by Doc Quantum, based on Super Friends #7 by E. Nelson Bridwell
Within moments, the group had arrived back at the Club of Heroes and quickly contacted the Flash at the Justice League of America satellite headquarters. They relayed the events to the speedster via the video monitor.
“I see,” said the hero in red, visibly nodding his head on the view-screen. “I suggest you all join me up here in the satellite while I contact the others.”
“You heard the man,” the Knight said. The group retreated to rooftop of the building where a shiny glass tube was placed. This was one of the many transporter tubes the Justice League had placed for easy transportation around the planet. Superman and Batman suggested one be placed here for emergencies, and this surely qualified.
In moments, the six heroes and the two aliens beamed up to the satellite in orbit 22,300 miles above the Earth. Not long after that, they were joined by an assemblage of costumed heroes.
“Wow!” said Will, who felt as if all his wildest dreams had suddenly come true. “Most of the JLA showed up — all the members except Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, and the Black Canary are here!”
“Even Supergirl, too!” remarked the Squire, who stared at the blonde Kryptonian in awe, gulping as she winked at him.
“The JLA members you noticed missing were taken away only hours ago by a giant hand during the latest annual JLA-JSA teamup,” explained the Flash. “I was the only witness. (*) I don’t know whether that has anything to do with this latest crisis you mentioned or this Grax, however.”
[(*) Editor’s note: See “Crisis in the 30th Century,” Justice League of America #147 (October, 1977).]
“I think an explanation would be in order now,” demanded Aquaman, turning to the young extraterrestrials.
The alien twins from Exor addressed the assembled heroes of Earth. “My name is Zan,” said the male Exorian.
“And I am Jayna,” the female Exorian said. “Not long ago, two rings fell from the sky onto our planet, Exor. When my twin brother and I donned these rings and, by chance, pressed them together when we wore them, we found that they had granted us amazing abilities.”
“Yes,” said Zan. “While my sister can change her shape into that of any animal she can think of, I can change into any form of water, whether in its liquid, frozen solid, or gaseous state. Because of our powers, which no one else on Exor possesses, they refer to us by a nickname that would be roughly translated into English as the Wonder Twins.”
“We’ve been our planet’s champions ever since,” added Jayna. “And it was in that capacity that we discovered the insidious plans of Superman’s enemy Grax, as we told the members of the Club of Heroes. Grax has planted twelve bombs on Earth’s six visible continents, one on an unseen continent, and one each on five inhabited islands!”
“The first four bombs are due to go off in less than an hour!” said Zan.
“If they fail,” added Jayna, “the next five will be activated twenty-six minutes later — then the final three forty-seven minutes afterwards!”
“The first will destroy people’s memory of their past!” said Zan.
“The second group would wipe everyone’s minds blank, so they wouldn’t know enough to eat!” said Jayna. “And the last three… well, we don’t know the effects of those!”
“So many bombs,” said Wonder Woman, “we’ll have to abandon our usual teamwork!”
“Not necessarily!” said the Knight. “Your computer must have information on all of the world’s heroes!”
“Oui!” said the Musketeer, understanding the meaning of his ally’s words. “You can team with local ones near where the bombs are!”
The Flash raced over to a computer console and typed into a keyboard faster than the eye could see. He then turned around and said, “I’ve spotted the probable locations on seven continents and five islands!”
“Someone will need to coordinate things from here, though,” said the Atom.
“And keep an eye on our guests,” Aquaman said firmly, eyeing both the alien youths and the newcomer hero.
“We can do that,” the Gaucho offered. “If Batman and Superman were here, they would surely vouch for us.”
“Agreed!” said Hawkman as the members of the JLA and a few of their guests ran toward the transporter tubes. “Beam us down! We know the first four are on the three largest continents and an island which planted colonies on all three!”
“That’s Asia, Africa, North America, and Britain!” said the Flash. “We’d better hurry.”
Just outside of Jerusalem, Israel, two powerful figures met.
“You mean that’s actually the mantle of the prophet Elijah you’re wearing?” Supergirl asked in wonder. The powerfully heroic-looking figure walking next to the blonde woman dressed in blue and red seemed as if he had himself stepped out from the pages of the same Bible her foster-parents, the Danvers, had given her once for Christmas. She had found the religious text quite indispensable in her understanding of the background of Western Civilization and literature, but she was also startled to see so many parallels with her own Kryptonian religion and history. Indeed, she had often found herself substituting the name of the Kryptonian Supreme Being, Rao, in place of the Lord as she read the Old Testament.
