Law’s Legionnaires: Darkness Unyielding, Chapter 2: The Black Star Shines Again

by Libbylawrence

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Diana Dare was pleased that Lady Tarantula had immediately contacted her and asked her to help rescue Hourman and Blackout. The lovely blonde wore the green bikini and high heels of her now famous cheesecake costume. As Queen Arrow, she had once hoped to lead a new Law’s Legionnaires team, and although she was vain and spoiled, she was yet an able heroine who had recently come to terms with her own limitations and had realized that she needed someone else to be the team’s leader.

Turning to Rob Harper, who had once been known as the second Speedy, she asked him, “Will you join us?”

Rob smiled. “I won’t wear a costume, but I’ll bring my bow.”

A handsome blond man with rippling muscles and a red shirt and white pants ran inside the team’s new headquarters, which had been purchased and outfitted by Queen Arrow. “Di, I have the plane ready. Let’s go! Hourman is a friend of mine!” said Lance Gallant, who was known as Captain Triumph.

“Can you detect any trace of this blacklight creature?” he said, apparently to himself, but in fact to the apparition of his dead brother. After a moment he told the others, “Michael can’t sense the monster. He is not supernatural, despite the description you gave us.”

The blonde and beautiful Queen Arrow patted Lady Tarantula’s arm. “It’s OK, honey. We’ll find them.” Angela Leonard nodded and hoped her confident friend was right.

Rob leaned over as Diana flew her private plane. “The creature sounds like something out of myth,” he said.

“Nope,” said Queen Arrow. “If Lance’s ghostly sibling can’t detect it, then I’d wager it’s something technical or scientific.”

Angela wished she knew more about what they had faced back at Tyler Chemical. The shadowy figure showed many talents beyond those of a normal man. Science could enable one to do such feats, but it sure looked like magic to the waitress.


Hourman cursed himself for involving Deena Tyler in the adventure. Her inexperience justified her errors, but he could only claim that he was caught off-guard. Perhaps the remnants of Miraclo that still surged within his body and empowered him now without the use of the wonder drug still made him brash and reckless at times. What else could explain his willingness to bring in the two girls instead of calling Doctor Mid-Nite or the Sandman? Still, he reassured himself he had been trying to display a willingness to accept a new generation of heroes that he had seemingly lacked when his own son first approached him about seeking such a career.

Now his muscles tensed against the chains that held him tightly above a grid. The grid seemed to drain the black-light power that also apparently remained in his altered metabolism, feeding it to the man who appeared to be made of black light itself. Nearby hung Deena in her short red and blue Blackout costume.

“You know I sensed the power within you two while I slumbered within the ground all those years,” said the shadowy man. “I could smell the raw energy your body carries, and when this delightful morsel came into power of her own due to this accident she speaks of, I fairly salivated in my rocky prison. Then I found that I could sent off spawn of my own form, and using my old favorite ploy of distracting a hero from my true goal, I seized all that power from your many devices created over a career of heroics.”

Hourman frowned. “Yeah, that’s us — human buffets! Now, tell me the truth, Karkull, how did you escape?”

The black figure laughed. “You don’t know a thing about me! The expert on black light thinks I’m just some shadow man he once fought!”

Hourman knew the man he faced seemed to be composed entirely of black light, yet Ian Karkull had been the closest thing to such a being that he had experience fighting.

“Hang in there,” said Deena. “I’m sorry I brought this jerk down on you. He said it was the accident at Nightowl’s that gave me my Blackout powers that attracted him to us in the first place.”

Hourman shook his head. “No. He knew about me. He just gained some power from that freak accident of yours. Don’t blame yourself. It’s self-destructive to blame yourself for the dangers of science gone wrong. I should know.”

Deena looked on as their captor swelled up to giant size once more. “You do feed me!” he said. “I can use this newfound might to slay the men who left me trapped below the surface for so long. I can kill the–”

At that moment, Captain Triumph smashed through the walls. “You’ll never kill the JSA while I live!” he yelled.

Queen Arrow posed for a second as she assessed the situation, then released arrows that tore apart the chains holding the two prisoners.

“Let me add some light to the situation!” said Rob Harper, firing an arrow that exploded in white light. The shadowy man did not flinch or draw back from the bright light.

Hourman noted this. He was a man of action, and he loved the addictive thrill of adventure. Yet he was also a keen mind matched with a powerful body, and he knew his science.

As Captain Triumph slammed into the shadowy man, his power did little good, since the evil figure merely dissolved and re-formed to the side of the hero.

“Force won’t work. Light won’t work,” muttered Rex Tyler as he carried the limp Deena Tyler toward the new arrivals. “She’s weak because of the drain on her power,” he explained as the high-swinging Lady Tarantula swung down to lift her friend to safety. “I have my own resources that don’t depend on the black light very much!”

“Easy, Blackout, you’ll recover,” said Angela assuringly.

The dark man laughed and smashed his own solid fists into Captain Triumph. “You would have fit well with the group who trapped me — all brawn and no brains. You would have been a perfect eighth Soldier of Victory!” he crowed.

Captain Triumph, shrugging off the blow, said, “You’re Black Star!

“Indeed, I was the Black Star!” he shouted. “The Seven Soldiers trapped me within the earth when my own mass caused by absorbing copious amounts of black light sent me plunging downward. (*) I retained my absorbed black-light power, and in time I became entirely composed of the stuff!”

[(*) Editor’s note: See “Beware: The Black Star Shines,” Leading Comics #2 (Spring, 1942).]

Hourman acted with one smooth move. Placing an arm around Queen Arrow’s back, he quickly withdrew one arrow. She gasped as he acted. “Let me borrow this, Miss!” he said, waiting until Lance had pulled down a wall of machinery. Using that as a barrier to conceal his own actions, Hourman plunged the prism-headed arrow into the body of Black Star.

The darkness exploded into hundreds of crystalline reflections as his very essence was diffused across the myriad of lens within the prism arrow. There was a scream, and then nothing.

“You scattered him across the whole place!” marvelled Lady Tarantula.

Hourman nodded. “I had no choice.”

As they exited the lab, Rob said, “My brother, Red Arrow, faced Black Star when he was with the Seven Soldiers. The creep tricked them into wasting time on his lackeys while he absorbed raw black-light energy. His own mass brought him down — literally. He must have survived and gradually turned into sheer light.”

“Thanks for the tip,” said Captain Triumph, speaking to his unseen brother, who had whispered the identity of their foe to him during the fight.

“Black Star is scattered now,” said Hourman. “He is not dead, but it may take him an eternity to re-form.”

Queen Arrow tossed out her golden curls and said, “You JSA boys never cease to amaze me. We just can’t measure up to you!”

Hourman laughed and said, before catching himself, “Your measurements are impressive enough.”

Deena Tyler smiled weakly as Lady Tarantula and the others laughed as well.

The End

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