PART TWO: THE SECRET FOUR
Luthor caused his parents, his mother especially, many headaches. He had been a
mischievous youth, but after his brother
Following his release, he followed in his father's footsteps and became an accomplished grifter. Using the name Alexi Luthor he created an accent of indeterminate European origin to give the impression that he was a foreign national. Unlike his brothers, Alexi claimed that he had not started to lose his hair, but had devised a chemical treatment that prevented hair loss. He did possess a full head of read hair; however, this was probably merely a very good wig created from his own hair.
father before him, Alexi was a master of disguise and had carried out various con
jobs and grifts before getting caught. In
After he was there for six months, he was contacted by a man claiming to be his lawyer. This was Louis Piquett, a lawyer specializing in underworld cases. Piquette offered Alexi Luthor the chance at an early release from prison; however he would have to become the laboratory assistant/valet of a elderly scientist crippled by arthritis. Alexi jumped at the chance to leave jail, even if it meant working for a crippled old man.
Alexi’s release did not come about through legal means as he had been led to believe. One night after lock down, a guard came and took Alexi from his cell for disciplinary action in the parlance of the jail. Alexi had been selected to get beat up by the guards. Once they were out of the cell block, however, the guard took Alexi into a storage room and exchanged clothes with him. After giving Alexi directions on how to escape, the guard had Alexi tie him up and knock him out.
Wearing the guard’s uniform Alexi escaped from the penitentiary during the duty shift. He went to a car left in the guard’s parking lot and drove to a phone booth. The phone rang giving him directions to his new employer’s residence.
recognized the crippled old man immediately, believing at first that this was
an elaborate disguise. Alexi was shocked to discover that his quadruplet
brother Lawrence had truly been aged by his evolution advancing serum. Alexi forced
One of the brothers' first schemes was to create a robot to rob a bank. The robot was more along the lines of a vehicle in which Alexi rode, guiding all of its movements through a complicated system of wires and levers. The robot was stopped through the efforts of The Bat and Superman. This scheme set the tone for those that would follow as Superman thwarted their plans. Alexi was arrested, convicted, and sent to prison. His brother the Ultra-Humanite arranged for his escape.
Luthor and his brother Lawrence Luthor, the Ultra-Humanite, were partners in
crime until 1939; during this time they had two run-ins with Doc Savage and
several encounters with Superman. At that time Alexi
learned that his brother, the Ultra-Humanite, wished to transplant his brain
into a younger, healthy body; a body with very little chance of rejection, such
as with the body of an identical twin brother. Alexi decided to travel to
While in Europe Alexi investigated his family tree to see if there were any truth to their father’s tales of the family being heirs to the crown of Lutha. From information that his father occasionally left in written documents, which Alexi had made the habit of reading, he was able to discover that his father had once used the names Finglemore and Clayton. Armed with this information, he was able to discover that Paul Finglemore was the notorious Colonel Clay and the illegitimate son of Sir William Clayton. The connection to Lutha was very tenuous, but one did exist. Sir William Clayton's grandmother had been Hilda Rubinroth, the daughter of Major Bolko Rubinroth. This was a branch of the royal family that had given up its titles in the Thirty Years War.
Alexi Luthor had little doubt that his father had heard about Leopold, the heir to the throne of Lutha, being shut away in a madhouse in 1901. Paul Luthor probably would have used the genealogical connection to the throne for some scam or another had his sons not scattered to the four winds. The current King of Lutha was an upstart American whose mother had been the last Princess of the Rubinroth line.
Lutha's four principalities had been considered fairly good buffer states in
the twenties, political realities had changed by the thirties. Most of the
Eastern European nations became fascist and were influenced by
In 1933 the principality of Calbia revolted. This revolt was spearheaded by a man using the alias Conte Cozonac. The rebels had obtained a super weapon, an aerial torpedo guided to a target by heat emissions. Conte Cozonac was in the employ of the Romanians, who had also supplied him with members of the Iron Guard for his "revolution." Carol II, the new King of Romania, was making his first attempt at intrigue and territorial acquisition.
