by JSAGL, Rubberman41, LadyObie33 and Starsky Hutch 76
Paradise Island, somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle:
Queen Hippolyta watched as her daughter’s invisible plane touched down. Four women disembarked from the plane — Wonder Woman, Fury, Jade, and the comatose Huntress, who was being held immobile by Jade’s power pulse.
Fury rushed to Hippolyta and threw her arms around her. Hippolyta returned her granddaughter’s embrace. “I have missed you, little one.”
Wonder Woman, in more traditional Amazon fashion, clasped arms with her mother. “Hola, Mother.”
“Diana, welcome home! And who have you brought with you?” Hippolyta asked, turning her gaze to Jade and the Huntress.
“Mother, may I introduce Jennie-Lynn Hayden? She is the child of my Justice Society comrade, Green Lantern.”
“Your majesty,” Jennie-Lynn said as she tried her best to curtsey before the Amazon Queen.
“And the young lady whom she holds aloft?”
Lyta Trevor spoke up. “Grandmother, this is my friend and Diana’s teammate, Helena. She was injured during the recent Crisis, and the doctors have been unable to help her. I thought, perhaps…”
Hippolyta smiled at her granddaughter. “Of course, little one.” The Queen gestured to her two attendants, who carefully took the Huntress. “Bring her to the Temple of Healing. Perhaps the purple ray may heal the injuries that those in Man’s World could not.”
“Thank you, Grandmother. You don’t know how much this means to me!”
Hippolyta put her arm around Lyta as the four women started walking toward the palace. “It is my pleasure. After all, your mother has brought her comrades here for help in the past. A few years ago, she brought your friend Kara here. We helped her become accustomed to the Earth and gave her a vast education.”
They entered the great hall, and before them was a small-but-lavish banquet. The four women took seats. “Eat and enjoy, sisters. Diana, as I was speaking of your comrade Kara, it reminded me of another sister that you brought to Paradise Island many, many years ago, with your comrades Flash and Green Lantern. I believe her name was Rose. Whatever became of her?”
Diana turned to Jennie-Lynn. “Perhaps you might tell my mother what she wants to know.”
Jade looked at Hippolyta. “Rose… Rose was my mother. She’s no longer with us, I’m afraid.”
“Oh, child, I am so very sorry.”
“It hasn’t been easy, but I’d like to hear more about her. I never knew her very well. What was she like here? Did she spend a lot of time with you? I’m sorry, I must have a million questions.”
Hippolyta gazed at Jennie-Lynn, her eyes sparkling. “I would be honored to tell you about your mother.”
A warehouse in Gotham City:
A large group of strangely clad people shuffled nervously, waiting for something to happen. Suddenly, the silence was broken by a gruff, inhuman voice. “Hello all. Some of you may know me. I am the Ultra-Humanite, and I have a proposition for you.”
The one who spoke stepped forward, and the throng saw the great white mutant ape that was the Ultra-Humanite. Many in the crowd gasped in awe, while others seemed to relax. “I have gathered you here today to offer you a new future. For years we have been beaten by the Justice Society and the whelps in Infinity Inc. But I have a solution.”
The Ultra-Humanite glanced across the faces of his audience and continued. “Those of us — members of the Injustice Society of the World, my own Secret Society of Super-Villains, and several of you with no organized allegiances — have time and again been thwarted by these so-called heroes. But no more.” At this, a rumble went through the throng.
A man in dark clothing stepped forward. “What great plan are you working on, gorilla man?” he asked sarcastically.
The ape-man snorted loudly, and his gaze drilled into the figure. “Well, Shade, if you would just listen, I will continue. I propose we join forces, not as individuals or in small teams as we have in the past, but as a united front — similar to the All-Star Squadron, but with one goal: to crush our enemies, once and for all.”
“A grand plan, my primate friend,” the Shade interrupted, “but how are we to do this when they seem to forever have the upper hand?”
“Well, if you would be patient, I will tell you,” the Humanite huffed. “The recent Crisis has taken its toll on both of the aforementioned teams of heroes. The Huntress is in critical condition, the Wildcat has broken legs, and Superman is missing, presumed dead. I have never seen a better time to strike than when your enemies are exhausted.”
“That makes sense, hairball,” the Shade said snidely.
The Ultra-Humanite ignored the Shade and continued. “But since our enemies know our tactics so well, I have recruited someone whom they have not met before — someone with a worthy heritage.” He gestured to the shadows beside him on the catwalk. “Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce Alexis Luthor, daughter of the recently deceased Alexei Luthor.”
A figure stepped out of the shadows, her tight-fitting purple-and-green-leather uniform swishing as she walked. Her red hair bounced on her shoulders, and her green eyes flashed as she surveyed her audience. “Hello, my friends. We are here today to witness the demise of the Justice Society of America!”
