screamed Sandra Knight.
my dear, dear Phantom Lady.
exploits are written among the very mists of time and as such
need not be gone over here!
is enough that I am here and as you can see, I am very much
in control of this “little” party of ours.” exclaimed the
words sent cold shivers up the spine of Phantom Lady.
was well aware of what evil this emerald skinned fiend was
cool breeze blew across the crowd gathered in the Town Square
and as her black hair twisted in the wind, she realized what
a very dire situation she was in.
the left and right of her, chained to each other and quite
incapacitated, was what was left of the Freedom Fighters.
front of her, on a raised platform, was the eon’s old villain
Wotan and skulking next to him was his chief lackey, Mersufon.
this entire assemblage were hundreds of Wotan’s elite soldiers,
dressed in garish golden armor and armed with a type of plasma
firing, energy rifle.
so advanced, that they not only appear to be out of place,
but out of time when compared to the surrounding civilization.
the evil being spoke:
see my beautiful lady, I have shown these people the error
of their ways and have given them a wonderful existence.
work and make this kingdom a better place.
blood, toil and tears have made this kingdom grow and prosper,
and have made me powerful.
have eyes and ears that roam this land, I know everything
that happens here.
do you think that I knew you were here so quickly, ehh?” spoke
the dictator with an evil leer upon his devilish face.
his words were spoken, up on the dais stepped the figure of
a young dark-haired man.
young man whose head was held very low considering what he
had done to his family and new friends.
cried Esak as he lifted his head to look upon the traitor.
would you abandon your family and turn your back on your people?”
asked the old man of his oldest son.
Father!” Zarek cried.
I was promised to be reunited with Adira!”
with that, Zarek lunged forward and grabbed the blonde slave
girl and embraced her as only long, parted lovers could.
two stood and held each other and the tears began to flow.
look of astonishment and despair flashed across the face of
Phantom Lady as she gazed upon Zarek.
wonder Wotan’s soldiers were able to capture us so quickly!”
she thought to herself.
and I have kept my word, haven’t I Zarek?” exclaimed the evil
promised you that for your aid, I would allow you to be reunited
with your precious wife!
have kept my part of the bargain and for long enough.”
his gnarled hand from his amulet, Wotan waved a command to
his soldiers and two of them stepped towards Zarek and Adira.
a butt stroke to the head, the couple were again separated
and the limp body of Zarek thrown down at the feet of his
father, Esak. “I never promised you a long reunion fool, no
not a long one at all!” hissed Wotan, casting a glance upon
the slave girl now lying at his feet, sobbing.
the prisoners Sergeant and take them back to the palace for
disposal!” ordered Wotan.
what of Esak and his sons?” whispered the Grand Vizier, Mersufon,
into the ear of the Caliph.
are of no threat to my plans or me my disciple.
to leave a weak leader in power, one that we can control,
no?” replied Wotan.
replied rubbing his grubby hands together in glee.
always Master, you are quite correct!”
two figures of utter evil stood on the dais laughing an evil
laugh, a laugh that echoed off into the distance.
soldiers loaded the Freedom Fighters into a caged wagon for
around the wagon, Phantom Lady realized that all the Freedom
Fighters were here, yes all were here save one.
she thought to herself.
Yes readers, where was Darrell Dane
AKA Doll Man? What
has happened to our mighty mite? -Ye Writer
the back of the crowd a pair of miniature eyes watched as
the Caliph’s party departed and his compatriots were loaded
into a cage and escorted off towards the palace of Wotan.
in a blanket, the diminutive member of our merry party had
watched in horror at the developments of this morning.
to find the words to express himself, Doll Man spoke to the
woman holding him in her arms.
I thank you very much for your help in concealing me from
the soldiers, but I have to get after them.”
“Kind sir, I owed you this much for your
friend saving my little girl yesterday, but I must warn you
that you will be killed if the soldiers find you.
