The West Coast beaches were famous in both story and song for beautiful people wearing little clothing and basking in the sun of endless summers. Yet on this particular day, Ventura Beach hosted a woman whose beauty made her something special, even among the jaded sun-seekers of the California coast.
Her name was Arisia, and she was an alien with mature curves and an elfin beauty that caught many an appreciative eye as she reclined on the sand in a green bikini. She enjoyed the admiration but was far more used to being admired for the clothes she designed and not how she looked in other people’s creations. As Cynella, she had been a top fashion designer on her homeworld of Graxios IV. Now the pretty woman spent most of her time as the costumed heroine Arisia, proudly serving as one of Earth’s Green Lantern Corps.
She smiled as she thought of her father Fentara, who had been a Green Lantern as well, for neighboring Sector 2815. His service to the blue-hued Guardians of Oa had been a matter of pride, and it would have made him beam with pleasure to know that his little girl now carried on a family legacy.
Arisia knew her age was not easy to determine. In truth, the pretty woman was an altered teenager. Her desire to attract the eye of Green Lantern Hal Jordan had combined with her willpower and absorbed chronal energy to make her a mature woman in appearance, while her emotions and experiences still equaled those of a girl. (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See Captain Comet’s Rehab Squad: The Return of Supergirl, Chapter 1: Crisis Revisited.]
She had hoped to attract Jordan’s amorous attention instead of the paternal or brotherly feelings he had displayed toward her, but thus far she had been unsuccessful. She knew he had a deep bond with Carol Ferris, a woman his own age. However, Carol was also the unstable Star Sapphire, and their combative relationship in her roles as boss and alien champion had placed the pair in an unlikely situation in which neither was quite sure what to make of the other. Arisia hoped to take advantage of this state and win Hal’s love.
Now her thoughts of the greatest of all Green Lanterns ended abruptly as she heard a scream. In a blink of an eye, her green bikini was replaced with her stylish Green Lantern costume. As she flew skyward to see what was going on below, she soon spotted the source of the cries.
“By the many moons of Graxios!” she cried.
She saw a flying figure rampaging through the streets below. Waving a gleaming golden sword, he resembled a Viking out of Earthly legend and history.
Clark Kent recognized that look. He had seen similar expressions of irritation cross the gorgeous features of Lana Lang during their long relationship. Back in Smallville, he had been the cause of those pouts and tantrums in both of his identities, and so he knew what was coming.
“Look, luv, you’ve never been exactly brimming with energy and vigor, but you’ve got to at least wear a watch! We were supposed to be at Chez Mooney by now. This gown should have been enough of a reason for any red-blooded male to be on time,” said Lana as she tapped one high-heeled foot in dismay. She looked lovely in the lilac gown she wore.
Clark smiled boyishly as he replied, “Gosh, Lana, I’m sorry. It’s this cold and flu season. I just had to wash my hands again before coming up. You don’t want to catch the flu.”
Lana gazed at the tall man in the tuxedo and said, “No, Clark, I would not want you to risk your delicate health for anything, least of all for a sexy redhead in a sheer gown designed by Monsieur Swan himself!”
They prepared to depart, but as Clark held the door open, his keen eyes saw trouble — trouble on an even higher scale than Lana Lang having a hissy fit. A beautiful woman with long, strawberry blonde hair and a red and blue bodysuit was tearing apart a street in Binder Park.
Great Krypton! thought Clark. I have to stop her!
Using his heat-vision, he caused Lana’s left high heel to snap, and as he steadied her, he accepted her annoyed request that he wait while she hunted up a replacement pair from her extensive closet.
“Sure, Lana. I’ll just run down to the lobby and grab a paper,” he said as she hobbled inside.
I’ll make it up to her later, but I can’t slow down now. That woman out there has the power of Captain Marvel, at the very least, he thought as he changed into the more colorful costume of Superman and flew toward the scene of mass destruction.
