The Rehab Squad burst through the walls of the warehouse that housed the Rogues Gallery after Captain Comet’s quick mind-scan revealed the super-villains were within. He stood firm and ordered his team into action. “Cheetah, free Lisa! Moonbow, shut down Boomerang! Dolphin, take Heat Wave! Starman, take care of Weather Wizard! Mayflower, the Trickster is yours!”
“I guess that means the big hero thinks he can handle little old me,” sneered Captain Cold.
Captain Comet charged at him. “You tried to lure Lisa back into the corruption she had climbed above. I find that despicable! I gave you a chance on my team, and you turned on me the first chance you got. (*) You make me doubt some people can be saved!”
[(*) Editor’s note: See Captain Comet’s Rehab Squad: The Suicide Squad.]
Captain Cold blasted at him with his cold gun, remaining silent after his first boasting outburst. The ray never reached Comet, since the gun reversed itself even as Cold fired it, and he was covered with the ice of his own creation.
“A bit of telekinetic power put you on ice!” laughed Captain Comet.
Debbie Domaine bounded over the heads of the scattering Rogues to slice Lisa’s bonds with her claws. “Hold on, honey, we’ll have you free in no time!” she said.
Lisa smiled. “Thanks, Deb!” She rose and slipped on the special skates the Cheetah had brought along. Then she smiled grimly. “I have to see about reclaiming my name — good or bad, as it may be,” she vowed. She dashed off along a trail of ice through the air to confront Kolossal Kate Krasher, dressed in a matching costume.
“So, the Suzanne Somers of crime wants to mix it up?” sneered Kate.
The Glider merely darted aside from Kate’s massive fists and delivered three dazzling spins with her leg extended. Kate was sent flying through the room, buffeted by the quick kicks.
Kate rose with a grunt and said, “I used ta break bones of little fluffy girls like you on the rink!”
Golden Glider skated toward the larger woman, only to stop suddenly, causing the generated snow from the blades to fly into Kate’s face. While her foe could not see to fight, Lisa punched her with both fists and a lot of momentum.
“Peggy Fleming beats Big Bertha any day!” she teased.
Dolphin had dodged the fiery blasts from Heat Wave’s gun, and the beauty soon realized that his rays could kill her with one hit. Thus she merely moved at top speed and caught his arm in her grip. She had survived the depths of the ocean for years, and now, using that type of power, she crushed the nozzle of his flamethrower.
“No, you crazy babe! It’s gonna blow!” he cried. Dolphin shoved him directly into the struggling form of Kate, who had refused to stay down. Dolphin smiled as Captain Comet fired the dropped cold gun to entrap all the Rogues and prevent any possible explosion.
“Nice job!” said a smiling Dolphin.
Captain Boomerang had been eager to slay the newcomers from a safe distance. He had hurled three deadly shatterangs as soon as Comet had burst inside. However, the skilled archery of Moonbow soon deflected each one in midair.
“That Sheila is a bloody Green Arrow!” he complained.
“But I have much better legs,” said Bree Brandon, grinning as she kicked him in the face. Her platinum blonde flashed as she rolled across the room to fire anew. Three blunt shafts struck Digger Harkness in both hands and his chin before he could throw any further weapons her way.
“She broke me hands!” he whined, then passed out.
Serves you right for betraying Rick Flag and Amanda Waller, thought Captain Comet. Indeed, he had been surprised to find Captain Boomerang present among the Rogues Gallery, since Flag had told him during their last briefing of Boomerang’s participation in a new covert team under the umbrella of Task Force X called by the unpleasant name of Extreme Justice. That team had, in fact, been responsible for bringing down the latest plan of Hector Hammond’s to take over the world. (*) Digger Harkness’ actions with the Rogues constituted nothing less than a betrayal to Rick Flag in Comet’s eyes. Well, when Flag returned from leave, he would decide what to do with Boomerang. Hopefully Waller would agree.
[(*) Editor’s note: See Showcase: Task Force X: Extreme Justice.]
The Cheetah crawled catlike behind the Weather Wizard and purred. “Everyone knows your wand is all flash and no substance,” she said as he turned, only to be hit by her left hook and raked across the face by her claws. He flinched, and lightning burst in their midst. Debbie winced from the near burn and kicked him below the belt. He flailed backward, where Golden Glider flipped him over her shoulders in a tag-team move.
Mayflower had decided to take her own initiative, so she had sent vine-like tendrils snaking up to snare the Trickster’s flying slippers. He struggled and poured an acidic liquid over them, and he soon leaped free, grinning. “You may have the best legs of any Pilgrim I’ve ever seen, but I will still have the last laugh!”
The former Force of July member felt pain as the vines burned, since as the daughter of Jason Woodrue she was in close contact with plant life. She fell back and gasped as a cream pie hit her, remaining stuck to her face in a smothering manner. Can’t get me breath! she thought as the deadly glue-like substance cut off her air.
She lay still as Trickster frowned down on her fallen form. “Cute, but not in my league.”
Starman had been blasting from above at what he thought was the Trickster, when he suddenly found himself looking down on a fallen Golden Glider, Cheetah, and Moonbow. “How in the world?” he asked himself, realizing that he had actually fired right at his allies, not his enemies.
“Smoke and mirrors, you long-haired punk!” said a harsh voice behind him. Starman turned and fell into a glass prism that held him tightly.
Captain Comet had faced the Rainbow Raider, who tried to make him feel fear or anger with his rainbow emotion rays, but the hero merely walked forward and slugged Roy G. Bivolo into a stunned state. “Can’t manipulate my emotions,” he said simply with the confidence of a man who had built-in mental protections against such attacks.
