Super-Team Family: Panic Hollywood (pt 6)
- Not too far from the studio, a black sedan was parked near a phone
booth with the engine idling. The passenger door was open while one
of the men from the car used the phone. "Boss, we got it!" he said
into the mouthpiece. "Your little distraction worked like a dream."
"Excellent," said the voice on the other end of the line, "though
there was never a doubt in my mind that it would not. Next stop is
Paragon Studios. The scenario will be the same: you signal me when
you are in position, I will generate the distraction and you make
way with the specified goods. Understood?"
"Sounds good," the hireling said. "This is one of the easiest gigs
me and the boys have had in awhile."
"And if you continue to perform as directed, you all will be
compensated handsomely for your work," the boss replied.
"I like the sound of that," the thug said. "We'll be in touch
soon." He hung up the phone and joined the others in the car.
And, somewhere across town in a hidden location, the man in charge
also hung up the phone.
"It's all unfolding like a well written plot," the figure in the
dimly lit room said to himself. "No one can stop me now, not even
Green Lantern. And even if he did show his do-gooder face, it won't
matter. With my vastly improved abilities, I'll bring all of
Hollywood to its knees by ripping off the major studios and holding
their prized releases for a king's ransom! There is not a damn
thing any heroes can do to stop me now!" And the man laughed with a
- From Paragon Studios, just across town that evening, came reports of
a spaceship hovering over the lot. A pair of heroes were quickly on
the scene, having been on alert for the better part of the afternoon.
"There she is!" Blue Devil said as he spied a saucer like craft
hovering over the back part of the lot. The rockets in his trident
propelled him through the air.
A green condor soared beside him. "I don't know," the transformed
Changeling said. "From the alternating lights to the eerie glow
from the underside."
"Sounds real too," the azure avenger agreed as the air was filled
with a faint hum. "Given recent events, maybe its the real McCoy."
He noticed that the security guards were flocking towards the back
of the lot, guns drawn.
"Doubt it," Changeling replied. "I doubt anyone would try another
invasion this soon. Plus, I've seen enough real crafts in my time,
and that ship looks waaaay too Hollywood."
The ship suddenly began to open fire. Blasts of light surged from
the sides, randomly striking the ground. "Those men!" Blue Devil
tensed. "We gotta help them!" He charged into battle before
waiting for Changeling to reply.
Blue Devil hit the ground hard and found he had to dodge the
striking blasts. "No time for offense yet," he said, eyeing one of
the guards who was firing upon the ship. "First things first." He
ran up and scooped up the man in his free hand.
"Hey!" the studio guard exclaimed.
"Trust me, buddy," Blue Devil said. "You're better off leavin' this
to the professionals!" He deposited the guy back with the
others. "Guys, you better stay back!"
"I thought you heroes drove off all those stinking aliens!" one of
the men said.
"We did, we did!" Blue Devil bounded back off. "Sheesh, we get no
A green bird caught up with him. "There you are! You bolted so
"Sorry, Gar," Blue Devil apologized, "but I saw trouble. Those guys
were under attack!"
"Hmm," Changeling said. "I wonder..."
"Think its a set up?"
"Could be. Stay loose for a second and let me try something." The
green condor streaked off towards the space craft while Blue Devil
landed on one of the building roofs to hang back.
As Changeling got closer, he transformed himself again. This time,
he was a bit smaller with a different wing span. "I may not be the
detective that Nightwing is," he said to himself, "but even I know
that sometimes you need to invoke the skills of the bat." He
laughed to himself silently as he moved into position.
Blue Devil watched the craft. "I'd swear that was real," he said to
himself. "If its not, its some of the best damn special effects
I've ever seen!" Then again, he had believed the giant ape he was
fighting earlier was real too, though all the clues seemed to be
pointing to that it was a fake somehow.
While he watched and waited, he heard a sound coming from the
alleyway behind the building atop he was perched. "What's this?"
Blue Devil thought to himself as he peered over the edge. Three men
with film canisters under their arms rushed to a waiting black
sedan. They hopped in the vehicle which then took off quickly.
The hero smiled. "Ah ha!" he said. "Looks like I know who might be
behind that spectacular distraction!" Blue Devil raised his trident
and was about to shoot out the tires.
