After years of fighting across the galaxy, it was finally all coming to an end on the surface of Apokolips .
The Red, Orange, and Yellow Lantern Corps defended the dictatorial alien planet against the invading Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet Lantern Corps. Meanwhile, Zatanna and Aquaman combined their magic to encompass the remaining League members in all the water from a planet that Darkseid had eradicated all life from.
This giant mass of water splashed onto the surface of Apokolips , immediately wiping out a good percentage of its remaining army of parademons , but the strain that the immense magic took on their bodies cost the lives of Aquaman and Zatanna. During the massive splash, Orion, Mister Miracle and Big Barda led the surviving Justice League Members (Superman, Flash, the Atom, Aquaman , Zatanna , and Wonder Woman – Hal Jordan was busy leading the onslaught above) through secret tunnels towards Darkseid’s palace.
Kalibak and Grayven walked down the halls of their father’s mansion, ready to confront the invaders at the last stand of the New Gods. Grayven ordered his men to stop upon hearing a strange noise down the right corridor. They turned to see a young, green-skinned humanoid boy with pointy ears, listening to an iPod and happily humming to the music.
“Who the hell are you?” shouted Kalibak . The young green one didn’t answer. Instead, he held up his hand with his pointer finger extending upwards, although he was telling him to shut up while the favorite part of his song came up.
Kalibak motioned for three of his soldiers to apprehend the green boy, but when they approached him, he vanished. While looking around in bewilderment, none of them noticed the tiny, green fly buzzing around them. This fly landed on each of their necks and bit them, causing them to immediately go into violent convul s ions and collapse dead on the floor. Then the fly flew into the air just behind Grayven and transformed into a mastodon and crushed ten lines of troops behind him. Then he turned back into his human form, and happily did a dorky dance atop his kills.
“OK, now that was fun! In fact, I just realized I could have won a lot more fights like that. Guess I’ll always be a slow l earner !”
“Hey!” shouted Grayven . “Just who the HELL are you?”
“Oh, right, sorry! I’m Beast Bo-… well, technically I’m not a boy anymore. My girlfriend thinks I should go by Menagerie, but I think Changeling has a better ring to it.”
“Well, Changeling, you are an enemy of Apokolips . Surrender or face death!”
“I’m gonna go ahead and say ‘no’ to both, dude!”
“Fool! I have hundreds of the galaxy’s greatest soldiers behind me!”
“Is a hundred a big number? I’m sorry, math was my worst subject.”
“Do you even have the slightest idea who you’re dealing with?”
“No, but neither do you!”
Changeling then changed into multiple animals - some physical, some mythical, some alien – with each change being more rapid than the one before, until he seemed to making a dozen transformations in a second. Then he resorted back to his human form and wore a mocking smile.
“You see, I’m a shapeshifter. I can transform into any animal, from both zoos and fairy tales, and from any planet. So, you’re not just up against one enemy – you're up against BILLIONS!!! And you have no idea which one is gonna come next!”
Orion, Big Barda , and Mister Miracle all laid unconscious at the doors of the palace.
As The Flash and The Atom dedicating themselves to evading Darkseid’s omega beams, Superman found himself locked in a battle with Steppenwolf . In the city below them, Wonder Woman clashed with Lashina , and both warrior-women pushed themselves towards true godhood as their bodies strained for victory.
A s Steppenwolf screamed while charging with his spear at full thrust , Superman fired out lasers from his eyes at their full power, killing his enemy. It wasn’t the first life he had taken, and it wasn’t going to be the last for today. After Superman brought his eyes down to normal , he was struck to the ground.
He then felt his chest being stomped on, and he looked up to see Darkseid grinning in defeat, holding a captured Flash and Atom in either hand.
“Such lovely specimens. I’m sure you’re all do fine work in the mines.”
“You won’t win, Darkseid !” retorted the Boy Scout. “Freedom always wins!”
“Oh, foolish Kryptonian , freedom did win! You successfully defeated the empire of f ear that I had spent centuries crafting, and replaced it with, oh, what are those words you like … oh, right! Truth, justice, and something else. But that wasn’t enough. You just had to invade my home as well!”
“It’s the only way … to liberate those under your rule.”
“And the next time I leave my home to expand my rule, there will be no-one to liberate anyone ! No Lantern Corps, no Justice League, and no Superman! This universe will finally be cleansed of all blasphemy and bow down at the one true g od!”
Darkseid flared up his eyes with intent to kill, but then was struck backward by a massive blast of white magical energy. He dropped his captives and landed in the wall of his palace, his body embedding itself into it as cracks formed all around.
“You, a god? If I want a bad joke, I’ll just ask my boyfriend to talk.”
Darkseid looked up too see a shining feminine figure, dressed in a cloak and hooded garments of pure white divinity. Her arms were outstretched, her pale legs were exposed, and she wore a belt of large, round red jewels around her waist.
