Three Superwomen on Multiple Earths
Written by JKIJ :: [Wednesday, 30 November 2011 23:28] Last updated by :: [Tuesday, 23 April 2013 23:07]
What if Superwoman of the Crime Syndicate was told she could get even more power by killing every woman named Lois Lane or Superwoman in the multiverse?
Earth 2, the home of the Crime Syndicate
Lois Lane, editor of the Daily Planet and secretly Superwoman, a member of the notorious Crime Syndicate, glared at Jimmy Olsen over the top of her glasses as he entered her office. “This had better be good you little creep,” she said. “You know I only want to see you when you have useful information.”
“I th-think it is M-M-Miss Lane,” Jimmy stuttered, not daring to meet her eyes. Since he was one of the few people who knew of her secret identity he was always nervous when he had to tell Lois anything, worried that she might decide to indulge her vicious streak by tearing him limb from limb. “There’s this old seer who knows things. I think she genuinely has mystic powers. She told me you should go and see her.”
“And why would I want to go and see an old fraud?” Lois asked, her eyebrow rising inquisitively.
“Because she knows about you,” Jimmy said, trying hard not to cringe.
“Knows what about me? Start making sense, you idiot.” Rather than replying aloud, worried that somebody might overhear him, Jimmy sketched an S shape in the air with his finger. “What?” Lois shouted, exploding to her feet so that she towered over the cowering man. “Did you tell her? I’ve told you what I’ll do if you did, and you’d better believe that I’ll make good on that promise.”
Jimmy cowered even further into his seat, remembering her threat to skin him alive with her fingernails if he ever told anyone of her secret, before stuttering his reply. “Of c-course not! Y-you know I’d never tell anybody about th-that. That’s why I th-think you should go and see her.”
“For once you’re right Olsen,” Lois said, opening her door and showing the relieved young man out of her office. “I’ll see her straight after work. Now get out there and bring me back something really spicy that I can put in tomorrow’s paper.”
“Th-thanks Chief,” Jimmy said, relieved to have got away with his skin intact after delivering bad news. He scurried away as fast as his legs could carry him, tripping himself up more than once. Lois watched him go in amusement, though she was already thinking about who would visit this seer. Even if the old woman knows the truth I don’t think Lois Lane will be intimidating enough. This looks like a job for Superwoman, she thought, smiling as she always did when she anticipated shedding her disguise and letting her true self out to play.
A few hours later Lois said her goodbyes to those people who were still working, then she made her way into a secluded alleyway. Checking that the coast was clear she let her hair out of its bun and removed her glasses, shed her fashionable blouse and skirt revealing the black leotard underneath, taking care to hide her clothing where she was sure nobody else would find it. She then put on her gloves, boots, cape and lasso before leaping into the sky as who she really was, the ruthless Superwoman.
Within a few short minutes she arrived at the home of the seer that Jimmy had told her about. Deciding to take the directest and most intimidating route, Superwoman flew through the side of the building, landing just in front of the old woman inside. The frail old lady had lots of grey hair on top of her heavily wrinkled head with wide eyes that constantly seemed to be slightly unfocused. She was wearing flamboyant clothing that didn’t really suit her smaller than average frame, standing as she did about four foot ten inches tall and much skinnier than average, but they seemed to fit the image of an all-knowing mystic. The interior of the building was full of the objects of her trade such as crystal balls and tarot cards. Superwoman grabbed the old lady by her collar and lifted her up one-handed, examining her closely. To her surprise, Superwoman couldn’t see even a trace of fear on the old lady’s face. Instead she thought she could detect amusement, something that was confirmed when the old lady started to laugh, though the laugh quickly changed into a hacking cough. “You think this is funny?” Superwoman snarled into the old lady’s face. “I’ve heard that you’ve been saying things that I wouldn’t like other people to hear. You’d better stop if you know what’s good for you.”
Rather than acting intimidated the seer continued to be amused. “If I hadn’t told your lackey what I know you wouldn’t be here now, would you Lois?” she said, causing Superwoman to scowl up at her even more fiercely. “And if you weren’t here you wouldn’t get valuable information from me.”
Now it was Superwoman’s turn to laugh, though she laughed out of incredulity rather than amusement. “You think you have valuable information for me? What could you possibly have to tell me that I would find remotely interesting?” she asked, scorn clear in every word that she spoke.
“How about power? Power enough that you can rule this world without needing to worry about the rest of your ‘friends’ in the Crime Syndicate.” Superwoman’s grip on the old lady loosened involuntarily, though only by enough for the old woman to become a bit more comfortable. “I thought that would get your attention,” she said, cackling once again.
“What would you know about such power?” Superwoman demanded.
“I know exactly how you can become the most powerful person in this universe, and possibly in the entire multiverse, but you won’t find out how until you put me down and get me a cup of tea.”
Hating having to obey anybody but too intrigued to refuse, Superwoman did exactly what she was asked, though she tried her best to make the tea too hot to drink as a form of petty revenge. Much to her annoyance the old lady didn’t even bat an eyelid as she sipped the nearly boiling liquid. “Now tell me what you have to say,” Superwoman snarled before sitting in a chair directly opposite the old woman.
“Ah, the impatience of youth. Very well, I’ll tell you how you can get the power you crave. As you know, this universe is not the only one in existence.”
“Of course I know that. I’ve been to more than one other universe. Hurry up and get to the point.”
“The point is that in most of these universes there are people who share your name if not your origin and attitudes. Now, all of these women named Lois Lane or Superwoman are linked to you through a mystical bond that I won’t bother to explain. It just so happens that in one of my visions I recently saw one Lois Lane die. What do you think happened after her death?”
“Nothing important. There’s not one god that I’ve met that really cares about anybody other than their living worshippers so I doubt she’s gone to a rewarding paradise or a punishing damnation,” Superwoman said cynically.
“You’re probably right about the gods of her universe. I’ve never been on good terms with any of them here either, but that’s not what I meant. The instant she died, all of her skills and memories went into the bond that you shared with her. They’re just going to appear from time to time in your dreams and the dreams of every other woman you’re linked to. But the interesting bit is this. For a brief moment they were free. If my visions are true, then if you were to be the cause of the death of one of your counterparts, then all of her skills, knowledge and any powers she has would pass into you. Yes, I can see how that intrigues you,” the old woman said, seeing Superwoman involuntarily lean forward. She paused just long enough to laugh before continuing “With all the power of your multiversal counterparts added to your own, you would be invincible.”
