At the GBS Building in Metropolis, Morgan Edge called Lana Lang into his office, and coughed nervously, averting his eyes as the pretty news anchor entered and sat down. After a few awkward moments, the redhead finally asked him, “Morgan, to what do I owe the pleasure, luv?”
“Lana, I — I’ll be blunt,” he said, deciding to just get it all out. “Your contract is up, and we’re not going to renew it. We’re going with a new anchor with a younger demographical appeal.” He reached out his hand, smiled his typical cobra smile, and said, “Thanks for your work over the years.”
Stunned, Lana glanced down at Edge’s extended hand and, without shaking it, looked back up at his face in horror. “I’ve done great work!” she screamed. “Clark and I are a real team!”
“When Clark gets back from sick leave, he’ll like your replacement as well,” declared Edge. (*) “You already know Cat Grant, our up-and-coming news journalist. Great legs, great hair, killer smile. That’s what GBS needs now.” Morgan Edge smiled what he intended to be a fatherly smile, but merely looked condescending as he placed one arm around her shoulder. “It’s the ’80s, honey. I’m afraid you’re old hat.”
[(*) Editor’s note: See Superman Family: Recovery.]
Without another word, Lana turned on her heels, then slammed the door and marched out tearfully. She couldn’t understand why Morgan Edge had fired her without giving her any real reason. But she wasn’t about to take this sitting down. Clark may have meekly accepted his brief dismissal over the summer during the Crisis, but Lana was a fighter, and she vowed to take Edge to court for wrongful dismissal. (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See “Clark Kent: Fired,” Superman #410 (August, 1985).]
Entering her office to start packing up her things, Lana noticed a letter there and opened it up. It read:
Dear Ms. Lang,
Would you be interested in speaking with me about a position as PR agent for the government’s Meta-Human Rehabilitation Agency? We would love to work with a broadcaster with your talents and experience in the super-hero scene.
Sincerely, Colonel Rick Flag, Executive Director of the MHRA.
A smile broke through her tears. Lana was genuinely touched, but she still wasn’t about to give up on her old job that quickly. “Sorry, Colonel Flag, but I believe Lana Lang’s got a date with her lawyer.”
Captain Comet was brooding over the Rehab Squad’s first case. It had been a nearly successful mission, except for the fact that the team had lost one of its members. Adam Blake blamed himself for the death of Killer Moth, who had gone back in to a building primed to explode in order to save Doctor Psycho, a man responsible for kidnapping and brainwashing several people. And even if, by some miracle, Killer Moth had escaped almost certain death, that still meant a convict had made good an escape while under his custody. Either way, Adam felt a sense of guilt.
Killer Moth’s death wasn’t the only thing that troubled him. He was also concerned over the mixed-up persona he sensed in Thorn, who had flatly refused his offer of help. He had also neglected for too long now to work with young Will Payton — the new Starman — to determine the source of his abilities. As if those problems were not enough, the Christmas season was fast approaching, and he knew such a holiday would normally provide relief to all, especially given the tough year everyone in the world had gone through, but that would still have to remain his lowest of priorities while he had current and prospective team members to put through his training regimen.
Captain Comet knew he would have to do better, and vowed to follow up on these loose ends as soon as possible. He had been pleased so far with the performance of Debbi Domaine (the Cheetah) and Lisa Snart (Golden Glider). He found Lisa’s amorous actions toward him very annoying, though he had to admit that they were also strangely pleasing.
Adam watched Mayflower working out in the gym. The British girl was spunky and already performed well as a team player thanks to her time in the Force of July. It was too bad that she had lacked better guidance growing up. She smiled at him and completed an acrobatic twist. Very nice, thought Comet.
Dolphin was happier than she’d been in a long time as she indulged herself in her whirlwind new romance with Starman. Will Payton was funny and caring, and also sensitive, besides. Everything about him appealed to her, as did their common mysterious origins. A ray from the sky had made him a hero, but no one knew what had made her a heroine. Aliens? Mad science? Magic? She looked in the mirror at the pink dress she now wore. Wearing pretty clothes, hose, heels, and make-up was all new to the foundling. She had been a wandering child of the ocean for so many years that it was nice to finally feel like a woman, even if she did occasionally relapse into her old halting speech pattern whenever she was around Will.
“Ready?” asked Will Payton as he knocked at her door.
“Oh, yes! I just hope this… dancing will not make me look… like a fish out of water, as they say,” she teased, smiling demurely.
“You are a beautiful naiad that anyone would love to catch,” he replied.
“Just don’t call me… the catch of the day,” she replied with a laugh.
