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You Two Can Be a Super-Hero!

Written by thedoc9 :: [Tuesday, 08 May 2018 04:25] Last updated by :: [Tuesday, 08 May 2018 11:38]

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“You Two Can Be A Super-Hero!”

By thedoc9

Based heavily on “You Too Can Be A Super-Hero” written by Bob Rozakis, first appearing in Adventure Comics #453 in 1977. The comic that this story is based on is one that I bought in a shop while on summer vacation as a kid. I thought it would be fun to add a new character who we didn't notice in the comic because they were always just off the edge of the panel. Someone who normally disappears into a crowd because there was nothing extraordinary about them…


Camp Smallville: Summer, 1977

Superboy flew high over the forest outside of the town of Smallville, heading towards Smallville Lake, and the campgrounds nearby. He had recently returned from the 30th Century where he and the Legion of Super-Heroes had defeated Mordru, a crazy wizard with almost unbelievable power. He was looking forward to a couple of weeks of camping, and just being Clark Kent, camp counselor.

As Smallville Lake pulled into view, Superboy saw a commotion growing at the shore near the camp. Several kids were yelling and pointing at a small red-headed girl who was struggling to stay afloat in the deep water!

Down on the beach, one of the female counselors in the crowd was Charlene Chase. Charlene was one of those 16-year-old girls who just sort of faded into a crowd unnoticed. She wasn’t particularly pretty, with shoulder-length dirty blonde hair and freckled skin. She was also a little underweight, and when puberty came along her body had never blossomed like many of the other girls her age, like that chesty Lana Lang who was bunking with her this summer.

Charlene’s jaw dropped as she spotted Superboy flying overhead. His legs and arms bulged with muscles, his costume leaving little to her vivid imagination. Her gaze lingered on his stomach muscles that rippled with the lumps and bumps she often fantasized about caressing. He was, in her opinion, a total stud.

One of the older boys ran paster her and dove into the water, swimming out to the struggling little girl, but he still had a long way to go. Apparently, he hadn’t noticed the Boy of Steel like Charlene had. She watched as Superboy flew down towards the little red-haired girl who was beginning to tire.

The red-haired girl looked up, and called out, “Help me… S-S-Superboy!” She swallowed some water as a wave passed over her face, and her bespectacled eyes grew wider with panic.

“Hang on,” Superboy called down to her, “I’ll get you!” With a dramatic swoop, Superboy lifted the girl out of the water, holding her waist gently in his hands.

She coughed a few times to clear her throat of the last bits of lake water, and calmed down quickly. The girl looked about eleven or twelve, she was wearing a striped swimming suit with a blue miniskirt that had large white stars that reminded Superboy of Wonder Woman’s old costume. She smiled at Superboy and said, “I’m so glad I got to meet you – I’m your biggest fan!”

Superboy got this a lot, particularly from young girls, but he still managed a boyish smile as a he paused, hovering over the lake so they could continue to talk in relative privacy. “You almost didn’t get to see me at all – why did you swim out so far?”

The girl’s smile faded a bit, and she said: “I dunno! I thought I could swim back – but I couldn’t!” The girl’s face darkened a bit as she remembered how close to drowning she had just come.

Superboy didn’t want to traumatize the girl, so he came up with an idea to cheer her back up. “Well, I can – and this is my chance to put on a little water show for your fellow campers!”

Taking a cue from her broadening smile, Superboy tossed her gently in to the air, and allowed himself to drop into the water. He took a deep breath, and with a sustained gust of super-breath, he created a strong enough wind to keep her airborn overhead as he did a backstroke in the water. Then, as he ran out of air, he flipped over to start a broadstroke. The girl landed on the small of his back and instinctively grabbed the tail of his cape. With a burst of super-speed, Superboy moved through the water like a powerboat, and the girl rode him like a big water ski.

Back at the shore, the young man who had jumped into the water made his way back to beach, looking tired and upset. He walked right past Charlene, who was watching Superboy’s impromptu show from the shore with the other campers. While everyone else clapped and cheered, Charlene found herself fantasizing about Superboy holding her in his big, strong arms instead of that little girl.

