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Green Lantern finds a dead man with a bullet hole in his chest floating 145 miles above Earth. Hal Jordan transmits a signal to Batman at the Batcave to ask help. Oddly enough, there's a similar man lying dead on the floor of the Batcave.


Quote1 "Fate"? Or "Luck"? Destiny himself told me how that thing fell into your hands thanks to some sorcerers called the Luck Lords! We've got to get it back before they scoop it up themselves! Otherwise, all time and... and whatever-- space-- is doomed! Quote2
-- Supergirl src

Synopsis

Green Lantern finds a dead man with a bullet hole in his chest floating 145 miles above Earth. Hal Jordan transmits a signal to Batman at the Batcave to ask help. Oddly enough, there's a similar man lying dead on the floor of the Batcave.

On the Batcave, Batman explains sixty-two other corpses have been found all over Earth at locations associated with heroes, over the last half hour. Adding to the mystery, whatever hurts one body hurts all of them. Batman deduces it's an alien lifeform and discards death by gunshot. Green Lantern finds a weird radiation trace emanating from the wounds and agrees. They don't know who the murder is, but Batman finds a playing card in the victim's pocket wearing the logo of a casino gift-shop.

Before they can follow that lead, a large yellow energy monster breaks into the cave and attacks them. Hal hits the energy monster until it starts dissipating, and confirms it gives off the same energy signature as the one from the murder weapon. Unbeknownst to both heroes, their battle has been watched by two aliens that bet on the outcome. The loser complains about the Haruspex not accouting by the Green Lantern Ring not being vulnerable to yellow anymore, and his partner states it'll adapt.

Both heroes head to the Kismet Casino in Las Vegas. When they arrive, they find out Kismet has come under new ownership, and the owner has been shut inside her suite for days. They also learn security guards found a man murdered right outside Kismet's front door about an hour ago.

Later that night, Green Lantern and Batman break into the owner's suite. They find a picture of the victim hugging Roulette, and Bruce deduces she's Kismet's new owner. They're about to enter her office when the door bursts into flames and they see Roulette using Firebug's Gauntlets to try to burn a floating book which she's terrified of.

As Hal puts the fire off, Batman tries to calm Roulette down. Roulette babbles she's trying -and failing- to destroy that book as she promised Drake. Drake was hired by some aliens to steal that book, but he refused to hand it over when he realized what it was. He wanted to warn the heroes using his body-replicating ability to reach many of them at once, but he was killed before he could find help. And Roulette fears she'll be murdered now.

Suddenly, the pair of aliens who were spying on Batman and Green Lantern earlier teleport in Roulette's office. As Green Lantern engages one of them outside, Batman fights his partner in the burning office. Batman's adversary identifies himself as Atum and his partner Neferto, two Venturans who came to Earth chasing after Dra'Ack (Drake). Atum forces Batman to choose between keeping fighting or saving Roulette, and then makes off with the book.

Outside, Hal's Ring is overpowering Neferto's adaptative weapon Haruspex when Batman tells him chase after Atum. Unfortunately, Atum is already out of sight. Batman tells him the alien is heading for Ventura, and Hal answers they'll need a back-up, and Neferto is already halfway to Arizona.

Before Batman leaves, a very disturbed and panicked Roulette warns that book is the Book of Souls which grants his owner ultimate knowledge and power.

Green Lantern enlists Supergirl's help and both heroes fly to the gambling world of Ventura in search of the Book of Souls. During the travel, Kara constantly makes jokes or complains about her cousin lecturing her on responsibility or babbles about how thrilling is going on a space adventure with a Green Lantern, and Hal constantly reminds himself she's still seventeen.

Upon arriving, Supergirl leaves Green Lantern's side momentarily to save a man who has been thrown off a window, and quickly learns Venturans are obsessed with betting and gambling. Kara is being harassed by crazy gamblers when Hal -disguised as a local-, takes her aside and explains Venturan laws are very strict: they don't like chrononauts, precogs or Green Lanterns. As Kara takes him flying, Hal adds their perp will be using the Book to stay several steps ahead of the authorities. Kara points out then Atum will know they're coming and have prepared ahead, but Hal replies they can't just assume they've already lost and give up.

