by Drew Renaldo
Batman must team up with other heroes to take on the galaxy's biggest threats.
| EPISODE ONE: The Dark Recesses of Space
A lone star destroyer drifts eerily through the black abyss of space. On board in a single passenger, long believed to be dead. His incredible power over the universe, however, caused him to regenerate. Although his physical body could not be saved...the prior wounds were far too great for even his powers to repair...he was able to cheat death not once, but twice on that fateful night. Hate flowed deeper within him than ever before. He wanted the universe to hurt, to cry out in pain. He wanted the universe to know what it felt like to cower before him.
Vader set his sights on a small planet in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. A planet that, by his standards, was beneath him. His new-found allies has assured him, however, that his planet was a source of greater power than he could possibly imagine, and that by conquering it, he would be able to control the entire universe. Although he questioned their motives, Vader needed their assistance. He knew, vaguely, that there were those on this planet that could thwart his entire plan. But his allies knew their weaknesses.
Vader banked the star destroyer on a small, uncharted planet just outside the mapped skies of Earth. He surveyed the land before exiting: nothing. The planet was a bleak, empty wasteland. Perfect for a meeting of pure evil.
The door to his star destroyer whooshed open and Vader stepped out onto the surface of the planet. Once again, he surveyed the area, looking for his allies in the war.
"Lord Vader," came a raspy voice somewhere to his right. Vader whirled his body around in one fluid motion, searching for the source of the voice. He soon found it.
"Zedd," he wheezed, "this is quite a meeting place."
"It was not my idea," declared Lord Zedd, his mass of muscles curling with every breath he took.
"It was mine," another booming voice echoed. A massive stone throne descended from somewhere above them and they soon saw the face of the being who called forth this meeting.
"Thanos," Vader said, "this desolate wasteland would make a good home for you. However, it is a bit far from Earth, don't you agree?"
"This planet is not charted on any Earth maps, Lord Vader," Thanos said, his purple face partly concealed by shadows. "So those so called 'heroes' down there won't be able to interfere until it is too late."
Zedd and Vader stared at one another, neither being able to see the other's eyes . Lord Zedd knew of the dangers of Earth, having engaged in many battles with a group of warriors there himself. Vader, however, knew he himself was powerful enough to take down any of the dangers of that puny planet.
"Thanos," Vader boomed through his mouthpiece, "I cannot allow anymore time to pass. If I am to make my move, I must do so immediately."
"Patience, Lord Vader. All will be taken care of shortly."
"No, Thanos," Zedd chimed in, "I have my doubts still. Those pesky punks, the Power Rangers, always thwart my plans. They will interfere in this."
"You needn't worry about the Power Rangers, Lord Zedd," came a fourth voice from behind them. "They are being taken care of as we speak."
That voice belonged to Darkseid.
EPISODE TWO: The Batcave
Bruce Wayne sat behind the glowing consul of his giant computer, deep in the heart of his Batcave. He stared at the headlines reaching him from across the country: FIVE TEENS BRUTALLY SLAIN. He somehow knew, before reading the article, that the Joker was behind this. Why the Joker would murder five teens and terrorize an entire town was beyond Bruce's imagination. What's worse, was that the article stated that there were two other assailants: one, whom, according to the reporter, appeared as a yellow blur and the other who hid his face behind a red and black mask. Reverse Flash. Deathstroke. He knew that somehow, he had to stop them.
The doors to the Batcave opened slowly, and Bruce, surprised by the interruption, turned to see who was entering his sanctuary, Batarang at the ready.
"No need for that, Bruce," came a familiar voice from the stairs. "It's only me."
"Clark," Bruce said as Superman hovered down the stairs into the cave. "Next time call first."
"I'm sorry, Bruce, but there was no time. I sure you've seen the paper?"
Bruce stood up from his chair and walked over to greet his friend. "Five teens slain in Angel Grove. I've seen it. Its obviously the work of the Joker."
"But he wasn't alone. Joker was working with.."
"Thawne and Wilson. I figured it out from the article. Any idea why?"
"Something big is going down."
Bruce had only seen Clark with a somber look on his face one other time before; it wasn't good then. It meant even worse things now.
"We believe that there are forces here beyond our control, more than the Justice League could have been able to handle. But with the President forcing our hands and disbanding us, I don't think we have much of a League left anyway."
"But you're still around. The rest of us have been hiding in the shadows, but not you. Working for the government must be a pretty cushy job, huh, Clark?"
"Bruce, this isn't about me. I've gotten in touch with a few friends. The ones that are still active, like yourself." Bruce looked away. "I know a lot more than you think. I know you still go out at night, looking for criminals. But the thing is, Bruce, you were so good at what you did that you managed to lock them all away. Two-Face, Penguin, Scarecrow; all locked away deep within Arkham Asylum. You keep going out there looking for Joker, who, up until today, was dormant. Now we know why.
