Warning! Spoilers ahead for Batman/Superman #21!
In Batman/Superman #21, Shazam has just been recruited by Darkseid. Throughout the Infinite Frontier miniseries, Darkseid’s plans have been slowly building up. He has even shown up in other comics like this one, teasing just how big his crisis plans are and how they’ll affect every corner of the DC Universe. Darkseid’s plans will amp up as Infinite Frontier’s “Second Act” begins with the new Justice League Incarnate series. It’s teased to be a direct continuation that will see Darkseid’s crisis plans to come to fruition.
Although Darkseid is the mastermind, he is getting a lot of assistance. Psycho-Pirate seems to be helping the former ruler of Apokolips the most,as his right-hand man. Psycho-Pirate’s power set is the perfect tool to get uncooperative heroes like Barry Allen aka the Flash onboard, forcing them to work for Darkseid by manipulating their minds. However, other heroes and villains have agreed to work for Darkseid out of fear of another reality-changing event that would destroy their world.
In Batman/Superman #21 by Gene Luen Yang, Ivan Reis, and Danny Miki, Darkseid claims an alternate world from the Archive of Worlds. The myriad alternate worlds of the Archive are contained in film reels, which are created by the villainous Auteur.io. After Auteur.io’s defeat at the hands of Batman and Superman, Darkseid acquires one of his film reels, which contains images of an alternate Shazam. He is the first among many more variant heroes from the Archive to be recruited by Darkseid. It’s a genius move on Darkseid’s behalf considering that there is an entire vault full of Elseworlds for him to utilize.
It’s tragic that an innocent hero like Shazam will be forced to work alongside Darkseid. As shown recently, Darkseid has been able to recruit heroes who would normally never even consider joining him. But in the case of the Archive of Worlds, almost no one is aware of the Multiverse, which makes their heroes and villains perfect candidates to be manipulated and used by Darkseid. Having control of the Archive of Worlds is a great way of weaponizing the Multiverse by using alternate, variant heroes and villains to take down any threat that opposes Darkseid.
Without a doubt, the Archive of Worlds with its multiple realities is a great weapon that matches the sheer scale of Darkseid’s plans. It seems that Darkseid’s minions will somehow extract variants like Shazam and bring them into DC’s main timeline. Little is known about the true extent of Darkseid’s plans apart from the fact that he’s building an army and has aims to destroy the newly reformed Omniverse. However, bit by bit, readers are being fed glimpses of what is coming for Infinite Frontier. Batman/Superman #21 is available now in comic book stores and on digital platforms.