On Earth, Batman is flying as a stowaway on a plane heading to El Paso. Quietly he slips out the plane and glides downwards. Neferto, though, has spotted Batman and is about to shoot him down when he's tackled by Blue Beetle. Batman is surprised to see him, and Blue Beetle explains his armor detected alien technology nearby and dragged him out of his home to look for it. Unfortunately, for when Blue Beetle leads Batman back to the downed gunman, Neferto is already gone.

Back on Ventura, Supergirl is flying Green Lantern to a gladiatorial arena. Their flight is monitorized by Atum via Book of Destiny. Atum thinks no one can stop him from becoming very rich until he realizes the Book rewrites itself.

Once they're sitting in the bleachers of the Combat Arena, as Kara scans the area with her X-Ray vision, Hal explains Atum will want to score big and fast before he's caught, and this is the best place for it. Hal also has the feeling Kara is hitting on him, and tries to put a stop to her advances, arguing even if she wasn't a child, the answer would be "No". Kara looks downright heartbroken and Hal tries to explain he -together with everyone else in the universe- is terrified of what her cousin will do to whoever breaks her heart, and maybe she should ditch her red-and-blue costume if she intends to not be threatening.

Supergirl quietly flies away. Green Lantern curses himself for his tactlessness and is wondering how he'll go about smoking Atum out, when a new combatant enters the arena to challenge the huge, dinosaur-like Brothers Gragg: Kara, looking like a pig-tailed, pink-dressed, little child. She winks at Hal's direction, and he realizes his "looking like a child" and "rethinking the red and blue costume" earlier words have given her an idea.

As Kara easily pummels the Brothers Gragg to the ground, Hal fetches a data slate showing the wager data for that match. Supergirl is counting on the fact that whoever has the Book of Destiny is probably the only gambler on Ventura who would actually bet on her winning. Hal quickly spots and barges into Atum's skybox, but the criminal has already run away. Right then, a patrol of cops and Hounds of Chaos burst into the place and attack Hal, believing him to be the cheating gambler.

Supergirl flies in and shields Green Lantern. As covering her partner, Kara finds Atum thanks to her super-vision and Hal leaves to hunt hin down.

Atum tries to escape but he's bludgeoned by the man whom Kara rescued when she first arrived on the planet. The man -who was overhearing both heroes- makes off with the Book. Hal catches him but the man declares the Rannian Resistance finally have the means to destroy Thanagar. He's Zeta-Beamed out of the planet, taking Hal with himself. Supergirl tries to grab hold of Hal but she's too late. Now she is left stranded on a planet where everybody hate her, and she doesn't know how to reach Rann or go back to Earth.

On the desert of El Paso, Batman and Blue Beetle are being battered by a localized blizzard created by Neferto. Flying up and directing his armor's blasts down, Jaime manages to stop the blizzard but sets off an avalanche. Batman gets buried, but his frequent battles with Mister Freeze have taught him to bring an ice-melting device along every time. As Jaime's armor helps heats his body up, Batman warns him Neferto will be ready for him the next time. Blue Beetle still wants help Batman hunt him down. Hearing Neferto's weapon is magic-based, Blue Beetle figures out where he has gone.

Back on Ventura, Kara Zor-El is trying to find a way to get to Rann, but nobody wants to help her out. When she states she can pay in coal-squeezed-into-diamonds, an alien offers to introduce her to a guide. But she'll have to rescue him first.

Somewhere else on the planet, Lobo is facing a firing squad. Before he gets shot, Supergirl -who is now dressing like a biker chick in order to blend in with the crowd- swoops in and takes him away. Supergirl explains her trouble but Lobo refuses to be her starguide until he sees cash. Kara shows she's Superman's relative to get him trust her, but being a Kryptonian hero also means she needs to know beforehand what he was being executed for before making a deal. Lobo says it was an unpaid parking ticket for his bike... which he parked on the Governor. Supergirl says outloud she couldn't justify hiring him if there wasn't so much at stake.

Back on El Paso, Batman and Blue Beetle have sneaked into the mansion of La Dama, the local crimelady whose specialty is to collect magical weapons and artifacts. Any criminal Neferto encountered would have steered him straight to her.

Inside the mansion, Neferto's offering his Haruspex in exchange for teleportational technology. All of sudden, the whole place goes haywire. La Dama's soldiers turn up to take her to a safe room, but a dimensional portal opens up and blocks their way. Epoch steps out of it to claim the Haruspex, and has brought the Fatal Five along.

A battle begins, and La Dama's side is losing. Batman and Blue Beetle interfere, and La Dama and Neferto take advantage of their meddling to escape down a passageway. Batman runs down the stairs and wants Blue Beetle to follow him, but Jaime believes he can cover Batman.