Superboy turned towards the shore and waved as the gathered crowd of kids clapped and cheered even louder. He placed the girl up on his shoulder as he stood up and walked up the beach. The older boy who had been swimming out to save the little girl earlier now ran up to them, looking angry. He wagged a finger at the little girl, saying, “You crazy kid – you could have drowned!”

As Superboy lowered the girl from his shoulder, she retorted, “But I didn’t! Superboy saved me!”

The girl gently kissed Superboy on the cheek as her face moved past his. Superboy lowered her to the sand. This was another part of the super-hero package deal that Superboy had to admit was one of his favorites, even if it was just a chaste kiss from a very young girl.

The girl continued, “I’m a big girl now – I don’t need you playing big brother anymore!” Well, that makese things a little simpler. Since this is a brother-sister spat, there’s no point in me getting any more involved, Superboy thought.

The older brother deepened his voice to sound more authoritative. “Not too big to get a spanking – which dad would give you if he was here! Now c’mon! Go change clothes – you’ve had enough ‘swimming’ today!” With that, the older brother led the young girl back to the bunk houses where the campers slept during their extended stay at camp.

A handsome blonde boy about Superboy’s age walked up. “That’s what I call a nick-of-time appearance, Superboy!” It was Pete Ross, one of Clark Kent’s best friends.

Superboy smirked at Pete and said, “And now, I’ll make an equally fast disappearance! “ He made a show of shaking sand out of his cape in preparation for flying away.

Unbenknownst to Superboy, Pete Ross knew Superboy’s secret identity, and he couldn’t help teasing Superboy just a bit more. “Oh, you’re leaving already? Can’t you stay around awhile – all the kids would love to see you!”

Near the back of the crowd, Charlene held her breath as she overheard this, wondering if this might be her chance to actually meet Superboy. But the Boy of Steel took off gently, then looked back one last time: “Sorry Pete – But I’ll be around…” And with that, he soared off over the trees.

Pete Ross thought to himself, Haha! What a kidder Superboy is! He’ll be here… but as Clark Kent!

Charlenealso had private thoughts about Superboy. Thoughts about making him into a Super MAN…

Not long after, Superboy arrived back in town at the Kent’s General Store in Smallville. He flew down and into the store at super-speed. The store was empty except for his foster parents, who were currently stocking shelves. In a blur of motion, Superboy donned his Clark Kent clothes.

“Hi, Mom—I’m home!”

Martha smiled warmly. “Oh, Clark! Jonathan, look who’s back!”

Jonathan, who felt like the box of canned goods in his hands was slowly getting heavier with each passing moment, puffed out a breath of relief. “And just in time, too!”

“That seems to be my trademark today! Here, let me help you, Pa!” Clark grabbed the large box of cans from Jonathan effortlessly balancing it on one hand.

Jonathan, grateful for the respite, took in a deep breath. Clark made him proud on almost a daily basis, but his youthful exuberance was sometimes a bit much for the elderly man. “Thanks, son—but must you be such a –” He took another deep breath. “– showoff?!”

But Clark was already speeding up and down the aisle, placing cans at super-speed. “Showoff? Me?? I’m just trying to help you stock the shelves!”

Jonathan tried to protest. “B-But…”

Martha waved at her husband, “Oh, hush up, Jonathan! Let the boy have his fun! There’s no one around to see his super-stunt!”

Clark finished a few seconds later, then paused in front of his foster mother. “Anything else I can help with? I’ll have to do it fast, though—I’m supposed to be at Camp Smallville in five minutes!”

Jonathan was aghast. “Do it fast? Jehoshaphat, Clark—do you call what you just did slow?”

“Oh, no, Pa! Taking a full five minutes to go the ten miles to Camp Smallville—that’s slow! See ya later!” With that, Clark kissed Martha on the cheek as he rushed to the door.

