Captain Comet’s Rehab Squad: Suicide Mission, Chapter 2: Kidnapped

by Libbylawrence

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Vivian d’Aramis was worried about her company, Revson Corp. She had been chief executive officer for some time now, ever since her mentor’s death, in fact. However, the lovely French blonde had seldom represented the company on her own. The convention of international vendors promised real wealth if Revson could work a deal. The weight of the proposal was entirely on the designer-dressed, silk-bloused shoulders of the mini-skirted, high-heeled blonde.

“Ah, Constance. Where have you disappeared to?” she pondered. Her twin sister had shared both the corporate leadership and their super-heroic identity of Crimson Fox with her for only a few short months now. But Constance had vanished recently, and Vivian feared the worst. She would search as soon as the conference ended. Several other so-called titans of industry passed her with admiring looks, but she had no time for their leers.

Joining the assembled business leaders at a large hotel’s convention center, Vivian smoothed her black miniskirt and brushed back her long strawberry blonde hair. Oh, Constance, where have you ended up this time? she wondered.

The other executives fell silent when a handsome man stepped up to the microphone, ending all small talk in the ballroom. “Greetings, ladies and gentlemen. Do you want more? Do you crave the best in life? If so, then join me. Join the millions of supporters who have left mediocrity behind to find total self-actualization with my plan. I’m Achilles Dahmmon. I can free you of doubt if you just surrender your will to me.”

His blond, wavy hair was perfectly styled, and his suit seemed custom-made for his broad shoulders. Vivian found herself falling under his spell. She almost dozed off, then abruptly jolted herself out of it. Around her, business leaders murmured in adoration like ensnared rats following a mad piper. Rising up, Vivian ran out of the ballroom as she realized in horror, He’s controlling minds, sapping will — got to get out!

Even after she lost one of her high-heeled shoes, she kept moving and headed up to her large, luxurious hotel room, where she was surprised to find her exact double waiting for her there. “Constance, mon cher. It ees I, Vivian,” said the double, who was actually her twin sister. She wore the Crimson Fox uniform they shared while posing seductively on a divan.

“How did you get here?” started Vivian as she kicked off the other heel. “You never called when you reached the U.S. for your business meeting. I was sick with worry! Anyway, we must get out of here. That Dahmmon is taking over everyone’s minds — that must be his secret to success. He gets CEOs to come here, then saps their will and takes their money.”

“Non, non! He is wise and good, and I serve him, too. He found moi on the prowl before the Revson meeting. You know a girl can be… how you say, all work and no play only so much. He found me in my suit and brought me to the… arena, but he learned of our little arrangement and had me send the invitation to you to bring you here, so he could have us both — and Revson, too! Ees that not brilliant?”

Vivian stared at her mesmerized sister and tried to shake her out of it, only to receive a swift right to her chin. She fell, rolled out of range, and leaped up to perch on the back of a couch. Then Achilles Dahmmon himself entered the room, and she knew no more.


Back at the government headquarters of the Meta-Human Rehabilitation Agency, a handsome man posed in front of a group of nurses. The dapper-looking man flirted shamelessly, and to his delight, they responded to his polished, shallow charms.

“I have not seen such a bevy of beauties since my college days at Yale,” he teased. “Or was it Harvard? Those Ivy League places do run together, you know. One sorority is pretty much like another. Of course, getting such tender care by angels of mercy like you ladies was not part of my college experience. Seems they had some eighty-year-old retiree with garlic breath at both schools.”

They tittered at his wit and watched Cameron Van Cleer as he gracefully exited to return to his quarters. In a room that was decorated with costly paintings and antiques, he relaxed. “No need to work the room if I’m alone,” he said with an idle sigh.

As the costumed villain known as the Killer Moth, he had made a brief career in criminal circles as a sort of Anti-Batman. (*) He had also offered to aid and protect crooks when summoned by a special signal for a sizeable fee. (*) Under the assumed identity of Cameron Van Cleer he had money, but his lavish lifestyle had led him to run through it all too quickly with women, travel, collecting, and more women, so using his technical skill and his considerable physical abilities to enrich himself while enjoying adventure had seemed a perfect plan, even if he hadn’t had much success at it. Batman had stopped him. Batgirl had stopped him. Even Batwoman had beaten him. Still, he considered it all part of a grand game and bore them no particular malice. Great legs on that fiery redhead Batgirl, too! he thought, remembering the day when he’d been the first villain that Batgirl ever fought. (*)

[(*) Editor’s note: Although versions of these stories take place on Earth-One, the original stories take place on Earth-Two, as seen in “The Origin of Killer Moth,” Batman #63 (February-March, 1951) and “The Return of Killer Moth,” Batman #64 (April-May, 1951); also see “The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl,” Detective Comics #359 (January, 1967).]

