Power and Light
Dr. Kimiyo Hoshi of Japan has been hired as Ferris Aircraft’s newest contractor, lending her scientific mind to Tom Kalmaku’s light-based engine project. But when she goes on an unexpected rampage as the second Doctor Light, Green Lantern must figure out what’s behind her decidedly unheroic actions after dealing with the Purple Pile-Driver!
From Tom Kalmaku’s Green Lantern Casebook, April, 1986:
After all these years, you wouldn’t think G.L.’s use of his power ring would still impress me so much. However, seeing how he and his JLA pals not only restored the Daily Planet Building and rescued its staff, but did so so swiftly, made me proud of my pal. (*) He achieves the seemingly impossible on a regular basis.
[(*) Editor’s note: See Justice League of America: The Planet Seekers.]
That’s why I envied his confidence as I met Dr. Kimiyo Hoshi of Japan. She was smart, assertive, and cold as ice! Her chilly demeanor made my Alaskan village feel positively balmy in comparison!
She arrived at Ferris Air and was greeted by the odd triumvirate of the bitter Carl Ferris, the smooth and enigmatic Mr. Smith, and myself. I had designed the light-based engine, and she was here to make that idea a reality, but it was clear from the start that she had little patience for small talk.
“Dr. Hoshi, I’m depending upon you to get this engine going. It may save Ferris Air!” barked Carl.
Mr. Smith smirked and said, “What he means is that we are so honored to have a scholar of your standing on staff!”
Dr. Hoshi eyed both keenly and appraised them swiftly and correctly for what they were. “I am here as a private contractor to enrich myself in terms of intellectual experimentation and financial wealth,” she said. “I have little interest in the company boosterism you seem driven by!”
I sighed and said, “Dr. Hoshi, I’m Tom Kalmaku. I am pleased to meet you.”
She shook hands and said, “Where will we be working? I am ready to begin now. Flight never fatigues me.” We crossed the field to our hangar, and I showed her our work area. “Adequate. I have brought my own modifications, as you see here,” she said as she unfolded plans.
We began to work, and I ended up calling Tegra to tell her to have dinner without me. It was apparent that Dr. Hoshi was not the kind of woman to stop working for meals or because traditional company hours were over!
It was around two weeks after her arrival that Dr. Hoshi became embroiled in one of Hal’s cases.
None of them knew about Ben Bloch’s continued power. Since the brother of the late Jason Bloch was serving jail time, no one at Ferris Air considered him a threat. However, his hatred was stronger than ever, since he blamed the deaths of his father and brother on the Ferris family and their sometime-champion Green Lantern.
He may have been in prison, but Ben had his family fortune, and he knew how to use it. He made effective use of his criminal lawyer, who was indeed both a lawyer and a criminal. He whispered to the aging man as he received his only visitor.
“I want you to hire some new staffers to perform that job in honor of my brother,” he insisted. “Jason would want to see his memory honored and burning brightly over the ashes of Carl Ferris and his company.”
The lawyer nodded. “I’ve contacted some special people for just that purpose. I’ll tell you more when they complete their task.”
Ben smiled coldly. “Good. Revenge is all I have to keep me going.”
The irony was that in a darkened office at the same moment, two other men conferred in shadow and secret.
“You do pull Carl’s strings well, Weir. I’m glad I hired you,” said the taller man. “I am enjoying seeing the angry old man give grief to my enemies.”
A man in gold grinned and replied, “His anger and pain make him easier to control. He actually does hate Jordan and Green Lantern. That’s one of the reasons I’ve been able to work him so well thus far. Still, why did you have me order him to hire the costumed thug? I thought you wanted to keep Ferris safe?”
The other figure said, “So I do, so I do. Still, I also wish to keep Green Lantern occupied until I am ready to make proper use of him. I know the man I had you order Carl to hire will do little more than give him a workout. You see, Jordan is suspicious of me. I can’t let him get time to dig too deeply into my secrets before I’m ready for him.”
“Well, you are the boss,” said Jordan Weir. “I had Carl pay top dollar to the jerk. The poor sap thinks he has a chance to kill Green Lantern. It was that kind of thinking that drove me out of the business and into the safer behind-the-scenes work. If G.L. traces the attempted hit back to Carl, he’ll be fit to be tied. He is trying to protect that old coot.”
Mr. Smith nodded. “Heroic, isn’t he?”
