Ultimate Crisis

by Bob Young and Chip Caroon

Captain America
Invisible Woman
Human Torch
Wonder Girl
Marvel Boy
Marvel Girl
Black Cat
Jean Grey
Black Adam
Silver Surfer

"It's always good to see you, President Scott," GW Bridge said.

Alan Scott looked at the viewscreen. "Please, this is superhero business. You don't have to add the President part." He paused for a moment. "Got anything for me?"

"We've been searching through our databanks and all storage facilities to see if we have anything we can use to combat this Galactus."

"Any luck?"

"Our guys are still analyzing what we found. More than likely, whatever we have will have to be put together into an even bigger weapon."

"Of course," Alan mumbled, rubbing his left hand over his right fist.

"You're itching for some action, aren't you?" GW asked with a smile. "Will Sentinel be making a comeback?"

Alan sighed. "Only if it's absolutely necessary. But I'm hoping that I'll be more valuable as a strategist."

"I think we're all hoping so. I'll let you know what we find out as soon as I can. Bridge out." The viewscreen went blank.

Alan looked down at the green ring he wore, a gift from Green Lantern. He did not need it to generate his power, but at his age, it helped focus it. He was no longer young, and his biggest fear was getting in the way of the current group of heroes, especially in light of the current situation.

And what a grim situation it was. Six new powerful beings had invaded Earth. Black Adam, Firelord, Terrax, Harbinger, Lobo, and the Silver Surfer were the awesomely formidable servants of the coming threat . . . the mysterious celestial being known as Galactus. Galactus wanted the planet Earth as sustenance, a sacrifice to his immortal life. And the fierce heralds were there to see that their master got what he wanted.

Most of the groups that Alan and Captain America had dispatched were already on their way to face one of the heralds. However, the JLA had stayed behind. They were going to be the first line of defense for Galactus himself, who they figured would be landing in England.

Cap, always trying to look confident and in control of the situation, spoke to his lieutenants. "Well, according to Reed's satellite tracking devices and the telepath's intuition, the five invaders have landed, all in different locations. The surprise arrival of our teammates should knock them back on their heels. And as for Galactus, when he lands, he'll find an unpleasant reception committee in the JLA."

"Aye," Thor said. "Mine hammer stands ready. I predict that great battle is at hand."

"I wish I had your confidence," Wasp said. "I'm having trouble remaining optimistic about fighting these guys."

"Indeed. They have evil intent," Mantis said. "This One feels uneasy."

"Uneasy or not, we have a job to do," Cap said. "Whatever they're up to, we have to be ready before their leader gets here!"

"Do you really think we'll come out of this one okay?" the nervous Firebird asked.

"We'll find a way," Cap said. "That may be a conceit, but it's a healthy one. All right everyone . . . time to go!"


Aquaman and the Sub-Mariner came up on the shore of the island. They joined the Thing, Invisible Woman, and the Human Torch who were landing their aero-car nearby.

Sue examined the device Reed gave her. "The readings say he should be near here somewhere," she said. "Be on your toes."

"Ya know, I've been wantin' ta take a trip to Hawaii," the Thing said. "Figures I'd be here fighting a crazed alien, out to feed the planet to a giant Galacto-something."

"You might not be so anxious when you meet these guys," the Torch said. "I love a good fight, but that craziness in New York was not fun." The Torch flamed on to get a better aerial view.

"Whatever the threat, the Sub-Mariner will not shy from the battle!" Namor said.

"Save your speeches for after the fight, brother," Aquaman said. "Right now, just stay alert."

The Torch pointed. "I see him! That way!"

They crossed over a small hill into an cove, where Black Adam was working on Galactus' device. His senses warned him of the approach of the heroes. "Ah! The gallant defenders of the hapless humans arrive to bravely sacrifice themselves in a vain effort to save their word. How wonderfully noble. How infinitely moronic!"

"Take a look at my mug, smiley," the Thing said. "Think I ain't been called names before? Nothin' you can say is gonna bother me. But it'll sure bother you when I start treatin' your nose like an anvil. So why dontcha be a nice little evil alien and go back to planet Mongo before I get mad?"

"Indeed," Namor said. "Your unwelcome presence here will not be tolerated a moment longer. Be wise and depart before we are compelled to expel you!"

Black Adam grinned. "Such pretty speeches. Not the best I've heard but far from the worst. I wonder, however, what makes you think you have the power to back up your bold words."

"You don't know humans, do you?" Sue asked. "But you'll learn if you don't leave right now."

The Human Torch was uncharacteristically speechless. The last time he opened his mouth to one of these heralds he regretted it.

Black Adam spread his arms. "Here I am. Come whenever you're ready."

The Thing charged. "It's clobberin' time!"

Black Adam smiled broadly.