Now, he prepared for his rehabilitation as a hero, an idea that appealed to his vanity if not to any innate noble qualities. Just maybe he could make Killer Moth into something more than a mere Batman wanna-be.


Captain Comet, Cheetah, and Golden Glider stood in the small but cozy apartment of the Atley family. While Adam Blake spoke with the middle-aged scientist who had invented the Cardialink and his beautiful blonde daughter Carol, the Cheetah curled up on a sofa, looking like nothing so much as her feline namesake.

Seeing her pretty partner lounging, Lisa Snart almost expected to hear her purr. She sure is in character. Judges would like that, mused the ex-skater. She watched as the earnest Captain explained the potential peril to the family. He’s even more stiff than the Flash — but cuter. I wonder if…?

“So someone may try to kidnap us?” asked Dr. Alex Atley, who had worked up a sweat out of fear.

“We just want to be as safe as we can, sir,” replied Captain Comet.

At that moment, two hulking figures kicked in the door. “Glider, get the Atleys out, now!” ordered Comet as he tried to intercept the newcomers.

The Golden Glider moved with all her Olympic grace, hurrying across the room and nimbly dodging the new figures. Grabbing the Atleys, she said, “Hurry this way, folks! We’ll keep the riffraff out.”

Captain Comet felt a hard right strike him while he was ensuring that Glider and the Atleys made their escape; the first intruder had hit him with power nearly equal to his own. Almost as strong as I am. But I don’t recognize the costume, he mused. Indeed, the purple and blue costume of his foe had a mask that hid the intruder’s features.

The second felon did seem familiar to Comet’s photographic memory. He’s that publicity hound Vanucci, the former limousine driver and would-be-hero who fought the Blue Devil shortly before the Crisis.

From what Captain Comet had recalled from the newspapers at the time, Van Vanucci — chauffeur of Verner Brothers head Jock Verner — had been made into Hollywood’s newest costumed hero through an experimental hypnotic treatment that had granted him tremendous strength, speed, and skill for short periods of time. Unfortunately, the process had also unbalanced Vanucci’s mind, which led to an unhinged rampage and battles with Blue Devil, until the hero managed to help Vanucci regain his sanity. Of course, Vanquisher’s rampage subsequently caused legal issues for that resulted in some jail time for himself and lawsuits against the film studio. (*)

[(*) Editor’s note: See “Too Many Devils,” Blue Devil #14 (July, 1985), “Verner’s Vanquisher,” Blue Devil #15 (August, 1985), and “Damsel in Distress,” Blue Devil #16 (September, 1985).]

“Errol Flynn!” yelled the Vanquisher, who was blond and wore a skintight red and blue costume. Whenever Vanucci shouted the name of his cinematic hero, his hypnotically granted powers would get a boost.

Addressing his foe, Captain Comet said, “Isn’t this a bit too far from Hollywood for you, Vanquisher?” Grimacing, the enraged Vanquisher grabbed for Captain Comet, only to miss as the Captain ducked and landed a hard left fist on the Vanquisher’s chin.

“That’s funny,” said the full-face-masked villain. “Too bad we’re winning.”

Captain Comet managed to use his foes’ size and relative slowness against them by tripping and pushing the pair into each other. “Dynamic, get off me!” moaned the Vanquisher.

Cheetah pounced on the one called Dynamic and wrapped her legs around his upper chest. She scratched and clawed with all her might, but nothing happened. He’s tougher than that cursed Amazon! she thought.

With a quick, well-placed jab, Comet sent Vanquisher flying out the open door, then tackled the struggling Dynamic. “Help Glider, Debbi!” he said. “I’m more in this creep’s league.”


Elsewhere, Golden Glider had already led the Atleys out the back door. “See, those oafs don’t even know we’re gone,” she said, giggling.

“But I see you,” said a woman’s voice. Glider looked up just as a flying woman punched her in the jaw. Lisa Snart moaned out of pain, then tried to hurl a throwing blade at the white-clad blonde. The blade skittered off of her spread white-clothed wingspan. As the woman opened her mouth, sonic waves hit the threesome.

Surprising even herself, Lisa bravely pushed the Atleys behind her for their own protection, but the powerful sonics still knocked all three to sleep within moments. The Silver Swan in her angelic garb looked almost sad as she carried off the three bodies one by one.

Having been sent there by Captain Comet, Cheetah raced out the back door, only to spot the fleeing villainess as she flew away with Alex Atley, having already taken away the other two. “You! I can’t believe it!” Debbi Domaine recognized the Silver Swan, whose real name was Helen Alexandros. She had been a talented but homely ballerina who had called on the gods of her Greek ancestors out of desperation after realizing she would always be an ugly duckling and never a swan. To her surprise, Helen received an answer from the god Mars himself, who claimed she was his own descendant, and magically gave her both beauty and incredible powers that would be hers permanently if she would only kill Wonder Woman. (*) Like Cheetah, the Silver Swan had been cheated out of their mutual foe’s death when Wonder Woman perished during the Crisis.

