Cat-Man was happily in his element as the alarms sounded while he made his way across the rooftops, just ahead of the police. “I could have slipped out without ever setting off the alarm, but that uptight babe Alexis said to attract attention,” he mused aloud.
“Well, in addition to the way you’re dressed, talking to yourself is a good start!” said Pinky the Whiz Kid as he and Mister Scarlet appeared in front of the thug.
“Well, I’m not afraid of a fight!” sneered Cat-Man. He ran across the roof and challenged the heroic pair to follow.
Mister Scarlet and Pinky had been called in by no less an authority than the wizard Shazam, the unofficial sponsor of the Squadron of Justice. He had warned them to be ready for a crime wave from another world. This appeared to be the start.
Scarlet tossed a line across the rooftop, and it snagged Cat-Man’s arm. He pulled hard on it, but the wily felon sliced through the line with his claws. Pinky the Whiz Kid swung off the roof and made his way around by a desperate and dangerous leap, catching the life-saving edge of the roof, and heard the pounding footfalls coming nearer. “Time to knock the cat out!” he laughed as he swung up and landed both feet in Cat-Man’s startled face. The villain fell flat and rolled off the other side of the roof.
As Mister Scarlet and Pinky frantically raced over to the edge of the roof to save him, they were shocked to see only nothing.
“He got away — how’d he do that?” asked Pinky.
“Same way you intercepted his flight,” called Mister Scarlet as he whirled to feel Cat-Man’s pushing arms hitting his back. He grabbed the yellow-costumed felon’s arm, and a struggle began high above the city.
Pinky could only watch. He feared that any motion on his part would distract his father in the life and death struggle. Mister Scarlet sometimes felt that he was too old for this lifestyle these days, but he wouldn’t quit while a crook roamed his city.
Mister Scarlet suddenly dropped back and used Cat-Man’s own weight and momentum against him by letting him gain an advantage and fall past Scarlet. Pinky the Whiz Kid also acted with quickness and caught Cat-Man with a solid right hook, followed by a left.
Cat-Man was angry. Despite looking like pushovers compared to the usual heroes he fought in Gotham City on Earth-One, these two were giving him too much trouble. He had half-expected sleepy cops or guards, but not agile and determined heroes. “Get lost!” he roared as he clawed at Pinky.
The young man kneed him below the belt and decked him with a final right punch. Cat-Man skittered across the roof until Mister Scarlet grabbed his cloak and stopped him fast. He realized that the cloak was the source of his power and long life, so he could not risk having it rip free. He reluctantly surrendered, then — to his delight — he felt himself teleported back to the time craft.
Mister Scarlet and Pinky exchanged glances. “He just vanished!”
“He’ll be back,” said Scarlet. “They always come back.”
Elsewhere, Killer Frost posed seductively as her freezing powers blanketed a science laboratory in icy sheaths. She had merely come here on a whim and, to her amazement, she had found herself. The Louise Lincoln of Earth-S was still a normal woman. The transformation to femme fatale had not yet occurred and might never occur here. Killer Frost did not like that. And so she decided to do what seemed the logical thing — kill her double.
The lovely woman now hung suspended in ice. “Please, let me go!” she begged. “I’ve done nothing to you!”
“You’re weak!” said Frost. “Your very fear offends me!”
“Ah, everybody gets scared sometimes,” said a little boy who suddenly appeared in midair. “I saw this movie th’ other night about ghosts. It was swell, but kinda scary.”
“Begone, child. I do not war upon babes,” said Killer Frost.
“I’m not a babe!” he insisted with true scorn. “I’m six — nearly six and three-quarters!”
She sighed and generated cold ice in his path. The dark-haired, black-eyed boy called Atom Blake, boy magician, laughed a merry laugh. “You’re like a girl refrigerator!” he said. “I bet you’d be nicer if you got warm!”
