Super-Stars of Space: Worlds’ Finest, Chapter 3: Next Stop, Kronis

by Goose Gansler

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The planet Uuz:

The mighty figure of Regor flew through the glass-constructed building of the world capitol, Uuzopolis. His appearance elicited the customary curiosity and awe of the locals. They watched as he sped by. The native Uuzians saw his red bodysuit, his green trunks, his yellow boots, and his green cape and armbands. They were truly native Uuzians, since Regor was not truly one of them. While he had fought for many years as their protector, Regor was not an Uuzian; rather, he was an Earthman.

Regor’s eyes swept from side to side. While the glass that was the main building material on Uuz was opaque to the eyes of an Uuzian, it was perfectly transparent to his Earth-born eyes. He had come to this distant planet as a mere child. His father had been the scientist James Lamm, who had worked on a volcanic island. When the long-dormant volcano erupted, James sought to save his son by launching him in a rocket. The craft sped into outer space, and after passing through a space warp, landed on Uuz. Under this world’s conditions, little Winki Lamm became superhuman. (*)

[(*) Editor’s note: The Earth-Two version of this character, upon which the Earth-One version is based, first appears in “The Case of the Second Superman,” Superman #58 (May, 1949).]

“He has to be around here somewhere,” Regor muttered. He knew that he had to hurry. If his arch foe Bantor were allowed to unleash his latest scheme, all of Uuz would suffer terribly. Uuz was a cold world, and its citizens survived by the personal heaters that they each wore. Once before, Bantor had tried to steal a large supply of them. This time, he schemed to disable heaters worldwide.

Peering through a building’s walls, Regor noted the time. There was not much of it left. Bantor had threatened to fire an atomic particle wave that would disable every heater on Uuz unless he was given five billion credits. The world leaders had begged Regor to stop Bantor before this could happen. Regor readily took up the task. Five billion credits would have broken the world’s economy.

Finally, Regor spotted Bantor’s base of operations. He knew that Bantor could not have stayed hidden forever. Increasing his speed, Regor scanned the building’s molecular structure with his spectro-vision. He did not want the entire building to come crashing down as he smashed through it. Figuring out the best place to penetrate the building, he pushed his fists forward and drove through.

Bantor’s henchman quickly drew their atomic pistols at the sound of the smashed glass. Their atomic beams harmlessly bounced off of Regor. He responded with a few blasts of his own atomic-vision. The pistols melted into slag.

Regor quickly looked around with his spectro-vision for Bantor’s atomic particle wave device. There were so many scientific weapons here that he wasn’t sure which was the correct one. He tried to spot Bantor himself in the chaos. The henchmen were now trying to batter him with their bare hands, but he pushed them aside. Finally, he caught sight of the dark-haired menace.

Bantor was poised over the control switch to the device. His hands gripped the master switch. He looked over to Regor and laughed. “You’re too late. Even you’re not fast enough to reach me before I can throw the switch.”

“Go ahead,” Regor countered. “You’ve already lost.”

“Really?” Bantor said with amusement. He pulled the switch. “Say goodbye to your heaters, people of Uuz!” He watched the readout from the device, and he was astounded to see that no waves were being generated outside. He turned angrily toward Regor. “What did you do?”

Regor smiled. “Yours was an atomic particle device. I have atomic-vision, don’t you remember? I countered your atomic wave with my vision as it emanated from your device. Like two equal waves in water, they canceled out.” He strode over and flattened Bantor with a single punch.

“You’re too clever for Uuzian prisons, Bantor.” Regor pulled a document that had been hidden inside of his vest. “This is a declaration from the World Senate. I’ve been given orders to transport you to the prison planet Kronis for your incarceration.”

Regor scooped up some of the glass shards and began liquefying them with his atomic-vision. As the glass cooled, he shaped it into a sphere around Bantor. When the sphere was completed, Regor grabbed it from beneath and flew into the sky. “Next stop, Kronis.”


The planet Helion:

From his spherical satellite orbiting above Helion’s equatorial region, the world’s greatest hero was engaged in a well-deserved rest. He was decked out in his world-famous, short-sleeved green bodysuit with a sun emblem on his chest. He did not go by the name that had been given to him at birth, Phae Ton. To all of Helion, he was known now only as Solarman.

Solarman stretched out in his chair as he sat before his large worldwide monitor board. The super-computers of his satellite fortress were constantly scanning news reports from the four corners of Helion in search of emergencies that would require Solarman’s efforts. There always seems to be something, Solarman thought.

