by Starsky Hutch 76, Martin Maenza, Blackwolf247 and Brian K. Asbury
In the Legion of Doom headquarters, Lex Luthor was looking very smug.
“You look happy, Luthor,” Gorilla Grodd said as he lumbered into the conference room where Luthor sat at the table with his feet propped up.
“I am,” Lex Luthor said. “Brainiac and I have devised a way to raise his twelfth-level intelligence to the twentieth power. After the process is complete, there will be no stopping the Legion of Doom. Those infernal Super Friends will be helpless against us. He’s in the incubation chair now, letting it do its work upon his computerized brain.”
“Excellent,” Grodd said. “Ah… have you seen Bizarro and Solomon Grundy?”
“No… why?” Luthor asked.
In Luthor’s lab, Brainiac sat in the incubation chair, humming as it did its work. Suddenly, Bizarro and Solomon Grundy appeared, tossing a football back and forth.
“You am go short,” Bizarro said.
Solomon Grundy held his hands up for the football, and it sailed far past him and struck the control panel on the chair, sending up a shower of sparks.
“Why am you not try to catch it?” Bizarro said.
“Why for you say go short and then throw long?” Solomon Grundy growled.
“What you mean?” Bizarro said, scratching his head. He looked over Grundy’s shoulder and said, “What am Brainiac doing?”
Brainiac suddenly raised out of his seat and said, “Yeah, baby! Y’all gots to bring the funk, ’cause the funk ain’t gonna bring itself, y’all!” He produced a guitar from seemingly nowhere and let loose with a bass line.
“Why him sound like Bootsy Collins?” Grundy asked.
“Say, Grodd, do you hear music?” Luthor asked Grodd as his left eyebrow raised.
“Huh-huh-huh,” Bizarro and Grundy clapped as Brainiac played.
“Say everybody, ‘We want the funk,'” Brainiac said, pointing to Grundy and Brainiac.
“We am want the funk!” Bizarro repeated, clapping his hands to Brainiac’s funky beat.
Luthor led the way, with Grodd lumbering behind him using all four of his limbs. The other members of the Legion of Doom saw the commotion, and some followed as well. They hit the lab door and stopped, observing the sight before them.
“Hmmm,” Grodd pondered. “Interesting dancing, albeit primitive.”
“What the fu–!” Luthor exclaimed.
“Uh-uh, baby!” Brainiac said as he wagged his finger. The android had already made a makeshift Afro of various colors and placed it upon his bald head. “You got that last word wrong, baby. It’s what the funk!”
Luthor looked as if his head were about to explode. One could certainly fry an egg on his bald scalp; that is, if it didn’t already look like an egg. He glanced about and saw the other two dancing villains. “You! I should have guessed!” He stormed out of the room; the others followed.
“What am Luthor’s problem?” Bizarro asked.
“Don’t know,” Grundy said. “Must not have any rhythm!”
“Bah!” Luthor said.
“Bah?” Grodd said under his breath.
“This is a catastrophe!” Luthor continued. “I was counting on his twentieth-level brain to help me make trouble for those super-saps!”
“Well, look at the bright side,” Grodd said. “He’s otherwise harmless, and everyone else is the same, so at least he can’t disrupt day-to-day operations in that condition.”
Suddenly, they heard more voices added to the music, and they turned to see that Cheetah and Giganta had begun singing backup for Brainiac.
“You were saying?” Luthor snapped. “It’s catching!”
“Oh, yeah, the funk is contagious, baby!” Brainiac said over the microphone he had constructed.
“Now what do we do?” Luthor said.
“Get them an agent?” Grodd shrugged.
“Never!” Luthor said. “If anyone is going to represent them, it’s going to be me!”
Grodd just shook his head and thought to himself, Luthor’s finally gone bananas! Still, the ape followed the purple-and-green-clad leader back down to the room that Brainiac had turned into a wild party.
“Why must I be like, why must I chase the cat…” Brainiac growled in the microphone while the Cheetah danced provocatively near him, her tail swishing under his chin. “…ain’t nothin’ but the dog in me!” He gave her tush a pinch.
On the side, Bizarro and Grundy were trying to sing the chorus… badly.
“Bow-wow-wow yippee yo yippee yeah…” groaned Grundy.
“Meow, meow, meow…” sang Bizarro.
The other Legion of Doom watched the proceedings with a curious eye.
“Scary,” said the straw-covered terror.
“Agreed, Scarecrow,” droned Black Manta in his ebony black helmet.
“Oh, come on, guys,” laughed the Toyman, dressed in purple and yellow. “Where’s your sense of fun?”
Sinestro shook his head. “I’m not here for fun,” he said. “I’m here so we can crush Green Lantern and his accursed friends.”
