After Kalibak informs Scott and Barda that Darkseid has rejected what was essentially an agreement to end the war at a stalemate, he presents the pair with a new proposition.
“Darkseid is willing to withdraw all forces. Immediately. Return all prisoners,” Kalibak says. “Further, he would disarm and allow a New Genesis force to inspect Apokolips. Finally, he would… surrender the anti-life equation…”
Sounds almost too good to be true, doesn’t it? Well, that’s because it comes with a hefty price tag.
“Darkseid, humbly, asks only one thing,” Kalibak continues. “He asks for custody of his only grandchild, Jacob Free. He asks that the boy be raised on Apokolips. That he be raised here as the one, true heir to Darkseid.”
The issue then comes to a close with both Barda and Lightray furious and Scott completely dumbfounded by what’s just transpired.
It’s easy to see the parallels between Darkseid’s terms and the very deal that forced Scott to be raised on Apokolips instead of his homeworld of New Genesis. However, when that deal was struck, it was done under false pretenses by both parties. Highfather wanted to test his own son’s spirit while simultaneously redeeming Orion; Darkseid, on the other hand, never truly wanted the peace between Apokolips and New Genesis to last, so when Scott finally came of age and fled his adopted homeworld, it gave him even more incentive to resume the war.
That being said, are we poised to see history repeat itself? Will Scott and Barda give up their son, knowing full well he’ll be raised under the same horrific conditions they were, in exchange for peace that will be temporary at best? (Even Barda acknowledged there would inevitably be a next war.) And even if the peace were to last, we still can’t be sure how much of this is even real, and how much is simply the machination of whoever is behind Scott’s false reality.
Either way, Scott and Barda now have to make arguably the hardest decision of their lives, and at this point, each and every possible outcome seems to favor Darkseid.