An angry man lay dying. He was gaunt and sick, and his elderly Native American wife of many, many years looked down on him with sorrow and regret. Their daughter — the foster child of their old age — wept softly as her father drew his final breaths.
“It is a matter of trust between us, my family,” he said. “I wish you to make the white man pay for the injustices inflicted upon our proud people. I die defeated by Wonder Woman many times in the past, but you live, my daughter, and I require you to avenge me upon her and America!” With a gasp, he left this world.
The young woman known as Deborah Sky-Dancer smiled grimly. She turned from her mother’s arms and gazed upon her late father. “I shall avenge you,” she vowed. “You took me in and taught me the ways of my people when they were not your own. You fought for my tribe when they scorned you as one who belonged to the outsiders. Thus I shall carry your old name to battle in my own way. I shall be Syonide!”
Elsewhere, a good man lay dying. His son and heir Little Raven stood by with his own son. He received words of love and affirmation from the Sioux chief Great Eagle, who had taught him so well.
“My son and my heir. I will miss the time I have spent with you, but I go in peace, and I bless you both. I also pass on my honorary name to you, brave Little Raven. You are, from this hour on, Chief Man-of-the-Bats.” He clutched the young man’s hand and continued, “And you, son of Raven, must carry a new name onward for us both. You must honor the hero who saved our people from Black Elk so long ago. I name you the Flying Fox!” With these words, he died.
“I shall not take the name of Man-of-the-Bats,” said Raven. “It must die with the only one truly worthy to carry it. What of you, my son?”
The handsome youth said, “I differ from you in that I do wish to carry the name of Flying Fox. With my skills handed down to me from you and Great Eagle, and my education from Gotham University, I want to connect the old and new ways and fight for justice as you did as a boy alongside Man-of-the-Bats. I have the mantle ready.” He held up a cloak and hood of black and a dark gray costume. “I shall be the Flying Fox!” said Thomas Ravenson.
Dick Grayson frowned over the morning mail. After flying back from a case in Metropolis as Power Girl, she walked into stately Wayne Manor and shoved a breakfast plate of toast toward him. In her secret identity of Karen Starr, Kara Zor-L wore a short green skirt, heels, and a white silk blouse, while Dick wore a sweater and black slacks.
“Why so glum? You look the like Publisher’s Clearing House people are asking you for money! Of course, they could, and you’d never miss it!” she teased. “Or worse yet, have the tabloids started saying you and Michael Jackson share a plastic surgery obsession?”
Dick glanced up at the lovely blonde. “A friend died — Great Eagle of the Sioux. He was one of us.”
Kara crossed her legs and sat on his lap. “What do you mean one of us? Was he a wealthy playboy like you and Bruce pretended to be?”
Dick kissed her and said, “No — a mystery-man. He was a costumed hero for a short while. He called himself Chief Man-of-the-Bats, and his sidekick was Little Raven. Bruce and I helped them out with a rat named Black Elk back in the ’50s. (*) Anyway, poor old Great Eagle died. His son, Robert Ravenson, is coming here to settle a few claims on Gotham property they owned.”
[(*) Editor’s note: See “Batman, Indian Chief,” Batman #86 (September, 1954).]
Kara ran a hand through her hair and said, “I’m sorry. My Kryptonian ox in a China shop act is a bit much at times! Why is his name Ravenson? That sounds more Scandinavian than Sioux.”
Dick grinned. “Just a name he selected for his business dealings. It honors his adopted father. He was a foundling taken in by Raven years before. No one knows his true last name, so why not use Ravenson?”
“Orphans, wards, and mentors — that pattern runs strong in your life!” she said with mock solemnity.
“I want to meet with Robert,” he said. “He sounds like a fine young man. Would you join us, O trophy blonde from a planet far, far away?”
“Sure, aging sugar daddy,” replied Kara, “but that far, far away stuff is not Krypton. That’s the wrong movie.”
Deborah Sky-Dancer walked calmly into the Gotham Museum and shattered a display case while shedding her trenchcoat to reveal her bodily curves and a doe-skin tunic and slippers. She reached into the case and took out a strange talisman that looked like a hammer.
As guards rushed toward her, the lithe young woman spun around and kicked one flat while flipping a second one over her shoulder. She brought the hammer down solidly on his head and said, “So shall it be for all who oppose Syonide!” Brandishing the hammer, she raced out the door.
Later, Dick and Karen stood beside Robert Ravenson. He was as athletic-looking as his mentor had been, but he also had less humor than the bantering Raven had displayed back in the 1950s when Dick had last seen him.
“I know you and Mr. Wayne paid for my education and advised our people on some real estate investments,” he said. “I thank you for all the kindnesses you showed us. My father Raven does not travel anymore due to his many duties back home, but he wished me to especially pay our respects to the man we owe so much to.”