Hal Jordan frowned as he thumbed through a small, battered notebook in his apartment. Funny, for a guy Ollie called a ladykiller, I’m alone on a Saturday night, he mused. Let’s see, Jordan, what is the breakdown of your love life? One: Carol is off in space and, oh, yeah, wants to kill or enslave me as part of her whole Star Sapphire programming. Two: Kari Limbo is pining for Guy, even though he is a bigger creep than I ever imagined he could be back when he was in a coma. Three: Eve Doremus is back in Cosmidor City, living on the family wealth. Four: Dorine Clay is off in space.
“Poor Arisia,” he said with a sigh. “She has always been so puppy-dog loyal to me, like a terrific little sister. I never had a sister of my own, and it’s meant a lot to me to have a great kid like her in my corner. I admit that her hero worship gave me a real kick. Too bad it turned into a crush. I hated to turn her down when she professed her love for me after the Crisis, but I could not let her get the wrong idea. It would have hurt her more in the long run.
Hal shook his head. “I can’t believe that her ring could absorb that chronal energy from her time-trip with Rick Flag and turn her into a mature woman. (*) Still, I guess I’ve seen it do even more bizarre things. I did once use it to transform myself into a piece of paper! Now she’s confused and hurt and torn between trying to act like an adult and expressing the pain the girl that she truly is, is feeling! Face it, Jordan, you are bad news when it comes to women… and you’re even talking to yourself now!”
[(*) Editor’s note: See Captain Comet’s Rehab Squad: The Return of Supergirl, Chapter 1: Crisis Revisited.]
Grinning, he reached for the TV when the phone rang. He answered and frowned as he heard a woman’s voice on the other end. Her tone was lilting and marked by a thick Irish accent.
“Hal? This is April O’Rourke,” she said. “I hate to be intrudin’ upon your evening, but I need to talk to Carol Ferris, and I was hoping that you might be in the way of putting us in touch.”
“April, nice to talk to you,” said Hal. “You and Clay Kendall left Ferris so suddenly. I was occupied, and Carol was having some personal troubles. (*) We never got to talk. I’d like to give Smith a lesson in political correctness with my fists!”
[(*) Editor’s note: See “Echoes,” Green Lantern v2 #189 (June, 1985).]
“Oh, so would I!” said April. “Still, he did me a bit of a favor by evicting us from Ferris property. Clay and I married. I’m using me maiden name, but I’m legally a Kendall now!”
Hal congratulated the spirited redhead and said, “My best to you both. Clay is a lucky man. How is he doing?”
“That’s the reason I wanted to talk to Carol,” April replied. “He’s working so hard on his psi-chair and taking money from some sources I’d rather not deal with. I hoped Carol could float us a loan.”
“Carol is away,” Hal explained. “The fact is, her old man is running things with Smith. She’s been missing since the Crisis.”
April sighed and said, “She was my last hope. I’d better go.” She clicked off as a worried Hal pondered her words.
I hope the Kendalls aren’t getting into any trouble, he thought. That remark about getting loans from bad sources sounds like trouble. I could speak to Bruce Wayne for them! That’s a plan!
Hal Jordan never made the call, though, since his power ring pulsed brightly. Great! I ordered the ring to create a scanner that would flare if trouble occurred at Ferris. Even with recreating one daily, it saves me trouble, since I don’t want to miss out on a chance to help Tom or stop Smith from hatching any schemes.
Changing to Green Lantern, he zoomed off toward the company he had served so well. There he saw a man in a purple costume who was literally charging across the field, scaring away the night guards as they tried to subdue him. A rampaging goon! he thought. How original! This place attracts more crooks than Arkham has nuts! “He hasn’t done any real damage yet,” he noted. “I guess I got here just in time!”
“Green Lantern!” yelled the man.
Landing, Green Lantern replied, “That’s my name. And what do they call you — the Lavender Loser?”
The man slammed into him like a human battering ram. “Nobody mouths off to the Purple Pile-Driver!”
Green Lantern rolled his eyes and smiled. “Ah. Of course they don’t. They’re too busy laughing!” He generated a green cage that closed around the struggling villain. “Now be a good little costumed punk and stay here until the nice cops come to haul you away!” he said.
The Purple Pile-Driver sneered. “Not so fast, ring-slinger! My new, improved costume lets me flex my purple energy-field and emit it from anywhere on the suit!” He glowed brightly and broke free of the cage, then connected with a right hook that sent Green Lantern reeling.
