“In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil’s might, beware my power… Green Lantern’s light.”
Kyle Rayner took a deep breath as a brief spark of light illuminated, then orbited, his ring, before finally fading into the symbol that adorned it. He looked up with a sheepish smile at the other members of the Justice Society of America that were currently present – Starfire, the tamaranian; the new Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes; and M’gann M’orzz, also known as Miss Martian.
“Oh, I do so enjoy the oath,” Koriand’r said cheerfully, floating up to gaze out the top of their small bunker, out into the harsh red wasteland of Mars. “I wish I had something like that. It’s always so delightfully dramatic.”
“Heh, yeah, kinda. Honestly, and don’t say this to the other GL’s, okay? But I get chills every time I say it.” Kyle smirked and hovered up beside the tamaranian. Jaime had made the team a small fortress made out of extensions from his suit – the camouflage should be enough to keep them out of Bizarro’s gaze. Honestly, Kyle was terrified of him, he wasn’t ashamed to admit that. Against Clark, he at least had half a hope to create green kryptonite radiation with his ring, but the JSA database stated quite clearly that neither green radiation, nor magic, had any effect on Superman’s dark clone. That’s why, even with the firepower they had here, they were still waiting for the most powerful member of their team.
In addition, they had white martians to deal with. Bizarro had arrived here not long ago, searching for a new home (and “imperfect sister to Earth”), and the white martians had… taken notice, to say the least. Once a few of their elders learned the way the great gray beast spoke (and there were some mishaps beforehand) they had begun to manipulate Superman’s dark mirror. They planned to use his great power to rebuild their empire… and then, do destroy earth, their next great conquest.
“Is she going to be here soon?” M’gann asked, pouting slightly. Speaking of white martians. She was sitting in the dusty red earth, arms wrapped around her knees as she gazed up at her teammates and fellow heroes. “We can’t do this without her… w-we’ll barely be moral support even with her here.” Miss Martian had never been confident in her abilities, formidable as they were. It showed, and that only served to unnerve the rest of the team.
“We’re going to have to be more than that,” Kyle said with a deep sigh, the emerald corona around him fading as he settled back to the ground. “Even as powerful as she is, Kara is no match for Bizarro. Superman only defeats him using his wits and his… well, grace. We’ll be hard-pressed to match that, even with five of us here.”
“I suppose,” Miss Martian replied, glancing up at the sky and sighing herself. She was afraid. Bizarro was stronger and faster even than Superman, who was a legend. Their hopes of exploiting his drastically few weaknesses were… not great.
“Do not worry, martian native,” Starfire said, turning her head and smiling broadly down at M’gann. “We have reinforcements, we will assuredly succeed.”
“That is easy for you to say, hermana,” Jaime grumbled, his eyes still closed. Keeping these camouflaged walls up was straining, especially with his suit constantly urging him to attack. No amount of persuasion would convince it that even should he relinquish control, they would be no match for the foe they were to face here.
“Bizarro not make old world! Bizarro save Earth from Mars!” Another shout, far-reaching across the thin atmosphere. They had been going on for the last few hours, as their enemy ripped apart old pieces of martian technology and architecture, smashing them together in a desperate hope to make something he could call comfortable, or at the very least, destructive. Bizarro was a tortured soul, and everyone in the JSA knew that. He wasn’t stupid and evil, like everyone claimed. He was twisted and confused. He did what he thought was right, and thus it weighed on the heart of every decent hero who tried to face him. In Bizarro’s eyes, they were the villains, monsters who pursued him relentlessly, determined to take every bit of happiness he tried to create for himself. They all knew it, and they all mourned the little piece of humanity they lost when they attacked and exiled him, time and again. But they had to keep going, and now, with the white martians behind him, he would be more difficult to stop than ever. They needed Superman, or the Martian Manhunter… but both had better things to do with their time. So they had a few reject Titans, a Lantern, and some other assorted misfits.
“I do hope she will arrive soon, amigos,” Blue Beetle continued, gritting his teeth but opening his eyes again. “I cannot hold this up much longer, and I do not know how much time we have before the uh… hombre grande out there decides to destroy Earth. The suit is picking up a lot of technological disturbances from deep underground, so we know the natives are up to no good. Why do they want to destroy Earth, anyway?”
“Would you want to stay here?” M’gann replied, gesturing at the flat crimson ground.
“It won’t be much longer. Kara said she had a few things to clear up before she was able to get out here, but it isn’t like she’s not the fastest one of all of us.” Kyle used his ring to create a loveseat, nudging it with his foot to make sure it was on solid ground before flopping down into it.