Seeing the Trickster run, Comet flew into his path and twisted his blond foe’s arm back, causing the villain to drop his latest gimmick to the floor in pain. “Easy, Superman! You don’t need to break my arm!” whined the Trickster.
Dolphin had just freed Mayflower from the smothering glue-like substance, when she yelled a warning. “Comet, look out!” She dashed forward and blocked him from a piercing beam of light.
Captain Comet whirled in time to see Dolphin vanish in a blink of light. The beam came from an orange-and-green-costumed man who held a strange mirror.
“A new Mirror Master, I presume?” he said. “What did you do to Dolphin?” he asked as he approached the laughing figure.
“I sent her, along with her little gal pals, into my own Mirrorverse,” he said. “And you’re next.”
“I knew Sam Scudder, and you’re definitely not him,” said Captain Comet. “I think you must be the Mirror-Man who fought Batman many years ago.” His photographic memory recalled the file on the criminal clearly. “Floyd Ventris, I believe your name was.” (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See “The Mysterious Mirror-Man,” Detective Comics #213 (November, 1954).]
Mirror-Man frowned under his mask and shot a bolt of light at Captain Comet, who dodged it and slammed his hands together. The vibration shattered the weapon, and as Mirror-Man cursed, all the missing women appeared anew.
Captain Comet ran forward and slugged the costumed foe. “You used the stolen lab equipment to whip up that dimensional teleporter,” said Comet. “That must have been the big score I heard the Rogues speak of. I suppose you decided to take on Scudder’s identity, too, since he died during the Crisis.” (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See “Death at the Dawn of Time,” Crisis on Infinite Earths #10 (January, 1986).]
Dolphin, the Cheetah, Mayflower, Moonbow, the Golden Glider, and a man in gold and black, who had appeared from out of the mirror, stood watching with a mixture of confused expressions upon their faces.
Starman had remained trapped in a prism until Captain Comet broke him free. “What happened to the girls?” he asked. “That creep tricked me into blasting them by using some illusion-caster. They vanished for seconds, then returned when you broke the device.”
“The girls have been to the Mirrorverse and back, and in the seconds you perceived us to be gone, we’ve lived hours!” shrieked Dolphin. “You won’t believe what a weird place it was. It made me see the light, you vacant poster boy!” She turned haughtily from Will.
“Honey, what’s wrong?” asked Starman.
Dolphin slapped him, and though he felt nothing physically, his inner pain was real. “You don’t get it?” she cried. “We’re not the same anymore. We’re going to claim the power we deserve! And if you still don’t understand my meaning, the wedding’s off, you clown!”
“I don’t think they’re the women we knew,” said Captain Comet. “Those went in, but others came out!” Suddenly, he was attacked by the Golden Glider, who spun at him with a fierceness he had before never seen in Lisa Snart. “Evil doubles!” he said as he blocked her, holding her tightly as she kicked and screamed.
Moonbow fired a few trick arrows at the roof, and as it exploded, Captain Comet released Golden Glider to catch the falling matter.
Can’t let the stunned Rogues Gallery die under these beams, he thought as he shoved the roof back into place, while Will fused it solid again. While they acted, the girls fled into the night.
“Can you track them?” asked Starman.
“I think so,” said a grim Captain Comet. “We need to get a bead on the tracking devices implanted under their skin or in their costumes.”
The man in gold and black approached them. “I’m the Golden Wasp — or Yellow Wasp, if you prefer — the hero of Bludhaven. I followed Mirror-Man, or Mirror Master, as he now prefers to be called since he stole Scudder’s look. He trapped me in that Mirrorverse, too, and yet I am still normal now that you freed us. What made the women go mad?”
“Wasp, I intend to find out,” vowed Adam Blake.
Later, Captain Comet and Starman stood in silent vigil over Melisande’s still body in their headquarters, which they had discovered upon returning to the Meta-Human Rehabilitation Agency.
“I can’t believe it,” said Starman, even as he worried about Dolphin. “She was so vital and full of life.”
The Golden Wasp sat quietly in the very center in which he once lived as Killer Moth. He had chosen to accompany the others out of some odd impulse to help. This hero stuff was addicting.
A hum announced the arrival of Metron of New Genesis. Sitting grimly by in his Mobius Chair, he explained, “Melisande is Highfather’s most favored pupil. He will restore her yet. You see, she is not dead. She merely used her power to absorb kinetic energy upon herself to place herself in a death-like coma from which she may be awakened in our home realm.”
“I prayed as much!” said Comet with relief. “Will you tell us how she does after your leader works with her? We grew to care for her during her time with us.”
Metron nodded. “I shall. Captain Comet, be strong. Your valor is feared even by Darkseid, so you must take heart and continue your noble crusade.”
Captain Comet shook his hand and watched the New God vanish with the still lithe blonde.
“That guy knows how to travel in style!” said Wasp.
“I wondered,” Comet said suddenly, “is your name connected with the Earth-Two villain who once fought Wildcat?”
“I met a jailhouse reformer named Henry Grant once,” said the Wasp. “We hit it off, though the poor man could not reform me at the time, I fear. He shared a story or two that he had been told in turn by the Wildcat of Earth-Two you speak of. (*) He mentioned the Wasp in passing, and that motif and name stuck in my mind for some reason.”
[(*) Editor’s note: For more information on Wildcat’s time on Earth-1, see Wildcat: Lost Heroes.]
“Thank you, Cameron,” said Adam Blake.
Upon hearing his true name for the first time in a long while, the Golden Wasp blinked, then frowned in disbelief beneath his mask before finally smiling.
“Now to find the maddened women,” announced Captain Comet. Starman and Golden Wasp followed the hero toward a hangar on the roof of the MHRA building.