Alexander Luthor turned to Brainiac with concern etched across his weary face. “We’ve lost the tracer signals for the Crime Syndicate. They could be anywhere,” he said.
Brainiac nodded. “They have deduced the nature of our chemical tracer and have taken measures to rid themselves of it. However, I built an internal tracker within Amazo, and thus we may safely locate him, since he was apparently drawn away with the evil trio.”
“Excellent work as always, John,” said a smiling Luthor as he began to put on his armor.
“Alex, your armor was almost totally drained of energy well over a year ago. How can you risk using a weakened version of it against those fiends?” asked Lois Lane Luthor.
Lena Luthor flung herself into Brainiac’s arms. “Don’t let them harm Alex. Take care of him and of yourself.”
Brainiac smiled as the pretty blonde held him. “I shall protect us with my very life.”
Luthor kissed Lois and said, “I can’t leave Amazo in their grasp. They could do anything to him.”
He led the green-skinned android to their skimmer, and they blasted off out of the Fortress of Science in their all-purpose vehicle, the Mighty Mole.
Lena said, “Oh, Lois — I saw Alex die at their hands. How can he do this?”
Lois shushed her and said, “You can’t stop him when lives are at stake. He is a hero.”
Meanwhile, Microbe’s device had actually used a variant of the same white dwarf star energy that enabled him to alter his size to now shrink his partners and Amazo and transport them all to the cavern outside Happy Harbor.
Ultraman, Power Ring, and Johnny Quick appeared in the cave at near-microscopic size and then erupted to normal weight and height. Amazo, meanwhile, remained at a six-inch size.
“Microbe saved you three despite your shortcomings,” purred Diana.
“Bah! I thought you expected to draw out Luthor, but instead we captured some unknown,” sneered Owlman.
Microbe said, “Mind-scan him if you please, Martian.”
The Martian Murderer grunted and touched the still-six-inch form of Amazo. He gasped as he received a painful mental blast, and the quickly growing artificial man slammed into him at normal size.
“The punk grew like Microbe can. What can’t he do?” whined Quick as battle broke out.
Owlman smiled coldly. “Leave it to me to find out.”
As Superwoman jumped on Amazo and smashed both fists against his back, she cried, “It matters little whether he has any weaknesses or not to the warrior princess of Sanctuary Isle.”
Amazo reeled under her awesome strength, only to vibrate so that she passed through him and landed on the floor. Then he blasted her with a mental bolt, leaving the beauty stunned.
“He has all of our powers,” cried Power Ring as his massive energy fist was blocked by a blast of heat-vision as Amazo shrank and grew again under the criminal’s chin.
“Power Ring — look out!” shouted Quick as his friend fell to a super-speed flurry of super-strong blows.
Microbe said, “I’ll try to shut down this creep from inside.” As the villainous Ray Palmer reduced his size and mass, he sailed through the air toward the hulking form of Amazo. He then clicked his size and weight controls and prepared to enter the synthezoid through the molecules in his artificial body. Palmer had been the most gifted scientist in Ivy Town, but he had fought all his life for a way to achieve power through his mental talents. As Microbe, he had seen the Crime Syndicate as his ticket to global power. He was not about to lose this chance.
Unfortunately, Amazo used the mind-reading powers of the Martian Murderer to discover his tiny foe’s plan, and with the speed of Quick he blasted the little man with a green ray. “Not good enough,” said Amazo. “You cannot beat one who was built to defeat you all.”
Built — that confirms my hunch, thought Owlman.
Ultraman punched out at Amazo with fury in his voice. “Nobody makes a fool of me!”
Amazo grinned. “Indeed, you do that so well already without anyone’s help.” He turned invisible and then reappeared looking like Ultraman himself.
“Which one is our Ultraman?” shrieked Quick.
The Martian Murderer shook his head. “I pick up no thoughts from either. He’s shielding both minds from me so I can’t tell which Kel-LL is real.”
“Microbe, Superwoman, and Power Ring are down — do something!” cried Quick.
Owlman stepped forward deliberately. He tossed down a pellet, and a fiery flare exploded in Amazo’s path. The synthezoid shuddered and fell to his knees. Owlman smiled coldly and dropped a second one directly on the poor man. He screamed and lay inert.
“How’d ya do that? A little fire shut him down cold,” said a startled Quick.
“Ask the Martian Murderer,” said Owlman as he bent over Superwoman and lifted her head gently. “He can explain the effect of fire on the psyche of his kind better than I can.”
“You mean this guy is another Martian?” asked Ultraman.
“No,” said Owlman, “he merely has the weaknesses of one. He has all our powers. I surmised that he would also possess our weaknesses.”
The Martian Murderer smiled. “Of course. And so fire had the same effect on him that it would upon me.”
Quick grinned. “You did good, Owly!”
Superwoman gasped as the leggy beauty got to her feet. “Luthor!” she said, pointing as the armored hero phased inside the cave with Brainiac in tow.
“Stand away from Amazo!” ordered Alexander Luthor.
“So he is your little science project,” muttered Ultraman as he stepped menacingly forward.
Brainiac stood firm. “He was built to stop you and your fiendish band,” said the green man.
“Listen, wirehead — you’d better watch yourself, or I’ll disconnect you with my bare hands,” growled Power Ring.
“Our little truce ended when we brought down the Lawless League,” said Owlman. “You know that.”
Luthor nodded. “We were born to be enemies. I live to protect, while you want nothing more than destruction.”
Superwoman said, “I can end this here.” She swung out to strike Luthor, but instead she gasped when she found herself hundreds of miles underwater.
“What did you do to super-babe?” cried Quick as he ran around Luthor in a tight circle.
“This,” said Alex as he stepped in Quick’s path, and the speedster vanished at contact.
“Teleportation!” cried Owlman. “Keep back from the old man.”
The Martian Murderer had turned invisible and now attempted to choke Brainiac from behind.
“I require no oxygen. However, this neural disrupter should render you helpless,” said Brainiac as his palm struck the chalk-white fiend. The Martian’s pliable body pulsed, and he lost all control over his form as the neural shock raged through his system.
“Recovery time estimated 3.7 minutes,” calculated Brainiac.
“Shrink, you bastard!” yelled Microbe as he used the white dwarf energy to reduce Brainiac to six inches.
Luthor said, “One touch and I can send you anywhere. This one ends with a draw.” He reached out for the now-tiny Brainiac and the inert Amazo and teleported them back with him to the skimmer.
“Let them go,” said Owlman. “We need time to regroup.”
“Yeah, we got them on the run,” said Ultraman.
“For how long?” asked Microbe.
A soaking wet Superwoman pulled herself to shore on an island hundreds of miles across the world. “That infernal man shall pay for this yet,” she cursed.
Meanwhile, Johnny Quick found himself deep underground and vibrated to the surface in China. “What a jerk,” he muttered.
Back at the Fortress of Science, Alexander Luthor gazed sadly at Amazo and placed him within a stasis chamber.
“Sleep on, noble warrior,” said a sad Luthor. “You fought well, but with the weaknesses of your foes, you are not capable of besting them.”
Lena held the six-inch Brainiac in her palm. “John, can Alex restore you? Or must you remain trapped on this shrunken size forever?” she gasped.
Brainiac replied, “I still function even at this reduced size, Lena. We shall fight on against the Syndicate, for what other choice do we have?”
Luthor nodded. “None.”