Back at Camp Smallville, the young red-headed girl sat on her bed in the bunk house as her older brother stood nearby. They were otherwise alone, and he raised his voice with frustration. “--And you can stay in your bunk till you learn not to do foolish things like swimming too far out in the lake!”

The girl turned towards her brother so quickly that her pigtails swung around her head like little tether balls. She sobbed, “You’re a big meanie, Anthony! I hate you!”

Tony pulled open the door and left, deciding this would only get worse if he continued. Better to just let her fume a bit, and hopefully calm down with time.

“If I was a super-hero like Superboy, I wouldn’t save you!” she called to the closed door. The room was suddenly very quiet. She thought, yeah… if I had those neat super-powers, you wouldn’t be able to boss me around! Oh, how I wish I could be like Superboy! I wish I could be a super-hero! Then I’d show him—

Just outside her bunk house, Clark Kent walked up to his friends and stopped to talk. Hidden underneath his clothes was his Superboy costume… and tucked into a secret pocket in his cape was a Mystic Crystal he had taken from the sinister sorceror, Mordru, for safe-keeping (See Superboy Legion #230). Clark was completely unaware that the crystal was now responding to the thought waves of the young girl just a few feet away. Her powerful wishes resonated with the crystal, which had lain dormant until now. With the speed of her thoughts and imagination, the Mystic Crystal endowed the young girl with incredible super-powers.

Inside the bunk house, the girl felt an odd stirring in her stomach, and she jumped off the bed and to her feet. “What… what’s happening…?” she whispered to the empty room. She looked down at herself, and in a brief, blinding shimmer of purple light, her t-shirt and jeans were transformed into a beautiful yellow and purple super-hero costume. The girl gasped with surprise and joy. She rushed over to a wall mirror to get a better look at herself.

Her usually pigtailed red hair was now lush with wavy curls now. Her glasses were gone, though she knew immediately that she no longer needed them. Her posture and her facial expression filled with brimming joy… and confidence.

She stuck out her chest proudly, hands on her hips, turning left and right, admiring the costume. Her top was yellow with a purple triangle going from her shoulders down across her chest. Under a yellow miniskirt, she was wearing purple tights with yellow racing stripes down the side. She now wore calf-high boots with more yellow piping on them. She had blue gloves with yellow trim at the wide gauntlet-like cuffs. A wide, tight purple belt with a large circular blue buckle cinched her waist. The buckle had a bold white “M” on it. Instinctively, she knew what this stood for.

Mighty Girl.

Yes, that was it. With barely a thought, she flexed her toes and raised gently up off the floor, and hovered in mid-air. She could FLY! Mighty Girl twirled mid-air, softly giggling to herself, still catching her reflection in the mirror on the wall. She looked amazing! She noticed that even her blue cape had a large purple “M” design incorporated into it.

I’m just like Superboy now, she thought excitedly. A super-hero! Powers beyond those of mortal men! She flexed her arms, feeling an uncanny amount of strength in them, eager to be tested. She lowered herself down to the floor again, and walked up to her bed. She grabbed the metal bed post and with an effortless twist, the metal groaned as it submitted to her strength like warm putty. The thrill that shot up and down her body was unlike anything else she’d ever felt in her life. This was incredible!

Meanwhile, outside the bunk house, Clark approached Lana Lang, a pretty red-headed girl in a tight purple polo shirt and a purple bow in her hair. Clark had a crush on Lana, but had so far been unable to approach her about it as Clark Kent. She was accompanied by Pete Ross and the little girl’s older brother that Superboy had encountered on the beach.

Pete Ross made the formal introductions. “Clark – this is Tony! Tony… Clark!”

Clark did his best to act as if he’d never seen the fellow before. He extended his hand and shook Tony’s. “Glad to meetcha! You’re here from the city…?”

Tony nodded. “Right – part of the ‘Weeks in the Country’ plan for kids of civil servants! I’m actually a little old for the program, but my kid sister is here, so Dad had me signed on as a counselor to keep an eye on her!”

