental shields failing appears to have rendered Michael Bennett brain dead, but he suddenly makes a miraculous recovery. Many of the Guardians immediately become suspcious, because there is reference in the Book of Revelation to the Great Beast suffering a head wound and the deadly wound healing. Bennett explains the reason for his recovery to Paladin, who accepts the explanation but will not tell the rest of the Guardians what it was, leaving them to their suspicions. The security footage from the attack also gives the heroes their first really good look at the Soldiers of Anarchy. While most of the villains remain a mystery, one is identified as a white supremacist terrorist called White Dragon; and based on his appearance the one called Draco appears to be an old Teen Titans villain called Gargoyle, who is a servant of the Antithesis.

Keenly aware of the threat of Rift's magical power, power the hero himself does not quite grasp, and the added threat of the presence of Princess Aurora with a second Zodiac Amulet, the Antithesis decides the threat must be eliminated. Having learned from the traitorous Protectors where the Guardians are hiding Aurora, the Antithesis empowers another group of Kali Yuga Cultists and dispatches them after the princess.

To protect Princess Aurora, the Guardians had hidden her at the Mystery Mansion in Cloister, Vermont; home to their ally the occultist Samuel Vision. They had thought this would be a safe place, but unknown to the Guardians their allies The Protectors were in reality working for Adler and the Antithesis. Using this information the Antithesis dispatched his newly-empowered minions to find and destroy the princess and, if possible, Rift as well. To prevent the Guardians from interfering, the Soldiers of Anarchy are sent to create a distraction to keep the heroes occupied.

The Soldiers of Anarchy launch an attack against another of Adler's corporate holdings, this one in Empire City. As expected the Guardians head to confront the villains. At the same time the Antithesis and its forces attack in Cloister. With the Guardians not able to head to their aid Rift, Aurora, and Sam Vision do their best to defend the Mansion. However with the Antithesis itself present the trio are badly outmatched. They flee the Mansion in an attempt to escape, but the Antithesis and its forces pursue. Entering a nearby forest, the three are shocked to find the rogue occultist John Constantine there waiting for them. Constantine has brought the Swamp Thing, who was finally dealt with the invasive alien plants in the Great Lakes and was now free to act in the crisis. While Sam and Constantine divert the Antithesis, the Swamp Thing spirits Rift and Aurora into the Green where he can protect them. Antithesis and its minions are forced to abandon the attack, as they cannot pursue their targets into the Green. Constantine and Sam Vision evade pursuit and then part ways, while in Empire City the Soldiers of Anarchy abandon their attack and escape capture once the distraction has become pointless.

The DRAGON and the BEAST


While the heroes continued to try and anticipate events from the Book of Revelation they put priority on identifying who could be the Beast of the prophecy. The Guardians continued to suspect Michael Bennett, but in doing so overlooked the often symbolic nature of the events that were manifesting along the lines of the verses in Revelation. In reality it was Philip Adler who was the Beast, and the multiple heads were the companies that made up his megacorporate alliance MECA (the Millennium Economic Coalition of America). The wounded head was the destruction of his megacorporation's headquarters in Atlanta by the Soldiers of Anarchy, an action that had also helped initially divert suspicion away from Adler. Normally such a loss would be devastating even to a large corporate entity like MECA, but as the whole attack had been staged Adler was well prepared.

The rapid recovery of MECA from the attack serves as inspiration, especially to the beleaguered citizens of Empire City, where Adler has established his new corporate headquarters. In Empire, MECA has launched a number of initiatives to help in the recovery from the recent disasters that have befallen the city. Mayor Robert Christopher even goes as far as to appoint Adler to a special commission on the recovery of Empire City, placing the fate of the city in Adler's hands.

The recovery of MECA and the swift rebuilding of Empire City spurs economic growth. The attention turns Adler into a national celebrity and other municipal and state governments begin to fund Millennium initiatives in their jurisdictions. In short order Adler's megacorporation becomes an economic power on the global stage.

