SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL ANNUAL #1
The first few pages show the fight in the Metropolis Mall from the end of issue #1 of ECLIPSO: THE DARKNESS WITHIN before moving on to Bruce Gordon and Mona Bennett telling Superman about the recent changes to Eclipso – even going so far as to reveal he is the God of Vengeance (although that wasn’t shown in issue #1). The still-eclipsed Creeper attacks, apparently tricking Superman into taking the black diamond but, to the surprise of everyone, Superman calmly tosses it back to him, apparently unaffected. It’s only after the Creeper escapes that Superman confesses it took all his willpower to resist the diamond’s effects.
In central America, a CIA sanctioned break-in to a top secret laboratory is under way by two heroes; unfortunately Phantom Lady is captured and rendered unconscious moments before Starman is also captured. He, however, manages to break free before being attacked by the laboratory’s secret weapon which strips him of his memories and allows Eclipso to possess him. The lab was part of Eclipso’s plan in order to lure Starman in particular so that, once eclipsed, Starman’s shape changing abilities could be used by Eclipso to disguise the effect of his possession, allowing him to move among the superheroes undetected. Eclipso takes the last of the black diamonds and swallows it, knowing that Starman’s abilities will prevent Bruce from detecting it while being able to keep it hidden as a safeguard. With Phantom Lady recovered and believing Starman to be himself, they escape and return to the States.
Back in Metropolis, the boy who had the black diamond in the Mall is derided and beaten by his parents, triggering another Eclipso episode. Luckily, Superman is on hand armed with the tracking device loaned to him by Bruce and, after battling the monster, Superman uses Bruce’s solar gun to extinguish Eclipso.
Two days later, Starman arrives in Phoenix and presents a ring bearing a black diamond to Dr Kitty Faulkner before goading her transformation into Rampage and possessing her. He has miscalculated, however, as Rampage attacks him – she helpfully informs him that whenever a human is eclipsed, they have to follow through on the rage that triggered the possession which leads to Eclipso as Starman battling himself as Rampage. The fight is interrupted by Superman, Bruce and Mona and while Superman deals with Rampage, the eclipsed Starman is forced to flee before the sun rises.
GREEN LANTERN ANNUAL #1
On the planet Oa, Kilowog trains the new recruits that make up the Green Lantern Corps with one of them warning that something is hunting Green Lanterns. That something, of course, is Eclipso who has his eyes on Hal Jordan.
The eclipsed Starman wanders through New York and hands out a black diamond to a random person, trying to find someone who knows something of Green Lantern. Eventually, the diamond finds its way in front of Guy Gardner who had – at this point – recently been beaten and expelled from the Corps by Jordan.
In LA, Carol Ferris wakes screaming from a dream which draws Jordan to her. She relates the dream of being Star Sapphire once more and gleefully murdering Jordan just in time for Gardner to arrive and place a black diamond outside Jordan’s room. It’s Carol who finds it, however, and transforms into Star Sapphire, heading to Ferris Air to cause as much mayhem as possible in order to lure Jordan out. As he attempts to stop her, Starman appears, promising to help. As Jordan attacks Sapphire again, Starman strikes at Jordan, attempting to release his anger by betraying him, knocking him to the ground.
Bruce, Mona and Simon Bennett arrive at Ferris and temporarily drive off Sapphire, noting the Starman appears to be on her trail, though Bruce is doubtful of his motives. They are attacked by the eclipsed Guy Gardner who happily subjects himself to the solar gun in order to test its effects on an eclipsed body. Freed from Eclipso’s possession, Gardner heads off.
Starman, too, leaves and as Sapphire is about to hide before sunrise, the Green Lantern Corps arrive. Before they can attack, an eclipsed Jordan arrives and brutally beats her until she changes back to Carol Ferris which satisfies the need for revenge both Jordan and Sapphire had – he for beating Sapphire out of Carol, Sapphire for humiliating Jordan after realising what he’d done. With that, Eclipso is in full control of both of them. The Corps attack and try to restrain them, proving too many for Eclipso to deal with. He causes an explosion which temporarily knocks out the Corps, allowing Jordan and Sapphire to hide until the Corps recover and head out to try and find them.
