“Infinite Justice,” Chapter 1

NOTE: This story takes place in 1984.

 

Jennie-Lynn Hayden cranked up the volume of her car stereo as the opening fanfare of Van Halen’s “Jump” blasted from the radio. She felt like she was on the top of the world – the endless tortures of high school were finally over now that she had graduated, and her parents had not only given her a hot pink car as her graduation present, they had also given her permission to go see the city’s hottest unsigned band, Dreamhouse, at a downtown club that night. As she sped down steep hills and winding roads, heading for the suburban house where she still lived with her parents, she cracked her bubblegum, adjusted her mirrored sunglasses, and began to tingle as she savored the all-too-rare perfection of this moment.

Once she was safely inside the house and all the curtains were drawn, Jennie-Lynn was able to drop the illusion that made her appear like a normal girl. Actually, she was mostly normal looking to begin with, except that her skin was bright green instead of Caucasian pink. This was, for the time being at least, a secret she shared only with her unconditionally loving and accepting parents, and her closest confidant, Todd Rice. The unvarnished truth was that Todd was more than Jennie-Lynn’s confidant. He was also her twin brother; they both knew it, but they had as yet been unable to prove it; for now, this secret would be the one that neither of them would reveal to anyone else.

As Jennie-Lynn tried on one outfit after another in front of the full-length mirror in her bedroom, she lost track of time. Suddenly, she heard the phone ring. If her parents had been home, she would have expected them to answer it, but as she knew they were out for the rest of the afternoon and night, she ran downstairs to pick up the phone.

“Hello?” she said.

“It’s Todd.” came the reply. “I have bad news.”

“What is it?”

“My car was stolen today. I’m all right, it happened while I was in the store, but I’m not going to be able to drive us to the concert, so…um…I don’t suppose you’d consider driving us in your car?”

“Todd, you know I can’t risk taking my car downtown! It’s a gift, and it’s brand new!”

“That’s what I figured, but I thought I’d ask anyway. It’ll be a shame to miss the Dreamhouse concert, though.”

“To be honest, they’re a lot more your kind of band than mine.”

“Yeah…so what are you gonna do tonight?”

“Hmmm…I guess I’ll pop some popcorn, pour myself a soda, and watch MTV until my parents get home.”

“Sounds nice. I’m going to listen to music, too. I got the debut album by this new group from England, the Smiths. It’s really great, although I don’t think it’d be your cup of tea….”

“The Smiths? That’s not much of a name.”

“It’s a better name than Duran Duran.”

“Hee, hee. To each their own.”

“Yeah…well, take care of yourself.”

“You, too. Sorry about your car.”

“I’ll get by. Good night.”

“Nite.”

Much later, after Dreamhouse had played an explosive set of confrontational art-punk, the group’s lead singer, Jackie Jaguar, took a seat at one of the club’s tables for an exclusive interview with a local music publication.

“I’m Yolanda Montez.” said the interviewer, who wasn’t much older than Jackie. “It’s nice to meet you. Great show you played just now.”

“It wasn’t that great.” muttered Jackie. “But then, I’ve never been satisfied with any of our shows. I could pick them apart to the smallest detail…”

“It’s good to be a perfectionist.” offered Yolanda.

“Thanks. Yeah, I guess I am.”

“There’s a rumor going round that I wanted to address. That you’re the daughter of the famous scientist, Ted Knight…”

“Lies!”

“There’s nothing wrong with…”

“If you don’t move on to the next question, the interview’s over!”

Any hope that Yolanda had of defusing the tension between her and Jackie came to an end when, with a loud bang, a band of gaudily garbed gate-crashers barged into the club.

They were so strange-looking that they stood out even among the denizens of downtown clubland. Their leader appeared to be an attractive young blonde woman wearing garish sunglasses and carrying a mandolin. “We’re the Injustice Society!” she announced, “And we’re here to take Jackie Jaguar with us! If she’ll come join us, nobody’ll get hurt, but if she refuses, all bets are off.”

“Go screw yourselves, you posers!” shouted Jackie.