To crown MECA's rise, Adler announces the most ambitious effort to date. Millennium Research Group reveals it has developed a revolutionary new biomedical technology. The Portable Universal Regeneration Producing Light Emitter (aka PURPLE) is the result of a worldwide effort emerging from the Research Group's secretice Project 29A. When any damaged biological material is exposed to the PURPLE ray it promotes rapid cellular regeneration. Thanks to his high profile and new position in the municipal government, Adler is able to use Empire City to demonstrate the technology by using it to heal the many Empire City residents who had been injured in the city's recent calamities.

The result is nearly miraculous, as injuries are rapidly healed and even those suffering from chronic conditions see relief or are outright cured. Even plant life can be healed using the PURPLE Ray technology, opening up the ability to repair the damage done to nature by Brimstone's rampage and restore the agricultural land destroyed in Seyvaria. In short order permission is granted to use the PURPLE technology across the United States, and soon it expands to global license to operate. The technology is soon in use in San Francisco, New Orleans, Seyvaria, and other areas.

Rev. XIV

Empire City has become the center of Adler's new global empire. As MECA's influence spreads worldwide, Adler and the Antithesis are using their emotion manipulating abilties to corrupt the people of Empire City; and as the corruption spreads it fuels the Antithesis, further increasing its power in a feedback loop of evil. The negative energies being broadcast are stirring up feelings of anger and hate across Empire City, and violent confrontations begin to erupt. Gang wars are breaking out, and what should have been a peaceful demonstration against the municipal government turns into a riot.

The increased violence is keeping the Guardians busy, but they are also still attempting to nail down the identity of the Beast. Having narrowed the suspects down to Michael Bennett and Philip Adler, Omen and Balance set out to investigate further. Omen heads for New York City to investigate Bennett and Global Industries while Balance remains in Empire City to look into Adler and MECA.

In New York, Omen breaks into Global Industries and begins investigating Michael Bennett and the company for possible connections to events. Meanwhile Balance is looking at a more straightforward approach, his powers include the ability to sense evil within an individual so he figures all he needs to do is get close enough to Bennett and Adler and see what he can detect. Since Adler is based out of Empire City and Balance (in his secret identity of Arthur Jackson) is Assistant District Attorney for the city, he decides to check out Adler first. As expected, as Assistant D.A. he is easily able to get access to MECA's headquarters and Balance is able to get close enough to Adler to take a surreptitious glance. When he does get a look at Adler all Balance sees is a blank, something is cloaking whether Adler is good or evil, something strong enough to block Balance's power. Despite this Balance does sense evil somewhere in the building.

Balance leaves and switches into his costume so he can come back for a more thorough search of the building. He sneaks back inside and, following Adler covertly, Balance finds a secret chamber where hs is immediately overwhelmed by the pure evil he senses. Discovered, Balance finds himself face to face with Adler and the Antithesis, and Adler has somehow acquired the Spear of Destiny, which had gone missing after the destruction of Brimstone. Balance is no match for Adler and the Antithesis and is easily overpowered and captured. After a brief interrogation Adler uses the Spear of Destiny to kill Balance. Adler also decides that the Guardians have outlived their usefulness, so he sets in motion a plan to remove the team. The Soldiers of Anarchy are summoned and are told to launch an attack against the MECA Headquarters and to appear to be attempting to kill Adler himself. As the attack starts Adler puts out a call for help, with the Guardians and Adler's pet heroes the Protectors both responding.

At the same time in New York City, Omen's investigation has turned up some surprising results. While digging into the attack by the Soldiers of Anarchy on the Global Industries Silver City research complex, Omen found an evidence trail that linked the Soldiers not to Bennett and Global but to Adler and MECA! Omen tries to contact the team, but they have already left and the only person left at the headquarters is Debbie. Omen leaves the warning with her, then sets out to locate any allies he can find in New York City, a difficult proposition with Justice Inc. still missing.

Back in Empire City, Debbie tries to contact the rest of the team but something is blocking transmissions, all she can do is warn Tazer, who is doing riot control in another part of the city. Nearing MECA Headquarters Paladin and Frostbite fly towards the roof, where the Soldiers of Anarchy can be seen attacking. Paladin is carrying the Viking Prince, who has been staying near Paladin since he emerged from the ice due to their connection according to the prophecy delivered during their first encounter. Crossfire is scaling up the side of the building while on the ground Desperado is picked up by the Protector named Jetstream who starts to fly him towards the roof.