“Yes,” the Seraph replied, “and my rod once belonged to Moses… my ring to Solomon! And my long hair gives me great strength, as Samson’s did!” The Seraph seemed to be a very personification of that Old Testament. His appearance was striking; he had the build of a great Hebrew warrior of old and wore a maroon sash over one shoulder; he had a dark beard and flowing, uncut hair, and upon his crown he wore a traditional Jewish yarmulke; at his side he carried an ancient rod. His real name, Chaim Lavon, was publicly known by all of Israel, but he had been given the popular nickname of the Seraph since, as the nation’s hero, he seemed to be a very angel of the Lord — almost like one of the Seraphim — and was indeed Israel’s protector.
Supergirl knew that her cousin Kal would have liked to have met this man, raised as he was in the Judeo-Christian culture of heartland America. She took a moment to wish him well, wherever he was. “There’s the probable location of the bomb!” she said, pointing at an area just down the road they had been walking upon, which looked like nothing less than pure darkness itself. “But the gravity in the area is so great no light can escape…”
“I understand, Supergirl! Even your super-vision cannot see without some slight light!”
“Excuse me a moment,” Supergirl said as she soared into the air toward the heavy gravity-field. Her one chance was to fly at super-speed and hope her momentum would carry her to where she could feel the bomb; that is, before the gravity grounded her.
Unfortunately, the gravitational pull was so great that the Maid of Steel had just barely entered its field when she found that she could hardly move. The gravity had nullified her strength and speed; she couldn’t even lift her head now. She tried to cry out.
No light or sound came from the blackness, but the Seraph could guess what was wrong. He figured that she couldn’t have gotten very far, but to be sure he found her he had to ask the fabled ring of Solomon — known not through the Bible but through Hebrew traditions — to transport her where she was. In another instant, the Hebrew hero was standing over the stricken Supergirl.
Can’t hear or see a thing, thought Supergirl, but I feel someone touching me! How? Great Rao! He’s actually lifting me — though I can’t budge! Again the magic ring did its work, and the two were soon out of the darkness and in the evening air. “How did you manage it, Seraph?” said Supergirl, who struggled to walk as every muscle felt spent by the powerful gravity field. “I was helpless!”
The Seraph smiled at her and spoke gently. “My powers are not affected by gravity. You might call them… magic.”
“Could your ring take us to the bomb?” Supergirl asked earnestly. “We might be able to defuse it by touch!”
“True…” said the Seraph, thinking, “…but why bother groping around blindly when we can have a clear path?” At this he held up the rod of Moses. The Seraph began waving the rod back and forth before the gravity field, and for several tense seconds nothing happened. Suddenly, though, the blackness of the gravity field seemed to separate in two. “There…” said the Seraph as he continued to wave the rod, which was by now glowing like fire, “…Moses used the rod like this when he parted the Red Sea!”
“And there’s the bomb!” said Supergirl, heading at great speed through the channel of normal gravity toward the bomb. Only moments to go till detonation, she thought to herself as she pulled off the outer plate and began adjusting wires. I must hurry!
Within seconds, the Maid of Steel had rendered harmless the bomb that was designed to erase humanity’s memory of its past. “Did it!” Supergirl shouted with glee. “Thanks to you, Seraph!” she quickly added.
“Just what I was thinking when I saw your speed, Supergirl,” he said to her as they took a breather; by now they were both breathing heavily from exertion. “I could never have dismantled that fuse in time!”
Near London, England, Ralph Dibny the world-famous Elongated Man had contacted the British heroine Godiva — known as such because of her remarkable hair. He did so using the rather sparse notes left by Hawkman, who had apparently met Dorcas Leigh briefly just over a year ago, shortly before her official debut as the twentieth century’s version of Lady Godiva. The Knight’s Scotland Yard contacts were also quite helpful in locating this U.K. heroine.
“So ‘e wants to wipe out all our English culture, does ‘e?” Godiva asked Ralph after the two had located the site of the bomb and he had taken the time to explain to her what its effects would be if it exploded. She wore a white dress with one vertical blue stripe and one horizontal one.
“We’ve got a lot to do, and not much time to do it!” Elongated Man replied, focusing on the strangely electrified air surrounding the bomb on all sides. “Let’s see what that strange force-field is like!”