Lana poked Tony playfully. “But not a close-enough eye! She almost drowned in the lake!” Lana turned to Clark, saying “Superboy rescued her!”

Clark raised his eyebrows in feigned surprise and envy. “Do tell!”

Pete led the group into the counselor’s building. “Yeah! You should have been here to see it, Clark!” Pete glanced at Clark’s facial expression, but Superboy was clearly very skilled at pretending to be a normal human being! Pete forged onward. “Anyway! Look – I spoke to the head counselor and he thought it would be a great idea if we took some of the older kids camping overnight!”

Pete gestured to a simple hand-drawn map of the camp and the surrounding area that was mounted on cork board on the bunk house wall. A riding trail headed south from the camp. “Haunted Falls” was north of the camp, which itself was adjacent to Smallville Lake.

Clark pointed at the map and said,” Great idea! We can trek up near Haunted Falls…”

Lana chimed in, “…Oooh… and tell them the ghostly legend of the falls!”

Pete clearly loved this idea, and added “Complete with their spectral appearance! It’d give the kids something to remember for a long time!”

Lana’s smile faded a bit. Boys always seemed to do this. “No… that might be going a bit too far…”

Anthony chimed in with Pete, “No way – it’ll be fun!”

Pete leaned in, smiling his charming smile at her. “Aw c’mon, Lana—nobody’s gonna get hurt! And besides, it’s a tradition! The older counselors have been doing it for years!”

Lana could guess that Pete was once scared by a similar prank, and now he considered this a way of getting even. Why were boys always so… primitive? Still, she had to admit that they didn’t intend to hurt any of the kids. Just scare them a little bit. “Well, I guess I’m outvoted—but something tells me it’s not going to turn out the way you expect!”

Clark and Pete headed out, talking about getting the sheets from their respective beds for ghost costumes. As they left, Charlene walked in. “Hey, Lana! What’s the scoop?”

Lana explained the plan to take the children up to the waterfall. “Sounds neat,” Charlene said. I’ll grab hot dogs and other stuff for supper.”

“You’re the best, Charlene,” Lana said. “I’ll bring the fire-making stuff and a water bucket.”

“And the boys…?” Charlene asked.

Lana smirked at Charlene. “You know boys. They’ll just bring their appetites.” They both shared a laugh over this.

A few buildings down, Tony walked up the door of his little sister’s bunk house with his backpack filled with supplies for both of them. He took a deep, calming breath, then knocked gently on the door.

Inside, Mighty Girl whirled at the sound of the knock. She squinted at the door, taking a quick look through it (Yes! X-Ray vision! she thought.) It was her brother, all right. She grabbed a random book off the shelf near her bed, then in a brief wink of purple light, she transformed back to her mortal form, wearing her camping clothes, including her large round-framed glasses. As she hurriedly lay down on the bed, and raised the book up to cover her face, she heard the door slowly open. All she could think was, I need to act normal! Normal! Mighty Girl needs to stay my secret!

Tony walked in, and saw that his sister was still lying on her bunk, reading a hardcover book called “Women in Politics”. This seemed an odd choice, but he decided to just push ahead. He made a conscious effort to keep the frustration out of his voice, and gently teased her. “Hey, bookworm—c’mon! We’re going on an overnight up to the waterfalls!”

Tony dropped his backpack to the floor and smiled, hoping this distraction would help his sister get past her anger with him. But apparently it was to no avail.

“Not me! I’m not going anywhere with you!” She felt a little awkward about acting like this, as she wasn’t really that mad with her brother any longer, but it was all she could think to do on such short notice.

Tony rolled his eyes, and walked over to his sister’s bunk. She was hiding her face behind the book, pointedly avoiding looking at him.

Tony tried once again, “Aw, knock it off! We came here to enjoy the outdoors—not so you could spend two weeks with your nose in a book!”

