Supergirl had used her time to research her pink-clad foe, but all her efforts met with failure. Strange, mused Lydia Lee as she idly nuzzled Streaky the cat. The Fortress computers indicate that Spellbinder was a male villain who was bested by Superman and Batman and died due to a plot by Lex Luthor himself. (*) I wonder if Luthor decided to employ the late Spellbinder’s gimmicks for some new mistress or pawn.
[(*) Editor’s note: See Justice League of America: Pawns of the Power Pirate.]
The blonde Maid of Steel exited as alarms indicated that danger threatened the city she now called home. “Sorry, Streaky, you’re on your own,” she called to the cat. “I hear police sirens, and that means this is a job for Supergirl.”
She smiled as people pointed and waved at her streaking figure. They have apparently forgotten Valor since she moved to Rokyn, she thought. I hope that means all of them will come to accept me as Kara’s replacement.
Supergirl saw a bizarre sight as jewels were tossed into the air, only to vanish, as people from all walks of life raided a smashed window of the exclusive Tiffany’s store. “Those folks are acting as oddly as the ones from the bank,” she said. “I’d say those gems are ending up in Spellbinder’s unseen clutches. I’d better put her on ice, like so.”
She used her powerful super-breath to freeze the air around the floating jewels and smiled as the icy sheath formed around a startled woman in hot pink. “Got her!” she said as she swooped down to examine her frozen enemy. As soon as she reached the spot, though, the ice exploded and turned to a glowing green rock. “Kryptonite!” she gasped as the energy drained from her body, and she staggered forward in pain.
Spellbinder laughed as the green rocks assembled themselves into her curvy form. “Like the new color? It’s rad, don’t ya think?” she cooed.
Supergirl gritted her teeth and stood up. “You can’t get away with this!”
Spellbinder chucked her under her chin and said, “You look grody. Go to the Fortress of Makeovers at super-speed. You can’t beat me.”
Supergirl gripped her mocking foe but shook her head in anger as the woman faded to reveal a frightened old woman.
“Please, Supergirl, don’t grip me so hard,” pleaded the old woman. “I’m willing to help you to your feet, but you must control your strength.”
“Sorry, ma’am,” said an angry Lydia as her super-senses revealed that once more Spellbinder had vanished.
Back at their base, Nasthalia Luthor turned to Brains and said, “She still doesn’t see what Spellbinder has done, but then she does lack dear Linda Lee’s experience.”
Brains smoothed her hosiery and said, “She won’t live long enough to gain it, either.”
Back at the set of Secret Hearts, Lydia listened as her producer coaxed her into trying the new hair color. “Lydia, it’s a shame not to make the most out of all the possibilities our wizards of hair and makeup can realize. If you won’t let us make Margo go blonde, then consider playing Margo and a blonde double with a wig,” he pleaded.
Lydia frowned. “Perhaps, but I’d need more money for a second role. It’s out of the question at this time.” She flounced off and hoped that she had settled the issue for now. I don’t need anything to give viewers the idea that Lydia Lee is a Supergirl double, she thought. Still, I do have an idea.
The next time the elusive Spellbinder struck at another bank, she was challenged by a colorful figure in orange and green. The girl in hot pink stopped watching the entranced staffers load money into her van as the new female arrival stood defiantly before her. “A new costumed Girl Scout? What’s your name, honey? Quantum Girl?” she teased.
The woman who stood before her had extremely long, heavily curled brown hair, brown eyes, and wore heavy mascara and lipstick. Her costume consisted of an orange halter-top above taunt bare abs and orange hot pants. Her boots and cape were bright green. A stylized double M was encircled on her top. “Mighty Maid is my name, and that’s all you need to know about me!” she said.
“Or me!” cried another identical figure.
“Or me!” said a third as yet another costumed girl appeared behind Spellbinder.
“You split into three beings,” said Spellbinder as she began to grow larger. “Tough. I can handle all of you!”
Mighty Maid merged into one woman and laughed. “Not likely, you wanna-be New Romantic.” She screamed, and shattering force echoed out to break the glass in the nearby van and send a suddenly visible and pained Spellbinder reeling.
“Can’t concentrate!” the villainess gasped.
Mighty Maid vanished as well in a blur, only to return high above carrying a huge vat. She tipped it, and a cascading flood of water swept down to sweep Spellbinder along and carry her struggling form down the steet. “I’d say you were all wet,” called Mighty Maid, “but as you’d say, that’s totally yesterday!”
She boldly swooped down with the now-flipped-over vat and slammed it down over the gasping Spellbinder’s soggy and battered body. “This should hold her. A lack of air will leave her stunned and easy to lock up,” said the cocky heroine as crowds cheered.
After ridding herself of the moisture and taking the prone figure of Spellbinder to prison, Mighty Maid inhaled all the water and repaired the street. At the police station, the beautiful heroine smiled and flirted with the officers as she explained her beaten foe’s powers.
“Spellbinder wears contacts that allow her to hypnotize people and project illusions. She can’t grow or alter her body and has no super-strength. She merely makes people think she has such powers via her hypnosis. She was even able to plant a post-hypnotic suggestion in Supergirl that hindered the Girl of Steel’s efforts against her. She made her literally unable to win because of her repeated claim that Supergirl could not beat her.” At that, the brunette heroine zoomed away from the appreciative police officers.
“What a babe!” said one officer. “And she sure was friendly. That new Supergirl is a bit of a cold fish.”
Back in the apartment of Lydia Lee, Mighty Maid made a rapid transformation, stripping off the revealing costume, wig, and contacts to return to her Lydia Lee appearance.
Thank Rao I was able to discern that Spellbinder was using some super-hypnotic force to make me fail when we fought, she mused. I could not overcome it, but I realized that, by using a new costume and wig, and employing self-hypnosis, I could adopt a whole new identity of Mighty Maid and be free of any inhibitions she had created. I was able to use super-speed and other less obvious or direct means of fighting to keep her from concentrating. The actress in me allowed me to really get into my role of Mighty Maid. It was liberating and rather fun to play the role. My speech patterns and conduct were nothing like those I traditionally use as Supergirl. I set the hypnotic command to lapse after three hours. Now I’m back to normal, and I’m sure Spellbinder’s own spell will wear off of me in time. She can’t harm anyone without her contacts, anyway.
She fed Streaky the cat and smiled. The original Supergirl once used the fake I.D. of Mighty Maid, too, so it’s something of a family tradition. (*) The comment of our producer about the benefits of makeup and costumes gave me the idea.
[(*) Editor’s note: See “Mighty Maid,” Action Comics #260 (January, 1960).]
Elsewhere, Brains and Nasthalia Luthor laughed with pleasure. “Spellbinder was a success,” said Nasty. “She failed to beat Supergirl, but the sensors in her costume allowed us to record and track Supergirl’s metabolic responses as I’d hoped. She is Lydia Lee, the actress who looks so much like Linda Danvers. It was obvious to those who suspected Linda’s secret to begin with.”
Brains crossed her legs demurely and said, “Indeed. I think we can end her life when we choose — after some more experimentation, of course. As for the former Ms. Mesmer, she can keep the technological ideas we improved upon for her Spellbinder role, if she ever gets out of jail. She’s earned that much.” Brains tossed her blonde hair and said, “The Mighty Maid role was clever of her. Lydia is smarter than I’d guessed.”
Nasty nodded. “All the better for us. Uncle Lex will be proud when we kill her in spite of her proven skills and wit.”
The two woman sat smugly together in the lab and planned their next attack upon the Maid of Steel. It would not be long in coming.