With the aid of Doc Savage, King Bernard Custer was able to negate the threat of this new weapon and end the revolution in Calbia. He failed to bring Conte Cozonac and his partner the Luthian Captain Flancul to justice. Cozonac and Flancul tried to escape in a plane when their plans were exposed. They fired an aerial torpedo at the King and his party. Doc had previously treated the plane that Cozonac and Flancul were flying with a material that emitted a high infrared radiation. The torpedo was attracted to this plane and it exploded in flight, killing everyone on board.
weathering this crisis of 1933, King Bernard's reign of Lutha was not an easy
one, despite his personal popularity with much of the yeoman and aristocratic
class. Even Lutha was subject to the economic depression that struck much of
came to a head in late 1938 when Calbia and Toron, two of the provinces of
Lutha, went to war with each other. Part of the conflict was political; the
Calbians were heavily influenced and supported by
Like the perennial bad penny Superman showed up to ruin Alexi's plans. Superman joined in the fray by aiding King Bernard's forces and destroying the weaponry of the two opposing sides. Neither of two rebel generals of the conflict wanted to admit blame for the conflict, nor did they wish to reveal their true foreign backers. They compromised by blaming Alexi as the war profiteer responsible for the conflict. They told Superman where he could be found.
Although Superman had previously thwarted the schemes that Alexi undertaken with his brother Lawrence the Ultra-Humanite, this was the first time that Superman had ever confronted Alexi face-to-face. Alexi abandoned his headquarters and destroyed the advanced weaponry that his brother William had been selling to the Calbians and the Toronians. Alexi was not going to let them have any weapons without payment, even if it meant destroying the lot. He escaped in a dirigible, but Superman smashed the controls of the dirigible, causing it to crash. Alexi was presumed to have died in the explosion.
returned to the
took up residence in
decided to steal this machine and use it to blackmail
kidnapped Dr. Martinson and tried to make him reveal the principles behind his
invention. He had Dr. Wainwright pose as Martinson so that no one would
discover Martinson’s absence. While Wainwright was doing so, a snoopy reporter
Luthor had been communicating with Wainwright via television. Spotting Superman enter the window, Alexi informed him that he had kidnapped Dr. Martinson but Martinson had proved recalcitrant, so Luthor was going to steal the plans for the earthquake device from the Army. Superman hurried to the army camp and scared away Alexi Luthor's planeload of thugs. Superman chased the plane, but Luthor caused it to explode in mid-air.
The plane was a remote controlled decoy, no henchmen were actually killed.
At the crash site Luthor projected an image of himself on a tree and challenged Superman to a contest. If Superman's muscle defeated Luthor's science then Luthor would admit defeat, otherwise Superman would retire and leave Luthor to his plans.
Superman agreed to the challenge. In the first contest Superman had to race a plane. Superman's leaping ability and speed outstripped the plane.
The next contest was to see who could rise the highest above the earth and still return safely. Superman once again outclassed the plane.
Although the comic book depiction shows a modern plane, the plane that was used in this contest was an old bi-plane. Superman was faster than it, and the plane stalled when it climbed too high.
The next contest was to see who lift the most weight. In the comics Luthor used a scientific device to nullify gravity and picked up a huge boulder. Actually the device Luthor used was not so elaborate, it was just a more efficient crane designed to pick up five tons. Superman was able to pick up the six-ton boulder in one hand and the plane in the other and win this contest.
The next part of the contest was vulnerability. Luthor tossed a grenade, shot a cannon, and tossed poison gas at Superman, who survived all. When Superman tried to also test Luthor's vulnerability, Luthor conceded the contest and released Professor Martinson to Superman.
These challenges were not truly geared for Luthor to win, rather they were a clever way of testing and gauging Superman's power levels. Martinson had proved too stubborn and intractable to be of use to Luthor. He used Martinson as a distraction.
The contest between Superman and Luthor was also a ruse; Luthor had kept Superman occupied while Luthor’s men stole the invention from the Army.
Alexi Luthor did not start out as a murderer, but association with his brother the Ultra-Humanite did have an influence on him. Also as his schemes were continually thwarted by Superman, he became frustrated and angry. He truly believed that his ultimate plan to establish a technocracy ruled by scientists was for the greater good. To this end sacrifices were often necessary. It was later revealed by Alexi Luthor to Doc Savage that Martinson had not committed suicide but had died under torture after revealing the location of an Earthquake machine prototype.
