Superman was being held down by Solomon Grundy, while Metallo killed the Man of Steel slowly with radiation from his kryptonite heart. Bizarro and Parasite looked on, until lightning crossed the skies, and an unseen force began to attack the villains.
In no time, the Power of Shazam was at Superman's disposal. Captain Marvel had answered Kal-El's distress signal, and now offered a helping hand. Superman was too sick to hold himself up, and Bizarro had recovered, so the Big Red Cheese flew them both to safety. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor teleported to the scene to save Parasite from the kryptonite (he'd absorbed Superman's weaknesses with his strengths) that he replaced in Metallo's chest cavity. Bizarro rejoined the motley crew.
Dinah Lance walked into her bedroom to find her lover Oliver Queen buried under a fleshy mass, and with green arrows seemingly buried in his head. Whether this was from the Scarecrow's nightmare gases or Clayface's shifting form, an ear-splitting Canary Cry shook the facade loose. Ollie Queen yet lived, and shoved the sparking end of a busted lamp into Clayface's electrocuted hide.The villains fled, and a tearful Black Canary held her shaken man. Dinah wondered why her cry hadn't hurt Ollie, until he removed his earplugs. You see, Clayface had turned himself into a blond Dinah to trick Queen before the attack, not realizing Lance was naturally a brunette. Ollie figured he might be needing more than one form of protection, if his Pretty Bird was indulging in amorous role-play...
Green Lantern Hal Jordan had been forced through a Boom Tube by Sinestro and left in a starless, uncharted area of space. His power ring couldn't get him back home, so he asked it "How much longer before your charge runs out and I die?"
Superman guided Captain Marvel to the Batcave. None of the active Leaguers were answering his calls, so some reservists like the Captain had been notified. The Dark Knight was angry that Superman had compromised him, but Marvel assured, "I would never tell anyone about this place. Which is really cool, by the way." Marvel thought it might help to transform back into his normal self of kid reporter Billy Batson, but Batman just complained about the noise and magic lightning bouncing around his headquarters, not to mention questioning the kid's experience with "crime and loss." Billy politely blew off the Caped Crusader's ignorance, while Superman cold decked his friend. The Man of Steel was too weak for it to be a killing blow, but he gave it all he had, since Batman had palmed some kryptonite. X-ray Vision revealed that Batman was full of mind-controlling mechanical worms, and Superman soon realized he was similarly compromised. Alfred Pennyworth was too, as he covered Billy's mouth with one hand and threatened to slice the boy's throat with the Batarang in the other.
Lex Luthor cast black marbles into a body of water, and from out of it emerged ebony spheres the size of cities. This was Braniac's doing, and though one super-villain would inevitably betray the other, for now everything was going according to mutual plans.
Billy's heel slammed hard into Alfred's foot as he broke loose of the butler's grip. Superman pegged the manservant in the brow with a flung coffee cup, while with one magic word, Captain Marvel was restored. Alfred and the Batman were tied up. Next, Superman asked Marvel to throw him into the sun, in order to burn out the worms...
"Chapter Five" was plotted and painted by Alex Ross. The script was provided by Jim Krueger, and the penciled layouts by Doug Braithwaite.
Continue the story through these character-specific posts:
- Elongated Man & Aquaman at Justice League Detroit
- Martian Manhunter at The Idol-Head of Diabolu
- Ray Palmer with Carter & Shiera Hall at Power of the Atom
- Wonder Woman versus the Cheetah at Diana Prince
Captain Marvel really does rock the Quadriceps of Awesome...
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