DETECTIVE COMICS ANNUAL #5
The Ventriloquist and Scarface host an evening’s entertainment in Gotham having invited the city’s mobsters to the show while, unknown to the gangsters, Scarface has had their tables bugged in order to listen in on their secrets while they drink. When they hear a former Joker henchmen tell of the twenty five million dollar haul from the Guggenheim Heist which was never recovered and that only the Joker knows where it is, they determine to break him out of Arkham Asylum so he can lead them to it.
The Batman is aware of the entertainment but is busy breaking up a robbery at a fine art gallery. One of the exhibits is a golden headpiece adorned with three black diamonds, one of which falls off during the attempted robbery and is picked up by Batman. When the police take the gang into custody, the headpiece and its remaining diamonds are left in the evidence locker. Batman takes the other to the Batcave to study.
Commissioner Gordon dwells on the past in his office – that night is the anniversary of his daughter Barbara being shot and paralysed by the Joker. He’s interrupted by a phone call from Bruce Gordon and, following that, summons Batman. As Bruce Gordon tells Batman about Eclipso (calling him a god like creature) word reaches them that the Joker has escaped – Scarface has broken him out of Arkham. When Commissioner Gordon retrieves the other diamonds from the headpiece for Bruce Gordon, his hatred of the Joker manifests an Eclipso creature that runs riot through Gotham until it reaches the toy factory Joker has led Scarface to in order to find the money from the Guggenheim Heist.
Batman follows the Eclipso creature and attempts to defeat it but the solar weapon Bruce Gordon loaned him breaks in the fight. As luck would have it, the toy factory is stocked with thousands of “solar lances” and Batman uses several of them to weaken the creature. Commissioner Gordon arrives and deliberately crashes his car into the creature, allowing Batman to finish it off. Scarface and the Ventiloquist surrender but the Joker manages to escape.
SUPERMAN ANNUAL #4
In Metropolis, Superman helps an ungrateful police officer deal with a man who claims to have been possessed by an evil alien from the moon. Though the man is subdued, the officer gets hold of the black diamond and manifests an Eclipso that attacks Superman. Bruce Gordon’s timely arrival with his solar gun brings an end to the conflict and the diamond’s owner tells them where he got the diamond – a small town called Crater Bay.
At the same time, chasing a story of a large developer corrupting a small town for money, Lois Lane heads to Crater Bay. There she’s greeted by an angry hotel owner, Ned, who tries to get her to leave town while the property developer, Jerry Cross, agrees to an interview with her. Reluctantly giving her a room, Ned impresses upon her a good luck charm – a black diamond. He also tells her that the “spectre of vengeance” lives in the town. Confronting Cross, Ned is revealed as the shape-changing Eclipsed Starman who forces Cross to make sure Lois becomes angry.
Travelling to Crater Bay, Bruce and Mona are attacked by Eclipso before he is defeated by Superman, though the battle destroys their tracking device, Mona taking one of the black diamonds to keep safe.
Lois becomes annoyed by Cross’s antics but it is when Superman arrives and demands that she leave for her own safety that the black diamond kicks in and she is eclipsed, fighting Superman. When Bruce and Mona arrive, Eclipso reveals that he’s been in the town for some time and has plenty of eclipsed townsfolk to use against both them and Superman. In order to save Bruce, Mona willingly submits to the black diamond. As she attacks the eclipsed townsman attacking Bruce, he is able to get to the solar gun which has just one charge which he uses on Superman, allowing him to break free.
He in turn takes the eclipsed Lois out to a lake and keeps her distracted long enough for the sun to rise, freeing her of Eclipso’s influence. Mona, however, is not so lucky as Eclipso makes her and the rest of the townspeople hide from the sun. With Lois safe, Superman determines to return to save the town with some help.
JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA ANNUAL #6
On the moon, Eclipso realises that he requires more than just brute strength and so aims to capture the Martian Manhunter. Unknown to him, however, the Manhunter is no longer part of the Justice League who have gathered at Superman’s request to discuss the Eclipso problem. Superman is delayed in Boston, trying to convince Wonder Woman to help him and the League but she refuses. Her mind is changed soon after when a police officer is eclipsed and causes the death of several civilians.
Wonder Woman meets with the League and Bruce Gordon to help, much to the chagrin of Maxima who sees her as a rival for Superman’s affections – not that Superman’s interested in Maxima, a fact she chooses to ignore. Leaving in anger, she is met by Starman who hands her a black diamond, easily eclipsing her. In minutes, the League are alerted to an attach on a nuclear waste facility and head off to help, leaving Bruce and Blue Beetle behind. Instead of helping Beetle with his solar weapons, Bruce leaves abruptly.
