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Divine Spark

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Divine Spark
January 2010 — April 2010
Writers Greg Rucka, Eric Trautmann
Artists Pere Perez, Fernando Dagnino, Raul Fernandez
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Divin Spark is a story arc told in the pages of Action Comics in 2010 while Superman served as a member of the New Krypton Military Guild. It includes the discovery of Nightwing and Flamebird's final sleeper agent as Jax-Ur and Nightwing's realization of his namesake.

Action Comics #883

Action Comics 883
  • Date: January 2010
  • Written by Greg Rucka, Eric Trautmann
  • Pencils: Pere Perez
  • Inks: Pere Perez
  • Colors: Javier Mena
  • Cover by Cafu, Santiago Arcas

Jax-Ur comes across two students and a pair of gunrunners in Iraq that have strayed too close to his hidden laboratory and promptly kills them all. After hiding amongst the humans for what seems like two years Jax-Ur's genetic experiments are about to come to fruition...

Some pods landed in Toronto and suddenly midget Brimstone's (compared to the colossal size of the original) pop out and begin laying waste to the city. Down go three combat choppers, enter Flamebird and Nightwing, now sporting their fifth brand new look since they began hunting Zod's sleepers...

Seemingly they've managed to shake off the bad press they'd been getting for a year and come out adorned with 'S' shields... they take out the Brimstones but can't enjoy the glory for long, as it seems some people still hate them and not even newer costumes can help this time - with a burst of speed they disappear from the path of attacking fighter jets.

Meanwhile a girl we've never seen or heard before named Isabel Glenn appears in the Daily Planet, asking around for Jimmy. Lois brushes her off and Perry seeing the anguish in Isabel's face gives chase. Isabel explains she'd not seen or heard from Jimmy since Mon-El was murdered. At the apartment there was old mail piling up and there were no responses to phone calls or texts. Perry promises to find the answer to the mystery.

Over at S.T.A.R. Labs, Dr. Light is being unknowingly manipulated by Dr. Pillings into storing and examining the remains of the Brimstone's salvaged from Toronto. Dr. Pillings presents Hoshi with a Seedpod trigger - it apparently activates the Brimstone creatures but can only be activated by light frequencies... however unknown to Hoshi aka Dr. Light; Pillings is actually Jax-Ur, deadly one eyed minion of Zod.

Perry cons his way into Jimmy's apartment and looking around he spots a photo that is out of place. Behind the photo - a piece of paper that reads NIEO JSEO. Perry then realizes that all those months ago when Jimmy had been insisting that he was onto a big story... he really WAS.

Over in Hong Kong, Thara and Chris are hiding out in another of Kara's secret apartments. Thara activates a journal remembering that a little while ago their sole mission was to stay hidden and hunt Zod's sleeper agents.

Tor-An, an Australian TV producer was captured, and then assassinated by Ursa...

Nadira Va-Dim and Az-Rel vanished during the whole murder of Mon-El/Hunt for Reactron debacle so the assumption is they're dead or captured. However they're downhearted, a year of hunting and they've failed to capture three agents and three more, the deadly three - are still missing...

Nightwing asks Thara to make Flamebird tell her. But Thara explains that she can't MAKE Flamebird do anything- they are just vessels for the godly spirits. While saying this she sees the doubt in Chris' face and realizes he's never believed in the legend... even after all he's seen. When Thara explains she doesn't care and that she loves him Chris has a growth spurt - his first in a long time and one that unleashes a massive red sun burst.

Jax-Ur is a little frustrated that to keep his cover as Dr. Pillings he must maintain a lower intellect but when he is in his private quarters his plans come to fruition using a sunstone recorder he is able to extract energy signatures from a Brimstone corpse and from there able to reveal Chris and Thara's real identities as the gods Flamebird and Nightwing.

Sitting quietly he also notes a plan of his is coming to fruition right about.... as Hoshi and Thara burst into his quarters with a geriatric 18 year old boy needing immediate medical attention!

Action Comics #884

Action Comics 884
  • Date: February 2010
  • Written by Greg Rucka, Eric Trautmann
  • Pencils: Pere Perez
  • Inks: Bit
  • Colors: Javier Mena
  • Cover by Cafu, Santiago Arcas

Chris is dying from his aging 'condition,' Dr Pillings also known as Jax-Ur (in disguise) has offered to cure him under the watchful eye of S.T.A.R. Lab's leading scientist Dr. Light and a saddened Thara.

Pillings is quick to send Hoshi on an errand before he uses a powerful laser to extract genetic material from Chris. The horrific process crushes Thara and brings embers of Flamebird to life seeing her lover in pain...

Thara notices the glee in Pillings face and becomes the godling Flamebird. With rage she sets Pillings on fire but realizes they have fallen into a trap set by the very man they want to catch - Jax-Ur.

Jax-Ur makes a deal with Thara, he'll save the life of Chris if she allows him to take a DNA sample from her, blinded by love and disappointed in the duo's own stupidity, she succumbs.

A combination of Dr. Light's powers and Pilling's special machinery are able to reverse the aging process and with a special arm box, not unlike a dialysis machine in function, Chris' aging should be able to be prevented.