He can apparently focus his energy into his fists! I actually felt that blow! he thought. “Not bad,” he said, standing his ground. “You won’t be giving lessons to Luthor or Hector Hammond anytime soon, but still, not a bad effort.”
“I was paid to wipe the floor with ya!” said the villain. “And I mean to do so!” He charged Green Lantern but gasped as he passed directly through his foe and crashed to the ground. “Some kinda illusion!” he sputtered as the real Green Lantern returned and sent an expanding energy pulse down into the crook’s suit and watched as it shattered his energy generator.
“Now, as you were saying?” Green Lantern said as he caught the now-helpless crook in a huge scoop. His enjoyment was short-lived as a new figure emerged and blasted him with solid light from behind.
“That costume. Doctor Light?” he gasped as the Asian female in white hovered above him.
“Indeed, it is I!” said the angry woman. “You would do well to remember that name as the name of one who left you badly maimed!”
Dr. Hoshi? Never connected her name with the heroine from the Crisis! he thought, rolling aside as she raised one gloved fist, and yellow light blazed around her body like an unholy nimbus.
“I have hated you and your allies for years,” she hissed in a voice full of hate. “Imagine how pleased I was when a man of wealth approached me and offered to finance my retirement in exchange for attacking you! He even promised that you would eventually be seen around this location. I jumped at the chance to avenge my past defeats and earn a nice nest egg!”
“Retirement?” he said. “You aren’t the rookie heroine. You’re Arthur Light! You’re speaking through her!”
She laughed and said, “Well done, Lantern! Exactly. I recently suffered an ignominious loss at the hands of those juvenile rogues, the Titans. (*) I vowed to never place myself in direct danger again. Thus, I’ve made this nubile young thing my living weapon. Her light-based powers make her particularly vulnerable to my control. It’s wonderful to think that she can serve as my pawn. This is really nothing more than a well-paid test drive, if you will!” Flying higher, she slammed into the Lantern even as the Purple Pile-Driver groaned and tried to get up.
[(*) Editor’s note: See The New Titans: Fragments.]
Green Lantern gasped. Her yellow light-based energy penetrates my field. She’s also using solid light constructs that match my own creations! He shielded himself with a huge stop sign, but she plowed through it directly into a wall, as he had planned. Great Guardians! She’s unhurt, he mused. Her very body must be protected or enhanced as she drinks in raw light!
“Sorry, about this, Doc, but I need to put out your light!” he said, firing a power ring blast that sliced neatly through the night to bring down a storage shed over top of the woman in white. “Her aura protected her, but I hoped it would distract her long enough for me to try a new tactic.”
Doctor Light blazed forward, and her gleaming aura melted through the scrap metal with ease. “Now I’ll teach you to defy the all-powerful will of Arthur Light!” she screamed.
“Catch me first, honey!” said Green Lantern, flying into space and leaving her behind until she began to glow ever brighter. She’s turning herself into pure light in order to keep up with me! he thought. That is exactly what I wanted from her!
As the woman transformed herself into pure light, Green Lantern led her across space and used his superb agility to abruptly stop. She shot past him into a bright, blue-hued, rainbow-like energy-field. As her yellow mingled with the brilliant blue light, Green Lantern absorbed her into his ring itself.
I figured I could mix her light form with the blue radiance of Noxos IV to turn her into a green energy I could easily contain in the ring, he mused. That will keep her out of trouble until I can free the poor woman from Arty Light!
The next morning, Ben Bloch greeted his lawyer with disgust. “I thought you promised Doctor Light would get my revenge on the Lantern,” said Bloch. “He’s still alive, from the newspaper reports, and turned some slob called Purple Pile-Driver in to the cops!”
The lawyer sighed. “Yes, still, I thought a proven rogue like Arthur Light would win. I’m sure the woman who attacked him was working for Light. I’ll hire some lesser lights, if you’ll excuse the expression. Perhaps in obscurity we shall find the right man or woman for the job.”
Bloch nodded. “You just better.”
In his office at Ferris Air, Carl Ferris crumpled up a paper in anger. “I thought sure the Pile-Driver would bring me the Lantern’s head. He even promised not to do any real harm to Ferris property. Still, the dolt only managed to get himself battered senseless. Maybe I was wrong to employ such a man. Hurting the Lantern won’t bring back Carol. I don’t know what to think. Head hurts!” he moaned.
Jordan Weir, the Puppeteer in gold, lounged in a nearby office. “You think what Smith and I tell you to think, Carl, old pal!”