In the early years of the Modern Heroic Age the Centurions defended Superior City from many threats, none greater than hero-turned-villain Carnage. Carnage and his allies were defeated and imprisoned, but the Centurions had little time to enjoy the victory. Soon after a series of events would put an end to the heroic team.

The destruction of his foes was not enough for Carnage, however. From his prison cell Carnage plotted, and when the opportunity presented itself he and his allies freed themselves. But Carnage had a desire to take revenge against the whole city, and against the Centurions even though they were gone. From a hidden base under the prison itself he and his allies plotted and schemed. Carnage's revenge would take years, and would see him reign supreme over the city that had opposed him.

The first step of the plan was enacted, and soon Superior City was made to forget the Centurions ever existed - all memory of their heroes erased. The next steps would take still more time to prepare, and so the villains continued to scheme from their hidden base. But as the villains plotted new heroes began to appear in Superior City. These New Enforcers of Justice meant that plans would need to be adjusted, and so the villains adapted.

Now the time had come to implement Carnage's revenge against the city, but the Enforcers have begun to uncover evidence about the existence of the Centurions...

'C' is for CARNAGE (Prelude to Total Carnage)

The story so far...

The hero Aegis is dying; a consequence of the techno-magic that had created his physical form. His teammates have learned that he was not, as they originally believed, a machine intelligence granted a living body through magic but a living soul that had been animating the old Omega android form and now inhabited the living body conjured by the techno-magic of his teammate Mystère. Somewhere out there was Aegis' real body, still alive and causing his life force to be split in two, and Mystère was searching for techno-magic solution to help him while the other Enforcers were searching for his real identity. At the same time, The heroes are also digging into the mystery of the possible existence of another team of heroes that operated in Superior City in the years before the Enforcers came to the city.

And now...

While Mystère researches the techno-magic ritual she will need to use, Renegade decides to head to New York City to address his concerns with what Mindblade has been doing with the apparent expansion of Justice Inc.. Before leaving he asks Manticore to do some investigation into Mercy Island Prison, specifically to determine why the prison was outfitted with metahuman incarceration facilities over a decade ago when there were apparently no metahumans in the city at the time. Manticore agrees, adding that he has his own reasons for going as well, his investigation into telepathic villains has indicated that there are several imprisoned in Mercy Island.

In New York Renegade learns the details of Mindblade's expansion plans for Justice Inc. Having noticed a lack of metahuman hero teams in several major cities, Mindblade decided to use the metahuman resource management capabilities of Heroes, Inc. to build a stable of "strike teams" that could be deployed to any city whose municipal government or law enforcement agencies requested them. This way areas with no local metahuman teams could get assistance in cases of attack by a super-villain or other disasters where metahumans would be an asset. To bolster this new organization's intelligence gathering capabilities, Mindblade also acquired the Superior City-based Sidekicks, Inc. organization. Satisfied that Mindblade was not on some kind of power-trip, Renegade asked his help with another matter, the memory loss problem that seemed to be plaguing Superior City. A quick telepathic scan indicated that Renegade's memory had indeed been tampered with, but Mindblade was unable to discern the source, other than it appeared to be artificially generated. Mindblade offers to dig deeper and try and recover the missing memories, but Renegade does not want to risk the possibility that there are "mind-traps" in place to prevent the memories from being restored. Instead he asks Mindblade to put a mental suggestion in his mind so that the next time he learns any information that would normally be erased by the outside force it would remain unaltered. Afterward he returns to Superior City.

That night Digit begins his regular patrol of the downtown core of the city. In the Market Square, near the construction site for the new Warriors franchise he spots a group of suspicious men. Before he can investigate, Digit has to break off his surveillance to stop a jewelry robbery in nearby City Center. When he returns there is no sign of his quarry, but he is able to track them to the Erratic Thought Patterns bookstore. Digit contacts Renegade, who immediately heads for his store. By this time the six have split into two groups and Renegade spots one of the mysterious figures on the store roof, apparently planting explosives. Gathering up the explosives, Renegade then confronts the one who planted them but is surprised when the suspect utters the word "Carnage" and tackles the hero, sending them both over the side in a three-story fall toward the ground. Renegade fires a grappling line to stop the fall, and the suspect and his two allies attempt to flee. A quick volley of shots stops them in their tracks, and Digit subdues the other three. Renegade calls in the authorities and begins examining the explosives. A cursory examination shows that they are an incendiary of some kind, and are set to explode in under three hours, just before midnight. A search of the Warriors site finds several more explosives, but efforts to get any more information from the suspects only results in a one-word response: "Carnage". The suspects all have a "C"-shaped scar on their foreheads, and Renegade and Digit figure they are part of some new cult. Renegade is also worried that he may be the specific target, since they were bombing his bookstore and the new business he was a silent partner in. After contacting Cooper MacBride, though, he learns that these "cultists" appear to be all over town when Cooper tells him that Patriot and Rocket stopped a group of them from bombing the St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral. He also adds that something about the cultists scares Rocket, but she can't explain why.