Luthor's next scheme was to control the world petroleum market, starting with
the American market. He began targeting oil wells in
December of 1939
to the comic book version, one of the men who
really transpired was not so dramatic. Gregory called to inform his superior
overheard the businessmen talking about how they were making a financial
killing on the local depression. He learned that Alexi Luthor was behind the
Extracting himself from the bent blades of steel, he walked down a corridor and was deluged with acid. This had no discernible effect on him. Superman threw the vat that had held the acid against the steel door, knocking the steel door inwards. Beyond the door was a room where Mosley was talking to Luthor on a television screen. Sprinting towards Mosley he was hit by a bolt of electricity shot from a security device. As Superman reached for the television it exploded. Superman shielded Mosley from the fragments. A sudden series of explosions began to collapse the cavern and Superman ran from the collapsing cavern with Mosley in his arms. In return for Superman having saved his life, Mosley told him that the safe in his office contained a list of all the men who had been made into slaves by Luthor through the incense.
Supermen went with Mosley back to his office. Mosley opened his safe which was in fact a wall vault large enough for a person to enter. Once Superman had entered it, Mosley shut the door. Superman smashed through the vault door and read Mosley’s papers. Superman made Mosley call one of Luther’s henchmen to inform them that he had escaped the cavern cave-in and would attend the meeting. He then jumped out of the window, forcing Superman to save his life once again. Superman rendered him unconscious with a neck pinch possibly learned from James Clark Wildman Jr. Superman disguised himself as Mosley and went to attend a meeting of the men on the list.
At the meeting each of the enthralled financiers gave reports on how their profits were rising. When it became time for Mosley to make his report, Luthor told him not to bother. At his signal a group of armed guards rushed into the room. Luthor knew that Mosley was actually Superman in disguise. He requested that Superman to join him in his quest to bring order to the world, otherwise he would order the other men at the meeting shot. Their deaths would then be on Superman's conscience. Superman used his speed and strength to turn the table over and used it as a shield for the financiers. He then took out the armed guards. As Superman fought the guards, Luthor disappeared. A plane took off from the roof, Superman tried to stop the plane and it crashed into the river.
This was the end of Luthor, or so Superman thought.
The businessmen were cured of their thralldom to Luthor, which seemed to have been accomplished by using incense created from the deadly Black Lotus plant.
The next depiction of Alexi Luthor’s career occurs in “The Beasts of Luthor, Superman 12 (September-October 1941). In real world chronology it probably occurred in February of 1940.
synopsis of the published version is as follows: a man came to the offices of
the Daily Planet and attempted to tell George Stevens, editor-in-chief,
of a menace that threatened humanity. Stevens believed he was a tramp and threw
Lois were intrigued by the story. They gave Barnes enough money to check into a
hotel and told him they would meet him in two hours. They tried to convince
George Stevens that Barnes’ claims were worthwhile avenues of investigation but
he would have none of it. Instead he sent them to interview Allan Masters,
multimillionaire and big game hunter, who had just arrived back in town.
Clark and Lois told Masters that whatever big game he had hunted before was not
anything like the game on
Lois and Clark agreed to meet Masters back at his mansion and then go see Dudley Barnes. When all three of them arrived at Barnes room, they found Barnes dead. A doctor who examined the body discovered that Dudley Barnes had been poisoned by a huge amount of the natural poison secreted by ants, which would have taken thousands of ants to manufacture. Masters agreed that this seems to indicate the existence of a giant ant.
Stevens said that since Masters was footing the bill
happened after the submarine reached the Baracoda Islands demonstrates that
when running an organization shrouded in secrecy, fueled by paranoia, guided by
duplicity, and using internal dissension to keep your underlings at bay, one
must not become distracted and let things go their own way. The man who
changed back into
Grimes sent armored vessels to hunt the submarine down. He had them drop depth charges. The comic book depicts Superman as once again exiting from the bottom of the submarine by way of his secret air lock, then swimming over to one of the enemy ships, puncturing an oil drum and tossing it over board so that the ships would believe that the submarine was destroyed.
surviving this obstacle, the submarine was attacked by giant octopus, which
Superman had to dislodge from the submarine. Finally
The crew of the submarine mutinied while Masters was on the island. As the submarine sailed away without authorization, the shore batteries opened up and sank the fleeing submarine.
Cardine showed his guests the giant animals and told them that the animals were created by omega rays. After the tour, Cardine then introduced them to the supreme ruler of the great scientific endeavor, Alexi Luthor.
Luthor had them seized and placed in steel cells.
