Power Girl and the Huntress wandered around Superman’s Secret Citadel in the mountains. The blonde bombshell and the darknight diva were finishing their quick tour after getting word from the Man of Steel that his wife was going into labor. (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See Superman’s Wife, Lois Lane Kent: Smallville, Epilogue: Mary]
“I can’t believe I’m going to be an aunt by proxy!” said Kara Zor-L. “Clark and Lois have been married since the dawn of time!”
Helena Wayne smiled. “I’m not sure that’s the kind of sentiment they need right now.”
Kara ruffled her blonde hair. “Ah, you know what I mean. After years of being childless, they can barely believe that they’ve conceived.”
“They shall be wonderful parents, like mine were,” said Helena.
Kara nodded. “True, but I hope little Clark Jr. or Lois Jr. will not be regulated day and night, like he tried to do to me when I first got here. He tries to protect the whole blasted world!”
The Huntress nodded silently. Her own father, the late Batman, had been a father figure for all of Gotham City’s honest citizens for years. But he also cast a big shadow for her to fill. Even with Dick Grayson’s help, she felt they never quite equaled Bruce Wayne.
Kara pointed to several costumes. “I wore that red mini-outfit as Flamebird on Krypton. I made that copy, there, after Dick and I returned from our hypnotic journey to the past.” (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See Power Girl: Kara’s Quest, Chapter 1: Return to Krypton.]
“You wore the cute yellow-caped one as Lightning Girl back in 1939, right?” said Helena. (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See Power Girl: Kara’s Quest, Chapter 4: Superman and Lightning Girl.]
“Best legs in the golden age!” Kara said, nodding. “Speaking of the past, Clark asked me to do him a favor while he is waiting for the blessed event. I think he knew I needed something to get my mind off the birth, too. He’s worried about the long-missing Johnny Thunder, who went to Badhnisia for his honeymoon. (*) He came back for JSA Day in July, but left again to return to his long honeymoon and hasn’t been seen since. (*) Clark wanted to look for him, but Lois called, and he figured I could go save Johnny from whatever he got himself into this time!” She shook her head.
[(*) Editor’s note: See Johnny Thunder: Hectic Honeymoon and Justice Society of America: The Anarchy Society of the World.]
“I like Johnny. He’s sweet,” said the Huntress.
“Yeah, he reminds Clark of his pal Jimmy Olsen, and he feels kind of protective toward him,” said Kara. “You’d think a JSAer could look after himself! I guess I like him, too, but he irritates me sometimes.”
“Kara, everyone irritates you!” laughed the Huntress.
“Very funny! I’ll be back soon. You want to stay here and keep enjoying the tour?” she asked.
“I’d love to,” said Helena. “Dad spent a lot of time here along with Dick, so I’d enjoy seeing the place in leisure.” She waved goodbye as Power Girl flew off at top speed.
However, not long afterward, the Huntress saw a red light beeping.
“It’s the JSA signal device — Kara’s!” said a frowning Huntress. “She’s in some kind of trouble!”
Power Girl had flown off in search of Johnny Thunder. She knew roughly where to look for the Thunderbolt’s master. She also knew his signal device was not responding. She shrugged her shapely shoulders. How hard could it be to spot that loud green suit on a tropical isle? she mused.
Kara enjoyed her flying power, since it had developed more slowly than her other gifts, and she had never taken it for granted. She scanned the islands below her.
Still not at Badhnisian soil, but why not check out the local color? she thought. Johnny could have made a side trip. He has the gallant knight errant stupidity about him that could have led the poor sap into risking life and limb for someone in distress.
As Power Girl flew low over a beach on one of the islands, she suddenly lurched and fell flat on her pretty face. She sputtered out of the sand and dusted off her white costume, frowning as she gazed at exotic plants and a very weird skyline.
I can’t believe it — the red sun and the scarlet jungle! she thought. I’m back on Krypton again! That’s why my flight power left me. I can still jump, though, like everyone else on Krypton.
She walked around. “Great. Just great. This is still one of those islands I saw. How can it be here and on Krypton, too?”
She felt very warm, and the sensation was new to her. “The climate never even affected me here on Earth, but now that I’m experiencing Kryptonian weather, I’m roasting. It’s like Krypton without the climate-control devices.”
All she truly knew of life on the doomed world came from false virtual memories she had experienced during her long journey to Earth. So she spoke the truth when she said that she had never felt heat like the heat beating down on her from a red sun.
Kicking off her boots, she dropped her cape and then made a leap across the sands, trying to make sense of the strange but familiar environment around her.
