Even as the Crime Syndicate passed their lonely days and nights in the bubble and awaited the food that teleported into their prison regularly, thanks to Luthor’s kindness, Alexander Luthor himself could not rest. He was deeply troubled, and things only grew worse when he received a visitor late one evening. She was blonde and lovely. The young Lena Luthor, his much-younger sister, was usually a welcome sight. However, her wild eyes and desperate look this evening gave the brilliant man reason to pause.
“Lena, honey, what’s wrong? More nightmares?” he asked as he ushered her inside and greeted her with a hug. Rain began to beat down outside, and he smiled as Lois rushed in, dressed in her robe and carrying a tray of snacks.
“Lena, sit down and eat and tell us what brings my favorite sister-in-law out on such a night,” said Lois Luthor.
Lena smiled and collected her thoughts. Lois was a rock of stability, and Alex had practically raised Lena since their folks had died years before in an accident. If Alex couldn’t smooth over this new worry, then no one could.
“Alex, I have been having the visions again,” sobbed the pretty blonde. “I know you feel they’re just dreams, but they seem so real, so vivid! The last one was… horrible!”
Alex cupped her face in his hand. “Lena, just tell me slowly, and I’ll try to make things right.”
Lena gulped and said, “I saw them! They were back! They took over the world again — it was just awful. Alex, I believe it will happen. The Crime Syndicate will get loose and take over the world again!”
Lois shivered at the idea that the fiends who had almost killed Alex would be free once more to destroy and kill.
“Lena, I’ve built sensors around their cell,” said Alex. “If they ever get close to being free again, the sensors will warn me, and I’ll reinforce the cell. I promise!”
“No, Alex,” said Lena. “I didn’t make myself clear. The Crime Syndicate was loose again, but it was and yet wasn’t them who took over the world. That’s why the vision was so frightening! How could there be more like them?”
Alex said nothing. His little sister was perhaps psychic or had mental powers that could be sensitive to the world around her, but could she be right? Could there be new villains somehow worse than the monsters of the Crime Syndicate?
He heard an alarm and jumped up to check the source of the warning alert. “Great Scott!” he cried as he read the computer screen. “There is something going down in D.C.! President Hart has been killed!”
“Alex, go,” said Lois as Lena watched him tearfully. “Be careful, though.”
He slipped on his armor and flew off at top speed for the nation’s capitol of Arnoldtown, D.C., named such after the first president of the United States of America, Benedict Arnold. The flight was rapid, yet not as smooth as usual. He was low on energy sources, and the armor was nowhere near the levels they had been at when he’d first constructed the suit. He’d just have to make do with what he had.
I can’t believe it — the White House invaded, President Gary Hart dead, the military routed! His mind raced as he monitored news bulletins with his helmet radio.
He soon drew near a scene of flames and panic. The White House was a battlefield, and he shuddered as his lens picked up the sight of a few flying figures around the breached building. “It’s them again,” he said with worry. “But it’s strange that the alarm at their cell never went off.”
Then he saw it all clearly. Those costumed figures were attacking the military and had already invaded and conquered the White House. A flying red-and-blue-costumed figure with black hair and handsome features tossed a tank into the Capitol pool with a harsh laugh. He turned to face Luthor, causing Alex to gasp. The face was more handsome than that of the evil Ultraman. The costume had no red U emblem. Instead, it boasted a blazing red H.
“You’re not Ultraman!” he said. Lena was right. We’ve been invaded by an all-new team of villains!
Luthor’s foe laughed. “You must be what passes for a super-hero on this pathetic world. I’m Hypernion — I’ll be your killer!” He fired a blast of heat-vision at Luthor, and the armor’s shields barely deflected it. Hypernion then slammed his hands together, and a shock wave rocketed across the air to threaten Luthor’s flight stability.
Obviously, this brute has the power of Ultraman, and more wit besides, thought Luthor as he tried to defend himself. But where did he come from? Krypton was destroyed by Ultraman’s father.
“I will stop you,” vowed Alexander. “I’ll bring you to justice for what you did to President Hart.” His hands pulsed with energy as he fired stellar bolts into Hypernion.
The hulking man flinched, so Luthor deducted that he could be hurt. Then a choking pressure caught Luthor from behind, and huge green pinchers closed in around him. “Power Ring?” he muttered as he fought for air.
The blonde woman in the short green-and-black outfit laughed. “That’s what my weapon is, but I’m called Green Gladiatrix. I guess you’re bright enough to see where the name comes from.” She started to giggle.
Luthor tried to generate enough power to break free and did so, but now he was tired. The armor was beginning to feel heavy, which meant something was damaged within its systems. “Who are you?” he said as he dodged her next barrage of green spears.
“They work with me, handsome,” said a sultry voice as a rope snared his leg and slammed him to the ground with stunning force.
He moaned as he gazed up at a leggy, black-haired beauty in a red, white, and blue outfit with an eagle on her brief top. “You’re the Superwoman of the group, I see.”
She laughed with a purr to her voice. “I am more, for I am royalty. Atalanta — the Amazon Princess.” She then stomped down on him, and he felt the metal armor crack.
A red-and-gold blur raced up to drain all the air away from his area. He activated his limited supply as the armor’s visor closed. “Too slow, old dude. I’m Speedfreak,” sneered a young punk who moved with alarming rapidity.
From the White House itself laughed a commanding figure in the shadows. He wore black and gray and was known as Darknight. “Hail to the new chief,” he hissed coldly.
Luthor knew when he was beaten. He activated his teleport control, and — just as his armor lost all power — he found himself back in the lab. He struggled to his feet as the heavy armor weighed him down.
“Lois, Lena — I need help!” he called.
They rushed inside to support him. “Alex!” screamed Lois. “What did they do to you?”
Alexander frowned determinedly. “They made me mad! No one can threaten Alexander Luthor’s home and get away with it!”
“How can you stop them?” said Lois. “The radio called them invincible.”
“I can’t do it alone, but I know where I can get some help,” he said grimly.