At the nuclear waste facility, the League find an eclipsed Maxima and try and stop her; back at the headquarters, Blue Beetle is surprised to find Eclipso himself attacking him – after all, he’s supposed to be on the moon. As the League attempt to stop Maxima, Beetle is chased throughout the compound, Eclipso trashing everything around them, until Beetle is able to hook up the compound’s power to his vehicles solar powered battery, threatening to flood the entire place with sunlight.
Unwilling to take the risk that Beetle is bluffing, Eclipso flees and, out of Beetle’s sight, changes back to Starman. As Beetle celebrates surviving, a stranger arrives and blasts him with a solar gun. When the League arrive – the still-eclipsed Maxima having fled – they find a partially destroyed compound and no sign of Blue Beetle.
On the moon, Eclipso satisfies himself by having captured Maxima rather than the Martian Manhunter.
DEMON ANNUAL #1
Jason Blood, along with Harry the talking pillow (if that description means nothing to you, I recommend you track down and read THE DEMON series!) have been invited to San Francisco by Xavier Nihilo who, unknown to them, is a magician who has promised to free Jason of Etrigan. Once in the city, they encounter a magical beast, forcing Jason to change into Etrigan to defeat it. Conincidentally, Klarion the Witch Boy is nearby and discovers that Jason is in town. With the creature defeated, Jason and Harry head to Nihilo’s mansion, Klarion secretly following.
At the mansion, Nihilo admits that it was he who sent the creature as a test, to ensure Blood and Etrigan shared the same body. Satisfied, he shows Jason a black diamond which he claims can be used to separate them for good – his only price is that Jason agrees to kill him. He explains that he is essentially an immortal; when just a man, the God of Vengeance – Eclipso – released the Flood upon the Earth and Nihilo begged him to spare him and his family. Instead, Eclipso killed his family and cursed Nihilo to walk the Earth until he returned. Now, sensing Eclipso’s imminent return, he wishes to die before Eclipso can inflict even more pain upon him.
Jason refuses however, and Nihilo attempts to force him to change into Etrigan. Before he does, he is alerted to Klarion – who has been watching and listening to everything – as he steals the black diamond, allowing Eclipso to possess him. The eclipsed Klarion changes Jason into Etrigan and the two fight, with the demon being defeated.
Nihilo begs Eclipso to kill him but Eclipso refuses as it would make him happier for Nihilo to continue living in torment. Etrigan revises and captures Eclipso – blinding Nihilo in the fight – and ties him to the lightning rod of the mansion but all too soon, Eclipso is free and turns the tables on Etrigan. Harry, brought there by Nihilo, uses what little magic he has to fool Eclipso into thinking dawn was approaching, making him flee and allowing Etrigan to revive. While the eclipsed Klarion escapes, Etrigan and Harry leave the blinded Nihilo wandering about his own mansion.
FLASH ANNUAL #5
While out running, the Flash comes across the Trickster planning a heist; before he can stop him, he’s caught unawares by the Weather Wizard which allows both villains to escape. Flash later hangs out with his friend Chunk who – bizarre as it seems – has a black hole inside him. After a scientific experiment Chunk’s running almost goes wrong, the pair plan to head out for food the next night.
At a local cinema, Trickster, Weather Wizard and Captain Boomerang (all in costume, by the way) are joined by the recently released Golden Glider and her new boyfriend, Chillblaine. She’s convinced one of the Rogues turned her in to the police last time but is willing to forgive them if they’ll help her with a robbery at an art museum – they can take whatever they want as long as they leave a black diamond to her as she’s been dreaming of it for months, told about it by a voice in her head that claimed to be from the moon.
The next night, as Flash readies himself to go out with Chunk, Chillblaine calls instead and captures him. The three Rogues each arrive at the museum and Golden Glider kisses each of them before revealing her lipstick is poisonous – she’s convinced one of them turned her in and will give the single antidote to the one who brings her the diamond. The Rogues instantly fight amongst themselves, Captain Boomerang getting to the diamond first only to find that its casing has been attached to a large metal boot that the Flash has been imprisoned in. His speed severely hampered, Flash nonetheless manages to get away from them.