Other club patrons and the club’s bouncers began approaching the strangers with the intention of beating them up and throwing them out. Suddenly, one of the strangers, a long-haired, spandex-clad young man, pointed his keytar at them like it was a weapon – which, indeed it turned out to be, pushing back his would-be assailants with deafening waves of ultrasound. Another young man, dressed in an old-fashioned magician’s outfit, waved his wand and transformed the bouncers into bullfrogs. The leader appeared to vanish amid the commotion, while an androgynous pair of pasty-faced, black-clad twins turned their bodies into mist, their heads flying through the air towards Jackie. Once they were upon her, they re-solidified their bodies and came crashing down on her.

As Jackie struggled to break free, Yolanda seemed surprisingly unsure of whether or not to help her. Before she could change her mind, she felt a sharp pain in her shoulder. She turned around to see the leader and her mandolin reappear behind her. “This is no joke,” said the leader, “my mandolin is a gun, loaded with wooden stakes. You try to be a heroine, and the next one goes into your brain!”

By now, the twins had subdued Jackie and began carrying her out. Nobody in the club was foolhardy enough to offer resistance. Within seconds, the Injustice Society was gone.

Yolanda grinded her teeth as a friendly fellow patron pulled out the stake. Inside, she was seething. She was a born fighter, and she also had special powers that allowed her to sprout claws like a wild animal, but she worried her journalism career would end the moment she publicly revealed those powers. Right now, she cursed herself for her selfishness and resolved to do the next best thing. She headed for the club’s public phone.

As she neared the phone, someone else was walking away and said, “I already called the cops.” Yolanda doubted the cops would be of much use, but she knew someone who could be.

After a few rings, Yolanda heard somebody pick up, and she said into the receiver, “This is urgent! I need to talk to Wildcat!”

TO BE CONTINUED

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“Atlantis, Arise!” Chapter 4

 

The Atlantean armada opened cannon fire on the Justice Society’s aircraft, but the vehicle gracefully zigged and zagged, dodging the blasts. Then, flying low on autopilot, it opened its hatch and the Justice Society members began bounding out one by one and boarding the Atlantean attack ships. Taking the point was Hourman, whose Miraclo-boosted strength made him a formidable foe to any Atlantean soldier unlucky enough to cross him. Mister Terrific and Doctor Mid-Nite, no slouches themselves in the pugilism department, followed. Their respective T-Spheres and blackout bombs further confused and disoriented the Atlantean armada, causing several ships to collide with each other. Cyclone caused further chaos with her command of the wind, leaving more ships out of commission. Hawkgirl, like Hourman, preferred a more direct approach, coming in swinging her mighty mace at the Atlantean soldiers. Similarly, Stargirl peppered the Atlanteans with blasts from the Cosmic Rod. And a short distance behind the fray, team leader Fury signaled every tactical move.

Which left Doctor Fate and Atlan, and not a moment too soon, as Garth, hovering above it all, began attacking their teammates. Garth unleashed a vicious bolt of mystic lightning at the ship Hourman was on, obliterating it. Fortunately, Hourman had jumped overboard just in time and was unharmed.

“It would seem,” said Doctor Fate, “that he cares not whom he destroys!”

“My thoughts exactly!” replied Atlan. “Let us show him no quarter!”

And the two mages discharged the most intense mystic beams that they could at Garth, hitting the overconfident teen wizard point-blank. The double-barreled mystic radiation burned him, causing him to stagger and leaving him horribly disfigured.

Seeing an opening for the Justice Society, Fury signaled to Stargirl and Hawkgirl to both move in towards the dome. Stargirl blasted the dome with the Cosmic Rod at its maximum setting, and Hawkgirl brought down her mace on the very spot Stargirl had fired upon. The transparent material shattered easily, leaving a hole big enough for the Justice Society to breach Poseidonis.

“FORWARD!” commanded Fury of her troops.

The Justice Society members entered Poseidonis to find it in chaos. A mob of revolutionaries, led by the rebellious Prince Koryak, was attempting to get inside the royal palace, while Orin and Mera’s elite guard beat them back mercilessly and even fired on them. But the revolutionaries had Jade and Obsidian on their side, and the tide was rapidly turning in their favor. Clearly conscious of this, Orin and Mera had joined the fight, at great risk to themselves, but with Orin’s enchanted trident giving them a distinct advantage…until this moment.

As the Justice Society entered the fray and began pushing back the palace guards, Doctor Fate and Atlan did their best to keep Orin occupied. This proved difficult when a partially recovered Garth entered the city through the hole which the Justice Society had made.

