Story: Wonder Woman & the JLA - Momentous Identity Problems 14/??
- Wonder Woman & the JLA - Momentous Identity Problems
Greenville, South Carolina
Shortly after two in the afternoon, John Drake was in the living room
of his apartment listening to and snap watching CNN Headline News while
scanning the help wanted section of the newspaper he'd bought during
that morning's job interviews. Between jobs (read looking for work)
after the closing of Lockheed's rework facility, he'd gotten home just
before 1 and had a late lunch. At thirty-one years of age, he was at a
bit of a disadvantage compared to the multitude of younger folks with
whom he was competing, but between his positive and happy demeanor and
a fit body resulting from his regular workouts and proper diet many of
those seeing him figured John was in his middle twenties. Keeping his
light brown hair stylishly short didn't hurt, and gleaming blue eyes
added to his constant smile gave most of those he saw a very good
impression; it was when they got to parts of the applications referring
to schooling and past jobs that his true age became apparent, even if
date of birth was no longer allowed on job applications.
One thing that didn't show up anywhere in John's job applications or
his resume was his intense interest and practical devotion to the
comics and any other book appearances of DC's heroine and stage
magician called Zatanna. He'd started reading JLA books as a
youngster and as he grew older and wiser found more and more books in
which she starred or costarred, and more recently collected everything
he could find in the press and on the web about her activities. Other
than maybe her writers, artists and editors at DC, there were probably
very few people who knew as much as John did about Zatanna's life,
stage shows and crime fighting activities. A visit to his bedroom
would give evidence of John's devotion, with quite a few photos of real
women dressed like Zee and comic art and posters lining the walls.
This connection to Zee is what brought about the sudden disappearance
of John from his living room. Thanks to his research, he had a good
idea of where he ended up. It seemed as if he was standing not on
anything solid, but supported somehow by the thick mists with which he
was surrounded. "Zatara?" he asked.
Moments later Zee's father stepped out of the mists to stand before
John. "I knew you of all people would recognize where you are, John.
I know about your devotion to my daughter. You know more about what
she does and also how she does it than anyone on the real Earth or in
our comics world that I know of. Which is why I've brought you here.
John, Zatanna seems to have disappeared. There is no sign of her
anywhere on Earth or in the mystical realms. Therefore, I am hoping
you will help me to find her and at the same time fill in for Zatanna
in the Justice League."
"I'd be more than happy to help you find Zatanna," John replied, "but
how would I be able to fill in for her with the JLA, Zatara?"
Zatara grinned, then said, "I know you have no job to tie you to a real
world Earthly role as John Drake at this time. Therefore, I am asking
you to take on the comics Earthly role of Zatanna, John."
"Whoa!" John exclaimed. "You want me to actually change from being me
to being your daughter?"
"I know it's asking a lot, John, but nobody else on Earth, in the
comics world or here in the mystical realms knows Zee any better than
you," Zatara told him. "I know you've spent your entire life as a
male, but I'm betting that your knowledge of my daughter would allow
you as a female, in effect a twin of my daughter, to live as if you'd
been born as a girl. In addition, there's a reason I brought you here
unrelated to your deep devotion to my daughter. You obviously are
unaware of this, but you John Drake have the untapped nascent abilities
of a warlock. Added to what I could give you should you agree, this
would make you the perfect person to become a new Zatanna."
John was silent for a moment, then said, "If I was to become Zatanna
for any length of time if we don't find her right away, this would mean
accustoming myself to the peculiarities of the female body such as
different hormones and shaving, menstrual periods, and lots more I
can't imagine as a male. I'd also have to do something about my
residence in John's name in the real world if I'm going to live as
Zatanna in the comics world. But that's just details. Hell, something
as simple as a magical spell might get me used to being female, along
with taking care of my current home."
"The way I have planned for you to change to Zatanna will take care of
everything related to being a female," Zatara replied. "It would only
be a small portion of my payment to you for doing this that you would
have no worries about the residence in Greenville. I will take care of
that so you will have no concerns other than those pertaining to
John nodded while saying, "In that case, Zatara, tell me what I need to
do to make you my father."
"You'll know intuitively when you get there, John. For the record, my
daughter was supposed to have joined Black Canary and Hawkgirl in
taking Wonder Woman to her home on Themyscira. The real Wonder Woman
got turned into an evil Cheetah by Dr. Psycho, and Martian Manhunter
has taken on the Amazon's form and identity for the time being. That
may be of help when you meet any of the other members of the JLA later
on after they get back from Gateway City. I thank you for all you're
doing, and I hope you won't have to be my daughter for very long."
Zatara shook John's hand, then said softly, "nhoJ ot s'annataZ moor ni
John did another disappearing act, and this time appeared in a small
room with a bed, desk, chest of drawers and two chairs. Two small
circular windows on one wall showed a black sky with crystal clear
stars gleaming. Even without seeing Zatanna's costume top hat on the
end table, the pictures hanging everywhere other than on the closet
doors would have told him where he was. This was obviously a room used
by Zatanna, and from its small size and the scene outside the windows
he figured it had to be in the JLA's Moon base headquarters, the
Watchtower. He wondered why Zatara had said the spell too softly to
hear, but maybe it was so that John would see it before hearing it.