As the Rogues chase Flash until he finally manages to get out of the boot, Golden Glider reveals that she had the real diamond all along – the one the Rogues are chasing is a fake. Flash is caught off guard by Chillblaine (again) who refuses to obey Golden Glider when she tells him to kill the Flash in cold blood; her anger at men in general and Chillblaine in particular allows Eclipso to possess her and she kills her boyfriend, sating her anger and allowing Eclipso to take control. As Eclipso tries to make Flash angry by chasing him throughout the city, they come across Chunk who is angry at Flash standing him up. Flash wants Chunk to use his black hole power to absorb the diamond but Chunk refuses which in turn angers Flash which allows Eclipso to transfer possession to Flash himself, and the eclipsed Flash runs off into the night.
ACTION COMICS ANNUAL #4
Superman and the Justice League ask Professor Simon Bennet – Mona’s father – for help but he is distraught over the loss of Mona to Eclipso (in SUPERMAN ANNUAL #4 – see above) and the disappearance of Bruce Gordon (in JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA ANNUAL #6 – again, see above) and refuses to help.
Superman determines to return to Crater Bay and offer himself as a trade to Eclipso for the release of the townsfolk and flies off despite the League’s protests. They in turn contact Emil Hamilton and Lex Luthor (the red-headed Australian version) who work together to develop a prototype giant solar gun based on Bruce Gordon’s designs but they can’t guarantee how well it will work.
Superman arrives in Crater Bay and – after scaring off Jerry Cross, the developer from SUPERMAN ANNUAL #4 – makes his pitch to Eclipso who throws him a black diamond and goads him into becoming angry just as Booster Gold and the rest of the League arrives. Eclipsed, Superman attacks them while they wait for help to arrive.
Back at Emil Hamilton’s lab, he and Luthor are surprised by an unknown visitor who bathes them both in a burst of light.
At Crater Bay, the League’s back up arrives in the shape of Captain Marvel who has set a timer on the giant solar gun and has to keep Superman at bay until the gun goes off. As they fight, the League deals with the eclipsed townsfolk which Eclipso has not released. The battle consumes the town as, on a nearby hillside, Jerry Cross watches before stumbling across the solar gun which, it appears, Captain Marvel has set to go off in forty minutes. Realising neither the heroes nor the town have that amount of time left, Cross adjusts the timer, bathing the town in artificial sunlight. This frees the townspeople – and also saves the League from being beaten by them – but Eclipso chooses to flee rather than lose Superman’s eclipsed body.
WONDER WOMAN ANNUAL #3
In Boston, reporter Cassie Arnold reports on Wonder Woman’s attempts to reason with a member of a metahuman terrorist group who has taken hostages at the top of a skyscraper. While Wonder Woman climbs to the top, Asquith Randolph – the White Magician – appears before Cassie and plans to deal with the terrorist himself. As Diana reaches the terrorist and reasons with him, getting him to put down his weapon, Randolph casts a fear spell. Unfortunately, everyone on the roof is affected, including Diana and the hostages and it is only with the help of one of them that Diana is able to save them, the terrorist dying from the spell.
Randolph invites Diana to dinner at his expansive mansion and throughout the meal and the tour of the house that follows, asks her deliberately barbed questions, trying to get a rise out of her. Diana is a little surprised to find Cassie at the house, even more so when it appears she and Randolph are involved romantically. Randolph gives Diana an arm bracelet set with a black diamond and mentions that he would like to visit Paradise Island.
A week passes since Diana took Randolph to her homeland and when she visits again she is horrified to find her fellow Amazons pretending to be weak in order to cater to men’s wishes while developers move in to build holiday resorts on the island. Diana’s mother fawns over Randolph, acceding to his every wish which infuriates Diana, a rage stoked even higher when Randolph strikes her.
The whole trip to Paradise Island is revealed to have been an illusion cast by the White Magician in order for Eclipso to possess Wonder Woman, allowing Randolph to cast another spell that prevents the eclipsed Diana escaping. His intention is to use Eclipso’s power for himself, drawing on Eclipso’s energy to fuel his own powers. He returns to Cassie, confident Eclipso cannot escape his trap.
