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Spirit of Liberty!

Issue #4

"All This…And World War Too!"

Writer "Blustery" Bob Danner,
Co-Plotted by "Blustery" Bob Danner and "Svelte" Sammy Lindon
 


"Man, oh man, I sure am getting antsy!" spoke Plastic Man to the enigmatic figure known as the Phantom Stranger.  "Why, my stomach is tied into knots…literally!"  As the dark figure of the Stranger looked at him, Plastic Man lifted his familiar red, black and yellow tunic to reveal that his stomach was indeed "tied into knots!" 

 

"Patience my malleable friend," he replied as he stood in the middle of the floor, "soon we will know the outcome, good or bad!"


What are they both waiting for you may ask?  Perhaps it’s time for a slight recap. 

 

Black Condor, Doll Man, Phantom Lady, the Ray, Firebrand, the Human Bomb and Plastic Man, all once members of the Freedom Fighters, were brought together at Independence Hall in Philadelphia PA by a spectral image of Uncle Sam.  Once there, the group met up with the mysterious Phantom Stranger and was sent, on a quest to a world in another dimension, to look for the Spirit of Liberty, Uncle Sam.  Opening a dimensional doorway to this world, the Phantom Stranger sent the Freedom Fighters gathered, to rescue their leader.  Plastic Man arrived too late to accompany them. 

 

Arriving there, the heroes discovered a desolate land inhabited by a very destitute people, ruled by an evil monarch.  Captured by the villainous Caliph, who later turned out to be none other than the sorcerer Wotan, they all save for Doll Man, were taken to his palace to be executed.  Now, with the Freedom Fighters being held captive and Wotan planning to invade the Earth with his legions of hi-tech storm troopers; Doll Man attempts a desperate rescue mission to storm the palace.

 

So this is where we are now folks, just hang onto to your hats! -Ye Writer


"Well, I sure wish they would hurry!  That storm is really getting rough outside Stranger!" spoke Plas as a flash of lightning lit up his face, as well as the darkened hall.

 

"They have only been gone from HERE for a few hours Plastic Man.  Though the passage of time may indeed be different in the other dimension where your friends are!" responded the Stranger.

 

 

 


 

Indeed Stranger, indeed time has been passing a little different for our band of Freedom Fighters.  On this other world, hours have seemed like days and it has been several hours there since Wotan captured Phantom Lady.  Regaining consciousness, Sandra Knight could hear the voice of Roy Lincoln AKA the Human Bomb.

 

"Sandy, Sandy, are you… alright?" asked the Human Bomb.  "C’mon kid, wake up!"

 

Shaking her head, Phantom Lady could tell that she had been placed on the same platform as her friends, her hands, neck and legs bound by thick metallic bands.  Looking to her right she could see Roy, Rod, Happy and Tom, looking like they had been through the proverbial grinder, beaten and tortured and left shackled up here, to await death.  Her vision still blurry she responded, "I’m OK Roy, I’m OK as far as I can tell."

 

"Well, you may not have wanted to wake up, when you see what’s going on in that giant hallway below!  Looks like Wotan has gathered up every soldier in this kingdom and they are armed to the teeth for something!" 

 

Looking at Roy, Sandra Knight’s concerns turned to here comrades, "Are the others…OK Roy?"

 

"Yeah, we’re all fine," spoke Black Condor as he turned to his left, "just a little worse for the wear!"

 

"Ow!" exclaimed the Ray with a half grin on his face as he winced in pain.   "I think we are all OK PL!  Only our pride hurt more than our bodies.  Rod?"

 

"Yep, just fine here guys!  I have been watching this buildup for hours now and this bunch isn’t just going out on a jaunt in the park.  They are preparing for some kind of invasion?!" replied Firebrand.

 

"EXACTLY!" whispered Phantom Lady as loudly as she could.  "According to Wotan’s Grand Vizier, they are planning on using that huge, otherworldly machine at the end of the catwalk to transport this army onto Earth and then Wotan plans on leading them into a full scale war.  A war that Wotan has trained this army to win at all costs.  He wants to rule the world and plans on using his combined knowledge of science and sorcery to help him accomplish this."

 

"But could he really take over the entire Earth with that army?" replied the Human Bomb with a puzzled look on his face.  "Seems like the odds are against, old green gills on this one!  Maybe he’s finally cracked?"

 

Shaking her head, Phantom Lady responded, "Normally I would agree with you Roy, but those weapons he has armed them with are some type of high-energy weapons.  Electrical or even Plasma powered."

 

"Not electrical, I can assure you of that gang!" the Ray said as he tried to peer through his swollen left eye.

 

"Well, maybe not electrical then Hap, but certainly powerful and some of them are enormous and look like they’re mounted on "flying platforms" of some kind?" replied Phantom Lady.

 

Turning to his left towards Roy and Sandy, Rod Reilly spoke, "Not only mounted, but several that appear to be built in the form of rocket and mortar launchers as well!  And from what I can see, there appears to be several hundred soldiers gathered up in that hall."

 

"Every bit of that Firebrand and more, I’d count more like in the several thousands." Black Condor spoke focusing his keen eyes on the gathered crowd below, "a very nice group indeed, my friends!  How many more does he have outside on the palace grounds?"