Paladin, Frostbite, and the Viking Prince reach the roof just as American Eagle and Ladyhawk from the Protectors due. Paladin gets ready to attack the Soldiers of Anarchy, but suddenly the Viking Prince charges at Ladyhawk. Prince Jon has recognized Ladyhawk's true nature as one of the Valkyries. Before Paladin can react he gets ambushed by American Eagle and Stonewall of the Protectors. Unaware of what is happening up top, Crossfire continues his climb and he spies Jetstream flying in carrying Desperado. Desperado realizes too late that Jetstream isn't heading for the top of the building but towards where Crossfire is scaling up the side. Jetstream throes Desperado at Crossfire, who is able to swing clear at the last second. Desperado crashes through the side of the building, and Crossfire dives in after him to avoid a follow-up burst of energy blasts from Jetstream who then heads off to the roof. On the roof a badly wounded Paladin, the Viking Prince and Frostbite are left facing the combined might of the Soldiers of Anarchy, the Protectors, and Adler who has entered the scene with the Spear of Destiny.

The arrival of Tazer on the scene a moment later does little to change the fact that the Guardians are outnumbered and outpowered. Suddenly, a massive explosion momentarily scatters the Soldiers and the Protectors. Equally surprised are the Guardians, who turn to see that the explosion was caused by someone who looks like the Human Bomb! What no one had realized was that although his body had died when he sacrificed himself to stop Brimstone, the Human Bomb's mind and essence had somehow survived as pure energy. It had taken days for him to pull enough of his scattered energy together and travel to Empire City. There the Human Bomb had managed to enter one of his older containment suits and he was able to rest and work out what had happened. He had finally coalesced enough of his energy form to animate the containment suit and had returned to the team headquarters in time to learn from Debbie that the rest of the Guardians were in trouble.

Human Bomb begins firing a series of energy blasts to keep the enemy distracted, while shouting at the others to flee. Paladin snaps out of his shock enough to order everyone to fall back. The Human Bomb and Frostbite get Paladin and the Viking Prince off of the roof while Tazer runs through the building and evacuates Desperado and Crossfire. They regroup with Debbie back at the headquarters to try and fathom what just happened.

Meanwhile, back at MECA Headquarters Adler is furious that the Guardians have escaped. To prevent them from interfering he uses his influence and quickly fabricated evidence to have the Guardians framed as the criminals. The federal government brands the team as traitors, and thanks to their powers Adler and Antithesis quickly turn the entire population against their former heroes. Having blocked off any potential help for the Guardians in Empire City, Adler follows this up by producing additional evidence against Michael Bennett and Global Industries. Federal authorities from Checkmate place Bennett under house arrest, containing him at the Silver City complex.

The Guardians are forced to flee their headquarters because the traitorous Protectors know its location. Soon they learn that they are hunted and have no one to turn to, and the Guardians can do nothing but go to ground and hope they can evade their pursuers long enough to think of a new plan. Elsewhere Adler and the Antithesis are ready to make their next move to spread their chaos and hate across the country and then the world.


On the Run

After being branded traitors, and the whole of Empire City out for their blood, the Guardians have hidden themselves at the apartment of recently-returned-from-the-dead teammate Human Bomb. The team had not yet determined how to deal with the Human Bomb's secret identity of Kevin Lawrence after the hero's death, so the apartment had remained relatively untouched. Omen returns from New York with a "substitute" Justice Inc. made up of friends and allies of that team - Sandy Hawkins (aka Sandstone, mentor of the Justice Subs), Rick Tyler (the second Hourman), speedster Jesse Quick, Zodiak, and Starburst. Omen departs immediately to see if he can find more allies, starting at Silver City to try and sneak past the Checkmate guards placed around Bennett.

Shortly thereafter, the whole apartment building is split open by an earthquake. Inside suddenly Jesse Quick finds herself terrified to use her superspeed and Frostbite is afraid of heights. Paladin tells everyone to head to the basement to try and escape via the sewers. Tazer stays behind to help other tenants of the building, but they were terrified of the Guardians for some reason and anytime Paladin or one of the others tried to help the people would literally rather throw themselves out a window than let one of the team get close. Tazer was the only one fast enough to save them. It is clear that Adler and Antithesis are using their emotion manipulation powers to try and cripple the team.

