DCM Zone

Part III: Clash of the Warriors
by Bob Young


The Godwheel was coming! Every day, every hour, the massive planet moved closer and closer to the solar system, which Earth called home, and apocalypse followed with it. Larger than any other known planet, it was surrounded by a Saturn-like ring that gave it its limitless energy. A wheel of power built on the lives and deaths of a thousand worlds. The Godwheel!

It was coming!

The Asgardian Thunder God Thor and Balder the Brave traveled through space on Thor's royal chariot, drawn by his flying goats Tooth'nasher and Tooth'grinder. They searched for the Godwheel, determined to learn its ancient secrets and, if necessary, stop it, if possible.

They had rode for a time as silent as the space around them, their minds on the unknown dangers that awaited them. They didn't notice the approaching threat until he was almost on top of them.

The blue-skinned alien was once a warrior of the Kree Empire. But now he was something more. Now he was a member of the notorious Green Lantern Corps and on his finger, he wore one of the most powerful weapons in the universe! The Power Ring!

"Hold there!" the Kree Lantern said, using his ring to allow his voice to travel across the vacuum of space. "You will not pass until I have words with you!"

"I have no time for conversation with thee!" Thor said. "My companion and I seek the galactic menace known as the Godwheel, and our time is most precious. We cannot waste valuable moments in idle chatter."

"The Godwheel?" the Green Lantern said. "I know of it."

"Doth thou?" Balder asked. "Tell us then where we may find this dastardly celestial threat."

"Not so fast, my impetuous friend," the Kree said. "We haven't discussed my own needs yet."

"Speak your piece, then," Thor said. "What wouldst thou ask of us?"

"Fight me!" the Green Lantern said.

"Eh?" Thor asked. "What sayeth thou?"

"You must be powerful to travel the vastness of space without any protection, or even atmosphere," the Kree Green Lantern said. "You carry weapons, although they are primitive. My instincts tell me that you are formidable warriors."

"We are!"

"The all I ask you for is a good fight!" the Kree said. "I have not had a good challenge in many a day, and I fear my battle skills may atrophy without one. If you can survive my onslaught for a specified duration, I will tell you where to find the Godwheel."

"Very well," Thor said. "Your terms are acceptable."

"Excellent," the Kree said. "The sun should soon rise from behind that planet to the west. If the two of you are still alive at that time, you will have the knowledge you seek."

"Fair enough!" Thor said.

"Let us have at him, M'Lord!" Balder said.

"Nay, good friend," Thor said. "Remember, thou art along as witness and must only act should Thor fall. This battle is mine to fight alone!"

"Thy request is a rightful one, my Prince," Balder said. "I will honor it, although unhappily."

"Only one of you?" the Green Lantern said. "Do you not realize that I am a warrior of the great Green Lantern Corps? You will need all the help you can get."

Thor raised his hammer defiantly. "And doth thou not realize that thou doth address Thor, God of thunder, son of the omnipotent Odin and champion of the Eternal Realm?"

"Such impressive titles," the Kree said. "Let's see you live up to them."

The two opponents landed on the nearby planet, and quickly commenced with their battle.

The Green Lantern fired an energy ray at Thor. The Thunder God, with the experience of centuries and the reflexes of a God, blocked the beam with his hammer. The Green Lantern was surprised that the seemingly primitive hammer could so easily turn aside his attack.

Changing tactics, the Green Lantern created a cage of green energy around the Asgardian prince. The cage started to contract around the Thunder God, threatening to crush him. Thor swung his mighty hammer and battered at the energy cage. The blow was so powerful that the mental backlash stunned the Lantern. Thor continued his assault on the cage, each blow like a jackhammer inside the head of the Green Lantern, who was getting so dizzy, that he feared he would lose consciousness, thus he released Thor.

Thor moved to the attack, not giving the Green Lantern the chance to recover. The Green Lantern created a giant hammer of his own out of his power ring. The massive hammer swung at Thor. Thor countered it with his own hammer. The two weapons collided. Once, twice, thrice! Thor showed no sign of tiring, but the Green Lantern felt he was wasting the finite energy of his amazing ring, and getting another headache in the process. He decided to abandon this strategy as well.

Thor threw his hammer at the Green Lantern, who easily evaded it. While Thor was unarmed, the Green Lantern saw his opportunity. He fired a barrage of energy bolts at the Thunder God. The first few bolts hit Thor, shaking him up but not seriously harming him. He was more durable than the Green Lantern had assumed. Then, the hammer returned to its master's hand, and Thor used it to bat the energy bolts away.

