The dimension that held the Crime Syndicate and the Lawless League was a ghostly place where they all watched and fumed in helpless rage, as they couldn’t touch a thing.
“This is all Luthor’s fault!” ranted Ultraman — Kel-LL, the Last Son of Krypton — as he sought to use his power to break what he could not touch.
“Yes, he tricked us all, but he kept his word,” sneered Owlman, alias Dr. Thomas Wayne. “He agreed not to send us back to that prison bubble if we helped him fight the Lawless League, and — true enough — when we beat them, he sent us here instead.”
“I hate that in a man–” said the sultry Princess Diana of Sanctuary Isle, who was better known as the man-killer called Superwoman, “–honor!”
Charles Drake, the ex-police scientist whose stolen helmet had granted him superhuman speed, agreed. “Yeah, old Luthor is a real paragon of virtue, but he still managed to make us do his dirty work for him,” he muttered.
“He’s not so bright,” said Ray Palmer, the Microbe. “I’ll bet I could create something to prove that to the world.”
“What are you gonna do, Ken Doll? Shrink him to death?” mocked the man called Power Ring, who had long ago abandoned his real name — Bill Baggett.
“It was my scientific genius that enabled all of you to beat the League,” snapped Microbe. “Without me, they trashed you and made you live different lives under the cloud of amnesia!”
Owlman was silent. He would never admit it to his hardened allies, but during the year they had spent as amnesiac nobodies, he had formed a paternal relationship with a young boy named Rick Zucco, and he had made this orphaned son of a gangster boss his partner, Raven. Together they had dominated the Gotham City crime world and had waged war on Big Jim Gordon’s mob. He missed the boy. He wished he could do more now than just watch as Rick trained relentlessly in Wayne Manor while cared for by their French maid, Helena Pennyworth.
Charles Drake had met up with his old boss, a police scientist named Barry Allen, who had invented the adrenal gland-charging helmet that gave Drake his speed. He had once killed Allen’s loyal wife Iris when she would not betray her husband, and he had never regretted a minute of it. He had written Allen off as a spineless, brainy wimp. However, he had been wrong. Allen had used his considerable brilliance to become the multi-talented Rogue. He had developed weapons of amazing variety all to kill Drake, or Johnny Quick as he called himself. He had nearly succeeded in trapping him in a weird mirrorverse forever until Palmer had retrieved him with his offer to join their team.
The silent Martian Murderer spoke rarely. When he did, they listened. “I can get us out,” he said.
“Good,” said Ultraman. “Then I’ll peel Luthor out of his armor like a grape!”
They turned to the white-skinned hulk known only as the Martian Murderer. He had been plucked from a prison on his homeworld of Mars by a desperate Alexander Luthor. The sole super-hero on this world, Luthor had hoped to employ the alien in his war against the Lawless League, a group of other-dimensional villains who had threatened to conquer the world as well as the fallen American nation. The Martian Murderer had aided the Syndicate in defeating the League, but he had destroyed the machine Luthor had built so no one else from his home could follow him.
Now he spoke in deep tones. “My mental powers have finally reached the weak mind of Johnny Thunder of Earth-One. He was the one who brought the League into being, and now he alone can free us. He lingers still in the wrecked White House. They have elected a successor to the late President Hart — President Geraldine Ferraro, who has now taken office. She has used Thunder to explain and remove the various weapons and artifacts his League established in the White House. Thus I have mentally dominated him, and he should free us even as I speak. See?”
They smiled in approval as the slim blond man in green activated the Phantom Zone projector that had been secreted in Hypernion’s lab. The super-Kryptonian from another dimension had brought the device with him as a memento of his doomed home. Unlike Ultraman, that alien had truly mourned the loss of his world, while Kel-LL’s own brilliant, evil father had deliberately destroyed his own planet of Krypton.
The group flickered back into solidity as Power Ring shattered the projector with a massive green energy fist. “I’m never going back to that nowhere land again!” he vowed.
Johnny gulped. “Gosh! The Crime Syndicate!” He had just started to run when Johnny Quick zoomed around and picked him off the floor at top speed.
“So who wants to murder the punk?” he asked.
“Say, you can’t do this!” cried Johnny.
“Thunder, your magical powers ended when your good-hearted counterpart of Earth-Two reclaimed the Thunderbolt,” sneered Owlman. “The last wish you made was to create your Lawless League, and they remain trapped in the Zone.” He turned to his partner in crime. “Johnny Quick, release him. He can alert President Ferraro that she may start shaking in her high heels, because the Crime Syndicate walks the earth anew.”
Ultraman said, “What’s first? Kill the blonde broad?”
“Perhaps, but I have an idea,” said Superwoman. “What about Luthor? Should we not deal with him once and for all?”
Ultraman’s brutish features grew darker. “Yeah! I want that old man to suffer. He played us for fools.”
Microbe grinned at Johnny Quick. “Like that’s hard to do…”
Ultraman turned to the shrinking scientist. “I have super-hearing. I’d watch my mouth if I was you. You could become cat food easily enough.”
The Martian Murderer actually smiled slightly as they dropped off Thunder and flew off in Power Ring’s energy bubble.