The lovers are reunited but now that they owe their lives to Jax-Ur, and he has the genetic material of the gods they host, their sleeper mission has become an utter failure and may have cost Superman & Earth a much higher price...

Lois hands her exposé to Perry and he instructs her it's already been leaked and that the government are after her for treason.

Men in Black on her tail Lois makes a mad dash for it with her laptop, Perry can't publish the exposé revealing the truth about the whole mess that is the New Krypton storyline but she has to get it out there somehow.

Lois races through the newsroom taking out two of the men and to her surprise the planeteers leap to her defense, Ron holds back one man while Steve rugby tackles another.

Leaping down the fire escape stairwell Lois almost makes it out of the building - until a taser stops her in her tracks...

When Lois awakens Sam Lane is there to greet her in an interview room in an unnamed facility. Although Lois is happy to see her father alive her love soon turns to anger when she realizes Lucy was fully aware of her actions and Kara was telling the truth. Sam tells Lois the only reason he's being this lenient with her is that she is his daughter. He threatens to make her disappear forever, never to see the light of day again, where not even Superman could save her, if she continues.

He destroys Lois' laptop with two quick gunshots and tells Lois, he does love her but the planet will always come first over his family.

A nervous but enraged Lois returns to the Daily Planet under cover of night and explains all to Perry. Lois points out that the whole paper is at risk and everyone connected to it if her exposé runs. Perry understands and though he must protect the paper he is first and foremost a good journalist and nudges Lois in the right direction... he can't and won't run the story but the story must get out to the people somehow...

Lois smiles with enlightenment and quits the Daily Planet, Perry watches with pride as Lois gets her edge back.

Action Comics #885

Action Comics 885
  • Date: March 2010
  • Written by Greg Rucka, Eric Trautmann
  • Pencils: Pere Perez
  • Inks: Pere Perez
  • Colors: Javier Mena
  • Cover by Cafu, Santiago Arcas

We continue directly from Triangle #22, Mon-El & the Science Police arrive at S.T.A.R Labs and confront Thara and Chris. The Science Police take them into custody and remove the age inhibitor until they can fathom its purpose. They also search the labs and interrogate Dr. Pillings. Romundi, a Sci Pol officer who is secretly Car-Vex a fellow sleeper agent asks Pillings if the rumors surrounding Thara and Chris are true so she can report back to Ursa.

Pillings doesn't let on about his discoveries and sends Car-Vex on her way. Chris and Thara are taken to Sci Pol headquarters and placed in a red sun prison cell. Guardian is frosty - no matter what they say the duo are still illegal immigrants and should go back to New Krypton - regardless of Zod's execution order. Chris, still a bit hazy on the law asks if they're entitled to a phone call - and calls his mom.

Meanwhile Car-Vex proves to be a double agent, she feeds info to 7734 and promptly sets in motion a sunstone bomb and detonator ready to cause havoc. Lois Lane arrives and helps Guardian and the others realize more about Ral Dar - The Patriot, and the sleeper agent mission. General Lane arrives and interrupts the chat along with his new personally selected Squad K.

The General's attitude, coupled with Mon and Lois' belief in Thara and Chris finally gets through to the Guardian, and just as the Squad are about to apprehend the lovers Jim shuts off the Red Sun generators. Fully powered the trio of Mon Thara and Chris make short work of Squad K. Thara orders Guardian to evacuate, but it's too late.

Car-Vex activates the bomb and pulls General Lane out of harms way. The Sci Pol base crumbles from the explosive force...

Action Comics #886

Action Comics 886
  • Date: April 2010
  • Written by Greg Rucka, Eric Trautmann
  • Pencils: Pere Perez, Fernando Dagnino, Raul Fernandez
  • Inks: Pere Perez, Fernando Dagnino, Raul Fernandez
  • Colors: Javier Mena
  • Cover by Cafu, Santiago Arcas

In one of Kara Zor-El's 'City Fortresses' (one of hundreds of apartments she has scattered across the globe), Chris is saddened that society hates them as Kryptonians, Thara reminds him they are far more as demi gods. Despite his misgivings he decides to experience the Book of Rao Sunstone holobook. It goes through Kryptonian history and explains the story of the godling's love and of a mysterious third godling. When Chris returns from the book he is astounded to realize he IS Nightwing but his godling soul is trapped inside the Phantom Zone. Chris is determined to have his soul back so it can reunite with Flamebird and he with Thara. One problem - the Phantom Zone is dead...

Chris finally gives in to Thara and admits his love. They make love with a shadowy figure indulging in voyeuristic pleasure.

Thara awakens to be greeted by Jax-Ur/Dr. Pillings/the third godling who demands that they return to his Egyptian temple to pay the debt of saving Chris from his age disease.

Thara lies that Flamebird is guiding them to the temple of Ur however, by the time Chris realizes he's been tricked into it, he's face to face with Jax-Ur!

Remember when Kara grew Sunstone blades? Suddenly the same thing happens to Chris - a hidden viral command Jax-Ur implanted to incapacitate him in front of what appears to be a giant Phantom Zone viewer.

Jax-Ur opens the window and a glowing hand - the hand of Rao himself - springs forth for his godling family!

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