Mary Marvel slapped Virago across the room with a casual wave of her hand. The super-swift Celeritas raced up and ran around Mary in an ever-tightening circle. Her movement threatened to draw away all the oxygen in the immediate area until Mary brought one dainty slipper down on the ground with enough force to send the speedy blonde reeling from the sheer vibrations.
“I guess putting my foot down won’t be enough to get you to give up. I’ll have to take matters into my own hands!” declared Mary. She grabbed Dauntless and lifted her skyward.
The green-clad woman struggled helplessly and said, “You think you are tough? I think you are just a scared little girl!”
Mary swallowed a quip as she began to tremble in fright. Holy moley! I am afraid of her! she realized. It’s like the closer I get to her, the more I’m scared! She hurled Dauntless into Dynamoll and wiped her hands against one another. That solves the proximity problem! she thought.
Then she ducked as Gibralta tried to tackle her. The orange-haired crook yelped as she sailed through the air and landed with a thud. Mary spun around to kick Virago in the chin with stunning force. “You girls are swell to help me train as a Rockette! All those high-kicks to your jaws will look wonderful with the right musical accompaniment!”
Sibyl scowled and said, “You’ve had your fun! Now it’s our turn for enjoyment!” She shouted, “Gibraltar, Celeritas — now!”
The two Rainbow Squad felons jumped forward and spread their arms in front of their bodies. Suddenly, Virago’s red aura began to change color. It assumed first an orange tint, followed by a more yellow hue.
Virago grinned and grabbed Mary around the chest, squeezing her with crushing strength. “The gals are lending me their auras! That makes me strong, fast, and tough!”
Mary struggled as the powerful woman hefted her into the air. I never knew they could trade powers or combine them! she thought. This could be tricky!
“Let me make her cry!” said Dauntless. “I can turn her into a coward if I can get my aura close to her for long enough!”
“No,” said Sibyl. “Let Virago release her frustrations on her first!”
Virago shook Mary furiously and then frowned as Mary flew off at high speed, taking her with her. “You can’t shake me, babe!” vowed Virago. “I don’t fly, but I don’t need to as long as I have my arms around you! Plus, all the stunt-flying in the world won’t hurt me, since I got Gibby’s aura!”
Mary lifted one leg and forced it between her chest and Virago’s body. She kicked free and allowed the startled woman to plunge back down to the ground. “She’ll be safe due to her aura, but I’m going to need to think fast if I’m to free Jennie.”
Swooping down, she tried to scoop up the kidnapped singer when she felt her speed desert her. I’m slowing down! It’s like they’re sapping my speed! she thought.
Sibyl grinned and pointed to the blonde Celeritas. “Celey steals speed!” she said. “She can make you slow as a turtle if you remain near her!”
Celeritas tossed back her blonde hair and smiled broadly. “Allow me to borrow your might, Vir!” she said.
Virago shook her head and pointed at the other woman. “Sure! When it comes time for heavy lifting, then you all want me!”
Celeritas gained a red glow, and she belted Mary in the jaw with a crushing blow.
The world’s mightiest girl fell flat and groaned in pain. They’ve obviously gained new powers! she thought. I can’t handle them alone! Just being near them causes me to lose power!
Mary Marvel remained still, waiting as Dyna-Moll rushed forward to aim a bolt of lightning at her. She rolled aside and then flew away.
“I barely dodged that bolt,” she said. “If it had struck me, I would have turned back into Mary Batson! I need help to take this gang down! Captain Marvel needed a bit of help when he fought them, too. Of course, now they’ve picked up a trick or two that they didn’t have before!”
Flying through space, Mary Marvel reached a huge rocky edifice that stood alone in the void. Moments later, she entered an other-dimensional chamber and used a magical brazier to summon the ancient wizard called Shazam.
“My child, I am aware of your need!” said the old wizard. “I am prepared to assist you. The Rainbow Gang can indeed drain your power and mimic it as well. They outnumber you, and you need help.”
Mary smiled warmly and said, “You always know exactly what we need! I know Captain Marvel and Captain Marvel Junior would help, but they are both too chivalrous to hit a woman. That weakness was used against them before by those scheming multi-colored witches!”
“True enough, my child!” said Shazam. “Still, where there is a will, there is a way. Follow my directions, and they shall lead you to others worthy of the power and the mantle of Marvels! Just as there were other noble youths who shared the name Billy Batson with your sibling, and thus through my will could partake of the magic, so are there other Marys who shall do the same!”
Mary nodded eagerly. “Of course! I could recruit a few Lieutenant Mary Marvels just like Billy did with Hill, Tall, and Fat Marvel long ago. They shared his birth name, and by speaking your name with him, they gained power like his own!”
Obeying the wise wizard, Mary followed his whispered directions. She would fly to three locations across the globe, and at each spot, she would find a girl named Mary Batson.
In California’s San Fernando Valley, she met a blonde girl who reclined on a beach blanket in a bikini and soaked up sunshine. She sat up abruptly and pushed her sunglasses away from her eyes.
“Mary Marvel? Like, totally awesome!” she said in surprise.
Mary landed in front of the deeply tanned blonde girl and said, “Mary Batson? I need your help. You’ve been judged to be worthy to receive the same power I have. Will you use it to fight against evil when needed? If so, come with me!”
The blonde girl stared at Mary for a moment, then said, “Fer sure!”
Mary carried her across the nation until they reached a large manor in Georgia. “My, this is lovely country!” said Mary Marvel.
The blonde Mary blew a bubble with her gum and said, “Totally Scarlet O’Hara!”