"BD, hold up!" a voice called out behind him. A green condor landed
and transformed back to the green skinned hero in a red and white
"Gar, those are thieves, makin' off with studio films!" Blue Devil
said. "I bet they're behind the theft at Verner Brothers too!"
"The M.O. certainly fits," Changeling agreed. "But I think they're
just hired muscle. Let's follow them."
The two heroes took to the air, high enough to keep the car in sight
but to remain unseen.
"What makes you think they're not behind the giant ape and the space
ship?" Blue Devil asked.
"I checked that ship using sonar," Changeling said. "It wasn't
"Exactly, but a damn good one. I've experienced a few of those in
my time, and it takes a pretty powerful person to whip one of those
up. I think if we follow the car, it'll lead us right to the
mastermind behind the plot."
"Sounds good," Blue Devil said. Though he was older than
Changeling, Gar certainly had more years in the business. He would
gladly draw upon Gar's wisdom in this matter. Still, he hoped the
car would lead them to whoever was behind this business soon. After
the beating he took earlier in the day, Danny was itching for some
- The three men entered the hidden lair, their arms full of stacks of
film canisters. "Boss, we got 'em!" one of the men called out.
The man at the table dressed in a white and gold costume looked up.
His eyes were blue, his hair and beard black. A smile crossed his
lips as he saw the bundle. "Excellent," he said, rubbing his hands
eagerly. "Put them down on the table so I can examine the take
"Definitely a good idea hittin' Paragon next," one of the thugs
said. "They definitely had more releases ready to go."
"Verner Brothers is struggling," the costumed man said. "I knew
Paragon would bring in a good haul." He moved around the table and
began to examine the titles on the sides of the canisters.
"The sequel to 'Laguna Hills Cop', excellent. They'll certainly
want to reacquire this one fast. Given the first film's take, this
one is assured a good run. 'The Untraceables' has been generating
some buzz in the production papers as well. Good, good. 'Lethal
Lure', also a lot of buzz about this one. 'The Damned Boys'? I'm
not familiar with this one..."
"It's a vampire flick. It's got those Corey's in it," one of the
The costumed man nodded. "Hmmm," he mused. "No great talent there,
but it might have youth appeal." He put the cans down and moved
about the table. "Now, to make some calls and get wheels in motion
to ransom these back to the studios. If this opportunity proves as
lucrative as I surmise, we'll be taking a little road trip in the
"Road trip?" one of the guys asked.
"Of course," the costumed man said. "After we extort the studios
here, its down to Florida and Benchmark Studios there. I hear they
have a number of big profile projects that have just wrapped on
Suddenly, there was a loud crash from above.
The men stepped back as the shattered glass of the skylight rained
down to the floor.
A large figure landed on the floor with a thud, while a green bat
swooped down behind him. "I'd avoid booking any flights if I were
you," Blue Devil warned. "The only place you're going is jail."
"Get him!" shouted the costumed boss.
"Right!" the men replied. A couple pulled guns from the waist of
their pants and began to open fire on the horned hero.
- Blue Devil smiled as he took the fire without flinching. "C'mon,
fellas, that tickles," he said as the projectiles bounced off of his
"Better watch it, BD," the circling bat said. "Superman might get
mad if you use his schtick."
"Nah," Blue Devil replied. "Me and the Man of Steel are buds." He
turned to the two men firing on him. "Okay, boys, now its my
turn." He hoisted up his trident weapon and took aim. The blast of
energy shot from the tines and slammed into the two thugs. They
flew back against the wall, knocked out from the blow.
Blue Devil turned to his partner. "Need any help there?"
"Got it covered!" replied Changeling who had transformed into a
large Australian marsupial with large hind limbs. With the shorter
forelimbs, he was punching out the third thug. "Just call
me 'Captain Kangaroo'. Ha ha ha ha."
When the last of the hirelings fell, the two heroes turned back to
the man in charge. "Okay, buddy, whoever you are," Blue Devil said
to the costumed man, "you plan on doing this the easy way or the
"Fools!" the man scoffed. "Don't you know who I am?"
"He looks vaguely familiar," the green kangaroo said.