In the sewers, another earthquake threatens to cave in the ceiling. Frostbite uses her ice powers to hold it up and Zodiak realizes that it is Sandy Hawkins who is causing the earthquakes. Sandy was vulnerable to the emanations of the Spear of Destiny and had fallen under Adler's control. Zodiak, Starburst, Jesse Quick, and Rex Tyler turn to subdue Sandy and the section of sewer collapses and they are separated from the rest of the Guardians. Debbie is also separated from the team in the cave-in.

Back up top, Tazer is taken control of by Adler and the Guardians must flee the city, hiding in one of the many unused summer cottages that dot the Massachusetts coast along the Long Island Sound. Still under Adler's sway, Tazer is called to MECA Headquarters where she sees Balance's body. Tazer does not know where the Guardians have gone, so Adler orders her back out to search Empire City at superspeed for her teammates.

Tazer manages to locate Debbie, but Debbie is able to snap Tazer out of Adler's control. Not knowing where the Guardians have gone, Tazer and Debbie head to New York to find Primal Force, a mystic team that has sometimes helped the Guardians. Only Jack O'Lantern and Meridian are present, along with their sometime ally James Rook (aka The Nightmaster). However Jack O'Lantern is able to summon the other six heroes that had teamed with Tazer to battle the Daemen, reuniting the Seven Thunders.

The rest of the team debates what to do and how to combat the Spear of Destiny. It is decided that the team needs to find an artifact of equal power, one that is tied to the Spear of Destiny: the Holy Grail!

The Arrival

The Nemesinian Worldship arrives in Earth orbit. The Nemesinians envelop the Moon in an energy field, trapping the Justice League there in their Watchtower. The next wave of Harbingers are prepared to be sent out to Earth to cleanse it. The first action is to send a wave of energy down to envelop the planet. The energy wave is keyed to disrupt what the Nemesinians have detected to be part of Adler and the Antithesis' power across the world. The energy wave has a drastic effect on anything that has been exposed to the PURPLE ray technology. Anyone who had been healed or treated by the ray suddenly begins suffering from a mysterious ailment, one that will kill them within days. Natural areas like Seyvaria's croplands and parts of the Louisiana coast that had used the PURPLE technology to speed up ecological recovery suddently see that recovery reversed and start to worsen.

Omens and Portents

At the Silver City complex, Damien Omen is able to sneak past the government agents who are guarding Michael Bennett. He does not have a means to get Bennett out of the compound safely, but Omen takes the opportunity to fill Bennett in on everything that the Guardians have managed to learn so far. At Bennett's request, Omen leaves him copies of all of the evidence Damien and the Guardians had uncovered linking Philip Adler to the Soldiers of Anarchy and other events.

With the information delivered, Damien sneaks back out of the Silver City complex and heads to Vermont to discover if Rift will be able to return to the Earthly plane to assist the Guardians. At Silver City, Bennett contacts his lawyers and the senior people at Global's various media holdings. He passes on the evidence against Adler that Omen had given him. In short order his lawyers have contacted various government officials and politicians regarding the evidence, while the media prepare to break the story of Adler's deceptions.

In Cloister, Vermont, Omen seeks to pick up the trail of Samuel Vision, who has gone into hiding to prevent what he knows about Rift and Aurora from falling into the wrong hands. Omen tracks Vision to a location near the town of Crossroads, just on the New York side where Vermont, New York, and Massachusetts. He arrives on the scene in time to save Vision from a group of Kali Yuga Cultists who had managed to also track down the mystic. When Vision makes it clear that he has no means to bring Rift and Aurora back from the Green, he and Omen instead head for New York City where they meet up with Tazer, Debbie, Primal Force and the other Seven Thunders.

