First off, the technical rules hoo hah out of the way. The same day as my DC Adventures game, Green Ronin finally released the Mutants and Masterminds 3rd Edition Game Master's Guide. Among the things that immediately caught my attention were the more detailed Wealth rules, Knockback, Lethal damage, and a sub-system for straining one's abilities in order to throw out a really big wallop, beyond what extra-effort allows. Ironically, all of this GM goodness came out after I finally got around to typing up the current campaign standards with my own rules for lethal damage and a few other things (informed by, but not 100% matching, some of the suggestions in the Hero's Handbook).
So I'll be doing new standards soon, but I'm happy to have what appears to be a pretty solid base for the next iteration of the standards. However, with all the technical stuff out of the way, it's time to fight some Black Lanterns!
Black Lantern Marathon was in charge of the bad guys, and right off the bat, he attempted to power stunt a wormhole so he could implement some plan. I allowed Marathon's player to make an Insight check to figure out what he would do if he were dead and had no soul, to whit a few of the others in the group said, "so, how is that different than he is now?"
The Black Lanterns had their stats generated by utilizing the sidebar in Black Hand's entry. Man those are some nasty abilities. Then again, Black Lanterns are definitely a "come up with some kind of comic book plan to defeat them" enemy, not a "beat them up or blast them to Hell with your powers" enemies.
In the comics the main way to deal with the Black Lanterns would be to apply two or more different emotional spectrum energies to a Black Lantern. Unfortunately, that solution wasn't going to work in this situation. I had already decided that, given the weakness to the White Ring and the power of the entity of life, Necromancer's ability to raise the dead would provide a possible means of defeating the Black Lanterns.
So basically, if one of the Black Lanterns was knocked out, and Necromancer raised them before their next turn (since they had Immortality 20 with the Black Lantern rings), the ring's connection would be severed and the dead body would be immune to being animated, leaving the ring vulnerable to being destroyed, but only until that character's turn, at which point, the dead would rise again.
First off, my group, the entire group, was on with their amusing superhero and not quite as heroic quips, so I threw out a lot of hero points. Thankfully, as soon as one of the Black Lanterns was down, Necromancer tried his ability, and so the means of defeating the bad guys became evident. The biggest problem was that while the rest of Task Force X were minions, Marathon was not, and Black Lantern Marathon would not drop.
Eventually the group was triumphant, and none of the Black Lanterns managed to successfully use their "rip out their hearts" ability. When Black Lantern Marathon went away, the rest of the rings (all products of Hypertime) disappeared (except, of course, the one from this reality that Myrmidon was still wearing). Thankfully, Myrmidon's plan of getting killed, becoming a Black Lantern on his own and attempting to become the new alpha male of the Black Lantern pack never got implemented. Fahrenheit did grab a ring, which would have been disastrous, except it was still bonded to the guy he lifted it from, so it didn't turn the formerly dead hero to a newly dead and then reanimated villain.
Oh, and Paradox finally got to use Leadership. Just wanted to note that.
What was interesting was that Necromancer wanted to raise Amanda Waller, feeling bad for her death. Myrmidon adamantly stated that they shouldn't be trying to raise anyone else after all that happened, and the argument escalated from there. In the mean time, Marathon and Fahrenheit conspired to have the DMA take the bodies to a local hospital, and everyone agreed to keep Mister Freeze from being the guy that attempted Waller's return. That led to a fun application of the Nullify power from Fahrenheit to make Freeze's suit warm up, and then the rest of the party to crack his dome, causing him to freeze up to save himself. They also got Trevor to have him transferred back to Arkham instead of Belle Reve.
Fahrenheit started seeing an attractive blond man wherever he went, Myrmidon went to a gentlemen's club with the team's pilot Javier to help him think, Paradox started writing up his report for Trevor, and Marathon was doing research on Circe's domain for Myrmidon. After Myrmidon provided some lore to Marathon to go on, he located some areas near Greece to check out, and Marathon and Necromancer checked out a mysterious island that might bear some investigation.
Eventually with the whole group home, the mysterious blond man introduced himself to the team (minus Paradox, who had a date) as Neron. Necromancer knew who that was, and stated that they should never ever ever cut any kind of deal with him ever. Neron, however, is a charming guy and offered to get them into the Rock of Eternity, and promised a "freebie" wish-like promise. Marathon called Paradox back home, and against their better judgment, pretty much the whole party agreed to Neron's offer, which was to steal the Crown of Hell from Blaze for him, while she is at the Rock of Eternity. He also mentioned that Blaze took Black Adam "out of the game" by calling in a few favors to gain Isis' soul.
The party got their freebies: Myrmidon became more powerful (he's PL 14 in a PL 11 game), Fahrenheit's parent's souls are safely on the outskirts of Heaven, Necromancer asked to have any Apokalips DNA taken out of him, and Marathon, Paradox, and Beorn all opted to cash in the favor later. Neron handed the group a model of the Rock of Eternity that will allow them to show up, unannounced, on Blaze's doorstep, and that is where we leave our heroes.
Full Disclosure: I'm hoping more of the favors get traded in for a boost in power. I can handle a PL 14 game, but I'll feel a bit guilty if the whole group doesn't even out to the same PL by the end of this segment of the campaign. However, it's the player's choice on how to cash in those favors.