Epoch teleports in front of Neferto and La Dama and takes the former down. Straight after, Batman shows up and puts him out of commission. La Dama grabs the Haruspex during the brawl, but she doesn't want to kill Batman because she'd lose her anonymity. Their stalemate is interrupted when Blue Beetle and the Fatal Five fight their way to the place.

The Fatal Five are getting tired of pointless fighting and want Epoch to take them back home. Unfortunately, Epoch's fainted, and his suit's failsafe transports him back to his native era, leaving the Five stranded. Both Tharok and Batman simultaneously realize Epoch wants the Haruspex, so he'll return for it. Tharok charges La Dama to take it away from her, but she fires the Haruspex... right when Batman lunges at Tharok. A shockwave rocks the place, and somehow Batman's body has merged with Tharok's.

Infuriated, Tharok wants to hurt La Dama despite Batman trying to hold him back. Blue Beetle slams Tharok into a wall and gets his armor analyze the gestalt, but the Scarab doesn't know how to undo it.

The Fatal Five choose that time to attack. Upon seeing Batman has merged with Tharok, they joke about burning him out or cutting him off. However, Batman hacks into Tharok's mind control upon Validus and makes the giant blast his own teammates down. Still, Tharok is wrestling control back from him. Before it happens, Blue Beetle takes the Haruspex from La Dama and scans it uselessly. Suddenly Batman pries the Haruspex from Jaime and shoots himself. Batman and the Fatal Five disappear in a flash of light.

Meanwhile, Supergirl is arm-wresltling Lobo in a Venturan bar. She's angry because she hired Lobo to take her to Rann, and Lobo is doing nothing but screwing around and stopping by every bar he finds. Her patience is expended when a patron harasses her. After slamming the huge alien into a wall, Supergirl tells it's time to leave.

Supergirl and Lobo walk out and suddenly find themselves trapped in a hedge maze inside which space gets distorted. Kara tries to see through the hedge in front of her and looks at the back of her own head. She flies towards the sky and bursts out of the ground. Kara gets mad and throws a fit. Lobo -who isn't happier than her due to the complete absence of booze- decides to use his universe-famous tracking power to find whoever stuck them there.

They emerge out of the hand-shaped labyrinth and happen upon Destiny of the Endless. Right away Lobo tries to stab him uselessly. Supergirl moves him aside to tell Destiny she's searching his Book and ask why he lost it.

Destiny explains he's been the Book of Souls' guardian since the Dawn of Time. While leafing though the pages he found four figures who shouldn't be there. Their presence was rewriting pages sporadically and corrupting destiny. Destiny got desperate and thought the same ones who were destroying the Book could repair it, so he took steps to place the book in their possession.

He doesn't recall how they were supposed to fix it because it was a desperate gambit. Unfortunately, the Luck Lords, who have coveted the Book for millennia, have an opportunity to steal it now. They manipulated two Venturan gamblers into stealing the Book and enlisting a thief who betrayed them and was executed with the Haruspex, a weapon powered by the Lords' sorcery.

Supergirl tells she'll recover the book if she can make it to Rann. Destiny informs it's not sufficient because time is splintering even now. They must deliver the Book to its intended recipients. Destiny doesn't remember who they are, but he remembers Batman and Green Lantern will know.

Satisfied, Supergirl decides it's time to go back on the road, but Lobo's nowhere to be seen. She's still wondering where he wandered to when Lobo rides through the edge, having just found his bike. Supergirl gets mad when he calls her "toots" and "blondie" for the umpteenth time, and nauseated when he hits on her. Destiny opens up a portal, but before stepping through it, Supergirl asks if anybody can open the Book up and read its contents. Destiny answers yes, if that's their desire.

On their ride to Rann, Lobo abruptly tells her she'll grow up just fine so she doesn't need to read the book because it's dangerous peeking at the future. Supergirl states it'd be nice to know if more Kryptonians survived, that's all. Lobo jokes it takes more than being a sole survivor to make someone as cool as him. Supergirl is surprised because everyone told him he was a complete "bastich". Lobo grumbles everyone was right.

Supergirl and Lobo finally make it to Rann. Kara believes Lobo'll will help out, but he announces his job is done and he wants his payment. Angrily, Supergirl tells his payment was her letting him win instead of humilliating him in a bar full of spectators.