“I shall not be defeated by a walking relic and a boy posing as a man!” Garth yelled. “Turn and face me again!”

Doctor Fate and Atlan attacked Garth with the same intensity as they had before, but this time he was prepared. Still, the damage to him had been clearly done.

“I cannot deny it,” admitted Garth, “you have succeeded in weakening me. Bravo. Now, then, is the time for me to replenish…and to discard all masks!”

To the horror of everyone in the city, Garth began to absorb the life forces of anyone near him. Atlan quickly responded by creating a mystic force field around those closest to him, including the Justice Society and the feuding royal family, but many lives had been lost at that moment.

The life force of his victims not only replenished Garth, it redoubled his power. He began to grow into a giant…and shapeshift into a green-skinned demon.

“Yes,” he said, “Garth was but my host body. He foolishly invoked me, allowing me to possess him. Once that was done, it was simplicity itself to turn Orin and Mera into my puppets, by entering their minds and manipulating their dark sides. I care not for Atlantis, only for power…and for the destruction of the Justice Society.”

The older members of the Justice Society began to recognize the monster before them.

“For I,” continued the monster, “who was present at the birth of magic, have now come to reclaim all of its power once and for all. For I am…WOTAN!”

Atlan abruptly dropped his force field, and launched a counter-attack against Wotan, intoning only one word which said it all: “DIE!!”

Wotan laughed. “I cannot be killed, least of all by the likes of you!” He fired an enormous mystic bolt at Atlan, but Doctor Fate and Atlan combined forces to create a temporary mystic shield. They then looked at each other and knew what they had to do.

“I had already foreseen this moment.” said Atlan, launching another mystic attack on Wotan, joined by Doctor Fate. “My visions told me that victory would only come at a great personal sacrifice. And so, I now summon all the power within me, including that which has kept me immortal! No sacrifice is too great to stop Wotan! SO BE IT!!”

The massive mystic beam which Atlan fired was enhanced by Doctor Fate’s considerable power. The combination was a success. Or at least it appeared so. For while Wotan was greatly weakened and reduced to a normal size, he still stood. The same could not be said for Atlan and Doctor Fate, who both lay seemingly unconscious on the ground.

“Who shall save you now?” laughed Wotan, discharging mystic bolts all over the place.

“Retreat and regroup.” Fury ordered the Justice Society.

“Yes, yes,” said Wotan, “run, like the helpless mortals you are! Nothing can stop me now!”

“Face me, Wotan!” said Orin, bravely stepping forward and firing his trident. But it was all for naught – Wotan counter-attacked, destroying the trident and leaving Orin lying on the ground.

Now it was Koryak’s turn to step forward. “If I am to die, I shall face my death like a man…and as a regent! Do your worst, Wotan!”

“With the blow I am about to strike, victory shall be MINE!” screamed Wotan.

Suddenly, Cyclone stopped running and pointed her finger upward. “Look,” she said, “up in the sky!”

Time seemed to stand still as the top of the dome shattered, pieces of all shapes and sizes flying in all directions. Through the wreckage, a figure of immense power dive-bombed Wotan…a figure familiar to the Justice Society.

“IT’S POWER GIRL!” exclaimed Cyclone.

Power Girl delivered the mightiest punch she was capable of, smashing Wotan full in the face. What happened next surprised everybody.

“Your touch,” shrieked Wotan as his face bubbled and steamed, “it BURNS! How is this possible?”

“Funny you should ask.” laughed Power Girl, raising both her fists. “You see, lately I’ve been getting in touch with my roots…and I’ve discovered that I’m equal parts Kryptonian…and ATLANTEAN!”

And with those words, Power Girl whaled into Wotan. With each punch, Wotan began looking less like himself and more like Garth. Then, as Wotan’s entire essence exited Garth’s body, the teenager aged rapidly into an old man.

Atlan and Doctor Fate rallied, using every bit of their remaining strength to create a miniature mystical black hole which sucked in Wotan’s essence, dragging him kicking and screaming back to the netherworld he came from.

An uncomfortable silence hung over the wreckage of Atlantis and the survivors of this dreadful battle, until Koryak spoke up.

“Though the nightmare is over, this is not a time for rejoicing. We have lost lives, resources, and our dignity. It is time to rebuild, restore, and remember those we have lost.

“I now proclaim myself king of Atlantis. My father and stepmother shall be imprisoned in the dungeons and then put on trial. A fair trial, but a trial nonetheless.

