From the Daily Planet: Eye witnesses reported a shield slinging hero appear and thwart a bank robbery at Metropolis bank, the hero stopped & shook hands with citizens but left when a woman screamed in the distance. The Guardian was a Metropolis hero in the 40’s & has since disappeared, possibly retired. Today he seemed vibrant & younger with a more stylized uniform that showed his patriotism, but no 1 could mistake those shield slinging skills! Welcome back Guardian!
Last night, Oracle summoned several of Gotham’s defenders to investigate a scene she was monitoring from a security camera of the Pavilion Hotel of an old man being besieged by what appeared to be masked and armed ninjas in the Pagoda Plaza to Chinatown. Upon arrival, The Batman lead the heroes to attempt to rescue the older man who it proved to be a Professor Howard Vincent, an associate of the recently murdered Professor Pointer of Gotham University.
The ninjas claimed to be The Shining Arm…a legendary caste of ninjas with supposedly mystical powers who proved to be a match for our heroes as they fought their way to surround Professor Vincent who also proved to be a master of the martial arts himself. During the combat, Troia cornered the Leader of the Shining Arms who was wielding a mystical katana but fortunately her Amazonian bracelets protected her.
As the ninjas moved in to kill the heroes and capture Professor Vincent, the heroes found themselves in a deadly trap as they were surrounded. Just as things looked bleak for our heroic band of Gotham’s defenders, a grim hollow laugh seemed to echo out of nowhere and a slouch hatted figure emerged from the darkness with guns blazing. To Batman’s shock it appeared the vigilante known as The Shadow had returned though he believed him long dead.
Using The Shadow’s arrival to distract the ninjas, the heroes made their move with Batman using a smoke batarang to drive several of them back as Batwoman managed to battle a few others back with her battle staves. Black Canary managed to immobilize more using her Canary Cry but Cyber Arrow also got caught in the cone of her sonic blast and went down. The Shadow seemed to vanish and reappear around the battlefield mercilessly gunning down ninjas before appearing directly behind the leader and demanding him to lower his sword.
The Shadow then had Troia truss the leader in her Lasso of Persuasion as he attempted to interrogate him. However, the leader called out for his brethren to bite down on cyanide capsules hidden in their teeth…preferring suicide to revealing any information. After the ninjas were all died, Batman angrily confronted The Shadow, decrying his violent brand of justice but his former mentor ignored him, preferring instead to explain what was going on.
It appears that Professor Vincent is the elderly son of The Shadow’s first agent, Harry Vincent. The Shadow then told the heroes how in 1952, he had battled his immortal archenemy, Shiwan Khan when Khan had attempted to invade they mystical refuge of Nanda Parbit. During the battle, a portal had appeared out of nowhere and Shiwan Khan had leaped into it but when The Shadow had attempted to follow him thru the portal had closed. For decades, both The Shadow and his network of agents had attempted to discover what had happened to Shiwan Khan expecting him to reappear.
Obviously, the portal had been caused by the recent Hypertime Crisis the JLA have recently been investigating. Now it appears Shiwan Khan had reappered in the present and was attempting to take control of the Chinese mobs in Gotham City. He had murdered Professor Pointer in an attempt to discover the location of the lost tomb of Ghenghis Khan and had sent The Shining Arm to kidnap Professor Vincent. Shiwan Khan has long declared himself a direct descendant of original Genghis Khan and believes he’s the reincarnation of Kublai Khan…..it appears he is attempting to find the tomb of Ghenghis Khan to loot it of mystical artifacts and to legitmize his claims to attempt to take over China and then the world!
Professor Vincent revealed that only he, Pointer and their counterparts in China who were going to lead the initial excavations knew the exact secret location of the tomb. The Shadow requested an alliance to find and defeat Shiwan Khan but as police arrived upon the scene vanished, declaring he’d be in touch. Batman took Professor Vincent away to get him to a safe house for his protection.
Has the immortal Shiwan Khan truly returned from the past? And, if so, what is it to be found in the lost tomb of Ghenghis Khan that he so desperately desires? Will The Shadow and Batman again join forces to defeat another threat to mankind?
(( to be continued….))