Supergirl enters Rann's atmosphere and heads towards the nearest city, wondering how she'll locate Green Lantern, when she's attacked by Rannian solders. Wondering what she's wandered into, Kara X-rays the city and finds Hal Jordan and Adam Strange fighting Thanagarian soldiers back-to-back. Supergirl heads towards them, pondering that whole mess has happened because one guy couldn't hold onto a book, which has been his only job since the beginning of time.

Somewhere else, Batman comes around and finds he and the Fatal Five has been locked in by the Legion of Super-Heroes. Upon identifying him, Brainiac 5 works to split Batman and Tharok as explaining the former they're the Legion of Super-Heroes and he's in the 31st Century, but they've not developed time travel so he's unfortunately stuck there.

Several Legionnaires are thrilled to meet Batman, but he's wary. Batman reflects on the events leading to his extra-temporal banishment as the Legion examines the Haruspex and himself. Brainiac determines that the Haruspex has created chronal anomolies within Batman's cellular structure. As long as he remains where he is, temporal rifts will begin to form.

Right then two rifts open, letting a group of Intellagents and a swarm of Rimborian Rayzers pour in. The Legion, aided by Batman, destroys all of them, but as long as Batman remains in the Legion era, more and more rifts will open up. Batman suggests them to use the Haruspex on him, but it'll not work. Batman is worried and fed up with Brainy's condescending attitude, so he hits him, picks the Haruspex, steals Brainiac 5's Legion Flight Ring and makes his escape.

Meanwhile on Rann, Supergirl rescues Green Lantern and Adam Strange from a squad of Thanagarian soldiers. Kara flies them away as asking why they're being attacked by Hawkmen. Hal asks why she's flying at Match 80 -and climbing- even though they're out of danger. As trying to brake, Supergirl slams herself and her partners into the side of a mountain. Fortunately, Hal had time enough to form a shield bubble. Supergirl wonders why her body feels strange, but in a good way, and Adam tells it's because they're in a trinary star system. Supergirl is soaking up nearly triple the amount of solar radiation she receives on Earth.

Kara inquires about the Book of Souls. The trio flies off, and Hal explains upon arriving Rann he recalled the guy who stole the Book mentioned something about a "Rannian underground", so he figured out he could check on his old friend Adam. Adam explains Rann is embroiled in a planetary civil war. The planet was overrun by displaced Thanagarians and each side is fighting for global control. The Hawkmen were winning, but since Rannian partisans acquired the Book the balance of power is shifting.

Strange escorts them to a group of ruins under the control of General Mondath, the guy who stole the Book back on Ventura and is now the leader of the Rannian forces. Mondath knows they've come for the Book but he won't hand it over. They're beating the Thanagarians back because he was lucky enough to find it. Supergirl protests he wasn't "lucky". He found that book thanks to the Luck Lords. They have to get it back before the Lords scoop it up because then time and space will be doomed. Mondath replies it's too late. The Luck Lords are already there.

Back in the 31st Century, the Legion tracks Batman down but he manages to stay one step ahead. Batman leads several of them into the slums where Phantom Girl finds the Haruspex lying on the ground before finding Batman. Phantom Girl is aiming at him when another rift opens up and Dream Girl steps out from a time when she was still alive. Phantom Girl is broken: if she sends Batman back the time rifts will stop popping up, but her friend will be pulled back, too.

The remainder Legionnaires are heading into the sewers but are stopped by Saturn Girl. She's just read Batman's mind and realized what he's trying to do. Brainiac also realizes: the Haruspex will only fire when its target is perceived as a threat.

Goaded by Dream Girl's words, Phantom Girl is about to fire when there's a sudden, blinding flash of blue light and Batman and Phantom Girl disappear. When they open their eyes, Bruce and Tinya see one of the Luck Lords standing over them holding the Book of Souls and the Haruspex. The Luck Lord states their plans, put in motion ten centuries ago, have come to fruition. They rule the cosmos now and there's nothing anyone can do to stop them.

During the next days, the Luck Lords devastated Earth, slaughter most of members of the Legion and capture Batman and the last living Legionnaires. One thousand years ago they engineered events so the Rannians chanced upon the Book of Souls to counteract the Thanagarian Absorbascon, thus deliberately extending the Rann-Thanagar War one thousand years past its natural end. Both sides developed unimaginable weapons during that period, which the Luck Lords have now harvested. One of those weapons is a device with which the Lords look to rewrite time from the beginning.