“I know well YOUR idea of fairness!” snapped Mera, showing that not everything Wotan had unearthed within her and Orin would be easy to bury again.

Koryak was unfazed. “Take them away.”

He now turned to the Justice Society. “You have my eternal gratitude, and my assurance that Atlantis shall never attack again as long as it is under my rule.”

“Thank you.” said Fury, before she turned to face Power Girl.

“How did you know what was happening and where to find us?”

Power Girl smiled. “Helena’s got my private number. She called me. Simple as that.”

“Will you rejoin the team?” asked Cyclone earnestly.

“I’m afraid not.” replied Power Girl. “I think I would be of better service to Atlantis…if you would have me, Koryak.”

“Absolutely.” responded Koryak. “You shall be commander of my elite guard.”

“I suppose it’s time for us to leave.” said Fury.

As the Justice Society began to head towards the breach in the dome through which they had entered, Jade suddenly turned around.

“Hey, Pee-Gee!” she said, “Don’t be a stranger, okay?”

Power Girl smiled enigmatically and replied, “Tell Wildcat I said hi.”

Back at the brownstone, the Justice Society took stock.

“Thank you, Helena.” said Fury. “Without you, the world would have faced its ultimate doom.”

Helena simply smiled.

“As for you, Atlan,” continued Fury, “if you insist on remaining in the surface world, we would love to have you as a member.” She paused. “And, perhaps, as Daniel’s mentor as well.”

“I would be honored.” replied Atlan. “In the brief time I have known you, I have seen more honor, integrity, and genuine teamwork than I had believed possible.”

“Thanks, Atlan,” said Mister Terrific, “but remember – anything is possible.”

“Especially when you’re part of the Justice Society.” said Stargirl.

“Amen to that.” said Cyclone.

NEVER THE END

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“Atlantis, Arise!” Chapter 3

 

At the Justice Society brownstone, several hours had passed in tension and silence as Atlan healed the boy Doctor Fate’s mystical injuries. The active members, plus all the retired members who had come for Cyclone’s induction and stayed to see how they could help deal with the crisis at hand, watched the grim proceedings intently.

Finally, the boy Doctor Fate began to stir, his eyes opened and he sat up on the table.

Fury rushed over to him and embraced him. “Oh, my Daniel, dear Daniel.” she cried. Then she turned to Atlan and said, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

The crowd exhaled, relaxed and began talking among themselves, many of them heading over to Daniel and Fury. Mister Terrfic, for his part, headed for Atlan.

“You mentioned before that a greater battle was coming.” said Mister Terrific. “We need you to elaborate.”

“I shall, gladly.” replied Atlan. “To begin with, my son Orin and his wife Mera, king and queen of Atlantis, intend to conquer the surface world in an attempt to regain the favor of their subjects, who have been threatening for a long time to rebel against them. Their court wizard, the teenager Garth, is a former apprentice of mine who delved into the dark arts against my warnings, and became as powerful as I.”

While Atlan continued explain the situation, Jade and Obsidian were having their eyes opened to it. They had been bound by Garth in transparent mystical cocoons which enabled them to breathe underwater even as they immobilized them and neutralized their powers. They rode on the back of the sea creature alongside Orin, Mera, and Garth, overhearing the Atlanteans arguing amongst themselves.

“With my father on their side, they have a distinct advantage.” said Orin. “We had best call off the invasion.”

“You spineless jellyfish!” snapped Mera. “Everything has fallen into place for us, and you wish to back off like a coward! It shall not be so!”

“Listen to your wife, Orin.” said Garth smugly.

At that moment, Jade and Obsidian’s attention was diverted from the conversation by the jaw-dropping sight of the Atlantean capital of Poseidonis, the floating city. Built on top of a giant rock shaped like a human skull, its ornate architecture was protected from the ravages of the sea by a transparent dome. And the city was not only floating, it was MOVING surprisingly fast, as though it was somehow being propelled! Flanking the city on both sides was what appeared to be the entire Atlantean armada!

“Poseidonis and the armada are crossing into American territorial waters at this very moment.” observed Mera. “Our pre-emptive strike may have failed, but this time we shall triumph.”

Back at the Justice Society brownstone, Atlan had concluded his explanation.