Realizing that the threat was more widespread than originally thought, Renegade alerts the rest of the team. Manticore does not respond, but the group can't spare the time to find out why as they work to find out the extent of the current situation. Mystère enters Cyberspace and begins searching out the explosives by tracking the timers on them. She is horrified to discover over 1500 explosives scattered across Superior City and neighboring Paradise. With less than two hours before they are scheduled to detonate Mystère begins a desperate attempt to disable as many of the detonators as she can from within Cyberspace. Outside Renegade begins to ready as many allies as he can find. He has Cooper MacBride contact the New Adventurers and asks Dr. Keller if any of the kids from Superior City Academy can help. He also contacts Sidekicks, Inc., hoping they can reach the speedster hero Speedshatter.

Back inside Cyberspace Mystère is confronted by an entity calling itself Dreadnought. The newcomer addresses her as "technomage" and indicates that it cannot allow her to continue to interfere with the explosives. Mystère prepares to attack it when it suddenly splits off into several copies and begins detonating the explosives from within Cyberspace. Meanwhile Renegade is contacted by a frantic Paul Hawkins. He says that Speedshatter has lost it and they need help. Renegade arrives at the scene to see that Speedshatter is in a near-frenzy yelling at Jason Sinclair, another member of Sidekicks, Inc. Speedshatter is asking why Sinclair doesn't recognize what is happening. Finally he drags Sinclair into the study and uses a letter-opener to carve a scar like the ones the cultists had into a bust on a shelf. Seeing the "C"-shaped scar causes Sinclair to go pale and nearly faint. Renegade asks what is going on, which seems to anger Speedshatter, who begins yelling at him. Just then, though, the mental conditioning Mindblade has put in place activates and Renegade is able to remember what Speedshatter has been trying to explain for several minutes...

"It's Carnage! The Seven are back! He must have made us forget somehow. That must be Psychotrope's doing!"

Before they can learn any more, though, the group are distracted by the rapid succession of explosions that start across the city...


Mystère tries to stop Dreadnought from detonating the bombs from inside Cyberspace but she is no match for his firepower and retreats. Meanwhile Renegade learns a bit more about their supposed opponent, Carnage. According to Speedshatter and Jason Sinclair, Carnage is almost as powerful as Superman and possesses super-intelligence. He is usually accompanied by six other meta-villains, including a powerful telepath named Psychotrope, in a group called the Slaughterhouse Seven.

With the explosions raining multi-colored fire down across both Superior City and Paradise the heroes head out to help the already thinly-stretched police and firefighters. The New Adventurers, already alerted by Renegade also move to help, but there is still no answer from Manticore, whose last communication indicated he was going to investigate Mercy Island Prison. All attempts to douse the flames prove useless, despite Renegade's efforts to determine their nature. A closer examination of the strange fires, though, soon shows that they are not causing any real damage to people or property, they just look dangerous. Before Renegade can put much thought into why someone would set these strange fires the clear night sky clouds over and it begins to rain, but this rain seems to be putting out the fires.

The mystery of the rain ceases to be a concern when hundreds of armored soldiers with jet packs begin descending from the clouds. At their separate locations across the city the three Enforcers each find themselves facing a team of super-villains, each of whom is supposed to be incarcerated in Mercy Island! Outnumbered, Renegade falls to the Masters of Speed while Digit is overpowered by the members of the Demolition Squad. Against the Graveyard Shift, Mystère holds her own for a while but eventually escapes to the headquarters. Her call for help is cut off abruptly as a strange red barrier settles over the area, a barrier that seems to extend into Cyberspace as well.