The Elongated Man peered into the electromagnetic field to see several small skeletons laying scattered on the ground within the wide field. As he did so, his nose began to twitch as it always did when a mystery was present; the game was afoot. “I detect something very odd. Those skeletons show small animals that strayed in there were zapped to nothing but bones and fur!”
Godiva did her best to refrain from laughing at his strange wiggling nose, although she realized she hardly had anything to say on the matter, given the state of her bountiful hair. “Lumme!” she said, seeing the skeletons within the electromagnetic field for herself. “It looks right curly to me!”
“Curly?” questioned Ralph. “Oh, like we Americans would say, it’d curl your hair — and you have a lot to curl!” The Elongated Man bent down on his hands and knees and took a closer look at the bottom of the field. “But observe the insects on the ground — unharmed! The force-field doesn’t quite reach them!”
“If that’s so, could be it don’t go too far up, eh?” Godiva guessed. “I’ll just flutter aloft and take a peek!” At that, she began to expand her blonde hair outward from her head.
“Huh? What’s happenin’ to your hair?” Ralph exclaimed in surprise as her golden locks continued to grow thicker and wider, eventually coming to resemble huge, bizarre-looking bird’s wings.
“I’ve turned it into wings,” she explained as she flapped her hair-wings into the air, “and ‘ardened it so I can fly! I ‘ave the power to turn me locks into any shape — otherwise I’d’ve ‘ad meself a sensible ‘aircut long since!”
Ralph chuckled, both at her hair and her possibly fake Dick Van Dyke Cockney accent. “Well, after all,” he reasoned to himself, “rhinoceros horn is really just hardened hair!”
Godiva soared over the large electromagnetic field as she got a feel for the huge wings she had created from her hair. She was pleased that the force-field did not extend very high into the air at all, and she was able to fly to a point directly above the culture bomb. Perhaps I can get this job of work done right now, she hoped.
There did not seem to be any way down through it, though. And she could see that the force-field stopped short of the bomb, anyway. She took a risk and drooped some threads of her hair from the wings keeping her aloft to reach down into the field, but retracted them when she found herself unable to control her flight very well and almost swooped into it. Lor, that’s a bit dangerous! But my wing wasn’t even singed, she realized.
She returned to the Elongated Man, landing on the ground as her heart still beat wildly from the close call. “No gettin’ in from that part! But when me wing ‘it the field, it wasn’t ‘urt!”
“Hmm… yes… like the animals’ hair, it was immune!” Ralph concluded. “If the area weren’t so wide, I could just stretch my hair over and use that to deactivate the bomb. But even my power has its limits.”
“Still,” Godiva said after a pause of thought, “if we could but get you closer…?” The woman concentrated for a moment. “I’ll just turn me ‘air into a shield to surround us!” She began to grow her hair at a rapid pace and soon enveloped herself and the Elongated Man within a protective shield of hair. “Our feet won’t be covered, but down that far there’s no danger!”
“You must drive them wild at the beauty parlor,” Ralph observed dryly.
“Right!” said Godiva as the shield was completed, ignoring Ralph’s crack completely. “Then ‘ere we go!” The two stepped forward into the electromagnetic field, protected by the shield, and able to see through her locks via a small protective window created from them. “Another talent of mine,” she explained. “I made a bit of the shield transparent so we can see where we’re ‘eaded!”
“That hair of yours never ceases to amaze me!”
After a few careful and tense moments of walking, they arrived at the site of the bomb. “We made it, mate!” Godiva exclaimed. “I’ve opened a crack in the shield!”
“That’s enough. Now I’ll put my hair to work, or rather my scalp,” said Ralph as he began to extend some of his hair-covered scalp as a long, extendible finger toward the bomb. Although his skin was protected by his stretchable hair, he could already feel a burning sensation through the hair, and he knew he had only seconds before his skin might be burned to a crisp. “There,” he said finally as his scalp-finger twisted off a vital cap at the top, “it’s harmless!”
“Good show!” Godiva said enthusiastically. “Now we can get out of–” The two suddenly found themselves without any need for protection from the force-field any longer, however. “Lor’ love a duck! The ruddy force-field’s vanished!”
“Yes indeed! It did get a little… uh… hairy…” Ralph Dibny punned, “…but when we defused the bomb, the field shut off automatically!”
“You JLA blokes are all right,” said Godiva as the Elongated Man shook her hand for a job well done.
“You’re not so bad yourself,” Ralph replied with a smile.