All too soon, the eclipsed Diana breaks free and rampages through the house trying to find Randolph. She captures Cassie and almost kills her before casting her aside and, when she has Randolph in her sights, she allows him to slip through her fingers before flying off, heading to the moon. Cassie comments that it seems likely the real Diana is still within herself, battling Eclipso, preventing him from killing them.
GREEN ARROW ANNUAL #5
Jakob Whorrsman, head of the Tritelesaur Corporation, gives his girlfriend a necklace in the shape of a redwing blackbird, the centre of which is a black diamond. Soon after, a petty thief tries to steal it but is shot and wounded by Whorrsman’s girlfriend, the blood striking the diamond and causing Eclipso to manifest and kill the girl. In his escape, the thief drops the necklace and it is found the next morning by Green Arrow.
On the moon, Eclipso tells the origin of the necklace, how it was made for and given to a Quinault widow, a medicine woman who was not accepted by her husband’s tribe and, during a night of rage, she slaughtered them. Realising what she had done, she killed herself, leaving her daughter behind.
Green Arrow gives the necklace to Black Canary but, as they embrace, he calls her by another woman’s name, sending Canary into an eclipsed rage during which she breaks Arrow’s wrist and forces him to flee their home.
A friend of Canary’s named Gan is a radio presenter and is interviewing a member of the Quinault tribe named Wren, the grand-daughter of the original medicine woman. She and others are protesting against Tritelesaur and its environmentally damaging practices but the interview is interrupted by the eclipsed Canary. In moments, she manages to eclipse both Gan and Wren, the latter’s mystical powers now under the control of Eclipso.
Green Arrow has called in help in the form of Batman and the pair go after the eclipsed after coming up with a plan. Arrow lures the eclipsed across the city, working throughout the night, eventually getting Canary alone underground. When all seems lost, Batman tears open the covering of the cellar they are in, exposing Canary to the daylight, though Gan and Wren remain lost and still eclipsed. Due to his injuries, Green Arrow opts to sit out the coming confrontation with Eclipso, leaving Black Canary to take him on with Batman and the rest.
As an aside, though this is the GREEN ARROW ANNUAL, it is written by Sarah Byam who at the time was writing the BLACK CANARY miniseries which also featured radio presenter Gan Nguyen. I guess this allowed the GREEN ARROW series to be part of the summer crossover despite Mike Grell – who was writing GREEN ARROW – having a no superheroes policy in the main book.
ROBIN ANNUAL #1
The villain Anarky breaks into the home of the artist who created the headpiece as seen in DETECTIVE COMICS ANNUAL #5 (see above) and demands the remaining black diamonds the artist has. Robin arrives after Anarky leaves and learns he now has five black diamonds. Chased by Robin, Anarky uses one of the diamonds, giving it to a man railing at the banking system, allowing him to generate an Eclipso creature which Robin deals with using a solar gun.
Robin tracks down Anarky’s last known home and while he’s not there, Robin finds his computer and manages to break into it, realising Anarky has hacked into the Gotham Police records which is how he knew about the black diamonds and Eclipso. Elsewhere, Anarky delivers a “Citizen’s Charter” to the Mayor which makes various demands and, to prove his seriousness, Anarky proposes to destroy the East Side Bridge.
At the bridge, Anarky sets a timed solar flare before deliberately allowing himself to be possessed by Eclipso. The newly eclipsed Anarky then destroys the bridge but, with his anger now sated, Eclipso takes over. Anarky’s solar flare goes off, driving Eclipso from his body, allowing him to regain control.
Finding a clue in Anarky’s home, Robin eventually discovers his hideout along with clear plans of his next attack at Robinson Park where his target is the Telecom Tower which, if destroyed, will bring down all communications in Gotham. Before he can use the diamond to summon Eclipso again, however, Robin arrives and attacks, causing the diamond to fall into the bag of a young girl who had recently be dumped by her boyfriend in favour of another girl. The diamond summons an Eclipso creature that goes on a rampage trying to find the girl who had stolen her boyfriend, rampaging through the park as it goes.
Robin and Anarky work together to save the civilians while trying to take down the creature, Robin eventually finding a solar powered car that is on display. He uses the headlights to disperse the creature before capturing Anarky.