Defeated by Carnage's forces, Renegade and Digit awaken to find themselves being carried by airborne troops towards Mercy Island. Several other local heroes have also been captured, including G-Force, Patriot, Speedshatter and Yellow Flame. Deciding it would be best to escape their captors before arriving at Mercy Island, the two Enforcers make their move. Digit quickly disables the two troopers carrying him and begins to glide toward the other captive heroes while Renegade uses his acrobatic skills to free himself. As soon as the two Enforcers make their move, Speedshatter and G-Force leap into action, having awakened around the same time as the others. Both heroes disable the troops carrying them, and G-Force is able to use his powers to disable the remaining airborne soldiers and prevent the other heroes from falling. With the soldiers out of the picture Renegade opens a teleportation gateway to the Enforcers Headquarters which the heroes use for a quick escape. At the headquarters the injured heroes are taken to the medical bay while Renegade and the others try and locate any remaining heroes in the city who may have escaped Carnage's troops.

Meanwhile, Manticore awakens suddenly underwater with no recollection of how he got there. Fighting down his initial panic Manticore struggles to the surface and finds that he is in the Columbia River, near shore on the Washington state side. As he begins to regain his senses he notices several cuts and bruises, including a large cut on his leg that feels like it is poisoned. He quickly administers a broad range anti-toxin and makes his way to shore. A quick survey shows that his injuries are very extensive, even remaining conscious is becoming difficult. He also realizes that much of his costume and equipment is damaged, including his communicator. Manticore makes his way to a road to find a phone and is able to contact the other Enforcers. Mystère transports herself to his location through the phone and brings Manticore back to the headquarters where he learns he has been missing for several hours. The mystery of Manticore's missing hours and his injuries becomes apparent when Speedshatter sees the nature of the wounds. He believes that Manticore was attacked by one of Carnage's known allies, a woman named Serpentina, who is also one of the Slaughterhouse Seven. Since the mysterious hypnotic effect that prevents people from remembering Carnage or his teammates is apparently still active it explains why Manticore can't remember details about the attack.

Shortly after Manticore's arrival the radio and television airwaves all begin broadcasting the same message. It is a short speech by Carnage himself telling the people in Superior City and Paradise that he now controls both cities and that the nightmare is just beginning. Knowing they will need all the allies they can find, the Enforcers desperately begin a search for any other heroes they can locate. With Speedshatter's help they are able to locate the members of Sidekicks Inc. and they are also able to find one of the remaining New Adventurers, Nightmare. An attempt to reach S.T.A.R. Labs reveals that it is also in Carnage's hands, leaving the heroes to wonder about the fate of their teammate, Aegis, whose comatose body was left there.


Even though the clocks say it is morning, the sky outside is still night, though distorted by the red barrier around the cities. Mystère sees that the Moon does not appear to have changed position in the sky, suggesting that the barrier is affecting time somehow. A superspeed survey by Speedshatter reveals that the barrier follows the path of dozens of recently erected cellular phone towers. The team realizes that the company that controls most of the cellular service in the area is S7 Technologies, "S7" as in Slaughterhouse Seven! Remembering that Mindblade had said that the subliminal messages affecting everyone's memories was artificial, Renegade sees that it is probably being broadcast along the cellular phone wavelengths. If the central broadcast tower on top of Century Tower at the Metroplex was taken out it would interrupt the subliminal broadcasts.

The group's initial priority, however, is locating more allies. Yellow Flame is sent to the Oriental District to locate the Chinese heroes Yin and Yang and Little Tokyo's resident hero the Neon Samurai. While travelling in Cyberspace Mystère sees that Dreadnought has dispatched watchdog programs to look out for her. From that point on her trips become shorter and she utilizes most of her power to remain undetected. Later that "morning" Carnage broadcasts another announcement to the city, announcing that during the night his forces took most of the young and elderly and are holding them as incentives for the rest of the city to serve as a captive labor force.

Renegade sends out Digit and G-Force to try and contact the Dark City to see where they stand. The initial attempt is stopped by an attack by the Forces of Nature, but the two heroes escape and try to locate another entrance to the city's underground. Meanwhile Renegade arranges for a distraction at the airport to draw attention away from his journey to downtown Superior City, where he hopes to find Cooper McBride. Former S.C.U. officer Spartacus causes a series of explosions at the airport before being brought back to the headquarters while Renegade makes his high-speed run to the location of Cooper's store. At Cooper's store Renegade sneaks into the hidden area under the building that serves as the sometimes headquarters of the New Adventurers. There he finds Cooper and the teen heroine Rocket. Cooper had been in the basement headquarters when the elderly were being rounded up the previous night, though his security shows that a strange, misshapen creature had visited his apartment during the night. Renegade proceeds to set up a gateway to get them back to the Enforcers' headquarters and they gather up any equipment that may be useful. While moving some boxes Renegade's attention is drawn to one container labelled "Centurions Clippings". Once back at the headquarters Renegade examines the contents of the box and finds what he had hoped, newspaper reports covering the heroes that had operated in the city during the missing years!