 

"Who knows, who knows?" answered Sandy.  "All I know is that Darrell was never captured and is out there somewhere, doing God knows what?"

 

"Yeah, how did the little squirt manage to elude them?  No doubt the shrimp is having delusions of grandeur and has concocted some kinda scheme to rescue us!  What kinda "goat rope" has he gotten into?!" replied Roy Lincoln shaking his head in disbelief.

 

You are closer than you think Human Bomb, closer than you think! - Ye Writer

 

 


As the dawn started to break over the palace grounds, a small band of rebels had gathered on the outlying sandy hills and were watching very anxiously the legions as they marched into the far northern side of the Palace.  Strapped onto the back of the rebel leader Zarek, Doll Man watched and waited for his opportunity to start the rescue.

 

Dropping a pair of binoculars into the hands of Zarek, Darrell Dane looked down over the young mans hairy head and said, "Well, according to your father’s map, the troops are going into an entrance that leads into a great hall in the depths of the palace.  There is another small entranceway on the eastern side that leads up a stairway, to a section of the palace overlooking that hall.  I sure would like to see what they are up to.  This leads us towards the dungeon area as it is, so…"

 

"So this is it then?" responded Zarek.  "This is the time that we have trained for!"

 

"Yes, it surely is." answered Doll Man.  Turning towards two of his soldiers, Doll Man exclaimed, "Sergeant, take your squad and get those plasma mortars set up in position.  I want you to make a lot of noise and do as much damage as you can on the far side of that assembly area.  That ought to keep them off of us for awhile.  Give us a few minutes to get into position at the palace and then start with your bombardment.  Only when you have established an arc of fire, can you proceed into the palace.  Leave the minimum it takes to operate the mortars and then get your butt into the fray."

 

"Yessir!" replied the soldier as he waved his squad on and away towards the western side of the palace grounds.

 

Turning and pointing at the other Sergeant, Doll Man spoke.  "Sergeant, take your squad and get those explosive charges set up on the roadway in front of the main gate.  When they go off, hopefully the guards at the front gate will exit to investigate and will leave the gate unattended for a few moments.  This should give you all enough time to secure the gate and cause as much destruction and commotion as you can out front."

 

"On our way, Sir!" responded the Sergeant as his squad moved off to the south.

 

Zarek turned to look at his younger brother Dessa, who was shaking in his shoes.  Holding out his right hand he spoke, "Little Brother, do your best and stay as close to me as you can!"

 

"D…D…Don’t worry about me!" he exclaimed.  "I’ll be just fine and in the end, I’ll beat you to that devil!"  The two brothers then embraced only for a second, but a lifetime of feelings and emotions poured forth.

 

"The only thing you’ll beat me to is his lifeless body!" responded Zarek.

 

"Err…could we get a move on gentlemen?" exclaimed Doll Man.  "We are losing darkness here!"

 

"You’re right, Sir!" replied Zarek. 

 

The band of rebels then headed off, scurrying across sandy hills and through dried up shrubs, moving towards the small doorway that Doll Man had spoke of.  Only moments before dawn and the rebels were, thus far, unmolested by Wotan’s guards or troops, and this worried Darrell Dane.  As the group edged ever closer to the palace, he thought, "This is far, far to easy!  Something is definitely up here.  Where are all the soldiers?"

 

Where indeed Darrell Dane, where indeed? -Ye Writer

 


 

As our captured band of Freedom Fighters came to their senses and struggled to get free, the diabolical duo of Wotan and his Grand Vizier, Mersufon made their grand appearance!

 

"Welcome my troops, welcome my friends!" spoke the evil potentate.  "Your Caliph is about to lead you on a grand crusade to a land of evil and injustice!  Once we have established a foot hold on this world, we will roll like a huge, powerful wave over it!  We will then rule a rich and fruitful world, with riches enough for all of you and your families!  Today, shall be a day, spoken of by you and your descendants for ages to come!"

 

"Blowhard!" screamed the Human Bomb.

 

"My thoughts exactly, Bomb!" cried Firebrand.

 

"Indeed friends, they will find that they have bitten off more than they can bear to chew, when they get to Earth!" exclaimed Black Condor.

 

Clicking his gnarled fingers on his amulet, Wotan continued on, "You see my loyal subjects?  This is the insolence that those that inhabit that "little" world have for your Caliph and also, for you!  There are others there, that wield great powers, but they are nothing when compared to your military might!"  Beating his hand on the catwalk’s railing, he cried, " I have given you all that you need for ultimate victory, for ultimate control!

 

As Wotan rambled on, his troops began to work themselves into a fevered pitch.  The gathered legions began to chant in unison in a low, whooping growl.  Anxious anticipation by the gathered army awed our band of prisoners.

 

 "Holy Smokes!  They really are more than willing to follow this lunatic into World War III, aren’t they?" spoke the Ray.

 

"You aren’t kidding Ray!  Does that green-skinned goof remind you of anyone?" asked Phantom Lady.

 

"Yeah, our dear old Uncle "Adolph" at Nuremberg!" replied Happy Terrill.

