The Forgotten Heroes: The New Guardians, Chapter 2: Wizards and Warlocks

by Libbylawrence

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June Moone was concerned. She had let her blonde hair grow much longer than it had been before. It was all part of an effort to separate herself even more than before from her transformed state of the Enchantress. She had used her natural blonde looks during one attempt to dominate the world alongside the original Forgotten Villains. (*) This was rare, however, since for most of her career as the Enchantress, she had been altered physically and mentally as the pawn of the evil Warlock of Ys.

[(*) Editor’s note: See “Triad of Terror,” DC Comics Presents #77 (January, 1985) and “The Triad,” DC Comics Presents #78 (February, 1985).]

She had first entered into partnership with Dzamor, the inhuman glob who first turned her into a magical being, and she had then naively assumed the creature to be benign. (*) She even used the magic for good until the evil influence beneath the gifts slowly affected her mind. She had battled Supergirl, Superman, and Captain Comet before being rescued and purged of the tainted being’s power. (*)

[(*) Editor’s note: See “The Enchantress of Terror Castle,” Strange Adventures #187 (April, 1966), “The Earthquake Enchantment,” Superman Family #204 (November-December, 1980), and “Magic over Miami,” Superman Family #205 (January-February, 1981).]

Since then she had fallen in love with the man who had freed her from that terrible power. Nadir was much like her in that he was very much alone. He had been a hero on an alternate Earth in the late 1930s before being ripped through time and space to the present of this Earth. He could not return home, so he constantly studied the texts of that world as shared with him by Captain Comet’s JLA pals. He had used this knowledge to lay claim to a talisman of great power called the Ruby of Life. He used it for a continual fight against dark magic. He had become friends with Sargon the Sorcerer, who used the same gemstone from that other Earth on which they both originated.

This prince of India, for that was what he had been at birth, was handsome and dashing, and looked somewhat similar to the famous Zatara. She had fallen for him, and he seemed to return her feelings. He had restored the girl’s confidence and had begun to teach her magic of a benign kind. He seemed happy with Comet’s team, since he was truly the ultimate forgotten hero. Yet June wondered if he would one day leave this Earth for the one of his birth. If so, would he take her, too?

Her thoughts were interrupted as an alarm rang out. “We’re under attack!” Dolphin shouted incredulously as she looked into June’s room.

The platinum blonde had grown up without an identity as the lost daughter of a man named O’Day, as she had recently learned. Dolphin possessed super-powers due to the machinations of an enemy of her late father’s. She still moved like a seasoned pro, though, and anticipated Captain Comet’s every order. She had a pure heart and a puppy-like devotion to the hero that seemed ready to turn into a romance if he would only respond.

Captain Comet himself had reacted with great speed to the alarms. He had modified the security system inherent in Superman’s original fortress, and it had detected the increase in energy before the sources of the power even came into view.

Star Sapphire’s energy signature! I’m certain of it! he thought. Confirmation soon came as he brushed the mind of the woman as she flew nearer. I won’t invade her mind unless nothing else remains as an option, yet I recognize her thought patterns without even scanning what lays within! He had fought this second Star Sapphire before and knew her well. (*) He also recognized the men and women who accompanied her through the skies.

[(*) Editor’s note: See Captain Comet’s Rehab Squad: Heroes and Villains.]

Captain Comet recognized the second Star Sapphire, the Invisible Destroyer, the Sportsmaster and the Huntress, and the Black Spider from his photographic memory and hours spent reading the files of the JLA. He did not know the nearly shapeless blob or the man in red, green, and gold.

Watching as the glow of energy that surrounded the Sapphire and the Destroyer increased, he yelled a warning to his team. “Get back! Nadir — some type of shield!”

Nadir the Master of Magic gestured and spoke odd words of arcane power, and a blazing light met the energy before it could reach Dolphin and the Black Condor or the island base itself.