Entering the Dark City through the Underground Arena, Digit and G-Force are confronted by underground denizens Spike, Void, and Nutcracker. The two are warned against intruding and Spike turns G-Force's own powers against the two, pinning them in a deep pit. Meanwhile, at the Enforcers' headquarters Renegade tries in vain to explain what he discovered but the subliminal memory block causes anyone who he tells to forget almost immediately.

Mystère makes another journey into Cyberspace, using her power to cloak herself from Dreadnought's search drones. She is trying to locate the elderly of the cities by tracking their pacemakers and other medical technology. She also hopes to do something similar to locate the children that Carnage's forces have taken as well.

While Mystère continues her search, a squad of heroes consisting of Manticore, Patriot, Yellow Flame, and Jason Sinclair moves in on the Metroplex intent on taking down the main broadcast tower that sits atop the Century Tower. The heroes scale up the outside in an effort to avoid detection but soon discover that the 360° viewing area at the top of the tower has been turned into a control room. Not only that, but members of the Slaughterhouse Seven are present. Yellow Flame is possessed by Psychotrope but Jason Sinclair stuns him with a flash grenade before he can turn on his allies. On the roof Patriot and Manticore face off against Crazyface. Joined by Sinclair the heroes lure the insane villain into the broadcast tower. The broadcast tower buckles and an energy blast from Patriot sends it spiralling down to the street below. Just then a rooftop access door opens and Carnage himself enters the fray!

Back at the headquarters they receive Sinclair's distress signal and Renegade sends Speedshatter out to help. Meanwhile both Patriot and Sinclair have fled by leaping off of the top of Century Tower. Manticore tries to follow but is grappled by Carnage, who proceeds to throw the hero directly at the nearby Dark World Enterprises building. Travelling at supersonic speeds Manticore is saved at the very last second by Speedshatter, who runs up the side of the building and intercepts him before using his superspeed to vibrate harmlessly through the building. While Carnage moves off in pursuit of Speedshatter and Manticore, the pair of Renegade and Nightmare arrive at the Century Tower to rescue the other heroes. Nightmare grabs Patriot, Yellow Flame, and Sinclair in a grappler beam while Renegade disables Crazyface.

Speedshatter and Manticore move at superspeed back through the gateway located in the basement of Cooper MacBride's store. Manticore realizes that Carnage will be able to follow their trail so he sends a mass of explosives back through the gate to destroy the gateway circuitry. Nightmare brings the three others back through the gateway in Chinatown, but Renegade stays at Century Tower too long and is mentally dominated by Psychotrope. Realizing there is only one chance to save Renegade, Nightmare flies back, grappling Renegade right off of his bike and hitting him full force with his Terror Beam. Nightmare swiftly retreats back through the gateway before any of the villains can follow.

Back at the headquarters Nightmare realizes that the full-strength Terror Beam has put Renegade into cardiac arrest. He and Sinclair get Renegade into the Medical Bay in time to stabilize him. A deeply shaken but no longer possessed Renegade awakens several hours later, by which time Digit and G-Force have freed themselves and returned to the headquarters as well. While waiting for Renegade to recover Nightmare had used his hypnotic powers to break the remaining subliminal memory blocks in the heroes at the headquarters. With the blocks removed, Renegade is able to share what he learned about the forgotten heroes, a team called The Centurions, and Speedshatter and Jason Sinclair are at last able to remember their own pasts.


With the memory blocks removed several of the heroes are able to remember parts of the forgotten years. Rocket is able to find a long lost childhood treasure in her home, a set of trading cards of the Centurions. With the information on the cards Renegade deduces that Aegis' previous identity was most likely the Centurions' resident powerhouse and the first modern super-hero of the city, Apex. The cards also reveal a connection between Apex's origin and Carnage's. This makes finding Aegis and restoring his memories and health an even greater priority.

