Johnny Quick smirked as he glanced through the Daily Planet. He nudged a rather bored Power Ring and said, “Hey, pally, look at this article. Seems as if STAR Labs is hosting a gathering of eggheads. Imagine if we could snatch them and get their inventions.”
Power Ring nodded. “For the good of mankind, right? — to keep such potent weapons from falling into the wrong hands?”
Quick shrugged. “Nope. I figured we could use them conquer the world.”
Power Ring smiled warmly. “Good. That’s what I hoped you were thinking.”
Thus it was that the team gathered and flew via Power Ring’s energy constructs toward the famed research facility.
“This list reads like a who’s who of scientific genius — Hector Hammond, Paula von Gunther, Otto Octavius,” said Owlman as he held up the paper.
Microbe sneered as the tiny man perched upon Owlman’s cloak. “Bah! They failed to invite me — simple jealousy.”
Superwoman said, “Perhaps they merely lacked interest in one whose field of study centered around making himself the size of a child’s plaything.”
The looming Martian Murderer remained silent as his allies argued. This Martian warlord often brooded, although it was clear that he preferred life on Earth to imprisonment on his native Mars. J’imm J’onzz was afraid of something from his world, and he failed to conceal it from the keenly observing Owlman, who said nothing but filed this weakness away for future use.
Ultraman slammed his hands together eagerly. A sonic boom echoed as he did so. He was eager for action and was rarely satisfied if he wasn’t using his considerable powers for selfish purposes. Inactivity positively gnawed at him. Perry White may be the Planet‘s city editor and my secret informer, he thought, but he’s getting to be like an old woman. He claims this whole gathering isn’t on the level. Old Perry thinks it’s a trap. Bah! I welcome any attack. Who could stand against us? Luthor is dead. I fear nothing. That’s why I didn’t tip off the others about White’s concern.
The Kryptonian member of the Syndicate said aloud, “Let me get the door for you.” He punched out and shattered the lab’s nearest wall. As alarms sounded, he pushed out the sides of the hole he had created, clearing a huge space for his allies to pass through into the famed lab.
Johnny Quick smiled. “Look — test tube jockeys! Let me put a scare into them.”
He charged a group of men and women but soon yelped in dismay as his super-fast feet encountered a narrow track of floor that had been coated with ice. He skidded across the room and cried out as he struck the far wall. His own impact, in turn, burned the thin supports of ice that were holding an iceberg-like creation aloft, bringing down the huge mountain of ice upon his body.
Power Ring’s energy flared, and he scowled in anger. “Quick’s hurt!”
“To be precise, he’s out cold,” purred a sultry voice as one of the women discarded a mask and her lab coat to reveal stark-white skin, a lacy gown, and crystalline beauty.
“I am Frost Queen, and we are putting you on ice,” she laughed.
Ultraman said, “Perry was right. Well, good — I want to bust some heads.” He flew toward the woman, ignoring the cold that she radiated. He said, “Let me show you how to make chipped ice maidens!”
Then the Kryptonian shuddered in fear as something made him very afraid. He was out of his league, he realized — this was a trap. They surely were prepared for even his powers. What could he do? He remained paralyzed in one place, glancing left and right in concern. His fear was almost palpable.
The Martian Murderer scowled. “I detect the projection of fear. A powerful mind is at work here.”
“Hiram smash funny spaceman,” drawled a deep voice as an inhuman brute with chalk-white skin and a ragged black suit slammed into him with staggering strength. “Hiram Goldman don’t like mean old aliens,” he roared.
Power Ring noticed another inhuman figure jump out of the shadows to claw at Ultraman, who recoiled in fear. The being was humanoid, yet had the features of a shark.
“I am Great White,” he said as his lips drew back to reveal rows of gleaming teeth. “My highly evolved mind and body are more than a match for yours. My fear projection has rendered you helpless.”
Ultraman gasped as the creature wrestled him to the ground. He was still too fearful to act.
Power Ring had just started to cage the creature when a pair of gleaming, ghostlike forms closed in upon him from each side. They were identical and wore yellow and red costumes with high-crowned hoods. A stark black X slashed across each of their costumes. They struck him with superhuman force, emitting energy blasts that threatened to break his aura of protective energy.
“Excellent, Double-X and Triple-X — hound him!” cried a third figure from the ground below. He was a gaunt version of the two energy beings that attacked the ring-slinger.
Superwoman scowled and said, “Hera curse them! They attack us from all sides.”
She gasped as a huge redheaded woman wearing a leopard print bikini grabbed her in a choking wrestling hold. “Gargantua is my name,” she snarled. “I have the power of the female gorilla I once was.”
Owlman had thrown himself into the shadows as soon as the first figure had appeared. He knew his best tactic would be to bide his time and use the darkness to his advantage. A low, throaty growl startled him as he whirled around to see gleaming eyes.
“I am She-Wolf — you are my prey,” snarled a female lupine form who emerged from the shadows and raked her razor-sharp claws across his chest.