You wouldn’t stand a chance against all of them!” exclaimed
the familiar woman.
you are right, but I have to do something!” spoke Doll Man
as he jumped down to the ground in the Town Square.
my friend, something must be done!” exclaimed Esak as he saw
Doll Man hit the ground.
am truly sorry for what I have done Father, but isn’t it time
for us to start fighting back?
must do something to make amends for my foul deed, and to
retrieve my dearest wife.”cried Zarek.
you think that you can be trusted now?
years ago we had a saying “Loose lips, sink ships!
think that it applies here!” spoke Doll Man in a stern voice.
debt is great son and may never be repaid, quickly let us
adjourn to my home and discuss our options, time is of the
essence.” stated Esak to the small group.
darkness fell over the village, the radiance of oil lamps
and candles illuminated the home of Esak.
small band of young men and women, perhaps fifteen to twenty
in number, had been assembled to discuss the matter at hand
and to discuss the alternatives they had in fighting the Caliph
and rescuing the Freedom Fighters.
was a rag-tag bunch, not professional soldiers by any means,
but those that had been trained by the downfalls of a brutal
that had been trained by a rifle butt or a lash of the whip
and an empty stomach.
has to be stopped and my friends must be rescued.” exclaimed
Doll Man to the gathered group.
have six friends that are captured and who knows what else
is being done to them, and one friend that has been missing
for years and must be found.
know what you all want of me, but I don’t think that I am
the man you want.
only Firebrand hadn’t been captured.
is the man you need!”
may be true Doll Man, but you are the only one left to us!
must do as we ask, if you are to ever see your friends, or
me my wife, alive again.” spoke Zarek.
then, I’ll do it.
a whole lot of time for me to debate the question.
do we even have any kind of weapons, something other than
hand weapons?” Doll Man asked.
the small house was soon gathered the small pieces, the scavenged
parts of a fighting force.
knives, spears and axes.
small arms gathered off of fallen scout parties of the Caliph,
and even some rifles and explosives.
a couple of what appeared to Doll Man to be mortar launchers,
launchers that fired a small plasma charge similar to the
rifles and pistols, only with a much greater wallop.
gather here in the morning just before dawn.
training will begin then.
show me the layout of this palace once again Esak.
me what you think is the best way to enter the palace?” asked
two men worked diligently into the night, working on a plan
to rescue the Freedom Fighters.
seemed that Esak was still very familiar with the interior
of the Palace and with all good citadels several of the rooms
had hidden passages connecting them.
entrances from one section of the palace to the other and
Esak knew where they were all located.
few hours before dawn, Darrell Dane and Esak had come up with
a rudimentary plan, a plan born of desperation and fed on
was all finished, Doll Man lay down in the meeting room in
a vain attempt to get a few hours rest before the next days
rough training would begin, a rest that would be very sporadic
and unsatisfying to say the least.
only Rod were here to train these kids, my military training
is very limited.
of my Army time during WWII was spent in research facilities
at Montauk Point in New York.
Uncle Sam were here, he would know what to do and how to go
guess, I could lay here and wish my life away, but it wouldn’t
do me any good.
I really need your strength now, seems your Darrell may have
bitten off more than he can chew.” he mumbled in his anxiety.
on Earth, in the modest New York City apartment of retired
NYPD officer Chuck Lane AKA the Jester, Chuck was flipping
through the television channels looking for something to
take his depressed mind and dejected heart off of his worldly
he caught a glimpse of something that made him sit up and
take notice. Something
on one of his favorite mid-afternoon talk shows, a show
about racial intolerance and hatred.
A show featuring several hate groups and neo-Nazis
spreading their message of hate and doom.
Something about one of the groups seemed familiar
to Chuck Lane. Moving
his wheel chair a little closer to the screen, he could
just make out a few emblems on some of the hate-mongers
that definitely belonged to “The Black Legion.”
the dark and dreary halls of the palace of the Caliph, Wotan
was tapping on his cherished amulet with his long green fingers,
contemplating what he would do to his captured enemies.
from behind his bejeweled throne came a voice;
me my Master, might I have a brief word with you?” begged
but of course my loyal Grand Vizier!” replied Wotan.
I was wondering what was to be the fate of our enemies?” he
mumbled to the Caliph.
are going to die of course my friend, but the question is
how?” replied the green-skinned scoundrel to his lackey.
