Monday, November 26, 2007
Secret Files & Origins Guide To The DC Universe 2000 Vol.1, Part 2 (3/00)
The former creative team behind the Chase series, D. Curtis Johnson, J.H. Williams III, and Mick Gray, were next up with “Standard Operating Procedure.” Created six years previously (DC time) under the supervision of the presidentially-appointed Secretary of Metahuman Affairs, the D.E.O. became a branch of law enforcement and investigation for matters of an extraordinary nature that fall outside the pervue of other agencies. The D.E.O. absorbed several previous agencies in pursuit of this mission, including the Checkmate Knightwatch, Amanda Waller’s Task Force Delta/X (prompting her position as Southeast Regional Director;) and the Central Bureau of Intelligence, from which it took “King” Faraday as its Senior Director. Elements of these operations allowed the creation of new divisions like the Orphanage (education and training of exceptional youth) and the WABE (analysis and containment of exotic nonhuman terrestrial life.) Finally, the D.E.O. wholly or in part subsidizes a collective of super-scientific organizations that it utilizes under the heading of the National Metahuman Resource Foundation. This includes the Cadmus Project, S.T.A.R. Labs, and the Institute for Metahuman Studies.
A D.E.O. listening post in Colorado Springs intercepted a coded message sent in the direction of the planet Mars. It’s broadcast was triangulated back to a Rocky Mountain Fortress “consistent with a style favored” by the DCU and specifically Martian Manhunter foe Vandal Savage. A meteor strike on Pasadena, CA followed the message’s invitation to a hostile invasion force against Earth, our seeming first contact with an alien race amounting to ant-like creatures firing green laser beams from their “mouths” at us. A Suicide Squad, Knightwatch, and members of the JLA met this threat head-on. The Squad suffered “acceptable” casualties, the Squad destroyed Savage’s base (though he escaped capture/termination,) and the League routed the rest of the approaching alien fleet.
Later in the same issue, Director Bones discussed with an extraterrestrial advisor to the D.E.O. “Aliens in the DCU,” as told by Scott Beatty and Cully Hamner. Among those considered? “The Kryptonian is merely the tip of the iceberg. I’m afraid the planet Mars poses an even greater risk with refugees of all shapes, sizes... and colors. Green Martians. White Martians. They’re all changelings, Director... with powers that rival Superman’s. We suspect J’Onn J’Onzz alone maintains a half-dozen covert human identities around the globe.”
Finally, Atom Ray Palmer held sway over an unruly and unmotivated class on problem-solving techniques among super-heroes at Ivy University’s Science Building. Booster Gold made out with Firehawk while her old flame Firestorm pouted. Atom caught the Ray literally napping. “Dude, I’m only coming to this class so I can keep my JLA reserve status. I need to get back on their good side, after letting that freak, Triumph, turn me into his henchman. Heck, back in the day, I was Martian Manhunter’s number one student, when the Justice League Task Force was the JLA’s farm team.” Well, he still failed the test, as did John Henry Irons, who over thought the question. An exasperated Atom was pleased when Power Girl realized sometimes the simplest answer in best. Presented by Jay Faerber and issue cover artist Darick Robertson.