Elsewhere, the news breaks about Adler's alleged connection to the terrorist Soldiers of Anarchy, which combined with the reversal of the PURPLE ray effects, starts turning the tide of public opinion against Adler and MECA. Though somewhat of a setback, the anger and hate now directed against Adler actually serves to further empower he and the Antithesis. The two allies accelerate their plans to move to their endgame. In preparation, the Antithesis uses its increasing power to begin transforming the remaining Kali Yuga Cultists into Gargoyle-like creatures, while Adler assembles his own elite troops and readies them for battle.

Grail Quest

In hiding, the Guardians ponder how to go about locating the Holy Grail. The artifact was last seen in possession of the Imperial Japanese agent known as the Dragon King during World War II, where it had been used in tandem with the Spear of Destiny (in Hitler's possession) to shield the Axis powers' home territories from the most powerful of the Allied Mystery Men of the All-Star Squadron. With the Guardians still considered traitors, Paladin could not try and use his government connections to get access to military records, and with Rift gone the team had no access to magic to try and divine the Grail's whereabouts.

In the end it is Desperado who finds the key. A devout Mexican Catholic, Desperado has been praying for help and guidance. Now, when they need it most, Desperado is given a vision providing a clue to how the Guardians can find the Grail. In the vision was a silhouette, which Desperado sketches for the team. Paladin instantly recognizes the silhouette as that of Glastonbury Tor, a site linked to the stories of King Arthur and Camelot; but the team despairs at being able to get to England with the world turned against them. Crossfire wonder if maybe the clue did not mean Glastonbury in England and he points out to the others that there is a town called Glastonbury in Connecticut, less than a hundred miles from Empire City.

The five heroes take flight heading west with Paladin carrying Desperado and Human Bomb carrying Crossfire, staying low to try and avoid detection. The group are spotted by some of Adler's troops, forcing Human Bomb and Crossfire to break off to deal with the pursuers while the other three continue on. Reaching Glastonbury, the three are shocked to see a hill with a tower at its peak suddenly appear near the town. It soon becomes apparent that they are the only ones who can perceive the tower, as the locals do not appear to react at all to the sudden appearance of the large hill.

Entering the stone tower, the three heroes find an interior with many stairs and corridors. Exploring, they are confronted by animated suits of medieval armor that threaten to overwhelm them. Frostbite is able to use her powers to hold back the attackers, allowing Paladin and Desperado to continue on deeper into the tower. Further in the pair enter what looks to be a chapel, where they are confronted by an ethereal figure claiming to be Merlin the Sorceror. Merlin presents Paladin and Desperado with a set of symbols claiming one hides the true Grail while the others will prove deadly if the wrong choice is made. Paladin thinks he has figured out the riddle and moves to choose one of the symbols, but at the last second Desperado steps in and chooses a different one. Desperado's choice turns out to be the correct one, and the Holy Grail appears. Merlin congratulates the pair, but also tells them that the Grail cannot be obtained without paying a price. Desperado says that he understands, and bids Paladin farewell and wishes him luck in the battle to come before vanishing in a brilliant flash of light.

Paladin and Frostbite suddenly find themselves in the woods near Glastonbury, with the hill and tower nowhere to be seen. Paladin still has the Grail, so after a brief explanation to Frostbite the pair take off and head back towards Empire City. They meet up with Human Bomb and Crossfire, who have escaped Adler's troops, and together the Guardians head to confront the man himself.

The Balance Shifts

After their extended journey through various parallel realities, Justice Inc. is finally able to return to Earth. Nemesis, in possession of new powers, immediately heads for the Nemesinian Worldship to confront his people. The rest of Justice Inc. are informed of recent events by Michael Bennett and the team immediately heads for Empire City to confront Adler. They are able to meet up with Omen, Tazer, Primal Force, and the Seven Thunders; seeking all the help they can get, the mystic warrior known as the Night Master (an ally of Primal Force) is able to use the magic of his Sword of Night to temporarily separate Felicia Albrecht from Cat. Felicia is given the Morphenite that Nemesis had been using and she joins with Primal Force.