Fury, for her part, had brushed away her motherly tears and snapped back into leader mode. “We need to call the Coast Guard and the Navy.” she said.

“Inadvisable!” replied Atlan. “With the power that Atlantis commands, they would be reduced to cannon fodder!”

“I’m inclined to agree with Atlan.” said Mister Terrific.

As the team intensely debated on the best course of action, no one saw Helena Wayne exit the conference room.

Meanwhile, in Poseidonis, Jade and Obsidian had been freed from the mystical cocoons, only to be thrown into the dungeon, the door protected by a spell of Garth’s which prevented either of them from breaking through with their powers. An eternity seemed to pass until someone showed up at the door and spoke to them through the door’s barred window.

“Surface-dwellers,” said the young man, “I am Prince Koryak and I have come to liberate you.”

“Is this some kind of trick?” asked an understandably suspicious Obsidian.

“I assure you, it is not.” answered Koryak. “I have opposed the invasion of the surface world every step of the way. My misguided father and my hateful stepmother fear the will of the people. I, on the other hand, embrace it, and have secretly been assisting the revolutionaries. All we require is super-powered muscle.”

“That would be us.” observed Jade.

“Correct.”

“But how will you get us out of here?” asked Obsidian. “The door’s protected by Garth’s spell.”

Koryak smiled. “I am not without magical powers of my own.” he said, and proceeded to rip the door from its hinges.

“Now, follow me.” commanded Koryak.

Above, on the surface of the ocean, the Justice Society’s state-of-the-art aircraft raced towards its destination. Or, rather, the destination came to them, as first Garth arose from the depths, then the Atlantean armada, and then Poseidonis itself.

“The time has come.” said Fury to the rest of the team. “ATTACK!”

TO BE CONCLUDED

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“Atlantis, Arise!” Chapter 2

 

Jade dropped her force-field and re-shaped it into a ramp, the better for the Justice Society to charge the two Atlanteans like a super-powered Light Brigade. Fury silently signaled her battle plan to the others before taking the point and throwing a punch at the female Atlantean, who blocked the punch and turned Fury’s momentum against her, tossing her over the edge of the ramp.

But Cyclone picked up Fury with a strong wind and deposited her back on the ramp. Fury was about to have another go at the female Atlantean when, suddenly, Hawkgirl erupted from the water, flew up to the top of the ramp, and sent the female Atlantean reeling with a good right hook.

Meanwhile, Hourman and the male Atlantean were pounding each other savagely, but was clear that the fight was turning in the Atlantean’s favor. Mister Terrific commanded his T-Spheres to swarm the Atlantean and zap him with their maximum electrical charge. This distraction gave Hourman the opening he needed to clobber the Atlantean with an uppercut, while Mister Terrific and Doctor Mid-Nite triple-teamed with Hourman to compliment Fury and Hawkgirl’s double-team against the female Atlantean.

However, the Atlanteans both rallied, and they quickly sent the heroes and heroines tumbling down the ramp. Fury signalled Plan B.

Cyclone focused a whirlwind on the Atlanteans, picking them up and spinning them around in mid-air while Stargirl stunned them with blasts from her Cosmic Rod. Obsidian enveloped the female Atlantean in shadow and began to pry into the dark side of her soul in order to shock her into unconsciousness. Unfortunately, the male Atlantean had landed near his fallen trident, and he zapped Obsidian with a mystic bolt. Enraged, Jade fired a blast of green energy at him, but he shielded himself by wielding his trident strategically so that the blast bounced off it.

While the male Atlantean was focusing on repelling Jade’s attack, this gave Doctor Fate the opportunity to sneak up and blast him at close quarters, causing him to drop his trident.

Doctor Fate picked up the trident and pointed it at the Atlanteans. “Now, fools,” intoned Doctor Fate, “you shall have your own power turned against you.”

What happened next was the opposite of what Doctor Fate had intended. A kind of mystical energy feedback resulted from the trident being wielded by someone other than whom it was intended for, and the explosion of energy sent Doctor Fate flying down to the bottom of the ramp, while the rest of the team had been stunned and were laying flat on the surface of the ramp.

“Who is the fool now?” cackled the female Atlantean as her partner retrieved his trident and they both began to walk down the ramp toward their intended inland destination.

Abruptly, a sorcerer, who had been monitoring the battle while cloaked by an invisibility spell, made himself visible and attacked the Atlanteans with massive bolts of mystical lightning.

