At the Meta-Human Rehabilitation Agency, Captain Comet spoke with an imposing redhead in skimpy battle armor, repeating the same thing for what seemed the hundredth time over the last couple of weeks. “Maxima, I again must say that I appreciate the offer, but I can’t mate with you. We aren’t even married, and we barely know each other.”
Maxima snorted in disdain. “I offer you paradise, and you give me your moral scruples. Yet I admire you, Adam Blake. I will win you over eventually, if only by conforming to your heroic code.”
Comet sighed. He had reluctantly taken the warrior princess on to his Rehab Squad to keep her out of trouble. But her temper, raw power, and amorous advances made the princess of Almerac a true problem.
“Valor is back!” said an eager Colonel Rick Flag as he rushed into Captain Comet’s office.
The team leader frowned. “Sorry, Rick,” he said. “I haven’t formally announced it yet, but Lesla is staying on Rokyn. Turns out she really is a cousin of Superman’s! (*) It can’t be her. Nor can it be the new future Supergirl, because she is with Valor on Rokyn right now.”
[(*) Editor’s note: See World of New Krypton: Supergirl and Valor: Homecoming.]
Rick Flag insisted that Captain Comet gaze out the window to where a blonde in thigh-high red boots and a red cape with a blue minidress and S emblem hovered in the sky.
“That’s neither Lesla, Lydia, nor Kara,” he said. “She doesn’t really look like any of them except for the costume and the blonde hair. Remember, Lesla is Kara’s exact twin. This girl’s face is pretty, but different. What is her game?”
“I shall strip the impudent strumpet of her stolen raiment and teach her a lesson!” declared Maxima as she flew out the window.
“Wait!” said Comet, rushing out to stop the carnage.
Maxima soared toward the blonde in the retro Supergirl costume. “You there! Defend yourself or submit humbly to the warrior princess of Almerac!” she shouted.
The blonde stared at her in dismay. “I seek Supergirl. This method got her attention before, and I thought–”
Maxima belted her with a sharp right hook, then pulled her long, blonde hair and shook the girl like a rag-doll.
“Stop! You’re killing her!” shouted Captain Comet. He pulled them apart just as the blonde started to fight back. “Who are you? And don’t even think of saying that you are Supergirl, her clone, her other dimensional twin, her evil twin, or a magic construct of the real heroine.”
“I am Glynix, or Gwyneth, if you prefer, in your tongue,” she said, almost tearfully. “I am queen of a distant world who seeks the aid of Supergirl. When last we met, I dressed as her to attract her attention in time of need. (*) All I seek is her help once more to defend my homeworld from tyrants.”
[(*) Editor’s note: See “The Battle for Survival,” Adventure Comics #412 (November, 1971).]
“I will help you,” offered Captain Comet. “Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but Supergirl died last year in battle. I will do what I can for you.”
“Bah! The little stripling seeks to ensnare you in some amorous intrigue,” said Maxima.
“Maxima, hush,” he scolded her. “Glynix, take me to your homeworld and I’ll help you defend it, but first give me details,” he said soothingly.
The blonde nodded and followed him inside. She stripped off the Supergirl outfit to reveal a short pink tunic underneath. “I am in need of a champion to defend my home from a tyrant who seeks to conquer us,” said Glynix. “He offers us freedom if we have a champion or hero to defeat him in battle.”
Maxima frowned. “Why do you not fight your own battles?”
The alien princess said, “I am no warrior. Please, will you save us all?” she said, gazing up at Captain Comet.
“Yes. I’ll do my best,” he began. “How do we travel there? If necessary, I have a rocket-ship with faster-than-light speed.”
“Oh, I’ll just transport us thusly,” said Glynix, smiling. Instantly, Captain Comet and the little princess were gone.
Maxima raged in the now-empty room. “How dare you leave me behind?!”
Karin Grace, the former Suicide Squad member along with Colonel Rick Flag, who had been the MHRA’s assistant director, now wore a new costume in her role as the super-heroine Goldstar. She had abandoned her white and gold battle-suit for a purple and red bodysuit that left her arms and legs bare. A tiara perched on her blonde locks, and her ever-present star-band pulsed on her chest.
“Karin, I don’t like this new look or this attitude,” said a worried Rick Flag. “You ordered the office girls around like they were your personal slaves. What’s gotten into you?”
“Do not dare presume to question me!” she replied haughtily. “I have lived for centuries, and you are but a child compared to me!”
“Centuries!” he said, surprised. “You’re just a few years younger than I am — in our fifties. We may look like we’re in our late twenties due to the chronal energy from that time travel case where you got that blasted star-band, but we aren’t centuries old.” (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See Captain Comet’s Rehab Squad: The Return of Supergirl, Chapter 1: Crisis Revisited.]
“I know that! I merely meant the star-band is that old, and I am its representative. You’d do well to remember my power,” she said coldly, and with a pulse of energy, she sent Flag spinning over a desk before leaving the room.
He agilely jumped back up and muttered, “What is wrong with her?”
“I think that evil star-band she wears has taken over her mind,” said Melisande as she walked in the room. “She has been using it to cloud your own thoughts and play with you since she got it. That’s why you hired the Lane and Edge girls and giggled wildly as you have been lately. She made you a plaything out of contempt for how you saw her as a brainless, pretty little nobody, despite the fact that she was once the world’s foremost space medicine expert and operated as an agent in Task Force X along with you for over twenty years.”
“What? She did what? I was–” stammered Flag.
“Oh, yes. She controlled your mind, and I can detect the energy field she used to do it,” said a bored Melisande.
Rick Flag, finally feeling like himself once more after several months, looked at the New Genesis heroine and frowned. “Where’s Comet? We’ll need him to stop this,” he said.