[(*) Editor’s note: See “Swan Song,” Wonder Woman #288 (February, 1982).]

Cheetah leaped up, swung around a flagpole three times, and arched her magnificent body through the air. She grabbed the Swan’s slender ankles, then kicked out with both feet. Swan gasped, trying to shake her off. They struggled over the block, and then, with a desperate shove, Silver Swan shook her loose. Debbi screamed and flipped frantically into a garbage bin. It broke her fall, but left her stunned.

Soon, the Vanquisher found Cheetah lying unconscious. After Captain Comet had knocked him out of the house, the Hollywood villain had recovered, then spotted the fleeing Silver Swan, following his female ally as she struggled with Cheetah. Now, as he picked up the stunned Debbi Domaine, he thought, She’d be perfect for the boss’ arena. This Cardialink job is one he leased us out for, but he’ll give us bonus points for a super-babe like this! And the Vanquisher carried her off into the night.


Back in the Atley home, the masked Dynamic rolled out from under Captain Comet and received a punch to his masked chin. This isn’t fair! he thought. The Doc said I could reach my true potential. He brought back my powers after Supergirl made me lose them.

The masked man’s real name was Peter Barton, and before becoming Dynamic he had been an ordinary man — a Hollywood agent turned theater producer in Santa Augusta, Florida. He had been granted his powers by Supergirl herself after she accidentally super-hypnotized him from afar, only to inadvertently create a super-menace who, disguising himself with a blue and purple costume from the theater, sought to end her career by taking away her powers so that he could marry Valerie Myles, a woman he’d thought was Supergirl herself. The real Supergirl stopped him through a combination of her super-hypnosis and the mental concentration of psychically gifted students from the New Athens Experimental School, taking away his memories along with his powers, which was a happy ending for him as he soon  after became engaged to Valerie. (*) Now that Barton’s powers had been given back to him by the mysterious doctor he referred to, his memories had come back as well but had been distorted and twisted by his benefactor for criminal purposes.

[(*) Editor’s note: See “The Face on Cloud 9,” Superman Family #201 (May-June, 1980), “The Dynamic Duel,” Superman Family #202 (July-August, 1980), and “Strangers at the Heart’s Core,” Superman Family #206 (April, 1981).]

Dynamic considered making a run for it, since he was clearly outmatched by Comet, and his allies had already fled. Ducking his head, he bullishly charged Comet in a final attack. The sudden impact did hurt, but the hero refused to fall.

Deciding to end the fight, Captain Comet wrenched Dynamic’s neck around and crashed him through a table. The got up, staggered once, and fell for good. Comet ran to check on the Atleys and his female partners, only to find all of them gone. He ran back — and even the troubled Dynamic had taken that moment to flee.


At the MHRA, Captain Comet tried to sound certain as he assured Rick Flag that Cheetah and Golden Glider had been abducted by their foes and had not merely run away. “They both showed real courage on this mission, and neither seem to mind the duty. I’d say helping others appeals to Cheetah’s liberal streak from her days as an eco-activist, and Lisa just loves the attention.”

“Can you trace them with their subdermal trackers?” asked Karin Grace.

“Tom says there’s no signal,” said Adam Blake, referring to the science and weapons specialist Tom Tresser, who worked as a contractor for the MHRA while he secretly continued his own private war on organized crime as Nemesis. (*) “But I think I can find them. I’ll report back later.”

[(*) Editor’s note: For Nemesis’ origin story see “A Name Writ in Blood,” The Brave and the Bold #167 (October, 1980).]

Captain Comet did have an idea. While fighting Vanquisher, he had picked up a brief telepathic image of an old house. He didn’t know where the house was, but his photographic memory recognized a distant, historic lighthouse from an old newspaper article he had once read. That would simplify his search.

Shortly after, Comet and Dolphin (who had been quickly briefed on the situation) hurried off to the Sky Skimmer, accompanied by Will Payton. The trio was soon in the air.

“I’m glad to have a chance to help, Dolphin,” said the sincere, brown-haired young man. “The suit the STAR Labs people gave me looks a bit like a heroic costume, and my new powers may be of use.” Will Payton now wore a black and red costume with a star emblem on the chest. “I’m not worthy of the name, but since my powers came from a bolt from the starry skies, and I admire the Starman of that other Earth from comic-books and news reports, I’m calling myself Starman.”

“Sounds good. I think your help will… be vital, if we face many criminals,” said Dolphin, patting his arm. Turning to Comet, the platinum blonde pointed out the window and said, “There’s the lighthouse. I see the same old house, or at least one just like the one you described.”

“Let’s go,” said Adam Blake as he piloted the Sky Skimmer down.

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