In Empire City, the Antithesis has completed the transformation of the remaining Kali Yuga cultists into Gargoyle-like creatures. Left weakened, Anthithesis tells Adler to send out the transformed Cultists and the heavily armed troops of Adler's Millennium Empire; the sooner the evil Army of Darkness begins spreading chaos the sooner the Antithesis can regain its strength from the ensuing flood of negative emotion generated by the soldiers and their victims. Adler, however, has other plans. With the Antithesis weakened, Adler turns on his "ally" and blasts it with the Spear of Destiny. Adler explains that with the final battle looming he has no intention of sharing power with anyone or anything. He then activates a hidden trap developed with the Gabriel Horn technology and exiles the helpless Antithesis back into Limbo.

With the Antithesis gone, Adler takes full command and unleashes his Army of Darkness against the unsuspecting people of Empire City. Adler summons the Soldiers of Anarchy and the Protectors and heads to the zone of devastation that had once been the Midtown neighorbood of Empire City. There he uses his power to raise up a massive tower from which he can watch the chaos spreading out across the city.



The Side of Light

The Side of Darkness


As Justice Inc. and the Guardians arrive in Empire City they see Adler with the Protectors and the Soldiers of Anarchy watching from a pedestal of stone in the heart of what was the Midtown area of the city (now a devastated wasteland). In the rest of the city, the Army of Darkness sweeps out annihilating whatever stands in its way. Trying to hold off the Army are battered National Guard units and ECPD aided by Primal Force and the Seven Thunders, but they are hopelessly outnumbered.

The teams head for the observation area to combat Adler and the metahumans directly. Paladin and ArcAngel swoop in with the Grail to combat Adler himself. Mindblade must use his full telepathic strength to fight off Adler's broadcast empathy which threatens to turn the heroes against each other. Arcangel turns to follow Ladyhawk, who is hunting the Viking Prince. Twice in the distant past she has tried to claim him for Valhalla but he escaped through time. Not this time though, the Valkyrie kills him while he is defending Sam Vision and Debbie. Harrier uses his tractor beam to grab the Grail away from Paladin, which Adler then transports to himself.

A combined assault on Adler by Arcangel and Paladin has no effect as the Grail instantly healed any wound he took. Attempts to knock the Grail from Adler's hand prove futile. As a demonstration of the power he now wields, Adler sends out a shockwave that shattered windows and damaged buildings that were still standing outside the battle zone. As a rain of broken glass falls to the ground Adler looks and comments on the memories it brings back back.

On the ground, the rest of the team is slowly gaining an advantage over the Protectors and the Soldiers of Anarchy. Felicia had disabled Ubermensch, Edgerunner had knocked out Heatmonger, Tazer had paralyzed Backlash, and Crossfire had pretty much destroyed Jetstream's armor. Cat and Nightflick were double-teaming Captain Nazi, but not to any really noticeable effect. Edgerunner grabbed one of the Mega-guns and, using his full battery of senses he pinpointed a weak point in Harrier's armor. With a seemingly impossible shot he fires a single round through a cooling vent in the armor which ricochets around inside, disabling the armor's power systems and it falls to Earth, completely shut down with poor Harrier trapped inside a useless hunk of metal.

At the top of the pedestal, Baron Blitzkrieg flies towards Paladin and sends a searing blast of heat vision straight through Paladin's visor, burning Paladin's eyes from their sockets. Valkyrie prepares to slay Arcangel but at the last second, Tempest flies into the path of the blast, taking the lethal mystic blast, sacrificing her life to save Arcangel. Meanwhile, a dispersed Omen makes his way up through the bottom of the pedestal and attempts to grab the Grail away from Adler. As soon as Omen touches the Grail, it shatters with an explosive force. Omen and Adler are sent flying in opposite directions off of the pedestal and Grail lies atop it in pieces.

Adler, furious, leaps over the pedestal and attempts to skewer Omen with the Spear of Destiny. Omen disperses into the ground, which is split open by the power of Adler's blow. Back in the air, Tazer has used her flash power to blind the Baron, triggering his flashbacks and preventing him from finishing off a nearly dead Paladin. Valkyrie once again turns her attention to Arcangel who this time is not able to avoid the blast. Arcangel is killed, but her body falls backwards onto the top of the pedestal, landing on the shards of the Grail. She is instantly healed by the Grail, which reforms and becomes part of her armor. Arcangel rises and turns to face Valkyrie.