“Run or hide while you still can… arrives the Demon, Etrigan!” There was a massive plume of fire and dark smoke that seemed to gasp to life out of the atmosphere itself, almost swallowed by Mars’s lack of oxygen before a familiar form could appear. He was a… reserve member, to put it lightly, of the JSA. But he was powerful, and he would be needed. Etrigan’s tall, powerful, armored form now stood in the center of the four heroes, his head held high and his long horns on display, tattered cape billowing behind him – courtesy of the lack of gravity.
“Ah, greetings, Mister Etrigan!” Kory said with a light smile, waving casually before glancing back out the top of their bunker.
“Greetings, alien. Along with… the rest of you.” Etrigan snarled. Due to the distinct circumstances of their location, each of the team knew that Etrigan would be more volatile than usual. Jason Blood, the demon’s “better half”, would not be able to survive in space for any length of time. Thus, he was forced to stay put in a place none of the JSA had great desire to mention. “This Bizzarus creature—“
“Bizarro,” Kyle corrected helpfully.
“—When does he show his face? When shall we destroy him?”
The Green Lantern took a deep breath, laying his head back on his makeshift sofa. “To the first – we have no idea. To the second… never. Bizarro isn’t evil, and since he shares some twisted form of Superman’s morality, he will never cease to resist the temptation to be. He is confused and he… he deserves mercy. Without him on Mars the natives will fall back into obscurity, lacking the knowledge to repair green martian technology.”
“Wait,” Blue Beetle asked with a strained grunt. “How is Bizarro repairing anything, man? He is dumb as a sack of fritatas.”
“The white martians are attempting to do through brute force what they have failed to do through skill. Their attempting to create weapons through trial and error, mostly using Biz’s flame breath. That’s why it’s taking so long for them to come up with something. But once they finally do create a suitable war machine, and with Bizarro behind them, even the Justice League will be hard-pressed to stop them from taking over Earth and building a new paradise there.”
Etrigan nodded his head down and began to pace back and forth across the bunker, arms folded neatly behind his back. “And how do we have this information?”
Kyle smiled. “Our very own inside man…” he gestured to Miss Martian, still huddled against the side of their mechanical shelter, “…happens to be a girl.”
M’gann raised one hand to signal herself, offering a weak, though somewhat ashamed, smile of her own.
“Ahaaah. You puny Earth ‘heroes’ have finally learned the art of deceiving your enemies,” a wide grin spread across Etrigan’s face, his pacing pausing when he hit the other site of the fort. “Delicious.”
“NOBODY WILL FEEL BIZARRO’S HAPPINESS!!!”
“I think that the fact that we have to translate it makes it more disturbing once we figure it out,” M’gann commented at Bizarro’s continuing rants.
“I believe you are right, though it is not as if—“ Jaime’s reply fell short as all of the JSA glanced up at a sudden sound, too close to be Bizarro. It was the sound of sound kind of ship, or shuttle.
“…This Kara person… does she not fly?” Starfire commented questioningly, swerving up and out of the little fort, her glorious crimson hair streaming out behind her. “Hello? Large shuttle? Who resides in you?”
A soft hiss of steam was released as the lid to the shuttle opened up. A long, powerful, female leg, bare but for a tall blue boot, stepped out amidst the fog. Following it was Kara Zor-L – Power Girl. “Miss me?” she said playfully, a smirk curling her lips as she stepped out onto the dry, scarlet earth of Mars.
“Very much, yes! You are quite needed here,” Kory smiled and zoomed upwards, pointing towards the virtually invisible bunker. “The rest of the team are there!”
“Cool, oh, and by the way? I brought somebody with me. Hope you guys don’t mind.”
Rayner’s ears pricked up and he soared out of the fort, settling to his feet beside Power Girl and the capsule she had arrived in. “You brought someone with you? Why? Who?”
Kara held her hands up and took a deep breath. “Okay, you guys, don’t get mad. This guy is on our side, alright? And we need him. This team, well… none of us are really big thinkers. We needed one, and one was available….”
Another silhouette began to emerge from the small ship, his face obscured by a helmet. He was wearing a suit of lean body armor, painted a dark green, and with a large black question mark adorning the chest. As all of the smoke cleared, the rest of the slowly-emerging team could see that the faceplate of his helmet was somewhat transparent, revealing a lean, dark-haired face.
“I’m wearing a green powersuit, I have a summer home at Arkham Asylum, and I don’t belong on Mars… who am I?”