Heroes present: The Batman, Batwoman, Black Canary, Troia, Cyber Arrow
Villains present: The Shining Arm Ninja Caste
Others present: Professor Howard Vincent, The Shadow
Several hereos received a mysterious summons in the form of a glowing sphere and an almost familiar voice requesting them to come to a location in Annex City. None of the heroes knew that the others had been summoned until they all arrived at the rooftop location, where the globes disappeared and told them to wait for “the others” or, for the final arrival, for their “Mistress” . . . The heroes conversed among themselves, but they began to notice a strange feel in the air, as though reality itself were being twisted in some way around them. As most of the heroes gathered had magical or mystical origins, they began to suspect something or someone of a mystical nature had drawn them to this location.
Suddenly a figure appeared before the heroes in a burst of magical flame and sigils . . . one whom they’d met previously during the Hypertime Crisis, when several timelines had become intertwined: Mistress Karma! In her timeline, Mistress Karma is the wearer of the helmet of Nabu, and thus a female version of Doctor Fate. A powerful sorcereress, Mistress Karma is a member of the Birds of Pray on her Earth and a defender of the planet through her mystical powers. She had joined with the heroes when they traveled to the Vanishing Point to locate the Time Commander. But when the timelines had unraveled again in the climax of that crisis, she had vanished with the others from that Earth. Now, it appeared, she was back. But for what purpose?
Karma quickly explained to the heroes that she needed their assistance, so had pierced the veil between the timelines and traveled ot our Earth to request their aid. It seemed that the Justice League Global from that world, along with the Birds of Pray–all but her–had gone on a mission in space to assist the Rainbow Beacon Corps with an interstellar invasion by Lobo, the Imperiator, leaving Earth unprotected, save for Mistress Karma. Coincidentally–or maybe not so–a new crisis arose on her Earth with all its other heroes gone. It seems that the stars are now right, and the Great Old Ones, eons-old beings of immense power who once ruled the world, are attempting to return and lay waste to Karma’s Earth.
The Great Old Ones had been imprisoned millions of years ago by another group of beings known as the Elder Gods. Some had been locked away among the distant stars or in other dimensions or in remote places on Earth or under the sea. But it had always been said that when the stars were right, they could break through again into our reality and take back what they’d once possessed. Even now they had minions–humans and unspeakable creatures both–who were working relentlessly to bring back the Old Ones. Mistress Karma had seen and recognized the signs as described in ancient texts such as the Necronomicon, and she knew that the return of the Old Ones was imminent–and that if they were not stopped, first her Earth and then all of reality would fall to them.
But so far, Karma had not been able to detect them, no matter how much she had scryed. She felt that if she had the assistance of others with mystical roots, she might be able to locate where the Great Old Ones might break through. She believed that an aquatic race known as the Deep Ones, the minions of the Old Ones’ priest, Dread Cthulhu, were attempting to awaken Cthulhu from his deep sleep in the sunken city of R’lyeh. Once the Temple of Summoning could be located, Karma and the heroes could engage the Deep Ones and stop the calling forth of Cthulhu from his ancient slumber. And with Cthulhu stopped, no one else could open the Gate and set the Old Ones free again on Earth. At least that was Karma’s hope–if the heroes would agree to travel to her Earth and help.
Of course, all the heroes assembled agreed. Even Firestorm, whose powers weren’t mystical in nature–though Karma equated them with the mystical energies of alchemy. Mistress Karma, when asked, explained that she had attempted to contact the Elder Gods for assistance, but had received no answer. She also explained that the only thing that could stop Cthulhu once summoned was a mystical sigil called the Elder Sign. Unfortunately, it had been lost to the mists of history. Even nuclear weapons were useless against Cthulhu. The only way to save her Earth–and all the others–would be to stop the summoning. So Mistress Karma used her sorcery to open a portal back to her timeline, and all the heroes entered, finding themselves in front of a dark stone tower–the Sanctuary of Mistress Karma.