His sister lay there on the bed in silence, not responding. Tony was completely unaware of the turmoil his little sister was going through. So much for my patience, he thought. Tony snatched the book from his sister, who glared up at him from her pillow. “Gimme my book--!” she cried.

Tony walked calmly over to the backpack, and tucked the book inside. “When we get where we’re hiking to, you can read it by the campfire! Now let’s get going…” He softened his voice. “Please!”

The girl decided that there really wasn’t anything else to say at this point, and simply nodded her agreement.

Later, after a hike through the woods and dinner over an open flame, a dozen kids and counselors were gathered around the large campfire. In the darkness just outside the circle, the young red-headed girl held the hardcover book in her hands, pretending to read. Her mind raced with thoughts and ideas. I can’t wait for my first chance to use my super-powers, she thought.

Down at the side of the river, Charlene quietly washed the cooking utensils in the river by the light of a small lantern. She didn’t mind this sort of work. She just wished people would notice a little more often.

Clark Kent stood up at the fire’s edge, and addressed the kids huddled around the campfire. “Now everyone gather round the fire and Lana will tell you how Haunted Falls got its name!”

There were murmurs of “Oh, wow!” and “Neato!” from a few of the younger kids. “A real ghost story!”

The young red-headed girl was only slightly aware of what was going on. She was in her own world, her mind full of the super-feats she would perform one day.

Lana Lang stood up, and Clark stepped aside for her. Unobtrusively, Pete Ross also got up, making his way over to Clark. Lana cleared her throat, then began the melodramatic tale. “Well, a long time ago, when the explorers like Daniel Boone were still blazing trails across the wilderness…” she made large, sweeping gestures, making sure to keep everyone’s attention on her.

Pete whispered to Clark, “Let’s go, Clark! They won’t even notice we’re gone!” The two young men quietly walked off into the darkness, and towards the river as Lana continued her tale. None of the others around the campfire noticed the two young men sneaking off.

Pete and Clark crossed a shallow part of the river near the waterfall by using a few handy stepping stones. Once they were fully out of sight of the campfire, Pete pulled a pair of large bedsheets out of his backpack. “Haha! This is going to be rich!” he whispered to Clark.

Clark took one of the sheets from Pete, but paused briefly. “I’ve never been one for practical jokes, Pete… and neither have you…”

Pete smirked at this. “I know—but the counselors did it to us the first year we came to the camp—it’s a tradition!”

Back at the campfire, one of the younger girls interjected a question into Lana’s story. “Was Davy Crockett one of the explorers? I saw on TV that he was King of the Wild Frontier!”

A few of the other children laughed at this, but Lana addressed the child seriously. “No, he wasn’t here! These two explorers were named…”

Lana suddenly realized that she hadn’t come up with names, so she improvised as best she could. “Er, Ross Peterson and… um, Kensington Clark!” Inwardly she groaned, but as she looked across the faces of the kids around the campfire, none of them seemed to have picked up on the similarity to the names of two now-missing counselors. She stepped closer to the fire, making sure it now lit up her face dramatically for this next bit. “Anyway, they were canoeing down the river upstream from the falls when they suddenly spotted a beautiful Indian maiden! She was running right along the river… and waving at them to follow her!”

At this point, Lana could see Pete and Clark making their way back across the river, towards the campfire, occasionally stumbling in their ghost sheets. The same little girl from before piped up again: “And she led them to a secret gold mine, right?”

Lana gathered her wits, and said, “No, dear—she led them right over the falls! It’s said that the ghosts of those two explorers can still be seen up here—"

At this moment, the two “ghosts” rose up from the behind Lana, waving their arms, and howling at the top of their lungs: “Woooooo!”

All the children around the fire screamed in terror. Lana smiled inwardly as she feigned surprise and horror. It had worked!

“They’re coming to get us!” one boy hollered. “Help!” cried the inquisitive girl with all the questions.