The police had cordoned off the area just in front of the huge Hollywood sign. Lobo, the craziest of Galactus' heralds, who had already showed his power in the New York battle, was setting up Galactus' device. He found this the boring part, but it had to be done. Galactus would be very angry is Lobo screwed up his job, and not even Lobo wanted to get on Galactus' bad side.

Jerry Gladstone was a Hollywood cop. Nothing special, just another guy trying to move up the ranks. He stayed crouched behind his patrol car, along with his partner, Mick Cooper. Both had their guns drawn, although they knew that mere bullets would be useless against a cosmic powered foe.

"Cap'n says not to engage fire," Cooper said.

"Duh," Gladstone replied. "How stupid does he think we are? We've deal with these crazies before."

"You know how these New York guys are when they transfer over. Think we haven't seen a damn thing because we don't live on the east coast."

"I just wonder how long we're supposed to hide behind this car. Until this guy throws it halfway across the country?" Gladstone peeked around the car to see if Lobo was doing anything different.

"We're supposed be getting some heavy hitters coming in," Cooper replied.

"The JLA?"

"Maybe . . . " Cooper answered, looking up. "Looks like they're here."

The cops watched as the ensemble of heroes floated to the ground.

"Not the JLA . . . it's the kids," Gladstone sighed. "What do they call ‘em? Young Justice?"

"Yeah, that's it," Cooper affirmed. "It's Young Justice!"

Young Justice was represented by members of the present team, as well as by some returning members of the former incarnation of the group. Other members were either doing damage control at Captain America's orders, or were, for various reasons, unable to be here.

The combo team was led by Nightwing, who was accompanied by two of his old pals Superboy and Wonder Girl. They were joined by new team members Marvel Boy, Marvel Girl, Hornet, Black Cat, and the Ray.

Lobo saw them arrive and a big grin crossed his face. "Oh yeah . . . More fun for the main man!" He walked over to meet them.

"This must be the one that almost killed the New York team," Nightwing said. "No sense wasting time negotiating. He's loony as mental patient. Superboy, Wonder Girl, Ray, and the two Marvels try to keep him. Hornet, you, me, and Black Cat will try to sabotage that machine, whatever it is."

"Right," Superboy said. "Let's go, guys!"

"And girl," Marvel Girl said. "They always forget the girl," she muttered.

The five powerhouse members of the team threw themselves into the fray. Lobo gleefully met them. The fight was fierce. Meanwhile, the other three snuck around to get near the device.

"Any idea what this thing is or what it does, Hornet?" Nightwing asked.

"It's highly advanced," Hornet said. "I've never seen anything like it."

"Can we destroy it?" Black Cat asked.

"I'm not sure if we can or if we should," Hornet said. "It might explode."

"Oh, more good news," she moaned.

Meanwhile, Lobo's savagery was making up for the fact that he was outnumbered. He was wild, and seemed to be enjoying the battle. For the time being, he was holding his own against his foes.


The Silver Surfer awoke in his cell. It took him a moment to clear his head, and work out where he was. Obviously, Dr. Doom had incarcerated him. What was this sort of place called? A dungeon! The Surfer got weakly to his feet. He tried to use his cosmic power to blast the doors off, but he found, to his dismay, that his power was gone.

The memory of Doom draining the energy from him became clear in his mind. That cursed human had stripped him of all his cosmic might.

The Surfer tried to force the door open, but either he was too weak or the door was made of something incredibly powerful. Either way, he was unable to free himself. He sat down, fuming with helpless rage. He knew his power would come back eventually, but it would take a very long time. He gritted his teeth and thought of revenge!

Somewhere in the East:

Hawkman flew with winged grace and determination across the skies of the Eastern hemisphere. He was a consummate warrior, off to battle. Once he was the alien agent known as Kator Hol. He was also once known as the World War Two hero Carter Hall, a.k.a. Hawkman. But those two being had been fused into one formidable winged warrior. His job was to guard the Cosmic Cube which was hidden on Earth. He had set up certain mystic safeguard to tell him when a cosmic threat was approaching Earth. If any alien being was coming to the planet to steal and abuse the power of the Cosmic Cube, they would have to face Hawkman.

When he sensed the arrival of the heralds, and detected one of them in Japan, he flew into combat - if combat were necessary - and was prepared to repel the unwanted visitor.

Firelord arrived in Japan, at the foot of an inactive volcano, and began setting up the mechanism for his master. It began as a small ball, but grew to the size of a truck. Firelord began to program the device.

He did not see the people who appeared on a nearby hill, watching him. Four of the X-Men - Jean Grey, Iceman, Beast, and Wolverine - having landed their jet in stealth mode several hundred years away, plotted their strategy.

"What the heck do you thing he's doing with that thing?" Iceman asked.

"I can't tell," Jean said. "His thoughts are unreadable. Any speculation, Hank?"

"It's dangerous to conjecture without sufficient fact," Beast replied. "I prefer to reserve my hypothesis for the moment."

