At JSA headquarters, Hawkman turned to Wonder Woman as they watched the scenes play across the Magic Sphere’s view screen. “This is interesting,” he said. “Obviously we triumphed, but what was the purpose behind the nuclear thefts?”
“Indeed, it is interesting,” said Wonder Woman. “I suppose the mace came from the Son of Vulcan. It is the same, right?”
Hawkman nodded. “Certainly appears to be. But why can’t we recall this case?”
Shiera buffed her newly painted and dried nails. “Tune in and find out,” said his wife, who knew him so well. Poor Carter’s worried about a fight he had to have won, she mused. It’s just the leader in the man.
Firestorm fought a hard battle. He sat next to Kara Zor-L, the pouting blonde heroine known as Power Girl, who was not in a good mood to begin with, and did his best to justify his lack of communication with her since the last JLA-JSA meeting, which was only a couple of months earlier. Although in truth the heroes had saved Earth-Prime from being devastated by a nuclear war in the 1960s, none of them retained any memory of the events. As far as they knew, 1982’s annual JLA-JSA team-up had been uneventful.
“Save the lines, Romeo,” she said. “I didn’t exactly spend the time since we last met sitting around the phone.”
Firestorm’s mental companion, Martin Stein, told him telepathically, “Ronald, I fear this young lady is a bit more than we can handle — as individuals or collectively. She is… passionate, to say the least.”
The young hero replied with a whisper, “I know. She is stubborn, hot tempered, but a total babe.”
Having overheard his comment using her super-hearing, Kara sniffed and said, “You know, the idea that we’re a threesome all the time we’re together is really freaky.”
“But he always says such nice things about you,” remarked Firestorm.
Green Lantern scanned the nuclear facility on Earth-Four. “Peacemaker, can you tell us what to expect?” he asked. “With the Stranger pulling one of his vanishing acts, you’re our best guide while we’re on your Earth.”
Peacemaker shook his head. “No. But I can predict we’ll see our foes any second now.”
Green Lantern said, “Is that some power you possess?”
Peacemaker grinned coldly. “No. I just see them coming from over there. Benefit of the lens in my helmet — distance vision.” He pointed to approaching figures.
Power Girl jumped up. “At last — some action… of the fun kind!” She flew toward several figures.
A strong-looking man with a metallic costume of dark magenta and bronze challenged the maid of might. “Well, a real looker,” said Major Force, an enemy of Captain Atom’s who shared some of his powers. “Too bad I gotta flash-fry you, legs.” His energy blasts rocked Power Girl to her knees.
She shook her hair out of her eyes and stood up. “My turn!” she said, belting him across the jaw and sending him crashing through the facility’s reinforced walls. “Pig,” she snorted.
Major Force shoved the rubble aside. “Oh, I’m gonna enjoy this.”
Meanwhile, Peacemaker stood firm as a white-haired man in a colorful cloak posed dramatically before him. He held out his own gun. “I’d take it slow, gramps.”
The Fadeaway Man smirked and pulled a larger gun from his flowing cloak. “Good advice for you, old man,” he said.
Wonder Woman kicked down a fence and led several lab men to safety. “Stay back — we’ll handle this threat,” promised the Amazon princess of Earth-Two. She hated to see ordinary folks in danger and normal life disrupted. She felt the anger rise within her and panted for air as emotions overwhelmed her. Her body was, she suddenly realized, bathed in a red light.
The smirking Doctor Spectro grinned. “See? My lights make the underwear chick all hot and bothered.”
His ally, the Rainbow Raider, said, “Oh yeah? Watch me make her even madder!” He fired a red ray toward the raging Amazon, who now screamed her fury to the sky.
Firestorm nodded his head at a scene in the distance. “Look at those weirdoes climbing the walls.”
Odd, indeed, thought Stein in Raymond’s head. Like spiders, or — based on their aquatic look — I wager they’re like squids.
“They are called the Squids,” shouted Tyger as she spun to kick an approaching figure. “The jerk battling Power Girl is called Major Force.”
The figure approaching Tyger wore a catcher’s mask and was accompanied by a woman wearing a leopard print cat-suit. He said, “I’m Sportsmaster, and this lady is my lovely wife, the Huntress. We’ll be your killers tonight.”
Doctor Fate drew nearer. “Never while the light of Ra shines against your ilk.”
Green Lantern flew toward Power Girl. She had just kicked Major Force backward. The emerald warrior slammed a huge green fist into him and said, “Dare I say need a hand, P.G.?”
Power Girl smiled. “And I thought bad punning was a trait found only in senior citizen super-heroes.” She braced herself as Major Force charged into her again.
Green Lantern knew better than to interfere before the fiery blonde from Krypton of Earth-Two’s universe took her own shot at the atomic-powered brute. She was deadly serious about asserting herself. He saw similarities to his own lady love, Carol Ferris.
Meanwhile, Doctor Fate — whose real name was Kent Nelson — recognized the Earth-Two couple of the Huntress and Sportsmaster and felt no qualms about his ability to defeat them. Still, he wondered what vague magical aura he detected just slightly beyond the range of his senses.
He reached into his golden cloak and produced a seldom-seen old tool from his career in the 1940’s. The Ring of Fate may lead me toward this present prickling at the corners of my mind, he mused. The relic did its job as well as it ever had, and the golden-helmed mage soon found himself at a particular part of the Earth-Four globe. Strange, he mused. This mystical pattern is not unknown to me, although never before have I ventured upon this world.