Not far away, the red-headed girl’s eyes snapped up from her book at the sound of the panic. Both her eyes and mouth went wide with excitement. This was her moment! Without hesitation, she stood up, dropping the forgotten book to the ground. She raised a fist to the sky dramatically and called out, “Don’t worry – this is a job for…”

KABLAAM! A brilliant flash of purple light briefly lit up the night, and in the little girl’s place there was now a beautiful young super-heroine.

“MIGHTY GIRL!” she cried out triumphantly.

Mighty Girl felt the super powers surge back into her body, and she reveled in the sensation. Her confidence was off the charts, and she flew straight up into the air, flexing her now super-powerful arms.

Tony, who had run away from the ghosts at first, now turned back to the fire, a look of shocked recognition crossing his face. “Oh my gosh—my sister!!”

Charlene had run up from the river, and overheard Tony’s revelation. She looked up at Mighty Girl, astonished. She thought, that’s the little girl who nearly drowned this morning? Charlene saw the resemblance in the young heroine’s face, and knew it must be true.

Mighty Girl turned to face the two ghosts near the campfire, who were standing still with surprise. Without a word, she flew straight at them, smirking with overflowing confidence. “I’ll stop those ghosts!” she called out to the children around her.

Lana, who was no stranger to seeing super heroes, still took a moment to collect her thoughts. Unfortunately, it was a moment too long. “No—Don’t—!” she called out. But Mighty Girl was in full super-heroine mode, and ignored Lana.

K-POWW! Mighty Girl punched Clark so hard that he flew into the waterfall a hundred feet behind him, still covered in the bedsheet. Mighty Girl looked down at her clenched fist, and smiled approvingly. Just like I always dreamed, she thought. I’m so strong… I’m super strong! Out loud, she called towards the waterfall, “Go back where you came from, spook!”

Charlene’s mouth opened in shock. That little girl wouldn’t have been drowning this morning if she had those powers. She must have somehow gotten them since then. But how? Oh, I wish I knew how she became super powered! At that moment, an idea came into Charlene’s mind, seemingly all on its own… Some sort of magic was involved.

The second “ghost” stood frozen in fear, trembling in place. Underneath the sheet, Pete Ross had no idea what to do. Mighty Girl turned towards him with a look in her eyes that seemed to turn his legs into lead.

Meanwhile, in a small cave just behind the waterfall, Clark pulled the bedsheet off of his head. He thought, what th--?! Don’t know how that little girl got super-powers, but I do know… He pulled open his shirt, revealing the large “S” emblem underneath. …that this is a job for Superboy!

Charlene looked up as Superboy virtually exploded from inside the waterfall, and flew over her head, heading towards Mighty Girl. The idea in her mind suddenly became even clearer. It’s some sort of Mystic Crystal in his cape! I don’t know how I know that, but I do! Confused, Charlene made her way towards the trees so she could observe things from a safe distance, under cover at the edge of the clearing.

Back at the campfire, as the children scattered, Mighty Girl pointed at the Pete Ross “ghost”. “You, too, ghost—back up your waterfall…” Mighty Girl flew straight at him, her fist extended for another super-punch.

Pete finally found his voice. “No! Wait--!”

At the last moment, Superboy intervened, blocking Mighty Girl’s blow with his palm. “Hold it, Mighty Girl!” As their hands met, Superboy winced a bit, thinking, her punch would’ve broken Pete in two!

Lana called out, “Superboy! She already hit Clark—”

As Superboy turned to Lana, Mighty Girl pulled away, flying in a large arc across the night sky, her blue and purple cape showing off the large “M” as it flapped behind her.

Superboy called down to Lana, “He’s safe, Lana! I caught him!”

Mighty Girl’s flight path brought her back around, and she was now headed straight for the Boy of Steel, her eyes narrowing. “Get out of here, Superboy! I’m the hero now—I’ll stop those ghosts… not you!”

SMOKKK! With a loud “oomph!” Superboy took the full brunt of Mighty Girl’s awesome punch, and he flew back several feet in the air. He watched as Mighty Girl tumbled backwards from the point where she made contact. She doesn’t seem experienced… I used to make that same mistake, he thought. He rubbed a sore rib, thinking, this gal packs some wallop! Got to calm her down before…

Then, a little girl cried out from somewhere below, “Eek! A fire! Fire!”

