Deathstroke Inc. # 3 reveals that a forgotten DC villain is the real force behind TRUST, and their involvement could endanger the Multiverse.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Deathstroke Inc. # 3, on sale now from DC Comics.
Since the launch of the Infinite border limited series, the multiverse has played a huge role in the status quo of the DC Universe. However, the reintroduction of a forgotten villain made it clear that the threat to the endless number of Earths has only just begun.
Although she now works for TRUST, Dinah Lance (aka Black Canary) still has doubts about the mysterious organization. This causes the hero to do a little investigative work in Deathstroke Inc # 3 (by Joshua Williamson, Howard Porter, Hi-Fi and Steve Wands). Although Juliette Ballantine brought veteran Justice Leaguer into the organization with the revelation that the Golden Age Black Canary was a member of the group, Lance now realizes that it was all a deception. As Canary listens to her new boss, she finally learns who really is behind TRUST – and she isn’t happy.
TRUST is obsessed with balancing the world by taking out some of its most powerful villains, and it looks like that goal extends to the multiverse as well. Turns out that obsession with balance comes from the dark evil Libra. Created by Len Wein and Dick Dillan, Justin Ballantine believed the world was all about balance after his parents died. His first appearance in the years 1974 Justice League of America # 111 saw him make an impression on the DC Universe. Not only did he use a device to absorb the powers of Superman, Batman, and The Flash, but he also used it to absorb the energies of the universe, transforming himself into a god. However, his human body could not take the energy and he ended up being absorbed by the energy.
It was his one and only appearance before he emerged from obscurity to become a major villain in Final crisis (by Grant Morrison and JG Jones). Darkseid’s forces extracted the villain’s essence from the cosmos and returned him to his physical form. After reforming the Secret Society of Villains, Libra enslaved many of the world’s heroes, but was ultimately foiled by Lex Luthor. After being shot, Libra’s body disappeared and it was later revealed that the Dark Villain was the embodiment of the anti-life equation before being taken out.
Although Justin Ballantine did not appear in Deathstroke Inc. however, it is clear that he has a family link with Juliette Ballantine. Although Justin has not made a confirmed appearance on the show so far, Juliette has been seen speaking to a dark figure who appears to be the one behind the organization. With the reveal of this issue, there is now the possibility that it is the original Libra who returned from the dead.
If so, it’s also possible that he could still retain some of the power Darkseid bestowed upon him during Final crisis. TRUST wants to recruit as many heroes as possible so that they can use them to realize their vision of the multiverse. It sounds like a more secretive version of what Libra did alongside Darkseid.
At this point, Libra could be freed from their original puppet master while still retaining their power. The Infinite border the limited series ended with Darkseid and a number of other all-powerful villains racing to take control of the Great Darkness. With TRUST’s bold vision for the multiverse, it’s not hard to imagine them also trying to take control of the Great Darkness.
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