Soon the Man of Steel reached the scene in which pavement had been literally peeled up in huge curls, and cracks spread across the once-smooth street as the blonde, a demure woman at that, kicked down a light-pole and used it to smash a parked car to scrap metal.
Arisia dropped down to confront the rampaging Viking. He was handsome and wore regal golden armor, with a horned helmet. As for his golden sword, she could see it wasn’t merely a sharp blade, since it generated a shattering energy blast as he pointed it at a nearby building.
She frowned at the wanton destruction and buffered the building with a green energy barrier as people fled from the crumbling ruin. Kind of a quiet guy for one creating such damage, she mused.
Her silent foe was also clean-shaven. The pretty woman had read something in one of Hal’s books at the Green Lantern Citadel about the normally bearded warriors of the Norse culture, and she wondered at his appearance.
“What do you want? You can’t continue this mindless rampage!” she said.
As he turned and fired an energy blast at her, she blocked the yellow blast with a scooped-up piece of debris, since she knew her ring could not shield her from anything that was the color of gold.
“Who are you?” she cried as she slammed a green fist into the warrior.
He grunted on impact, but merely rolled back as if to reduce some of the force of her blow, then returned to his feet by the time a green cage formed about him. This won’t hold him long. Maybe I can calm him down, though, she thought.
However, the Viking merely charged forward and allowed his yellow armor to pass through the bars like a knife through butter.
“Moons of Graxios!” she muttered and darted aside as his headlong charge brought him near her. He swung at the elfin beauty, and his golden-armored fist barely missed her agile form. “Let’s take this up away from the civilians,” she said, using a large green spatula to lift the scattered brick and mortar beneath him high into the air with him standing upon it.
He promptly stepped off the blocking matter and dropped through the green field, then used his energy-firing sword to slow his descent. Arisia flew in pursuit as he used the same means to fly away.
This guy definitely intrigues me, she thought. He’s fast, too. We’ve left California and are halfway across the nation! she realized as she streaked after the silent warrior.
Superman did not recognize his own foe. The lithe woman wore her strawberry blonde hair long and straight. Her features were delicate, and her costume was bright red and blue. It fit snugly, yet covered her from neck to boots. An emblem he couldn’t recall ever seeing before decorated her chest, thought it brought to mind a horned animal such as a longhorn steer.
She bent low and heaved a hunk of pavement directly at Superman. He knew the impact would be great due to her obvious power, but he also couldn’t allow the projectile to sail by his agile body to strike anyone else below. And so, as he had done innumerable times before, the Man of Steel used his own body as a shield to catch the projectile and then, seconds after impact, hurled it into space.
“You’ve got quite an arm on you, miss! Still, I’ll have to call time on your little inning of destruction,” he joked.
She impassively punched him in the stomach and then brought her knee up to hit his chin. Spinning around, she kicked him flat with grace and skill. He fell, then rose again with equal speed.
She fights well. I’ve hardly seen her like other than Diana or poor Kara, he mused. He tackled her and flew skyward at top speed.
As they reached the upper atmosphere, she merely used her head to strike his face and brought both legs up to break his hold. She doesn’t need oxygen! With all her other powers, that makes sense, he thought. She gripped his arm and flipped him to earth like a human comet. He struggled and stopped himself as he fell. She is dangerous! he mused.
Using his super-ventriloquism, he said, “Who are you? What do you want?”
She hesitated, then said a name in an alien tongue. Her tone marks her clearly as an alien, as do her powers, but the name means nothing to me. Strong Girl? That’s literal, he thought.
He fired a ray of heat-vision toward her, and she yelped in pain. She dropped down, and he followed. Great Krypton! I never meant to hurt her severely. Could her body chemistry be vulnerable to heat like J’onn’s? he mused. He caught her as they reached the American Midwest and cradled her stunned form.
She slugged him at once, and he realized she had been playing possum all along. She wanted to lure me here, but why? he thought, frowning.
Her next punch staggered him. He rose again, and she stood posed defiantly before him.
“Round two, Strong Girl!” he said.