I know I’m Kara Zor-L, she thought. I know I’m on Earth! It could be that creep the Preserver trying to possess me so soon again, but as far as I know, he’s still making a love nest with that loser, Nike! (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See World’s Best: Power Girl and the Huntress: Power (Girl) Mad, Chapter 3: The Preserver.]
A sharp thump and a sting alerted her that something had struck her from the rear. “A dart…?” she gasped as the world faded into a red blur around her.
Power Girl woke up sometime later, only to find herself near a thatched hut.
“Gilligan — I’m the love slave of Gilligan!” she joked as she tried to stand, but fell back down from the rush of fever. To her dismay, she now wore only a bikini.
“Welcome! Welcome to my island paradise!” said a white-haired man who reclined on a lawn chair outside the hut. “You are a precious guest. You are the woman I have always dreamt of. Together, we shall mate and rule this tropical paradise! I am your master — I am Vance Corlin.”
“Who? How dare you undress me?” she sputtered. “What kind of place is this?”
“This is my home,” he said. “My mother died giving birth to me here. I was raised here by my father, a genius man of learning far before his time, who sought to make me more than a mere perfect man. The isle perfectly mimics the environment of the lost world of Krypton, and I am its native son — the superman of this isle. And you, my dear, shall be my supergirl!”
“Buddy, you just said the wrong thing!” she shouted.
Power Girl frowned as she jumped toward the white-haired Vance Corlin, as he met her leap effortlessly and wrestled her to the ground.
“You forget that, on my island, like Krypton itself, you have only your leaping ability and enhanced stamina,” he explained. “I also have these gifts, and I am naturally stronger than you. Plus, the dart and herbal toxin I shot you with are from this isle and thus can weaken and harm even us!”
Kara tried to fight off his embrace, but he was too strong. The isle had made her a normal Kryptonian woman again instead of a super-powered one. Leaping didn’t help much, either, since Vance could also do so as a native of the weird isle.
“How can an Earth island mimic Krypton’s climate and environment… even its red sun?” she said.
“Your cousin visited here back in the 1950s when it was actually located a few miles off the coast of Metropolis, but he moved the isle,” he explained. “After a misguided attempt to make a new life for myself in Metropolis, I decided to return here to the only home I’ve ever known. After locating the island via its unique energy signatures, I came back here and slowly restored the apparatus that artificially recreates its environment, following my father’s plans and making a few innovations of my own. After several months, I was able to restore the climate to the way it was for most of my life. Eventually, I managed to replace the transparent dome that formerly surrounded it with a force-field that contains the environment, yet allows solid objects to easily pass through it. I can only credit your arrival as providence, for although I have chosen to live here alone for the last thirty-four years in peace, allowing me ample time to continue my scientific research, being a ruler without a people to rule is quite lonely. Thus, when you stumbled into our little retreat, I eagerly drugged you, and I hope to wed you shortly.” He smiled and added, “You’ll like it here, my dear. The drugs will wear off, and we’ll have all the time in the world for romance!”
“Listen, Vance, or whatever soap opera name you go by, how can this isle be so much like an alien world?” asked Power Girl. “And how did you manage to change the gravity?”
“Well, my father used his vast knowledge of science to recreate here on Earth an alien landscape that he had discovered a few years before World War I, including altering the yellow sun’s rays to that of a red sun. It wasn’t until I turned forty years old and finally met Superman face to face that I realized the alien landscape my father had precisely analyzed with his spectroscope was Krypton, only recently revealed to be Superman’s homeworld at the time. (*) But as far as the added gravity goes…?” He shrugged. “I never have figured out exactly how my father managed that one, even after I rebuilt everything from memory. I just grew up here and developed the full range of Kryptonian powers.
“Although my late father Dr. Charles Corlin spent even more time on this laboratory isle than I did, following the death of my mother, he was already an adult at the time, and had to use special gear just to move around. Whenever I leave the isle, I become a superman myself for a time, but I found that to be pointless, since there’s little point in having more than one Superman in the world. Besides, in order to retain my powers for one mere day in the outer world, I have to spend almost a month on this island. Eventually, I realized it was better to simply remain here for good, continuing my father’s research and biding my time until a momentous day such as this one would arrive.”
“Being alone here for all this time must’ve driven you insane!” said Power Girl.
“That may be true. I have grown old, and many times have I wished death to claim me before I reached this, my seventy-fourth year of life,” he said, his face darkening. A moment later, he grinned and added, “But now that you’re here, all that will change! I will have a family of my own once again, and we can rule here together forever!”