by Doc Quantum
The crowd cheered wildly as Green Lantern and Doctor Mid-Nite bowed for them. In the front row, a group of Japanese kids dressed in costumes patterned after those of several Justice Society of America members raised a banner over their heads, which read: “The Junior Justice Society, Tokyo Chapter, Welcomes Green Lantern and Doctor Mid-Nite of the JSA!”
Green Lantern flashed his ring, and immediately the stage erupted in a great burst of harmless green flame, to the shock and delight of the audience. The hero took to the air, a trail of flame behind him, and circled the stadium several times in a spectacular light-show.
The audience clapped and cheered even more loudly than before, as Doctor Mid-Nite grimaced, thinking, Now how am I supposed to beat that?
Doctor Mid-Nite then tossed five of his blackout bombs at five points on the stage, surrounding himself with pitch-black gas that quickly expanded in place. The green flames soon diminished and died out as the darkness blotted out all the light on the stage, and slowly spread out over the audience. Soon, with the help of the sun having set and the sky turning to dusk, the entire stadium was darkened.
It became quiet, with only the scattered whistles and cheers of a few audience members anticipating what was coming next.
A huge green vacuum cleaner suddenly formed above the stage, and all the blackout gas was sucked up into it, even as the green glow provided light once more to the crowd.
Once the blackout gas was all gone, the audience began cheering, as they saw Doctor Mid-Nite himself perched on a high-wire created from Green Lantern’s ring, and sitting on a glowing green unicycle.
As the crowd hushed and watched as Mid-Nite slowly began to cross the high wire from one pole, the high-wire itself suddenly re-formed into a loop-de-loop, like the kind circus clowns used, and Mid-Nite picked up rapid speed as he went first downward and then, incredibly, up, around, and back down the loop, toward the stage, where he finally leaped off of the unicycle and flipped over to land several feet above the audience on the palm of a giant green hand.
The crowd cheered once again, now worked into a frenzy of excitement. Doctor Mid-Nite and Green Lantern cracked a smile at each other and continued the show for another hour, thrilling the kids of Tokyo.
Back in their hotel rooms, Green Lantern and Doctor Mid-Nite laughed as they talked about the wonderment they inspired in those kids’ faces.
“Who would have thought, twenty years ago, that the children of Japan would be cheering for two members of the JSA?” marveled Alan Scott, the Green Lantern.
“It’s amazing enough that we were given the opportunity we had when we announced the JSA’s round-the-world tour after the team came out of retirement,” said Dr. Charles McNider, alias Doctor Mid-Nite. “Too bad the other JSAers couldn’t have been here for this last show, though. I think they’d really have enjoyed it. I didn’t think we’d be able to top our last show, in Vancouver — those Canadian kids were simply crazy about us — but this one really took the cake.”
“None of them could really find the time to do more than a couple of shows each,” said Alan. “Married life and all that got in the way. You, I, and Johnny are the only single JSAers left, ever since Diana married Steve last year. I suppose we could count Ted Grant, too, although he was mostly a fill-in member.”
“Next thing you know, they’ll all be having kids,” said Charles. “Speaking of which, we should give Carter a call. Shiera’s due this week.”
“Say, Charles,” started Alan, “why didn’t you and Myra ever become a couple? It was obvious to all of us that she adored you.”
“I could ask the same thing about you and Molly Maynne,” said Charles with a smile. “But as much as I cared for Myra, it just wouldn’t have been right of me to deny her the love of a… normal man. She deserves better.” He looked down sadly. “Besides, she’s engaged now, to a man named Bill Martin.”
“I’m not trying to play pop psychologist or anything, Doc, but although you may be blind in certain circumstances, you can actually see better than most people can, especially in the dark. I find it hard to believe that’s your reason for not going after her.”
McNider smiled. “Very perceptive, Alan. I suppose it’s mostly just my fear of commitment. My parents were divorced when I was a child, and ever since then, I’ve found it hard to become close to anyone, let alone be involved in such a long-term relationship as marriage. But I think you may be diverting attention away from your own reasons for bachelorhood. Have you not considered marriage with anyone before?”
“Once,” said Alan, “although the circumstances were such that it would never have worked. She was a criminal, and I was a hero. I knew she loved me, as I did her despite myself, but it just felt wrong, somehow, like I was betraying my principles. I haven’t seen her for many years now, though, so even if I wanted to do something about it, I couldn’t.”
“Bruce and Selina seem to have worked out their differences very nicely,” offered Charles. “And they have a beautiful little six-year-old girl named Helena to prove it. (*) They believed it was well worth the price of the scandal that followed, since he was, after all, a millionaire philanthropist marrying a reformed thief.”