“And we’ll do just that!” Luthor announced from the doorway. “Here’s how…”
Wendy, Marvin, and Wonder Dog walked down the street, bored out of their minds. Marvin was carrying a dry-cleaning bag full of colorful spandex. Wendy held a cardboard container filled with Starbucks cups.
“You know, I thought this whole super-hero internship thing would be a lot more exciting,” Marvin said.
“What are you complaining for?” Wendy said. “You don’t have to help Robin wax his legs when you get back.”
“No, I have to help Aquaman scrub his tank!” Marvin said. “Last time, I smelled like fish for a week. At least it’s Friday,” Marvin said. “You got any plans for the weekend?”
“No. Why?” Wendy asked.
“I saw this flyer down at the campus for a new band.” He reached into his pocket and handed it to her.
Wendy looked at the green-skinned, rainbow-afroed lead singer in rhinestone, star-shaped sunglasses and said, “The Legion of Funk? Why do these guys look so familiar?”
The two Super Friends sidekicks continued to walk back to the Hall of Justice when they were stopped by two purple-clad figures. The male held up his hand and said, “Hold it right there!”
“What do you want this time, Zan?” Marvin said, rolling his eyes.
“We want those internships!” Jayna said.
“Not until we’ve learned everything we need to,” Wendy said.
“You’ve got no right to hog those slots!” Zan said. “You losers don’t even have any powers!”
“Who said we don’t have any powers?” Marvin said.
“Oh, really?” Jayna laughed. “What’s your power?”
“A death touch,” Marvin said.
“A what?!” Zan and Jayna exclaimed.
“A death touch,” Marvin repeated. “I touch people, they fall over dead.”
“With a power like that, shouldn’t you be a villain?” Zan asked.
“Well, that’s rather stereotypical!” Marvin said. “Anyway, none of the Super Friends will ever let me do anything, because they don’t kill. ‘I’m always like, ‘Now?’ and they’re ‘Not now, Marvin. Wait until we face a killer plant or something.’ How am I supposed to learn to use my powers responsibly, if they never let me do anything?!”
“So what’s your power?” Zan asked Wendy.
She leaned in and began whispering in his ear. Zan turned beet-red and gulped, “I gotta go to the bathroom!” And he ran off.
“I get that a lot,” Wendy said, smiling demurely.
“OK, but none of those are as cool as my power,” Jayna said smugly. “I turn into animals!”
“Well, he can do that,” Marvin said, pointing to Wonder Dog.
“But he’s just a dog!”
“He’s not really a dog!” Wendy said, rolling her eyes. “He just turns into one! Do you think the Super Friends would put a dog in a cape on a team? Get real!”
“Yeah!” exclaimed Wonder Dog. “That’d be silly!”
Elsewhere, Aquaman said to his sidekick, “Time to rein in these seahorses, tadpole. I’ve got a Super Friends meeting to go to.”
“OK, big guy. Guess I should head on out to the Teen Titans Headquarters, too. Speedy called a meeting. Tell Robin he’s still welcome to join us anytime.”
“No problem, tadpole. Will do.”
As Aquaman swam off, Aqualad tended to their seahorse while he listened to a new song on his headset. He thought to himself, Someday maybe you’ll remember my name, which is, uh… which is, uh… uh-oh. Something is wrong. What is my real name?!
At the headquarters of the Teen Titans, Speedy looked at Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, and an empty chair. “Such a good album, right?” said Speedy. “I dig the Legion of Funk the mostest!”
Wonder Girl said, “It’s the toastest!”
Kid Flash snapped his fingers and said, “I find it the boastest, or my name isn’t, uh… my name isn’t… Hey, who am I?”
Speedy shook his head. “Good question. Who are you? Why are we here? Where is here?”
“This scene makes me shiver,” said Wonder Girl. “Whoever you hunks are, I’m all shook up now!”
Nearby, a bitter, angry Snapper Carr chuckled. “That should take care of them! And now for my ex-pals, the Super Friends! Heh-heh-heh!”
Meanwhile, at a trailer park clubhouse somewhere south of Des Moines, Iowa, three young people were dying… or at least were having a tough time dodging the empty beer cans and glasses being hurled at them. “We’re just a babe, a board, and a bike,” they warbled, while two of them desperately tried to keep their balance on a motorbike and a levitating surfboard, respectively, and the third twirled a baton around (and if you’ve ever tried to sing whilst jiggling up and down like that, you can imagine what their voices sounded like).
Finally they gave up and trooped off stage, disconsolate. “This is your fault, Jack,” said the leotard-clad girl with the baton, whose name was Jill. “Nobody can hear the music for the noise of that goofy bike of yours!”
