At the Meta-Human Rehabilitation Agency, Dolphin ran her hand through her platinum blonde hair. “So let me get this straight, Adam. That Supergirl Rip Hunter rescued from during a time travel trip to the Crisis was really just a sorceress named Tala trying to steal a body she could use to return to our world, and the Phantom Stranger ended up trapping her in it, then carried her off?”
“That’s right,” said Adam Blake, alias Captain Comet. “Our recent houseguest was never really Supergirl, who is certainly dead. Tala merely thought she was possessing the Girl of Steel’s body, and ended up fooling herself as much as she fooled us. She was really in some magical construct of the Stranger’s that just looked like the late Supergirl. Now, the girl in my office who claims to be the Supergirl of Earth-Prime is also not what she seems.” (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See Captain Comet’s Rehab Squad: The Return of Supergirl.]
“It’s not Tala again, is it?” asked Colonel Rick Flag, director of the MHRA.
“No,” confirmed Captain Comet. “Arisia and I checked her out with her power ring and my mental scan — with her approval. She is Kryptonian — from Kandor, to be precise — and she is from our universe, not the Earth-Prime one as she claims. But she sincerely believes that she is a Supergirl — the death of the real one has just made her rationalize that she must be one from another dimension. She’s well-meaning, just… mentally ill.”
“So how does she have all of Supergirl’s powers and look exactly like her?” asked Starman.
The Green Lantern named Arisia spoke up. “She’s just a lookalike by chance. Her real name is Lesla-Lar. (*) She battled the real Supergirl as a villainess a few times, and now she thinks she is Supergirl’s identical counterpart from a parallel universe.”
[(*) Editor’s note: See “Supergirl’s Secret Enemy,” Action Comics #279 (August, 1961).]
“So, what do we do?” asked Dolphin.
“The first thing I did was have her agree to drop the name and costume of Supergirl out of respect to the memory of the real one, not to mention that there is a Supergirl from the future who is currently using the name,” said Captain Comet. (*) “I also don’t want to submit Superman himself to any more pain if I can help it. The poor guy has had a tough year already. I’ve asked Leslie Larson, as she is calling herself in her new civilian identity, to agree to wear another outfit she had — one that’s pink and purple, so as not to confuse anyone with Supergirl. I’ve also asked her to let us just call her something else like Ultra Girl, or — oh, I don’t know — for now, maybe just Leslie.”
[(*) Editor’s note: See Superman Family: Recovery.]
“How’s she taking the idea?” asked Flag.
“She’s agreed,” said Comet. “I don’t know her what she was like back when she fought Supergirl, but as of now she just wants to be accepted and to do good. I’m planning on asking her to join the Rehab Squad once she’s ready, with your permission, Colonel.”
Colonel Flag nodded his head. “As long as you think she’s not going to snap and get out of control, Captain. Until then, I’d suggest we outfit her with a tracking device that contains a lead-sealed sample of green kryptonite that can be released should that ever happen. The Pentagon is quite insistent upon keeping all Kryptonian-level meta-humans under such control, especially after the Phantom Zoners attacked D.C. last year.” (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: “Phantom Zone: The Final Chapter,” DC Comics Presents #97 (September, 1986).]
“That’s perfectly understandable,” agreed Captain Comet. “I’ll approach Leslie with it. I’m sure she’ll be amenable to the idea, if it will give her a chance to be a hero.”
“What about Silver Swan?” asked Dolphin. Captain Comet had offered the contrite villainess membership after last month’s case with Doctor Psycho and Hector Hammond. (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See Captain Comet’s Rehab Squad: Suicide Mission, Chapter 6: Mental Domination.]
“I have good news on that front,” said Comet. “She has been checked out by Tom and the lab boys, and she’s been officially cleared for duty, along with Mayflower, Cheetah, and Golden Glider.”
“And how’s Karin?” asked Arisia, recalling the trip through time to the twenty-fifth century, where Karin Grace had picked up some futuristic equipment from the Space Museum.
Colonel Rick Flag sighed. “She’s stubbornly insisting on using that power suit in the field. I can’t talk her out of it. Since we both regained our youth as well, I’ve found it hard to justify why she shouldn’t be allowed on missions with the team.” He shook his head, irritated. “Oh, and Rip Hunter left,” he added. “The Time Master has his free will again, after Tala dropped her hold on him. Now, let’s hope things settle down for awhile.”
At that moment, Dr. Karin Grace herself popped in. She was wearing her power suit beneath a tight-fitting white bodysuit emblazoned with a yellow star on the chest that she had adopted for her new Goldstar identity. “Rick, you have a strange visitor outside.”
In Captain Comet’s office, the pretty blonde from Kandor named Lesla-Lar stared at her reflection in the small mirror. She looked exactly like Kara Zor-El, and she’d believed that she was Supergirl. However, thanks to Comet’s help, she now knew that this was a delusion. She merely looked like the Maid of Steel, and that resemblance was a bit less obvious now that she had donned the pink minidress that she had brought with her.