The Green Lantern thought he would be exhilarated by a challenging combat but the was actually unnerved by the unexpected power and skill of his opponent. He was determined to defeat this so-called "god" quickly.

The Kree Lantern created a large, muscled humanoid-shaped warrior out of his ring power. "Care to put your hammer aside and exercise your muscles in hand-to-hand combat?"

"Twill not be exactly hand-to-hand, since yonder energy man is naught but a creation of thine own weapon," Thor said. "But still will Thor oblige thee. I pit my good right arm against thy artificial champion!"

Thor tucked his hammer into his belt, and locked up with the ring-created energy being. It was powerful, and the Green Lantern manipulated it with great skill. It fought Thor to a standstill for five minutes. After that, the tide turned. Thor, much more experienced a warrior than his alien opponent, had taken the measure of his enemy. He realized the limits of the Green Lantern's hand-to-hand combat knowledge. He was not the puppet master he believed himself to be. The energy-creation was limited in its skill and style. Thor began to outfight it, tossing it around with clever wrestling moves. As the creation got pummeled, the Green Lantern began to fear that he was wasting energy. Thor seemed tireless but the ring would eventually run out of energy. This was pointless. Soon the sun would be up and it was clear that his present strategy was not going to bring him a victory in the time allotted.

The Green Lantern created a pair of giant feet to stamp on his Asgardian opponent. Thor raised his hammer and called down the strange, red lightning of this alien world. The lightning, more powerful than Earth lightning, shattered the big, green feet.

Next, the Green Lantern created a swarm of snakes to slither all over Thor, constricting and biting. Thor used his weather-controlling power to create massive wind and rain to wash the serpentine pests away. The Green Lantern grunted in frustration.

Thor focused his will and summoned up the incredible mystic power of the God-Fire, which was the source of many an immortal marvel, including his father's unrivaled Odin-Force. The God-Fire funneled through the hammer and came out as a devastating energy burst.

The energy burst struck the Green Lantern with a force that stunned the ring-wielding warrior. It staggered him, despite his protective shield. Thor pounced on him before he could collect his thoughts. The Thunder God battered the shield with the strength of a god!

The Green Lantern was dazed, surprised, confused and just a little scared. All this affected his will power and his control over the power of his ring. The power waned, just a bit. Just enough! Thor punched through the field and struck the Kree, knocking him unconscious.

"Well done, my Prince," Balder said.

"He was most formidable," Thor said, standing over the fallen Green Lantern. "Although his judgment is somewhat askew, he has the makings of a great warrior."

"Thou didst not slay him, I hope," Balder said.

"Nay, brave one, he is uninjured," Thor said. "At the last second, I pulled my punch before it struck him. I recognize him as a Kree warrior. They are a hardy breed. He will quickly recover. And then, we will have the information we seek. The location of the Godwheel!"

Hercules was the strongest of the gods of Olympus. His name has become synonymous with physical strength. The demigod son of Zeus, King of Olympus, was sometimes called the Prince of Power. His physical prowess was staggering!

He loved a good fight, so much so that he started them on any occasion. He brawled for any reason. This disturbed the high lords of Olympus, including his own father, Zeus. Therefore, to maintain the sensualist party atmosphere that prevailed on the decadent realm of Mount Olympus, Zeus sent Hercules on a pointless quest to Earth.

Hercules was ordered to search for the ancient Golden Fleece, as he had done centuries past, along with Jason and the Argonauts. Actually, Hercules knew that the Fleece had long since been destroyed, but he liked the idea of returning to Earth for an extended period. Earth was a lively place, filled with battle, good drink and beautiful girls. If he couldn't fight on Olympus, then the Earth was the next best place.

He originally came to Earth in Greece, but a series of adventures led him to the American mid-west. At the moment, he was sleeping on the grass in a green field on a hill. At least he was until the raucous sound of a train screeching to a stop knifed through the peaceful countryside, waking him up.

"What . . . ?" he said, waking. "Who disturbs the slumber of Hercules?"

Looking down from the hill, he saw an Amtrak train brought to a halt by a tree that had fallen across the tracks. The train crew was climbing out of the train to investigate the problem. Hercules was annoyed at their jabbering.

"So!" he said. "One of the mortal iron mechanical monsters hath been brought to a halt by a fallen tree. I shall have no peace and quiet so long as they remain."

