Legion of Super-Heroes: 2979: Ghost Story, Chapter 4: Mordru’s Curse

by Libbylawrence

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Back in the future, Mordru led Mysa Nal into a throne room he had created in Legion Headquarters and laughed in a harsh manner.

“Mysa, you would make a fitting bride for one of my power,” he said. “Thus I’ve granted you new life. You will thank me in time.”

Mysa flushed with anger and said, “Your evil magic turned me into the Hag. That outer ugliness was just a reflection of your inner evil. You see me now as I have been changed again, but by the residual magic of Zerox. My flesh is pale, and other, less-evident changes have come over me. These changes are welcome, and they speak of my progress in mastering the arcane arts you pervert so freely! By these same arts, I defy you!” The girl in white tore away from his grasp and began to chant in a studied manner.

Mordru stood before her and waited with a look of amusement. “You show much spirit that befits a bride of Mordru, but in the end you will see that all your petty teachers have taught you will avail you little before my unlimited power!”

“We have power, too!” cried Chemical King as he, Invisible Kid, Dream Girl, and Matter-Eater Lad rushed in to confront the wizard.

Dream Girl flew to her sister’s side and embraced her as Matter-Eater Lad slammed into Mordru and was deflected like a human projectile.

Mordru cursed and sent a wave of black flame rushing toward the fallen hero from Bismoll, but Chemical King jumped between his friends and Mordru’s imposing form as he raised his hands and used his mutant power.

“Fire is nothing more than oxidation. I can dampen your flames by reversing the process!” he cried. Condo Arlik smothered the blaze and then gasped as a magical backlash swept over him. I can’t do that trick again! he thought.

Mordu roared with anger and said, “You miserable gnats! I will teach you to defy my power, and the lesson will be one taught by pain and suffering on a scale beyond your puny imaginations!”

At that moment Supergirl, Bouncing Boy, and Duo Damsel returned.

Duo Damsel split into two separate bodies as she joined her friends to face the wizard who loomed above them. “Mordru, we have returned with your Crystal!” she cried.

Mordru nodded as he saw Supergirl lift a round, multifaceted object in one hand. He smiled and reached out to grab it away from the Kryptonian beauty, when his expression changed and he staggered.

“What madness is this?” he gasped.

Supergirl smiled and said, “There’s more method than madness to what’s happening!”

One of Duo Damsel’s bodies suddenly replicated, and three Luornu Durgos stood before the startled wizard.

“Lu, how’d you do that?” gasped Dream Girl. “You lost your third body years ago!”

“What you see isn’t always what you get,” said Lu.

The third Luornu that had initially seemed to separate from her original body changed shape and became the hulking form of the Martian Manhunter.

“Your plan worked, Supergirl,” said J’onn J’onzz. “I was able to join you in my invisible form and then return to view as Luornu. That made Mordru believe me to merely be one of her multiple forms. She, in truth, had not replicated at that time at all!”

Supergirl nodded as she punched Mordru repeatedly at super-speed, her efforts assisted by some unseen force that kept him from using his own magic against her.

“This can’t be!” he gasped as she knocked him backward.

Mysa beamed as she felt the raw power of all her teachers and their pupils being focused through the crystal Supergirl had brought back. “That is not a mystical relic!” she cried.

“No, it’s something called jewel kryptonite,” said Duo Damsel. “It enables phantoms to focus their minds through its facets. Supergirl learned of it when the Phantom Zone criminals once used it to fight Superman. (*) Once Lyle tipped us off to the fact that the Zeroxian minds were still free but unable to touch this plane of reality unaided, Supergirl and J’onn came up with the idea of substituting jewel kryptonite for this Crystal of Chaos that Mordru wanted!”

[(*) Editor’s note: See “Secret of Kryptonite Six,” Action Comics #310 (March, 1964).]

Mordru cried out in pain, and magical fire touched all the heroes. “My curse is upon you all! You will all die or suffer for this treachery in time!”

“Now maybe I can help them, too,” said Chemical King. “Respiration is a form of chemical reaction, and I’m going to try to inhibit Mordru’s breathing! Loss of air cripples him!”

He gestured, and as beads of sweat formed on his brow, Chemical King slowly helped the combined mind of Supergirl and the mental attacks of the Martian and the united population of Zerox in their disembodied state to confound Mordru in every way.

Falling to his knees, Mordru thought, I can’t breathe! I can’t defend myself against the entire mental power of the Zeroxians! Against all of them united as one potent force, even I must quail!

Supergirl smiled as her own punches staggered him. “He’s beaten!” she cried as Mordru finally toppled to the ground.

“We got him!” said Bouncing Boy. “Now what do we do with him?”

“The Zeroxians will handle that,” said Mysa Nal.

In moments, a glow surrounded Mordru, and his body flickered from view.

“What happened?” asked Duo Damsel.

