A lovely blonde girl wearing a pink sleep teddy sat up in her bed and screamed, “They’re back! Oh, no! They’re free once more!”
Her name was Lena Luthor, and she was the precognitive sister of Alexander Luthor, the brilliant scientist who had waged tireless war on the Crime Syndicate as Earth-Three’s only super-hero. He and his wife, Lois Lane Luthor, rushed into the girl’s room in his underground Fortress of Science.
“Lena, honey, what is it? Another bad dream?” He knew she often dreamt of the day Power Ring had unknowingly killed their parents when he blew up a road. She could never forget or forgive the Crime Syndicate for that terrible act, and her psychic flashes often foretold their grim actions.
“Alex, they’re free from the Zone!” she cried. “I saw them in battle. They almost killed you!”
Lois Lane Luthor had been a star reporter for the Daily Planet before she wed Alex, and she trusted Lena’s visions like she had once trusted her own reporter’s instinct. “Could they be loose?” she whispered.
Alex hugged both women tightly. They were his own family. He had toiled alone in his laboratory for years before Lois had entered his life and young Lena had moved in with him. And now he’d risk his very life to keep them and his world safe from the monsters in the Crime Syndicate.
“With my bio-suit so damaged as it is, I’ve been less sure of my sensors,” he said. “The Zone ray is so alien. I’m not sure if my alarms are effective or not.”
A bald, green-hued android entered. He looked pained, even though he was an artificial man, a humanoid built by Luthor to aid him in his fight for truth and justice. He was known as Brainiac, but because of his amazing human emotions and kindly personality, he preferred the name John Smith. He loved Lena, although they had never acted upon their shared feelings.
“Lena, I fear you are correct,” he said. “My sensors registered the alarms minutes before your cry reached me. The Syndicate is free. Do not fear, however. We are securely hidden here below the surface. I shall never let them harm you.”
“Then the rest of my vision must be true!” Lena screamed again. “Oh, Alex, they’re going to kill you!”
Alex and Lois exchanged worried looks over the trembling blonde girl’s shoulders. Luthor could do nothing but soothe Lena’s fears and ensure that she dozed off to sleep. Then he and Lois left the girl’s room, huddling closely together outside. Alex gazed at the woman who had so changed his life, thinking how he had never imagined with all of his gifted and visionary skill that he would ever have such a loving relationship. He had been alone for so long and had written off his life as that of a solitary man of science. Yet in a few short years, he had seen that life change as he assumed the roles of hero, husband, and father.
Now, as Lois held him close, he said, “Her fears are the product of her trauma. She is deathly afraid of losing me and everyone else she loves to the Crime Syndicate because of our parents. She can’t forget that day when they died due to Power Ring’s careless rampage. I’ll be fine. Don’t worry — I’ll stop them.”
“I believe in you,” said Lois. “I believe in your talents and courage and intellectual gifts. I also have faith in your inner nobility, but I also wonder how can you defeat those odds. The Syndicate are killers with a hatred for you that rivals their inner hatred. I can picture you winning, but I also wonder if Lena isn’t right. Won’t those monsters kill you one day?”
Alex shook his head. “Brainiac has been a miracle worker. He has been working non-stop in the lab on something we think may counter the powers and numbers possessed by the Crime Syndicate. I was hoping to have it tested more completely before we showed it to you, but I want to ease your worries.”
He led her toward the central lab of the Fortress of Science. He had built the massive structure beneath the earth in an effort to create a haven and a base from which he could wage his war against the Syndicate.
Brainiac smiled as his friend entered. “Greetings, Alex, Mrs. Luthor,” said the synthetic man. “I believe it is time for us to unveil our newest creation, is it not?”
Alex smiled and took down a curtain to reveal a strong but inert humanoid figure. “You said you feared the very powers of the Syndicate could kill me? Well, this new ally of ours may just allow us to turn those incredible powers against the fiends who have used them so long to dominate our world. You see, he has all of their powers within his unique robotic frame.”
The android stood tall with a nearly bare chest covered only by a green and yellow vest. His brown pants and boots looked like those of a soldier, and that was what he was designed to be — a one-man army built to bring down the Crime Syndicate upon their escape from the Phantom Zone.
“You mean this creature has all of their powers?” said Lois as she noticed a golden lariat at the android’s hip and a green ring glowing from one finger on its right hand. “Amazing!” she gasped.
“Close,” said Brainiac. “We call him Amazo.”
Brainiac nodded as Lois Luthor came closer to the muscular figure. He was handsome, and his expression, although benign, showed no recognition of the world around him.
“He is a synthetic man,” explained the increasingly humanlike Brainiac. “Although you cannot perceive them with the unaided eye, his skin is covered with what I called absorba-cells. They literally soak up super-powers. Thus, he can do anything the Crime Syndicate can do… in theory. It is our hope that Amazo will equal the odds when next we face our ruthless enemies.”
Alex nodded. “He can adapt or generate their weapons, too, like the ring or the lariat.”
Lois said, “Is he asleep?”
Alex chuckled. “Well put. Your reporter skills have never deserted you. He does indeed sleep in a kind of electronic oblivion, but that should end when we wake him up, like so.”
The hero of Earth-Three activated a complex weave of wires and switches, and his creation stirred.
“Why have you disturbed me from my electronic sleep?” gasped the synthezoid. “This state is not one I choose.”
“Amazo,” he said calmly, addressing the android, “I am Alexander Luthor. This is my wife Lois and my friend, Brainiac. We have not disturbed your rest as much as we have awakened you to a new and exciting life.”
Muscles that could shatter steel tensed, and then Amazo smiled. “I thank you. It merely took me a moment to adjust to this thing called life. I sense that I have a purpose. I must safeguard all life and wage a never-ending war against those who would harm others.”
“Exactly,” said Luthor. “You have a calling, a higher purpose — a sacred mission, if you will.”
Brainiac added, “You also have specific foes, as do we. Access the data stored within your mind under the file named Crime Syndicate.”
Amazo shuddered, and his formerly kindly features grew hard. “Those fiends have made this world a nightmare. I must awaken the innocent from this foul state of affairs, just as your kindness has freed me from the void.” A moment passed, and then he said with a smile, “I sense their location. Excellent. You have given me the means to track their movements. How very resourceful you are.”
Lois smiled. “I expected some cold automaton, but I should have known anything you’d labor over would relish life and cherish justice.”
Luthor hugged her tightly. “Amazo, we have a plan of battle. Shall we begin?”
Amazo smiled warmly. “I am eager to begin my crusade.”