The Duke of Deception held out his chained hands. “I was placed here upon my defeat at the hands of my vile daughter and you mortals. Mars is in a rage at me. I would pay back my daughter Deeceit for this fate. Free me, and I’ll help you as well,” he pleaded.
“How can we trust you?” said Superman. “Seems to me that you deserve your fate.”
“My ring could tell me if he is lying,” said Green Lantern. “If only it was here.”
The Flash nodded. He had wished for his speed over and over that long day. “This pellet should burn his chains off,” he said. “We can’t leave any man in such bondage.” He used a utility belt pellet to free the Duke.
Thanking him, the Duke said, “I knew you were the smart one!”
“Why were we brought here?” asked Superman.
“To fight in the Great Games, to lose, and to enhance Conquest’s status in the eyes of Mars,” said the Duke.
“Deeceit,” said Batman.
The Duke smirked. “Yes, indeed, my daughter has her hand in it, so she obviously plans some twist that I’d say that hulk Conquest has missed. She’s a vile serpent, that girl, but she’s a chip off the old block, as you Earthers say!”
“Well, save us from this proud parenthood commercial and get us out!” said Superman.
The Duke nodded. “Walk this way!” he said.
“Famous last words?” asked Green Lantern with a wry grin.
The Duke led them through several winding passages that seemed to physically portray the ever changing thoughts within his scheming mind. He had every desire to betray them, but he fought this urge by remembering how he had an equal desire to see Deeceit and Conquest suffer. In short, right now it was proving not easy to be the Duke of Deception.
He felt his old power return as he spent each minute freed of the sapping energy of the chains, and smiled as an idea reached his serpentine mind. “I can restore your powers!” he said.
“How so?” asked Green Lantern. “We know our pal Johnny’s T-bolt could not alter the spells of your daughter.”
“His magic is not as closely akin to hers as is my own,” he said, grinning. “Thus I may undo her deceptive weave.”
In moments, Superman, Green Lantern, the Flash, Batman, and Starman found themselves whole again. Superman silently breathed a sigh of relief. It would be good to have Batman’s keen mind on their side in this place.
Batman immediately began to plan. “Deeceit planned to restore us, anyway, in the middle of the Games, so we would defeat her ‘ally’ Conquest,” he said. “The girl has loyalty only to herself.”
Starman nodded. “It’s good to have my faculties and my gravity rod back.”
Green Lantern’s green fire bathed the halls in their light. “How did you duplicate the rod?” he asked.
“My magic merely brought one of your extras from your squalid mortal home,” said the Duke.
The Flash handed Batman his belt as they whispered. The Flash grinned and said, “He calls the Knight penthouse squalid! Hate to hear his opinion of my place.”
The Earl of Greed gasped as he turned a corner and faced a charging group of weird figures. “Blast it!” he cursed. “No funding for my efforts, but Mars dredges up enough resources to create monsters for another pet project.” He fled as Wonder Woman jumped forward to meet the newcomers.
“By Aphrodite’s girdle!” she gasped as her friends caught up to her.
“I see why our oily friend took off,” said Hawkman, pointing toward five menacing figures.
A crackling humanoid figure sped into view, while a flaming figure hovered near a brightly shining presence. A hulking brute stomped forward, next to a shadowy specter.
Doctor Mid-Nite frowned. “Something tells me we’re in for a fight.”
Robin grinned. “Anything to get help to Batman!”
“That one looks like a modified version of G.L.’s green flame!” said Johnny.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s a modified version of Joe Lewis!” said the Atom. “We’re coming through!”
The Flash frowned as he turned a corner and spotted the wily Earl of Greed. “Looks like reinforcements have arrived!” he called.
Green Lantern flew nearer. “That energy being reminds me of Johnny’s T-bolt.”
Superman frowned. “That small scrapper could even be a Martian Atom!” He groaned as a Gorgon-haired female crashed into him. “She’s solid enough!” he said ruefully.
Starman’s rod glowed as he encased a darting figure. “Agile little demon!” he said.
Batman held out his hand, saying, “Hold it — those are our friends! That flip is a move unique to Robin’s family!”
“Let the truth be seen by the light of the green flame!” said Green Lantern, his emerald radiance covering the hallway as a magical flash of pink energy greeted his efforts.