Arisia of the Green Lantern Corps had been downcast to learn that Hal Jordan, Earth’s first Green Lantern, was still away with the newly revitalized Justice League of America when she returned to the Green Lantern Citadel. Ch’p, John Stewart, and Katma Tui had been absent from the Citadel as well, and neither Kilowog nor Salaak were particularly surprised by her changed appearance, probably because all humanoids looked the same to them. The pretty young woman had been dying to have Hal and the others see and respond to her new maturity, now that she was no longer a mere teenager. She did look wonderful as an adult, having a natural flair for fashion and looking even more gorgeous in her new uniform than she had before.
But as she thought back on how it had all transpired, she still wondered at the odd behavior of Supergirl after they’d rescued her from death. The blonde beauty still seemed oddly disjointed and distant, even though by all accounts the Maid of Steel was known to possess a caring, girlish personality. Still, she supposed, the cataclysmic Crisis on Infinite Earths had been enough to rattle even the most level-headed hero.
Arisia had decided to stay around the Rehab Squad for a few days until her Green Lantern allies returned to the Citadel and finally noticed her absence. She admired Colonel Rick Flag’s true grit, and Dr. Karin Grace was a dynamic woman she had begun to look up to. However, there was something strange about their friend Rip Hunter; since their return from the future, the Time Master had seemed a different and more likeable, easygoing man than he’d been on the trip through time.
Karin Grace loved her new power suit. With it, she could fly, generate energy blasts, and generate a force-field. With these new super-powers she wouldn’t have to remain behind while Captain Comet and his team went out on missions. Not to mention that she could get closer to that handsome Captain Comet now that they she had regained the same youth that Adam Blake had always retained.
As well, the Star-Band she had found seemed so alluring with its siren call of power and ancient secrets. She still kept it hidden beneath a white glove of the power suit, and hadn’t told anyone about it yet.
“Goldstar — that will be my new name,” she decided.
As for Supergirl, she remained out of sight, avoiding Captain Comet in particular. She kept to herself in the living quarters provided her by the MHRA during the daytime, waiting until night to leave her room.
This night she sped off at top speed like a blur through the sky to a certain destination. Making her way into the darkened skies above a large city, she easily scanned the buildings, flying past the Christmas lights and decorations on the street lamps and houses without looking at any of them, and quickly located an occupied, expensive-looking high-rise apartment using an address she had secretly copied from Colonel Flag’s files from a distance.
A middle-aged man with handsome features slept in a lush room within the apartment. A glowing gem — a ruby — rested upon a turban on his head that he wore even while sleeping.
Standing over the man, she quietly began to chant strange words, then absorbed a degree of magical energy from the Ruby of Life. Supergirl fled before the theft could awaken John Sargent, a man whose mystically empowered heroic feats had been largely forgotten until he recently joined a high-profile super-team named the Conglomerate. (*) He was better known as Sargon the Sorcerer.
[(*) Editor’s note: See Justice League of America: The Final Chapter, Chapter 3: The Conglomerate.]
A second night visit found the heroine draining mystical energy from a beautiful brunette woman in an old mansion in another city. Near the sleeping woman’s bed was a poster from her old stage days showing her wearing fishnets and a female version of a tuxedo. Again, the suddenly empowered Supergirl fled before she could awaken Zatanna Zatara, member of the Justice League of America.
Colonel Rick Flag, director of the Meta-Human Rehabilitation Agency, smiled as Captain Comet entered his office. Ever since his time trip with Rip Hunter and the others, his mood had changed for the better. He had never felt so young, or at least he appreciated his regained youth much more than he ever had in the old days.
“I have a few more ideas for that publicist job that is open, now that Flashman is gone,” said Flag. “I’ve been writing to several journalists and broadcasters for consideration.”
“I’ve heard Lana Lang was recently let go from GBS,” said Captain Comet. “She would be good.”
“Very much so!” Flag agreed. “In fact, she was one of those I wrote to, but she never replied. Of course, she was always a long shot. I’ll keep on reviewing our other choices.”
“Good idea,” said Comet. “How about Cat Grant? She’s new, but good.”
“Hmmm,” replied Flag. “It’s always worth a try.” But he had a strange feeling it wasn’t going to be that simple.
As Captain Comet left Colonel Flag’s office and walked through the hallways of the MHRA, he soon stopped dead in his tracks as he saw a strange sight. Supergirl, newly rescued a few days ago and living there for now, was quickly scanning through the Agency’s criminal files. “What are you doing?” he asked her.
The pretty blonde turned and said, “Just checking on the status of some of my old foes,” she said, brushing past the Captain as she left. “I wouldn’t want them to gain an advantage over me.”
Strange. I thought her eyes were blue, not brown, he thought as he switched off the computer and closed a file cabinet.
The name on the screen had read FAUST, FELIX, and his current location was a high-security prison.
That night, Supergirl performed her nightly ritual by secretly flying to that prison, where she easily entered unseen. As she hovered above the sleeping Felix Faust, longtime enemy of the Justice League, she drained mystic energy from him as he dozed unaware.
Soon, my love, I shall bring you back as well, she mused.