Renegade sends Mystère to scout S.T.A.R. Labs from Cyberspace in preparation for an attempt to capture it from Carnage's forces. Avoiding Dreadnought's ever-present cyber-drones she accesses the lab's security systems and using the cameras Mystère observes that the lab is still in operation, with almost three dozen technicians being forced to work by several squads of Carnage's troopers. The troopers are reinforced by a half-dozen Silver Path Cyborgs and the whole operation appears to be controlled by several costumed villains. Among the villains present that Mystère sees are the members of the Graveyard Shift, an old foe of Renegade's called Coppertop as well as some foes of the New Adventurers, including Chrysalis' enemy (and former S.T.A.R. Labs scientist) Particle Man and a new Fearsome Five.

Realizing that the opposition at S.T.A.R. Labs would be fierce Renegade decides to recon it himself, along with Yellow Flame. After passing through a gateway opened by Mystère they make their way to the Central Containment Lab, hoping to secure it as a possible holding cell for any captured villains. When they arrive at the Containment Lab, however, the two are suddenly attacked. Yellow Flame is knocked unconscious and Renegade is shocked to discover that their attackers are the heroes Twilight and Chrysalis, and behind them he sees the comatose body of his teammate Aegis.


Twilight and Chrysalis immediately realize their mistake and help the injured Renegade up. He opens a gateway back to the headquarters to take the unconscious Yellow Flame and the comatose Aegis through. The two Adventurers reveal that they had been in hiding since Carnage's assault began, having been put on alert by Renegade's warning the night before. When the villains took control of S.T.A.R. Labs the heroes hid in the Containment Lab with Aegis' body until they could figure out a way to escape. With the two additional heroes Renegade decides to try a stealth assault on S.T.A.R. Labs. Unknown to him, though, the short fight with Twilight and Chrysalis had alerted the villains there. When the heroes use the gateway to return to the Containment Lab they are immediately attacked.

As the fight at S.T.A.R. Labs continues, reinforcements for the heroes pour through the gateway. However, this allows Haunt of the Graveyard Shift to slip through the gateway to the headquarters. Only Digit's enhanced senses prevent him from entering undetected. With Digit guiding him Nightmare is able to disable Haunt with his Terror Beam seconds before the villain is able to discern the headquarters' location. Regrettably Digit is also in the path of the attack, which disables him as well. Back at S.T.A.R. Labs the tide turns against the heroes. In the end it is only quick thinking by Mystère and the sacrifice of some of Renegade's equipment that prevents the capture of several of the heroes.

After their retreat to the headquarters the heroes receive some good news. While the group had been attacking S.T.A.R. Labs, Manticore and Patriot had been on patrol looking for the city's missing children. At the ruins of Cooper McBride's store they came across a group of Carnage's troopers searching the wreckage. Leading the search was one of the Centurions' old villains, the so-called Ace of Thieves. After knocking out the troopers, the two heroes were able to capture the Ace of Thieves and bring him back to the headquarters for questioning.


Under questioning the Ace of Thieves seems almost relieved to have been captured. He reveals that not all of the villains from Mercy Island are working with Carnage voluntarily. When Carnage secretly took control of the prison years ago the inmates were given a choice, co-operate willingly or be brainwashed by Psychotrope. After a few holdouts were made examples of most chose to co-operate, and even then Psychotrope's powers were able to identify potential troublemakers. From the Ace's point of view being a prisoner of the good guys is much better than being a slave to the bad guys.

Realizing that they might be in for a prolonged battle the heroes use the remaining nanotech gateway to raid several grocery stores in the city's west end for supplies. When Renegade recovers from the injuries he sustained at S.T.A.R. Labs he takes a small team on a quick raid of Blake-Foster Memorial Hospital where they retrieve the comatose body of police officer Nicholas Young, whom Renegade believes to be the hero Apex. After this successful mission Renegade orders everyone to get some rest.


The next morning (though the night sky remains ever present outside) Digit, who has been getting progressively more skittish the longer he remains cooped up in the headquarters, leads a group consisting of himself, Spartacus, Speedshatter and G-Force in a quick strike on a food warehouse in nearby Olympia. The Carnage troopers stationed there are no match for the heroes and the fight is a short one, but Spartacus is shocked to discover that two of the troopers are members of the Superior City Police Department. The heroes bring the two policemen back to headquarters where Nightmare confirms that they have been brainwashed by Psychotrope.