Before they’d left, Mistress Karma had expressed hope that another that she had sent her summons to would arrive. But since he hadn’t the heroes needed to proceed without him. Arriving at Karma’s Tower, the heroes were warned by the Mistress of Mysticism not to enter until she could go in first and pave the way for them with the Tower’s Guardians. She entered and could be heard conversing with some odd-sounding voices. Then she bid them to enter, introducing them to her mystical Guardians, among they a living tree of dozens of eye stalks–whom she addressed as “Eye-gore”–and a huge, horned skull on a truncated body of ribs that seemed to go by the name of “BigSkull.” Other Guardians included a skeletal hound and a brown blob of mostly eyes and a mouth.
The mystical energies in the Tower especially seemed to creep out Mary Marvel, who felt uneasy there, especially when BigSkull asked Karma if he could eat the girl. Karma quickly got the Guardian in line, insisting that he was harmless–to those she invited to the Tower. Others, not so much. Zatanna and Troia found the exchange more amusing than anything. Eye-gore sought to invite the heroes to sit down at the table before them for a tea party, till Karma forbid it, explaining that his idea of a short tea party might last half a century or so. She told them they needed to explore the various chambers of the Tower. She had a number of mystical scrying artifacts throughout it, and some of them might be drawn to the heroes’ mystic auras, and thus they could boost her own powers and perhaps locate the Deep Ones’ Temple of Summoning.
Mistress Karma then disappeared in a burst of magical energy, teleporting the others to the second floor of her tower, at the center of which, among other artifacts, lay the Pool of Eternity. The Pool’s waters glowed with strange roiling colors, some of which seemed to lie outside the known spectrum. She explained that the Pool should be able to locate anything throughout all time and space . . . but even with her most powerful sorceries, she’d not been able to pierce the mystical veil hiding the Deep Ones’ temple, despite the Pool’s innate power. She hoped that it would respond to some of the heroes and that they could lend her their own mystical energies to enable her to scry the location where Cthulhu would be summoned.
Mistress Karma asked the heroes to gather round the pool and concentrate as she reached out to it to see whether it would embrace any of them. As they did so, the heroes felt swirling energies cascading about the room in ebbs and tides of temporal power . . . suddenly, as though it were alive, parts of the pool reached out and surrounded both Zatanna and Mary Marvel. Karma said that the two of them were in empathic harmony with the Pool, and that they may be able to help her use it to locate the Temple of Summoning. But just then, there was a burst of lightning and into the room emerged . . . Captain Marvel! Karma welcomed him, as he was the other hero she’d originally summoned, though it seemed he needed to check with the Wizard Shazam before allowing the summoning energy to overtake him. But now he was with the others.
And though the Pool had picked two of their number, Karma indicated that she had other means of scrying as well and that they might prove even more potent than the Pool–if the heroes were in tune with them. So she transported all of them to the next level in her Tower . . . her study and workshop, where she explained that she performed alchemical experiments and studied the ancient tomes of magic she’s accumulated. Zatanna was immediately taken with all the magical tomes, wishing she had time to study them here herself. The mystical energies here were strong as well, but suddenly and unexpectedly, one of the vials on the table of alchemical equpment opened and its contents begain to swirl around Firestorm.
Mistress Karma told him that it was as she suspected–with the alchemical nature of his powers, Firestorm drew to him the mystical Tears of a Virgin, a powerful alchemical potion, showing that should alchemical means be the key to locating the Deep Ones’ temple, it would be Firestorm who could lend Karma the energy she needed. But there were two more stops to make. The first–her lliving quarters–proved fruitless. Nothing in the Egyptian-themed room seemed attracted to any of the heroes. She said it was as she’d suspected, since none of them were Egyptian in origin, but it was necessary to make sure. And then she transported them to a balcony surrounding the top level of her Tower and the Summoning Chamber. The heroes found even more mystical energies enveloping them as they stood outside the Chamber.
Karma warned them to be prepared when she opened the door as a flood of mystical energy would rush out at them. She’d last summoned Nodens, Lord of the Great Abyss, to attempt to secure his aid. Though it was not to be. Still his residue was very powerful. Once the door was open and the heroes braced for the onrush of power, they entered to see a mystical circle on the floor, a brazier with a floating orb above it in the center. To the back was an altar topped with mystical artifacts. And around the edges of the circle, three powerful magical artifacts they’d last seen during the Hypertime Crisis, when they had protected the citadel of Emperor Deadman in Nanda Parbat: the Red Jar of Calythos, the Silver Wheel of Nyorlath, and the Green Bell of Ulthool.