 

"Goof, GOOF!" screamed Mersufon at Phantom Lady.  "Just you wait until the Master rules that world of yours entire!  Then, who will be the goof?"

 

"Listen here, dirtball, just wait until I get my mitts on that smug little puss of yours!" yelled the Human Bomb, as he lunged towards the minion of Wotan.

 

Like the little timid snake that he was, Mersufon jumped back and cowered at the feet of Wotan, as he further stoked the fires of invasion.  "Yes, my legions, prepare yourselves to be transported to a lush, green world just ripe for conquest!  TAKE YOUR PLACES!"

 

On command, the massive military gathered below fell into formation on the "pads" of the floor of the great hall.

 

 


Meanwhile, Doll Man’s small band of "freedom fighters" had moved into position without incident and was ready to start the assault on the palace of Wotan.

 

"Sir, are we ready?" asked Zarek, glancing over his shoulder.

 

"Let’s wait until we hear a few explosions first!  I think that will give us a little bit of a distraction, and put surprise on our side" replied Doll Man as his thoughts drifted off again to a person that he missed desperately.  "Martha, my dear, I hope that this will soon be over!" he thought to himself.

 

"Dessa, don’t you forget to stay close to me at all times!" ordered Zarek.

 

"Yes, big Brother!" Dessa shook his head.

 

 


 Back in the big hall, preparations were being made for the invasion of the Earth.

 

As he turned toward the captured heroes, Wotan snickered and spoke, "Now, you shall see me become, not only the master of this planet, but the master of two worlds!  "Start the interdimensional transporter and man it’s controls, Mersufon!" he turned and exclaimed. 

 

Standing at the control panel, to the immediate right of our captured heroes, Mersufon began to activate the gigantic, infernal machine.  The huge gears began to turn and small, blue electrical arcs flew about the apparatus and the great hall itself.  The smell of ozone, the feel of static electricity, the swirling breeze, and the cracking and popping of huge amounts of energy began to permeate the lower depths of the palace.

 

"I can’t see a darn thing for the wind and electrical flashes!" cried Firebrand.

 

"You?  You should try to see through this visor!" exclaimed the Human Bomb.

 

"What’s happening?" spoke Phantom Lady.

 

"I can’t tell either!  Darn this "shiner"! yelled the Ray.  "Tom?"

 

Squinting and using his much sharper vision, the Black Condor gazed upon the gathered army below and to his amazement, he saw that they had became engulfed in a virtual energy maelstrom. 

 

"The stormtroopers are all paralyzed in the coalescing energies below.  I guess it’s part of the build up that this mechanical abomination needs to rip open a hole in reality, leading to Earth!" screamed the Condor to his teammates. 


 

Meanwhile, outside the palace the rebel attack was just about to begin! BOOM!  The first of many explosions started and the surrounding area, around the palace began to tumble and slide, into utter chaos and confusion. BOOM!  BOOM!  More and more kept coming and coming!  Plasma mortars and explosive charges rocked the front gate and the western walls of this once regal and splendid palace.  Its beauty and magnificence violated and distorted by the madness of war!  BOOM!

 

"This is it friends!  For our liberty and freedom we must not waver from this intimidating task!" cried Zarek.

 

"Stick close and don’t give up!  Don’t be afraid to use those weapons!  It’s either them or us and I don’t intend it to be US!  Let’s go freedom fighters, over the top!" yelled Darrell Dane.

 

"What does that mean, Sir?" asked Dessa.

 

"Charge!" exclaimed Doll Man as he and Zarek moved towards the small hidden door on the eastern wall. 

 

Guarding the small doorway a lone soldier was startled by what he saw attacking his position.  Out of the darkness, Doll Man’s squad attacked with lethal precision as the guard was struck a multitude of times by several different weapons.  He was dead before his body hit the ground!  Strangely enough, the doorway wasn’t sealed or locked and our small band of rebels entered apprehensively and quickly started climbing the old stairway, into the lair of utter evil! 

 

After climbing several hundred feet, the rebel band came to a doorway sealing the secret passage off from the main hallways and chambers of the palace.  This time our merry band wasn’t so lucky.

 

"Damn, it’s locked!" exclaimed Doll Man.  "Quick Dessa, do you think you can pick this type of lock?"

 

"No Sir, I can’t pick that one!  But who needs to when you have a KEY!" Dessa grinned at Darrell Dane and his brother Zarek, as he pulled a ring of keys out of his small leather belt pouch.  Moving to the front of the group, he inserted the key and opened the door. 

 

"Where did you…?" inquired Doll Man.

 

"Off the dead guard’s body, someone had to check it for essentials," Dessa spoke and shrugged his shoulders cutting Doll Man off before he could finish.

 

Glimpsing out of their dark hole into the torch lit, marbled hallways of the palace, Zarek could see that the hall ran in both directions.  He looked up and asked, "Which way?"

 

Suddenly, from the left, came the sound of a tempest.  Swirling winds, the crackle of energy and the clanging of a great machine echoed down the hall.  This only added to the noise, the deafening explosions coming from outside and the havoc from the guards, as they ran amok to get into some kind of defensive position.

