"Darkness Falls" was first published in Astro City: The Dark Age Book One No.1.
The story begins in the aftermath of a cosmic war between Honor Guard and L.S.Deviant, who was being manipulated by aliens for as yet to be explained reasons. During the battle, L.S.Deviant blanketed the world in a tropogengic field that altered reality and caused mutations among the people of earth.
Royal Williams is seen reading a newspaper with a photograph on the front page showing the Old Soldier fighting American troops in Vietnam. A televised debate had two sides arguing whether the Old Soldier was part of a communist plot, or if he was protecting the Americans from a potential massacre. Some went so far as to claim the event was "psychic aftershocks."
Some out-of-towners recruit Royal Williams to assist in the robbery of an armored car, but the job is broken up by Jack-in-the-Box. The brawl between the robbers and Jack-in-the-Box triggers a flashback in which Royal is in a a burning building and someone is screaming "Willa," the Williams brothers's mother. Jack-in-the-Box leaves the criminals, minus Royal who managed to evade capture, "confettied" to a streetlamp. Charles Williams is among the police officers who arrive to apprehend the criminals. He notices a dark silhouette fleeing the scene, and after chasing him down, learns that the shady figure was his brother Royal. This confrontation leads to a flashback where Charles and his brother are in a burning building, and Royal is pleading for help. Charles lets him go, later explaining to a fellow officer that it was out of pity that he didn't pursue.
Later on in a bar, Charles warns Royal of a new "costume" called the Blue Knight who kills criminals of all levels, from mob boss to lackey. Royal has an outburst, exclaiming that heroes don't kill. The reasons for his outburst are revealed in later issues.
Charles mentions that on any given day, all the super hero activity would be considered normal, but the tension due to the Old Soldier's "treason" leads him to believe that mankind isn't in control anymore. Charles compares it to a "heat... You can almost smell it. Coming off people like gas fumes."
After the Silver Agent is arrested for the murder of a foreign head of state, the "fumes" are ignited.
- At the beginning of the story, it is revealed that an incident in San Francisco was similar to the effects of L.S.Deviant's tropogenic field, but was unrelated. This has yet to be explained.
- It is stated that the Apollo Eleven claim to be ambassadors from a league of civilizations later revealed to be The Continuum.