Batman and the two suriving Legionnaires point out the Lords deliberately prevented Batman from returning to his time, meaning they're afraid Batman can still do or say something that unravels their plans. A Lord crushes Brainiac's head to a pulp and states there's nothing he can do. They were on Rann ten centuries ago, and remember what happened.

One thousand years ago in Rann, Green Lantern and Adam Strange hold back the Rannian Resistance as Supergirl chases after Mondath to retrieve the Book, but Mondath uses the Book to stay ahead of her. Supergirl lunges at them but she can't handle her overloaded powers so she smashes through the bulding and crashes outside. Backed by Green Lantern, Adam Strange tries to reason with Mondath, but the man is too arrogant and jealous of Adam to listen to reason and orders his troops to fire. Hal and Adam vanish, and Mondath believes they're dead because he hasn't read the next page yet.

Right before the beams struck both heroes, Supergirl grabbed them and dashed out of the place, considering the situation called for a retreat in order to rethink their strategy. Kara discloses what Destiny told her about the Book of the Souls and the men who were invisible to the Book whose identities Batman and Green Lantern would know.

Adam's Zeta-Beam can teleport Batman in there but they need Supergirl to read the Book to find out Batman's exact location. Hal is worried about Kara and doesn't like the idea, but Kara asks him to not protect her. She's the only who can read the Book from far away at super-speed, and the time-space continuum depends on it.

Supergirl spots and browses the Book at super speed, looking for the present day as struggling to not get overwhelmed or go crazy. Upon discovering Batman vanished into the future, she gets forced to keep reading until she finds him in the year 3007. Now they only need a Zeta-Beam that can teleport people through the timestream.

On the 30th century, the Lords of Luck are about to execute Batman. Batman ignores his taunts and asks them spare Invisible Kid. The Lords ignore him, but before they can kill him, Batman is whisked away from the future by a green Zeta-Beam.

Batman lands on present day Rann. Hal powered Adam's Beam up with his Ring's energy and his own willpower. As Hal tells Bruce everything, Adam goes to see Supergirl. Kara is standing still on a ceiling, dazed and disturbed after seeing her death, her cousin's and his adoptive parents'.

Adam is trying to make her snap out of it when Hal shows up and rings up a hologram. Batman has deduced the identities of the men they're looking for, and Kara confirms they weren't anywhere in the book.

Batman and Adam are preparing to Zeta-Beam them when Mondath's troops barge into the tower. Green Lantern and Supergirl battle the Rannian army while their two partners finish inputting the coordinates of four men who cheated death several years ago and now live on borrowed time, unafraid of anything: the Challengers of the Unknown.

Batman promises to fill in the rest later, but now he needs them to grab the general's guidebook. The Challengers fight Mondath's troops, and Supergirl smilingly notes none of that was written on the book. They've changed destiny.

All of sudden a massive robotical fist -belonging to a robot piloted by Mondath and another soldier- surges from Earth and drives a huge Kryptonite talon through Kara's midsection. Green Lantern hoists Supergirl and streaks into space. Meanwhile, the Challengers successfully take Mondath's robot down.

Hal leaves Kara floating near from the three suns, hoping the extra influx of sunlight will save her life, and flies back to the battle. Green Lantern points out they haven't yet seen the Luck Lords resurface. They must be hiding and waiting for their chance to get the Book.

The Challengers are driving the Rann army back, and Mondath runs away, but he's found by the Challengers, who retrieve the Book while berating him for being unable to adapt when his strategy fails. The Lords show up to take the Book away from the Challengers, but Adam Strange Zeta-Beams Mondath and the Luck Lords to Oa where they'll remain energized in perpetual orbit until the Guardians can pull Mondath free to judge him. Batman notes they've won, and Adam checks the Book to confirm the 30th Century is also saved.

Adam Strange hands over the book to the Challengers. He knows now like the War with Thanagar will end and the Book won't help. He asks them to find out what they're supposed to do with it and be careful.

In the meantime, Batman and Green Lantern are overseeing Supergirl's healing. She's conscious and recovering but slightly dazed, and she's forgotten what she learned from the future.

The group says goodbye to Adam Strange and are teleported back home.

Issues

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Notes

The present storyline happens prior to Justice League of America: The Lightning Saga and Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes

Trivia

  • No trivia.

Recommended Reading


Links and References

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