 

"That way!" yelled Doll Man.

 

"Let’s move people!" screamed Zarek as he and his squad dashed out into the open hallway and towards the sound of chaos.

 

As the small band emerged from the darkened passage, they came under fire from the opposite end of the hallway, where several of Wotan’s soldiers had taken up positions in an attempt to repel the surprise attack.  A volley of plasma fire rained down on them, with one shot striking their rear gunner in the back. ZWAP!  The rebel fell hard onto his knees and then onto his chest, as he fell dead on the cool marble floor.  The stench of burnt flesh seemed to fill the air.  As they turned the corner, the squad caught a glimpse of the smoldering body of their comrade lying on the floor behind them.  Before them stood yet another door, this one also locked tight.

 

"Dessa," yelled Zarek, "open this door for us, quickly!"

 

But, Dessa wasn’t to be found!  It seemed that in it’s haste to get through the hallway, the squad had left one of it’s member behind or was it possible that the fear of a young man had frozen him in his tracks?   Either way, in the secret passage only a few yards back stood Zarek’s baby brother, unable to move as the Caliph’s guard rushed towards him and the party.

 

"DESSA!!" screamed Zarek, confused on whether to stay put or to dash back to retrieve his youngest sibling.

 

"You’d never make it Zarek, never!  He’s got to make his own mind up and quickly now before we are overwhelmed," Doll Man spoke.

 

"B…b…but, I can’t just let him die!" stuttered Zarek holding back his emotions as best he could.

 

"C’mon Dessa, snap out of it kid!  Come on!" screamed Darrell Dane toward the young boy cowering in the dark opening.  "You’ve still got time!"

 

"Come on little brother!  Come on!" cried Zarek looking back.

 

At that moment something in Dessa’s brain snapped.  "I’ve got to get out of here!"
 he mumbled to himself.  Taking a few steps back, the youngest of Esak’s sons lunged forward, fully extended, and dove for his life.  He struck the slick marbled floor, hard on his chest and slid towards the others.  A hail of weapons fire fell down upon him, but this young man was indeed blessed or was it lucky, for he slid down the hallway and managed to scoot around the corner to the waiting arms of his companions entirely unscathed.

 

"Alright," screamed Darrell Dane, "now get that door open!"

 

"Y-y-yes, S-s-sir!" Dessa stuttered, as he fumbled to get the key into the lock, on the door.

 

A soldier from the back spoke up and said, "Sir, the guards have stopped coming towards us and turned back down the opposite way!"

 

"Good, our forces must have attacked the main door of the palace by now!  Now that is what we want to see!" replied Doll Man.

 

After Dessa managed to unlock the door, Doll Man sprang from the back of Zarek and approached the door.  He, Zarek and the rest of the squad could hear the terrible sounds of the turmoil coming from inside.  He approached with caution and gently cracked the door.  What he saw, when he looked inside, was indeed shocking to behold.  Directly in front of him, caught up in the maelstrom, he glimpsed the backs of his dearest friends, being held in restraints and unable to escape.  Friends that he was just glad to see alive!  Further down the catwalk, he could see the profile of the evil villain Wotan and further past that, the lackey Mersufon manning the controls to a massive machine.  Below, in a mammoth military formation were the weapons and soldiers of a colossal army.

 

"No wonder our opposition has been scarce, if non-existent!" he thought to himself.  "I have to get the rest of the team out of those metal restraints and back into this fight and it has to be done quickly!"

 

Turning back to the squad, he gave them a brief description of what awaited them inside. Doll Man told Zarek, "You all stay here and give me a little time to try and free my friends.  When they are free, then this fight gets really interesting!"

 

"Be careful Sir!" exclaimed Zarek.  "We’ll give you a few minutes!"

 

"That’s all I intend to spend!" responded Doll Man as he slowly entered the great hall. 

 

Moving quickly, he slid against the cold stone wall towards the back of the dais holding the Freedom Fighters.  Using one arm to keep the wind-tossed debris out of his face, Darrell Dane sprung upon the platform and then, up onto the back of his comrade the Human Bomb!  He moved up behind the Bomb’s head and whispered loudly, "I’m going to get you out of here Roy!"

 

"Holy Hannah, what kept you so long?" exclaimed Roy Lincoln, pleased to see his old friend again.  "Cut us loose!"

 

"I will, I will, just hold your horses, you big galoot!" replied Doll Man as he jumped back down to the top of the platform.

 

"Get ready gang, the cavalry has arrived!  Time for old green jeans to get a little payback!" the Human Bomb told his trussed up teammates.

 

Moving hurriedly, Darrell Dane located the rear panel on the dais and uncoupled it.  Glimpsing inside this device, he followed controls, and wires in an attempt to discern which was the main power circuit.  Time was ticking!

 

"Hmmm…that looks like it to me, but this is one "screwed up" device!  It really shouldn’t even be running by my estimates," he thought to himself.

 

"Hurry up Darrell, this tempest is getting worse!" cried the Human Bomb to Doll Man.

 

"Ah, soon the dimensional path will be ripped open and my minions will march on the Earth, destroying all that oppose us!  Soon Mersufon!?" boasted Wotan as he tapped his fiendish fingers upon his amulet.

