“Oh, wow! Are you, like, really the Green Lantern?” gushed a very endowed young woman dressed as the television personality Elvira.
“The one and only,” a smiling Green Lantern said, willing his power ring to create a tiny spotlight lamp shining on his face. Elvira giggled, vastly impressed. Flash watched the spectacle with amusement. He knew that, unlike many of his colleagues, Hal had enjoyed the limelight that came with being a super-hero right from the beginning.
“Oh, this is so cool!” Elvira squealed. “Can I get your autograph, Mr. Lantern?” Nervously, the young woman held out a paper napkin and a ball-point pen.
“Certainly,” Green Lantern said, snaring napkin and pen in a power-ringed pair of hands and writing the autograph by willpower. “How shall I make it out?”
“To Debbie, my number one fan,” Elvira squealed. “Oh, my God, the girls in the sorority are just going to die!“
“Turn green with envy, will they?” Green Lantern joked, handing back the napkin with the autograph.
“Like, totally!” Elvira said. “We’ve all been big fans of yours, since we were little girls!“
“Little… girls,” Green Lantern said, slightly crestfallen.
“Oh, for sure!” Elvira assured him. “I remember watching you on the news in my P.J.’s when my dad would let me stay up that late. Watching you stick it to that Invisible Demolisher dude! You were awesome!“
“Um… thanks,” Green Lantern said unenthusiastically. The Flash and Patty fought to stifle a laugh.
The humor was broken by a sudden scream. All heads turned in the direction of the scream — the glass sphere. “Look!” Patty cried, pointing. “It’s Captain Cold!”
Sure enough, a man in a blue and white, fur-trimmed costume was aiming a pistol-weapon at one of the guards; a stream of light shot from the barrel of the weapon, which covered the guard in a sheath of ice. Two other guards stood similarly frozen. Captain Cold looked up in the direction of Patty’s voice. He threw a mock salute to the heroes, then raised his gun. A wide-angle beam from the weapon created an instant dome of ice, cutting off the villain and the money from the rest of the auditorium.
“I’ll handle this,” Green Lantern said, welcoming the chance to blow off some steam after his humiliating experience. In a flash of emerald light he rocketed down to the ice-dome. Were he in a lighter mood, he might have created a power-ring blowtorch or hair dryer to melt the dome; as it was, he merely bored a hole through it with a power-beam and flew through the hole to find Captain Cold preparing to shatter the glass sphere.
“Trick or treat’s over for you, Cold,” Green Lantern declared.
“I don’t think so,” the villain said, pointing his weapon at the emerald gladiator and firing.
Green Lantern did not move to avoid the beam, confident that his power ring could protect him from any sub-zero assault. He was astonished when a golden bolt of lighting leaped from the barrel, blasting him in midair and sending electricity surging through his body. With a cry of surprise and pain he fell to the floor; it was only because he wasn’t grounded when the bolt struck that saved his life.
“G.L.!” Flash cried, and in less time than it took to cry out, he was racing at the broken ice-dome.
Captain Cold discharged his weapon again. The Flash prepared himself for the assault. This time, however, the gun produced a miniature tornado, and the scarlet speedster was caught unprepared. The funnel of winds swept him off his feet and bowled him over.
“Did you see that?” someone cried from the crowd.
“The bum knocked down Flash and Green Lantern!”
“Who does he think he is?“
“Let’s get him!”
“Back, you rabble!” Cold snarled, waving his gun in their direction. “Back, or I swear–“
“Your mother!” a man in a long blonde wig, wearing a costume with a silver winged helmet that Flash and Green Lantern had not recognized, growled as he threw the large, short-handled sledge hammer he had been carrying all night as a prop. Captain Cold instinctively threw up his hands to block the blow from the massive, heavy-looking hammer. He whimpered in terror as the missile struck him and bounced harmlessly off. It had been only paper-mache and cardboard. Realizing what had happened, the villain prepared to blast the red-cloaked man who had thrown it.
Suddenly, however, he felt the pistol being plucked out of his hand. “My gun!” he cried.
“What, this gun?” the Flash asked, twirling the weapon around in his hand. “Should keep a better grip on it, Captain,” the Flash said, sneering as he said the title.
The blue-costumed man made a futile grab for the gun but found his arms suddenly pinned by glowing green manacles. The partygoer had bought both heroes the time they needed to recover from the surprise attacks.
“Captain Cold has certainly learned some new tricks, hasn’t he, Wally?” Green Lantern asked, willing his energy-shackles to haul the villain up into the air, half a foot off the floor.
“Not really, G.L.,” Flash said. “You see, this isn’t Captain Cold.” The Flash yanked the parka hood back; the hair that was revealed was not Len Snart’s chestnut brown but a dark glossy black. He plucked the goggles from the villain’s face, revealing a scowl of hatred that was not Len Snart’s. “Let me introduce Mark Mardon, the Weather Wizard,” Flash said.
“I thought Mark Mardon was the Matter Master,” Green Lantern said.
“No, that’s Mark Mandrill,” Flash pointed out.
“Oh, right,” Green Lantern said. “So, that cold-gun must be–“
“Hollow plastic,” Flash said, breaking open the gun to reveal the slim black rod inside, “to hide Mardon’s weather-wand. He could do tricks with intense cold with it, aping Captain Cold enough to catch us off-guard, then unleashing his full bag of goods when we weren’t ready for it.”
“Might have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for our friend, here,” Green Lantern said, indicating the man who had thrown the hammer. The man was grinning sheepishly.
“Aw, shucks, I didn’t do much,” he said. “I just got carried away, that’s all.”
“And so will Mardon, to jail,” Flash said. “Buddy, I don’t know who you’re supposed to be, but thanks to you, Mardon’s going to be mighty sore!“
The man in the cloak and helmet burst out laughing at that, leaving Wally wondering why.