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- Boy, they sure don’t make evil immortal sorcerers like the use to. Oh well.
Nov 5th – Klarion the Witch Boy and his conspirators — Wotan, Blackbriar Thorn, Felix Faust, and the Wizard — meet in in the dead of night at a deserted crossroads on Roanoke Island, North Carolina. They inscribe a magical circle on the ground and begin ominously chanting “Wir sind die pfeifer von hamelin”. Meanwhile at Mount Justice, Superboy and Miss Martian are unloading supplies from the bioshop. Zatanna tells Artemis that she wishes her father, the Justice League’s Zatara, would allow her more freedom. At exactly that moment, Batman, Zatara, and Red Tornado vanish in a blur leaving the stunned teens behind. On Roanoke Island, the villainous mages continues their chanting as Wotan, Thorn, Faust, and Wizard also vanish. Klarion smiles.
In Fawcett City, young Billy Batson is watching a TV news report about when his guardian Uncle Dudley vanishes. Billy is about to call down the lightning of Shazam and transform himself into the adult Captain Marvel when he notices that it is not just Dudley who has vanished. Billy realises that he may well vanish as well if he becomes Captain Marvel. Robin and Zatanna try to coordinate the worlds teenage heroes from Mount Justice, but they cannot raise any adult hero — even Red Arrow. Traditional media is down, but world wide blogs and kids websites are reporting that everybody over the age of eighteen has vanished. The level of magic necessary to achieve this scares Zatanna, but Robin needs her to trace its source by replicating a spell that Zatara once used.
Aqualad, Kid Flash, and Robin use Justice League technology to tell the children of the world that they are searching for the adults, but that it is the responsibility of the older children to look after the infants. Billy sees their broadcast and realises that he has to make it to the Cave, but the League’s zeta-beam computer won’t recognise him. The resourceful Billy finds a teenage pilot called Amber Joyce at the airport and convinces her to fly to him to the Cave. However, when they are in the air Amber mentions that tomorrow is her birthday. As midnight passes Billy realises too late that Amber has turned 18. She vanishes leaving him alone in the cruising aeroplane.
Superboy and Kid Flash bring Happy Harbour children to a refugee centre in the High School where Artemis is entertaining the younger children with garbled nursery rhymes. The older kids are okay, maybe even a nuisance, but the younger infants are in danger without their parents. Back at the Cave, Kid Flash and Aqualad stare at the Helmet of Fate and question just how desperate things have become. Anybody who puts the Helmet on becomes the host of the Lord of Order Nabu and is transformed into the sorcerer Doctor Fate. Unfortunately, Nabu is unlikely to release the host again once the emergency has passed. Zatanna tells them that she is ready to try her father’s locator spell. It works surprisingly well and located Roanoke Island as the source of the disturbance.
Elsewhere, the events of the day replay in a surprisingly different manner. There is a Roanoke Island where it is Klarion who vanish and the four adult mages who remain. There is a Mount Justice where, as before, the Team are unloading supplied. Batman asks Zatara if he will allow Zatanna to join the Team, but Zatara stalls and admits that he finds it difficult to admit that Zatanna is growing up. They conversation is suddenly cut short when all of the teenagers vanish. The League responds to the emergency and the majority of their number becomes tied up helping desperate parents. Zatara stares at the Helmet of Fate and asked Batman just how desperate things are. Zatara has already identified the focal point of the sorcery as Roanoke Island, the chaos means that only he, Red Tornado, and Batman are free to respond. Batman comments that Captain Marvel is missing.
Panic begins to spread across the country as parents realise that their children have vanished form the back of their cars, from School, from the places where they were playing. Every child under the age of 18 has vanished. The public seeks answers from secular and religion leaders, the Justice League, and the scientists of STAR Labs. A large crowd starts to gather outside of STAR Labs in Gotham City. They are incited into a riot by a blond man, who quietly steps aside once the crowd surges towards Commissioner Gordon’s police. They fail to notice a man disguised as a scientist (the Riddler) leave STAR via a side entrance and drive off with the man who had incited the riot (the Sportsmaster).