He also knew now what Zatara had meant about knowing what to do. John
walked to the end table and picked up the top hat left there earlier.
'I wonder if whoever's at the watch desk has noted anybody being in
this room?' he wondered while lifting the hat over his head. 'If so,
they're about to find a familiar person here, and not a stranger.'
John settled the hat onto his light brown hair covered too large head,
then felt something indescribable as long black hair appeared in his
peripheral vision and the hat fit perfectly. Make that, her peripheral
The hat had transformed him into Zatanna, and he now was in the body
he'd only seen and admired in the past. She found herself to be in the
costume seen at the last show in Miami. In addition, she felt a
oneness of being that indicated what Zatara had said to be true.
Zatanna knew everything there was about living as a female, for that's
what she was. A magical female, at least, one who was able to change
from being a male and be perfectly at ease as a female. She also had
picked up a lot of intimate knowledge and memories Zatanna had of her
life which John could never have known.
Zatanna looked down at the thigh high boots covering almost all of her
fishnets, and said aloud, "I liked seeing these at the show, but I
prefer the shoes that let my legs be seen. stooB egnahc ot ym seohs."
She felt herself drop an inch as the lower heeled shoes took the place
of the boots. As she took off the hat to put it back on the end table,
Zatanna thought, 'I wonder how long I should wait before letting
everybody else know I'm here.'
The answer came in her head. <Zatanna, I told Inza that you'd be back
later in the afternoon. You may want to just sit tight in the room
reading until 4 or so.>
<Is it okay to call you daddy or father now?>
<Of course, since in effect you truly are Zatanna now.>
<Thanks, daddy. I did see what you meant about the way the change
would affect me. I'm now feeling as if I've been your daughter all my
<That was to make sure you fit in as best you could. I hope you won't
have to be like this for long. The real Zatanna must be found.>
<I'll do what I can, father.>
<Thank you again. I'd suggest you change back into the boots. That's
what 'you' were wearing earlier in the day, and while I'm sure the
others are used to the way you change on a whim, you should appear as
you were earlier. And another thing, let's tell the others that you
got snared by Allura, and it wasn't until her good twin sister helped
me that we got you free from her.>
"seohS egnahc ot stoob." Zatanna regained her lost inch. <That does
sound like a good explanation, thanks. Hopefully we'll know the real
<Best of luck, my dear.>
Zatanna felt the presence of her father in her head go away, then
figured it was a good thing he was helping her along the way. Then she
picked up the same issue of Magic-Unity-Might that had been dropped
earlier and sat in the very same chair to read for a while.
Wonder Woman's place, a bit earlier
As Green Lantern was nearing Diana's condo faster than any human could
discern, Cheetah (the changed J'onn, not the one on Transformation
Island) felt his energy in her mind. Instantly she used her power to
turn invisible, at the same time also selecting and arming the mind
control dart on her left wrist. Then she waited.
Green Lantern came to a halt and took shape in the living room of
Diana's condo. The TV was on, and he found it hard to believe J'onn
even as Diana could be entertained by Donahue. But if the TV was on,
where was she? "J'onn, or Diana, whichever you prefer, are you here?"
He stood stock still for a moment to try and hear anything, but the
only sound that came was one he was not prepared for and could not
avoid. The dart made a swishing sound as it shot toward his neck, and
it impacted just above the collar line on his left side. Kyle then
felt his mind go numb, and a slack jawed look came to his face.
Cheetah came back into view then, and walked to stand directly in front
of the ring wielder. Before she started to give him any instructions,
the villainess used her mental powers to erect a firewall around them
both. No one would be able to interfere. "You hear and understand me,
don't you Green Lantern?"
"We're not at a wedding, Kyle."
"I hear and understand you."
"Much better, Kyle. Tell me, who is here from the JLA besides
"Superman, Batman, Dr. Fate, Flash and Aquaman."
'Good thing I erected that mental firewall,' she thought. "Your ring
can alter anything to match what you imagine, am I correct?"
"Even something as hard as solid steel, or as soft as a human body?"
"Nothing can resist the power of my ring."
"Good, Kyle. Now, I'm going to put an image into your mind. I want
you to will your ring to make yourself match that image." Cheetah
pictured the image in her own mind, then transferred it to Lantern's
A few seconds later, Cheetah saw the ring on Kyle's hand start to
glow. A moment later he was enclosed in a solid emerald shell. Less
than a minute later, that shell vanished.
Standing in the same spot Green Lantern had before was now a green
skinned female with shoulder length dark green hair and clothed in a
forest green monokini that barely covered the aureolas of her huge
breasts, let alone any of the rest of the green orbs. Matching green
gloves came to her elbows, and knee high boots of that same color with
moderate high heels completed her costume. The shocking thing wasn't
necessarily Kyle's new female form, but more her size. She stood only
four inches tall. She was the size of a toy action figure.