I was wondering if you would grant me a favor?” he asked.
what is it then you churl, I have important matters on my
with IT!” yelled Wotan getting tired of the conversation.
was hoping that you, in your immense wisdom, could see fit
not to kill the one they call Phantom Lady.
was wondering if, I might have her, that is if you, my dear
master didn’t want her?” replied the gnarled man dressed in
she has bewitched you eh?
you with her evil beauty.” responded Wotan with a half smile,
“Bewitched you with her wretched splendor!”
my Lord and Master!” was the response of the Grand Vizier.
deliciously fitting for one, such as Phantom Lady to be trapped
with one such as Mersufon!
fate worse than death itself.”
to himself he spoke, “Of course my apprentice, have her as
you, Master!” responded Mersufon with glee on his thin,
will finish working on that magnificent machine of yours
tonight and tomorrow evening, I will have her prepared and
brought to my chambers.”
in the village, the morning had come all too early for Darrell
Dane and the young warriors at his control were now anxious
to begin their training.
for these “soldiers” was long and tedious.
hours, of intense hand-to-hand training, were spent that morning
and then by that afternoon, Darrell Dane was trying to rely
upon his memory to train them in the ways of military tactics
and maneuvers on the field of battle.
that he hadn’t had to remember, in this manner, since the
early days of World War II.
the light of the setting sun left the band of trainees, Esak
approached Doll Man and asked, “How goes the training my friend?”
not to bad actually.” replied Darrell.
of the older ones are very good at hand-to-hand combat and
subterfuge, and are training the others in those areas.
oldest son, as bad as I hate to admit it, is a natural born
leader and the younger one is a very talented slight-of-hand
still have my work cut out for me though, when it comes to
the advanced weapons.”
have to be good at it my small friend!” responded the wise
have had to steal to eat, a very sad end of a very proud people!”
sad, I agree!” Darrell Dane said hanging his head low and
kicking the dirt below.
figure, I have about two days at best to get them prepared
for the mission!”
any longer and the chance of survival for your comrades would
be next to nothing!” stated Esak.
I will go on training them up into the night on the lay out
of the palace that you have given us!
can only hope and pray that we’ll be ready!” Darrell Dane
pray with you.” spoke the meek Esak.
evening at dusk, back at the palace of the Caliph, a twisted
and dark figure awaited the entrance of one, Sandra Knight
AKA Phantom Lady into his tower.
pulse quickened as he heard the footsteps of the guards and
of his anticipated quest.
the lovely one in!” he yelled to the sergeant of the guard.
her in and then leave!”
the heavy door and then brushing back the curtains, the guards
escorted our Phantom Lady into the tower of the Grand Vizier,
he turned in his heavy, black cloak to look upon her beauty,
he saw a vision of utter loveliness.
black, flowing tresses of raven hair caressed a buxom body
of alabaster that was covered in a silky, shimmering, golden
gown studded with shining gems.
only thing distinguishing her from a noble princess were the
ankle chains binding her feet.
from behind a golden veil, she asked, “What do you want with
my dear, merely to look upon your radiance is all.” he whispered
as he walked across his chambers to greet her.
you are the most beautiful creature that I have ever seen,
and I only want to be in your presence for a few moments.”
them both a goblet of wine, he approached our heroine. “Here,
my dear, drink!” he cackled.
the goblet from the long, spindly hands, Phantom Lady thought
about what she should do.
thoughts turned to her teammates, who she hadn’t seen since
the day before and to what unseen tortures they were facing.
cautious question and answer session was called for.” she
he’ll tell more than he should!”
his goblet, Mersufon made a most unentertaining toast.
US my lovely one, to us!” he spoke as he drank the blood red
too raised the glass and then took a small sip while she stared
at this little, twisted man.
then approached Phantom Lady and grabbing her with his thin,
cold hands, sat her on the edge of a large round bed covered
by pillows and surrounded by whisper thin curtains.
warm gentle breeze coming from the outside of the tower, blew
the ethereal curtains back and over the heads of the two.
am sorry,” she spoke with tears in her eyes, “but I can’t
relax thinking about what has happened to my friends.”
are being kept in a very safe place in the Caliph’s lower
halls, until he decides what to do with them.
don’t think, whatever the outcome is, it will be too pleasant
for your compatriots.” he whispered.