Superwoman considered what she’d just heard. It sounded absolutely insane, but if she’d been asked she would have said matter universes with people who have their organs on the opposite sides of their bodies was an insane idea until she met some of the people from that universe. “I think you’re just an insane old woman who has managed to work out my dual identity by sheer luck,” she said, getting to her feet so that she towered over the old lady then turning towards the door which she opened and looked about to go through. Just before she left, she turned back to look at the old lady and said “Just to be on the safe side, though, I can’t let you tell anybody else about what you’ve told me.” Narrowing her eyes, Superwoman blasted the old lady with her heat vision before turning it on the rest of the room to start a massive fire that would soon enough cause the entire building to be completely gutted. She then walked through the door before flying off into the sky. Perhaps Owlman or Ultraman have a device that will let me cross into other universes, or maybe I can find something of Luthor’s that will do the same thing, she thought as she flew away from her latest murder. I will try it out and see if the old seer was just mad. If nothing else, killing other versions of me should be interesting, and perhaps it will give me the power that I’ve wanted for years.
As soon as she was sure that Superwoman was a safe distance away, the old seer got to her feet. A few seconds later she seemed to shimmer then changed into a comical looking mostly bald man wearing a bowler hat who would have been even shorter than the old woman he had pretended to be a few moments earlier if he had stood on his own two feet. Instead he hovered cross legged above the floor while seemingly completely oblivious to the flames. “It should be fun to see what this leads to,” Mister Mxytzptlk said before he vanished into thin air, leaving the building to burn down.
* * *
About a week after her meeting with the mysterious seer, Superwoman managed to get her hands on one of the devices invented by her universe’s Lex Luthor in order to visit other realities. Impatient to see if the seer had told her the truth, she immediately arranged for time off from the Planet and told her colleagues in the Crime Syndicate that she would be out of contact for a while. She quickly activated Luthor’s device and found herself in another world. It was immediately obvious that she wasn’t in her own reality as this world was far cleaner, though it was equally clear to her that this wasn’t a world she’d been to before.
After a further week spent gathering information, Superwoman realised that this world was almost entirely lacking in superhumans, either heroes or villains. She was soon able to locate this world’s version of her, a brilliant scientist and engineer, the head of research and development at Kent Enterprises, one of this reality’s largest and best known companies. Superwoman immediately began stealthily following Professor Lane and that evening, when the Professor was making her way home, Superwoman decided it was time for her to make her move. Superwoman flew high enough above the professor to ensure she wasn’t spotted until the other woman reached the door to her house. As the professor fumbled with her keys, Superwoman flew down and landed silently behind her. “Good evening, professor,” Superwoman said, causing the professor to whirl round and stare at Superwoman. Aside from the differences in clothing, it was a bit like looking into a mirror.
“Who are you and what do you want?” Professor Lane asked, examining the other woman closely.
“I am you, at least sort of,” Superwoman replied, smiling evilly, “and what I want is everything that you are.”
“What?” the professor said, obviously confused.
“Don’t worry about it. You don’t need to understand. In fact, you won’t need anything else ever again.” Before the professor could react, Superwoman sped towards the other woman at super speed. She grabbed hold of her, placing one hand on either side of the professor’s head then she lifted her up off the floor before smoothly twisting her head until the professor looked as if she was staring directly behind her, much like an owl might. There was a brief cracking noise as the woman’s neck snapped and the professor’s legs kicked for a moment, though she was very quickly motionless.
That wasn’t very enjoyable. It was far too quick and painless, Superwoman thought before she let the professor slump lifelessly to the floor. Now we find out if the old seer was telling the truth. Almost at once, Superwoman put a hand to her forehead as she began to experience the most intense headache she’d ever had, collapsing to one knee as images of people, places and events that she’d never known, seen or been involved in flooded her brain. About a minute later, she got to her feet a little unsteadily, trying to absorb what she’d just experienced. Quickly sorting through the torrent of images, Superwoman realised that they were the dead professor’s life experiences. She also found that she could now understand every invention the professor had ever created and that she effortlessly understood scientific problems that she’d never been able to get her head around before. It seems that the old woman was absolutely right. Though I still don’t understand how it works, I can take all the abilities and knowledge of my counterparts by killing them. I’ll have to move on to another Lois Lane, but first I’ll need to improve Luthor’s device. Smiling wickedly Superwoman flew into the sky heading directly towards the building where Professor Lane worked. First I’ll take a few things the professor doesn’t need any more, then I’ll go on a little shopping spree. Not that I intend to pay for anything, of course. I’ll just take what I need and kill anybody who tries to get in my way.
* * *
A loud noise and blinding flash of light caught the attention of a shabbily dressed man near the Daily Planet. It was late at night so he couldn’t work out what it was and he decided to investigate. He soon enough wished that he hadn’t, since he found a bright portal through which Superwoman quickly emerged. Not wanting to be seen before she could find her counterpart on this earth, she instantly turned her heat vision on the man. She kept her gaze on him until he was totally cremated, leaving behind nothing but ash and a distinctive smell.
Once she had finished disposing of the unlucky man who had seen her arrival, she pushed a button on the modified version of Luthor’s device, causing the portal to close. She looked up at the sky, saw that it was a moonless night and laughed. Exactly as I’d hoped. The modifications seem to have worked perfectly. Thank you, Professor Lane.
Since she had never been to this world before, Superwoman spent most of the next week learning what she could about it. She was confused when she found that it was virtually identical to one that she had already been to, though she had never been able to win there; this world had a Justice League with an almost identical make up to the one she had repeatedly fought along with her allies, so much so that she briefly wondered if she had ended up in the one world she hadn’t felt ready to go to yet. She decided that she couldn’t have made that mistake though, especially as this version of the Justice League did not include Superman, so she moved on to investigating one of her two counterparts in this world. Ignoring the Superwoman who had started to make herself known in Metropolis over the last few years, she set about discovering everything she could about Lois Lane. What she found didn’t impress her too much. The Lois Lane of this world was an ordinary not particularly well known reporter for the Daily Planet, not its editor or a world renowned scientist. She had broken a few major stories, but the big name reporter at the Planet was without doubt Clark Kent, especially since he seemed to get more than his fair share of the Superwoman stories. In fact, there were surprisingly few pictures of her anywhere in the public domain.