"I hate this sneaking around," Wolverine said. "We gotta stop him from settin' up that gizmo. He won't be expecting a frontal attack from us puny humans. I say we hit him hard before he knows we're here."

"On the surface that sounds like a suicidal strategy, given the power of these aliens," Beast said. "But it may be just crazy enough to be effective."

"Sure," Iceman said. "I haven't done anything suicidal in weeks."

"I wish I had a better strategy," Jean said. "But I'd prefer to attack while their was some sort of distraction -- "

Just as Jean spoke, the winged figure swooped into view. Huh?! Warren? Jean thought in that instant. No, someone else!

Hawkman hovered over Firelord. "You there! The flaming one! State your business. What are you doing on this planet? Speak up!"

Wolverine gestured toward the aviary warrior. "That a good enough distraction for ya, Jeannie?"

Firelord barely glanced at Hawkman. "Away with you, petty Terran being. I have no time for you. And you defy the will of Galactus at your own risk."

"Galactus!" Hawkman repeated. The part of him that was Kator Hol knew the legends of the planet devouring space giant. This could be as bad as someone coming for the Cosmic Cube. "I cannot allow you to sacrifice this world to your master's hunger."

Firelord sensed a fight coming. He turned toward his foe. "If you attempt to stop me, you must die!"

"I'll risk it."

Firelord unleashed a burst of flame at Hawkman, who barely avoided it. It singed one of his wings. He threw an antique Chinese star at Firelord. It embedded itself in the aliens shoulder. The powerful alien did not even wince. His body heat melted the small weapon. The herald threw another burst of flame at Hawkman when he was suddenly hit by a rock.

"Who dares throw such minuscule projectiles at me?" Firelord asked as he turned to face his newest attacker. He was unprepared for the sight when awaiting him. Jean Grey was standing on a hill, surrounded by rocks floating around her body.

"Get off our planet!" she yelled as she mentally hurled the salvo of stony projectiles at the flaming invader.

Firelord released a flame blast at her, but the Beast nimbly yanked her out of the way. Barely. This distraction allowed Hawkman to slam the Firelord with his war mace. Firelord winced this time but he did not fall. He grimaced at the flying hero. "You will die for that!"

Wolverine, with his practiced stealth, crept up on Firelord and leapt, claws unsheathed and ready to draw blood. But it was not to be. Firelord, like the other heralds, was cosmically aware. He could navigate the void of space with his uncanny senses. Nothing could sneak up on him. Not even the sneaky Wolverine.

Firelord swung his flaming staff, and caught the clawed mutant with a fiery blow that ignited part of his body. Wolverine was knocked to the ground. Although stunned, he instinctively rolled around, putting out the fire. His flesh was badly burned, but began to heal in seconds. It took him a few seconds to get his head together. Firelord was about to atomize him with a flaming cosmic burst but Iceman attacked the alien, trying to encase him in a block of solid ice. Unfortunately, the ice melted as fast as it was formed.

Wolverine stumbled over to where Jean and Beast were now observing the battle. "How's the strategy?" he asked.

"It's keeping him busy, and not doing whatever he set out to do," Beast answered. "So, that's a plus, I suppose."

"But we're getting our asses handed to us?" Wolverine asked, finishing the thought.

Just then, Hawkman flew in. "You speak the truth. A frontal attack is futile. We need a better strategy. We'll get killed if we keep on this way."

"We're open to suggestions," Jean said.

"He's looking at us like we're insects or something," Beast commented.

"He may indeed see us in just that way," Hawkman answered.

"He won't be seeing much when I poke his eyes out," Wolverine said. "I want this guy laid out on a slab!"

"I hope my reinforcements get here on time," Hawkman said.

"Reinforcements?" Jean asked. "Who -- ?"

Hawkman raised a hand. "No time. Duck!" he shouted as a flame burst came hurling down toward the heroes.

"Back to plan A," Wolverine muttered as he leapt toward the herald.

The blast formed a ring of fire around Jean and stunned Beast, who was laying on the ground in a partially unconscious state.

Wolverine tried again to cut the herald, but Firelord blasted away at him. Hawkman deflected his aim, so Wolverine was only grazed. Hawkman, however, was knocked out of the air. Iceman formed a shield around them but it wouldn't hold. It was melting quickly.

Oh, shoot, Iceman thought.

Meanwhile, Jean has extinguished the flames around her with her telekinesis and rushed over to Beast's side. Beast gathered enough energy to raise his head to observe the action. However, he started feeling a tingling sensation.

"Oh my stars and garters!"

Before his exclamation could finish leaving his mouth, the entire area was engulfed in a bright red blast of energy, shooting downward from the sky. It knocked all of the combatants backwards, including Firelord, and formed a large crater.

Slowly, a man emerged from the crater. He wore a tattered black bodysuit and a visor on his face. "Home?" he asked in a small voice.

To be continued!