WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for The Unexpected #1 by Steve Orlando, Ryan Sook, Cary Nord, Mick Gray, Wade von Grawbadger, FCO Plasencia and Carlos M. Mangual, on sale now.
There’s a new team in the DC Universe, and it's unlike anything the DCU has ever seen before. Hot off the heels of Dark Nights: Metal arrives The Unexpected, a ragtag group of warriors charged with stopping Crisis-level events before the likes of Superman and Wonder Woman even know they’re going down.
As such, The Unexpected is a dense book full of references to the larger DC Universe, but one reference in particular caught our eye. While reaching to tear out that Conflict Engine which replaced Firebrand’s heart, Alden Quence references one of the biggest bad guys in the history of the DC Universe, a name which gives us a hint at the scale of story the series is designed to explore.
First mentioned by name in Supergirl #20, Alden Quench, aka the Bad Samaritan, appears fully for the first time seeking Janet Fals, a former EMT who died during the invasion of the Dark Multiverse and was resurrected by a shady arms developer who replaced her heart with the “Conflict Engine,” thus turning her into Firebrand. Now, she has to fight constantly in order to feed the engine, which the higher ups at Civil Solutions wants back. Her life is hard enough when the sinister Bad Samaritan shows up at her work looking to steal her new heart.
The reason Alden Quench wants the Conflict Engine is simple: He’s been hired by Onimar Synn, regent of Thanagar Prime who was last seen during Dark Nights: Metal trying to sacrifice Earth so Thangar would survive the collapse of the Multiverse. However, the Bad Samaritan has his own agenda, and namechecks a much more dangerous foe as he plans to use Synn as a way to reach Mandrakk: The Dark Monitor.