Looking at this version of Lois Lane as she walked out of the front door of the Planet, Superwoman was even less impressed. This woman has absolutely no sense of style, she sneered as she saw the other woman dressed in a drab brown dress that reached down to her ankles while also wearing large, ugly glasses and having her hair tied up in a tight bun. Her shoes were reasonably stylish, but they couldn’t offset the impression of a woman who was not bothered with her appearance.
As she carried on watching surreptitiously, the reason for Lois’s seemingly careless dress sense became apparent. While meeting with a source, her head suddenly tilted to one side, followed soon afterwards by staring unfocusedly into the distance, seemingly looking at nothing. Lois quickly ended her meeting, thanking her source for his information then she quickly made her way round a corner. After a brief search to make sure the coast was clear, Lois quickly removed her glasses and shook her hair free from its bun before removing her dress. Underneath, she was wearing a tight blue garment with an instantly recognisable S symbol stretched across her chest, with a short red skirt and cape attached to it. She then pulled a pair of red boots from her bag and put them on, packing her clothes and shoes into the bag to take their place. Swiftly hiding her bag, she flew off into the sky, her skirt and cape being ruffled behind her by the wind.
Surprised and annoyed that she of all people had been taken in by outward appearances, Superwoman followed her counterpart through the skies, trying her best to ensure that she wasn’t seen. She thought she was able to do this, but probably only because the other woman was too focused on getting to whatever it was that had caught her attention.
It didn’t take too long for the transformed Lois Lane to reach her destination just outside the city. Looking down, Superwoman could see a huge car crash had occurred, completely blocking the road. Police and fire-fighters were everywhere, but they were being hampered by the flames coming from the cars which were threatening to reach the fuel tanker that was on its side, a large streak of highly flammable liquid spilling from inside the ruptured container. Superwoman saw her duplicate float down until she hovered about one foot above the expanding fuel leak. She took a deep breath before exhaling. A frigid gust of wind blew from her lips onto the fuel, initially causing the liquid to ripple but it soon cooled to the point at which it began to frost over. The woman continued exhaling for longer than any human could have managed, flying slowly towards the tanker while her breath transformed the leak into a solid block of ice. She then turned her focus to the tanker itself. Taking another breath, she blew out once more, not stopping her exhalation until the entire side of the vehicle was covered with ice.
Having dealt with the fuel leak, the superheroine turned her attention to the cars that had smashed into each other. It was obvious that about half of the vehicles’ occupants had managed to escape unscathed, but there were still about a dozen people trapped inside their cars. Unlike the ordinary men and women who were unable to get close to the vehicles until the fires had been extinguished, the flying woman wasn’t even inconvenienced by the immense heat. She landed next to the first car that was still occupied and put her hands on the roof. She carefully tore the roof of the vehicle off so as not to harm the man inside, before gently lifting him free and wrapping him up in her cape in order to protect him from the fires. She swiftly flew him to the nearest ambulance so that he could be treated before returning to the pile-up in order to free other trapped motorists. It didn’t take her long to rescue every surviving casualty, after which she flew back to where the emergency operation was being directed.
“Thanks for your help, Superwoman,” the senior fire-fighter said, looking at her appreciatively, both due to her aid and in admiration of her figure. Despite the soot and dirt that was now streaked across her costume, she still looked attractive.
“You’re welcome, I only wish I was able to save everybody,” she said, looking at the carnage where several people had obviously lost their lives.
“You did the best you could. You got the survivors out of their cars quicker than we could have done,” the fire-fighter said, doing his best to console her.
“Thank you, but I’ll never think I did enough. Do you need any more help?”
“No, I think we’ve pretty much got it in hand. The fires won’t last much longer.” He pointed to where his fellow fire-fighters were still pouring foam onto the fires, though it was obvious that they were getting the upper hand now and before too long the fires would be completely extinguished.
“In that case, I’d better get the tanker out of the way before the ice melts. If you’ll excuse me gentlemen.” Before everybody’s eyes the Superwoman of this world took off and flew over to the ice that she had left covering the hole in the tanker. She landed and carefully chipped the ice away from the side of the tanker, being sure to leave enough to keep the leak closed, before lifting the heavy weight of the container and its contents above her head and flying off. She flew the fuel container to the nearest storage depot where workers watched in disbelief as she set her burden down gently in front of them. “You’d better get this emptied before the ice melts,” she told them. “We wouldn’t want another leak to occur.” As soon as they had finished gawping at her, the workers got down to the business of emptying the tanker. Satisfied that they had the matter well in hand, Superwoman flew off to retrieve the bag containing her clothes and changed back into her reporter’s guise as swiftly as she could, feigning surprise when she was told about the latest exploits of her alter-ego.
The criminal Superwoman followed stealthily behind her, impressed despite herself at how skilfully her counterpart had dealt with the accident. She decided that additional research would be needed before she tackled the other woman. The more she learned about the other Superwoman, the more impressed she became. Despite being relatively inexperienced, she had fought several major foes such as Mongul and Braniac and managed to defeat them without needing help. She was also a skilled combatant, Almost as skilled as an Amazon, Superwoman thought. I’m sure that I could defeat her, but I’m not quite ready to take on duplicates of me who are only slightly inferior to me. Fortunately, I have another option. She smiled to herself as a plan began to develop in her mind.
The first stage of her plan was to introduce herself to this universe’s version of Lex Luthor. As with so many versions of him, he was a brilliant and ruthless businessman, building a financial empire with no real care for who got hurt along the way. It was this that had first led him into conflict with Superwoman and the Daily Planet. When one of his buildings had collapsed, Superwoman came to the rescue of those trapped inside, but she was unable to save everybody. Her investigation later showed that Luthor had allowed the building to become dangerously run down, but she was unable to prove it. The lack of proof had meant that Luthor escaped unscathed, but that didn’t prevent Lois Lane and the Planet hinting that he could perhaps have prevented the loss of life. Ever since, the newspaper’s reporters had been alert for any slip-up that would allow them to publish something that would ruin him, a situation that Luthor was beginning to find intolerable.
Superwoman stole a designer suit to wear for her meeting with Luthor, hoping to make a good impression. She flew to the headquarters of LuthorCorp where she entered through the front door before speeding through the building at super speed, thereby managing to avoid the security guards and the people working in the building. She made her way to Luthor’s office, pausing just briefly enough to knock out the guards standing outside the door. As she entered his office uninvited, Luthor looked up at her curiously, though he seemed impressively unconcerned by having an unknown woman barge in. “To what do I owe this intrusion?” he asked.