Back at the battle, Firestorm raised and pointed his arms, and the pavement altered to form a massive fist around the struggling and snarling Huntress. “Got to love the leopard print outfit,” he said with a grin as the angry woman struggled helplessly.
Sportsmaster, her masked husband, fired energy pellets out of what appeared to be an altered baseball bat. They dissolved the stony fist as his mate slipped free. “Now to tame that hotheaded pup,” the Huntress said.
Tyger slipped silently forward. The martial arts mistress from Japan kicked the Huntress flat but gasped as the older woman pulled her down to the ground with her. They wrestled furiously.
Sportsmaster watched in pleasure until he spotted Green Lantern. Got to take down this punk, he mused. Any Green Lantern is fair game for me. He hurled a baseball toward Hal Jordan, but it bounced harmlessly off his green shield.
“Wood doesn’t hurt this G.L.,” cursed Sportsmaster.
Green Lantern smiled. “Don’t worry, Sportsmaster. If my buddy, the G.L. from your world was here, he’d be just as quick to strike you out.” He propelled dozens of green spheres toward the frantically dodging villain, whose name was “Crusher” Crock.
The Huntress snarled and fired a bolt toward Tyger, who rolled out of its path. It struck Firestorm in the back. “Rule number one: never assume your enemy intends to hit you,” the villainess said in the tone of a bored teacher.
Firestorm’s world grew dim. “Some type of… drug,” he gasped.
Wonder Woman erupted in anger. She charged the nearest figure, Doctor Spectro, backhanding him across the field.
“She is enraged, but she still managed to attack!” Spectro gasped.
“Amazons live under constant admonishment against losing control,” she said with a smile. “Indeed, I’ve been in such battles before when I lost my bracelets. You merely gave me a welcome target upon which to vent the artificial rage you created.”
She stepped down hard with one high-heeled boot and crushed Doctor Spectro’s brightly colored device. Without his weapons, he was helpless against her.
Major Force blasted away at Power Girl, only to gasp as the maid of steel suddenly flew away. “Haw! haw! The dame’s scared,” bellowed the villain, who had been nothing more than a petty criminal named Emil Forsa before the 1969 experiment by Professor Danton Koste that had altered him forever. (*) His expression suddenly changed as she returned and encased him in a spherical tomb.
[(*) Editor’s note: See Secret Origins: The People Versus Major Force.]
“This should shield us all from his energy emissions,” she said with a smirk. “Guess he didn’t expect a mere woman to out-think him.”
Green Lantern smiled also as he saw a dizzy Firestorm use his power to turn all of Sportsmaster’s gear to brightly colored artificial flowers. The naked and mortified Crock gasped and surrendered. Green Lantern knew Firestorm’s altered metabolism would soon shake off any drug, and the one the Huntress used had been already identified by his power ring. “Now for the Rainbow Raider,” he mused.
Peacemaker dived for cover as his weapon expended its ammo. The Fadeaway Man tossed his own gun down before pulling out a trident. Using it, he charged Peacemaker, who activated a belt-mounted jet pack and soared above the white-haired foe. “From an aerial perspective, you’re still a loser,” he declared.
He dodged the hurled trident and pushed a button. A stun blast surged out at that moment, dropping the middle-aged man to his knees. He dropped down after his enemy and kicked him down. A quick slip with handcuffs rendered the Fadeaway Man helpless. “I guess my arsenal just beat yours,” said a grinning Peacemaker.
Green Lantern, who had witnessed the scene, remarked to himself, “Funny — Batman carries at least that much gear in a much-smaller belt.”
The villainous Huntress clawed at Tyger, only to receive three swift kicks to the head. A final flurry of blows left Mrs. Crock defeated. The sight of her cowering spouse distracted her just enough for Power Girl to knock her cold with a tiny one-finger tap.
The Rainbow Raider tried to use his powers to make Wonder Woman fearful, but the steely nerved Amazon princess instead walked directly through the wide array of emotion-altering rays created by Roy G. Bivolo and posed with hands on each hip.
“Emotion denied,” she said with a smile and slammed both hands against his ears. He fell with a groan and remained still.
“Where’s the silo?” said Firestorm.
“It teleported away,” said Peacemaker. “It’s something the Ghost is capable of doing.”
Power Girl frowned. “Great — a nut case with a nuclear missile.”
“Where is your Doctor Fate?” asked Tyger. “He appeared to flee.”
Power Girl shook her head. “Nope. No way. Doc is older than history, but he is no coward.”
Green Lantern chimed in, “True enough. I believe the good doctor is making a house call of sorts to the source of the problem.”
At that moment, Doctor Fate returned. He dropped the stunned and battered Squid gang before his friend’s feet.
“These felons tried to slip off in the chaos,” he said. “Luckily, I always am aware of chaos. Indeed, I tracked the source of our problem to a certain spot on this troubled globe.”
“Sunuria,” guessed Peacemaker. “That lost land of warrior women was the Ghost’s old headquarters.”
“Not so,” corrected Fate. “I detected the magic driving this Ghost — for he is a pawn — and it emanates from another spot, one your ally Nightshade would call the Land of Nightshades.”