“Johnny’s right!” said Doctor Mid-Nite. “Those are our pals!”
The group greeted one another warmly. “Diana, you almost took my head off again!” joked Superman. “Some pacifist!”
Robin clasped hands with his mentor, overjoyed at his recovery. “Knew they couldn’t hold you for long!” he said, beaming.
“Thanks for the vote of confidence, old chum!” said Batman.
Johnny said, “Say, you know, this looks like dirty work of the Duke himself!”
Diana tossed her magic lasso to pull in the cowering figure of the Duke of Deception. “It was his work, right, Duke?” she asked.
Bound by the rope, the Duke reluctantly admitted the truth. “Yes, curse you!” he growled. “I hoped to set you upon your fellows with a simple illusion!”
“You know, these Martians are a bunch of total creeps!” said the Atom.
“Well put,” chimed in Starman.
“Now let’s get out of here,” said the Flash.
“Not so fast, mortal dogs!” roared Lord Conquest as he entered the hall, his squadron in tow.
Meanwhile, back at JSA Headquarters, Shiera Sanders had put her fashion sense and an Amazon fabric producer to work in creating female versions of the male JSA member outfits for Lois Lane, Doris Lee, Joan Williams, and the hastily summoned and deeply surprised Linda Page. Lorna Dawn still retained the Green Lantern costume she had already devised.
Linda, wearing a bat-cowl and cape with a pleated gray skirt and boots, said, “I realize my own physical and deductive skills have radically increased of late, and I do know Batman, but I can’t imagine why I would have been turned into a female Caped Crusader, unless Batman is someone I’m very close to.”
“Now that’s intriguing,” said Lois Lane as she paced back and forth in the red cape, red miniskirt, and S-emblazoned sleeveless top of Superwoman. “Let me see your address book,” said the eager girl reporter.
“Hold it!” said Joan. “We owe it to the men in our lives not to delve too deeply into their secrets.”
“Yes, we need to use these gifts to help our friends,” said Lorna.
Shiera smiled. “Finally, a voice of reason! I say we should follow them. Using that ring on your finger, we should be able to track down our errant males.”
In a flash of green flame, they were gone.
The JSA girls arrived on Mars, just as the Duke of Deception’s magic had restored their male counterparts. The talents and skills the women had absorbed lingered for now, since the energy already drained had not entirely left them. Doris still carried a gravity rod. However, Lorna no longer had a power ring. The original was now back on Alan Scott’s hand.
“I still have G.L.’s fighting ability, but not his ring,” murmured Lorna as the pretty Secret Service agent explained her loss.
Hawkgirl snapped an order, “We’d better charge! Those Roman-styled goons are attacking someone, and in this place, anyone under attack is likely a friend to Earth!” She swooped low and slammed both heels into a trooper as he raised a flat mace over the Atom’s head.
The Atom grinned and said, “Thanks, feathers!” He slugged a goon in the chin and watched him fall with satisfaction.
Starman flew over to meet Doris, now a true Starwoman once again, as she sent several troopers flying with her rod. “Nice technique, although I could still show you some pointers,” he said.
“Maybe later, if you’re lucky!” she teased.
Lois Lane as Superwoman reveled in her new power. She literally ripped the floor out from under a squadron and bent it up around them like an instant prison. “A girl could grow to like this!” she said with a smile.
Superman smiled as well, although he was a bit uneasy at seeing his favorite damsel in distress smashing her way through the stronghold of the evil trio. “Remind me not to get that girl angry!” he joked to Batman as the Caped Crusader and Robin sailed into some troops.
“These Martians want me to take them to our ‘beater,’ Batman! That’ll be you!” punned the Boy Wonder as he leapfrogged over a trooper and kicked him flat.
Batman grinned as Linda Page high-kicked a guard across the room. Society gal, nurse, and now this! What can’t my Miss Page do? he thought.
Green Lantern created a green ram’s-head battering ram and crushed the efforts of the legions of Conquest to regroup.
Lorna Dawn spun and dodged troops as Doctor Mid-Nite punched his way to her side. “You should put your weight into the punch,” he suggested.
Hawkman waved his lover to his side, and they sliced through a huge hanging light that crashed into the teeming troops below. “Lights out!” he quipped.
“I wanted to say that!” Hawkgirl said in mock pout.