She had no memory of her past life as Lesla-Lar, knowing only that she was somehow the adopted daughter of the Danvers family of Midvale. Again, this was not true. Her parents had died long ago in the city of Kandor. Still, the deluded young woman felt so alone and had needed help, so she eagerly accepted Comet’s request that she go by the name Leslie Larson and no longer make any claim to being Supergirl from any world or dimension. Since the Supergirl of this Earth — who had actually once been her bitter foe, though she could not recall this fact — was dead, Lesla knew she had no tie to either Superman or the Danvers.
Lesla figured that she might as well accept that no one else thought of her as the heroine that she believed herself to be. She smiled and decided to make the best of it. Who am I — Power Girl? Ultra Woman? Dyna Girl? I guess the name will wait until I can prove myself, not only to Captain Comet but also to the world.
Suddenly, her thoughts were interrupted as she heard Comet himself gasp in surprise, something her perfectly attuned super-hearing had picked up along with the earlier conversation she’d heard while accidentally eavesdropping.
Hurrying into the next room, Lesla-Lar saw standing there a gaunt, shadow-eyed man with purple hair and haunted eyes, who wore an elaborate, almost royal-looking green outfit. Next to him stood a tall blonde woman in blue and red armor. “Help me, they’re coming!” cried the man known as Pariah. “The invasion fleets are massing as we speak!”
“Calm down, Pariah!” said Dolphin. “What invasion?”
Harbinger, the beautiful blonde in the blue armor who held Pariah’s hand, replied, “I fear we’re both the harbingers of bad news. A fleet of alien invaders is already on its way to Earth and could be here any minute now. You must rally the heroes to stop them.”
“Harbinger, I will stop them — you have my word,” said a grim Captain Comet.
Although she and the rest of the Green Lantern Corps had been elsewhere at the time, Arisia knew of Pariah and Harbinger from the events of the Crisis, since her fellow Green Lanterns John Stewart and Katma Tui had told her and the other G.L.s about them. One thing she knew about the pretty blonde was that she was a powerful storehouse of information about meta-humans of multiple worlds, having taken over in that capacity from her late mentor, the Monitor. (*) Her companion, the gaunt, emotional Pariah was an immortal, self-proclaimed prophet of doom who had an almost supernatural attraction to disaster, and he had shown up at her door, so to speak. (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See “The Summoning,” Crisis on Infinite Earths #1 (April, 1985) and “Beyond the Silent Night,” Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 (October, 1985).]
“But first, we must know what type of invasion are you speaking of,” asked Adam Blake.
“We — or I should say Pariah — came across the stellar formation of various alien crafts during his studies,” began the blonde Harbinger, whose real name was Lyla. “The gathered races have set aside their various differences in order to form an Alien Alliance against the Earth, and they mean war. They see this world as a focal point of much unrest, including the recent Crisis that devastated many worlds. They blame this planet for that interstellar disaster merely because the Monitor dwelt near Earth for so long, much as philosophers debate whether super-villains have arisen because the mere existence of super-heroes brought them about. But that’s only partly the reason. They also want to rid Earth of its high population of meta-humans; they fear that super-powered beings will end up spreading out into space and interfere in their business, and, in future generations, even band against interstellar empires when space travel becomes more commonplace.”
“They wish to strike now to eliminate any further threats!” Pariah added.
“The Green Lantern Corps should know about this,” determined the elfin Arisia. “But we’ve been scattered for a while now. Ch’p has taken off to parts unknown, and most of the Earthbound GLC has been spending a lot of time cleaning up Metropolis until recently. (*) I believe Green Lantern of Earth and Kilowog are currently with the JLA, restoring that team’s satellite headquarters. I’ll head off to find them and warn them.”
[(*) Editor’s note: Tales of the Green Lantern Corps: Ch’p: Monk on a Mission and Superman: Kryptonite City.]
“Go to it,” said Captain Comet, and the Green Lantern of Graxos IV flew off rapidly.
Lesla-Lar spoke up. “I want to help fight these invaders!” she said. “It’s what Su — it’s what I feel I should do.”
Comet nodded. “We’ll need your kind of power, Leslie. In fact, we’ll need the combined power of all of Earth’s super-heroes. I think the JLA should hear about this, and every other team we can contact — the Outsiders, the New Titans, the Global Guardians, the Doom Patrol, if they’re still active, as well as our own Rehab Squad, of course.”
“I know of dozens of unassociated heroes that could help from my days with the Monitor,” offered Harbinger. “Perhaps I could track down many of these heroes to get their help, too.”
“Great idea, Lyla,” replied Comet.
Starman, holding Dolphin close to him, said, “What can we do to help?”
Captain Comet paused for a moment’s thought, then said, “Before we make any firm plans, I think I should check this situation out firsthand. To that end, I’ll head out in the Cometeer — my spaceship.”
“We’ll join you,” offered Golden Glider.
“I’ll start right away,” he said, smiling in appreciation.
In deep space, a huge craft approached the solar system. Aboard were weird aliens of various races, members of the Alien Alliance. One group of them had huge yellow heads and sharp teeth. These were members of the feared alien empire known as the Dominion.
“The carrier has begun his ill-fated crusade,” said one Dominator. “He will infect each hero with every visit he makes.”
“Excellent. This Pariah may earn his name well if he infects every Earth hero with the germ we’ve planted within him,” said another Dominator.