by Libbylawrence, Comickook and Brian K. Asbury
Meanwhile, back at the ranch (someone had to say it), the Host of Badness enjoyed their evil plans by displaying evil glee via rubbing their hands together and chuckling in typically malicious pleasure.
Topsy-Turvy Man was pacing back and forth and gazing down at the Magpies below. The feathered femme fatales ignored him, since they were used to be ogled by the customers who caught their lounge act.
One of the Magpies pouted as she stared at a crumpled piece of paper. Topsy-Turvy Man could read upside down, so he frowned as he watched her lips move as she read an ad for a hot new band.
“Why so sad? Like Lionel Ritchie says, ‘Oh, what a feeling when you’re dancing on the ceiling,'” he called out.
The first Magpie said, “I thought Lionel Ritchie said, ‘Say you, say me’… not that I understood what he meant!”
Topsy-Turvy Man said, “Hey, the man’s a genius. He said plenty of great things. Now, who is the Legion of Funk, and why are you mooning over their picture?”
“They are a hot new band, and they cost us a booking,” said the second Magpie. “We really hate them!”
“Arr!” cried the Corsair of Crime. “As for me, I prefer the Village People. That In the Navy song makes my wooden leg start tapping!”
“You don’t have a wooden leg,” said the first Magpie.
The Corsair frowned sheepishly and said, “Keep it down, lady! I have me image to think of. Arrrh!”
“Look, why don’t we catch their show?” suggested Topsy-Turvy Man. “We could put them out of business once and for all, while we wait for the Chocolate Baron to plan our glorious crime spree!”
The third Magpie squealed in pleasure. “Oh, Topsy, that would be swell! What chance does some wimpy band have against honest-to-badness super-crooks?”
The Chocolate Baron was busy plotting with the Bureauc-Rat. He looked to the slender pencil-pusher for help in planning their triumph.
“I say we go after the weakest link,” he began. “We pick off the most useless Super Friend first! That could boost our egos. If we work together like the Three Musketeers, we’ll hit payday and be snickering at the zeros who try to catch us in their butterfingers!”
Jet-Set Jessie idly pushed a gemstone-clustered broom as she listened to their plan. “I’d say Aquaman is the weakest link,” she said.
“So say it,” replied the Bureauc-Rat.
“Aquaman is the weakest link!” she announced. “He is only good if the criminal is doing his vile deeds on water or in a river or near a pond!”
“Hmmm. True,” said the Baron. “Still, Aquaman has such a powerful demeanor. He reminds me of that guy from the Mary Tyler Moore Show — Ted Knight?”
“Yeah! Plus, he can control fish!” added Golden Raven. “Who in their right mind would pick a fight with the master of the trout?”
“I feel sorry for the guy,” said the Bureauc-Rat. “I mean, Superman can bend steel in his bare hands and all. Wonder Woman has that cool thing she does with her bracelets. All Aquaman can do is talk to fish! What about Wonder Woman? I say we steal her plane. That would show her up! Plus, she is the one who gives Aquaman a ride when they all split up! If we took her plane, that would ground both of them!”
“Great idea! What does her plane look like?” asked Golden Raven.
“Well, it’s invisible,” said the Baron.
“We could just start feeling around the city and hope that we stumble upon it!” suggested Jessie. She gasped and slapped the lurking Cheops-Bob as he loomed over her. “You won’t find her plane by grabbing me there!” she shrieked.
Cheops-Bob scowled and said, “Cursed… I mean… Shucks! I didn’t mean no harm!”
“Perhaps we could trap Superman with kryptonite,” said the Baron.
“I have a darling little anklet of faux kryptonite,” said Jessie. “If we could get a real one and trick him into going to the beach…”
The Chocolate Baron groaned and said, “Someone get me a cupcake! I need strength to plan this crime!”
Atom Ant, Winsome Witch, Buzz Conroy, and Frankenstein Jr., the Impossibles, Blue Falcon, and Dynomutt all arrived at the very spot Secret Squirrel requested, standing all assembled in front of the super-spy rodent and his sidekick.
“I’m glad you could all make it. All I can say is that it gives me a good feeling that we didn’t have a single absentee out of all those I called.”