“FATHER!” cried the male Atlantean.

“No!” growled the female Atlantean, “Not when we were so close to victory!”

The Atlanteans boarded the sea creature and bid a hasty retreat.

By this time, the Justice Society were picking themselves off the ground. “We thank you, stranger.” said Fury to the sorcerer.

“He called you father,” said a puzzled Cyclone, “but you look the same age as him!”

Indeed, except for having longer hair and a few more lines on his face, the sorcerer was the spitting image of the male Atlantean.

“Stranger things have happened.” observed Mister Terrific dryly.

“What I want to know,” snarled Hawkgirl, “is why you stood around and let us get beaten up when you could have sent them running all along.”

“There is an even greater battle ahead,” replied the sorcerer, “and I was attempting to conserve my power.” He turned to Fury. “You must send someone after them, they must not escape to plan a second and even deadlier strike.”

Fury took charge. “Jade, Obsidian, pursue them.”

Jade took to the air, and she also crafted a speedboat out of green energy for her brother Obsidian. They both set out in rapid pursuit of the Atlanteans.

“Who are you exactly?” inquired Stargirl of the sorcerer.

“I am Atlan, the proverbial black sheep of Atlantis,” he replied, “and, I must know, how could you entrust the vital mystical component of your team to…” he pointed at the still-unconscious Doctor Fate, “…a bumbling amateur such as him?”

Fury scowled at Atlan and said, “Take off his helmet and you’ll see why.”

Atlan did just that, and was astounded to witness the sight of the tall, strapping Doctor Fate shape-shifting into a small, skinny twelve-year-old boy.

“Great Neptune!” exclaimed Atlan. “He is…”

“I know what he is!” interrupted Fury angrily. “He’s also…” and her next words got caught in her throat, “…my son.”

“Do please forgive my ignorance.” begged Atlan.

Doctor Mid-Nite ran over to the boy and gave him a quick examination. “He’s badly wounded,” he told Fury, “not just physically, but he’s been…mystically harmed as well. I can take care of the former, but not, I’m afraid, of the latter.”

“Can you help him?” asked Fury of Atlan.

“Yes,” Atlan said, “yes, I can.”

“Let’s take him back to the brownstone immediately.” commanded Fury. “Jade and Obsidian will keep us informed of their progress.”

At that moment, Jade and Obsidian were gaining fast on the Atlanteans, even though the sea creature swam at a speed that belied its bulk.

“It is time to unleash our secret weapon.” said the female Atlantean.

“No,” objected the male Atlantean, “if my father is after us, then Garth must conserve his energy for the battle ahead.”

“You know we have no other choice.” sneered the female Atlantean.

“Very well.” sighed the male Atlantean.

Within moments, Jade and Obsidian found themselves confronted by a teenage boy who erupted from the water and floated up on a cloud of mystical energy, his hands crackling with eldritch light.

“Obsidian,” said Jade, “blind him!”

Obsidian attempted to comply with his sister’s command, but before he could envelope the boy in darkness, the boy repelled him by firing mystic bolts in all directions. Jade created a green energy raft to catch the falling Obsidian, while she blasted at the boy with a focused beam. But the boy easily turned Jade’s power against her, and soon she was unconscious as well.

The other two Atlanteans had turned around headed toward their young ally.

“Excellent work, Garth.” said the female Atlantean. “Now that we have hostages, everything shall fall into place.”

TO BE CONTINUED

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“Atlantis, Arise!” Chapter 1

NOTE: This story takes place in 2012.  I plan to do stories that take place in all the decades of the Justice Society’s existence, but I thought it was best to start off in the present day.

 

Maxine Hunkel’s young heart skipped a beat as she approached the famed Justice Society brownstone. This, to her, was proof that dreams do come true. All she had wanted her whole life was to join the Justice Society. It was literally in her blood, as her late great-grandmother Abigail “Ma” Hunkel had been the original Red Tornado. True, Ma had approached super-heroics with no small amount of irony, and she had not exactly encouraged Maxine’s earnest embrace of the notion, but the last time the two met, on Ma’s deathbed, Ma had let down her guard enough to communicate her approval and her pride in Maxine.

Now Maxine rang the bell at the brownstone’s imposing door, which momentarily opened to reveal Courtney Dugan, also known as Stargirl. Only a couple years older than Maxine, Stargirl was a true role model for the blossoming Maxine.