Sunshine suddenly bathed Frost in warm, glowing light. “I don’t need this!” she shrieked.
Atom said, “You’d look swell at a beach.”
Sand then surrounded her, and Killer Frost’s costume changed to a bikini. Color flooded her white features, and she became the normal Louise Lincoln once more. She gasped in shock. “How?” she wondered.
Atom smiled and said, “I’m a real boy wizard. Have been a long time ‘fore that Harry Potter kid!”
“Huh?” she asked.
The boy said, “I can make ya normal if you stay here. If you go back to your world, you’ll change back.”
A tormented Killer Frost looked first to the boy, then to her normal self imprisoned in the ice. She fled in confusion, and as the beam brought her back to the time craft, her skin turned icy cold once more.
Captain Marvel Junior liked rock and roll. It had not quite been around when he was trapped in the Suspendium trap in 1953, but after emerging from the decades-long sleep, he took to it with a passion. He especially loved the old music of the late 1950s, such as that of Elvis Presley. Perhaps this was due to the indirect influence he’d had on it from one of his last cases before being trapped. In any event, the World’s Mightiest Boy did not care for the sounds of madness coming from the Fiddler’s magical instrument.
The white-haired villain had used his instrument to send everyone at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival Show into a mad frenzy while he gleefully pocketed the proceeds. Junior meant to silence the mad musician for good.
Captain Marvel Junior flew down to investigate the wild crowds outside the arena. What’s the deal with these folks? he thought. That old man seems to be pulling their strings like some modern Pied Piper!
He was spotted by the Fiddler, who laughed. “Jump off the arena deck for me, children!” The kids began to leap off the high building, since his music made drones of them all.
Holy moley! Got to move fast! thought Junior as he tore the tent free from a neighboring car lot and used it to catch all the plunging kids.
The Fiddler grinned. “You seem to be a Superman in training! I’ll put you through your paces, my lad!”
Junior gasped as the Fiddler’s music changed, and the kids began to charge him with fury upon their faces. They surged over him and pounded him to no avail. They only hurt themselves when they hit my body, but they could get hurt worse in this stampede, he thought.
He flew around the crowd at top speed and made all the air fly away until they all passed out. “Hated to do that to the kids, but at least this way they can’t be controlled by that fiend,” he said.
The Fiddler frowned. “Not super-speed! I’ve seen enough of that in my career.”
Junior ignored his comment, dropping down in front of the green-suited villain. “Stop now, or I’ll be forced to exercise some musical criticism of my own,” he said.
The Fiddler smiled. “On the contrary, you punk. You’ll be my biggest fan!”
The music then begin to sound oddly compelling to Captain Marvel Junior. He swayed back and forth and soon realized that he was no longer in control of his body. He’s got me! he thought. But maybe I can use this to my advantage, he decided as he whirled ever harder. His stomping feet shook the pavement into a huge split that caught the Fiddler off-guard and made him fall in the gap.
As the music stopped, Junior snatched the instrument and shattered it with a slam to the ground. He then pulled the Fiddler free and held the beaten old man at arm’s length. “You’re going to hear new music — Jailhouse Rock!” he said, smiling.
“The Fiddler has left the building,” giggled the Fiddler as he was suddenly teleported to freedom.
My name is Susan Kent Barr, and my husband is Jim Barr. You may call us Bulletgirl and Bulletman if you’d prefer. However, I can’t tell you what to call the pair of thugs we’re fighting at the moment. It all started when Jim went to visit a police scientist buddy of his named Barry Allen. These lab rats can talk test tubes for hours. As a test tube widow, I’ve spent more than my fair share of time just getting my hair done or shopping — which adds to my old shallow debutante reputation, I might add.
In any case, Jim and Barry were in the labs comparing some new scientific do-hickey when this costumed pair burst in to disrupt the whole place.