“And just who might you … wait, I sense something familiar in you.”
“Ah yes, you must be thinking of the Anti-Life Equation.”
“Wait, then, have you finally come to me ?”
“Not at all. Do you remember Blackfire?”
“I do well. One of the fiercest Red Lanterns, proved herself worthy of being a Fury by destroying her home planet. She demanded I send her to Earth …"
“... to find me. You told her to make me a weapon and deliver me to you, but she was planning on taking your place. It’s too bad for you that she failed. In fact, her actions only turned me into what I am now – the exact opposite of what you seek, and everything you claim to be.”
Darkseid fired omega beams at her, but she caught them with one hand and painfully pulled them out of his eyes. As he realized he could no longer use his deadliest ability, Raven bumbled up his precious omega beams into a ball and transformed them into a variety of red hair accessories.
“You call yourself a god? My father was a real god. Conquered his universe, then my mother’s, and then tried this one. He could destroy an entire planet just by setting foot on it. But thanks to my friends, I got over my fear of him, and destroyed him. And that was BEFORE I became this!”
For the first time in his life, Darkseid wore a face of fear. The true goddess brought her hands close together, and a ball of black lightning formed between them.
“You want power? You want fear? I’ll show you both. Azarath ...”
Darkseid pleaded for mercy.
“... Metrion …"
Darkseid pleaded even faster.
Raven fired her magic at the tyrant, dragging his mind into the deepest pits of hell. She controlled him like a puppet, forcing him to get on his hands and knees and bow before her.
“Down with Apokolips !” he was forced to chant. “Long live freedom!”
“Your mind has been forced to say that which you do not believe . Your body has been forced into pain and humiliation. This is what you have brought upon the trillions under your rule. And yet knowing this brings you no change of heart. It’s sad, but not at all surprising.”
Raven forced the False God to look up at her.
“You sent Blackfire to do horrible things, first to Tamaran and then to Earth. Everything she did, you did. But I’m not here to get revenge. I’m here because you still threaten my home and my friends. I’d rather not resort to violence, but sometimes good people need to destroy what they hate to protect what they love.”
Then Raven snapped both her fingers. Her magic stopped, and Darkseid fell to the ground, dead beneath her feet.
Raven then floated to the bodies of Orion, Big Barda and Mister Miracle. She quickly revived them and healed all of their wounds.
“What’s going on?” asked Orion.
“Don’t worry. Your father is dead. Apokolips is liberated. Rule over your people wisely.”
There was an explosion from the city below, and Raven was reminded of the final fight on the planet. She quickly teleported to behind Lashina and snapped her fingers once again. The last warrior of Apokolips immediately turned into a lifeless husk, and Wonder Woman caught her opponent before she hit the ground.
“I’m sorry,” apologized Raven, “but she couldn’t be saved. A painless death is what was best for her.”
Wonder Woman noticed that something was different about her , as her body was now beginning to to turn into a bright purple light . “What’s happen ing to me?”
“You pushed yourself so far that your divine side has completely taken over your human side,” Raven explained. “You’re a goddess now; not like me, but like your mother Athena.”
As Orion rounded up the survivors of Apokolips and declared how he would be taking his father’s place. Raven and Wonder Woman healed the wounds of Superman, Flash and Atom, while Hal Jordan flew down to declare victory over the evil Lantern Corps.
“Doesn’t Darkseid have two more sons?” asked Atom.
“Don’t worry,” assured Raven. “By now, my boyfriend’s taken care of them.”
Sure enough, he had, and Beast Boy - sorry, I mean Changeling - was celebrating his victory by putting on a puppet show for himself using helmets of the fallen.
“Yes, well, thank you for your help, no, for taking charge in defeating the ultimate … I’m sorry,” said Superman, “I’m just too winded to say anything that isn’t cheesy. Would you settle for a thumbs up?”
Raven smiled down at him. “Sure.”
Still lying on the ground, Superman smiled back and gave her a thumbs up. “Thanks, kid! Wait, sorry, I don’t think I’ve caught your name yet.”
“Yeah, are you the new Spectre ?” asked Wonder Woman. “Because I defeated the old one, and you’re a lot like him.”
“ Well, I actually was the new Spectre , but I had to kick him out of my body because he wanted vengeance instead of justice. My name is Raven. My boyfriend and I were with the Teen Titans.”
“The Teen Titans?”
“Yes. It was a group that Robin started in Jump City, but then spread to include other young heroes around the Earth.”
“I take it my daughter is a member?” asked Wonder Woman.
“And Karen?” asked The Atom.
“And Wally?” asked The Flash.
“And Kara?” asked Superman. “I know Kara has made a great Champion of Earth!”
Raven’s smile turned to a frown, and she sighed. “Let’s go back. There’s a lot you need to hear.”