Down on the tracks, the crew as studying the tree. "We're gonna be stuck here for a while. That's one big friggin' sequoia."

Hercules arrived on the scene. "Stand aside, mortals!" he ordered. "You shall soon be on your way."

One of the crew sighed. "Why do all the wackos have to pop out of the wood work when something goes wrong?"

They looked with amusement at Hercules' ancient Grecian attire. "Beat it, Russell Crowe!" one of them said. "We got work to do!"

They stopped laughing when Hercules grabbed the tree and lifted with over his hear with ease. He carried it to the foot of the hill and dumped it out of the path of the train.

"He's a superhero," one said.

"Which one is he?" another asked. "I don't recognize him."

Hercules looked at the train. "Must I dispose of this metal beast as well, in order to remain undisturbed?"

"No, no!" the motorman yelled. "We're going! We're leaving right now!"

"Going?" hercules asked, curious. "What is thy destination?"

"New York."

"Ah! I know of this city," Hercules said. "It is full of life, of music, and of women. There is always revelry and merry-making to be found. It is an appropriate place for a god to entertain himself. I will accompany thee."

"Sure, sure! No problem!" the conductor said. "Just hop right in. No ticket needed."

"Ha! Who can enjoy life as much as an Olympian!" Hercules stated, merrily. "You will take me now! Hercules doth command it!"

"Anything you say!"

Hercules boarded the train, looking forward to more adventures in New York.

The Boom-tube opened on Earth, and Orion of New Genesis appeared. He hovered over the Eastern United States, on the power rods, which contained the Astro-Force. "Here is where fate has summoned me. This is where I will find glorious battle."

Using his mother box to detect where the most power and technology was at work in the vicinity, he homed in on the grand city of New York.

Arriving in Manhattan, he hovered over the city. "Quite an impressive sight for such a primitive people."

As his mind wandered, he didn't see the enemy sneaking up behind him. An energy beam struck him. He shouted with pain and nearly fell off of his power rods. But he steadied himself and spun around, searching for the source of the attack.

The enemy was a dark skinned man with black trunks and sleeveless shirt, covered in protective mesh. He had yellow and green armbands, green tights, gloves and boots. One his chest was the image of an Eye. The outfit was topped with a King Tut-like headpiece. He carried a scepter. Overall, it was a very Egyptian looking motif.

"Beware, servant of the enemy!" the mysterious attacker said. "You are not welcome here! I give you the opportunity to flee this planet or suffer the consequences!"

Orion sized up the enemy. By calling Orion 'Servant of the Enemy', he had identified himself as an enemy of High-Father and probably the foe who Orion was sent to Earth to fight. "Orion flees from no one!" the New God said. "I stand ready! Do your worst!"

"You are brave," the attacker said. "But your choice of masters leaves much to be desired. I am forced to destroy you!"

"You can try!" Orion answered confidently.

"Then die, at the hands of the Black Pharaoh!"

The Black Pharaoh pointed his scepter at Orion and fired a blast of black flame at him. Orion, on his maneuverable Power rods, evaded the flame. It hit a building instead, causing a fire. Orion could see that an aerial battle was bad news for the city below. He found an open stop to land, in a field in Central Park.

"Come down here!" Orion cried. "Face me on foot! Hand-to-hand!"

"As you wish!" the Black Pharaoh said.

The Black Pharaoh landed and locked up with Orion. To his surprise, Orion was physically much stronger than he. Orion knocked him off his feet with a few powerful blows, and then grabbed the Pharaoh and tossed him across the field into a tree. The Black Pharaoh realized that he was out of his league, and decided that his best strategy was to retreat and live to warn his fellows.

The Black Pharaoh launched himself into the air. Orion ran to his equipment, planning to follow his opponent. The Pharaoh looked back and realized that Orion was about to give chase. He fired more bolts of black flame, cutting Orion off from his equipment. Orion instead grabbed a tree and ripped it from the ground. He hurled it up at the Black Pharaoh. The Pharaoh dodged the tree, which fell and landed on 5th Avenue, crushing a car, injuring a driver, blocking traffic and causing general chaos.

Orion ranted with fury as the Pharaoh slipped disappeared behind some skyscrapers.

Next issue: Sif battles the Black Pharaoh, Wonder Woman meets the enigmatic Thundra, and Captain Marvel gets involved in this adventure!