Days later, Captain Comet sat next to a much-younger Zinda Blake, once known to the world as Lady Blackhawk, ally to the famed flying Blackhawks from the late 1950s to the late 1960s. (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See “The Lady Blackhawk,” Blackhawk #133 (February, 1959).]
“The benefit of your contact with those creatures is that none of you have aged,” explained Comet. “The mere cosmetic effect of aging was due to the plasmen’s ability to alter their looks and thus your own as needed to appear to age like real humans. In truth, by being dormant for those years, you and the others have not aged in nearly thirty years. I suppose it seems to you all like you went to sleep in the 1950s and then woke up days ago, but it was actually decades later when I destroyed the bio-bots.”
“Did you kill them?” asked Zinda.
Adam Blake laughed. “No. They were never truly alive, but I merely mentally dominated one and through it all the rest. I created the vivid mental impression that I had blasted them with pure concentrated oxygen — it is their greatest weakness — when in fact I never fired the gun at all. Better living through mental prowess, I say.”
Zinda laughed. “When you taught me to fly back when I was a girl, I knew you were smart. You’ve impressed the world since then.”
Adam turned to his blonde cousin. “You have, too, as I’ve learned recently. After I left you made a real name for yourself as Lady Blackhawk in 1959.”
“Yes,” she said. “I missed out on so much with my old friends by being trapped by the Plasmen. I may be no older than I was in 1968 or so, but what do I do now?”
“Cousin, how would you like to join me as my team’s personal pilot?” he asked.
Zinda hugged him. “I love the idea!”
“I only wish our distant cousin young Tom Blake had not become the Cat-Man,” said Adam. “Talk about a black sheep.”
Zinda elbowed him. “Don’t ever say black sheep to a Blackhawk.”
Cameron Van Cleef, alias the Golden Wasp, knocked at the door to his old friend’s manor. “Come on, Mort. Open the door!” he yelled.
A handsome face peered out anxiously. “Cameron, old man! Do come inside,” said Mortimer Drake. “Wouldn’t want the neighbors to see you dressed like a giant insect. Bad for property values, you know.”
“Certainly, but it’s fine for you to go around dressed like an escapee from Captain Blood,” replied the Wasp as he shook hands with the Cavalier.
“What brings you here this night? Larceny, women, or both?” said the long-haired, bearded man in the plumed hat.
“No. I want to offer you a deal,” said the former Killer Moth as he removed his helmet.
“Do tell! If I can acquire more antiques and hold off the creditors from the family pile here, then I am assuredly your man,” said the Cavalier with a sweeping bow.
“Look, Mort. I am legit now,” he said as he drank from a crystal glass. “I have the papers to prove it. Captain Comet squared things for me after I served on his team and made a name for myself in Bludhaven with the local cops.”
The Cavalier lounged carelessly nearby. “Old man, Bludhaven is so downscale. Not our kind of people,” he drawled.
“I like it there. They accept me as a hero. I’m the Batman of Bludhaven!” he said.
Laughter rang out. “And that was your old ambition, was it not?” said Mort. “To get the respect the Caped Crusader has! Well done. As for me, I’d prefer a good claret and the works of Drayton.”
“Mort, you are a wanted man,” he said. “Come with me, join my team — well, actually it’s Comet’s team — and you can earn a pardon.”
“We do work well together,” said the smiling Cavalier. “Still, Captain Comet seems a dull dog to me. Not the swashbuckling type like us. That Golden Glider does seem worth my time, though.”
“She isn’t with the team,” said Cameron.
“Too bad. Now I have an offer for you,” he said with a roguish gleam in his dark eyes. “Keep all pure and wholesome as the Wasp, but acquire a third identity, such as the Scarab, or the Fly, or the Red Whosis, and be my criminal partner for old times’ sake!”
“I like that idea,” said the Golden Wasp, thinking about it for a moment. “Still, I can’t go back. I’m trying to be honest. I really am a reformed man.”
“No,” said the Cavalier. “I can’t see myself as the hero. I tried that pose before, you know. Should I reach for the electrified sword? Are you gonna take me in, as they say?” he said.
Wasp shook his head. “No. We go back too far for that. Just don’t cross the path of Comet’s team or pull a job in Bludhaven,” he warned.
The Cavalier grinned. “Agreed! Now, pour the claret and raise a toast. To the thrill of the chase!” he said.
“To old friends!” replied the Golden Wasp.