“Retreat!” cried the Lord of Conquest as Wonder Woman stood in his path, hands defiantly on her hips. “These mortals have us on the run!”
“Don’t rush off on my account!” said the smiling Amazon princess.
Batman called to Superman, “The weapons room must be nearby. Notice how some troops rush to the left unarmed, then return with weapons?”
Superman scanned the place and agreed. “Let’s close down their little lend lease center!”
The Man of Steel and the Caped Crusader, along with Robin, used their skill and power to send the weapons blazing beneath fire or rubble.
“These won’t be used against Earth anytime soon!” said Robin with a smile.
Wonder Woman was charged by the hulking Conquest. “I’ve faced your power before, Aphrodite spawn!” he sneered. (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See 4th story, Wonder Woman #2 (Fall, 1942).]
“And I believe the final scorecard showed me as the victor!” said Wonder Woman as she bent low beneath his onrushing form and hurled him over her head. He crashed into a wall and rose anew, only to be sent spinning by the twin blurs that were the Flash and Joan Williams. As Conquest came out of the spin, Diana punched him twice rapidly, and he moved no more.
Then Linda and the other society girls began to weaken. “We’re losing our powers and gifts!” said the blonde nurse.
Johnny Thunder, clad in his white sailor uniform, rode in on his Thunderbolt’s back, crying, “T-bolt just melted all the Martian rockets!”
“Nicely done,” said Hawkman, smiling. “Now, how about sending us home?”
“T-bolt, home, please?” asked Johnny.
The Thunderbolt grinned. “Once around the park first, Master John?”
“No detours!” said Johnny. “Last time you had us stuck on Saturn!”
“Ah, the slave girls of Saturn!” smirked the Thunderbolt.
That night, the dungeons of Mars held all three of his aides, plus Deeceit. “Bah!” roared Mars. “All of you fail me! You actually brought the Justice Society mortals to Mars! Why not summon the Spectre and all his ghostly ilk while you’re at it?!”
“Please, sire!” whimpered the Lord of Conquest. “It was Deeceit’s idea!”
“You only make things worse with such insipid begging!” said Mars. Marching out, he left the foursome chained and bitterly angry at one another.
“Why did I get involved?” whined the Earl of Greed.
The Duke of Deception smirked as his daughter struggled beneath her chains. “Pater is so happy to have his little girl nearby,” he said with a sly grin.
As for Deeceit, she remained silent and vowed to never be a prisoner again, no matter what it took. She had been named after her father, so she also decided she needed a new name, if she were ever to come out of her father’s shadow. She began thinking of a befitting name for the daughter of Deception, for whom lies were her stock-in-trade. Lya? she mused. Yesss, I shall call myself Lya. And Wonder Woman won’t even recognize me the next time we meet. (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: For Deeceit’s first encounter with Wonder Woman while under the new identity of Lya, see “Deception’s Daughter,” Comic Cavalcade #26 (April-May, 1948).]
Back on Earth, the assembled Justice Brigade of America relaxed in their headquarters at the Smithsonian.
“Gosh, the gals sure did a swell job!” said Johnny Thunder. “It’s too bad Green Lantern had to wipe their memories away!”
“Only some of them,” clarified Green Lantern. “It wouldn’t do for Lois Lane, Doris Lee, or Linda Page to figure out why they, of all people, gained the super-powers of their respective male friends’ secret identities. Heck, I’m not even sure who that girl was who received my power ring in the first place. I don’t remember ever meeting her before.”
That’s because, as you told me, Lorna was going on a special deep undercover assignment for the Secret Service and requested that you wipe both her memory and yours of each other’s identities for safety’s sake, thought Doctor Mid-Nite. If you ever do meet each other again, it will be as strangers. (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: Lorna Dawn would later encounter Green Lantern during the Icicle’s first appearance in All-American Comics #90 (October, 1947), with both thinking it is their first meeting.]
“While the gifts they received and their memories of having them are now gone,” Doctor Mid-Nite mused aloud, “perhaps they have a better understanding of the life of a mystery-man. Why, one could speculate that they might still retain some healthful benefits from their time with athletic enhancements.”
“Doc, I can barely keep up with the normal Lois,” said Superman, “so don’t tell me she’s going to be getting into trouble at superhuman speed!” They all laughed, and one more case was closed.