Mistress Karma explained that she had taken the three magical items from their owners, the Demons Three, after the heroes had defeated them there. Like many other magical artifacts, she explained, they were neutral in their power–it was how they were used that determined whether they were good or evil. She was using them to protect the world against magical threats. And she hoped now they would help to locate the Temple of Summoning before Cthulhu was set free. She asked the heroes to concentrate once again to see if any had an affinity with the items. This time, the magical energies seemed to soar about the heroes, almost like a rip tide of sorcerous power . . . and suddenly a stream of stars arose from the bell, the jar, and the wheel and centered on two individuals–Troia and Captain Marvel . . .
With this development, Mistress Karma seemed to think that they now had a very good chance of successfully scrying for the location of the temple of the Deep Ones to stop them from summoning Cthulhu to unleash the Great Old Ones. But she was suddenly cut off by an eerie wailing from below. Though it seemed impossible, Karma recognized that as the signal that her mystical defenses had been breached and that the Tower was under attack. Eye-gore’s voice could now be heard calling for help before he and the other Guardians were overwhelmed. Karma quickly teleported them all down to the Guardians’ Chamber on the ground floor, where at least half a dozen black, faceless, horned, bat-winged creatures were giving the Guardians the fight of their supernatural lives.
Mistress Karma immediately identified the creatures as Nightgaunts, foul minions of the Old Ones, and declared that the heroes had to stop them before they could open a breach for more of their kind–or worse. The heroes immediately rallied to the defense of the Tower, with Captain Mavel taking the lead in attacking the Nightgaunts, followed swiftly by Mary and the others. Karma warned the heroes not to let the Nightgaunts tickle them, for if they succeeded, they might never stop laughing . . . until their hearts gave out. Troia followed the Marvels in attempting to land a solid punch on one of the creatures. Unfortunately, all three quickly discovered that the rubbery bodies of the Nightgaunts deflected most physical blows.
As they were attacked the Guardians tried to fight back as best they could, though Eye-gore was besieged by one of the Nightgaunts trying to poke out his eyes. The brown blobby Guardian tried to take a bite out of one, but missed and was tickled, going into convulsions. Following his lead, BigSkull reached up and took a bite out of the Nightgaunt Captain Marvel had attacked, declaring it to be “good eating” . . . The Nightgaunts contined to try to tickle the heroes, seemingly nearly immune to their hardest blows. Karma quickly explained that they were made of extraterrene matter and that more extreme measures would be required to defeat them. Zatanna, taking Karma at her word, began flinging fireballs at the Nightgaunts, injuring several with her mystical flame.
Shrieking in pain, as the room filled with a smell like a cross between burning rubber and a rotting whale carcass, two of the Nightgaunts flew toward Zatanna, ready to tickle the Mistress of Magic to death. BigSkull managed to take a bite from the Nightgaunt that Mary had hit, which had also been hit by one of Zatanna’s fireballs, and the creature expired, with BigSkull commending the ladies for tenderizing and frying their opponent and declaring the Nightgaunt as “finger-licking good” . . . if, that is, the Guardian had any fingers. Firestorm hit another of the Nightgaunts with a nuclear blast, turning it into salt and causing it to fall apart on the floor. It seemed that, organic or not, the extraterrene matter of the Nightgaunts were indeed vulnerable to Firestorm’s “alchemical” power.
Meanwhile, Mistress Karma rose into the air, a blazing magical ankh appearing around her as she muttered a spell, opening a mystical portal and sending multiple bolts of pure glowing mana at the Nightgaunt attacking Eye-gore. obliterating the eldrich creature. The remaining creatures, smoking still from Zatanna’s fire, renewed their attack on the heroes. One managed to tickle Troia, but with her Amazon fortitude, she cast off the effects of the attack and grabbed the Nightgaunt, throwing it at one of its fellows with all her mighty strength. At the same time, both Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel called down their magical lightning on two of the creatures as the one Troia threw at the other bounced off his brother, only to throw himself and the other Nightgaunt directly into the path of the magical lightning. The two exploded into tiny splattering chunks, causing BigSkull to complain that he liked bigger bites.