Master is very intent on their utter destruction, but not
before he lets them see his plan come to fruition.”
interest in Mersufon, Phantom Lady continued to sip her wine
and allowed him to loosen up, on the hopes that it would also
loosen his tongue.
quickly finished his second glass of wine, before he said
“Don’t worry my sweet, I will never let anything happen to
will protect you!”
that I am glad of!” she cried.
couldn’t bear to be cooped up in some dark, dreary, cramped
the lower hall isn’t what you would call a regular dungeon!”
is a large great hall deep within the bowels of this palace
where the master keeps his massive machine!”
responded Phantom Lady
yes.” retorted Mersufon.
gigantic interdimensional transporter is a machine capable
of sending hundreds, if not thousands of people from one dimension
is a terrible, monolithic engine, not science based wholly,
but a combination of the Master’s scientific expertise and
his knowledge of the mystic arts as well.”
another glass of wine, Mersufon continued, “The Master is
very anxious to put his device to its proper use.”
very close now to the vile minion of Wotan, Phantom Lady undid
her veil and began to talk in low, sweet whispers as she stroked
the cheek of Mersufon.
me, my love,” she asked, “what does he plan on doing with
my sweet, he plans on using it to transport legions of his
shock troopers to your homeworld and become its ruler of course!”
answered the Grand Vizier.
glorious war, WAR!”
shock of hearing this news is almost too much to bear as Phantom
Lady turned her head towards the wall, choking back a tear.
must learn as much about this device as possible and also
about where the rest of the team is being held.
must free them immediately.” she thought to herself.
turning back towards the gnarled little man dressed in black
rags she asked “Such a machine must drain a lot of power,
where here does he get it?”
my dear Phantom Lady, why from all around of course!
do you think that this once luscious land is now barren and
turning into a desert wasteland?
machine drains “life energy” from the surroundings and from
“other” sources.” he spoke while draining his goblet.
a creature of the sciences,” she whispered to Mersufon, “that
is simply a sight that I would love to see!
you show me?” she asked.
I really shouldn’t, but such a sweet delicate flower as you,
I wouldn’t dream would give me too much trouble, now would
you?” replied the evil, half-drunken man as he placed his
hand upon Sandra Knights thigh.
later, the two slowly descended a secret stone stairway into
the very bowels of this once regal palace.
lit the way and Mersufon led Phantom Lady, one hand on hers
and another on the wine decanter.
cobwebs and dusty corridors they trekked, until at last the
narrow passages opened into a huge, dimly lit room.
on a wide and long walkway high above, Phantom Lady was amazed
to see a massive machine of gyros and gears at one end of
the enormous hall.
she stared at the massive, dark apparatus an overwhelming
since of foreboding and fear washed over her.
was like looking into the eye of a hurricane or perhaps into
the abyss itself!
ominous mechanism seemed to be controlled from the walkway
by a large control panel.
a marvel, eh?” Mersufon mumbled, his mouth full of wine.
I agree, a marvel!” responded Phantom Lady, standing next
to the control panel.
she gazed at the panel of knobs, lights and other assorted
devices trying to make heads or tails of the madness, her
keen mind trying to understand the workings of the device,
she became confused.
can this device actually be working?” she thought.
my dear, a real marvel!” he mumbled in his now slurring speech.
altogether mechanical or altogether magical!”
she stood in amazement, from behind she could feel his hot
breath on her shoulder; she could sense this evil man sniffing
her ebony hair.
touched her on the arm and it sent cold shivers down her spine.
to face Mersufon, Sandra Knight’s heart started beating and
she could feel the adrenaline surge through her veins.
could see in his eyes, his intentions.
had reached her “breaking point” and this was definitely more
than she could bear!
dear, would you do me the honor of giving me a kiss?” he whispered,
closer, my lovely Mersufon.” she replied.
the sickly, pale skinned, hunched man leaned up and over to
receive his gift, he is surprised by a long, roundhouse right
hand that strikes him clean in the temple.
he cried aloud as he is knocked across the width of the walkway
and strikes the stone wall with a thud!
keep your slimy, nasty hands to yourself!” yelled Phantom
Lady as she lunged towards the downed villain.
wouldn’t kiss you to give you CPR!”
the fallen wine decanter up from the catwalk, Phantom Lady
moved in for another attack.
a wicked backhand, she struck the fallen foe across the left
cheek with the bottle!
bottle struck with full ferocity and sliced open the thin,
of the broken glass dug into his face!
