After reading 'Ultimate Fantastic Four Volume Five' (now a strong contender for Awesomest Thing Ever), I'm fully up to speed on the Marvel Zombieverse--an alternate reality just like the regular Marvel Universe, except that "three days ago", one of the super-heroes got infected with a virus that gave him an insatiable hunger for human flesh. Human, and super-human.
And now, every super-hero in the Marvel Universe is a rotting, insane, super-zombie.
So naturally, that led me to think: How would the DC version of this go? So here's the basic plot of the three issue "DC Zombies" mini-series.
Issue One: Outbreak. Access (the DC/Marvel jointly-owned character who can freely travel between continuities) teleports into Gotham City, looking for help from its heroes. But he's already infected, and by the time he finds Robin, he starts gnawing on him instead of asking him for assistance. Robin fends off his assailant, but a trail of victims tells him that Gotham's already in trouble. The infection spreads through the city, snagging both Nightwing and the Mad Hatter (who are locked in combat at the time.) Nightwing delivers the Mad Hatter to Arkham before succumbing to the infection himself.
At dawn, Batman returns to the Batcave, having narrowly escaped infection several times, and broadcasts word to the JLA that he needs help quarantining the city. Superman arrives, bringing with him Wonder Woman, the Martian Manhunter, and Green Lantern, but it's already too late--isolated reports of infection have come through from Metropolis and Fawcett City, and it appears to be spreading west. Then worse news arrives, as dozens of super-zombie-criminals break out of Arkham, led by a zombie Amygdala and a zombie Killer Croc. The JLA attempt to contain them, but the issue ends with Kiler Croc chomping down on Superman's shoulder.
Issue Two: The Hunt. The battle with the JLA concludes in disaster, as Superman flees the battle, and Wonder Woman and Martian Manhunter are both infected. Green Lantern is forced to retreat, and zombie Wonder Woman and zombie Martian Manhunter begin circling the globe spreading the infection. Batman goes into zombie-infested Gotham to find Nightwing and Robin, getting updates from Oracle as he does so. (Oracle is on a Blackhawk plane, circling the globe herself, and is hence safe from the plague, but she's already starting to worry about refueling.) Oracle delivers updates from Coast City, where Hal Jordan tries to hold off zombie Sinestro, from Fawcett City, where Captain Marvel is nowhere to be found (we see Billy Batson starting to shout "Sha--" before a zombie sinks its teeth into his cheek), and all over the world.
Superman, meanwhile, contacts Batman to tell him that his powers aren't enough to hold the infection at bay, and he's losing control to the hunger. When he fled, it was to attain orbit--the more sunlight he gets, the more powerful he becomes and the better he can fight the infection, so he had to get out of the atmosphere to avoid atmospheric scatter. But it's still not enough. He informs Batman that he's flying at top speed towards the sun--he'll either get strong enough to burn out the infection completely, or he'll vaporize in the sun's heat. Either way, the world will be safe from him.
Meanwhile, Oracle continues to receive reports of heroes fighting zombies. Swamp Thing is attacked by zombie versions of Doctor Fate and Zatanna, and is forced to abandon his physical body, only to discover that he's brought the infection into the Green itself. Buddy Baker, meanwhile, finds that he's done the same with the Red. Nature begins to eat itself as the infection spreads.
We cut back to Batman, in the Batcave. The JLA teleporter has been disabled. Nightwing and Robin are pinned to the ground with Batarangs through their hands and ankles, each one muzzled to prevent accidents. And Batman begins working on a cure.
Book Three: The Cure. Oracle acts as pronouncer of the end of the world, from two miles above it. Her reports come in from every city, and she dutifully relays them to Batman. The Green Lantern Corps has abandoned Earth and recalled its ring-bearers. (Back on Oa, we see a zombie Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, and John Stewart slugging it out with the rest of the Green Lanterns, in the first battle of the Green Lantern Corps and the Green Lantern Corpse.) The few people immune to the zombie plague are being killed. (Hawk, Dove, and Black Adam, each with magical bodies, are being ripped apart--literally--by the JSA.) Nobody knows what's happened to Captain Marvel. (We see a young boy, his jaw half-ripped-off, shouting "a-am!" ineffectually through shredded lips.) Poison Ivy's own plants have attacked her, infecting her, and the Floronic Man has spontaneously zombified. Things have gone from bad to worse to worst...
Then they go to the level past worst, as zombie Power Girl and zombie Supergirl each take a wing of Oracle's plane and make a wish. But back in the Batcave, Batman's made a breakthrough. He's got a drug that appears to be able to stem the hunger, like methadone for a heroin addict. It doesn't cure the infection, but the patient becomes rational. He makes the dangerous test of it, releasing zombie Nightwing from his muzzle...but Dick's sane now. He doesn't attack.
Power Girl does, though. She and Supergirl come smashing into the Batcave, its location supplied to them by zombie Oracle. Batman fires darts filled with the "cure" at them, but their bullet-proof skin repels it, and he's forced to flee. Dick and Tim are left behind in the Batcave, the formula for the "cure" unfortunately lost in the Batcomputer that was buried under tons of rubble in the fight, and knowing they'll succumb to the hunger without it.
Batman, meanwhile, flees for his life through zombie Gotham. He manages to elude Power Girl and Supergirl by ducking through lead-lined subway tunnels, and thinks he's escaped...but one of his own Batarangs slicing into his Achilles tendons tells him otherwise. He limps away, expecting to see Nightwing when he turns...but instead it's zombie Oracle, wheeling herself towards him with an evil grin. She pulls him down, and begins to feed...
Two weeks later, and Superman finally returns. He's cured--it took a plunge into the very heart of the sun, a risk he'd never have taken if not for the need to cure the infection, but he's free of it now, and more powerful than ever. He's ready to save the world! But he sees, as he arrives, that it's too late. He's met by the zombie super-hero population, everyone from zombie Ambush Bug to zombie Zatanna. The very trees, the animals, every single form of life on Earth has succumbed to the infection, and the hunger it brings. And then he understands what he must do to save the world. Superman's never unleashed his full power before, but he does now--and he destroys Earth and everyone on it. Alone, in space, the last son of two worlds looks for somewhere new to call home.
And on Apokolips, a boom tube opens. Darkseid himself looks toward the noise, and sees his estranged son, Orion, cross the threshold. But why does he look so...pale?