“I have a proposal for you, Mr Luthor,” Superwoman said politely. “I have a plan to get both Superwoman and Lois Lane out of your hair permanently. If you had hair, that is.” Even while she was trying to persuade him to help her, Superwoman was unable to resist goading the man, though Luthor’s only response was a brief ripple of irritation at the implied insult.
“Why would I want that? Superwoman has been nothing but good for Metropolis, and while I admit that Ms Lane has been an irritant, I would do nothing to limit the freedom of the press.” Luthor’s reply, so earnest that it would probably have fooled somebody who didn’t know the truth of his involvement in plots against both Superwoman and the Daily Planet, caused his visitor to laugh.
“Come now, Lex,” she said, grinning widely as Luthor glared at her overfamiliarity. “We both know that you would like to see nothing more than the removal of all who get in your way. And if you give me access to a laboratory and these materials, you will get your wish.”
Luthor glanced at the list she passed to him before replying. “I should be able to get you what you want with no problems. How long would you need?”
“No more than a week.”
“In that case, I will indulge you. If you do what you say you will, I will reward you appropriately. If not, I promise you will regret ever intruding on my valuable time.”
“Don’t worry, Lex. I’ll be out of your hair in no time,” Superwoman said, smiling even wider.
Superwoman spent the next week tinkering with the dimensional transporter using Luthor’s resources to make the adjustments needed to carry out her plan. When she had finished, she arranged a meeting with Lois Lane, enticing the reporter in with the promise of information that would enable her to pin something on him at last. Lois showed up for the meeting dressed in an unglamorous suit with a formless jacket and skirt that did nothing to hint at the body concealed beneath while Superwoman continued to wear the suit she had stolen, though she had put on a blonde wig in an effort to avoid the effect of looking in the mirror she had experienced when she had met other versions of herself. She also tried to portray a degree of twitchy nervousness by continually darting her head from side to side while obviously looking closely at everybody who could see her, as if she was worried that she would be seen talking to one of her boss’s least favourite people. “You said you had some information for me,” Lois said, immediately getting to the reason that she had gone to the café where the meeting was taking place.
“I did indeed. With what I have, you’ll be able to prove Luthor is a criminal.” Superwoman smiled a little sheepishly at her counterpart, playing the part of the worried but eager whistle-blower to the hilt. She leaned in close as though she was going to whisper in Lois’s ear, then quicker than the normal human eye could follow she pressed the dimensional transporter against the other woman’s skin and activated the device. Lois instantly vanished in a flash of light and a loud cracking sound, causing most of the café’s occupants to flee screaming. Superwoman grinned evilly as the first stage of her plan succeeded. Excellent, she thought, she’s been sent to the earth of the meddlesome Justice League. Any second now the sanctimonious Lois Lane of that world should show up here in her place. I will so enjoy killing her and taking her memories. She sat patiently staring at the place where her counterpart had been sitting for about ten minutes before she began to wonder if something had gone wrong. Looking closely at her device, she instantly realised that while she had set it to swap the two Lois Lanes, she had forgotten to set where they would arrive when they appeared in their new universes. How did I overlook that? She could be literally anywhere in the world now. At least, she is going to be confused by her new surroundings and when I find her it should be simple enough to eliminate the competition. She quickly changed out of her stolen clothes, not caring who in the café saw her, then flew off to begin her search for her newly arrived double.
* * *
Lois Lane was confused by her surroundings. Only moments ago she had been meeting a strangely familiar woman in a café, enticed by the chance to get solid evidence of Lex Luthor’s wrongdoings. She’d been worried that it might be a trap, but she was certain that her alter-ego would be able to get her out of any problems she got into. Now she was in a bedroom that she’d never been in before. Trying to establish where she was, Lois pulled down her glasses then used her X-ray vision to find out what she could see about her location. She was instantly able to see that she was in Metropolis, but she couldn’t quite pinpoint her location. Since she’d seen that there was nobody in the same building as her, Lois sped throughout the building at super speed. She soon found that she could see dozens of pictures of herself, though in most of them she was wearing clothing that she wouldn’t usually wear since it was tighter and drew more attention to her figure. Also, there was not a single photo of her wearing glasses and her hair was almost always flowing down her back. She also found plenty of pictures of Clark Kent who was wearing glasses that she knew he wouldn’t be seen dead wearing through choice. “What is going on here?” she asked, not expecting a response.
To her surprise there was a giggle behind her. Since she was certain she’d been alone and she recognised the sound, she was fairly sure what she’d see as she whirled around. Sure enough, there was Mr Mxytzptlk hovering at eye level. “I might have known you were behind this,” Lois said, glaring at the little man. “What do you want, imp?”
“Why Lois, I’m hurt that you would think I’d be responsible for your location. I will admit that I set the ball rolling, but I’m not responsible for your counterpart deciding to banish you to a different Earth.” The imp smiled disarmingly at Lois, his arms spread trying to indicate his sincerity.
Lois was doubtful that his protestation of innocence was genuine. “My counterpart? A different Earth? I have no idea what you are on about. Just tell me how to get back home, unless you want to say Kltpztyxm and get out of my hair for a while.”
“I’d forgotten that you hadn’t been to another dimension yet. If you had, you would know that there are multiple different realities, some more similar than others. The woman you were meeting is a version of you from a different universe, though unlike you she was raised by Amazons and she is a criminal who terrifies most of her world.”
Still sceptical, Lois decided that she would take what the imp said at face value, at least for the time being. “And how do I get home?” she asked.
“I’m afraid you’ll have to find that out for yourself. I will give you a gift before I go, though.” Mxytzptlk snapped his fingers causing Lois’s clothing to change instantly. Her dowdy suit vanished leaving her dressed in the sort of fashionable knee-length skirt and blouse she’d seen herself wearing in the photos. Her glasses had also vanished and she could feel that her hair was no longer confined in its bun. It was instead now flowing down her back. Lois quickly opened a few buttons of her blouse and lifted up her skirt, relieved to find that she was still wearing her costume underneath her new clothes. “I’ve given you everything that you need to get by in this world while you try to get home. Now, I’d better leave before your super-hubby gets home. Say hi to Clark for me when he flies in.”
“Hubby? Clark flying? Why don’t you start making sense?” Lois asked, becoming increasingly annoyed with the mischievous little man. Mxytzptlk didn’t reply though, instead clicking his fingers once more and vanishing. He did get in the last word by saying after he’d disappeared “You’ll need to do some research about this world. See you later, Lala Jor-El.”