Kara noticed something odd about the young man. She gave a quick scan of his elegant suit and saw that a bulge at the neck concealed a cloak and costume beneath the clothes. He’s wearing a Bat-styled costume! Does everyone Dick meets don one of those eventually? She mentally recalled her own time dressed as Flamebird during her visit to Krypton with Dick. (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See Power Girl: Kara’s Quest, Chapter 1: Return to Krypton.]
They walked out along Gotham’s Finger Boulevard until police sirens echoed nearby. “I hate to be so rude, but Karen, here, is due at the beauty parlor, and I promised to drive her,” said Dick. “You know how women are about their hair.”
“She is stunning like a morning sunrise, and I do understand your desire to please her,” said Robert as they parted.
Later, as Power Girl carried Red Robin over the streets toward the Gotham Museum, she snapped, “My hair? Is that the best you can do? Why not just said I have to get my legs waxed while I giggle demurely! That was sooo irritating!”
“Sorry,” said Red Robin. “I won’t use your nonexistent female vanity as an excuse again.”
They dropped down with what Red Robin considered needless force and entered the museum to confront the darting figure of Syonide.
Power Girl flew toward Syonide and said, “Sorry, Minnie Ha-Ha, but your time off the reservation just ended. Prepare for a real trial of tears when I bring you to jail for hurting those men and robbing the musuem.”
Syonide sneered with contempt and waved the hammer in the air. A blizzard engulfed Power Girl and swept her to the ground under a flood of icy blasts. The magic of the storm froze even her super-body, and she blasted free with heat-vision and raw power.
Red Robin watched for a moment, then acted without hesitation. He tossed a batarang, and it knocked the hammer from her hands. She yelped in pain as he swung closer and grabbed her. “This storm ends here!” he declared.
Syonide kicked him in the knee and leaped for the fallen weapon. Then the black and gray form of Flying Fox dropped down to block her path.
“You go no further!” he said. “You represent old hatreds that I hope to heal. I shall connect two worlds and bring an end for good to such racial strife!”
Red Robin stood up and immediately knew the hooded man to be Robert Ravenson, as did Kara, who shook off icy clusters from her body. She slammed her hands together, and the shock waves sent Syonide reeling.
Flying Fox kicked the hammer away and tackled her. She spat in his face, struggling furiously. “You are a coward and a traitor to your race. I defy you and your white masters!” She flipped him off, and he rolled back up immediately.
Power Girl flew at Syonide at top speed and swept her up into the air. “Let’s see how you like sudden changes of climate, Pocahontas!” she said with a smile.
Up they flew into the thinner atmosphere above, and Syonide screamed in rage. “The talisman below would have given me the magical might to avenge my father upon Wonder Woman and all your ilk!” she yelled. “You shall regret humbling me.”
She suddenly tore free of Power Girl’s grip by making an unexpected leap out of the girl of steel’s arms.
“Are you suicidal?” called Power Girl as the Native American girl plunged to her apparent death.
Red Robin saw the hammer glow, and he called a warning. “Flying Fox, get back!”
The young hero flew skyward as the hammer vanished, along with the falling Syonide.
“She’s gone! My x-ray vision scan proves that!” said a scowling Power Girl. “More hoo-doo.”
The Flying Fox joined Power Girl below as Red Robin scanned the area. “You’re right,” said Flying Fox. “She did magically teleport away using the hammer’s powers.”
“So we’d better warn Diana and track her down,” vowed Red Robin grimly.
“Yeah! That madwoman did have a hate on for Wonder Woman!” said Power Girl.
“I recall the name Syonide from the JSA’s crime files,” said Red Robin. “Her dad must have been the first one to use that name. He was just an old nutcase from an insane asylum who believed himself to be the reincarnation of Chief Powhatan, father of Pocahontas! (*) He later recanted that, but he still tried to target Wonder Woman later on, since he saw her star-spangled form as representing the American colonists who drove the true Native Americans off their lands and killed so many in the westward expansion.”
[(*) Editor’s note: See “Hatchet of Death,” Sensation Comics #57 (September, 1946).]
“My friends, for I see you for Dick and Karen, I ask you to let me stop her,” said Flying Fox. “It would do much to ease my own grief at the loss of Great Eagle. I would honor him and your own esteemed mentor by my actions.”
“Sure, Robby,” said Power Girl. “We know your secret, too!”
Red Robin frowned and said, “If you need us, just call, but if you want to do this solo, this former sidekick can respect that. Be assured that you do make Chief Man-of-the-Bats and Batman proud. I believe that.” They shook hands, and Flying Fox departed to track down Syonide.
“Two legacies — one of justice and service, and one of madness and hate,” mused Red Robin. “If she had been raised by someone loving and kind like Great Eagle, she could have been the heroine, while — if Flying Fox was truly a foundling — then he, too, could have ended up bitter and deadly. Funny how a mentor can shape one’s life so completely for good or ill. I could have ended up badly, too, if it wasn’t for Batman.”
Power Girl kissed him. “You’re doing the same thing for Jason. Like you said to Flying Fox, Batman would be proud. I believe that!”