 

"Yes master, very, very soon!" replied Mersufon, as he kept working the controls to the interdimensional transporter.

 

Behind the Freedom Fighters, Darrell Dane had become slightly confused trying to figure out a device, that was neither science nor magic, but a combination of both.  "Time to do something Darrell," he spoke to himself, "Eenie, Meenie, Mynie, Moe!"  With that, Doll Man pulled the one wire, the one that had made sense at that time to pull, the one that seemed to be the main power source to the restraints.  Fortunately, it was the correct ONE!

 

A loud clang was heard on the upper level of the great hall and Wotan turned to see that his living nightmare had come true.  His greatest fear had materialized and was standing not more than a few feet away from him…and they weren’t pleased!

 

"NO," he cried aloud, "this can’t be happening!  Not when I am so close!"

 

"Oh, it’s happenin’ alright, it’s happenin’!" exclaimed the Human Bomb, standing as the point man in a "V" shaped formation of Freedom Fighters with Black Condor hovering above.

 

"I should have killed you when I had the chance!" screamed Wotan as he gestured towards the team, and unleashed an invisible hand that struck Firebrand, and pinned him against the back wall. 

 

"Ugh!" cried Firebrand as he struck the cold stone.

 

"My guards, to me!" Wotan cried out.

 

From the upper stairway came a small squad of the Caliph’s elite guard, screaming as they charged toward our heroes.

 

"Now, you will die!" exclaimed Wotan pointing at the Freedom Fighters.

 

Moving, like a bolt of lightning, our heroes leapt into action.  With the Human Bomb in the lead, they moved down the catwalk toward the villains.  As he charged fully into the evil Caliph, the Human Bomb grabbed Wotan with his left hand and then struck the vile foe with a right cross to the jaw!  POW!  As his head jerked round, he spied the likes of Doll Man running past him.

 

"YOU!" cried Wotan looking at our mighty mite.

 

"Are you getting forgetful in your old age Wotan, or just stupid!  You know that wherever the Freedom Fighters go, so goes Doll Man!" exclaimed Darrell Dane as he dashed past, towards Mersufon and the control panel.

 

From above the furor, suddenly came a cry of intense pain!  As the Ray and Phantom Lady turned to look up, they were shocked to see a dagger embedded in the right shoulder of their friend, Thomas Wright.

 

"Aaargh!" he screamed in intense agony as the blade sunk deep into his shoulder.  Through the pain, Black Condor found it hard to keep his concentration and remain in the air, but he dug down deep and somehow managed to draw the strength he needed to stay airborne.

 

Below, with an evil grin running across his despicable face, was Mersufon.  He smiled at the misery that he had just unleashed upon the Black Condor with his dirk.  Brushing past him, four guards ran two by two, swiftly with their rifles drawn to finish off the team. Dodging their moving legs, Doll Man lunged up and struck Mersufon flat on the chin with an uppercut that would have stunned even the best prizefighter.  KA-POW! 

 

Down fell the malformed miscreant at the feet of our tiny titan, "You forget that I retain my natural strength, even when I am shrunk down, dirtball!" he exclaimed.

 

Leaping to the control panel, Darrell Dane was overwhelmed by the task of shutting down the evil apparatus.  "I could do this, but it’s going to take some time.  I need some help!" he thought to himself.  "Phantom Lady, I need your expertise here!" he screamed.

 

"Coming Doll Man!" she replied, as she scooted past the entangled Human Bomb and Wotan.  Charging head long into the oncoming guard, Sandra Knight flexed her leg muscles and vaulted, over the four men, landing on her feet behind them, next to the awaiting Doll Man.

 

"Huh?" the guards moaned as they looked up at the acrobatic flip of Phantom Lady.

 

"Firebrand must be down for the count Tom!" spoke the Ray, ready to take on all four of the guards.  "How about the old "dive bomb" attack, you up for it?"

 

Black Condor replied wincing in pain, "Me as the plane and you as the bomb, brother!"

 

Leaping up into the air and grasping the left hand of the Black Condor, the Ray steeled himself for impact, as the Condor circled high to the very roof of the great hall and then streaked back toward the guards as quickly as he could.  His speed building, building and building until…

 

"Bombs Away!" cried the Condor releasing the hand of his close friend.

 

"GERONIMO!" exclaimed the Ray, as he fell towards his targets.

 

BAM!!!  Happy Terrill spun himself sideways, and struck the first two guards across the chest and sent them reeling!  Looking up from the catwalk that he came to rest upon, he could see one guard had struck the stone wall behind and the other, unfortunately for him, had went over the railing, falling to the floor below.

 

Raising their weapons, the last two guards drew down on the Ray and prepared to fire, just when the other "freedom fighters", Doll Man’s rebels, stormed onto the walkway. ZWAP!  ZWAP!  Two snapshots fired and struck the remaining two guards in the chest, putting them down for the count!

 

"You must hurry, more guards are coming from behind us!" cried Dessa aloud to the team.


"You see, my foes, your time is running out!  HA!  HA!  Soon I will place your heads on poles and post them at the lead of my legions as they march upon your Earth!" bragged Wotan.