Lois glared at the spot where Mxytzptlk had been hovering just a moment before, hoping that he would reappear. Instead, her sensitive hearing heard the recognisable sound of somebody flying into the room. She turned around and saw Clark landing wearing a costume that looked similar to hers, though obviously designed for a man and not a woman. He came up to her and gave her a big hug, though with a gentleness that made it obvious he was used to dealing with a more fragile woman than Lois. When she didn’t respond to his affection, Clark released her, looked closely at Lois’s downcast expression and said “What’s wrong?”
“Mr Mxytzptlk,” Lois began, then cut off unsure how to proceed. If she’d been confronted with a Clark Kent who had seemingly gained superpowers through the imp and knew nothing of the world he was in she knew she would be very suspicious of him. She wasn’t able to decide whether she’d be better off to tell Clark the truth about what had happened or to pretend she’d had her memory taken away.
Clark frowned as heard the name of his old adversary. “What’s that imp been up to now?” he asked.
Lois decided that it was safest to assume that he would react with at least suspicion if not outright hostility if she told him the complete truth, so she decided to tell an incomplete version. “I’m not sure what he’s done. I’m afraid that I don’t remember our wedding or anything more than basic details about myself.”
Clark’s jaw dropped in horror at her reply, though he quickly got over it and hugged her tenderly. “We’ll get through this Lois, we’ll get your memory back and if Mxytzptlk’s responsible for you not remembering, I won’t rest until we’ve reversed what he’s done.” Lois felt a bit guilty about how she was abusing the trust of this obviously kind and loving husband, but now that she’d started down that route she could see no choice other than to continue with her pretence of memory loss.
Lois spent the next few weeks learning what she could about the world in which she now found herself. She found it a strange mixture of the hauntingly familiar and the completely alien. Most of the people and places she interacted with were close enough to being identical to her own world that she was able to pretend to them that she really was the Lois Lane of this world, but she was never able to shake a subtle sense of wrongness that told her she really didn’t belong there. Clark had continued to be hugely supporting of her, helping her cover up for her supposedly lost memory while tirelessly looking for ways to get back what she had lost. The more time she spent with him, the guiltier Lois felt about her deception, though she couldn’t yet see a way to tell him the truth. She really hoped that she would be able to get home and have her counterpart returned here before she had no choice in the matter.
During this period, Clark got a call from the Justice League stating that he was needed as Superman to help with a developing crisis off in outer space, so he made his excuses then flew off. Lois soon enough noticed a difference in the atmosphere around Metropolis; as soon as it became known that Superman was out of the city on Justice League business and that he wasn’t expected to return for a week or more, much of the criminal underground came out of the woodwork. Street robberies skyrocketed and, while the MCPD did their best to keep things under control, there was only so much that they could do since the criminals didn’t fear them the same way they did Superman since there was always the chance they could get away from the police, but only the luckiest or best connected ones had even a slight chance of evading the Man of Steel if they drew his attention. One particularly enterprising gang of criminals decided that they would take this opportunity to make their fortunes by robbing the largest bank in Metropolis then leaving the city before Superman could get on their trail.
Lois was sent to cover the bank raid for the Planet while it was in progress and her experienced crime-fighting eye could see that the police were facing well-resourced and highly determined opponents. The criminals had somehow got their hands on an arsenal of military-grade weapons including assault rifles, machine guns and rocket launchers and, when she used her X-ray vision to get a peek inside, she could see that they had enough explosives to booby trap every door in to the building and still have enough left over to blow their way into the vault. To make matters even worse, they had taken hostages of the few people who had been working at the bank when they burst in in the early hours of the morning. They must have been planning this for ages, gathering all this hardware and just waiting for Clark to leave town for a while before putting their scheme into action, she thought. I don’t doubt that the police can deal with this, but it could lead to a bloodbath. If Clark was here I’d leave it to him, but I can’t do that. I’ll have to take care of this myself.
“Jimmy,” Lois said to her colleague who had accompanied her to the bank, “I’m going to see if I can have a word with the police officer in charge here. You stay here and let me know if anything happens.”
“Sure thing Lois,” Jimmy said, continuing to take photographs of the bank and the scenes around it.
Lois walked off in the direction of the police command centre, but as soon as she was sure Jimmy couldn’t see her she changed direction, heading into a secluded alleyway nearby. After a careful look to make sure that she was unobserved, Lois quickly tore open her blouse and stepped out of her skirt to reveal the blue leotard and short red skirt hidden underneath. She then took off her shoes before digging into her bag for the last items she needed to complete her transformation, her high-heeled red boots and the long red-haired wig that she had found with the clothes of this universe’s Lois accompanied by a note from Mxytzptlk saying that he hoped she would appreciate the wig when she needed to change into her alter-ego. Lois was reluctant to trust anything provided by the imp, but she knew that in this universe Lois Lane was much too well known for her to just fly in as Superwoman without being recognised almost instantly. As she put on the boots and wig, she knew she just had to take the risk that Mxytzptlk might have an ulterior motive if she was going to help.
After hiding her clothes, Lois sped towards the bank at super speed, trying to avoid being seen by anybody nearby. She managed to reach one of the emergency exits without attracting any attention, so she carefully opened the door then used a combination of her X-ray and heat vision to safely disarm the booby trap. She picked up the bomb then, her entrance out of the way, she set off for where about half of the gang were holding their hostages, trying to be as stealthy as possible in order to avoid alerting the robbers to her presence, though she didn’t think she’d be able to indefinitely avoid being seen on the security cameras the gang were sure to have somebody watching.
Either her luck was in or the robbers had started getting sloppy once they got inside the bank since she reached the room where the hostages were without even her hearing any alarm, let alone any robber without the benefit of super hearing. Lois decided that in this case the direct approach was the best option since it would hopefully focus the attention of all seven of the robbers on her rather than on the hostages, so she walked through the open door and said cheerily “Hi guys.”
As one the robbers whirled to look at her. Once they had taken in their appearance, they seemed unimpressed. “Who’s the ginger dame?” one of them asked his colleagues. “You don’t think she’s one of them superheroes do you?” he said, indicating the S on Lois’s chest.
“Nah,” one of them replied. “Superman and his cousin are off in space at the moment, and Metropolis doesn’t have any other heroes wearing that symbol. The lady’s probably just late for Halloween and stumbled into the wrong place at the wrong time.”
“I have no idea who she is or what she’s doing here,” another gang member put in, “but she sure looks good. Why don’t you come over here and join these other ladies and gentlemen?” he asked, gesturing towards the hostages with his assault rifle. “We can have some fun later.”