Back on the ground, Human Bomb uses his demolitions skill to place a precise bomb blast which topples the pedestal right on top of where Adler was standing. By this time, Frenzy has been paralyzed by Tazer, Crossfire has finished off Jetstream, Mindblade has mentally disabled the Gargoyle, and Flashback is punching a paralyzed Zyklon (another victim of Tazer).

Arcangel flies up to Valkyrie, who tries again to slay her but this time the Grail protects Arcangel from the attack. Arcangel spears Valkyrie with her sword and triggers her "Thunder and Lightning" attack, slaying the Valkyrie. Blitzkrieg recovers from the flashbacks, but is still partially blinded by the flash attack, and Felicia fires an energy blast from the Morphenite which sends him flying, knocking him out. Adler blasts his way out from under the rubble and flies up to confront Arcangel. Meanwhile, Edgerunner notices some people coming onto the battlefield. He goes to investigate and finds a wounded Samuel Vision and Debbie.

Just then Adler's army arrives, a thousand troops in powered armor and several hundred gargoyle-transformed Kali-Yuga cultists. They have encircled the whole area and are preparing to completely annihilate the heroes when what at first appears to be a meteor shower turns out to be Nemesis leading several hundred of his people. The Battle of Armageddon has begun as the armies of Light and Darkness do battle. Nemesis turns his attention toward the confrontation between Adler and Arcangel.

Edgerunner is helping the wounded Sam Vision, when Sam gets a look at Adler. Sam's amulet grants him True Sight and he sees that Adler has the third mystic amulet. The three amulets represent Heart, Mind, and Soul. While Rift's Zodiac Amulet grants him raw power (Soul), and Sam's Mystic Eye grants him many sensory powers (Mind), Adler has the Amulet of Osiris which protects the bearer from harm. While Adler holds the amulet, there was little chance he could be defeated. Sam sees that Adler has concealed the Amulet as his belt buckle. He tells Edgerunner, who leaps up and uses his grapple line to tear the amulet away.

With the Amulet gone, Nemesis is able to blast the Spear away from Adler. Arcangel swoops down to catch the Spear and Omen flies up to catch Adler, who is falling. Mindblade realizes that even without the Spear Adler is still the avatar of Hate and a powerful enemy, but he also thinks he knows a way to stop Adler. Recalling Adler constantly bragging about being the "physical, mental, and spiritual amalgamation of the greatest leaders and strategists the world had ever known", Mindblade risks stopping shielding the Guardians and Justice Inc. from Adler's hate broadcasts and, using his full telepathic powers, Mindblade awakens the dormant shards of the historical figures that were now part of Adler. No longer in control of a group of passive aspects of himself, Adler's mind is in torment as the fragments of Alexander, Khan, Caesar, Napoleon, Hitler, and Ra's Al Ghul fight for dominance of his body and mind. With the Adler aspect thus crippled, Nemesis uses his Judgment power to strike directly at Adler's soul, revealing to him all that he has done. With this attack, Adler breaks down completely.

Meanwhile, Arcangel reaches the Spear of Destiny. As soon as she touches it, a light pours forth from the Grail purifying the Spear. The Spear and Grail are reunited and the battlefield is bathed in divine light. Pulses of energy spread out from the artifacts. Those wounded in the battle find themselves fully healed, even Paladin's eyes are restored, though it is too late for Tempest to be resurrected. The fissure through the heart of Empire City is mended (though the buildings remain destroyed), the bay is cleansed of the radiation from the nuclear meltdown. In New York City, the damage to Central Park from the fire elemental's rampage is healed, in New Orleans, San Francisco, and Washington state the land is healed. All the people suffering from the reversal of the Project 29A effects are restored to health.

As the glow slowly recedes, the Spectre appears before Arcangel and the artifacts. He looks to Arcangel - "You have done what I could not, the Spear is cleansed. Now, these items must be taken from here, they are not meant for mortal hands." The Spear and Grail vanish and the Spectre turns toward Adler, then speaks to Nemesis.

"Has Justice been served?"

"Yes," replies Nemesis.

"Then now is the time for Vengeance."

Adler's scream lasts for over five minutes before he collapses, a hollow shell of what he once was.

The battle is ended, now its time to pick up the pieces.

DC Heroes