As the Lakeshore Gang finished their daring daylight raid on the Star City Bank and Trust, their chances of escape looked good. They raced down the dock and prepared to board their speedboat, which was waiting at the dock.
Greg Lensay frowned and said, “Hey! Duke’s not in the boat!”
Bob Stevens whined a reply, “Oh, man! He’s ditched us. I knew he was yella!”
A beautiful blonde in black and fishnets lounged in the boat, laughing merrily at their concern. “Sorry, boys, your partner had an appointment to keep,” she said in a mocking tone. “Hope you’re not too disappointed to see me filling in for him!”
Greg pulled out a gun, only to have it knocked out of his grip as she flipped agilely through the air to land in his path and kick the weapon skyward. She spun and chopped Bob’s weapon to the pier and kicked him flat. She rubbed her hands together and sighed. “Not much of a workout.”
The cops arrived, and Officer Dirk Morgan smiled eagerly. “Black Canary! What a pleasure to meet you!” he said. “Looks like you’ve done our job for us!”
She put her hands on her hips and tossed back her blonde locks. “Oh? I can find you something to do!” she said. “Seek medical attention when you wake up!”
Opening her mouth, a canary cry of sonic fury slammed the two startled policemen to the deck. She shook her head in mock disapproval and pity. “They just aren’t making them like Daddy anymore,” she said.
Taking the dropped bank loot, she sped off in the speedboat, leaving both cops and robbers battered and beaten.
In a plush office sometime later, a costumed man turned to a worried older man who sat behind an ornate desk.
“Now, Magpie, here, has given you just cause to declare the Black Canary an outlaw,” said the hooded man in the gray and yellow costume with the star emblem. “Do it as we instructed, Mr. Mayor.”
Mayor Templeton nodded wearily. “As you say, you’ve framed her, all right. Just don’t harm Linda. I’m doing all you ask!”
The Star Czar caressed the laughing Magpie’s cheek and said, “And you’ll continue to obey us, right, doll?”
Magpie smiled broadly as she raised her discarded Canary costume. “That’s what this pretty bird tells you!”
Dinah Lance frowned as she fought, struggling against her relentless foe with determination and passion. She rubbed idly at her wound and examined the display.
“There! That floral display should please even the most demanding members of the Star City Garden Club,” said the dark-haired beauty as she patted the spot where a rose thorn had stabbed her finger.
She enjoyed her work at her small florist’s shop, but she had other interests, too. “Too bad Ollie is not in town,” she said, smiling. “He’d had plenty to say about the Garden Club ladies. He gets so irked by their type.”
She gasped as the paper was delivered. “Black Canary Robs Robbers and Stuns Police!” read a headline, followed by a leader that read, “She is sought by authorities for questioning.”
A photo had been snapped, which showed the defiant blonde in her famous costume. “That wasn’t me!” she said. “It’s my double from that alternate timeline Genia brought over! (*) It has to be!”
[(*) Editor’s note: See Justice League of America: Genia Returns.]
She threw down the newspaper angrily. “Well, these birds of a feather are going to do much more than merely politely flock!” she vowed.
That night, Black Canary prowled the rooftops of Star City with a small radio receiver. She listened from the shadows as a police band alerted the city’s law-enforcement community to a break in at Pleiades Inc.
“That new science research lab has been great for the community — the criminal community, that is!” she said. “Someone breaks into the place on a monthly basis!”
She knew her double could best be dealt with by a swift capture, yet she also wanted to avoid the law herself. Outlaw crime-buster was a pose she recalled from her time as a 1940s crime-buster due to the memories she carried from her late mother.
Cycling through the night, she slipped through the Pleiades complex’s security system with ease. She dropped out of an air vent and confronted her mocking twin.
The evil Dinah Lance had been plucked here by a JLA foe called Genia along with other distorted JLAers from various timelines that differed from the one Canary knew. However, while the others had already been dispatched back to their proper realms, the evil Black Canary called Magpie had been teleported to freedom by an unknown source. Superman had believed that she had used an explosion to escape from even his vigilance. Now, Black Canary faced her evil double.
Magpie’s hair was dyed blonde; she used no wig. She wore a low-cut feathered costume over fishnet hose and red boots. She smiled when Black Canary jumped down to face her. “Like a funhouse mirror!” she laughed.
Black Canary knew this double had a pathological hatred of cops since she had failed to become one in her own timeline. “You framed me. I’ll clear my name and send you back to your own timeline!” vowed the blonde bombshell. She opened her mouth, and a sonic cry echoed out, only to bounce off the returning cry of her twin.
They both jumped to safety and rolled across the floor to renew the fight. Magpie kicked Canary’s legs out from under her and leaped on top of her struggling form. A wrist lock led to a flip as they fought across the complex and sirens echoed.
“Police! I do love a man in uniform — in a grave!” laughed Magpie.
Black Canary blocked a punch and connected with her own right hook. “You’re sick!” she said. How do I explain a criminal Dinah Lance? she mused. I can’t turn her in — only try to send her homeward!
“I hate to fight and run, but my man needs this little toy,” said Magpie. “So, bye-bye!” she called as she hooked a small computerized device and climbed up the railing toward a skylight.
As Black Canary raced to follow her agile twin, she fell to the hard floor as the building shook and the railing split. “Earthquake — no, explosion!” she gasped as she crawled forward and jumped up to carry stricken officers to freedom. The complex was crumbling around her, and she valued the lives of the policemen more than catching her criminal counterpart.
She gasped with relief when the empty complex was finally cleared and the rubble settled. But she had seen Magpie’s ally, a man in yellow, disappear in a helicopter. “The Detonator,” she deduced. (*) “I know the costume of that terrorist from Green Arrow’s description. My best lead is to figure out what was stolen and how she plans to use it, all while avoiding being cuffed and jailed by good men of the Star City Police!”
[(*) Editor’s note: See “The Black Box,” Detective Comics #533 (December, 1983), “Werewolves of London,” Detective Comics #534 (January, 1984), “On the Cheap,” Detective Comics #535 (February, 1984), and “Short-Fuse,” Detective Comics #536 (March, 1984).]