“We have buried him once more in a fitting resting place known as Doom Crater,” said the blue-hued wizard as it appeared before them. “Our alien magical might created it while we fought him, and it is in its depths that he will remain for all eternity.”

“You regained your body!” said Invisible Kid.

“The Zeroxians are free! They’re all regaining their bodies!” said Dream Girl.

“My teachers and fellow pupils were too much, for even Mordru’s power,” said Mysa. “He could not fight a world united as one mental force.”

“Mordru is dead!” said Invisible Kid. “I can’t say I’m sorry.”

“The jewel K did the trick, thank goodness!” said Supergirl.

“I am glad,” said the Martian Manhunter. “My own mental power was barely enough to guide them to that rarest of all kryptonite isotopes. I am drained as well!”

“Why don’t you stay here for a while?” suggested Duo Damsel. “We’d love to show you our world. You could return to your own time in a few weeks and manage to arrive mere moments after you first departed!”

“I believe I will do so,” said J’onn. “It would do me good to see the promise of a new life brought to fruition in this era!” He flew off with a final wave to the heroes below.

“I must leave, though,” said Mysa. “I wish to join my teachers and friends on Zerox. Now that Mordru is no more, we can all return to our studies.” She kissed Dream Girl and then vanished along with all of the liberated and now material-bodied Zeroxians.

“The Legion has a lot to do,” said Dream Girl. “Even with Mordru beaten and his slave army freed, Earth has a lot of damage to deal with from their invasion.”

“We’ll have plenty of help!” Matter-Eater said. “The barrier Mordru put up to keep Mon-El and the others away is down! Our pals will be back anytime!”

“Then I’d better return to my own era,” said Supergirl. “I have to admit that my life is pretty complicated as well, and this visit has been about all the time I can spare!”

“Kara, you’ll always be welcome,” said Duo Damsel.

Supergirl hugged her and, then flying away, glanced back sadly. I also avoiding seeing Brainy by leaving early, she thought. The truth is, I don’t look forward to facing him and telling him that I don’t think I’m going to be able to come here much anymore. The demands of living my own double life in my own time have increased greatly since I was just little Linda Lee Danvers, high school girl in Midvale!

As the Girl of Steel returned to her own era, the others prepared to greet their friends upon their return and to help the Science Police restore order and rebuild after the rampage of Mordru’s enslaved forces.


Bouncing Boy held hands with Duo Damsel as she walked on each side of his plump form. Seeing all this danger makes me wonder if maybe it’s time this rubbery rube settled down with Lu once and for all, he thought as an uncharacteristically serious expression crossed his face. I’ve got some thinking to do.

Dream Girl watched him go and frowned. I just had a glimpse of Chuck’s future, she thought. He’s going to lose his powers soon!

She shook her head sadly and walked into the lab. Maybe Mordru’s curse is already starting, she thought. If Chuck does lose his powers, in a way Bouncing Boy will die! I hope that all of us that he cursed only meet such lesser dooms.


Chemical King was busy clearing away rubble with his powers of decay while Matter-Eater Lad was doing his own part to remove the mess.

Invisible Kid was staring dreamily into space and slowly fading from view. I can’t enter that same limbo anymore, he thought. Chem’s enhancement of my power has faded. Still, I can almost detect something like a ghost when I turn invisible! I’m going to have to investigate this experience in time.

As he returned to normal and walked into his lab, Lyle Norg failed to see a ghostly girl appear and watch him with a look of interest on her pretty features. If she could have been seen, an observer would have said the girl’s eyes were sorrowful as well.


Soon after this story, Bouncing Boy would lose his powers and leave the Legion to marry Duo Damsel. The visiting Martian Manhunter would attend their wedding before returning to his own time. (*) Invisible Kid would continue to explore the nature of his power and would meet the ghostly girl, Myla, before dying at the hands of Validus. (*)

[(*) Editor’s note: See “The Legionnaire Bride of Starfinger,” Superboy #200 (January-February, 1964) and “Massacre by Remote Control,” Superboy #203 (July-August, 1974).]

Chemical King would later die saving the U.P. from the Dark Circle. (*) Matter-Eater Lad would lose his sanity for a time after consuming the Miracle Machine to stop Omega. (*) Supergirl would resign from the Legion and rarely rejoin them until her own death during the Crisis on Infinite Earths. (*) And Duo Damsel would experience severe injury at the hands of the Reanimage before eventually being cured. (*) How or if Mordru’s curse would affect Dream Girl and the White Witch has yet to be revealed.

[(*) Editor’s note: See “That a World Might Live, a Legionnaire Must Die,” Superboy #228 (June, 1977), “The Man Who Destroyed the Universe,” Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #251 (May, 1979), “Beyond the Silent Night,” Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 (October, 1985), and Legion of Super-Heroes: Triad of Terror.]

The End

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