“Hey, don’t dump on Jack, babe,” said Joe the surfer, who was clad only in a pair of brief swimming trunks and a pair of socks (which weren’t on his feet). “I toldja we should’ve mimed like we used to. Nobody can sing properly tryin’ to ride a buckin’ surfboard.”
“An’ if we could make some bread, maybe we could afford to, like, get my bike’s muffler fixed,” said the leather-clad biker Jack.
“Aw, jeez, guys,” said Jill, throwing open the door to the men’s bathroom, which they were using as a dressing room, “let’s face it, why are we, y’know, bothering anymore? The Flips are sooo yesterday’s news — just like this guy.” (*) She pointed to their support act, a tired-looking man in a stained Superman costume who was slumped on a camp chair near the urinals.
[(*) Editor’s note: See “The Return of the Teen Titans,” Showcase #59 (November-December, 1965).]
“You’re so right, luv,” Clive Duncan said glumly in an English accent. “We were five-minute wonders, the whole lot of us. I was top of the pops a few years back, and now look at me. Nobody remembers the Super-Cool Cat any more or my number one hit single.” He started to sing, “Super-duper, party pooper, triple-scooper, poopy-dooper…” (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See “The New Lives of Superman” Superman #182 (January, 1966).]
“With lyrics like that, I ain’t surprised,” said Jack.
“Supes is right, though,” Jill said, entering one of the cubicles and finding that she had to sit with her foot against the door to keep it shut. “Maybe it’s time to cut our losses and admit we’re, like, yesterday’s scene. My momma always wanted me to become an accountant. I’m thinkin’ of going back to college, getting a graduate degree, and…”
“But that would be such a waste, children!” The door suddenly burst open, and in strode a tall, gangling man in a ludicrous green and yellow outfit. He carried a curious horn. “Allow me to introduce myself. The Pied Piper, at your service.”
“Excuse me, mate, but didn’t you see the sign saying ‘artistes only’ on the door?” grumbled the Super-Cool Cat.
“Ah, but I am an artiste,” said the Piper. “And so are you, my friends. So how would you like to climb back up to the very pinnacle of your profession, where you belong?”
“How?” asked Joe.
“Ask yourselves — why are you good people, you wonderful people, so ‘washed up’? Hmm? I’ll tell you — it’s because the diabolical Legion of Funk is grabbing all the headlines.”
“True,” mused Jack.
“Well, then. How would you like to get back at them — become once again the coolest, the mostest, the hippest band in the biz?”
“Er… and what about me?” said the Super-Cool Cat.
“Well, you could join, too — we do need a competent lead singer, preferably one whose voice doesn’t continually waver because he’s being thrown all over the place by a high-tech super-bike or a jet-powered surfboard.”
“What do you mean, ‘we’?” asked Jill, emerging from the john.
“Well, what I’m proposing is that we all join forces to form a new band — the greatest band in the world — one that would put that scurrilous Legion of Funk in its place for all time (curse them for rejecting my application all those hurtful months ago).”
“Great idea,” said Jack. “I’m in.”
“Us, too,” chorused Jill and Joe.
“And me,” said the Super-Cool Cat. “But what should we call ourselves?”
“The Brotherhood of Evil Musicians!” cried Pied Piper, punching the air. And coincidentally, there was a clap of thunder outside.
That’s a point, though,” said the Cool Cat.
“If we’re gonna challenge the Legion of Funk, we need a good drummer, mate. D’you know if Blockbuster’s free?”
The Super Friends sat gathered around the meeting table in the main hall of the Hall of Justice. All of them looked toward Superman and the newcomer to his left.
“I’m sure by now you’ve all had a chance to meet our newest member, Apache Chief,” he said.
Apache Chief stood to his feet. “Apache Chief most happy to be here. Think Chief and Super Friends make heap good war medicine together.”
The gathered heroes stared at him with their jaws hanging open. Superman slapped a hand on Apache Chief’s shoulder. “Ah… yes. Thanks for that nice sentiment there… ah… Chief.”
“OK, any new business?” Superman said.
“Well, I was just wondering if Wendy is doing anything tonight,” Robin said, leering at her.
Oh, great. The Boy Wonder is hitting on me again, Wendy thought. Well, at least this time I’ve got a real excuse. “Actually, Marvin and I were planning to go hear that new band, the Legion of Funk.”
Apache Chief stood up and said, “Apache Chief hear heap good things about lead singer and number one funkster, Pulsar Stargroove. Him make good music medicine.”
“Why does he talk like that?” Batman whispered to Aquaman. “I have a Native American friend, Bill Whitefeather. He sounds nothing like that!”
“I heard he isn’t even an Apache,” Aquaman whispered. “I heard he’s really Lebanese. You know… like Klinger.”