Billy Batson is wrestling to keep the aeroplane in the air and is forced to transform into Captain Marvel to save himself. The aeroplane vanishes around him and Amber reappears. The Captain saves Amber from plummeting to her death and then goes to the Cave. He is over joyed to see Zatara and Batman, but then realises that there are really two separate dimensions. The magical spell has split the world into two dimensions, one inhabited solely by the adults and another inhabited solely by the children. The Captain’s unique ability to change between a child and man makes him the only person able to travel between those dimensions. He shouts Shazam and appears before a very confuses Team as Billy Batson. Using Billy/Captain Marvel as a messenger the Justice League and the Team coordinate plans for a simultaneous attack on Roanoke Island.
In the kids dimensions the Team attack Klarion, but even the combined might of Aqualad, Kid Flash and Zatanna’s magic cannot penetrate his shields. Miss Martian and others try keeping him occupied while Artemis and Kid Flash go for Teekl, Klarion’s familar. However, Klairon spots them and transforms Teekl into a sabre toothed tiger. In the adults dimension, the four adult mages similarly hold Zatara, Red Tornado, Batman, and Captain Marvel back. However, Zatara recognises a mystic gem at the at the circle’s centre as the focus of the spell. They could use it to break the spell. The Captain changes to Billy to inform the Team of Zatara’s deduction. That’s all Zatanna had been waiting to hear. To Robin and Aqualad’s horror she puts on the Helmet of Fate and becomes Doctor Fate.
Billy jumps back to the adults world to inform Zatara. The Captain tells the adults to keep the mages occupied while he burrows under their circle at superspeed. Back on the kids world Zatanna/Fate responds to Klarion’s spells, but the Helmet is split between both worlds rendering Nabu’s power reduced. Fate redoubles her efforts and finally manages to crack the shield and shackle Klarion. At the sametime on the adults world Captain Marvel comes up through the centre of their circle and throws their gem to Zatara. Father and daughter then pool their spells across dimensions and causing them to snap back together as one world again. The adult sorcerers lie defeated, but Klarion escapes through a portal before anybody can react.
The villains have been defeated, but at a terrible coast. Nabu now possesses Zatanna’s body as a new Doctor Fate and he refuses to release it even under Zatara’s pleas for his daughter’s return. Nabu retorts that the chaos they’ve witnessed is proof of the need for Doctor Fate. Zatara volunteers his own body instead and Nabu agrees. Fate allows Zatanna to remove the Helmet, but she is unaware of what has transpired since she put it on. She and her father have a brief moment together before Zatara dones the Helm to become a new, permanent incarnation of Doctor Fate. The Doctor when vanishes with the captive mages leaving a stunned Zatanna behind.
Nov 7th – The following day, Robin, Miss Martian, and Artemis help Zatanna move into the Cave. They want to help her, but she just wants to be alone to grieve for her father. Elsewhere, Klarion is estatic at how the plan worked out. The Light are also pleased. His distraction may have been a little extreme, but it worked as necessary and allowed the Riddler and Sportsmaster to steal the box they required from STAR Labs — the sample of alien tentacle that Black Manta had previously tried to steal from Atlantis.
- This episode happens on the 5th going into the 6th of November. Zatanna moves into the Cave on the 7th.
- Kent Nelson’s spirit objected strenuously so Nabu about his treatment of Zatanna that Nabu released his spirit to the afterlife.
- Zatara is now Doctor Fate.
- Zatanna have moved into the Mount Justice headquarters.
- Billy Batson discovering he can travel between the two universes and convincing the Team he’s actually Captain Marvel.
- Just how old is Klarion.
Misplaced is a great episode that brings together some of the series strongest guest characters — although I am beginning to wonder where the dividing line is between series regular and a supporting cast member. That’s not meant to be a criticism, just a comment on how strong the ensemble has become. I think my favourite of these fringe characters is Billy Batson/Captain Marvel. He’s really the centre pin that this episode revolves around. The sequence where he has to convince the Team of who he is priceless and shows that the youngest character in the show may just be the wisest.
The running Zatanna/Zatara/Fate storyline takes a twist here that I really didn’t see coming. When we first see Zatanna in the comics she had been cursed so that she would die if she was ever nearto her father so he ran away to protect her. That separation from her father is used by making Zatara the new host for Doctor Fate. Its always been a problem in the comics that Fate/Nabu was generally cooler than the host. The comic book version has been through a succession of short lived hosts, but none of them really worked as well as the original Kent Nelson. Indeed, Zatara probably wouldn’t have worked so well, but his relationship to Zatanna gives his “death” an emotional punch.
If there is one disappointment about this episode it’s that we didn’t get to see Wolf go up against sabre-toothed Teekl.