the remnants of the broken decanter; she hurled herself at
Mersufon, teeth gritted, ready to deal him a well-placed punch.
she neared him, a powerful force struck her face-front and
sent her flying back to the bottom of the stairway.
to a stop at the bottom step, she slowly rose to her feet.
down a burning torch off of the front wall, Phantom Lady moved
in to incapacitate the cringing, grotesque creature.
is but a small sample of my power whore!” he screamed at her.
will kill you where you stand!”
and whose army?!” cried Sandra Knight as she charged toward
out of nowhere, she was “snatched up” in a powerful invisible
and held aloft by an invisible hand, she soon discovered that
her air supply had been cut off.
force was so powerful that she simply couldn’t breathe or
Lady gasped and struggled to draw in, even enough breath to
and MY ARMY!
unappreciative wench!” a voice spoke from the shadowed stairwell.
Master,” cried Mersufon, “don’t kill her just yet, wait until…”
you weren’t so important to my master plan, I would kill you
were you stand.
I will allow you to live!
with the scar that this lovely temptress has not only put
on your repulsive face, but your scurvy little heart!
from my sight and tend to your deep wounds, while I SHOW our
little beast here something of interest.”
quickly scurried away like vermin and Wotan approached our
captive, feminine fury!
his wretched hand, he stroked the convulsing Sandra Knight’s
cheek and began to speak.
dearest Phantom Lady!
me to show you something very…interesting indeed!”
a gesture, a switch was thrown in the great hall and Phantom
Lady heard a familiar hum.
hum was that of electrical lights!
the lights come on, she was astonished to see that the room
below was much larger than even she had imagined.
her head back around, she was even more shocked to see her
once powerful friends, at the far end of the elevated walkway,
on a stand trussed up by large metallic bands.
bands, several inches wide and thick, grasping their hands
and feet and encircling their throats.
noticed that they look very weary and frail, and at most semi-conscious.
“Tsk, tsk, tsk.
Don’t fret my lovely, you will be joining them very
soon, I can assure you!
You have humbled my assistant with your wily ways,
but you will not be able to do so with me.
I am quite beyond your prancing and prattling and your
Look upon the weary, tortured and weak faces of your
fellow teammates and despair!” he gloated with the face of
a devil. ________________________________________________________________________
dawn broke at the village, Darrell Dane was putting his raw
recruits through their paces.
the final day of training they were drilled in the firing
of their gathered weapons, both heavy and light.
training went smoothly enough and Zarek approached Doll Man.
I must speak with you about my actions the other day!” he
asked as he stared at the Mini-Marvel.
shoot and get if off of your chest!” Darrell Dane responded.
just go ahead!” snickered Doll Man.
Sir, nothing I say can or do will change your mind about me.
I must say that I did, what I thought I must do, to get back
my lovely wife.
know that it wasn’t right and I am terribly sorry!
you ever done something for the love of a woman that later
caused you trouble?” asked Zarek.
have indeed, Zarek, I have indeed!”
a smile on his face, Darrell Dane continued.
you are a natural born leader and the soldiers here look up
must use those skills that you have and lead your people out
of the bondage of slavery and misery.
we attack at daybreak tomorrow, you Zarek will lead this team!
must not fail, or all is lost!”
won’t let you down again, I swear!” replied the young man.
the evening the rescue team is gathered for one last planning
session and they were drilled on the pending assault on the
until they were all familiar with their jobs and the task
late that night, they were ready!
the castle of the Caliph, the candles also burned brightly.
my scarred cur, all is in readiness for our assault on my
will be mine!
the Freedom Fighters all powerless below and my armies gathering
for the invasion, nothing can stop me!”
“No, Master, nothing can stop you and your beautiful wickedness!
legions have all been gathered from around the kingdom and
are resting below in the great hall, awaiting the assault
it will be a glorious day for you, evil one!
of course, beside you as always will be your most humble servant.”
course! Wotan laughed heartily and rubbed his fingers over
his prized amulet.
us retire now Vizier, for tomorrow we INVADE!”
To be concluded
in issue #4.
