Vivian d’Aramis was worried about her company, Revson Corp. She had been CEO for some time now, ever since her mentor’s death, in fact. However, the lovely French blond had seldom represented the company on her own. The convention of international vendors promised real wealth if Revson could work a deal. The weight of the proposal was entirely on the designer-dressed, silk-bloused shoulders of the mini-skirted, high-heeled blond.
“Ah, Constance. Where have you disappeared to?” she pondered. Her twin sister had shared both the corporate leadership and their super-heroic identity of Crimson Fox with her for only a few short months now. But Constance had vanished recently, and Vivian feared the worst. She would search as soon as the conference ended. Several other CEOs passed her with admiring looks, but she had no time for their leers.
Joining the assembled business leaders at the convention seminar, Vivian smoothed her black mini-skirt and brushed back her long blond hair. Oh, Constance, where have you ended up this time? she thought.
The other CEOs fell silent from their small talk when a handsome man stepped up to the microphone. “Greetings, ladies and gentlemen. Do you want more? Do you crave the best in life? If so, then join me. Join the millions of supporters who have left mediocrity behind and found total self-actualization with my plan. I’m Achilles Dahmmon. I can free you of doubt if you just surrender your will to me.”
His blond, wavy hair was perfectly styled, and his suit seemed custom-made for his broad shoulders. Vivian felt herself losing free will. She almost dozed, then abruptly jolted herself forward. Around her, CEOs murmured like ensnared rats following a mad piper. Vivian ran out. He’s controlling minds, sapping will — got to get out!
She lost one of her high-heeled shoes and kept moving. Then she was shocked to meet her exact double. “Constance, mon cher. It ees I, Vivian,” said the double — actually her twin sister. She was wearing the Crimson Fox uniform they shared as she posed seductively across a divan.
“How did you get here? You never called when you reached the U.S. for the business meeting. I was sick with worry!” started Vivian as she kicked off the other heel. “Anyway, we must get out. That Dahmmon is taking over minds — that must be his secret to success. He gets CEOs to come here, then saps their will and takes their money.”
“Non, non! He is wise and good, and I serve him, too. He found moi on the prowl before the Revson meeting. You know a girl can be — how you say, all work only so far. He found me in suit and brought me to the… arena, but he learned of us and had me send the invitation to you to bring you here, so he could have us both — and Revson, too! Ees that not brilliant?”
Vivian stared at her mesmerized sister and shook her, only to receive a swift right to her chin. She fell, rolled out of range, and leaped up to perch on the back of a couch. Then Achilles Dahmmon himself entered, and she knew no more.
Back at the government headquarters of the Meta-Human Rehabilitation Agency, a handsome man posed in front of a group of nurses. He flirted shamelessly, and to his delight, they responded to his polished and shallow charms.
“I have not seen such a bevy of beauties since my college days at Yale,” he teased. “Or was it Harvard? Those Ivy League places do run together, you know. One sorority is pretty much like another. Of course, getting such tender care by angels of mercy like you ladies was not part of the college experience. Seems they had some eighty-year-old retiree with garlic breath at both schools.”
They tittered at his wit and watched Cameron Van Cleef as he gracefully exited to return to his quarters. In a room that was decorated with costly paintings and antiques, he relaxed. “No need to work the room if I’m alone,” he said with an idle sigh.
He was the costumed villain known as the Killer Moth, and he had made a brief career in criminal circles as a sort of Anti-Batman. He had offered to aid and protect crooks when summoned by a special signal for a sizeable fee. He’d had money, but his lifestyle led him to run through it all too quickly with women, travel, collecting, and more women, so using his technical skill and his considerable physical abilities to enrich himself while enjoying adventure had seemed a perfect plan. Batman had stopped him. Batgirl had stopped him. Even Batwoman had beaten him. Still, he considered it all part of a grand game and bore them no particular malice. Great legs on that fiery redhead Batgirl, he had thought.
Now he prepared for his rehabilitation as a hero. The idea appealed to his vanity. Just maybe he could make Killer Moth into something more than a mere Batman wanna-be.
Captain Comet, Cheetah, and Golden Glider stood in the small but cozy apartment of the Atley family. While Adam Blake talked to the portly scientist who invented the Cardialink and his beautiful daughter Carol, the Cheetah curled up on a sofa, looking like nothing so much as her feline namesake.
Lisa Snart saw her pretty partner lounge and expected to hear her purr. She sure is in character. Judges would like that, mused the ex-skater. Lisa saw the earnest Captain explain the potential peril to the family. He’s even more stiff than the Flash — but cuter. I wonder if…
“So someone may try to kidnap us?” asked the sweating Dr. Alex Atley.
“We just want to be as safe as we can, sir,” added Comet. At that moment, two hulking figures kicked in the door. “Glider, get the Atleys out, now!” ordered Comet as he tried to intercept the newcomers.
The Golden Glider moved with all her Olympic grace, hurrying across the room and nimbly dodging the new figures. She grabbed the Atleys and said, “Hurry, this way, folks! We’ll keep the riffraff out.”