The heavy guy was in a white jumpsuit and shot flames out of his gloves while his silent (and I do mean silent) partner kept trashing the police with true martials arts skill and a spider motif on his masked face. I changed into my hotpants and flew out to stop their rampage before someone or something was seriously damaged. Jim took longer, since he had to slip away from his pal.
“Hey, babe, you make me all hot,” sneered the human torch.
“Let me help you cool down,” I said as I rocketed directly into his chest and, to his dismay, sent him crashing through the window and onto the pavement of the police parking lot.
These creeps always look at me with my stylish auburn curls and cover girl looks (my words, and I’m not under oath, OK?) and assume I’m an easy fight. But as a former girl athlete and horsewoman to begin with, the chemical my hubby invented just boosted my strength to a point slightly above normal. So I slugged this Heat Wave jerk, and he really felt it.
He was smart, and he aimed his gloves at the roof, not at me. He knew I’d dodge, and hurting the whole building full of people would delay me considerably. Well, I decided to prove him wrong. I belted him with both fists, and he lost teeth and fell flat.
Then I flew to the nearby water tower (as a cop’s wife I knew this town like the back of my manicured hand) and crashed through it to send a cascade of water down on the roof, putting out his blaze.
“Not bad, even if he did ruin my hair,” I joked.
Meanwhile, Jim was facing the Black Spider (I learned their names from some cops who heard them talk earlier). This agile crook was too fast for his own good. Even Jim could hardly handle him in such a closed space.
Rocket-powered movement loses its edge in a small room. Trust me on that! So Bulletman watched and dodged as the Spider fired lethal little darts.
Jim said, “I don’t know who you are, but you’ll regret invading the police station.”
The Black Spider didn’t answer, except to snatch Barry Allen over and hold his dart-launching glove to the poor sap’s head.
“Surrender, Bullethead, or I’ll let some air into lab boy, here,” he said.
Jim exchanged glances with his old pal Barry and knew what was coming. Barry kicked out and tore free of the Black Spider just as Jim slammed into him and knocked him cold. Barry just missed falling through a table full of chemicals that had been energized by the heat of the fire. Lucky guy missed them by inches.
Both thugs just vanished soon after.
Barry grinned and said, “Nice play!” Barry knows Jim’s secret, by the way. Jim nodded at his athletic pal and flew off.
Me? I headed for the beauty parlor and a new do!
Captain Marvel gasped in dismay at what he saw. A giant with huge fists and feet and a monstrous head that sparked lightning from a revealed brain was rampaging across the city. “Holy moley!” he said. “That thing’s like something out of a nightmare!”
He knew this was part of the crime-wave from another world, and he wondered if the beast came from Earth-One or Earth-Two. “I hope Superman can stop this guy when I send him back home,” he said.
Validus rampaged with singleminded fury like an infant deprived of a favorite toy. He smashed and crushed everything in mindless rage. Captain Marvel moved quickly to pull cars away from the path of destruction. He then said, “Hold it, big fella! You have to stop this now before one of us gets hurt!”
The behemoth looked at the World’s Mightiest Mortal and smacked him through a wall. Captain Marvel landed in a lingerie shop and blushed furiously. “Sorry, ladies!” he said, covering his eyes. Flying back to the fight, he charged Validus and succeeded in knocking the giant off his feet, following this up with a strong right cross.
Then Validus generated a weird mental bolt that struck the Captain and left him dazed. “Feel weaker. That bolt must have drained my power somewhat. Magic lightning?” he wondered. He tried to shove the giant back down as he rose, but he was too slow. Validus merely ignored the push and stomped off.
“That thing’s got some kind of brain-storm raging,” said a talking tiger in a stylish suit.
“Have no fear, my compeer!” said a bald old man. “The ever-valiant Captain Marvel shall triumph, and if he needs help, then I, Uncle Marvel, shall step into the fray!”
“I feel much better,” said the tiger named Mr. Tawky Tawny, shrugging.