“I’d be happy to,” Lois said, a warm disarming smile on her face. She calmly walked towards the hostages until she was between them and the robbers. Once she was sure she’d be able to protect them from any gunfire, she turned back towards the robbers and said “By the way guys, catch!” before tossing the disarmed explosives at them. The robbers, recognising their own device instantly scattered to take cover, waiting for the explosion that they expected. Lois took advantage of this to disarm the two nearest to her and render them unconscious with a couple of quick and precise blows.
The other robbers got back to their feet in fury when they realised that there was not going to be an explosion. After looking at their unconscious partners-in-crime for a moment one of them snarled “Right, let her have it!” before opening fire with his assault rifle. The others opened fire with their own weapons and soon enough Lois was being hit by rifle and pistol bullets. To their astonishment, the bullets just bounced off her harmlessly while she just calmly walked towards them. Even at point blank range there was no noticeable effect from the hail of lead striking the woman. Lois now set about disarming the rest of the gang, using her heat vision to weld shut the barrel of a pistol and an assault rifle while she walked up to another man and with one hand casually bent the barrel of his assault rifle so that it was pointing back at his face.
Seeing that they were having no effect on Lois, the two robbers who were still armed decided to change tack, aiming their pistols at the hostages instead of her. “If you want these people to live lady, you’d better give up right now,” said the one who had been so confident that she wasn’t a superheroine, though his voice was a bit shakier now.
“I’m afraid I can’t surrender to you boys. Trust me, though, you really don’t want to try and shoot these hostages. It would go better for you if you surrendered now,” Lois smiled at the two men as she spoke, trying to take advantage of their clear nervousness to avoid any further violence. Unfortunately, one of the two was either bloodthirsty or so nervous that he squeezed his pistol without thinking and two shots rang out. Lois flew towards the hostages at a speed faster than that of the bullets and reached her hand out, plucking the bullets out of the air then dropping them harmlessly to the ground. “Are you ready to give up now?” she asked, smiling once more at them. This time, the two men dropped their weapons to the ground and raised their hands in a mute gesture of surrender. Lois looked around for something to use to tie up the criminals, eventually deciding to use the barriers that were in place to regulate the queues that the bank was used to dealing with. She picked up a vertical pillar made of metal and, after placing the first robber’s arms behind his back, she bent the pillar around the man’s arms followed by using the tape that separated each pillar to tie the robbers’ legs up. She then repeated the process with each robber. “That should hold you,” she said in satisfaction when she had finished before turning to the shocked hostages. “You should be safe here until the police arrive. I’ve got to go and deal with the other robbers.” With that she flew off towards the vault.
In the vault, Lois found most of the rest of the gang. Most of them were busy taking all the money, jewels and other valuable items from the vault and storing them in large containers so they could take all their loot with them when they left. Of the remaining half dozen, five were armed with weapons similar to the men she’d already dealt with, while one of them, obviously the man in charge, was supervising the emptying of the vault and constantly talking into a radio. With her super hearing, Lois could hear him receiving reports of what the police were doing from the men stationed on the roof while he passed on directions to them. Since it couldn’t be too long before he tried to contact the men guarding the hostages, Lois realised she would need to deal with him first so that he can’t tell the men on the roof what’s happening.
Using the available cover from all the boxes and bits of equipment strewn about the vault, Lois stealthily made her way next to the supervisor. She was both pleased and surprised that she’d managed to get so far without being seen. Lois tapped the robber on the shoulder and, when he whirled round in shock to face her, she punched him hard enough to leave him out cold, making sure to take the radio so that nobody else could use it. Now that their leader was out of the way, Lois thought it would be relatively easy to deal with the other men in the vault. She was proved right; since the men were so focused on their task they didn’t notice as she firstly disarmed and incapacitated the armed men watching over the proceedings then she went and closed the vault door, welding it shut with her heat vision so they couldn’t escape. Before she left them, Lois took care to punch several air holes around the door of the vault so that none of the men trapped inside would suffocate. Now I just need to deal with the men on the roof, she thought.
As the men on the roof were the most heavily armed robbers, being equipped with four heavy machine guns and two rocket launchers, she didn’t feel that she could take her time in dealing with them, especially as when they realised their boss wasn’t going to be speaking to them they might get a bit trigger happy. To counter this threat, Lois opened a window in the side of the bank then flew through it, soon enough flying high above the robbers. She hoped that they were nervously watching the skies for any sign of a police helicopter or a flying person, and soon enough the robbers showed that they were keeping an eye on the air above them as two rockets blasted in her direction. She knew she could easily avoid being hit by them, but she instead chose to let them both fly right into her. The rockets exploded and she instantly terminated her flight, plunging vertically downwards as if she was out of control and likely to hit the ground hard. Throughout her fall she kept her eyes on the robbers and when the two rocket armed men high fived each other in celebration, she kicked back in to flight, arrowing directly for the machine gunner on one corner of the building. Flying so quickly that the man had no opportunity to respond to the threat, especially as he believed like his fellows that she was falling to her death, Lois opened up with her heat vision, using it to melt the barrel of the gun before using a burst of super breath to cool the molten metal and render the weapon useless except as a club.
The first criminal dealt with, Lois moved on to the next threats, the two men armed with rocket launchers. If she didn’t deal with them quickly, they would be able to cause havoc for the police down below. Lois took a deep breath then blew on the pile of rockets next to the men, both of whom were frantically struggling to reload their weapons. Within moments, all the rockets were covered in ice and utterly unusable except for the two which were in the men’s hands. Lois dealt with these two by using her heat vision to slice through the projectiles between their warheads and their propellant, then sprinted at super speed to catch the warheads before they hit the floor.
By this time, the three remaining machine gun armed men had turned their weapons on her and opened fire in unison. As their compatriots had found, their weapons were utterly ineffective on the woman who had confronted them and, ignoring the streams of bullets striking her body, Lois calmly walked towards each man in turn tearing the machine gun from his hands before bending it around him, using a brief burst of heat vision to weld the weapon wherever necessary though she was careful not to expose the men to too much heat as she didn’t want to hurt them. I’d forgotten how much I miss getting shot with bullets, Lois thought with a fond smile once she had finished with the criminals. Back home the crooks decided it was stupid to shoot the invulnerable woman with normal weapons a long time ago. It was good to feel that tingling sensation again.