As the wide array of screens switched from broadcast to broadcast, Solarman briefly saw his reflection in a momentarily blank screen. It was the most recognizable face on the planet, not only because of what he did as Helion’s super-hero, but also for what he did before.

Years before, Solarman had been Helion’s first extrasolar astronaut. His ship had traveled far beyond the bounds of Helion’s system to a green sun system some few light-years away. Little did he know that this sun was going to explode into a supernova. His ship couldn’t protect him from the fury of the stellar destruction. However, the massive energy flux did not kill him. Rather, it changed him. It granted him a wide range of powers, but the specific powers depended on the solar radiation he was exposed to.

“When I returned to Helion,” Solarman recalled, “they gave me a hero’s welcome. I had become a tragic hero of Helion’s space program. I returned as a super-hero.” Everyone on Helion knew his face.

A quick look at the chronometer told him that he had rested for a sufficient amount of time. He took to the air and flew toward the fortress’ hidden exit. With his super-strength, he pushed open the massive metal door cut into the sphere. Hovering over the world below, he pushed the door closed.

Once outside, he rocketed down into the upper atmosphere and swept the area with his super-vision. His eyes fixed up the quite-recognizable shape of a Drahlian slaver ship. The craft was starting its descent into the atmosphere. Solarman sped toward the ship as he switched to flare-vision.

“Let’s see how much their heat-shields can take.” He raked the ship with scarlet beams from his eyes. The red glow around the ship intensified as Solarman added megawatts to the thermal load being borne by the heat-shields. The slaver ship began to slow down and then rise back out of the atmosphere.

“Guess they couldn’t take the heat,” Solarman chuckled to himself. He accelerated toward the ship and scanned it more closely with his super-vision. “Fusion blasters, proton torpedoes,” he noted. Those weapons would not be able to do much more than sting him. He waited for the ship to leave the atmosphere before he pressed his attack. He did not want any civilian damage from the battle.

The Drahlians had finally been alerted to his presence, and opened fire with their fusion blasters. The bolts bounced harmlessly off of his chest.

This shouldn’t take long, Solarman thought. I’ll disable them, and then tow them to Kronis.


The planet Kormo:

The skies of Kormo were full of aerocars that carried inhabitants. Among these speeding aircraft was one Korman who did not need any type of mechanical propulsion. His real name was Tharn, but to billions of Kormans, he was their hero, Skyboy.

His slender body barely filled out his blue bodysuit, adorned with a red S on a white circle. His red cape flapped as he weaved his way through the sky-traffic. The Kormans that spotted him shouted with excitement as he sped by.

“I wonder what he’s doing?”

“I’ll bet he’s on a big case.”

“I heard that Rawl is on the loose again.”

Skyboy’s super-hearing picked up the “Rawl” comment and shrugged. The master criminal was indeed on the loose, and likely after his most valued prize — copper, the most valuable metal on Kormo. Skyboy had already checked on one of the copper mines in the south polar region. Now he was on his way to check out another mine near the equator.

I hope Dad can mobilize some extra protection for the mines soon, Skyboy thought. His father was the chief law enforcement official on Kormo. They had both dealt with Rawl before. Some years ago, Tharn had been sent by his father to Earth to warn them about the likelihood of Rawl continuing his copper thefts there. In transit, Tharn’s ship had been struck by a meteor. When he landed on Earth, he had gained super-powers but lost his memory. Superman quickly trained him to be his sidekick, and together they captured Rawl and his gang. (*)

[(*) Editor’s note: See “The Boy from Outer Space,” World’s Finest Comics #92 (January-February, 1958).]

Until his father could organize the additional security measures, Skyboy would refrain from his normal patrols and concentrate on patrolling the copper mines. It was by far the most precious element on Kormo, and a massive theft by Rawl could destabilize the entire Korman economy.

As he neared the copper mine, Skyboy scanned the area with his penetra-vision. Everything seemed peaceful on the outside. There was no sign of any problems. “There’s also no sign of any guards,” Skyboy noted. He increased his speed and pulled out his communicator. “Looks like trouble at the Praxok Mine, Dad. I’m almost there now.”

“Be careful, son. I’ll get some officers there as soon as I can,” came the reply.

When Skyboy landed at the Praxok Mine, he could see that all of the guard stations were empty. His keen sense of smell analyzed the air, and he recognized a distinctly unnatural odor. “Smells like some kind of knockout gas,” he determined. “The guards were probably out before they knew what hit them.”

