"Once Upon a Time...!"
Synopsis for "Once Upon a Time...!"
William Joseph "Billy" Batson aka Captain Marvel (First appearance, New Earth)
Brimstone (First appearance)
Darkseid stands in his throneroom on Apokolips, admiring his own tyranny. Despite this, he is unsatisfied. DeSaad suggests that this is because the heroes of Earth still defy him. Darkseid believes that the people of Earth are inspired by their legends, and he must destroy these legends to make them more compliant. Doctor Bedlam and Glorious Godfrey are called in as his agents. They begin preparing Techno-Seeds for an attack Darkseid calls "Operation: Humiliaton." Darkseid remarks that when he is done, the only legend left on Earth will be his own.
Jenet Klyburn and Martin Stein are working on the Hudson Nuclear Facility run by S.T.A.R. Labs in New York City. This facility is struck by a Techno-Seed, which burrows deep into the heart of the generator. It absorbs all the power in the building, turning it into a giant living monster called Brimstone. Brimstone declares that he is a fallen angel, and goes on a destructive rampage. Martin Stein calls on Ronnie Raymond at Vandermeer University, so they can combine as the superhero Firestorm. This disappoints Ronnie, who was in the shower before a date with Doreen Day. Firestorm's energy blasts have no effect, and his nuclear powers don't work because the creature is living. Brimstone declares that he has come to rid the world of false gods, and Firestorm will be the first. Firestorm goes to find back-up.
Deadshot tries to rob a bank on Wall Street, but he is stopped by Wally West as The Flash. West is haunted when bystanders compare him to the previous Flash, his deceased mentor Barry Allen. Returning home to Titans Tower, Wally finds Changeling watching reporter Billy Batson on TV. The interview is a pundit named G. Gordon Godfrey, who is declaring that superheroes are a public menace. Wally tells Changeling that he is worried he cannot live up to the legend of The Flash. Despite this, he refuses to change his name because he won't let the legend die.
There is a blackout at the WHIZ-TV station, and Billy Batson goes to investigate. Batson speaks the magic word "Shazam," and a bolt of magic lightning transforms him into the fully grown superhero Captain Marvel. It is revealed that Gordon Godfrey is actually Glorious Godfrey, and he engineered this. The studio is terrorized by a giant villain who calls himself Macro-Man. Captain Marvel attacks Macro-Man, but Macro-Man holds him in a powerful grip. To escape this grasp, Captain Marvel speaks the word "Shazam" to become Billy Batson again. The magical lightning bolt strikes Macro-Man, setting him on fire and killing him. Billy Batson is horrified to realize that he accidentally murdered someone.
In the Pentagon, Colonel Rick Flag is called in to see Amanda Waller of Task Force X. Flag had himself assigned to Task Force X, but he is shocked by Waller's plans for the program. Waller explains that she does not care about his feelings as long as he does his job. Flag tells her that no man on Earth could do the job better, and he has never allowed his personal feelings to get in the way of his duty. Waller tells him that Task Force X might be needed sooner than they thought.
Cosmic Boy has lunch in a 20th Century diner, on vacation from his home in the 30th Century. The diner is destroyed by Brimstone on his rampage. Cosmic Boy tries to battle Brimstone by using his magnetic powers to create a giant cage. This does not work, because Brimstone instantly evaporates metal on contact. Cosmic Boy is thrown to the ground. Firestorm finally arrives with help, having called in the Justice League of America. This group includes Elongated Man, Gypsy, Martian Manhunter, Steel, Vibe, and Vixen.
Macro-Man's lifeless body is found, and bystanders recognize Captain Marvel as the killer. This was a set-up, but Billy Batson believes his negligence was respo