Secret Origins: Strobe: Master of the Glow, Chapter 2: Power and Control

by Dan Swanson

Return to chapter list

Realizing that the best way for him to learn to control the power of the glove was through cautious experimentation, Jim Chisholm began to make use of his new power. Jim felt that he would use Green Lantern as an example, and rather than using the power directly, he would shape it into familiar forms to accomplish his goals. This would give him important, immediate visual feedback regarding the tasks he was trying to accomplish. His artistic nature would give him the imagination he needed to create useful energy constructs, his sculptor’s touch would allow him to readily create and shape these constructs, and his architect’s discipline would help him make sure he considered all of the details of whatever he wanted to do.

It’s ironic! he thought. Who would have guessed that my profession and my avocations would help make me so suitable to control my new power? Jim would remember that thought ironically in only a short time. My first task will be to build a suitable monument for Iredok Jur Diah, the hero of the Galactic Patrol, who kept the power of the glow from the forces of Chaos!

I’ll begin by scooping out a shallow cave in the mountainside, just above where he crashed, and then I will use the stone from the excavation to build a vault shaped like a Grecian temple.

When wearing the glove, to think was to act. A giant, glowing white ice cream scoop formed in the air and began to gouge the mountainside. Unfortunately for Jim, he couldn’t yet control his new power. The scoop was much too powerful, and as it tore a huge chunk out of the mountainside, the entire mountain started to collapse. Jim quickly swung Iredok’s body over his shoulder just as a fireman would and grabbed the globe.

I need to get out of here, fast! he thought, almost in panic. When wearing the glove, to think was to act. Suddenly, Jim was flying through the air at an incredible speed. He was moving so fast, he started to burn from wind friction. If he didn’t slow down, he would be dead in only seconds.

At that thought, Jim slammed to an immediate stop, and he started falling toward the ground. When he looked down, Jim realized that he was at least a mile in the air. The glove was getting him into worse and worse trouble each time he tried to use it. At least he had a few seconds to act. A part of his mind started to calculate just how long it would be before he hit. He had trouble believing just how idiotic it would be to spend the last seconds of his life uselessly calculating some meaningless number. A part of his mind started reciting calculations by rote. Shaking his head, he focused his attention on saving himself.

I need a parachute! A glowing white parachute suddenly formed above him. Unfortunately, he had forgotten to construct the harness, and he continued to fall. $#!*! I have to think fast, or I’ll never get a chance to use this neat new toy!

Jim couldn’t remember all the details of a parachute harness, so he tried something else. “A hot air balloon, with a gondola hanging underneath it, and me in the gondola!” Jim crashed to the floor of the gondola, dropping Iredok and the globe. Looking around, he noticed that the balloon wasn’t falling; at least he was safe for a few minutes.

“Better think the next move out very carefully, Jim! Ironic, isn’t it, how smug you were only seconds ago!”

Jim then noticed that he was very cold and getting colder, and that the balloon had started to fall. It was nothing dangerous yet, but he really did have a deadline.

Thinking very cautiously, Jim attempted to form a small construct that looked like a hand, which would respond to his thoughts. A hand, the size of a newborn baby’s hand, formed in the air. Jim concentrated carefully on enlarging the hand, causing it to grow slowly. Within seconds, it reached the size of his own hand, and he commanded it to stop growing. It did. He then created another, exactly the same size as the original. The hands then very gently lifted Iredok’s body and the globe.

Very cautiously, Jim commanded his glove to stop his fall while still retaining the holds on Iredok and the globe. Once again it worked. He stopped falling and was now hovering in the air. Jim quickly realized that, within seconds, he would become entangled in the ropes holding the gondola as the balloon continued to fall, so he very carefully banished the balloon, while maintaining the hover and continuing to hold Iredok and the globe. Finally, Jim had the glove move him, very slowly, down and back toward the crash site. He continued to get colder, but the air around him was starting to warm up. Rather than disturb the concentration that was maintaining his other energy constructs, he decided to put up with the cold until he landed.

At his carefully controlled flying speed, it took him about twenty minutes to return to the crash site. He was especially careful to land softly. The spaceship was entirely buried under the rockslide he had caused earlier. Jim couldn’t believe how lucky he had been so far, and he decided not to take any more chances with his new, barely controlled power. Using rocks from the slide, Jim built a cairn around Iredok’s body. He would return later to build the proper memorial.