"Fools!" the villain spat. The room suddenly seemed to burst into
flame and a huge projection of the man's face appeared in the air
before them. "I am the great and powerful Dazzler! Cower before my
"Dazzler?" Blue Devil repeated.
Changeling's eyes grew wide. "Yeah, sure," he said, popping himself
aside the head. "The name. The costume. He was a character on
some campy TV show from the late 70's called 'the Dazzler'. It
featured a lead character who was a super villain."
"Really?" Blue Devil asked. "I don't remember it."
"Very short lived," Changeling said.
- "Shut up, both of you!" the image of the villain's face
scowled. "And prepare to feel my wrath!" A bolt of energy shot
towards them. The two quickly scattered.
"Wrath of corn is more like it," Changeling said, transforming into
a bird for easier maneuverability.
"Careful, Gar," warned Blue Devil. "Let's not upset the crazy man!
Let's just find out how he's making with the special effects and
shut it down!"
"Ha ha ha!" laughed the face of the Dazzler. "You'll never shut me
down. My power, originally taught to me by an alien named Ibor from
the planet Ethor is one hundred percent natural. Even after my
incarceration last year by the accursed Green Lantern, I encountered
a party who could increase my powers ten fold. Now, I am able to
project my powers even across a good distance, allowing me to strike
at my intended victims from anywhere."
"Yeah?" Blue Devil said, taking a defensive stance. "Then bring it
on, loud mouth! He stepped defiantly between the glowing giant head
and the table of films. "The only way you're gettin' your ill-
gotten gains is through me!"
Changeling pondered for a second the Dazzler's boastful words. "I
got it!" He transformed himself again, this time into a green
cheetah, and took off like a shot towards the exit of the room. As
he got into the hall, he spied the fleeing villain going through the
building exit. "I thought so!" Using the natural speed of the
animal whose form he now shared, he was quickly closing the gap
between himself and the Dazzler.
Blue Devil battled against the enemy who wasn't there. His body was
registering the heat from the flames all around him. "Gotta keep
tellin' myself this is all just illusion," he thought to himself as
he swung his weapon about him. "Sooner or later, I gotta connect
He closed his eyes for a moment, figuring that might do it. When he
opened them again, the flames and everything were gone. "What do
you know?" the hero exclaimed. Then, Blue Devil looked about the
room quickly. The films were still in place but both Changeling and
the villain were gone. "Oh great!" He raced out of the room after
When he got outside, Blue Devil saw that Changeling had cornered the
villain. Or, more to the point, the villain had cornered him. A
half dozen Dazzlers had encircled the green cheetah.
"Ha ha, you green freak!" all the villains laughed in
unison. "Having it a bit of trouble deducing which of us is the
The animal was pacing slowly back and forth, scrutinizing the
group. It might take a little while, but he hoped his enhanced
senses would yield the truth. "I'll figure it out," Changeling
said, "just as I figured out your other illusions."
"Why bother?" Blue Devil shouted. All heads turned. "Especially
when I can do this!" With his trident in hand, he blasted the group
with a barrage of lightning from the tines. In a moment, the arc of
energy was going about the circle of villains, shocking them all.
Each writhed and screamed in pain.
Changeling had transformed into a mole, tunneled into the ground and
appeared safely near Blue Devil. "Now that's what I call dazzling!"
"Thought you'd like that," Blue Devil smiled. One by one, the
villains started to fall. After a moment, they started to blip out
in turn. The illusions faded, leaving the real Dazzler there on the
ground. "I had a feeling if he got distracted that his illusions
would fall. That had to be what happened in the room back there
when you chased him out here."
"Good thinking," Changeling agreed.
The Dazzler groaned and started to rise. "I won't be defeated so
easily. I have great strength that I can rely upon."
"Really?" Blue Devil said as he came charging forward. "Good to
know. Then you won't mind if I do this!" He swung back his right
fist and slammed it into the man's jaw. The Dazzler spun about and
fell to the ground once more.
Changeling joined his friend. "I'd say this guy's all washed up,"
Blue Devil nodded. "Yeah, a shame when an old television star goes
"They all can't be like me," Changeling said. "I just get better
with age." And the two heroes had a laugh as they carted the
criminals off to jail.