At the Meta-Human Rehabilitation Agency, Dolphin ran her hand through her platinum blonde hair. “So let me get this straight, Adam. The Supergirl that Rip Hunter rescued from limbo was really just a woman named Tala trying to get a body with which to return to our world, and the Phantom Stranger trapped her in it and carried her off?”
“Right,” said Captain Comet. “She never was Supergirl, who really is dead. Tala merely thought she was possessing her body to fool us. She was really in some magical construct of the Stranger’s that just looked like the late Supergirl. Now, the girl in my office who claims to be the Supergirl of Earth-Prime is also not what she seems.”
“Is it Tala again?” asked Colonel Rick Flag, director of the MHRA.
“No. Arisia and I checked her out with the ring and a mental scan — with her approval. She is Kryptonian — from Kandor, to be precise — and she is from our universe, not the Earth-Prime one. But she’s sincere in believing that she is a Supergirl — the death of the real one has just made her rationalize that she must be one from another dimension. She’s well meaning, just mentally ill.”
“So how does she have all of Supergirl’s powers and look exactly like her?” asked Starman.
Arisia spoke up. “She’s just a lookalike by chance. Her real name is Lesla-Lar. She once battled the real Supergirl as a villainess, and now she thinks she is a Supergirl.”
“So, what do we do?” asked Dolphin.
“The first thing I did was have her agree to drop the name and costume of Supergirl out of respect to the memory of the real one. I also don’t want to submit Superman to any more pain. I’ve asked Leslie Larson, as she is calling her civilian ID, to agree to wear another outfit she had — pink and purple, so as not to confuse anyone with Supergirl. I’ve also asked her to let us just call her something else like Ultra Girl, or — oh, I don’t know — for now, maybe just Leslie.”
“How’s she taking the idea?” said Flag.
“She’s agreed. I don’t know her personality when she fought Supergirl, but now she just wants to be accepted and do good. I’m asking her to join the Squad,” offered Comet.
“What about Silver Swan?” asked Dolphin.
“She has been checked out by Tom and the lab boys, and she’s cleared for duty along with Mayflower, Cheetah, and Golden Glider.”
“How’s Karin?” asked Arisia.
“She’s stubbornly insisting on using that battle-suit in the field. I can’t talk her out of it,” said an irritated Flag.
“Oh, and Rip Hunter left. He has his free will again since Tala dropped her hold on him,” said Flag. “Now let’s hope things settle down.”
Karin Grace popped in wearing the white battle-suit she used in her new Goldstar identity. “Rick, you have a strange visitor outside.”
In Comet’s office, the pretty blonde from Kandor named Lesla-Lar stared at her reflection in the small mirror. She looked exactly like Kara Zor-El, and she believed she was Supergirl; however, this was a delusion. She merely looked like the Maid of Steel, and that resemblance was less obvious now that she was wearing the pink mini-dress she had brought with her.
She had no memory of her past life as Lesla. She only knew she was the adopted daughter of the Danvers family of Midvale. Again, this was not true. Her parents died long ago in the city of Kandor. Still, the deluded young woman felt so alone and needed help, so she eagerly accepted Comet’s request that she go by the name Leslie Larson and no longer make any claim to being Supergirl from any world or dimension. Since the one of this Earth (actually her bitter foe, though she could not recall this fact) was dead, Lesla knew she had no tie to Superman or the Danvers.
Lesla might as well accept that no one else thought of her as the heroine she believed she was. She smiled and decided to make the best of it. Who am I? Power Girl? Ultra Woman? Dyna Girl? The name will wait until I can prove myself, she thought as she listened to Comet’s sudden cry.
She hurried into the next room to see a gaunt, shadow-eyed man with purple hair and haunted eyes, who wore an elaborate, almost royal-looking green outfit. Next to him stood a tall blonde woman in blue and red armor. “Help me, they’re coming!” cried the man known as Pariah. “The invasion fleets are massing as we speak!”
“Calm down, Pariah! What invasion?” asked Dolphin.
Harbinger, the beautiful blonde in blue armor who held Pariah’s hand, replied, “I fear we’re both the harbingers of bad news. A fleet of alien invaders is rapidly coming to Earth. You must rally the heroes to stop them.”
“Harbinger, I will stop them. You have my word,” said a grim Captain Comet.
Arisia knew Pariah and Harbinger from the events of the Crisis. She knew the pretty blonde was a powerful storehouse of information about meta-humans of multiple worlds. Her companion, the gaunt, emotional Pariah was a self-proclaimed prophet of doom. He was attracted to disaster, and he had shown up at her door, so to speak.
“But first, we must know what type of invasion are you speaking of,” asked Adam Blake (Captain Comet).
The blonde replied, “We — or I should say Pariah — came across the stellar formation of various alien crafts during his studies. The gathered races have set aside their various differences in order to form an alliance against the Earth, and they mean war. They see this world as a focal point of much unrest, including the recent Crisis that devastated many worlds. They blame this planet for that, merely because the Monitor dwelt near Earth for so long. It’s very similar to the issue of whether heroes create villains by their mere existence. But that’s only partly the reason. They also want to rid Earth of its high population of meta-humans; they fear that they will spread out into space and interfere in their business and, in future generations, even band against the universe’s tyrants when space travel becomes more commonplace.”
“They wish to strike now to eliminate any further threats!” Pariah added.
“The Green Lantern Corps should know about this,” vowed the elfin Arisia. “But we’re scattered a bit. Ch’p has taken off somewhere, and Green Lantern of Earth and Kilowog are with the JLA. I’ll head off to find them and warn them.”
“Go to it,” ordered Comet. She flew off rapidly.
Lesla-Lar spoke up. “I want to help fight this invaders! It’s what Su — it’s what I feel I should do,” she said.
Comet nodded. “We’ll need your kind of power. I think the JLA should hear about this, and the Outsiders, and the Titans and–” he trailed off.
“I know of dozens of unassociated heroes that could help from my days with the Monitor. Perhaps I could track down many of these heroes to get their help, too,” offered Harbinger.
“Great idea, Lyla,” said Comet.
Starman held Dolphin close and said, “What can we do to help?”
Comet paused and said, “I think I should check this situation out firsthand. To that end, I’ll head out in the Cometeer — my space ship.”
“We’ll join you,” offered Golden Glider.
“I’ll start right away,” he said.
Elsewhere, in deep space, a huge craft orbited. Aboard were weird aliens of various races. One group had huge yellow heads and sharp teeth. These were members of the feared alien empire known as the Dominion.
“The carrier has started his ill-fated crusade,” said one Dominator. “He may be infecting the heroes with every visit he makes.”
“Excellent. This Pariah may earn his name well if he infects every Earth hero with the germ we’ve planted within him,” said another Dominator.