HAWKWORLD ANNUAL #3
In Chicago, Hawkman and Hawkwoman are surprised to see a live pterodactyl in the skies which, when they manage to stab it, simply disappears leaving nothing more than a single bone. Tracking it’s origin to the museum, Hawkwoman challenges Dr Konrad Kaslak who denies all knowledge of it, despite having a Thanagarian artefact that is supposed to bring back the dead. Later, Dr Kaslak takes possession of a black diamond stolen for him by the Shadow Thief and attaches it to a necklace before sending it anonymously to Hawkwoman.
Hawkwoman is holding the diamond later when she appears on a cable talk show, the host of which goads her into becoming angry with City Hall – the eclipsed Hawkwoman determines that she must kill City Hall and flies off, venting her anger against the building itself. Hawkman arrives and attempts to talk with her but, having failed at that, convinces the police to shout out that City Hall is dead thinking that will free her. However, with the focus of her anger assuaged, Eclipso takes full control and willingly gives Hawkman the diamond in the hopes of possessing him, too.
Hawkman becomes angry with himself for not being where he was needed and manifests an Eclipso creature that begins to beat him until the dawn forces it to retreat. Hawkman confronts Dr Kaslak who admits to sending the diamond to Hawkwoman and tells Hawkman what he knows of Eclipso.
Having spent the day using Thanagarian technology to construct solar weapons, Hawkman confronts both the still-eclipsed Hawkwoman and his own Eclipso creature later that night. The creature falls to the weapons but they temporarily blind Hawkman, allowing Hawkwoman to attack. He manages to lure her away by dropping the black diamond which she then retrieves before flying off into the night.
DEATHSTROKE THE TERMINATOR ANNUAL #1
Deathstroke is hired by Anjitech to retrieve a kidnapped technician and is accompanied by Vigilante. When they find him he is reluctant to leave but Deathstroke knocks him unconscious and carries him out, leaving Vigilante to anonymously call an old police contact she has.
Her contact, Captain Hall, is currently dealing with his own hostage situation, the kidnapper being eclipsed and in possession of a black diamond. Eclipso releases him as the police attack and he falls, Captain Hall finding and picking up the diamond. At this point he receives Vigilante’s call which is overheard by the self-righteous Councilwoman Alderman, a woman who has a passionate dislike of costumed heroes and those, like Hall, who have sympathy with them. Her blinkered views anger Hall until he becomes eclipsed and heads off to the police headquarters.
Deathstroke returns the technician to Anjitech only to find that what they wanted was not the technician but rather a circuit board he had been carrying. They re-hire him to retrieve it.
Captain Hall discovers more black diamonds held in the headquarters and then contacts Vigilante through a mutual acquaintance. When she arrives, however, Hall attacks and manages to eclipse her. She in turn finds and attacks Deathstroke but is driven back by the rising sun.
The following night, Deathstroke has tracked the circuit board down to a large scale salvage operation at the same time that Nightwing of the Titans arrives also looking for something. The eclipsed Vigilante attacks the salvage operation but between them, Deathstroke, Nightwing and the salvagers manage to defeat her and, with the aid of a solar battery, force Eclipso to leave her. After that, a group of Deathstroke’s old enemies attack wanting the circuit board. While they are defeated, they manage to steal the board before returning it to Anjitech which is due to be sent to Councilwoman Alderman.
NEW TITANS ANNUAL #8
At STAR Labs, the Titans struggle with the fact that their team mate Cyborg has been badly damaged and poorly repaired following an earlier incident in Russia. Changeling, upset at possibly losing his best friend, blames Red Star and attacks him before the team are called away to help a crashed helicopter. While the team help, Nightwing is confronted by Councilwoman Alderman and her anti-hero views.
That night, the still-eclipsed Captain Hall approaches Red Star and forces a diamond upon him while beating him, allowing Eclipso to take control. Red Star then returns to STAR Labs and uses a manual control to steal Cyborg. Changeling tracks them down but is in turn eclipsed himself. Starfire and Pantha find and attack them, Starfire’s energy bolts having enough solar power to free Captain Hall who is then injured saving some nearby children. Eclipso rallies, however, and attacks them with the eclipsed Titans already under his control.
Following the events of DEATHSTROKE THE TERMINATOR ANNUAL #1 (see above) Nightwing, Deathstroke and Vigilante head back to STAR Labs just in time to catch a news report of Councilwoman Alderman unveiling a robot designed to attack and capture (or kill) costumed heroes and villains. At that moment, the robot crashes through STAR Labs before Nightwing tricks it into falling out the side of the building.