He swept the mouth of the mine with his penetra-vision now. He could see a number of armed gunmen standing within the shadows.

“They think they’re hidden,” Skyboy chuckled. “Too bad for them.” He switched to electrical-vision, and jagged yellow beams leaped from his eyes. When the beams struck the weapons, sparks danced around the blaster rifles so the gunmen had to drop them.

Skyboy lifted into the air and headed for the mine mouth. Stretching his arms out as he sped by the disarmed gunmen, he flattened all of them. Once he was inside the mine, he could see the enormous drilling machines busy at extracting the ore. At the controls of one of the machines was the dastardly figure of Rawl.

“Rawl,” Skyboy called out. “You shouldn’t have come back to Kormo. You’re too predictable. You always go for the copper.”

Rawl turned the wheel hard of his drilling machine so that its massive drill was pointed right at the Korman crusader. “This time I’m prepared for you.” He pushed a lever forward, and the drill started rotating at high speed and toward Skyboy.

The point of the drill touched Skyboy’s chest. Blue sparks started erupting from the friction. The drill started to deform, but Skyboy was unhurt. The damaged drill tried to turn against Skyboy’s invulnerable skin, but it overheated and came to a stop.

“You’ll have to do better than that,” Skyboy laughed.

“Oh, I shall.” Rawl jumped out of the driller. Its electric drive was overheating, and it was liable to explode any moment. “Boys, blast him.”

Skyboy turned to see more of Rawl’s men emerging from the other drilling machines. They were all carrying rifles similar to the ones that Skyboy had previously disabled. Skyboy’s eyes blazed with electric-vision at one of the guns, but the others were able to fire.

The bright blue beams coursed painfully against his body and drove Skyboy back a few feet. Wisps of smoke floated up from his chest. He was actually in pain. He hadn’t really felt that since his trip to Earth. “What on Kormo?”

“They’re nuclear fission rifles,” Rawl cackled. “I picked them up off-planet. I was promised that they’d be able to break down even your super-dense molecular structure. Looks like they came through on that promise.”

Skyboy struggled to get back to his feet. A quick check with his penetra-vision showed that the rifles were recharging now. He was grateful that they could not be fired continuously. That would give him a chance.

“Blast him again,” Rawl demanded angrily.

“They’re still recharging,” one of the underlings answered.

The gunmen had taken cover while they waited. There was no way for Skyboy to blast them with his electric-vision. He tried to recall what his father had taught him about nuclear fission weaponry. Then the answer came to him.

Instead of retreating, Skyboy rose into the air and floated until he was in the middle of all of the gunmen. He was surrounded.

“C’mon,” Skyboy taunted. “I dare you to blast me.”

“You’re mad!” Rawl exclaimed. “If you really want to be destroyed, I’ll be more than happy to do it. Blast him!”

The gunmen emerged and locked their sights on Skyboy. The Korman crusader waited for them to fire. As the blasts hurtled toward him, he shot up with super-speed a few feet. Instead of striking Skyboy, the beams crashed against each other. The result was a massive nuclear fireball that raged in midair. When the gunmen stopped blasting, the fireball remained for a few moments, then exploded in a cascade of blue.

Once the blue haze cleared, Rawl looked up, expecting to see the discorporate remains of Skyboy. Instead, he saw the youth still floating there.

“You’re only postponing the inevitable, Skyboy,” Rawl roared. “We’ll blast you into oblivion.”

“I don’t think so.” Skyboy descended to the ground, his arms crossed in front of his chest. “I’ve already won.”

“What do you mean?”

“Tell your men to fire again.”

“Blast him!” Rawl called out. The men tried. None of the weapons fired.

“What happened?” Rawl cried as he looked around. The men were shaking their guns, trying to get them to work. “What happened?”

“You crossed the streams,” Skyboy replied. “Didn’t they tell you never to cross the streams?”

“What?!” Rawl exclaimed.

“Crossing the streams sets up nuclear feedback that disables the fission generators,” Skyboy said, smiling. “Those rifles are worthless junk now.”

“No!” Rawl cried.

“Yes,” Skyboy reached out and grabbed Rawl by the collar. “The police will be here soon to deal with your men.” He lifted Rawl into the air. “You’re wanted on a dozen worlds, Rawl. There’s only one place to take you while they determine jurisdiction. I’m taking you to Kronis.”

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