Hello and welcome to the end of issue
#3. I must confess
to you all that I have been suffering from a little writer’s
lag lately. That
and the Christmas hullabaloo have kept me kind of running
around “like a chicken with it’s head cutoff!”
a few letters, Lady Obie writes:
Part 2 was awesome :-D!!!
have loved writing this series so far.
really great characters and need to be given a chance by DC
couldn't guess who the baddie was so I'm eagerly awaiting
part 3 to find out :-)!! Thank you for sending it to me!!
No problem there Lady O!
I was most appreciative of your help and the help of
several other comic buffs on Yahoo! at the Justice Society
Appreciation Association or the JSAAA.
It’s a great place to hang out and a great bunch of
people to discuss Golden Age characters with.
All I can say is, “Hang on!
The best is yet to come!”
I really appreciate the advance copy of the
story. I was
very much taken with things there and
Chris! Glad that you liked issue #2, and I agree that it was
rather slow paced, but I felt that it needed to be to introduce
"other-dimensional" characters that will be so important
to the rest of the
story. Also I feel that there is a natural "let down"
after the big intro
issue. Heck, you are just so doggone happy to have the team
that it would be fun if they were just gathered around a table
that, an average, slower paced tale can't be as good.
But I was hoping to see the team more
their loss of abilities and curious to
apparent UN-LOSS of his.
Well, I felt
that Happy Terrill was very concerned about his loss, and
Lincoln was happily surprised about his, but they were both
Doll Man and Phantom Ladies explanation.
The pacing of
this one was not as good as the first
one, and I felt
it actually dragged. A recap of the
the Phantom Stranger telling Plas)
would be in
probably have a few sentence re-intro in issue #4.
the desert should have
been an ALTERNATE
America. One where democracy never
of the despots holding the city.
far as the desert dimension goes, it was
mainly created just to show the reader what an immense evil
influence can do
to the land and the people. Sort of the old "Fisher King"
or "King Arthur"
type setup. The king and land are one! Once the land was green
but now is barren and almost a wasteland.
I wonder where
the story is going--and can't wait for
the next installment.
Hopefully, the pace will pick
up and we'll
see heroes and heroines battling, despite
having any powers
of their own. Sorry--Issue
two was not
as good as one. I just hope that 3 and 4
are faster and
more action packed.
I think that
the pace will definitely pick up the closer you get to issue#4.
I hope you all were satisfied with the fight scene at the
end of #2? I know it was
certainly rushed, but it was really my first fight scene.
(Do you remember
Shadow War of the Hawkman? The
page of issue one still haunts me.
laughed when I told him that--but agreed
that it was
done to pull me into the next issue. You
need a grabber
I thought I
had one?! Case in point, the scene at the end of issue#2 where
Phantom Lady is brought in front of the evil Caliph sitting
on his throne
laughing. She recognizes him and he her. Tense enough for
Hope this was
helpful and not critical--Zammo!
Not too critical at all. As a matter of fact, I love the responses.
me what the typical reader likes and dislikes. Keep it coming
Thanks again and can't wait to get your response to
to all that have written in, and keep those letters and comments
know that there were several others that wrote in, but I lost
your letters due to a computer crash.
you will resubmit your letters, I promise you they will be
read, answered and greatly appreciated.
as promised, I would like to just take a few minutes to talk
to you about “aging” and the effects of the presence of Uncle
Sam on the Freedom Fighters.
simply, my take on their aging is just this.
course this is all purely hypothetical on my part, but if
Sandra Knight AKA Phantom Lady were 18 years old in 1940,
then chronologically she would now be a septuagenarian.
if you allow that by merely being in the presence of Uncle
Sam (on and off again) from 1940 until roughly 1974 she wouldn’t
have aged (if she did it was very, very slowly) physically
then by 1999 she is still quite young and vibrant.
would put her actually looking and feeling like she was in
her early 40’s now.
do the math:
(actual age at time of meeting Uncle Sam)
(years that have went by since Uncle Sam disappeared)
physical years old, 73 actual, chronological years old
Phantom Lady is still pretty hot in those yellow tights!
really simple once you think about it.
course those that didn’t stay around Uncle Sam for a great
length of time, would have aged at a different rate.
wouldn’t it have been great if DC had used this for the Justice
Society and other Golden Age characters?
heard it hear first folks!
hope that this does explain a few things to you about the
aging process that I am using here in my storylines.
again for everything!
don’t miss out on reading issue #4!