Meanwhile, as the brown blob expired from the tickle attack, melting into a mess on the floor, Eye-gore, his eyes no longer in danger, unleashed a flurry of eyebeams at the remaining creature, just as Zatanna sent more magical flame its way, and Firestorm hit it with a nuclear blast designed to turn it into pepper. The Nightgaunt tried to flee, but the skeletal hound Guardian grabbed its leg and held it in place until it, too, was obliterated by the remaining attacks. And suddenly the battle was over. BigSkull, of course, complained that Firestorm should have provided the salt and pepper to season the Nightguants before he chowed down on them. Zatanna, meanwhile, summoned up a wind to blow the smells away and clear out the tower.
Asked how the Nightgaunts had breached her magical defenses, Mistress Karma suggested they must have had the help of one of the Great Old Ones. On occasion, some of them have been able to momentarily escape their confinement to engage in some nefarious scheme. She suspected Hastur, the prince of the power of the air, as he would certainly be powerful enough to break down her mystical defenses long enough to allow the Nightgaunts access. Fortunately, since none escaped, they can’t warn the Deep Ones that the heroes are closing in on them. And now, she declared, they more than ever needed to scry for the location of the Deep Ones’ Temple of Summoning. She magically transported the heroes to the Pool of Eternity.
At the Pool Mistress Karma began to scry for the location of the Temple of Summoning, with Zatanna and Mary Marvel lending her their energies. And she started to sense a vision . . . of a structure of non-euclidean architecture on a beach near the ocean, surrounded by Deep Ones. For a moment, she almost had the location–but then it faded. Frustrated, but not defeated, Karma took the heroes to her study, where she began to concentrate on the alchemical artifacts there, with Firestorm this time lending her extra energy. And again, she got the vision of the non-euclidean Temple of Summoning and the Deep Ones, and scryed a little more of its location–before it eluded her again. Declaring that she was close to securing the location, she teleported the heroes up to her Chamber of Summoning.
There, Mistress Karma concentrated like never before, putting all her mystical power into the task, this time aided by Troia and Captain Marvel. And . . . suddenly she had it! The location of the Deep Ones’ Temple, where they intended to summon Cthulhu to unleash the Great Old Ones on the planet! Looking to the other heroes, Mistress Karma asked if they were ready to end this threat to the Earths of the various timelines before it could grow. United, the heroes agreed–and the battle was on . . .
(To be continued . . .)
Heroes Present: Troia, Mary Marvel, Zatanna, Firestorm, Captain Marvel, Mistress Karma.
Others Present: Eye-gore, BigSkull, Brown Blob, Bone Dog, and other mystical Guardians of the Tower.
Villains Present: Nightgaunts.
Responding to an anonymous tip, Gotham City PD investigated an illegal gambling parlor in Chinatown to discover 14 members of the Chinese mob, The Steel Unicorn executed. This makes the second such execution style of killings of Chinese mobsters in two days. Police Commissioner James Gordon refused to comment on this second incident.
Gotham City Police investigating reports of gunfire heard in the warehouse district last night discovered nineteen members of the Chinese criminal gang, The Ghost Dragons brutally slain in a warehouse of a Chinese import business. The police are attempting to locate any eyewitnesses to what may have transpired. When asked if the police believe this was likely to be the product of an inter-gang war violence, Police Commissioner James Gordon refused comment.
This morning, the body of Professor Artemus Pointer, 58, was found dead in his brownstone home the apparent victim of a home robbery. Prof. Pointer was a famed historian and archaeologist and Professor Emeritus of Oriental Studies at Gotham University. In three days, he was planning to depart to China as head of an expedition searching for the lost tomb of Genghis Khan. Gotham City P.D. is currently investigating Professor Pointer’s homicide.
Yesterday, police and news reports went out about a large robot terrorizing citizens at the Perez Court Shopping Plaza in the Lakeside District of Central City. However, before several heroes arrived on the scene the robot had been defeated by a group of young heroes who eerily resembled The Fearsome Five…save these appeared to be in their teens.
When confronted, this new team asked to be called The Forever Five and that they were Central City’s new hero group. They avoided answering any questions as to why they appeared younger but seemed to confirm that they had been The Fearsome Five in a previous incarnation. However, this new team quickly began to antagonize the heroes present with their Gizmo saying that they were the NEW Titans and Jinx calling Zatanna an “old broad”.
