Showcase: TNT and Dynamite: Explosive Personality, Epilogue: Bad Signal

by Libbylawrence

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“And that’s my story in a nutshell,” concluded Dan Dunbar. “I remained in Atlantis until now, while Tex continued to live in Kandor until Superman and Supergirl were able to enlarge the city. Van-Zee and Ak-Var ended up being really good at their job, too — they found a way to control Tex’s radiation levels without requiring him to wear a bulky radiation suit, allowing him to settle back on Earth when Kandor was enlarged. Tex moved out to Vermont, where he lives now and works as a college professor. With me down below, he didn’t really need to stay in Kandor any longer, especially now that it’s on another planet. And since Superman passed on all the research to Aquaman, I ended up getting a bit more freedom as well. That was why, when you found me, I had moved from Poseidonis to New Tritonis, where I found a bit more acceptance from the mermen and mermaids there, whose friendship with Superman had always been strong thanks to Lori Lemaris.”

Jimmy Olsen and Nadir the Master of Magic, listening quietly throughout his account, nodded.

“What of Sargon and Air Wave?” asked Nadir.

“Tex and I kept in touch with both Sargon and Air Wave,” said Dan. “By the time we met in 1968, Air Wave had recently been married and had a son.”

“Yes,” said Jimmy. “And from what Superman told me, he was killed not long after, leaving that young son behind, who himself grew up to become the new Air Wave a couple of years ago.”

“As for Sargon, he went through some ups and downs,” said Dan. “He’s spent much of the past twenty years in seclusion, occasionally acting as a hero, and occasionally even taking a turn as a villain for a time. (*) I sometimes wonder if that had something to do with his battle with Zor as well.”

[(*) Editor’s note: See “Time Times Three Equals…?” The Flash #186 (March, 1969).]

“The last I heard, he was a member of a team of heroes called the Conglomerate,” added Jimmy. (*)

[(*) Editor’s note: See Justice League of America: The Final Chapter, Chapter 3: The Conglomerate.]

“So are you off to Vermont to see TNT?” asked Nadir. “Lyla says there’s no longer any danger in your meeting.”

“I sure am!” said Dan eagerly. “Jimmy’s coming, too.”

As the two left the room at the Daily Planet offices, Nadir wore a grim expression as he muttered to himself, “And what, I wonder, has become of Zor?

***

Jimmy Olsen was thrilled as he flew Dan Dunbar and Nadir — who had insisted on coming along — to Vermont in the Flying Newsroom helicopter owned by the Daily Planet. His knew his story was going to be a winner. It had everything, including a couple of mysteries solved, such as how Sargon came to Earth-One and what had caused TNT and Dan’s powers to go out of control. And it would have a happy reunion, too.

When they reached the college, Professor Thomas N. “Tex” Thomas — who looked no older than thirty despite being much older — almost wept when he and Dan Dunbar embraced. “I can’t believe it. It was my hope we’d be together again, son. My wife Lorie will be thrilled to meet you after all the tales I’ve told her. We married after I left Kandor.”

“That’s wonderful!” said Dan, laughing. “Still the man of science, I see.”

“Sure enough,” agreed Tex. “It’s in my blood, after all.”

Just then, a familiar crackling sound filled the room. The duo suddenly looked stricken with something akin to terror. “Zor’s back!” cried Dan. “He’s — he’s getting loose again. I can feel it. I’ll bet he really did cause our bodies to go out of control all those years ago, and the farther apart we were, the weaker he became! But Lyla was wrong — if we’re together now, then Zor wakes up!”

Jimmy Olsen hit his signal-watch, and within a matter of seconds, Superman came swooping down to help. Jimmy quickly filled him in on what was happening.

“Great Krypton!” Superman cried. “I’ll have to separate TNT and Dan again.”

“Wait! I’ve got a better idea!” said Jimmy. “You knew the Phantom Zoners communicated through telepathy, but you also invented a seldom-used, telephone-type device to speak to them while they were in the Zone. Use that device to send Zor straight into that limbo where the Zone used to be!”

“Great plan!” said Superman. “Hold him in for a second!” he instructed to TNT and Dan, whose struggle against the split energy creature within them was evident on their faces, and flew north in a rush. In a few more moments, Superman was already back from his Fortress of Solitude at the North Pole with the telephone-like device.

“Let me help!” cried Nadir, rushing forward. “Begone into the speaker, Zor, I command it!”

The energy crackled and began to glow around the device, and after a tense moment, Zor vanished from the bodies of TNT and Dynamite and entered the device. A moment later, Superman crushed it into powder.

“No need for this with no Phantom Zone any longer,” said Superman, smiling. “Zor is gone like a bad signal.”

“Or an unwanted telemarketer,” quipped Jimmy.

Thomas N. Thomas and Dan Dunbar both smiled in relief. “Jimmy, you and the others saved us both!” said TNT. “You are a real hero!

“Ah, like the Beatles said, ‘I get by with a little help from my friends.'”

The End

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