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Superheroes – Once upon a Time in 1968 – Issue 10 – Odd Lightning

25 October, 2021

Lightning Strikes!A month of so after Issue 9, it is summer in New York City and things are about to get hotter.

Cover:  A lightning bolt divides the cover, on one side is a blacked out New York City skyline on the other is the team looking on in horror as Roboto is enveloped in an electrical nimbus.  “A Shocking tale of Heroism.” is written across the bottom.

Opening page:  New York City blacked out.  “How did this happen?  Turn the page, dear reader, to find out.”

Next page: What has happened before – 808 is given an ultimatum by direct superior, 1307 to either capture Miss Odd (last seen in Issue 6) within forty-eight hours or return to Jaiipuur to explain why.  808 promptly contacts his team to work out what to do about this.  They decide to call Dr Unknown using the black telephone attached to nothing.  The Doctor agrees to meet them at the automat. 

They arrive and find him at a table with a map spread out over a table and no one seems to be paying attention to him (magic or New Yorkers? your choice).  808 recognizes it as a two dimension representation of sixth dimensional space done in a style he does not recognize.  Doctor Unknown says that he has been analyzing the information from his wards, which are turn to detect mystical threats, and he has found a place that might be being used for technological dimensional crossings.  He unfolds a map of New York over the other map and set a top hat from a Moopoly set at a location along the East River.  “Somewhere about here, in the early morning hours when the walls between the worlds are weakest,” he says.  “Good luck, I have some demons to chase away.”  Doctor Unknown pull the sixth dimensional map out through the paper map and rolls it up.

(“What are demons?” 808 asks.  “Like goblins but meaner,” answers Roboto.  “Oh . . . What are goblins?”)

The location on the map is a cluster of warehouses so they scout it out during the day and can find no conclusive evidence of which is being used so they return at night with Leonard, 808’s airship, hoping that Miss Ood will again use the gate.  They are not disappointed, at a little before 2sm a strange blue glow light up the frosted skylights of one of the warehouses and Leonard sensors flicker with extradimensional energy readings.  So the team springs into action.

But le Jeune Renard, Vulpix’s young cousin, has already appeared in the warehouse and demands that the smugglers surrender!*  Roboto crashes down and scares everyone in the warehouse, including le Jeune Renard who launches a bolo at Roboto!  808 zips down and flickers the robot man out of phase and the bolo passes harmlessly through him to entangle one of the minions.  (“Just as I planned!” said le Jeune Renard before he is grabbed by Vulpix on a swingline and pulled out of danger.)  Miss Ood fires a beam of pure darkness from a weapon that 808 recognizes as a Gosovian Black Light Gun, a weapon design to fight against the light powers of Jaiipurian Agents.

Shadowfist confronts Miss Ood and disarm her is a display of martial arts excellence.  Shadowfist looks deep into the eyes of Miss Ood, sees fear there, and lets her flee.  [A panel shows “Miss Odd” outside the warehouse stipping off the coat and hat.  “I never should have taken that acting gig, that was dangerous!”]

This is what I am talking aboutInside the warehouse, a metallic pylon in the center of the transport circle begin to spark and flare and suddenly a being made of electicity manifests.  “I, Zyxyz the Conquerer, am free again and the world will tremble!”  This gets everyones attention.  A flury of attacks has litle effect on the energy being.

The pylon gets taken down by Roboto who finds that some of the alien metal has bonded with this frame.  Sadly, it did not slow down Zyxyz at all who draws upon the electrical grid to enhance his power and he grows to a towering twenty-five feet in height.  This starts a rolling blackout in New York City however.  808 finds a massive spool of wire and takes one one and flies off to drops one end into the East River.  Roboto and Horizon hook the other end up to a forklift and drive it straight at Zxyxz!  Unfortunately, Zxyxz can control machines!  “Your primitive machines dance to my commands!” And it drives straight into a stack of boxes.

The other team members lure Zxyxz into stepping on the cable which draws off some of his power and it retaliates by raining blazing sparks on everything in the warehouse, setting fires to everything.  Horizon uses his powers to pull water from the mains to put out the fires and a little bit of it disrupts Zxyxz too.  The drainng of his power by various means has shrunk Zxyxz back to his original size.  Roboto grabs a lenth of iron bar and strikes Zxyxz hoping to disrupt him . . . by the alien energy form discorporates and flows down the bar into Roboto!  He takes control of Roboto and flees!  Horizon and 808 grab Roboto and toss him into the river where Zxyxz retreats into the alien metal to survive.

About the time Horizon plucks Roboto’s limp form out of the river.  Jack Diamond and Plasma Man arrive in the Heroes Inc tilt rotor.  They take possession of the alien metal, still welded to Roboto’s chest place, placing it into a magnetically shielded case.   “Guess those NASA boys failed to keep him contained,” said Jack.

808 radios for Leonard to come and pick them up but the airship has vanished!

End of Issue 10.  Issue 11 will be off to the printers soon!

Notes: *This has been in the background waiting to happen for a bit, but as L2 has not been able to be very active in play as Vulpix of late it has not had a chance to enter play until now!

Zyxyz was last seen in Vol 2, Issue 5 of the LA Stars after which was thought trapped and contained by a branch of the US Government, Zyxyz is very much an homage to the Marvel monster comics of the 50s and 60s.

Photos upper: Lightning found on PickPik and is free to use.  Lower is from the Marvel title “Where Monsters Dwell” Issue 2 (1970), no challenge to copyright intended and should be Fair Use.

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