Comet felt a hard right as the first intruder hit him. Almost as strong as I am. But I don’t recognize the costume, he mused. The purple and blue costume of his foe had a mask that hid the intruder’s features. The second felon did seem familiar to Comet’s photographic memory. He’s that publicity hound Vanucci, who turned limousine-driver-slash-would-be-hero and fought the Blue Devil not long before the Crisis. (*) Comet saw his blond foe in a revealing red and blue suit. He said, “Isn’t this a bit too far from Hollywood for you, Vanquisher?”
[(*) Editor’s note: See “Too Many Devils,” Blue Devil #14 (July, 1985), “Verner’s Vanquisher,” Blue Devil #15 (August, 1985), and “Damsel in Distress,” Blue Devil #16 (September, 1985).]
His foe grimaced and grabbed for him, only to miss as Comet ducked and landed a left to the chin of the Vanquisher. The other man said, “Funny. Too bad we’re winning.”
Comet used their size against them by tripping and pushing the slower pair into each other. “Dynamic, get off me!” moaned the Vanquisher.
Cheetah pounced on the one called Dynamic and wrapped her legs around his upper chest. She scratched and clawed with all her might, but nothing happened. He’s tougher than that swine the Amazon, she thought.
Comet sent Vanquisher flying out the open door with a fast jab. He then tackled the struggling Dynamic. “Help Glider, Debbi. I’m more in this creep’s strength league,” he said.
Golden Glider led the Atleys out the back door. “See, those oafs don’t even know we’re gone,” she giggled.
“But I see you,” said a woman’s voice. Glider looked up just as a flying woman punched her in the jaw. Lisa moaned and tried to hurl a throwing blade at the white-clad blond. The blade skittered off of her spread white-clothed wingspan. She opened her mouth, and sonic waves hit the threesome.
Lisa bravely (and surprisingly) pushed the Atleys behind her, but the sonics knocked all three to sleep. The Silver Swan looked almost sad as she carried off the three bodies one by one.
Meanwhile, Cheetah raced out to see the fleeing Swan. “You! I can’t believe it!” She knew the Swan, AKA Helen Alexandros, a ballerina-turned-magical-super-villainess who had also been a foe of Wonder Woman. Cheetah leaped up, swung around a flagpole three times, and arched her magnificent body through the air. Her hands grabbed the Swan’s slender ankles, and she kicked out with both feet. Swan gasped and tried to shake her off. They struggled over the block, and then, with a desperate shove, Silver Swan shook her loose. Debbi screamed and flipped frantically into a garbage bin. It broke her fall but left her stunned.
When Comet knocked Vanquisher out of the house, the Hollywood villain had spotted the fleeing Swan. He followed his female ally and found the stunned Cheetah. She’d be perfect for the boss’ arena. This Cardialink job is one he leased us out for, but he’ll give us bonus points for a super-babe like this, the Vanquisher thought as he carried the stunned Debbi off into the night.
Dynamic rolled out from under Captain Comet and received a punch to his masked chin. “This isn’t fair! The Doc said I could reach my true potential. He brought back my powers after Supergirl made me lose them.” He thought of running, since he was clearly outmatched by Comet, and his allies had fled. He ducked his head and bullishly charged Comet. The sudden impact hurt, but the hero refused to fall.
Comet wrenched Dynamic’s neck around and crashed him through a table. He got up, staggered once, and fell for good. Comet ran to check on the Atleys and his female partners, only to find all of them gone. He ran back — and even Dynamic had fled.
At the MHRA, Captain Comet tried to sound certain as he assured Rick Flag that Cheetah and Golden Glider had been abducted by their foes and had not merely run away. “They both showed real courage on this mission, and neither seem to mind the duty. I’d say helping others appeals to Cheetah’s liberal streak from her days as an eco-activist, and Lisa just loves the attention.” (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See “One Super-Villain: Made to Order,” Wonder Woman #274 (December, 1980).]
“Can you trace them with their subdermal trackers?” asked Karin Grace.
“Tom says there’s no signal. But I think I can find them. I’ll report back later,” said Adam Blake. Comet did have an idea. In fighting Vanquisher, he had picked up a brief telepathic image of an old house. He didn’t know where the house was, but his photographic memory recognized a distant, historic lighthouse from an old newspaper article he had once read. That would simplify his search.
Captain Comet and a quickly updated Dolphin hurried off to the Sky Skimmer, accompanied by Will Payton. The trio was soon in the air.
“I’m glad to have a chance to help, Dolphin. The suit the STAR Labs people gave me is like a heroic costume, and my new powers may be of use,” said the sincere, brown-haired young man. Will now wore a black and red costume with a star emblem on the chest. “I’m not worthy of the name, but since my powers came from a bolt from the sky, and I admire the Starman of that other Earth from comic tales and news reports, I’m calling myself Starman.”
“Sounds good. I think your help will be vital if we face many criminals,” said Dolphin as she patted his arm. “That’s the lighthouse. I see the old house or one like the one you described,” the platinum blond girl called to Comet.
“Let’s go,” said Adam Blake as he piloted the Sky Skimmer down.