"You, my dear, are now Pixie. You know who you are and why you're
"Yes," came the tiny but sexy voice. "I am Pixie, your partner in
"That's right, Pixie. With your power ring, we will be unstoppable.
But you will only become Pixie if you feel my mental summons. At all
other times, you will still be Green Lantern. Green Lantern will have
no knowledge of what Pixie does, while you will know everything that he
does, is that clear?"
"Yes, Cheetah. I'm only your little green vixen when you call for me.
Otherwise, I will still be Green Lantern. I'm going to be aware at all
times, but as Green Lantern I'll be ignorant of Pixie."
"That's correct, Pixie. And now, since I'm sure Green Lantern's
teammates are probably going to be looking for him, make the change
back to your other form; the effects of the dart won't wear off for
another fifteen minutes, so wait until then to change. I'll let you
watch me change while we're waiting."
"I'll wait, Cheetah."
Cheetah went back to her couch and sat to watch the TV. Donahue was
wrapping up a segment of audience participation prior to a commercial
break. When the commercial came on, Cheetah saw her own self come into
view. She heard her own voice say, "Time to go back into hiding,
Cheetah. Let Wonder Woman take over your mind once again."
The image on the screen went over to the commercial every other TV set
was seeing, and Diana rapidly noticed the costume she was wearing.
"There, I knew I'd be able to put on this Cheetah costume and still be
myself. I'm not giving in to that urge to change to my old identity.
I guess I can get back into my regular costume now."
Diana walked into her bedroom, unaware of the tiny girl in green who
watched. She saw the costume her alter ego had discarded earlier and
laid it on her bed, then got out of the Cheetah costume. Before
putting on any of the Wonder Woman costume, she surprised herself by
carefully folding the yellow and black costume and placing it in her
drawer with the wrist shooters on top. But her surprise was soon
replaced by a thought of just taking good care of something else to
wear. And while she could have just spun, Diana took the time again to
put on each piece of what she considered her true costume.
When Diana came out of her bedroom as Wonder Woman, she was surprised
to see Green Lantern standing in her living room. He looked a bit
stunned. "Kyle, are okay? What are you doing here?"
He placed both white gloved hands over his temples and said, "I feel
like I just came out of a mixing bowl, J'onn...or do you prefer Diana?"
"Diana's fine, Kyle. Again, why are you here?"
"The others are over at Psycho's place taking him out of commission,
Diana. Superman asked me to drop in and see how you were doing, since
we hadn't heard from you at the Watchtower this morning. And if I may
ask, why do you have your face made up so differently?"
"Differently?" She walked over to the mirror over the couch. "Oh, I
must have been experimenting with my look earlier and forgot to change
back." Kyle noted that she left her face looking just as wicked.
"And, I wasn't aware I was supposed to clock in every morning, Kyle.
Tell Kal that I'm just fine, thank you, and to let me run my own life
here. I don't need the rest of the JLA as my baby sitters."
As soon as Diana finished saying that, a red and gold blur appeared
between she and Kyle, then solidified into the form of Flash. "What,
they sent you over here now, too, Wally?"
Flash took a quick look at Kyle that wasn't even noticed by Diana,
then turned toward her and saw the way her face looked. He replied,
"What's with that almost evil look with the makeup, Diana? When Kyle
hadn't come back right away we got a little worried. Inza did a mental
check, and found she couldn't get through due to a mental block of some
"Makeup? This is just me. I left my face looking the way I had it
earlier when I was experimenting with my look. And sorry about that,
Wally. I must have put up a mental firewall earlier today and
forgotten about it." She did a quick check, and yes, there it was.
She took it down right away. "No more firewall, Wally." <Inza, this
It took longer than she expected, but Diana finally heard, <Diana, we
couldn't reach you before. Are Kyle and Wally both there?>
<Both getting set to leave, Inza.>
<Okay, thanks. Can you see the image?>
Diana saw in her mind a blonde with a body even an Amazon might envy,
in glossy black from her neck down. <The blonde in black?>
<Yes. I guess you'll hear a lot more later, but thanks to Psycho's
ectoplasmic extractor, that's who Superman is now. Meet Yvonne Simons.>
<YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING!!>
<Either come back with the guys, or wait until you get a full briefing
later on, Diana.>
<I'll wait, thanks. Later, Inza.>
<Glad we finally got through to you, Diana.>
<Oh, that was a mental firewall I must have put up and forgot about.
It's down now, obviously. Bye.> She shut down the link herself, to
keep Fate from mentally yacking.
"Sorry, guys, I was just chatting with Inza. Wally, have fun telling
Kyle about Superman on your way back."
Kyle looked at Wally with a question in his eyes. "You're gonna love
this, Kyle. See ya later, Diana."
continued in part 15