Jennie-Lynn Hayden listened intently to Queen Hippolyta as she told the story of when her mother Rose stayed on Paradise Island.
“I recalled when Green Lantern brought Rose here so that we could help the poor woman,” said Hippolyta. “We exposed her to the purple ray in the hope it would help her, and indeed, Rose seemed happy and peaceful for the time that she was with us.” Jennie smiled happily upon hearing this.
“We knew, however, that would want to and needed to return to the Man’s World. We would have enjoyed having her stay with us, but we knew she wouldn’t be truly happy to spend the rest of her life amongst us, so we said our farewells to her and helped her return to the world from which you came. We wondered what happened to Rose after she left us. Would you mind telling me what happened to your mother, Jennie-Lynn?”
Jennie gained a rather serious look on her face but agreed to the Queen’s request. She said, “My mother was involved in a romance with my father, Alan Scott, shortly after she returned to the U.S. They were married only briefly before tragedy struck,” she continued, frowning. “My parents did consumate their marriage, but later while my father slept, my mother gave in to an irresistible temptation and tried on his Green Lantern ring. It caused her to transform into the Thorn. She fought her dark side, though, and fled to prevent harming my father. She discarded his ring in the fireplace, which my father retrieved after awakening. For years he believed that she had perished in the fire.
“My mother learned she was pregnant after she fled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a few months later, she gave birth to myself and my twin brother Todd. Her evil side was still a threat to us, so she abandoned both of us, and we were raised in separate adoptive homes.”
Hippolyta asked, “What became of you and your brother? How were you reunited?”
Jennie smiled. “I discovered a telepathic connection to him, and after we met, we decided to try to join the JSA to find out if Alan was our father. We were turned down and instead joined Infinity Inc. with some others who were rejected by the JSA, too. (*) After we were with Infinity for a time, we were reunited with my mother Rose. I and a few others met her while we were on the island of Tashmi, and she returned to Los Angeles with us. (*) But her Thorn side eventually gained control, and in order to prevent herself from destroying me and the rest of my family she killed herself to destroy the Thorn.” (*) Jennie looked very sad as she finished, as did Hippolyta.
[(*) Editor’s note: See “Generations,” Infinity Inc. #1 (March, 1984), “A Gauntlet Hurled,” Infinity Inc. #2 (May, 1984), “A Thorn Grows in Paradise,” Infinity Inc. #13 (April, 1985), and “Green Dreams and Precious Illusions,” Infinity Inc. Annual #1 (1985).]
The Queen said, “Your mother was a very brave, noble woman. You should be very proud of her.”
“I am, but I still miss her!” said Jen. “I know that in certain ways both Todd and I resemble her greatly. I worry about him sometimes, because he seems to be so much like our mother, personality-wise. I just hope he never turns corrupt as our poor mother did.”
Hippolyta then said, “The best you can do is know that your mother walks amongst the most noble of gods, and also believe that your brother will continue to remain on the same side of the heroes.”
Jennie smiled and thanked Hippolyta, and then returned to checking the condition of her friends.
Los Angeles, California:
“Dad, I am going to do this whether you like it or not!”
“Over my dead body, young lady!”
“That can be arranged!”
“Will you two just stop?!”
Johnny and Jesse Chambers turned to see Libby Lawrence walk into the house.
“Mom!” Jesse squealed with delight and rushed to hug her mother.
“Hello, sweetheart. So what is your pig-headed father doing to you this time?” Libby said, casting a smirk Johnny’s way.
“God damn it, Libby, why do you always take her side in everything? You don’t even know what’s going on!” Johhny replied, his voice a combination of hurt and anger.
Extricating herself from her daughter, Libby set her purse and gloves down. “Now, Johnny, if I didn’t know what was going on, I certainly wouldn’t have beat out Barbara Walters for that interview with President Reagan, now, would I? And besides, I certainly had enough sense to get out of our marriage, didn’t I?”
“God, Libby, you drive me freakin’ insane, do you know that? And I was the one who filed for divorce, as I recall.”
“Well, yes, I suppose that’s true, but I didn’t come here to discuss old news. Jesse, sweetie, you asked me to come, so what’s going on?”
“Oh, you’re going to love this,” Johnny Chambers said, sitting down in his easy chair.
Jesse stood before her mother and looked straight into her eyes. “Mom, I want to join the Justice Society!”
Libby’s jaw dropped open, and her skin turned as white as a ghost.
Gotham City Memorial Hospital, Ted Grant’s Room:
“A seventy-five percent chance of full recovery is encouraging,” said Alan Scott, the Green Lantern, “but with your permission, Charles, I believe I can take care of the other twenty-five percent and give Ted a full recovery.”
“You’re not a doctor, Alan,” Charles McNider said.
“No, but the ring does have magical properties and can do just about anything I command it to do, given enough willpower.”