Superboy realized that he now had a bigger, more immediate problem. During their skirmish, the campfire had somehow spread to the surrounding grass! The kids were in danger of getting seriously hurt! “Great Krypton! I’ve got to—"

But Mighty Girl had already recovered. She came up and kicked Superboy in the shins, sending him tumbling off into the darkness. “Nothing doing, Superboy! I told you—I’m the new super-hero here!”

Charlenewatched with amazement from the edge of the clearing. That little girl’s strength was equal to Superboy’s! Charlene started to wonder what it would be like if she was a super hero, with amazing powers. And once again, a thought came unbidden into her mind. She could

Superboy recovered from the kick he’d received from Mighty Girl. Yeooouch! I felt that! He thought as he cursed himself for losing track of his opponent so easily. He watched as Mighty Girl flew down toward the spreading flames. “Now I’ll blow out the fire!” she said confidently.

WHOOOSH!!

Mighty Girl had super-breath as well! But instead of blowing out the fire, the flames spread and grew with the added oxygen she had just provided. The children screamed with fear as they were now surrounded by fire, with no clear escape.

Mighty Girl rose up above the growing fire, putting her hands to her face in despair. “The fire – can’t blow it out! It’s spreading!”

Most of the children were crying now, calling “Help! Help!”

Superboy saw the growing fire from his position far down river. He thought, she’s making it worse! Got to put that fire out… and then worry about handling Mighty Girl! He flew towards the nearby waterfall.

Superboy lifted his knees to his chest and wrapped his arms around them, diving into the water at the base of the waterfall where it was deepest. He thought, This “super cannonball” dive will douse everything—fast!

A large wave of water flew up from the base of the waterfall, straight towards the fire. With a loud hiss, most of the flames were quickly put out. Superboy emerged dramatically from the water, smiling at his handiwork.

However, Mighty Girl was not happy at all. “You big hog! I coulda saved everybody! I’ll show you—I’ll wish for even more powers—then I’ll punch you to the moon!” She flew straight at him, fist first.

Charlene heard this, and it was like putting the last piece to a puzzle in place. She wished for the powers! I wonder…

Superboy felt time expand as his super-brain raced. She wished for those powers? So that’s it! I know how she got them! In seeming slow motion, he saw Mighty Girl’s body alter slightly as she flew closer and closer, new muscles appearing everywhere on her young body. Her face flushed with the rush of even more strength and raw power entering her body. Her clenched fist flew inexorably towards his exposed stomach. Superboy realized that he wouldn’t be able to block this incoming super-punch, so he just braced for impact in the microseconds he had left.

KA-BOOOM! As Superboy flailed and tumbled away at supersonic speed, Mighty Girl’s face filled with glee. Her punch had sent him into outer space! She looked down at her body, noticing the powerful new muscles that appeared in her arms and legs. She felt even more amazing than ever! Unstoppable! Invincible!

Superboy pulled in a deep breath of air just before exiting the Earth’s atmosphere. He used his flight power to slow down, then reached back into the secret pocket of his cape and retrieved the troublesome Mystic Crystal. It was now shining with an eerie light. He hadn’t noticed this because of his cape’s impervious material, he thought wryly.

He thought, somehow, she tapped Mordru’s crystal—got to get rid of it, cut off her source! At that moment, the sun became visible at the edge of the Earth’s horizon. He got an idea.

Athe same moment, Charlene focused her mind on the Mystic Crystal again. I wish I knew what was happening up there… Suddenly, she saw in her mind’s eye an image of Superboy in outer space holding the crystal…

I’ll hurl it into space, he thought. With that, Superboy threw the crystal straight towards the distant sun. That should bury it in the molten surface! Superboy then turned, and flew back towards Earth.