[(*) Editor’s note: See “From Each Ending, a Beginning,” DC Super-Stars #17 (November-December, 1977).]
“What about Molly?” said Charles. “Ever see her anymore?”
“No, I haven’t seen her for many years now. She was always very dependable as a secretary, and she was a very caring person, but there were never really any sparks between us. I hope she’s doing well for herself, though.” Alan Scott stood up and walked toward the door, now in civilian clothes. “Listen, I’m going to go for a walk, and check out the sights for a while. If you talk to Carter, let me know a bit later if they’ve had the baby yet. I’ll be back in my room in a few hours or so.”
“Sure thing, Alan,” replied Charles, reaching for the telephone. Then he thought better of it and rose, heading for the door. “Oh, Alan!”
“Yeah?” he replied from the end of the hotel hallway.
“Could you wait up for a moment? I’d like you to deliver a letter for me.”
“OK,” Alan replied, and walked back to McNider’s room, where he saw the doctor writing a short letter, while of course wearing his special glasses that enabled him to see in the light, and placing it in an envelope, which he licked shut and handed to Alan.
“Edmund Blake?” Alan said with surprise, reading the name on the envelope.
“Yeah, he’s currently the head of an expedition in an unexplored area of Australia, for the National Geographic Society. I thought we could drop by to see him sometime next week before or after our show in Sydney.”
“Head of an expedition, huh? So he became a naturalist, after all,” Alan Scott said proudly. “I always knew the kid had it in him.” (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See “The Strange Lives of Edmund Blake,” All-Star Comics #48 (August-September, 1949).]
Charles McNider laughed. “Well, he’s no kid any longer. He’s become a successful, rising young naturalist. The fact that he’s the head of this expedition shows just how much he’s worked at it since graduating from Harmouth College a few years ago.”
“It’ll be good to see him again,” Alan said with a smile, and walked back out the door to survey the delights of downtown modern Tokyo, and how much had changed since he was last there.
“It’s a boy!” Charles McNider said as he stepped through Alan Scott’s hotel room door the next morning.
Alan rubbed his eyes and groaned, “Huh?” He was still suffering from jet-lag since they’d made the trip from Canada, then Hawaii, and now Asia, in the space of only a few days, and didn’t follow him at first.
“Carter and Shiera had a son!” Charles explained.
“That’s great!” Alan said, still trying to shrug away the effects of deep sleep. “What’s his name?”
“They’ve decided on Hector.”
“Like the hero of Troy?” laughed Alan. “That figures, considering Carter’s love of archaeology. Well, I guess we’d better be heading off to our next show in Hong Kong soon, and then we’re off to Sydney next week. The sooner we finish this round-the-world tour, the sooner we can head home and see young Hector Hall for ourselves firsthand.”
One week later:
“That was great!” said Doctor Mid-Nite as he and Green Lantern left the show in the stadium in Sydney. “They loved us here!”
“It sure was a spectacular show, I’ll agree,” said Green Lantern. “I’m just glad it was our last one on the tour. It’ll be good to get back to the States and see all of our friends, even though neither of us have any family to welcome us.”
“They’d be finishing up their Thanksgiving dinners right about now,” said Mid-Nite. “I can’t blame the other JSAers for not wanting to continue on with this, the last leg of the tour.”
“Let’s go see young Mr. Blake now. I’d like to see how the ‘little tyke’ is doing these days.”
Green Lantern and Doctor Mid-Nite arrived in a remote part of the Australian outback, settling down at a makeshift camp.
They were greeted there by a smiling blond Australian man who waved them over. “My name’s Steve Erwin. Here t’see Edmund, are you? He led a party straightaways in that direction, towards that valley there.” He pointed back in the direction of a mist-enshrouded valley.
“How long ago did he leave?” asked Green Lantern.
“About four hours ago,” replied Steve. “Edmund said he wasn’t about to be put off by the fact that the aborigines consider it taboo.”
“Taboo?” questioned Doctor Mid-Nite. “Why?”
“The aborigines have been pretty tightlipped about the reasons. It was hard enough just to get permission for this expedition, let alone trying to find a guide for the trip. The natives would have no part of it.”
“There may be a reason for that, G.L.,” said Mid-Nite.
“I agree,” replied Green Lantern. “Ring, lead me to Edmund Blake.”
At that, a faint trail of green arrows pointed the direction to where he was.
“Thanks for your help,” said Doctor Mid-Nite at the man as the two JSAers began to leave.
“Anytime, by crikey,” said Steve. “You JSA blokes are fine by me.”