For years the superhero community has protected the DC Universe, but now everything is about to change. This isn’t an attack on one hero, or one team—this is a coordinated strike on the entire superhero community.  Amanda Waller has spent years putting together her grand plan, and it all comes together in Absolute Power, the crossover mega-event that kicks off today in Absolute Power: Ground Zero #1.

What you need to realize is that this is a plot that has been growing throughout the DCU for the past two years. But there’s no need to worry if you haven’t been reading, we’re here to bring you up to speed. Here’s everything you need to know before diving into Absolute Power

Wall and Order

Amanda Waller has been busy. During the Beast World crossover event, Waller engineered a crisis where Beast Boy accidentally infected the planet with spores, turning humans into feral animals—including all of the world’s superheroes. There’s nothing like seeing an already dangerous individual like Black Adam turn into a lion to drive all of humanity to turn on superheroes. To make matters worse, Cyborg hacked into the military’s defense systems in order to stop Waller from launching deadly weapons at the mutated humans.

Cyborg may have been hacking for the right reasons, but this contributed to the building mistrust, which likely wasn’t helped by the DCU’s current lack of a Justice League. Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman have long been known and trusted, but Nightwing, Raven and Beast Boy—they’re unproven, and Beast Boy has already demonstrated he can’t be trusted with his considerable power. Fear of the Titans grew, which was precisely what Waller was hoping for. The Beast World crisis convinced the President of the United States to put together the Bureau of Sovereignty, an agency designed to keep superheroes in check. 

You can probably guess who the head of the agency is…

The agency has the power to override the President in times of crisis, and they’re based in the Justice League’s old HQ, the Hall of Justice. The iconic landmark has now been renamed the Hall of Order. Can things get any worse? Well…

Waller Has Her Own Batman

Some of you might be thinking, “Don’t worry, as long as the heroes have Batman, they’ll think of something. Batman has a plan for everything.”

That’s all well and fine, but Waller has her own Batman. I’m not talking about some government agent in a Batsuit or a doppelganger. His name is Failsafe, and Clock King describes him as “Batman crossed with the Terminator.” That description is eerily accurate.

Failsafe is a Batman contingency plan that blew up in the Dark Knight’s face. An android developed by Bruce’s alternate personality, the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh, the idea was that Failsafe would stop Batman if he ever went rogue. So, this is a robot programmed to stop Batman, and it was designed by the Dark Knight himself. It has Bruce’s brains, and it knows how to beat him.

The problem is, Failsafe doesn’t have Bruce’s humanity. The android eventually went rogue, believing it could be a better Batman than Bruce. It’s been giving Bruce problems in storylines like Failsafe and Dark Prison. Now Failsafe is working with Amanda Waller, giving her a twisted version of the Dark Knight that’s capable of taking down the real one.

We know what you’re saying—at least it’s not the real Batman. And that’s true, it isn’t, but Waller does have a former Justice Leaguer in her pocket.

Green Arrow’s Surprising Partnership  

For the past few months, Amanda Waller has been sinking her claws into Oliver Queen. It all began in 2024’s Green Arrow #9, when Oliver went looking for Roy Harper. Roy had gone missing during a mission for Waller, and the Wall told Ollie that if he stole an important piece of technology for her, she would help him reunite with Roy and the missing members of his family.

Oliver reluctantly agreed, and this storyline has been playing out in the pages of Green Arrow. Last month’s Absolute Power Free Comic Book Day Special gave us a glimpse into the future and it appears Green Arrow’s work with Waller is far from done. In fact, he’s wearing a new uniform. How did Oliver Queen fall so far? We can’t give away the answer, but I would suggest checking out Green Arrow #13, which comes out today.

Dreamer’s Nightmare

Amanda Waller has also recruited Dreamer into her schemes. Well, when we say “recruit,” we really mean “blackmail.” Waller has threatened to reveal the existence of Parthas, a secret community of extraterrestrials and minorities, leaving Nia with no other choice.

Over in Suicide Squad: Dream Team, Nia led Task Force X to Gamorra Island, where Waller hoped to take advantage of the destabilized government and seize control. The mission resulted in the death of Gamorra Island President Sara Nakamura. Nia was infuriated, feeling that she had been tricked into becoming an accessory to murder.

To make matters worse, President Nakamura is the mother of Dreamer’s friend Jay Nakamura, aka Jon Kent’s boyfriend. He probably won’t be happy when he learns that Nia played a role in his mother’s death.

All Hail Brainiac Queen

But it’s this last one that may be Waller’s ace in the hole. For years Brainiac has been collecting knowledge, but recently the villain made a shift to collecting power. Sensing a void in his life, Brainiac has also built an android called Brainiac Queen, giving him someone he can pass his knowledge and power on to. We don’t yet know the extent of Brainiac Queen’s abilities, but it’s considerable. Brainiac siphoned energy from Superman and his Kryptonian allies to power her and we’ve seen her demonstrate the ability to siphon power herself, leaving behind corpses in her wake. Shortly after she was built in Superman #14, Brainiac Queen slaughtered a room full of Czarnians without any effort.

Where is this all leading? Brainiac Queen will also be working alongside Amanda Waller in Absolute Power, which is pretty bad news for the superhero community.

You may spot a reoccurring theme here. Yes, Amanda Waller is gathering chess pieces, and she’s doing it in such a way that it’s likely gone unnoticed by the heroes of the DCU. Waller currently has Dreamer, Green Arrow, Failsafe and Brainiac Queen, to say nothing about her always unpredictable Suicide Squad. If you’re putting together a team for world domination, that’s quite the roster!

For your first glimpse of Waller’s grand plan, you’ll want to check out Absolute Power: Ground Zero #1, which is in stores today. Then come back on Wednesday, July 2 for Absolute Power #1. Waller has something BIG in store for the world, and you don’t want to miss it.

As if she would give you a choice.

Absolute Power: Ground Zero #1 is now available in print and as a digital comic book.

Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about TV, movies and comics for, is a regular contributor to the Couch Club and writes our monthly Batman column, "Gotham Gazette." Follow him on Twitter at @TBUJosh.