 

The slimy ruler began to squirm and attempted to flee from the Human Bomb, but Roy Lincoln had grabbed him by his prized amulet and was hanging on for dear life.  He wasn’t going anywhere!

 

"Wotan, you low-life, piece of trash," spoke Roy Lincoln, as he delivered a roundhouse right hand to the temple of the evil wizard, "you are finished!  Tell me…where’s Uncle Sam?"

 

Drawing back his right hand, Wotan began to mutter, only to himself at first and then out loud.  He gestured with his hand as if he held something, held something in his long, spindly fingers and long, green, pointy fingernails.  The incantation became louder and louder until finally, the hand of the wretched fiend, began to smolder and smoke and radiate heat.  "I’ll never tell you anything, dog.  The time has come for you to DIE!  With that the evil emperor rammed his sharp fingernails into the chest of the Human Bomb, digging deep within!

 

"Aaahhh!" cried Roy Lincoln in severe pain.  "My…my…my…chest…burning!"

 

"HA, HA, HA!" laughed Wotan with an evil sneer on his face, as he reared back his head in delight.

 

More guards now rushed down the stairs into the fray and towards both sets of our Freedom Fighters!   Doll Man and Phantom Lady struggled to discover the secrets of Wotan’s evil machine, the Ray and Black Condor joined in with Zarek and his people fighting off Wotan’s guard, and the Human Bomb grappled with the wicked Caliph himself.  Even with this, the interdimensional transporter was building up, to rip a hole in the very fabric of reality, and allow the legions of soldiers to flood over our Earth!

 

Working the controls of the transporter, Sandra Knight screamed, "Darrell! This thing’s not only powered by conventional energy sources, but by draining "life force" from the natural surroundings and also from us.  We don’t want to shut it down!  We want to accelerate it and cause to overload!" 

 

ZWAP!  ZWAP!  Dodging incoming weapons fire, Doll Man exclaimed, "Ah Ha!  A mechanical vampire.  We’ll overload it and cause it to shut down!  Great thinking Sandy!"

 

"Now if I can adjust the energy input ratio, ever so slightly…" spoke Phantom Lady.

 

"Sandy, Roy’s in trouble and I have to go, do you have it?" said Doll Man concerned for both his partners.

 

"Darrell go, I’ve got it!" replied Sandra Knight, hard at work.

 

Leaping down to the catwalk, and bounding over the incapacitated body of Mersufon, Doll Man jumped up onto the shoulder of the diabolical Caliph and ran down his right arm, desperately trying to pry his searing claw out of his friend, the Human Bomb’s chest.

 

"No, you little peon, no!" he yelled.  "I will burn his living heart out!"

 

"Not…if…I…can help it!" grunted Darrell Dane using every last bit of his strength in an attempt to free his friend.

 

As the tempest around the battle began to increase, Roy Lincoln could see a strange glow had engulfed he and his antagonist and his left hand began to pulsate and throb.  Not the effects of his "bomb" power, but something else, something he couldn’t quite put his finger on, but yet strangely familiar.  The strange sensation then traveled up his left arm and over his entire body, filling Roy Lincoln with more strength and stamina, more might and muscle, more vim and vigor than he had felt in years past.  Not only power, but inspiration and drive, and the Human Bomb responded in kind!  WHAM!  A right hand fell down upon the head of Wotan that would have snapped the neck of a weaker opponent.  POW!  Another one fell to his forehead and Doll Man could feel Wotan’s grip on Roy Lincoln’s chest weaken. 

 

"C’mon Bomb, hit ‘em again!" cried the mighty mite as he started to pull back the hand of the villain. 

 

"Hap, look!" cried out the Black Condor in complete and utter shock.  "It’s Sam, it’s Sam!"

 

"Holy Sh…!" exclaimed the Ray as he looked at the three individuals locked in combat in the center of the walkway.

 

 Encircling them was a giant apparition, dressed in red, white and blue.  Even though the figure was very translucent, and somewhat faded there was no doubt that this ghostly figure was none other than the Spirit of Liberty, Uncle Sam!  The image pulsated and emitted a bright white light, and with every blow thrown by Roy there was an equal blow thrown by the image.  It seemed that spectral image was strengthening the Human Bomb, giving him more inspiration and somehow fighting with him against this malevolent scourge.

 

"Roy, it’s Sam!  He’s all around us!" yelled Doll Man.

 

"Yeah, and it’s time we took him home Darrell!" stated the Human Bomb as he and his phantom partner threw a right uppercut that sent the fiendish dictator reeling back, falling at the feet of Phantom Lady at the control panel.  As suddenly as he had appeared, Uncle Sam was gone, and all that were left standing were Doll Man, and next to him the Human Bomb, holding onto Wotan’s prized amulet, still pulsing with energy.

 

"No wonder the lowlife loved this thing so much!" spoke the Human Bomb.

 

"Look, the attacking guards are dropping their weapons!" yelled Dessa.

 

" Yes, it would seem that they have lost the will to fight!" screamed Zarek.  "It looks like they have all been released from some kind of spell!  It would seem that our fight is over!  Now it’s time for me to find my wife, Adira!"