Following the directions of old Shazam, the two girls found another pretty girl who had brown hair and a welcoming smile.
“Mary Marvel! This is wonderful!” said southern Mary in a deep drawl. “I’m a big fan of yours, and of that handsome Captain Marvel Junior!”
Mary repeated the same explanation of why she had sought out the young girl, and after receiving her acceptance of the offer, she quickly took both girls to their final stop in rural England.
They located the final Mary Batson. She was a refined and stylish British girl who lived on a rather majestic estate. She frowned and said, “I’ll help you gladly, but must I wear the same costume that you are wearing?”
“No,” said Mary. Speaking the name of Shazam, she returned to her normal alter ego. “Now, girls, join with me when I say the name again!” she said.
All four girls shouted the magical word Shazam, and as thunder crashed and lightning flashed, the girls were altered in a remarkable way.
Mary Marvel looked the same as she had before. However, Valley Mary now wore a similar costume, except that the skirt was longer, Posh Mary, as she called the British girl, wore a more daring version of the red and gold costume, and Mary Belle, as she named the girl from the South, wore a nearly identical outfit to Mary’s own.
The three Lieutenant Mary Marvels followed Mary’s lead as they flew to rescue Jennie Lowell.
“Flying is rather hard on the complexion,” said Posh Mary. “That wind really musses my do!”
“I love it. It’s totally rad!” cried Valley Mary.
Mary Belle said, “I wish my folks could see me now!”
Mary Marvel gave them hurried instructions, relying upon the power of her mentor. These girls all have their quirks, but they, too, are guided by the wisdom of the elders, she thought. They should know how to use their powers. The old wizard would never have selected them had they not been truly deserving beneath their different personas!
They listened to her and nodded in agreement as she outlined a battle plan. In moments, they had reached the warehouse and smashed inside.
Mary Belle swooped down and carried Jennie into the air at super-speed. “Don’t fret, sugah! I’ll have y’all free in no time!” she said as she soothed the now alert and surprised Jennie Lowell.
Jennie shook her head in amazement. “You just came in out of the blue and saved me!” she said. “I thought something like this could happen only in my dreams!”
Mary Belle landed back at the office of Shazam Inc., where she turned the pop princess over to a flustered but helpful Uncle Marvel. “Take care of her, sir! We’ll explain later!” she said as she blew a kiss to the old man.
Uncle Marvel sputtered in consternation. “Thanks, Mary!” he said. “Wait a minute! By gad! That was not Mary, was it?”
Jennie shrugged and followed the bemused old man inside.
Meanwhile, the Rainbow Squad attacked the other three Mary Marvels with a fierce determination born out of anger.
“You took our meal-ticket away! I’ll blast you to ashes!” cried Dynamoll. She ran forward with the borrowed speed of Celeritas as crackling energy surrounded her purple aura.
Mary Marvel stood still until the angry woman drew closer, then she sidestepped and kicked out at her.
Dynamoll tripped and sailed through the air as she found herself unable to adjust to her new speed. She simply lacked the experience of the normally speedy Celeritas. She crashed into the blonde speedster, and the impact left them both dazed.
Mary danced forward and clipped them both with quick blows before they could react or borrow any other aura. “Sleep it off, girls!” she taunted.
Posh Mary scowled with disdain as she watched the other gaudy crooks attack. “What tacky, tacky costumes!” she sighed. She knew not to waste any time in fighting, because the Rainbow Gang could sap her powers.
She punched Sibyl flat and then buffed her nails against the fallen woman’s blue blouse. “Cheap material!” she said, disgust in her every tone. “That also rids us of the so-called brains of the group!”
Virago was yelling as she and Dauntless charged at Valley Mary. “Get them!” she said. “They can’t win if we can keep them close long enough to steal their powers!”
Valley Mary grabbed a startled Gibralta and pushed her into their path. Her orange aura of invulnerability deflected their attack and left them open to a flying tackle from the beachfront heroine. She crashed down with Virago underneath and pummeled her senseless before she could add invulnerability to her natural super-strength.
“Wipeout!” laughed the blonde heroine.
Mary Marvel flew up and ripped down a section of the roof, then used it like a huge fly-swatter to separate Dauntless from the others, and then she wrapped the fragmented wood and metal around her like a cage. “You can’t make me afraid if you are wrapped up like a living gift-basket!” she said as she stood on top of the bound and helpless woman.
Mary Belle returned just in time to slap a pair of twisted metal handcuffs around Gibralta’s wrists. “Y’all can’t be hurt none because of that fancy glow, but I reckon you also can’t get away from us, neither!” she said.
Mary Marvel smiled and slapped hands with the other girls in victory. “We did it! This was wonderful! By keeping them all too busy to work as a team or gain time to sap our powers, we won rather easily!”
After dropping the Rainbow Gang off at prison, the Marys parted, and each girl returned to normal after saying the magic word. None of the three Lieutenant Mary Marvels could regain their super-forms again without being with the original when she said the magic name. This was a necessary requirement, since even the mighty wizard did not wish to spread his power too far among too many hosts.
Later, Mary Batson found the other members of the Mary Marvel Fan Club and presented them each with personally signed photos of Jennie Lowell. The girls shrieked with pleasure as Mary explained how she acquired the precious items.
“Mary Marvel gave them to us,” she said. “She had Jennie sign them when she saved her. She left them at the charitable office where Uncle Marvel works!”
Goldie grinned and said, “This tops everything! Jennie Lowell and Mary Marvel! I can’t figure out which one is greater!”
Mary smiled. “I’m kind of partial to them both myself!”