“He left for some outer space world,” said the petite blonde. “I sensed the teleportation energy used. Maxima is irate about it. I think she is spoiled and unruly.”
“Who is here?” asked Flag.
“Well, Dolphin and Starman — though he is still recovering from his ordeal with the energy beast,” said Melisande merrily. “The Cheetah and Mayflower are on leave. Valor quit. That leaves us and — oh, yes, the Female Furie Gilotina.”
“Karin has gone bad, and we have to stop her,” said Flag. “I’ll make a few calls.”
Shortly thereafter, Rick Flag and Melisande hurried into the room where an angry Maxima was throwing a temper tantrum. “How dare she take Captain Comet away from me?” she ranted.
Flag ducked a tossed chair and said, “Max, if you want to please Adam, you’ll help us subdue Karin. She’s under the control of this evil space relic, and we need your battle skills badly.”
Maxima frowned. “Never presume to address the warrior princess of Almerac as Max. I shall stop this Karin for Adam. Follow me into battle.” She stalked off.
“Actually, Dolphin is team field leader in Comet’s absence,” insisted Flag.
“Dolphin!” laughed Maxima. “She is a mere baby. I shall lead, and I won’t need that little weakling. I shall lead Gilotina.”
“Maxima, Gilotina is a hardened girl of Granny Goddness’ school,” began Melisande. “She is bloodthirsty, even with supervision. Comet doesn’t think she is ready for the team.”
“I shall tame her passion for blood and curb her violent impulses, while retaining her warrior’s skills,” explained the vain alien queen.
She ripped open the cell door that housed the pink-costumed blonde girl killer from Apokolips. “Gilotina, come forth and aid us in battle,” said Maxima.
Gillotina, looking like a prom queen, rushed forward eagerly. “It is fun to hurt!”
Maxima frowned and touched the blonde teenager. A mental bolt blasted into her skull, and certain mental blocks snapped into place. “You will fight to subdue, but not to kill unless I — or Captain Comet — say otherwise,” she commanded. “You will protect and cherish Earth’s people and, in short, sacrifice your life for Comet if needed.”
Gilotina nodded, her eyes vacant. “Yes. I will.”
“How can you turn her into a heroine when you don’t share the values you placed within her yourself?” Melisande said.
“It is to please Comet,” said Maxima as she flounced off.
Captain Comet and Glynix arrived on her homeworld of Liquel II in the blink of an eye. “That was a bit sudden,” he said. “But I suppose it was necessary.”
The blonde princess led him forward to a bald man. “Zogg, this is our champion, Captain Comet!” she said proudly.
“I expected the Supergirl who humbled me last time,” he said warily.
“She is dead, but Comet will save us,” she insisted. “I shall lead him to the arena.”
Zogg frowned and said, “I hope you have not foolishly thrown our world’s fate away on a handsome face.”
“Rather sour, wasn’t he?” remarked Captain Comet. “Who was that?”
“Zogg is my advisor,” she said. “Once he was my enemy, but he truly wants the best for our world, and it took time for us to come to an understanding. He knows that the invaders will destroy this world if you can’t save us.”
“How may I do so?” asked Comet.
“Our world has been threatened with destruction, along with dozens of other worlds, unless we participate in a cosmic game,” she explained. “If we refuse, then they will blow us up. If we lose, then they destroy us. Only by having our champion defeat his foe in the alien’s arena can we live.”
“A Roman-style gladiator match with the fate of entire worlds hanging on single combat,” he mused. “I don’t like that kind of ruthless domination of others. Who leads these game players?”
“It is rumored that the being behind the death games is none other than Darkseid himself,” she whispered.
“I would not mind taking him down,” said Captain Comet. “He has hurt countless people for too long.”
Maxima and Melisande flew off to confront Karin Grace. Colonel Rick Flag was towed along by Maxima’s mental force, as was Gilotina.
“I do hope I can stop Karin without hurting her,” said Gilotina. “She is such a dear.”
Melisande smiled. “Maxima has turned this girl killer into the girl next door, as the Earth people say. I can’t imagine Captain Comet would approve of such blatant mind alteration.”
Raised in secret on New Genesis by Highfather himself, Melisande had no contact with Orion, Mister Miracle, Big Barda, or any of the other colorful characters who were legends in that land. She had lost her parents as a baby and knew no family other than the kindly Highfather. She had long, straight blonde hair and wore a short white and silver tunic. Her arms and legs were tanned, and her feet were covered in silvery sandals.
She had decided to stay with Captain Comet’s team in order to do good, but she also enjoyed the adventures they had. She loved life and relished little ironies like the untamed warrior princess making a Female Furie a Donna Reed clone. Melisande also loved Earthly television and spent all her free time watching old reruns.
Melisande had great powers, including flight, freedom from dependence on any type of atmosphere, and the ability to drain away any type of energy, especially kinetic energy. She could not return the dispersed energy herself, but she could be unharmed by most energy blasts. She hoped to use those powers to stop the maddened Karin Grace.
Karin was easy to find, since she had created a huge palace out of the stony peaks in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. “Before she became a nurse during the Korean War and long before I recruited her into Task Force X, Karin was a small town beauty queen and a farmer’s daughter,” explained Rick. “She was voted Dairy Princess, for God’s sake! Now she thinks she is some world conqueror.”
“The star-band has enough latent power and evil that it could make her a true conqueror,” warned Melisande. “I sensed the raw energy within it the moment I came across them.”
“You need to know this is battle we go into,” said Maxima. “You have a girlish demeanor that seems more suited for a picnic!”
Melisande smiled. “I did pack sandwiches, now that you mention it.”
Maxima fumed inwardly, not realizing the high-spirited girl was joking.