Meanwhile, Renegade heads to Shell Beach to determine the status of the Wilde Family estate. There he sees evidence of a pitched battle, apparently between some of General Kaos' mercenaries and Carnage's soldiers. The estate is badly damaged, though there is evidence of high-tech defenses that took a toll on the attacking Carnage troops. Inside are several villains, including the Rainbow Warriors, who are attempting to salvage what they can from Peter Wilde's secret lab. There is no evidence to indicate whether or not any members of the family were present, though, so Renegade sneaks back to the headquarters.

With the comatose bodies of both Aegis and Nicholas Young/Apex in the Med-Bay Mystère begins the difficult process of figuring out a mystical solution to merge the two physical bodies into a single coherent entity. With Mystère thus occupied it falls to Renegade and the two younger members of Sidekicks Inc. to try and develop a machine to counter the effects of Psychotrope's brainwashing. After several hours they are able to come up with a prototype device to test on the captured policemen. The machine works and the policemen are able to tell the heroes that the police, firemen, and soldiers that were captured when Carnage's assault began are being held in Mercy Island Penitentiary.


The revelation that Superior City police officers are being brainwashed into serving as troops for Carnage sparks a swift reaction from some of the assembled heroes. Rocket and Spartacus are adamant about staging a raid on Mercy Island, where the police are being held. Other heroes agree and a decision is made to send in a recon team. The team, consisting of Renegade, Manticore, Digit, Patriot, Rocket, Spartacus, and G-Force. The heroes silently glide into the prison compound, nearly weightless thanks to G-Force's gravity powers. Once there they sneak into an empty cell block where Manticore is able to hack into the prison computer system. A review of the security system shows that some of the remaining cell blocks are being used as barracks for Carnage's troops, including some of the brainwashed police officers. A plan is decided on that will let the team lock down the barracks one at a time, giving Renegade the chance to counter the brainwashing and free the police officers.

The plan works well for the first two cell blocks. Over a dozen captured and controlled police officers are rescued and sent back to the Enforcers' headquarters through a gateway. While attacking the third cellblock, though, the heroes are discovered and attacked by the members of the Backbeat and three of the Slaughterhouse Seven: Serpentina, Headstrong, and the Iron Dreadnought. The heroes try their best but are outnumbered and outpowered. In the end only Patriot and Rocket, who had stayed back keeping watch, are left. But how long can they stay that way, trapped in the heart of one of the enemy's key installations?


Mystère plans a quick rescue of the captured heroes, but is unable to pinpoint their location from Cyberspace. Her attempts to track them down by homing in on Spartacus fail when she realizes he is not with them for some reason; and the damage to his systems prevents her from finding his actual location. She instead shifts focus to rescuing the two team members who were not caught at the prison, Patriot and Rocket. After bringing the two of them back to the headquarters, Mystère turns her attention to locating the captured heroes on Mercy Island. Her efforts this time do not go unnoticed, however, and she is attacked by the robotic villain Iron Dreadnought while still in Cyberspace. After being on the defensive for most of the fight Mystère is eventually able to retaliate using techno-magic. Unprepared for a magical assault in Cyberspace, Dreadnought is battered senseless and pulls out of the 'Net.

Meanwhile, back at Enforcers Headquarters, the security systems detect large numbers of Carnage's soldiers nearby. Unknown to the heroes, it is the feral villain Blackmane, an enemy of Patriot, who is using his keen senses to locate the headquarters. When Yellow Flame fails to return from a scouting mission the remaining heroes come up with a daring plan to keep the headquarters from being found. Twilight uses his powers to cover everything within a two-mile radius in impenetrable darkness. Under cover of the darkness Nightmare uses his telekinesis to physically lift the entire headquarters and move it to a secluded wooded area in nearby Mountainview. After rushing Twilight and the injured Yellow Flame to the new location as well, Speedshatter remains behind at the warehouse to surprise the attackers. Blackmane, who had left his soldier escort behind in the darkness, is the first to arrive at the now-abandoned warehouse. Speedshatter lets the defensive laser cannons take a bit of fight out of the villain before attacking, combining his superspeed with his martial arts to beat the vicious fighter into unconsciousness. Speedshatter then leaves the crippled villain behind as a message, knowing that Blackmane's uncanny healing ability will soon fix even the massive injuries that the hero had dealt him.

Mystère returns to the headquarters from Cyberspace and is shocked to find it has moved, but pleased the others managed to prevent its discovery. This takes off some of the pressure, as they no longer have to worry about one of the captured heroes revealing the base's location, but time is still running out for the heroes' captured comrades.