“Which G.L. has in droves!” Al Pratt, the Atom, chimed in enthusiastically.
“I’m going to leave this one up to you, Ted,” Charles McNider said. “Under ordinary circumstances, I wouldn’t allow this sort of thing — miracle cures. But I’ve seen what the ring can do, and I trust Alan.”
“Me, too, Doc. I say, if he can get me up on my feet and fightin’ the good fight, then let’s do it.”
“All right then, Ted. Brace yourself.”
The bedsheet was pulled back, and Alan used the ring to remove the Ted Grant’s casts. He then aimed his ring to allow its emerald energy to envelop his shattered legs.
“Aaah!” Ted cried out, feeling his bones knit, straighten, and harden at a speed his body would never have had the chance to become accustomed to. Suddenly, the green glow around his legs spread out to the rest of his body, changing to a decidedly different hue.
“What are you doing, Alan?” Charles McNider. “I thought you were just going to work on his legs!”
“That wasn’t my doing,” Alan said, shutting off his ring. “There was another energy already present within him.”
“Your face, Ted…” the Atom gasped.
Ted Grant reached for a mirror that had been left on his night stand. “Damn. If that don’t beat all…” he said.
“You look younger than me, Ted,” Atom said. “Heck, you look younger than Robin, even.”
Ted stared in the mirror at the wrinkles that had smoothed around his eyes, and the crow’s feet that had disappeared. He turned his head from side to side. There was far less gray than there had been before. “I think I feel younger, too. How much longer do I need to stay in bed? I’m anxious to see what this bod’s capable of now.”
“We’ll have to run a few tests, Ted,” Charles said. “And your muscles are still going to need to strengthen themselves.” He turned to Alan and said, “One thing that troubles me — if this little bit of emerald energy did this when it reacted to whatever energy was apparently within Ted, then what will happen if all the emerald energy that we know has built up in your system over the years should ever react with Ian Karkull’s chronal energy?”
Yolanda Montez had watched the entire scene in Ted Grant’s hospital room through the window from the ledge where she sat in a catlike crouch. Looks like Ted Grant won’t need anyone to follow in his footsteps now, she thought to herself. He’ll still be making footsteps of his own for a long time. I’ll have to find a name of my own. Well, no one’s used the name Catwoman in a while. She smiled inwardly at the idea.
An underground complex deep beneath a warehouse in Gotham City:
“Well, my dear, I think our plan is proceeding exceedingly well,” said the great white mutated ape housing the mind of the Ultra-Humanite.
“Yes, Ultra, we have the making of a strong force to complete our goals,” replied the beautiful, red-headed young woman dressed in a purple-and-green, skintight leather costume. “But what of Ian Karkull? Can he duplicate the de-aging effect that years ago rejuvenated the JSA? (*) I don’t want an army of doddering old fools fighting for us.”
[(*) Editor’s note: See “The Justice Society Adventure the World’s Not Ready to Learn About Yet,” All-Star Squadron Annual #3 (1984).]
“My dear Miss Luthor, you have no faith in our allies. Karkull will come through for us, or die trying,” the Ultra-Humanite said, chuckling. “Although it is a pleasure talking with you, my dear, I have some daunting business that may have a large impact on our future.”
“I must be off as well, Ultra. I have business in Metropolis even as we speak. I will see you at our next meeting. Good night.” With that, Alexis Luthor left the giant ape-man and walked to her vehicle.
The Ultra-Humanite walked down some stairs and stopped at a bookshelf. He reached around behind the shelf and triggered a sliding door. He then entered what looked like a combination of an operating room and laboratory, and walked over to a console where a video screen showed the vital signs of his patient. Looking over to a large circular glass tank, he smiled and ran his fingers along the glass at same level as the face of the being held in the biochemical bath inside the tank — the form of a giant white female gorilla.
“Soon, Alexis, my darling, soon,” the Ultra-Humanite sighed and started working again.
Alexis Luthor arrived at her Metropolis apartment shortly before sunrise. In the darkness she disrobed and prepared for sleep. Looking across her bedroom, she saw a picture of her mother, who had died years earlier of a broken heart. On the table next to her mother’s picture was a framed newspaper clipping of her father with the headline: “Superman Foils Luthor Again.” Still holding her boot in her hand, she flung it at the picture of her father, shattering the glass and knocking it to the ground.
“Damn you, Father, damn you for leaving me and mother alone. Damn you for letting her die of a broken heart, and damn you for being such a loser that your own peers snicker at you even after your death.” Tears flowed as Alexis continued. “I don’t need you, Father. I don’t need any man. It made me sick how all those dirty old men ogled me. Their leering and drooling was about all I could handle. Wait until I have led those doddering old fools in defeating the JSA. I’ll show them, I’ll show them all.” Alexis collapsed onto her bed, softly crying herself to sleep.