“Just say the word, S.S.,” Dynomutt said eagerly. “Those bad ol’ bad guys don’t stand a prayer against all of us.” The cybernetic canine’s crime-fighting performance had improved quite a bit since he started smartening up and having his Dyno-gadgets checked out by the same crew that provided Secret Squirrel with his own super-spy devices; it made sense, since Secret’s gadgets could do most of the same things Dynomutt could on a good day, and Secret’s gadgets actually worked right most of the time. And so his on-field confidence had become more justified.
“I believe the Legion of Funk — AKA the Legion of Doom, if my sources are correct — will be appearing here,” Secret Squirrel said as he showed his allies the band ad.
“I also have a hunch that the other villains will put in an appearance there, too, so we’ll split up and tackle both parts of the mission,” the squirrel super-operative added after everyone had a chance to look at the fliers. “The Impossibles, Dynomutt, Atom Ant, and Winsome will investigate the Legion of Funk, engaging them only if they really are the Legion of Doom. Meanwhile, Buzz, Franky, Morocco, Blue Falcon, and I will handle the other villains if they show up.”
“Room for one more?” said Super-Turtle as he flew down to the assembled heroes. Though he had been flying toward the Hall of Justice, the reptile of steel’s super-hearing had picked up this conversation, and he used his x-ray and telescopic visions to determine the identities of the speakers. Though he only knew most of these heroes by reputation, the super-powered reptile still figured Frankenstein Jr. definitely had the raw power and experience to be very useful against the Host of Badness, and that Secret Squirrel and Blue Falcon both had the gadgetry, skills, and experience to be invaluable aids as well. “Those ‘other villains’ you mentioned are, indeed, banded together and are calling themselves the Host of Badness. I know about their assemblage, and I want to help stop them.”
“Very well, Super-Turtle. We will accept your aid. Since you already knew about the Host when you found us, you’ll be with Buzz, Franky, Blue Falcon, Morocco, and myself,” Secret Squirrel consented as he extended his fur-covered right hand, a gesture the reptile of steel gratefully accepted. With these heroes on his side, he might not have to go to the Super Friends after all.
“Wait a minute. We have to make sure we’re all protected from anything that might cause us to fall under some sort of musical spell,” Morocco Mole said, and he went to his and Secret’s special car and came back with twelve pairs of ear-filters to allow the heroes to hear, but still be protected from any type of sound-based mind-control, twelve pairs of special contact lenses to shield against light-based mind-control, and twelve neural-shield headbands to make sure they were all protected in case the Legion of Funk was the Legion of Doom playing a new, musical angle.
With the course of action agreed upon, the twelve heroes all left to thwart the Host of Badness and investigate the Legion of Funk.
However, before the assembled heroes could move out, there was a puff of black smoke, a rush of air accompanied by an acrid smell of brimstone, and a loud bamf sound. As they all started coughing, a voice announced, “Oops, sorry, guys — I don’t normally do that. Shouldn’t have eaten so many of those spinach cookies Frau Wagner made for me!”
As the smoke cleared, they saw a lanky, grinning figure dressed in a baggy green outfit complete with floppy antennae — an ensemble somewhat spoiled by wearing a red velvet smoking jacket and pink paisley Bermuda shorts over it. “Who are you?” gasped Secret Squirrel.
“Ambush Bug’s the name, heroic adventuring’s the game! Which of you is the squirrel?”
“Guess,” said Secret Squirrel sarcastically.
“Sorry, folks — flunked biology in grade school. I got something to give ya.”
Still grinning insanely, Ambush Bug skipped up to Secret Squirrel and planted a great, wet, sloppy kiss on his mouth.
“Yecch! Ick! What are you doing?!”
“Identifying the lead perp, bub!” said another voice, this time female. So saying, a tall woman clad in Kryptonian battle armor popped into being.
“And you are?” asked Morocco Mole, peering myopically at her.
She flashed a badge. “Jonni DC, Directorate of Continuity. OK, the game’s up. Most of you are under arrest!”
“What?” cried Blue Falcon in outrage. “You can’t arrest us! We’re heroes! On what charge?”
“I’ve got a list of violations as long as your arm,” said Jonni DC. “As long as one of Coil Man’s arms, in fact. Most of you shouldn’t be here; with the exception of the turtle, none of you are DC characters, and you’ve sneaked in here on the flimsiest of pretexts. Well, the fun’s over, guys. I’m here to order you back where you came from — wherever that was.”