Having cleared the roof of gang members, Lois flew back through the building, pausing only long enough to disarm the booby trap in front of the main door before flying out and landing in front of the police officer in charge. “You should be able to go in now Captain,” she told him. “The robbers on the roof have been dealt with, the hostages freed and there are several would be thieves trapped in the vault. One robber may be trying to escape, but I think you should be able to capture him. He was heading for the emergency exit towards the rear of the building the last time I saw him.”
“Thank you, but who are you?” the officer asked, though Lois didn’t stay long enough to reply. Instead she flew off vertically at a high speed before doubling back on herself to land in the alley where she had left her clothes and bag. Making a quick change back into her clothes, Lois looked closely at the wig Mxytzptlk had given her. Despite being hit by several bullets, not a hair was out of place and there was no noticeable sign of damage. It hadn’t even moved an inch on her head. It looks like the imp gave me something useful for once, she thought. I’d better get back to Jimmy now. Running at a speed no faster than an ordinary human woman could manage, Lois quickly arrived back at the place where she had left her colleague.
“Did you get the chance to talk to the captain?” Jimmy asked as soon as Lois arrived.
“No, as soon as I reached him everything kicked off inside,” Lois lied in reply. Did you get any photos of the woman who took out the robbers?”
“You bet I did,” Jimmy replied enthusiastically. “She was awesome, just as capable as Superman I think. Who do you suppose she is?”
“I don’t know who she is, but I know she is news. We’d better get back to the Planet. I’m sure Perry will want a story about this mysterious woman as soon as possible.” Lois led Jimmy back to the office, listening all the way to the younger man talking about her alter-ego’s exploits while pretending to have had only a bystanders view of what had gone on inside the bank and trying not to smile at Jimmy’s enthusiasm towards the city’s newest superheroine.
* * *
Lois Lane of Earth 1 blinked in befuddled disbelief as she looked at her surroundings. However much she tried to get a different outcome, her senses continued to tell her that she was in a street in the middle of Washington DC and not safely at home in Metropolis where she had been waiting for her husband moments ago. As she shook her head once again, she almost staggered into another woman who was walking with an armful of shopping ahead of Christmas. “Excuse me,” she said in apology without really looking to see who she had nearly collided with.
“Lois?” the other woman said, disbelief clear in her voice. “What are you doing here and why aren’t you wearing your glasses?”
Lois took a close look at the other woman and realised that it was her sister. “Lucy?” she said, every bit as surprised to see her sister as her sister was to see her. “What are you doing in Washington?”
Lucy looked at Lois strangely. “I’ve lived here for years, you know that. But here isn’t the place to discuss it. I’ll take you home where we can have a proper chat.” Lucy took Lois by the hand and almost dragged her to a nearby apartment. After opening the door and hurrying her inside, Lucy sat Lois down in a chair and got her a drink before asking “If you had to come here with your hair down and without glasses, why on earth didn’t you come wearing your costume? I’d have a hard time explaining why you were here anyway, but you’re lucky that nobody has asked why Superwoman is here in disguise.”
Lois stared at Lucy as if the other woman was talking in a foreign language or had grown a second head. “Superwoman? I don’t have any idea what you’re talking about. One second I was in Metropolis waiting for Clark to come home and the next second I was where you found me.”
“Why were you waiting for Kent?” Lucy asked, obviously confused but with a teasing tone to her voice. “Has my big sister finally decided to start dating? If so, I suppose you could do much worse than Kent, however much you’ve been known to grumble about him over the years.”
Lois continued to stare at her sister, unable to believe what she was hearing. “Lucy, I’ve been married to Clark for years. You were at the wedding after all.”
“I’m fairly sure I would remember your wedding, especially since you’ve told me so often that you don’t think you’ll ever get married.” Lucy walked across the room to a drawer as she spoke, then drew out a pistol and pointed it at the woman seated in the chair on the opposite side of the room. “Either you’re not really my sister or something strange is going on. Now stay where you are while I get to the bottom of this.” Lucy picked up her phone and dialled the Daily Planet. “Hi, it’s Lucy Lane here. Can you put me through to Lois?” After listening to the person on the other end of the line for a moment, she said “I see. Thanks anyway,” before putting the phone down.
“So what did they say?” Lois asked.
“It seems you went out to meet a source during your lunch break and you haven’t come back to the office yet. Now, that doesn’t totally convince me that you are who you look like, but it does make it possible that you really are my sister. So tell me what you remember about your life. Don’t leave anything out if you know what’s good for you.”
Still confused, Lois did exactly as she was asked, telling her life story to the possibly unstable other woman while leaving out only those things that weren’t hers to share such as the secret of Clark’s double life. At several points during the tale, Lucy nodded her head and when Lois was finished she said “That sounds close enough and there are some details in there that as far as I’m aware only Lois knows, but there are quite a few gaps. I’ve got a theory though. Wait here.” Lucy left the room briefly, only to re-emerge with a pair of scissors. “I just want to cut a lock of your hair, if that’s fine with you.” When Lois nodded, Lucy moved over to her and snipped off a lock of her sister’s hair. “As I thought. Would you mind opening your blouse for me?”
Lois gave Lucy another strange look but was about to do as she was asked when she heard a sarcastic clapping sound coming from the door which Lucy had just walked through. “Oh, well done girls,” Mr Mxytzptlk said as he came into view. “That’s some brilliant detective work, Miss Lane. I assure you this really is your sister, though not exactly the one you’re familiar with. And Lois, allow me to help you into something a bit more suited to what’s going to happen to you.” Mxytzptlk snapped his fingers and Lois instantly felt quite a bit colder. Looking down at her clothes, she saw a skin tight blue leotard with a very familiar symbol on its chest, a short red skirt and red boots while when she ran her hands down her back she could feel a cape.
Lois had no clue what Mxytzptlk was after, but not appreciating her sudden change of clothing she growled at him “What do you want, imp?”
“Why, what I always want, dear Lois. I just want to have fun. I’ll be seeing you around.” With that the little man vanished, leaving the two women as alone as they had been a few moments ago.
“What was that about?” Lois asked as she turned back to her sister.
“I don’t know exactly, but I think I know what’s happened. For whatever reason, Mxytzptlk has altered your memory so you don’t remember important things such as discovering your powers and has added false memories,” Lucy replied. “He’s also taken away your powers. I’m not sure what we can do about your memories, but I know what to do about your powers.” Lucy walked back over to the phone and began to dial a number.