My near-immunity to radiation seems to have increased like all my powers since they were refreshed a while back, thought Captain Comet. I’d say the Sapphire doesn’t know this! “Still running around with a bad crowd, I see!” he quipped.

Star Sapphire scowled and said, “This crowd has enough power to run you into the ground!”

Captain Comet flew upward and slammed into the Invisible Destroyer.

The seemingly headless figure laughed. “I have heard of you, the so-called man of destiny! Well, let me prove to you that destiny can be shaped by one with enough raw power!”

Energy streamed out, and Comet gripped his gloved hands. As they struggled, he suddenly rolled downward and released his foe so that the energy blasts rocketed out to send Black Spider and the Huntress scampering to safety.

Watch it, you old jerk!” shouted the Huntress as she dodged her teammate’s blasts.

Dolphin smiled and tackled the tiger-skin-clad woman as she looked up. “Some Huntress! You never take your eyes off a foe!” she taunted as she slapped the dark-haired woman with her own enhanced strength.

“The Little Mermaid wants to fight!” yelled the Sportsmaster as he faced the swooping Black Condor.

“I’ll put her back on the tuna can she escaped from!” laughed his mate. This Huntress and Sportsmaster duo were the Earth-One counterparts of the famous villainous couple on Earth-Two. (*) She pulled out a dagger and raked it toward the platinum blonde, who twisted aside and bent her foe’s arm backward.

[(*) Editor’s note: See Secret Origins: The Huntress and the Sportsmaster: The Games People Play.]

I can’t outfight her, but my underwater-developed muscles can at least overpower her, thought Dolphin.

The Black Condor saw the Sportmaster pull out a wooden bat. As one raised from near-infancy by mutant birds in Mongolia, he had no understanding of the villain’s sports motif. He merely saw before him one who sought his harm, and he was determined to stop him before he could hurt anyone. He grimaced as the villain’s bat opened and fired bullets like a machine gun. Condor whipped away at top speed, barely avoiding the lethal spray.

“I’ll knock this bird out of the park!” sneered the masked man.

The agile Black Spider charged toward Nadir and assumed a martial arts stance.

Nadir faced the purple-costumed Spider calmly and smiled. “My! Aren’t you a regular Bruce Lee? Too bad that I know a few arts of my own!” The Black Spider remained silent and fired a dart toward the tuxedo-wearing, turbaned hero.

“Begone!” cried Nadir as he touched both the ruby he wore around his neck and the dart. As it vanished, he slugged the startled Spider. He touched him a second time and issued another command: “Turn to iron!” This left the angry fighter trapped in a solid iron costume. “Don’t worry, we’ll cut you out of that sometime today!” joked Nadir.

Captain Comet sent a mental blast toward the Invisible Destroyer.

“Sapphire! I can’t resist draining your energy!” cried the Destroyer as he was mentally compelled to siphon power from the woman.

“Fool! You’ll rob me of the remnants left to me after the first Sapphire reclaimed her power gem!” she gasped.

“That’s the general idea,” said Captain Comet. “Oh, along with this!” He spun around and connected with a solid right that stunned the suddenly solid Destroyer.

As he collapsed, Comet blasted him again. I knew if he absorbed enough energy he’d materialize fully, and now a simple mental block will prevent the good doctor from ever manifesting the Invisible Destroyer again! The Star Sapphire also screamed as her own light dimmed. “Without the Zamaron’s gemstone, you are just another woman,” Comet said, grinning. “You’ve exhausted all the power left within you, thanks to your hungry pal!” She struggled in his arms until he dropped her into the water below. “Cool off!” he quipped.

Dolphin suddenly grabbed the Huntress around the hips and slammed her lithe form to the ground. “Not so agile without air!” she said, smiling.

The Sportsmaster grimaced as his wife lay still. He hurled a baseball toward Dolphin, and it exploded in thin air before reaching her sultry form. It stopped dead, and the blast rocked the thrower instead.