“Hi…” said Maxine timidly.

Stargirl grinned and let out a good-natured laugh. “Well, come on,” she said, “don’t just stand there!”

As quickly as her ruby-red high heels would allow it, Maxine followed Stargirl inside.

The brownstone’s stylish decor, rich with impeccably preserved history, was overwhelming at first to Maxine, but not nearly as overwhelming as the sight she encountered when Stargirl opened the door to the conference room.

Almost every surviving Justice Society member, active and retired, past and present, had assembled at the brownstone for Maxine’s official induction. Cheers rang out and confetti flew, while the gigantic banner bearing the message, “Welcome, Cyclone” (Maxine’s code name) towered over the festivities.

The time had come for mingling and meeting. The first to approach Cyclone and Stargirl was socialite Helena Wayne, who, with her timelessly elegant black gown, carefully maintained raven locks, and tastefully made-up face, was the very personification of the phrase “aging gracefully.”

“Good evening, Maxine darling!” said Helena, embracing Maxine while being careful not to spill her drink.

“I can’t believe it’s really you…” enthused Maxine, “…the Huntress!”

Helena laughed mellifluously. “Yes, I may have hung up the costume a long time ago, but I suppose I’ll always be the Huntress.”

“Is your friend Power Girl here, too?” asked Maxine.

Suddenly Helena’s beautiful face carried the unmistakable mark of melancholy. “Kara keeps a low profile these days, I’m afraid. We invited her, of course, but…”

“I’m so sorry.” said Maxine, blushing.

“Don’t worry about it, I know you meant no harm.” replied Helena. “Enjoy yourself, tonight is your night! Excuse me now, ladies.”

As Helena walked away, Maxine felt like her stomach was in knots. Stargirl sensed this and was quick to try to lift her new friend’s spirits. “Come this way, my grandpa and Sylvester want to meet you!”

More living legends now faced Maxine: Sylvester Pemberton and Pat Dugan, the original Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy. Both had been born in the 1920s, but thanks to a time displacement, were twenty years younger than they should have been. The near-androgynous good looks of Sylvester’s youth had ripened into a distinguished handsomeness, while Pat wore his years equally well, in his own rugged way.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you.” said Sylvester.

“Ma told me so many stories about you guys!” blurted Maxine.

“And I’ll bet we came off just great in her telling.” quipped Pat.

“Grandpa,” said Stargirl, “is dad here?”

“Sorry, kid, but Mike’s a no-show.” muttered Pat dejectedly.

“MAXINE!” exclaimed a shrill female voice. The newest Justice Society member turned to see Stargirl’s mother approaching. Jacqui Knight, the first Stargirl and later Starwoman, was wearing an unflattering baby-doll dress which showed off her tattoos. Her long, unstyled hair was dyed a most unnatural shade of black, which combined with her pale complexion and piercing blue eyes to make her look like a wraith.

“Welcome to the spandex brigade!” said Jacqui, who had clearly had quite a few drinks already. “Keep my kid out of trouble, willya?”

Out of the corner of her eye, Maxine could tell that Stargirl was cringing. Now it was her turn to rescue Stargirl from an awkward and embrassing situation. “Courtney,” she said, “let’s see what there is to eat!”

As the two young women headed for the buffet table, Jacqui furrowed her brow and gave her former father-in-law the evil eye. Pat simply shrugged and rolled his eyes.

Meanwhile, at the city docks, another member of the Justice Society was doing the team’s night patrol. Kendra Saunders, heir to the mantle of Hawkgirl and currently the only Hawk person on Earth, was actually glad she had drawn the short stick for duty on this big night. She was about as far from a party girl as anyone could possibly get. Socially clumsy at the best of times, Kendra felt happiest when she was able to let out the warrior within her.

And at this moment, she sensed that a good fight was just around the corner. The ocean rippled furiously as what appeared to be bizarrely-armored frog-men approached the docks. Hawkgirl swooped down as the intruders made landfall, standing tall and intimidating, her mighty mace poised for action.

“Identify yourselves!” commanded Hawkgirl.

The frog-men’s apparent commander replied, in bizarrely accented English, “Out of our way!”

Hawkgirl firmly stood her ground, locking eyes with the commander.

