Power Girl: Cosmic Balancing Act, Chapter 2: Multiversal Madness

by Libbylawrence

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Power Girl scanned the skies, and to her delight she spotted an orbiting headquarters like the JLA Satellite she remembered from past JSA-JLA team-ups. She streaked upward and entered through an airlock that accepted her with an electronic beeping that said, “Welcome, Supergirl.”

Stupid machine! she thought.

She blinked as she saw her buddy Helena Wayne wearing a feminine version of Batman’s costume, while her dark hair was now a bright red. “Huntress… or, I guess I should say Batgirl?

“Hi, Supergirl,” said the former Huntress. “How are you? Clark was worried about you.”

“Clark is such a worrier,” piped up the now-five-inch-tall Atom, alias Al Pratt, from a tiny chair.

Most startling of all was apparently Inza Cramer wearing the gold cape, helmet, and amulet of Doctor Fate over a version of Zatanna’s stage magician outfit with fishnet stockings. The sight of any version of Doctor Fate in high heels and hosiery amused even Kara Zor-L in this weird plight.

“I know you must’ve all heard that Superman’s little cousin has gone nuts,” she began. “But I can explain, if you’ll hear me out. Kal’s foe, Mr. Mxyztplk, has placed a spell on me. It requires my getting to him in his other dimension. Can you help, Fate?”

The woman called Fate agreed. “I can transport you where you will, young Kara.”

“So could I!” said a blond man. He lacked the bowtie and green suit, but he was none other than Johnny Thunder, wearing the green and gold armor of his crooked Earth-One counterpart. “Say, you know, the T-bolt could take ya there!”

Power Girl smiled. This was just what she needed to paddle that brat, the Yellow Peri. Things were looking up.

“Tell us more,” urged Batgirl.

“There’s a man called Mallo who is the source of the spell’s power. He’s mad or asleep or something,” said an impatient Power Girl as she caught her hotpants-wearing reflection in an equipment bank. I look like Marcia Brady! she thought wearily.

“If he’s asleep, let me help,” offered a man wearing a gold and red costume.

“Do I know you?” asked Power Girl.

“It’s me, Wes Dodds, the Sandman,” he said, puzzled. Unlike the elderly Sandman who was retired and had several health problems in recent years, this Sandman was young and muscular. “I can walk the dream realms, as you well know.”

I just found the loophole to beat you, you blonde witch, mused Power Girl.

The JSA, with the reluctantly named Supergirl, joined hands as Fate transported them all to the same limbo Power Girl had been in before.

“No sign of that imp,” she said.

“However, this sleeping ugly must be Mallo,” offered the Atom.

Indeed, it was the bearded, insane Keeper of the Cosmic Balance, and he was still muttering. “Wonder Woman was in the JSA! Miss America was in the JSA! Wonder Woman’s mother was in JSA! Help me, Roy! Help me!”

“Seems nutty to me,” said Batgirl.

“Yes. The Crisis sent him over the edge, and that fink from the fifth dimension is using his power to play with me,” explained Kara.

“Supergirl, listen as I explain the Dreamscape,” said the Sandman. “It is deadly and lovely, and anything is possible therein. If you die there, you die here as well.”

“I have nothing to lose except a life as a pom-pom girl in Midvale,” she said.

Minutes later, the team found themselves in a cloudy realm that was clearly Mallo’s muddled mind. “There’s the signpost up ahead!” joked Johnny.

“I see someone coming. It’s the Ultra-Humanite!” called Supergirl.

“Actually, dear child, as you know, I am the Ultra-Grodd,” said the white ape.

“I need no intro. I am Abra Kadabra, the Wizard!” said a suddenly appearing magician.

“The Piper lets his music do his talking,” said the former Fiddler, dressed in a different green costume and carrying a pipe in place of his usual instrument.

“Batgirl, I’ll cripple you as I did Betty Kane!” laughed a mad clown who seemed to be the elderly Joker.

“Finally, a chance to kill you all!” said Per Degaton, wearing the costume of Chronos.

“Get ’em, guys!” said the Atom. The tiny titan flew through the air and slammed into Degaton with his full-size weight.

Degaton pulled out a clock and fired razor-sharp clock hands at the Atom, the Piper played a tune that caused the Sandman to caper mindlessly, and the Joker lashed out with spear-sharp bang-bang signs from a weird prop gun. The Batgirl dodged eagerly, as did the Atom. Ultra-Grodd sent a mental blast into Fate, who rocked back on her high heels but remained unhurt.

“Say you, T-bolt, this Wizard is all wet!” said Johnny Thunder, and a cloudburst of fury broke over the wand-waving Abra Kadabra. He blew it away with a spell.

Power Girl watched, then decided to go to the heart of the problem. “Mallo, wake up! You can fight the madness. Listen to me. There are many Earths. The Crisis did not change what was! It is a trick.”