“That’s telekinesis for you!” explained Captain Comet.

The Black Condor swooped down toward the blob and said, “I do not know what you are, but I can sense that your foul touch is an insult to nature!”

The creature spoke in a harsh tone. “I am nature — Decay itself!” The blob said as he reached for the handsome and agile Condor.

The Black Condor had noticed that the other villains avoided Decay’s touch, and he drew back. “I don’t need to touch you to stop you.” He drew the gun at his hip and fired. The same energy that can shatter a wall should disrupt your unstable form! he mused correctly as the monster collapsed into heaps of decaying sludge.

***

Meanwhile, the remaining villain flew relentlessly toward the fortress. He laughed and touched his belt as if to assure himself that it was still intact. “Well, this place looks like something out of Star Trek!” he laughed as he landed and approached the fortress.

“It comes with its own defender, too!” said a robotic voice.

He turned to see a shapely metal woman. “Whoa! A doll made out of metal,” he said.

“You may call me Robotgirl,” she said as she snaked out of the path of the energy blast he fired toward her.

She coiled around him and contained him for seconds before he shattered her with his raw strength. “I broke Comet’s toy!” he sneered.

She re-formed and sliced through his colorful belt from behind. “Actually, I accessed the fortress’ computer files and tapped into Batman’s via the code Comet has. It I.D.s you as Star-Man and says that belt you keep touching is the source of your powers. Care to wrestle again?” she said defiantly. He gasped as his power source dangled from her curvy hips. She extended one arm and knocked him cold. “Silly man!” she laughed.

***

While the fight raged on in front of the fortress, a sinister figure had materialized within the complex. He was dark and wore a suit and cloak. He smiled with malice as he entered the room of June Moone. She had remained inside, since Nadir had met her in the hall when the attack began and had requested that she stay inside as backup.

“The Wizard!” she gasped. “I recall seeing you from Captain Comet’s files about the old Secret Society!”

“Far more than the Wizard, my pet!” he hissed. “I wear the form of the William Zard of this Earth. He was naught but a shoe clerk before I possessed him and used his contacts to assemble the band of rogues who now serve as a distraction beyond. They see the Wizard and think I want revenge upon Adam Blake, when in truth I wear this form to get to you, my precious!”

“You’re the Warlock of Ys!” cried June. “I feel it deep within. You can’t enter this realm, so you used pawns like me and this poor Zard. Don’t come near me!”

He laughed. “You should be flattered. I want you as my host again. I will have you. This charade was just a method to keep your allies away and claim that delightful body again!”

June chanted a spell desperately, and flames shot up between them. “Come now, my dear. That can’t stop me!” he said. The pretty blonde ran back inside her room and hurled a clock at the dark mage. “You seek to delay what is inevitable!” he said.

“I think not!” said a red and yellow blur that swept the startled Warlock up and spun him around in a whirlwind.

“I can’t concentrate!” he shrieked.

Nadir appeared from the shadows and touched the ruby as well as Zard. “Slumber ever more!” he ordered. The cruel features of the Wizard altered slowly to those of the meek William Zard.

Captain Comet and the others followed Nadir into the room as he comforted June. “You are safe, June,” said Nadir. “I won’t let him harm you. I won’t let anyone ever hurt you.”

The red and gold blur became Joanie Swift, who had joined the heroes in the midst of the battle. “I got your summons just in time, Adam. I’m proud to join your group!” said the ex-secretary.

Captain Comet smiled as the freed William Zard, revived but still dazed, turned to Dolphin and said in a confused tone, “You have great feet! Would you like to see the new line?”

The blonde girl laughed. “Actually, sir, I don’t often wear shoes, but why not?” She led the confused clerk back outside as her friends congratulated themselves on their first case.

“The Warlock of Ys should sleep within poor William Zard from now on,” explained Nadir, Master of Magic. “He’ll do no more harm.”

The End

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