Nightwing, Deathstroke and Vigilante follow Cyborg’s internal signal and track him to the Brooklyn Museum figuring the eclipsed Titans are using him as a guard during the day. He attacks them at the same time that Alderman’s robot returns after having repaired itself. Cyborg and the robot face off as Nightwing finds his team mates before they in turn attack him and the others, Deathstroke succumbing to Eclipso and inadvertently destroying the robot. Believing Nightwing and the Vigilante to be dead in the rubble of the museum, Deathstroke and the eclipsed Titans escape.
JUSTICE LEAGUE EUROPE ANNUAL #3
The eclipsed Green Lantern Hal Jordan and Flash fly over London, heading for the temporary headquarters of Justice League Europe, a hotel where the team are based before they move into their new HQ, an old English castle. Dawn breaks, however, forcing them to seek a hideout.
In the hotel, the team are going stir crazy with Crimson Fox and Power Girl arguing and almost coming to blows before Elongated Man separates them, Power Girl losing her temper and flying off, Dr Light expressing concern for her. She knows that Power Girl is allergic to artificial sweeteners which cause her to lose her temper easily. Crimson Fox also leaves and phones Metamorpho, asking him to return from Greece.
Back at the hotel, Green Lantern Kilowog arrives and fills them in about Eclipso, a situation the team knew nothing about. Elongated Man calls the JLA and finds out that the UN and America have called a state of emergency and are limiting how many people know about Eclipso to prevent more heroes becoming eclipsed. As night falls, Elongated Man heads off to speak to the League’s liaison, Catherine Cobert, while Dr Light and Kilowog fly across London and use a makeshift signal to attract Fox and PG.
Fox returns just a moment before Flash and Hal Jordan crash through the wall and attack, scattering black diamonds before disappearing. PG reappears and, still annoyed at her team mates (and after having drunk several diet sodas) comes into contact with the diamonds and is easily eclipsed. She attacks the League, vowing to kill them, before being caged by Kilowog’s ring construct.
As Dr Light heads outside to deal with the hotel staff who are complaining, she is blinded by a burst of light and a shadowy figure who asks her to go with him. Elsewhere, the League liaison Catherine forces the JLA into revealing everything they know about Eclipso and Elongated Man returns to the team. Kilowog heads out to look for Dr Light and is recruited by the same shadowy figure.
Kilowog’s cage is removed and Power is freed. She ends up carrying the remaining League members into the sky before dropping them, fulfilling her vengeance and allowing Eclipso to take full control. Unknown to her, Metamorpho manages to catch the falling heroes safely. Meanwhile, Catherine and Sue Dibny realise that all the eclipsed heroes are heading to Meteor Crater in Arizona where a lunar eclipse is due to take place soon.
As an aside, at one point during the fight between the eclipsed Power Girl and the JLE, Dr Light hits her full in the face with a light blast. As her powers are solar based, that should have freed PG but (possibly due to an editorial oversight) it wasn’t picked up.
BATMAN ANNUAL #16
The Batman tracks down one of the Joker’s old gang, Johnny Manzoni and forces him to put the word out that, following the events of DETECTIVE COMICS ANNUAL #5 (see above), Batman wants the Joker.
Elsewhere, two of the Joker’s current henchmen overhear a drunk cop talking about the black diamonds and the Eclipso creature that Commissioner Gordon spawned (again, see above) and decide to kidnap him and take him back to their boss. The Joker is hiding out in a wax museum and sitting on a throne literally made of the twenty five million dollars of the Guggenheim Heist. He tortures the cop until he reveals the location of the black diamonds before killing him and dumping his body. The two henchmen, dressed as cops, enter the GCPD and force the evidence room cop to hand over the diamonds before making their escape. As they leave, they’re spotted by Johnny Manzoni who recognises them as part of the Joker’s gang and decides to follow them.
While Batman discovers the body of the murdered cop, the henchmen try to lose Manzoni, one of them having the bright idea of deliberately manifesting an Eclipso creature to deal with him. This results in an enormous eclipsed bat monster that tears apart Manzoni’s car before dropping it from a great height. Batman finds the car and Manzoni gasps that it was the Joker’s men, convincing Batman that the Joker is after the diamonds.
