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DC's Absolute Power FCBD special introduces the "final piece of the puzzle" for Amanda Waller's master plan against the former Justice League

Things do not go well for one villain in the prelude to the big summer 2024 event including Superman, Batman, and the DC heroes

Absolute Power FCBD Special Edition #1
Image credit: Mikel Janin/DC

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For fans looking to unwrap the mysteries and secrets behind DC’s upcoming summer event Absolute Power will likely find themselves frustrated in the very best way by this weekend’s Absolute Power Free Comic Book Day Special Edition #1 — a comic that both offers a preview of the first issue of the event, explains some of what’s happening behind the scenes, and introduces an all-new mystery box to be decoded… almost literally.

Be warned: Spoilers for Absolute Power Free Comic Book Day Special Edition #1 follow beyond this point. Look away if you don’t want to know what happens next
Absolute Power FCBD Special Edition #1
Image credit: Mikel Janin/DC

The plot of the main story in the issue, by Mark Waid and Mikel Janin, is relatively straightforward: Haywire, a former Teen Titans villain, is recruited to Amanda Waller’s mysterious mission and, as part of that recruitment process, is (literally) walked through Waller’s Hall of Order — the renamed Hall of Justice that she took over at the end of Titans: Beast World — and in the process introduced to the main players in Waller’s team. By the end of the issue, Haywire is given a mission, and fails at it, dying in the process. His mission? To charge some mysterious tech that Waller describes as “the final piece of the puzzle” — and something that has, seemingly, killed three others before him.

While the purpose of that final piece isn’t made clear in the main story, the preview of Absolute Power certainly offers a big clue, showing Superman being shot by a regular gun… and bleeding as a result. A caption at the end of the preview reads, “The power drain begins in Absolute Power #1,” so it’s not too much of a swing to believe that Waller’s mysterious tech is part of the device that allows her to drain the heroes’ powers — or, perhaps, power the Amazos that we already know will be part of her overall scheme. We have until July to unpack that mystery box.

Just as interesting is the reveal of Waller’s team in the main story. Readers of Suicide Squad: Dream Team already know about that team’s relationship with Waller, but the Free Comic Book Day issue also reveals that Failsafe — the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh inhabiting a robot body built by Bruce Wayne — is already working with Waller, as is longtime DC villain Clock King… and Green Arrow, who seems to be fully aware of what Waller is up to, curiously enough. Is this a heel-turn by Oliver Queen, a set-up for a future betrayal of Waller down the line, or a sign that there’s far more to Waller’s plans than anyone has previously been aware of?

Related: Suicide Squad's Amanda Waller is leading DC's Trinity of Evil, and that means trouble for Batman, Superman and the good guys

We’re not the only ones to get a glimpse of the future in the issue — but Nura Nan, AKA Dreamer, doesn’t have a chance to look at the preview of a comic book out in July. Instead, she (and we) uses her precognitive powers to see the heroes of what used to be the Justice League, beaten and in chains before Waller and her Amazo robots. Is this actually what Waller is planning, or a future in which her plans have gone awry?

Interestingly enough, the main story ends with an explicit notification that the story continues not in Absolute Power #1 in July, but in the current House of Brainiac storyline unfolding right now in the Superman and Action Comics series… which makes sense, given what we learned in this week’s Superman: House of Brainiac Special #1.

Absolute Power might not officially launch until July, but the threat for DC’s superheroes is right here, right now. It’s simply that they don’t know it just yet.

Absolute Power FCBD Special Edition #1
Image credit: Mikel Janin/DC

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