“But my memories are real and I’ve never had powers,” Lois protested, though she subsided when she saw that Lucy wasn’t paying any attention aside from putting her finger to her lips to indicate Lois should be quiet.
“Hi, daddy,” Lucy said when the phone was answered. “Yes, it is good to speak with you too, but I don’t have time to chat. I’ve got Superwoman here and I’m afraid we need to activate Project K. Thank you, we’ll be waiting.” Lucy put the phone down and told Lois “Now we need to wait.”
“Wait for what?” Lois asked, deciding to ignore what she saw as Lucy’s delusion. “What’s Project K?”
“Project K is something that you and daddy cooked up after your first encounter with Kryptonite and research was sped up since you found out that you are no more resistant to magic than any normal woman. The two of you were worried that someday you might lose your powers, so Project K is our way to make sure that the US and the world is never without its most reliable superhuman asset. As for what we’re waiting for,” Lucy paused and pointed a finger towards the ceiling as a sonic boom shook the building, “I think that’s her. Why don’t we go to the roof?”
Lucy took Lois by the hand and led her up to the roof of the apartment. There, Lois was surprised to see another person she recognised, this one a young blonde woman dressed in a blue top with the same S shield as Lois prominently displayed, a small blue skirt, red cape and red boots. “Kara?” she said incredulously. “What are you doing here.”
“You mean Lucy didn’t tell you?” Supergirl said, looking at both women with a questioning look.
“Hello, cousin. I did tell her, but I don’t think Lois has the memories to understand properly” Lucy said, giving Supergirl a hug which the younger-looking blonde gently returned. “It’s good to see you, but I wish it was under better circumstances.”
“Same here, Lucy. Uncle Sam says that both my cousins need a lift to the Project, so I’m here to act as Air Supergirl. I have to tell you, Lois,” Supergirl said, looking directly at the other woman as she said her name, “it will be strange carrying you since you helped me master my flying abilities in the first place. The two of you had better put those suits on. I wouldn’t want either of you to get hurt while I’m carrying you.” She pointed towards a pair of armoured suits that were placed just beside the door that Lucy and Lois had just gone through to get to the roof.
The two women did as they were asked. “What now?” Lois asked, feeling as if she was completely out of her depth. Both Lucy and Kara were treating her as if she were a daughter of Krypton and she didn’t feel as if she had any choice other than to play along with them. She hoped that things would start making sense soon.
“Now you both take my hand,” Supergirl said, moving to stand between Lois and Lucy while extending one hand to each woman. Both of them grabbed hold of her hand and when she was sure they both had a secure grip she said “Hold on tight!” before taking off, dragging both Lane sisters in her wake. Lois could now understand what the suits were for, since without the enhanced grip provided by them there was no way either she or Lucy could have held on to Kara as they flew towards the mountains of Western Virginia at more than Mach 2. It didn’t take long for them to arrive at what was clearly a military base, though it seemed to have been designed to blend into the surrounding area since Lois couldn’t see it until they were preparing to land. “We’re here to see General Lane.” Supergirl said to the soldiers who moved to greet them on their arrival. The men saluted then lead the trio of non-uniformed women to an office where they were quickly joined by Lois and Lucy’s father.
“Welcome back, Superwoman,” he said, shaking Lois’s hand as if he didn’t know who she was. “So it’s finally time to see if the time and money we’ve poured into the Project was worth it. Come with me.”
The general led his family towards the centre of the base where there was a small building. As soon as they entered the building, Lois realised that the entire place was an elevator. The party used the lift to descend deep into the interior of the mountain where there was a huge facility. Lots of scientists and technicians were working on various bits of extra-terrestrial technology. Lois recognised a few pieces of Kryptonian and Thanagaran technology, but she was sure there were lots of other bits of technology that she couldn’t identify. General Lane largely ignored the researchers, though he did nod briefly to one or two of them, continuing to lead the others towards a large sphere that was clearly based on Kryptonian designs. “Well, there’s what we’ve worked towards. If it works the way we think it will, it should be able to restore your powers, or Supergirl’s if she were to somehow lose them. Are you ready to try?”
Lois thought again about insisting that she’d never had any powers in the first place, but she was beginning to think that her memories might be wrong. She had also more than once wondered what it would be like if she did have Clark’s powers, so she merely nodded her agreement. “What do I have to do?”
“Just go into the sphere and place your hand on the fingerprint scanner while staring into the optic reader. It should accept your identity and start automatically. Good luck.”
Lois walked into the sphere, wondering if anything would actually happen. As her father had instructed, she put her hand on the panel where a hand shape was clearly outlined while staring into the thin visor next to it. She stood there doing this for about a minute with no obvious effect when she suddenly felt an unusual sensation and saw a flash of light out of the corner of her eye. The next thing Lois knew, she was being tapped on her shoulder by Lucy. “You’ve been in here an hour. Did it work?” the younger sister asked.
“An hour?” Lois said disbelievingly. “It doesn’t feel as if I’ve been in here more than five minutes. I don’t feel any different, but I can’t remember having any powers before, so I don’t know if I should.”
“How about a test then?” Lucy asked eagerly. “Try to use one of your powers. What about heat vision? I’ve always loved watching you use that one. You once described using it as trying to push with your eyes.”
Lois smiled at Lucy’s eagerness and decided to indulge her sister. She tried to do exactly as Lucy said, pushing out with her eyes. Almost as soon as she started there was an effect. Where she was staring, a chunk of metal was almost instantly vaporised. Reacting instinctively, Lois moved at super speed to cover Lucy with her cape, protecting her sister from the intense heat that she had accidentally generated though she herself was able to bear it with ease. Once the heat had died down, she looked at Lucy a bit sheepishly. “I suppose it worked,” she said, though she was unable to suppress a bit of a grin.
Lucy smiled back at her, though she was clearly a little shaken. “No doubt about that. It would probably be a better idea for Kara to train you in using your powers though. Let’s go and tell her and dad that the device worked, though it will need a few repairs before it can be used again.” Arm in arm, the two sisters walked out to pass on the news that the world still had a Superwoman.
Out of sight of everybody, even those with super-vision, Mr Mxytzptlk watched the affairs of the three Superwomen unfold, enjoying what he had set in motion. It’s worked better than I’d hoped for. The Amazon Superwoman is taking whatever she can get by killing her counterparts, that stick-in-the-mud Lala Jor-El is going to provide that even bigger stick-in-the-mud Superman with a huge headache and it should be fun to see how Lois copes with her new powers. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.