Robin who had arrived on the scene with the other heroes however took offense and as things got hostile made the first move to hurl a batarang at the loud mouthed Gizmo. Gizmo reacted by firing a bolo from an odd gun of his that tangled Robin up. Jinx then fired fiery green chains to try to entwine Zatanna but The Mistress of Magic responded by turning the chains into a flower lei which she put about her neck before Jinx turned the lei into a boa constrictor.
Mammoth, who seemed itching for a fight then smashed his fists into the pavement before them to create a shock wave that drove some of the heroes off their feet. Shimmer than caused the pavement to turn to glass causing Flash to slip and crash into a tree in the courtyard. Troia leaped into the air and struck Mammoth in the jaw which angered his sister, Shimmer who then turned dust and debris from the street into an asphalt shield to try to protect her brother.
Psimon, who initially had taken no direct action during the conflict then mentally took control of the defeated robot nearby to slam Flash into the ground and pin him there, though Psimon kept reminding his team that they had only a certain amount of time to defeat the heroes. Psimon also made certain that he kept emphasizing to the nearby reporters and police that the heroes had openly attacked them and it was clear their motives were jealousy at being surplanted by a new super team in town and that the Forever Five wee only defending themselves.
Gizmo then took to the air as mechanical wings unfolded from his backpack and began firing rubber bullets from gauntlets on his wrists at Robin who had managed to slice thru the bolo lines with the razor sharp edge of a batarang. Robin rolled out of the way of the bullets to take cover behind an upended slab of pavement before running up the slab and leaping for Gizmo with his bo staff. He struck one of Gizmo’s rocket powered wings causing Gizmo to lose control and smash into the robot holding Flash, freeing him and causing Psimon to lose mental control of the machine. Once freed, Flash then quickly dismantled the robot at super-speed so it couldn’t be used against them again.
Zatanna and Jinx battled each other with magical spells as Jinx called herself the Mistress of The Elements before summoning gale force winds to knock Zatanna out of the air. Mammoth accidentally shattered the asphalt shield his sister had transmuted to protect him allowing Troia to move in and punch him in the eyes blinding him. Angered, Shimmer transmuted concrete around Troia’s ankles causing her to fall.
Zatanna then turned Jinx’s winds into a magical tornado that began to sweep up the Fearsome Five into it along with Robin! Flash dove into the tornado to try to rescue Robin but Mammoth got sick as he got twirled about and vomited which struck Flash in the face ( ewwwww!) blinding him and losing control to get swept up too. Troia who in falling had smashed the concrete about her ankles took cover and then hurled her magic lasso into the tornado for Robin to grab hold of. Robin managed to get hold of it but so did Gizmo and the two began to fight to keep hold of the lasso.
Psimon called out to remind his team that they were almost out of time as Zatanna seeing the havoc her tornado had created dispelled it and lift Robin to safety as Troia pulled in her lasso and knocked Gizmo who was still holding on unconscious with a blow to the face.
However, as the younger incarnation of the Fearsome Five hit the ground they suddenly appeared to be teleported away. Zatanna quickly cleaned Flash up as the heroes conferred on what had just happened. Though this incarnation were noticeably teenagers and far younger than the original Fearsome Five they did appear to be almost identical in powers and relationships ( with Shimmer and Mammoth again being brother and sister ). Zatanna suggested that they may be from the past but Flash reminded her that most of the original Fearsome Five didn’t acquire their powers until they were adults. Troia believed they may be from an alternate Earth.
Flash however believed the answer may be in the robot the team had defeated before the heroes arrived, suspecting it was a deliberate setup. Robin offered to help Flash analyze the dismantled robot back at the Bat Cave and Flash agreed.
Will the robot offer clues to the origin of this new version of The Fearsome Five? Who really are they and are they heroes or villains? What is really going on here?
(( To be continued….))
Heroes present: Flash, Troia, Zatanna, Robin the Boy Wonder ( Damian Wayne)
Others present: “The Forever Five” – ( Psimon, Gizmo, Shimmer, Mammoth, Jinx )