"But Joker isn't the mastermind behind this, Bruce. The Guardians told Hal that there was something going on, someone else pulling the strings. A greater power than they'd ever seen. This is big. Bigger than you or I. And whatever it was, it was blocking even their ability to see it."
"So," Bruce said, stepping back to his glowing screen, "when do we leave?"
"I can't come with you on this one, Bruce." Clark's gaze met Bruce's with such a force that for a moment, Bruce thought he saw agony behind them. "I work for the government now. As much as I'd like to help, I just can't. I can't get involved unless the president tells me that I can."
"Ever the boy scout. So I go it alone?" Bruce was already opening the large mechanical cylinder that held his cowl and body armor.
"No. I told you; I made a few calls."
EPISODE THREE: The Comand Center
Something about the Command Center didn't seem right to Tommy. It didn't seem fair to him that he should be here, alive, while his friends were...He couldn't think about it. He had to do something, fast. It had been a long time since he donned a Ranger uniform. Perhaps, if he hadn't left, that headline would have read "six."
Alpha 5 came shuffling around the corner, surprised by Tommy's sudden appearance. Well, as surprised as a robot could be.
"Tommy," Alpha 5 said, "this certainly wasn't expected."
"I know," Tommy said. "I'm sorry, Alpha. I heard what happened and I..." His voice trailed off and he hung his head low.
"I'm sorry, Tommy."
Robots. Usually no emotion.
But Alpha 5 was different. He was always there for the Rangers. Tommy needed him now more than ever.
"I'm afraid Zordon is no longer with us. He sacrificed himself back on Eltar to save a new team of Rangers. It is just me, Tommy."
Tommy was sullen. There was no hope left. He knew that he couldn't do this alone. This was a new evil, one he had never faced before. One that killed for pleasure and showed no mercy.
"Do you have any information on what happened to the others?"
"Only what I can see in the viewing globe. These three men come from different places, and all three of them are known criminals. The Joker usually inhabits the city of Gotham, but he has been missing for years. Eobard Thawne, known as the Reverse Flash, is actually a being from the future. And Slade Wilson, or Deathstoke, is a ruthless mercenary. I don't know why they were in Angel Grove, and I don't know why they were working together."
"Someone else was pulling the strings," came a low, gruff voice from behind them.
Tommy whirled around and stared at the hulking presence before him.
"Who are you? How did you get in here?"
"Both of those questions can be answered simply, Tommy: I'm Batman."
Tommy had heard the name before: Batman. He was like a mythological god standing before him.
"Wow," a second voice called from behind Batman. A man dressed all in red sped into the center of the command center and stood next to Tommy. He shook his hand and then, in a blur, raced around to all the different computers and components of the room. He stopped, once again, next to Tommy.
"Hi," he said, extending his hand and smiling slightly. "I'm Barry Allen. But, of course, you can call me Flash. I'm a big fan. I can't believe I'm actually in the Power Rangers' command center. This is so cool. "
"Barry, " a third voice, slightly more calm and collected. A muscular man dressed head to toe in blazing green descended from above. He stopped slightly in front of Tommy and Flash and hovered. His feet never touching the ground. "Barry, kill the fan-boy stuff, will you? Try to be professional."
"Hal," Flash said, "do you even know who this is? This is Tommy Oliver! The Green, White, and Red Power Ranger!"
Tommy was in shock. "Wait, how do you know that?"
"I said I was a huge fan!" Barry was beaming from ear to ear. He quickly raced around Tommy, it took him less than half a second. "We're in the presence of greatness, gentlemen. This guy is the best."
"Tommy," Batman said, "we're here to help. We know what happened to your friends and we're sorry."
Tommy stared at Batman again. He felt the blood boil in his veins and, unknowingly, began to clench his fist, his teeth.
Tommy turned around to Alpha. "What do I do, Alpha?"
"Tommy," Alpha said, "I don't have an answer."
"I got it," said Flash. And with that, he was gone. He disappeared out of the door to the command center in a red, electric blur.
"I hate it when he does this," the green man said. "Oh, I'm sorry. Allow me to introduce myself. Name's Hal Jordan. But most people call me Green Lantern. And you’ve already met Bru-"
"Batman. Let’s not reveal too much, Hal. Some of us aren't members of the intergalactic Green Lantern Corps."
Suddenly, from the opposite direction, came Flash. He stopped just short of running down Tommy. He held out his hand. In it, was something Tommy had not seen in years: his Green Ranger power coin.
"How did you? "
"It was right back there...ya know, twelve years or so ago."