 

Even though the battle with Wotan and his minions was now over, the interdimensional transporter had worked itself into a frenzy and was quickly approaching an overload level.  Sparks were flying out of the control panel, as Sandra Knight worked feverishly to keep it running in order to burn it out!  Around the great hall, the mayhem continued to grow in intensity and the gathered group knew that they had to get out of there in a hurry.

 

Turning towards her friends, Phantom Lady screamed, "We’ve got to get out of here, God knows how big this mini-hurricane is going to grow before something in this thing blows!"

 

"Zarek, send the squad down below to help those soldiers evacuate.  I don’t believe they are a threat to us, any longer," yelled Doll Man.

 

"The squad maybe, but as for me, I leave to search the halls above for my wife!" he replied.

 

The squad of rebels moved below and started to evacuate the dazed soldiers from great hall.  Suddenly, with an intense flash of light and a clap of thunder, a portal in reality opened on the catwalk above, startling the Freedom Fighters.  A voice echoed above the din of the chaos saying, "The time is now Freedom Fighters, your mission is complete!"  It was the voice of the mysterious Phantom Stranger!

 

Suddenly, through the dimensional portal appeared a familiar red, black and yellow figure.  "Mom, Dad, I’m home!" he cried out as he stretched his malleable body into the area. 

 

"Plas!" cried the Ray.

 

"Glad to see you made it!" exclaimed the Human Bomb.

 

Plastic Man stretched his waist, neck and arms, long and thin and extended through the dimensional portal, opened by the Phantom Stranger. Anchored with his lower half back in Independence Hall he yelled, "Well, better late than never they say!"

 

"Hurry Freedom Fighters, Hurry!" shouted the Phantom Stranger.  "I can only hold the portal open for a few more moments!"

 

"Guess you heard the man, gang!  Anyone need an "over-elongated hand?" exclaimed Plas.

 

Weakened by his injuries, the Black Condor landed on the platform in front of the portal.  Draping Black Condor’s arm over his shoulder, Happy Terrill spoke, "Sure Plas, grab up Rod while I help out Tom." 

 

"No problemo, Ray!" replied Plas, lassoing Firebrand in his right arm.

 

"Let’s go Sandy!" cried the Human Bomb, still grasping the amulet tight in his grip. 

 

"You all go ahead!" she responded to Roy Lincoln.  "I’ll stay just a few more moments and man the controls!"

 

"But…Sandy…" the Human Bomb started to reply.

 

"No buts Roy!  I promise I’ll be right behind you!" she screamed over the noise.

 

"Good enough for me then," spoke Doll Man heading towards the Phantom Stranger’s portal.  Stopping to talk to Dessa, he spoke again, "Take good care of that brother and father of yours Dessa!  Soon you’ll find a real leader for your people!"

 

"Thank you for what you, and your friends did for us, Sir," he said brushing a tear away from his cheek.  "Father will be a great leader.  He is, after all, the son of the previous Caliph."

 

"What?" screamed Doll Man in shock.

 

Looking at Darrell Dane, the young man went further.  "You are shocked to learn this my friend?"

 

"Well…yes, I am!" answered Doll Man.

 

" How else do you think he knew all the details of the palace?  He will finally know some peace at last, and when he passes away, Zarek will be there to take over.  Thank you all again!" spoke Dessa, waving towards the tiny titan, as he and the rest of the rebels fled the walkway.

 

"You’re welcome!" replied Doll Man as he leapt through the opened portal, back to the familiar surroundings of Independence Hall.  Behind him came the Ray, Black Condor, Human Bomb and Plastic Man with the still unconscious Firebrand in tow.

 

As the catwalk cleared Sandra Knight knew that she had done, all that she could, to accelerate the machine to a critical level.  The turmoil inside the great hall had reached its zenith and she was going to have a rough enough time reaching the Phantom Stranger’s portal.  Stepping over the limp body of Wotan, huddled at the base of the control panel, she inched her way, through the flash and fury, towards home.  As she leapt into the portal and tried to return to Earth, she felt icy hands grasp her legs from behind.  She tumbled through the portal, half in Independence Hall and half still on the catwalk in the other dimension.  Screaming for help, she could hear the voice of Mersufon talking from behind.

 

"You will not escape me my love!" he screamed towards her.  "You and your friends have destroyed everything, the master and I have worked so hard for, but I’ll have my revenge upon you.  You will stay with me and become my slave!"

 

Grasping the edges of the Phantom Strangers dimensional doorway, she cried out, "Help me," towards her dear friends.  "Mersufon has got my legs, Roy!"

 

"What!?" replied Roy Lincoln, diving and grabbing her by the arms.

 

"Sandy!" cried the Ray, as he sat Black Condor down on the floor.

 

Quickly stretching his neck and arm back through the dimensional portal; Plastic Man could see the evil henchman, hanging onto the legs of Sandra Knight.  As the wind and ferocity of the squall within buffeted and banged his thinly stretched body, Eel O’Brien acted swiftly.  Winding back his left arm like a cowboy spinning his lariat, he bellowed, "I spy with my little eye, something that’s ugh-lee and begins with "M"!"