With their teammates in jeopardy Mystère and Jason Sinclair reluctantly seek out the help of the one person who can give them the information they need, the captive Ace of Thieves. In exchange for guarantees that he would be allowed to leave the city freely if the heroes should win, the Ace gives them details on the security and fortifications that Carnage has installed in Mercy Island in the years since his supposed incarceration. Armed with this information, Mystère heads back into Cyberspace in the hopes of locating her teammates.

Meanwhile, several of the captured heroes begin to regain consciousness. Each finds himself in a sealed room, empty except for a single dome light in the ceiling. Digit's attempts at escape by tearing through the metal walls are met first with a force field and then by an ultrasonic siren, which renders him unconscious again. The attempt was not completely in vain, however, as Mystère is able to home in on the alert inside of Carnage's computer system and materialize in Digit's cell. She silences the siren, and brings her teammate back to headquarters through a gateway. She is also able to locate and rescue Manticore and Renegade thanks to their own efforts at escape. Before she can help any other captive heroes, however, she is forced out of Cyberspace when Carnage forcibly shuts down the prison's computers.

Back at the headquarters, Cooper MacBride tells the others he is receiving a radio message from the missing Spartacus. The hero's body had been thrown into the river when it was discovered he was a robot (and likely immune to Psychotrope's powers). He was rescued by the mysterious hero known only as The Schwa, who brought Spartacus to the Dark City where his injuries were repaired. Spartacus thinks some of the residents of Dark City might be willing to help fight Carnage, and he recommends that Renegade bring Speedshatter and/or Jason Sinclair to join he and The Schwa underground.


Renegade, Mystère, Speedshatter, and Jason Sinclair travel to the Dark City after hearing from Spartacus and The Schwa. After arriving they encounter Midnight and Knockout, denizens of the underground city but also former heroes, members of a little known team that operated at the same time as the Centurions, called the Unknowns. From these two the heroes learn more about what really happened in the city seven years earlier during Legends. They confirm that Paragon and Lynx were killed by Warhounds and the rest of their own team were killed by a crazed mob. Once the two former heroes realize that Sinclair and Speedshatter are the two youngest Centurions they agree to help fight against Carnage. The ruling council of Dark City grants Renegade an audience, giving him a chance to present his case for the city denizens to help against Carnage. He is persuasive enough that the council addresses the rest of the undergrounders and in the end a dozen more recruits sign up to help.

After the heroes and the new recruits return to the headquarters Renegade orders everyone to rest up for the next day. The rest is interrupted, however, when the subliminal programming implanted in the three heroes who had been rescued from Mercy Island kicks in. Renegade knocks out Patriot, who was with him on monitor duty at the time, and radios the new location of the base to Carnage. In the medical bay Manticore ambushes Mystère, knocking her unconscious and outside Digit welcomes the mind-controlled G-Force. The four of them all exit the headquarters and G-Force uses his gravity powers to immobilize everyone else in the inside. Before Carnage and his forces can arrive, however, something disrupts G-Force's gravity field. When he goes inside to investigate, Renegade finds himself staring at the blade of ArcAngel's sword.


While days had already passed inside Carnage's time bubble, mere minutes had passed outside and the rest of the world was unaware of what had befallen Superior City. In Washington DC, several of the super-powered teenagers from Superior City Academy were attending a ceremony where President Luthor thanked them for their support and help during the war with Imperiex. Also at the ceremony were other metahuman youths from around the world that had done their part in the war, including Orchid, the former member of the Enforcers of Justice who had fought alongside other Canadian super-heroes during the conflict. Later that evening, after the ceremony, Orchid encounters her former teammate ArcAngel, who was in Washington following her return from Europe. The two talk well into the night.

When Carnage's barrier activates on the other side of the country, it is the telepathic teenager Psi-Blast who realizes something is wrong because the passive mental link he has with his family stops working. He wakes several of his classmates to tell them what has happened, and the activity draws the attention of Blur and a new Academy student named Ken Takahashi. Psi-Blast's telepathic alarm also attracts the attention of Orchid, who comes to investigate with ArcAngel and her mentor Father Kelley not far behind. The last to arrive at the impromptu gathering is the adolescent archmage the White Sorceress, who backs up Psi-Blast's feeling that something is very wrong back in Superior City. When it becomes apparent that the gathered heroes plan on taking action, young Ken Takahashi wants to join in and Dreamer uses her powers to rearrange his clothing into a costume. The young man from Japan decides to call himself Electric Lightning while in costume.