Then the realm altered madly, and the team prepared for trouble.

New faces emerged from the mists. Wonder Woman appeared in three forms — the one Power Girl knew and a black one she did not know, and a redhead with a crossbow also appeared in that well-known red and blue costume. With her stood four women: the Teen Titan called Donna Troy, the Infinity Inc. member called Fury, and two other women unknown to Kara. One wore a red and blue costume with heels and a miniskirt, while the other wore gold armor.

“That’s Miss America and the original Fury!” called a startled Atom.

Batmen of various kind swarmed out of the night, too. One seemed to be Dick Grayson in his old gray, bat-like costume, while one had weird armor and claws. A third was apparently the deceased Bruce Wayne who fathered Helena. Superman appeared in the form of a young man, a teenager, and his usual older self, while a weird, punk-hair-styled boy in a leather jacket followed them.

“This is not helping!” said Kara, stomping her foot.

Easy, legs! It’s all for good, clean fun!” said Mr. Mxyztplk as he appeared with his giggling daughter, the Yellow Peri.

“That T-bolt is majorly cute!” she squealed.

“Don’t even think of it. They’re not our type!” sniffed her impish dad.

Batgirl kicked the Joker in the teeth in mid-laugh. “You ruined Betty’s life! Now you pay!” she said, firing a crossbow bolt. The clown’s grin changed to a pained moan as it went through his right leg. “You don’t have a leg to stand on,” she said grimly. The assembled Batmen laughed in unison.

Degaton had the Atom trapped in an hourglass as sand rained on the tiny hero. “Drown in time!” he laughed.

Stop this, or I’ll beat you to a bow-tied pulp!” threatened Power Girl.

“You can’t stop us!” sneered the Yellow Peri. “And your little trip inside Mallo’s mind has only lured us in, too, where we can make him even worse!” She floated cross-legged in midair, and Kara badly wanted to knock that silly grin off her face.

Fate dueled with Ultra-Grodd; her power dwarfed his, but as always he was clever. “Take off that helmet. You risk yourself every second you wear the cursed thing!” he said in a persuasive tone. Inza felt her hands rise to obey the subtle placement of a mental command.

“Ahhh, make the big ape a plastic toy!” said Johnny. The bolt did so, and Fate was free again. She gestured, and golden bolts shaped like Egyptian glyphs surrounded Abra Kadabra and fenced him inside. She snatched his wand away and crushed it beneath her spiked heels.

Meanwhile, the Sandman spun madly at the Piper’s control. He moved close to Degaton and tripped him with a spinning leg. The Atom emerged from the hourglass in an eruption of sand as he grew from the size of a grain of sand to his battling size of five inches tall. As he belted the Piper, the music ceased.

“Thanks, pal!” said the Sandman.

“No problem,” said the Atom. “You need dance lessons.”

Power Girl leaped at the Yellow Peri and found herself transformed into a giant-sized baby with a red-and-blue-colored diaper and bonnet.

Pout, you spoiled princess! Now who’s spanking whom?” taunted Peri as a giant paddle spanked the helpless Power Girl.

Suddenly, the Sandman reached out to one of the Wonder Women, grabbed her golden lasso, and tossed it over Mallo. “Return to awareness now!” he commanded.

As Mallo returned to consciousness, the group found themselves back in the limbo where Mallo’s physical body was kept. All of their foes and the various versions of heroes were gone, except for the JSA itself, while Power Girl was restored to her adult Supergirl self.

“What madness befell me?” asked a mild-mannered Mallo.

“You merely sought to restore the cosmic balance by making a Supergirl on one of the two Earths, since the other one lost their copy,” said the Yellow Peri. “No biggie.”

“You also need to turn this Mxyztplk into a homicidal jewel creature,” urged Power Girl. “At least that’s what Superman of Earth-One told me happened to his version.” It was true; the JSA and the JLA had managed to exchange a few brief messages a couple of months after the Crisis, but they had not managed to communicate any further.

“Very well,” said Mallo. “I will.”

“No, no! Please!” pleaded the suddenly frightened imp. “I’m retiring. I only want mischief, not death! I’d look bad as a jewel creature!”

“All right. Then all shall be as it once was!” vowed Mallo. Abruptly, the Justice Society found themselves back in the JSA Brownstone.

The relieved Power Girl smiled happily. “I’m myself at last!” she sighed, looking down to see her familiar white, red, and blue costume. The other JSAers were likewise back to their old selves, with their old identities and memories intact.

“I’ll wait ’til Mallo forgets us, then I’ll be back for you all next time!” promised the furious Yellow Peri, projecting a larger-than-life image of herself in the meeting room. “Oh, and Kara… next time I’ll make you Mary Marvel!” She giggled at her joke.

As Peri’s laughter faded slowly away, Power Girl shook her head of shorter blonde hair in dismay.

The End

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