Finally, Jim walked back to the hiking trail he had been following when his life had so abruptly changed, and he made his way back to his car. No more super-powers for him until he was more completely trained.


The next day, Jim Chisholm flew via commercial jet to Gotham City and made his way to the brownstone headquarters of the Justice Society of America. He was let into the building’s waiting room, and eventually, Wildcat came out to greet him.

“Howdy, bud!” said Wildcat. “Who are you, and what can the JSA do for you?”

“My name is James Chisholm, and I would like to talk to Green Lantern. He’s not expecting me, but he does know me.”

“You name sounds familiar,” growled Wildcat. “I can’t quite place you, however.”

“I was on the U.S. Men’s Volleyball team in the ’84 Olympics. We took the gold!” replied Jim proudly.

“I knew it!” said Ted. “I won an Olympic medal once myself. I’ll tell G.L. you’re here. Meanwhile, make yourself at home! You know, it’s a nice change to have a visitor who isn’t a super-villain!”

A few minutes later, Jim was telling Green Lantern and Wildcat the entire story. “So you see,” he finished, “I really need some help figuring out how control the power of the glow!”

“You’ve come to the right place,” responded Green Lantern. “Let’s get right to it. I’ve been working with Corona recently on using her ring — you’re welcome to join us.”


A few days later, Green Lantern summarized what they had discovered during their training alongside Corona. “The glove and globe are not dissimilar in power and usage to my lantern and power ring, although my powers are mystically based, while yours are based in very advanced technology. In a way, your glove is more similar to Corona’s power ring, which is from the antimatter universe of Qward and was also built using highly advanced technology. We haven’t yet found an inherent weakness of the power of the glow, analogous to my ring’s weakness to wood. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have weaknesses. Until you’re sure of your vulnerabilities, Jim, don’t get cocky!

“Meanwhile, you have definitely improved your control over your power — you and the computer in the glove have seemingly adapted to each other. You have figured out how to think about things without ordering the glove to act, and the glove has learned how to distinguish your commands from your normal thinking processes. You need more practice, but you’re not in danger due to random thoughts any longer.”

“Thanks, Alan!” said Jim. The two men had quickly realized the futility of trying to keep their identities secret from someone who could read minds. “I hope that, someday, I can be a hero of the same stature as the Green Lantern!”

“Say, Jim, if you wanna be a super-hero, you’ll need to know how to handle your fists!” Of course, this came from Wildcat, who thought with amusement that he had already probably trained every other young super-hero in the United States. Ted Grant was very surprised at Jim’s answer.

“Thanks, Ted, but I don’t believe in fighting unless I have no other choices. I understand that force will be required to resolve some situations, but I have always been able to avoid fisticuffs so far in my life. You know, I have a black belt in Aikido, which is, among other things, a non-aggressive method of self-defense.”

“I think you’re making a big mistake, Jim! Super-villains don’t understand nothin’ but violence!”

“I don’t disagree, Ted. I guarantee I’m not helpless in a situation that requires violence. Since we’re still in training, let me show you. Why don’t you attack me as if you were a violent criminal?”

Ted Grant’s eyes lit up. There was nothing he liked more than a good fight. He immediately swung a roundhouse right hand at Jim’s jaw, planning to make this lesson quick. But Jim swayed slightly to the side, and Ted completely missed. Jim reached his hand behind Ted’s elbow and pushed in the direction of the blow, and Ted stumbled off-balance past the other man. Jim tripped him as he went by, and as soon as Ted hit the ground, Jim used energy constructs of the glove to tie him up.

“Aw, #^@%! I hate it when that happens!” yelled Ted. “Get this crud off of me!”

“I trust I’ve proved my point?” Jim asked quietly.

“You might be sorry, someday, if you’re in a tight spot without the power of your glove!” Ted wasn’t really mad, but he knew he wasn’t wrong, either.

“I’m aware of the possibility, Ted, and I will take precautions. But I have to live my life according to my own beliefs.”

Continued in Showcase: Strobe: Rings of Ire

Return to chapter list