“That remains to be seen,” he said through gritted teeth. He caught her wrists and held firm until she drew her legs upward and lashed out at his with equally sharp nails on her feet. Her thick fur protected her from his best blows, and he reeled as she laughed madly.
Microbe had vanished, having rapidly shrunken to microscopic size. He tried to form a plan by which he could rescue his allies, but for now he was content merely to escape.
Meanwhile, Hiram Goldman continued his near-mindless attack on the Martian, who fell beneath his hammer-like blows before turning invisible. He flew above the brute that scowled and looked around in confusion.
“Where’d funny man go?” he asked with childlike concern.
The Martian Murderer fired a beam of energy from his eyes but watched in dismay as Goldman ignored it completely. “The creature appears to be some type of golem,” he mused. “He is invulnerable to my energy.”
Goldman waited and then turned to tug on Ultraman’s cape. He drew the alien villain closer and said, “You fly? Goldman help you fly.”
He tossed the struggling Ultraman across the room and smiled as he hit the invisible Martian and crashed to the ground. J’imm reappeared as he lay stunned near the fallen Ultraman.
Great White smiled and said, “Good job, Hiram. His fear stank so that I could detect him and mentally tell you where to throw my petrified foe.”
Goldman grinned, “Great White is Hiram’s friend!”
She-Wolf tore at Owlman’s cape as he agilely fought to avoid her claws.
She’s a lycanthrope, he thought, a woman who can change into a wolf. Knowing her origin gives me a clue as to how to tame this beast. He retrieved a small pellet from his belt and swung upward to the rafters. Scraping at the pellet, he desperately worked to achieve his goal as his female foe climbed up the walls using claw holds to support herself.
“Here — all women enjoy silver!” he cried as he hurled a pellet into her snout. She screamed and toppled backward as the silver nitrate caused her intense pain. She changed to a pretty blonde girl as she struck the floor. “Next?” smirked Owlman.
Superwoman elbowed her taller antagonist in the ribs and snarled, “You fight like a Titaness. Still, brute force will never be enough to overcome one such as I.”
She continued to struggle in the brawny woman’s grip. In truth, Diana was becoming angry and felt more than a little bit humiliated. The former Amazon princess did not care for losing her dignity in battle or in peace. Thus she raged inwardly at how easily the mutated gorilla was handling her.
Reaching for her golden lariat, she willed the morphing fiber to form a tight hood. It obeyed her mental command and snaked around Gargantua’s head. As it began to close around her and blind her, Gargantua released Superwoman, who spun around and delivered three swift kicks to the muffled head of her foe until she staggered and began to fall.
Superwoman smiled coldly and placed one boot on top of the beaten woman. “Now who is queen of the jungle?”
Power Ring was trying to overpower the twin energy beings, but he failed because for every blast he absorbed or blocked with an energy shield, they delivered another. He feared their inhuman forms needed no rest. Maybe I should just make a retreat, he thought.
He frowned as the twin ghosts followed him easily. They match my speed! he realized. They resist my efforts to contain or destroy them.
Owlman darted forward to chop the neck of the man who directed his energy twins. He easily stunned the little man and watched as his ghostly doubles faded away. “Remove their master, and they vanish,” he said with a thin smile.
“Clever. Still, for all your calculated skill, you leave me cold,” cooed Frost Queen as she touched him, causing him to stiffen in an icy sheath.
Power Ring returned and sent a green battering ram toward the sensual ice maiden. She screamed and tried to block it with a row of icy walls. He grinned and said, “Maybe I should defrost you, babe.”
He blasted away at her with a huge green hairdryer. She smiled as the heated air swept across the room and forced her backward, seeming to enjoy the sensation. Unknown to him, Crystal Frost savored such warmth, relishing his actions. “More — give me more!” she cried.
Superwoman charged at her but then yelped as Goldman tackled her from behind. “Goldman like pretty woman!” he grunted. She punched him in the face, but he hesitated only a moment before embracing her once more with crushing force.
She passed out, and he stroked her dark hair tenderly. “Goldman keep pretty-pretty?” he asked.
Great White said, “Sure — if you help me stop our fearless flyer.”
Power Ring said, “Nope — I’m no fool. I’m out of here.” He burst through the roof, but a moment later he stiffened in midair as a bubble closed around him. It came from a hovering ship above the lab.
Dr. Thaddeus Bodog Atlanta smiled from the cockpit. He fired more bubble projectiles and announced, “Victory! The Crime Syndicate sleeps within my Suspendium! Now we may leave them on the moon, where they shall never again bother the world.”
Goldman sighed like a spoiled child as his leader left even his pretty-pretty dozing in a bubble of the substance he called Suspendium on the moon.
Sometime later, Dr. Atlanta and his team were cheered for their efforts as he declared victory for his Monster Society of Good on television channels worldwide.
“Never fear, friends — Simon and Summer will be fine. We stand ready to protect all in need. Heh-heh-heh!” he chuckled. The heroic scientist had won quite a victory.
Even Microbe could only watch in horror from the Eyrie of Evil in Happy Harbor, Rhode Island, as he watched the celebration unfold on a special TV news broadcast.
Now what do I do? wondered Ray Palmer.