“But you don’t understand,” protested Atom Ant. “We have to deal with the Legion of Funk, not to mention this new Host of Badness outfit. C’mon, cut us some slack here. We’re heroes — let us do our job!”
Jonni DC merely stood her ground. “Sorry, boys, that won’t wash. We’ve got our own heroes in this universe, and we don’t need you guys. Besides, if we allow you to stay, it just opens up the floodgates. Just this morning, my enforcement squad caught Mighty Mouse and Batfink trying to sneak across the border. Not to mention SuperTed, Freakazoid, Danger Mouse, Space Ghost, and a whole host of other cartoon super-heroes who’d just love me to turn a blind eye to them sneaking in here! I let you in, and what can I expect next? Dastardly and Muttley? The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? The Teletubbies? Nope! You’ve got to go!”
“But… but this is Earth-Twelve!” said Fluid Man. “Whoever heard of continuity ever worrying anybody here?”
“Don’t argue with me!” snapped Jonni. “I am the law! And if you schmucks call yourselves heroes, you’d better uphold the law and scram!”
Fluid Man shrank back, a trickle of liquid running down his leg as he momentarily lost control of his power. “Y… yes’m…”
“Come on, then, come on. I haven’t got all day!”
“Yes’m…” They all started to troop mournfully out of the door, to where Jonni’s enforcement squad waited with trucks to convey them back to the border with the Hanna-Barbera Universe.
“Hey, cheer up, ol’ shell-head,” said Ambush Bug, sashaying up to Super-Turtle. “You’ve still got me. The two of us’ll soon deal with that sad bunch o’ Twinkie-munchers. Whaddya say, buddy?”
Jonni DC, still standing by the door, cleared her throat. “Ah-hem! What do you think you’re doing, Schwab?”
“Moi?” said Ambush Bug innocently.
“Oui. Toi!” replied Jonni. “You don’t belong here, either. You’re an Earth-One character. That’s official.”
“Aw, c’mon, toots. Supes, Bats, an’ the gang are here. Why not me?”
“Because you’re too silly even for this world. Now get the hell out before I sic Bat-Mite on you again.”
Ambush Bug detached himself from Super-Turtle and pouted petulantly at Jonni. “Awww… you spoil all the fun.”
“I’m going, I’m going!” And he vanished in another cloud of noxious vapor.
“One of these days…” said Jonni from between gritted teeth. “OK,” she said to Super-Turtle, “you can carry on now.”
But before she departed, she sighed in frustration and whirled around to point a finger at a group of four other youngsters who had almost been overlooked amongst the more colorful crowd of cartoon cut-ups.
“Look, you need to leave, too. The four of you don’t belong here!” she said as she tapped one foot in annoyance.
The red-haired boy with freckles and a black V-neck sweater with the letter R on the front, gulped rather sheepishly and said, “Well, you see, we’d like to help, too.”
The Continuity Cop said, “You don’t belong here. Go back to Riverdale! I know who you are!”
The boy said, “Red hair, freckles. I’m Superman’s pal, Jimmy Olsen!”
A thin boy with a pointed nose and sleepy manner said, “The jig is up, Arch! She’s not gonna fall for it!”
“Uh, would you believe I’m Scooter?” said Archie. “You’re a gear bird! Fab! Fab!” he said in a fake British accent.
“You’re Archie Andrews,” she said.
The boy with the long nose said, “Do you know me, too?”
She frowned and said, “Aren’t you the lead singer of the Cars? Anyway, while you might think it’s crazy, you can’t stay here, either!”
He shrugged and yawned and said, “Let’s go. Pop Tate’s burgers are calling!”
A pretty blonde girl said, “Please, Miss! Let us help! We know real super-heroes, too!”
A posh dark-haired girl said, “Right! I’m a heroine myself!”
The Continuity Cop said, “I hate to get tough with a bunch of kids out of Happy Days, but you don’t know real heroes! Nobody at DC thinks of guys like the Black Hood, the Shield, or the Web as anything more than bad jokes!”
The dark-haired girl said, “My Daddy could buy and sell your whole company. He was doing brunch with that Jenette Kahn lady the other day! She’s nice but has no sense of style!”
“Go back and plan a prom or something!” said Jonni.
Archie sadly walked away with his pals and gals and said, “I know the Punisher!”
Jonni shook her head and said, “I need a nice, quiet job at Marvel…”