White Sorceress uses her magic to teleport everyone at the gathering to Superior but is unable to penetrate the barrier. Materializing outside the edge of the temporal barrier, the heroes discover that time is passing much faster inside the city. Father Kelley surmises that Blur's gravity powers will be able to get the others through the barrier while he stays outside to summon more help and to try and shut it down.

Using his powers to create a micro-wormhole, Blur opens a temporary portal through the barrier allowing the assembled heroes to enter the city. Blur then uses his Enforcers communicator to open a teleport gateway to the headquarters. The heroes enter the headquarters just as several mind-controlled heroes (Renegade, Manticore, Digit, and G-Force) have immobilized the remaining free heroes who were in the headquarters. Blur is able to counteract the gravity field G-Force has generated and when Renegade arrives to investigate he is confronted by ArcAngel.


The timely arrival of ArcAngel and the others prevents a massacre when they free the mind-controlled heroes from Carnage's control and release the others. But the arch-villain and several of his allies are already headed for the headquarters to eliminate the remaining heroes.

With the help of the White Sorceress, Mystère is able to figure out a mystic ritual to restore Aegis/Apex to his proper self. They, along with ArcAngel, Blur, and Electric Lightning, teleport to the Sorceress' sanctuary to perform the ritual. Meanwhile, the rest of the heroes prepare for the oncoming assault from Carnage's forces.

The battle is fierce, and the heroes nearly lose most of their forces when Carnage himself hurls the Enforcers Headquarters complex toward Mount Superior, with most of the heroes still inside. Luckily Nightmare is able to catch the headquarters before it can hit the mountain. This does, however, put many of the heroes too far from the main fight to be of much help. While a pitched battle continues at the main location, Carnage continues to try to destroy the headquarters and everyone in it. Using his laser vision he slices off the peak of Mount Superior and lifts it up, preparing to crush the building with it. Before he can drop the mass of rock, however, Carnage is buried by it himself when Jacob Keller arrives on the scene and uses his gravity powers to increase its mass to the point when the villain can no longer carry its weight.

As Carnage digs himself out of the mountain, the trio of Mystère, White Sorceress, and ArcAngel are able to cure Aegis. Whole once again, and returned to the body of Nicholas Young, the hero once known as Apex arrives on the scene, much to the shock and surprise of Carnage. The villain, already hurting from having a mountain dropped on him, proves no match for his one-time arch-rival. The other heroes are able to rally and take out the rest of the Slaughterhouse Seven, and with the core of the villains' leadership defeated, the rest of the forces of evil break rank and flee.

IN THE END (Total Carnage Aftermath)

With the Slaughterhouse Seven and many of their allies defeated, the heroes divide into groups to take down the remaining villains. Knowing it will take days of subjective time for their allies on the outside to bring down the barrier, the heroes move quickly to secure the city before the villains have a chance to regroup. The Enforcers, along with G-Force and a few others head to Carnage's central base of operations, Mercy Island. Using the creature called Rage as a missile, G-Force plows a hole through the middle of the villains' underground lair, allowing the heroes quick entry. This was the facility where the heroes had been held when captured, and there are several more prisoners to be rescued. In the end several more heroes are freed, along with civilian and law enforcement officials like Mayor Richard Lock, the Director, and many more high ranking members of the government, police, and military who had been captured in the early part of Carnage's takeover. Also rescued are ex-villains Storm King and Plant Master, both former members of the original Forces of Nature. In order to keep the environment inside the time barrier stable, Carnage had these two hooked into special machines to utilize their powers to keep the weather and the plant life under his control. When the villains' base is cleared Plant Master gains a measure of revenge when he and G-Force combine their earth powers to completely level the underground complex. The combined forces of heroes and freed police and military forces are able to take control of the city until the barrier is finally brought down. With the barrier down, forces from Knightwatch move in until Federal resources can arrive.

In the weeks that follow comes a period of recovery and adjustment. The public at large is now aware of the existence of the Dark City, raising many issues. The bodies of the Centurions, long forgotten in a temporary grave on Mount Superior, are exhumed and given a proper burial on Grey Island. In this new, uncertain, atmosphere the city begins to rebuild, and its heroes take a well-deserved break.

DC Heroes