Far below, Charlene immediately understood Superboy’s plan, and panicked. No, don’t let it be destroyed! I wish I wish I wish that I had that magic crystal! And in a shimmer of purple light, the Mystic Crystal appeared in her hands. Charlene held up the crystal, it’s warm glow reflecting in her sparkling eyes.

Superboy flew down, first aiming for North America, then Kansas, then Smallville, and finally the campground outside of town. There were still small grass fires here and there lighting up the area, but the danger from the flames had passed. Lana had herded most of the kids together, and Pete was running with a bucket of river water, methodically putting out the worst of the flames.

At the edge of the woods, Charlene peeked out from behind her tree, and came up with a simple plan. She held up the glowing Mystic Crystal, and whispered, “Okay, my little friend. I wish for all of Mighty Girl’s powers to transfer… permanently… into me!” The crystal glowed brightly in response, and Charlene smiled, closing her eyes gently.

Superboy spotted Mighty Girl, slowly lowering down to the ground. But she was no longer as muscular as she appeared earlier. Then he could hear her voice, filled with growing despair.

“What—? My powers — fading… away…” she said with a desperate voice. All of her awesome power was slowly leaving her body. Mighty Girl’s colorful costume was transforming back into jeans and a t-shirt. Her boots were once again sneakers. Finally, the red-headed girl’s glasses appeared back on her face, as she cried out one last word, “gone!”

Superboy smiled grimly. His plan had worked, just as he had hoped.

Tony walked slowly up to his little sister, unsure of how to process everything that had just happened. But she rushed to him, and and hugged him tightly, crying. “I wanted to be a super-hero… I really did…”

Tony hugged her back, “It’s okay, sis—it’s okay!”

Meanwhile, not far away, but just out of sight, Charlene gasped as the super powers filled her young, willing body. Her plan had worked, just as she had hoped.

Her clothes had disappeared, replaced by a form-fitting version of Mighty Girl’s. Charlene looked down at herself, and realized that there was still room for improvement. With a series of thoughts, she altered her appearance. I want to be even more muscle-toned… longer hair… and big, gravity-defying boobs… Her body obeyed every command in turn, and her costume altered to accommodate each change. In moments, she looked like a blonde goddess wrapped in tight yellow and purple spandex. Charlene caressed her sleek new supermodel-like body, her hands sliding up from her curvy hips until they cupped her full, firm new breasts. She grinned, thinking, all the strength and powers of Superboy… and the body of a goddess! This is incredible!

Back at the campfire, Superboy realized what he had to do next. It wasn’t his favorite part of the job, but his foster parents had made it clear that when people look up to you, you have certain responsbiilities. Superboy knelt in front of the girl and held her gently by the shoulders so she would understand the importance of what he was about to say.

“Being a super-hero isn’t that easy! You have to get experience… and training! You saw what almost happened—a lot of people could have been hurt because you didn’t know what to do!” he said, trying to sound comforting.

The red-haired girl wiped away her tears, and protested gently, “But you took away my powers! I wished for them – they’re mine!”

“You can’t have powers by wishing – by magic – you’ve got to work… develop your own skills… and by working really hard, someday you too can be a super-hero!”

Superboy could see that this seemed to be sinking in. The little girl really took a moment to think about it. In truth, the young girl was making one last desperate wish to have her powers back. But they didn’t return.

“Okay, Superboy,” she said cheerily, “I’m really gonna try… and someday you’re going to be hearing about—Barbara Gordon, super-heroine!”

Charlene had used her new super-hearing to listen in on all of this. She smirked at Superboy’s naïve opinions. She looked down at the glowing crystal still in her hand. She clenched her other fist and flexed her arm, looking down at her impressive new muscles with an approving smile. These new super-powers thrilled her.

Charlene lowered the crystal, and with a silent wish, it floated out of her hand, and embedded itself in her belt buckle just above the “M”. Then, she extended her clenched fist skyward, and dramatically flew up into the clouds. “You’re wrong, Superboy. And you’ll never take these powers away from me. I am now… and will forever be… Mighty Woman!”

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