 

"MERSUFON!" Sandra Knight screamed back to Plas.

 

"Huh?" mumbled Mersufon, looking up at Plas.

 

"Exactly!" replied Plas, bringing down his hand like the end of a whip upon the chin of Mersufon.

 

CRACK!  The blow connected and sent Mersufon flying back towards the control panel.

 

"Nooooooooo!!!!!" he screamed, as he landed upon the panel and fell into unconsciousness.

 

"Now, allow me to give you a hand PL!" suggested Plas to Phantom Lady as he coiled his left arm around her waist.

 

As Plastic Man lifted Phantom Lady through the portal a loud explosion echoed from the other side of the portal.  BOOM!  The end of the abominous machine had come, with its creator and his lackey nestled around it, like a mother and her two children.  Another danger to Earth, another menace had been stopped and the Freedom Fighters stood on familiar grounds, inside Independence Hall in Philadelphia PA.  Rising to their feet, the Freedom Fighters quickly began to tend to their wounded and assess their situation when spoke the mysterious man in front of them.

 

"You have completed your task, Freedom Fighters!  You have returned the Spirit of Liberty, Uncle Sam to your world!  Perhaps, it’s not too late for this country or the world, for all need, what Uncle Sam brings!"

 

Turning towards the group, Happy Terrill and Darrell Dane spoke.

 

"I don’t think that Tom’s injuries are too severe!" said Doll Man.

 

"And Rod’s waking up too!" responded the Ray.

 

"It would also appear that our powers are returning, I can feel my whole body tingling!" Roy Lincoln said as he congratulated Phantom Lady on her splendid work.

 

Checking her blacklight projectors, Phantom Lady could see that they were fully charged again. 

 

"Whew!  Thank goodness.  I never knew how much I really would miss ‘em until now," spoke the Ray, illuminating the hall with a very bright light generated from his right hand. 

 

As on cue the storm outside the hallowed halls broke apart and the dazzling light of an evening sun fell about our heroes.

 

"Well, thank goodness that’s over gang!" the Human Bomb said staring at the gathered group.  "Now we can all get back to normal!"

 

"Really Roy Lincoln?" asked the Phantom Stranger.  "Do you think so?  Perhaps the world is ready for the return of the Freedom Fighters?  Perhaps the world needs the Freedom Fighters now, more than ever?  Perhaps the time is right?"

 

"Perhaps?" responded the Human Bomb as the assembled heroes stared back at the shadowy figure known as the Phantom Stranger.

 

NEVER THE END!

 


 

Freedom Fanmail

 

 

Well, friends and Freedom Fighter fans, this brings me to the end of the mini-series.  It has really been a labor of love for me to do it!  As I have stated before, I really love these old Golden Age characters and hope that this shows in the mini-series.  My main goal was to give these heroes some exposure and to try and make them a viable team again.  I feel like, I have accomplished this.  I hope that you all have enjoyed this series as much as I have, putting it together.  I would like to take this time and opportunity to give my gratitude to those that aided me in the telling of this tale:

 

Editor and Chief of Faux DC, Clay "Miry" Arceneaux

Executive Editor of Faux DC, Ralph Angelo

Dear friend, fellow FDC writer (of the Legion of Super-Heroes) and sometimes co-plotter, "Svelte" Sammy Lindon.

Fellow FDC writer T.J. Burns (of Green Lantern and Hawkman fame!)

Fellow FDC writer Eric Northcutt (look for his new Primal Forces series coming soon!)

Fellow FDC writer Jess Nevins (of Brave and the Bold fame) and guru of the Golden Age!

Fellow FDC writer Doc (of Adventure Comics fame!)

All the other writers and contributors to the Faux DC Universe that have assisted me (they are too numerous to name!)

David Studham, fellow member of the JSAAA (Justice Society of America Appreciation Association), provider of pertinent Quality Comics information and all around good chum.

Graeme Fitzgerald, fellow member of the JSAAA, and encyclopedia of comic book knowledge.

Many other members of the JSAAA that gave me a hand and their opinions on the story as it progressed. 

Thank you also goes out to Michael Norwitz AKA Mikel Midnight, the virtual encyclopedia of Golden Age history.

 

To all of the above and many more readers and fans, I owe my deepest thanks!

 

"What’s that you ask?"

 

"Will there be anymore?"

 

Well, that is left up to you the fans and to the "powers that be" here at FDC.  The further adventures of the Freedom Fighters are something that could be close to becoming reality and I would love to helm this group in an ongoing.  I guess we’ll all just have to wait and see for now.  In the words of everyone’s favorite Uncle;

 

"Keep ‘em Flying!"

 

Sincerely,

 

Bobby Danner 

 

The JSAAA can be reached at the following:

 

http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/thejsaappreciationassociation

 

Mikel Midnight’s webpage can be found here:

 

http://www.best.com/~blaklion/comics.html

 

The DC Universe of characters, which includes 90% of all the ones written about on this site, their images and logos are all legally copyrighted to DC Comics and it's parent company of Time/Warner. We make absolutely no claim that they belong to us. We're just a bunch of fans with over active imaginations and a love of writing.