Following clues from the cop’s dead body, Batman finds the wax museum lair of the Joker who deliberately takes one of the diamonds, allowing Eclipso to possess him. Realising the only way to stop the eclipsed Joker is to become eclipsed himself, Batman uses another diamond, the two arch enemies now forced to act out their vengeful desires before Eclipso can take full control. Enhanced by his strength and invulnerability, the pair fight each other throughout the night until the sun rises, forcing Eclipso to leave their bodies.
Fully recovered, Batman knocks the Joker unconscious and takes him back to Arkham.
LEGION ANNUAL #3
Vril Dox has brought the LEGION to Earth apparently to judge whether or not the planet is sufficiently advanced to join the other member planets of their organisation. However, while Phase is charming the members of the United Nations, Dox and Lady Quark are in New York in disguise, tracking down one of the black diamonds that Dox has heard about. Found in the hands of a local gang leader, Dox and Quark easily defeat him and leave with the diamond, returning to the hotel where the rest of the LEGION are staying.
As Dox and most of the other members have to attend a UN banquet, Lady Quark is left with both the diamond and the duty of guarding Lobo, aided byZena Moonstruck. With Lobo’s perpetually angry nature it isn’t long before he takes the diamond and is eclipsed, knocking Quark unconscious. Zena flees with Lobo in pursuit, eventually hiding in the hotel’s dining room. She uses her light absorbing powers to plunge the room into darkness but when that does nothing, she projects all the light she’s absorbed just as Lobo brings the ceiling down. Though unconscious, she is rescued by a mysterious man who has a use for her.
Lady Quark comes to her senses and finds the diamond, tracking the damage caused by Lobo to the dining room just as the other LEGION members arrive to find Lobo returned to normal and Zena missing. Dox berates Quark’s mishandling of her duty which angers her and triggers her possession. She attacks the LEGION, defeating them until she stands against Lobo. The Justice League arrive and, misreading the situation, attack Lobo, allowing the still eclipsed Lady Quark to escape.
Dox admits to Phase that the UN meeting was a cover for his attempt to gain at least one of the diamonds which he planned to study and keep as a weapon.
ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN ANNUAL #4
Following the events of ACTION COMICS ANNUAL #4 (see above) a large scale search is underway for the still-eclipsed Superman. Various heroes search various locations from metropolis to the Batcave trying to find him before Booster Gold discovers a newspaper report about an active volcano in Hawaii and, in the accompanying photograph, a picture of Superman. Many of the heroes who had survived previous encounters with Eclipso head to the volcano to try and free Superman. Plans are drawn up and the heroes split into teams who try to reach him before sun down.
Heroes from LEGION and the Justice League as well as others battle Superman in order to distract him as Metamorpho transforms himself into lava in order to increase the pressure in the volcano. The resulting eruption spits Superman out into the air but too late as by then the sun has set. As Lobo fights on, many of the other heroes look to save the native islanders from the lava that is set to burn their village. Vril Dox berates Guy Gardner who had furnished himself with Sinestro’s yellow power ring since the events of GREEN LANTERN ANNUAL #1, telling him he could fly to the sun and return with enough burning gas to expel Eclipso. Annoyed, Gardner flies off.
The eclipsed Superman defeats one hero after another and seems assured of victory until Gardner returns with a power ring vat of solar matter which he dumps on Superman. To the surprise of the other heroes, Gardner then scoops up the dazed Superman and carries him back into the lava filled volcano which is enough to purge Superman of Eclipso’s presence. Back in his right mind, Superman knows that to defeat Eclipso, they need to find Bruce Gordon who has been missing since leaving the Justice League in JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA ANNUAL #6 (see above).
At Meteor Crater in Arizona, the eclipsed heroes and villains converge and Eclipso uses Starman’s shapechanging abilities to appear normal so that, as the heroes arrive, they find him being beaten by the eclipsed. Saved by Hawkman, Starman informs them that Eclipso can only be defeated in his palace on the moon.
Meanwhile, Superman and Nightwing track the disappearance of Bruce Gordon, noting along the way that other scientists have been abducted as well. Eventually, Nightwing heads back to Meteor Crater where his team mates, the still eclipsed Titans, are fighting with the others, and Superman heads to the final location in his hunt for Gordon – an abandoned planetarium. As he opens the inner door, he is bathed in a flash of bright light.