The frog-men quickly drew strange-looking guns and pointed them at Hawkgirl, but her reflexes were second-to-none, and with a few forceful sweeps of her mace and some well-placed martial arts kicks, the frog-men were quickly disarmed and down for the count.

As the endorphins flowed through her and her heart pounded, Hawkgirl wished this had been more of a challenge. Once she got started with a fight, it was hard for her to stop.

Suddenly, almost as if in response to Hawkgirl’s wish, the ocean began to churn violently, until a giant sea creature emerged with what appeared to be a handsome man with shoulder-length blond hair riding it.

“Surrender, surface-worlder,” said the man as he hoisted a large trident, “in the name of the kingdom of Atlantis!”

Hawkgirl knew immediately that she would need the whole team for a situation like this one. But as she pushed the alarm button on her ring, her words to the invader were pure defiance. “Listen up, you pompous jerk! I don’t even know the meaning of ‘surrender!’”

And with those words as her cue, she took flight and rushed the invader. Hawkgirl mace and the invader’s trident collided in a shower of sparks, each combatant thrusting and parrying like a warrior born.

Meanwhile, at the Justice Society brownstone, the festivities were interrupted as the active members mobilized rapidly and efficiently to head down to the pier as Hawkgirl’s reinforcements, with the retired members cheering them on, none louder than Ted Grant, the former Wildcat and last surviving founder. “GO GET ‘EM, KIDS!” bellowed Ted.

Back at the pier, time seemed to stand still for Hawkgirl and the invader as they continued to fight for on top of the giant sea creature. Finally mustering all her remaining strength, Hawkgirl roared as she delivered the coup de grace which sent the invader and his trident flying. Gravity took care of the rest as the man and his weapon plunged into the ocean. The sea creature faltered now that the wounded man was no longer controlling it, and Hawkgirl took flight again.

Gasping for breath, Hawkgirl turned to see her teammates assembled at the pier. There they stood – Fury, Jade, Obsidian, Stargirl, Cyclone, Mister Terrific, Doctor Mid-Nite, Hourman, and Doctor Fate – fully costumed and proud, yet cautious.

“You got here just time.” Hawkgirl wheezed as she hovered over the site of the battle. “I have a feeling this isn’t over yet.”

Suddenly, a massive spout of hard water erupted from the ocean, instantly rendering Hawkgirl unconscious and causing her to fall into the water.

The sea creature re-emerged, now carrying both the trident-wielding man and a red-haired woman with a tiara.

“I warned you not to hold back before, my love,” said the woman, “but I trust you’ve learned your lesson.”

“Indeed,” replied the man, twirling his trident over his head, “and the land-dwellers shall now see that no one may defy the future king and queen of the world!”

The man pointed his trident at the Justice Society and unleashed a mighty stream of mystical energy from it.

The pier blew up, and the explosion would have sent the Justice Society flying in nine different directions, were it not for the combination of Doctor Fate’s magical counter-attack and the force-field of green energy which Jade had willed.

“Hear me, invaders!” said Fury, “I am the leader of the Justice Society, an Amazon princess, and a warrior born. I swear by all the Gods, WE SHALL NOT LET YOU PASS, even if it means fighting TO THE DEATH!”

TO BE CONTINUED

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Preface

Before I start posting the stories, I felt I should explain a few things:

This is not a continuation of any previous Justice Society continuity or timeline.  It’s basically me having fun with this beautiful set of toys.  Thus, these stories will be set in a universe that is entirely its own.  I’m giving my own spin on the characters’ histories and adventures and, some cases, have reinterpreted them quite radically, yet, always, I hope, in the same spirit that made the best stories of Gardner Fox, Paul Levitz, Roy Thomas, James Robinson, David Goyer, and Geoff Johns so great.

And, in case you are wondering, my personal favorite Justice Society era of all time is the Paul Levitz/Wally Wood/Joe Staton era.

Expect the first chapter of “Atlantis, Arise!” (and, yes, the homage to the episode of the Generation 1 Transformers cartoon is fully intentional) to be published sometime tomorrow.

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Welcome!

I’m so glad you found your way to my humble little blog! The purpose of it is to celebrate the greatness that was the Justice Society of America through alternate-universe fan fictions. No continuty mess, no editorial inanity, just good stories…I hope. Please don’t hesitate to comment on what you like and dislike about my stories. Coming soon is our first installment: “Atlantis, Arise!”

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