Alexander Luthor and his robotic aide, Brainiac, worked to perfect their teleportation ray, and one dark night they succeeded. They weren’t in the Fortress of Science. Instead, they stood in a thick forest outside an eastern city. They had chosen not to endanger Lena Luthor or Lois Luthor in case something went wrong.
As Lois and Lena slept deep within the Fortress, the ray flashed through the sky to return with a huge, chalk-white humanoid.
“You did it!” said Alexander. “It’s a Martian. Genetic scan indicates the same species as that of the Warlord, although a slightly different race.”
The Martian scowled. “What have you wrought? Why did you bring me here? I thank you for your aid. That prison was slowly killing me.”
“Prison?” said Brainiac.
“Yes. On my world, I was a radical, a rebel, a criminal, a murderer. You freed me, and I appreciate your help. That’s why I won’t kill you, although my mindscan shows me that you and I would be natural foes. You serve mercy and law, and I live for battle and chaos. I sense allies that I would belong with on this world, though — the Crime Syndicate. You wonder where they are? I can locate them and with them rid you of this League I sense you fear so much. Then we shall rule this world together.”
He moved like a cat and shattered the device that brought him to Earth into pieces. “Won’t be needing that. Just as I absorbed your language and memories from my scan, I also realized your intent to send me back to jail.” He then flew off, leaving the pair alone.
“Prognosis: his power might be enough to allow the Crime Syndicate to triumph over the Lawless League. That is a lesser evil, is it not?” offered Brainiac.
Alexander Luthor nodded. “I pray it is. For more than a year now, we’ve wondered what became of them. If the Martian says they live, then perhaps, as I once thought, the Crime Syndicate will be our world’s best hope.”
Johnny Thunder was angry. He was tired of being the Lawless League’s mascot. All he ever did was tag along or polish Atalanta’s boots. Now he said, “Say, you guys ought to help me gain control over the T-bolt again. That was how I brought you here.”
Darknight said, “John, if we did that, then you would be a threat to our supremacy, and we’d only have to end your life. As it is, we like you, and you serve us well as comedy relief. So be happy and shut up.”
Hypernion sneered, “Well said, old friend. Look, Johnny — if you’re bored, I’ll let you play with one of those actress types Speedfreak has locked up in the back.”
Johnny said, “How about you let me in that lab you keep locked up?”
Hypernion said, “Not a chance. That lab is too dangerous for the likes of you. It has the relics of my lost homeworld. Luckily for you, they came here with me when you worked your little spell.”
“The T-bolt don’t mess around,” said Thunder. “When he warps reality, then, buddy — he does a thorough job!”
“Yes, he did well,” said Darknight. “I mean, for all we know, we didn’t even exist until you uttered that wish in his dimension. Now we exist and have memories, friends, family, weapons, and even enemies that seem as real to us as if we had always been around. Maybe your bolt just plucked us from an alternate world this time.”
“Listen, Thunder — be quiet, or I’ll put you where I put that creep Ultraman,” warned Hypernion.
Alexander Luthor jumped out of bed and startled the snoring Lois Luthor. “What in the world?” she asked.
“In the world — exactly!” he shouted. “That alarm tells me that our Crime Syndicate allies are back in the world after more than a year away. I don’t know if it’s because they were mentally shielded before, or out of costume or what, but while I could not detect them before after their battle at the White House, they’re now showing up on the scanner.”
Lena Luthor rushed in wearing a short, pink babydoll nightie. “Alex, I had a nightmare,” cried the beautiful blonde girl. “The Crime Syndicate are back! They fought that League, and something terrible happened. I don’t know exactly what. I just felt this dread.”
“Lena, do not be afraid,” said the metallic echo of Brainiac’s voice through the room’s monitor. “I also detected their return, and I think we may be at a turning point.”
They wondered if the artificial man could be right, and then Luthor suited up. “The armor isn’t what it once was, but if there is a fight for the fate of my world, then I want to take part in it,” he vowed.
“I shall accompany you,” said Brainiac.
The women watched sadly as their loved ones headed off to battle for the world as they knew it. Lois placed her hand on her belly and felt the young life growing within her. What kind of world are we bringing our second child into, Alex? she thought disdainfully. Godspeed, my husband.
Owlman dropped down on a rooftop in Arnoldtown, D.C. He had been there for several days, and he knew the movements of his enemies well by then. “Soon I shall make you pay for all you’ve done,” he cackled.
“You are so intense,” said a voice from thin air.
He whirled with a bladed glove raised. “Who are you?”
The white Martian appeared before him. “My true name is unpronounceable in human tongue, but you may call me the Martian Murderer, for that is what I am. I come from Mars, and as you can see from my not having broken you in half, I am not the Martian allied with your foes within the White House.”
Owlman said, “So you’re telling me you come in peace?” He smirked at the thought.
“You could come in pieces if you mock me, smug one,” said the Martian.
“He’s on our side, pal,” said Johnny Quick as he and Superwoman and the tiny Microbe climbed onto the roof.
“So the gang’s all here, except for Ultraman,” said Owlman. “I understand that they have him. They caught him a while back.”
“Where is Power Ring?” asked Superwoman.
“Here I am,” said the emerald revenger, suddenly flying into view.
“What happened to you?” said Quick. “The rest of us met up weeks ago!”
“My scanner could not detect you anywhere on Earth,” said Microbe.
“Well, short stuff, whoever you are, that’s ’cause I wasn’t on Earth,” he said. “You see, when those creeps caught us and blocked our memories, they did something really cute to me,” began Power Ring. “They feared me the most because of my overwhelming power. They couldn’t just allow me to run around free like you mugs. So they took my ring from me and put me in a cell.”
“I seriously doubt they feared you would do anything more than bore them with your ceaseless boasting,” said Superwoman with a smile.
“I suspect it was the ring they feared,” said Owlman. “They knew you could easily awaken us or yourself from their mind-blocking with the magic ring. I theorize that it may be the most powerful artifact we have ever seen.”
“So they took no chances with you,” said Johnny Quick. “They took away your ring and locked you up.”
“Right. Then they tried to separate me from the ring even more by having that cupcake in the green miniskirt imprison me within her ring,” he said.
“The Gladiatrix has not been seen in a long time,” said Owlman.
“True,” Power Ring said. “The chick is dead. And when she died, something crushed her ring. That only made it so I could leave her little land within the gem on my own via some kinda dimensional doorway.”
“I surmise that her willpower prevented you from getting free,” said Owlman, shaking his head. “When she died, you could easily summon green fire and fly off. Took you this long to find your way home.”
“Yeah, but they didn’t know I don’t need the ring,” he boasted. “I got the green flame within me now. Have for years. I found my way here just days ago.”
“What was it like inside that babe’s ring?” asked Quick.
“I’ll tell you later,” he said. “You won’t believe this, but in her ring world I became a hero — Pol Manning they called me. I was a regular Buck Rogers type. The dolls were all over me.”
Owlman cut him short. “Yes, yes, your virility astonishes us all. Now let’s take back our world.”
“Is Ultraman alive?” asked Superwoman.
“If not, we’ll avenge him,” said a grim Owlman.