Captain Marvel decided to try a new tactic. “He’s kind of like a big baby. Not mean, just mindless in his wants and needs. This may stop him.” He flew down to where Mr. Tawny stood and quickly whispered a plan.
“I… I… iy-yi-yi!” gasped the tiger as he heard the plan. “I’ll stake my life on you, Cap,” he said nervously as Marvel flew him to Validus.
The giant saw the tiger and slowed down, then picked him up gently and began to stroke his fur. “Nice boy,” Tawny said in a desperately soothing voice.
Captain Marvel watched closely, ready to save his pal if Validus grew violent, but the huge creature slowly fell asleep as if he was a tired child after play.
Mr. Tawny smiled as the Captain led him away, and they soon saw the sleeping beast vanish. “I never want to risk that kind of death by stroking again,” insisted the tiger.
“You did great!” said Marvel with a grin. “I could tell that he was like a big alien baby and hoped you’d soothe him like a stuffed toy would a real baby.”
Felix Faust and Cheshire met their defeats as well at the hands of Ibis the Invincible, but while the fights occupied the heroes, Alexis Luthor sat waiting on her secret team member to return with the piece of the Rock of Eternity. The redheaded woman was smart and lovely and wanted to prove herself to her youthful father, but she did not know how to relate to him and was admittedly nervous. She didn’t realize that Dr. Doome had not even told the senior Luthor who she was.
The evil Doctor Light of Earth-One flashed into view with the rock sliver. “Here it is, dear lady,” he said.
“Did you warp the lightwaves around you as I suggested and thus invisibly steal the rock?” she asked impatiently.
“I did as requested with my customary style,” he said, stroking his goatee.
“Then the entire Shazam’s Squadron of Justice group will be most likely here soon,” she sneered.
Before herself and her teammates — who had all been were transported back to the ship after their defeats — could leave, she found herself teleported away. The others reached Earth-Two and went to their respective time periods with no memories of what had occurred. Dr. Doome now had the segment of the Rock of Eternity that Doctor Light gave him, and he in turn gave it to Alexei Luthor.
But what of Alexis? She was now in a laboratory and saw that she had been abducted by someone else. “What is the meaning of this?” demanded the daughter of Luthor. “I am a Luthor! You risk much to trifle with me. My father is the most brilliant man in the world!”
“Heh-heh-heh!” laughed an evil young woman.
“My father is the rightful ruler of the universe, aren’t you, Father?” she said, grinning like a twisted gnome.
The old man in glasses and a lab coat sneered with evil pride. “That’s daddy’s girl! As Georgia said, I am the wickedest scientist in the universe. But, my dear, seeing that I knew your father, you can call me Dr. Sivana.”
Alexis gasped in fear, then cried proudly.
Dr. Thaddeus Bodog Sivana strapped Alexis Luthor in a machine, and her next few days became one nightmarish test after another. He laughed and rubbed his hands together gleefully during the whole ordeal.
“You know what I hate about would-be world-beaters like your father? Nothing is wrong with conquering a world and crushing your foes beneath your heel. However, if you are going to do it, then you should at least have fun while you do it! Luthor and his ilk are sooo serious! Could that sourpuss crack a smile? I doubt it. Heh-heh-heh!”
Alexis waited and bided her time. She would be free sooner or later, and he would pay. Then the time came when Sivana chose to release her and send her home. He had learned all about her world from her mind, and he felt prepared to make use of the information.
She arrived back on Earth-Two in her own time, with no memory of what had occurred.
On Earth-S, Dr. Sivana smiled. “I may have to use that little vixen to conquer the universe yet!”
“But how?” asked his ugly daughter, Georgia Sivana.
He laughed happily. “I did not send her back alone. She carries a virus of my creation that will transmit more data about every person she meets on her world. Thus, I receive the data here in my computer and, just like that, I gain knowledge of everything she sees or does or knows! Better than pirated cable, eh? Heh-heh-heh!”