Superman escaped and confronted Cardine, asking how he could work for such a man as Luthor. Cardine explained that Luthor promised to let Cardine rule the scientific civilization they would create. Superman found Grimes and Von Harbitz in Luthor's headquarters and proved to Cardine and the rest that Luthor had made empty promises to all of them. They all agreed to help him bring down Luthor.
small band behind him, Superman broke into Luthor's laboratory. Cardine told Superman
that if he smashed an apparatus that generated the omega waves that the animals
would be dead in a few hours. When Superman started to do just that, Masters
suddenly pulled a gun out and held Lois hostage. Masters revealed that it had
been he who had killed Barnes and that he had financed Luthor. Luthor paralyzed
Superman with a green ray. This weakened Superman, who was thrown out into the
jungle to be eaten by the jungle animals. Luthor had his former allies escorted
into the jungle. Lois was held to be his guest. Superman's paralysis did not
wear off in time for him to save the others. When Luthor saw that Superman was
still alive, he caused an explosion that brought down a portion of his
building, burying Superman in rubble. Superman extricated himself and burst
into Luthor's laboratory. Luthor pressed a self-destruct mechanism to destroy
the island. Superman jumped off of
Superman returned to Metropolis in a matter of minutes. As he arrived, a giant monster was attacking Metropolis. Luthor had dispatched it to Metropolis moments before the other animals were destroyed. Superman broke the monster's spine and tossed it into the ocean.
One of the major flaws in this story is very obvious, which is if Masters was working for or with Luthor all along, why did Bill Grimes and Von Harbitz capture Masters and confiscate his submarine? Why after Masters escaped, did they try to destroy Masters and his submarine? Either Luthor kept his various lieutenants in a sort of spy cell structure so that they remained unaware of the others’ existence or else there was a sort of internal power struggle going on.
The gigantic animals that we are shown during the course of this story are a giant octopus, a pair of giant lions, and a giant reptile. The amount of ant venom that killed Barnes indicates that there are also giant ants.
in the Lawrence
Luthor article, Alexi Luthor had visited
visited the island once again, circa 1937, and once again took a few specimens
of young animals. He did not carry out his experiments on
could not find answers as to the gigantism of many of the species on the
island. He did believe that they could not have evolved naturally on this
island or anywhere else on earth as even a moderate but growing population of
these animals would vastly alter the food chain. He believed that some
artificial substance was the cause of the gigantism, but he could find no
traces of it within the soil of
for other clues, he discovered during a trip to
discovered that in rural
Majesty’s government, through either the auspices of the League of
Extraordinary Gentlemen or the Diogenes Club, kept a close watch on the farm,
however, and did not allow any Herakleophorbia to leave the country. When it
was learned that children who were not given Herakleophorbia directly but ate
meat from the giant animals also developed gigantism, the farm was quarantined.
Children who were unfortunate enough to have eaten the flesh of the
Herakleophorbia-enhanced animals were also sent to live on this farm.
Herakleophorbia was seen as a great threat to the ecology and economy of not
As the giant children entered their late teens, they rebelled at their confinement. Several left the village and disobeyed instructions to return to the farm. They were hunted down by the British Army and killed.
The giant teenagers seized control of the village and prepared for war with the little people, forging swords and metal armor.
This rebellion gave government firebrands the excuse they had been wishing for, and the British Army wiped out the village of the giants. All of the existing Herakleophorbia was burned, as were Bensington and Redwood's notes and records.
contacts in the
experimented first on an ant queen, producing a colony of oversized ants, and
then on several mammalian species on Baracoda island including lion cubs. Most
of the large creatures, however, had been imported from
The green ray that Luthor used to paralyze Superman and render him powerless may have been the first use of "kryptonite" against Superman, although the substance did not make its appearance in the comics again until 1949 (Superman 61, November-December 1949). It is quite possible that Luthor did not realize the origin of the substance he used to power the paralysis ray. The ray had probably been created to subdue the gigantic beasts. This function was probably not related to the “kryptonite” radiation it also emitted. Had the paralysis ray not contained "kryptonite" it probably would not have had much of an effect on Superman.
Masters, Cardine, Grimes, and Von Harbintz may have also been subjected to the vapors of the black lotus plant, which Luthor had previously used, and so became Luthor's willing accomplices in the plan to dominate the world.
When Superman was able to defeat the giant lions that had killed the other men Luthor had sent out in the jungle with the unconscious Superman, Luthor directed some of the armaments of the island to shoot at Superman, and in doing so accidentally wrecked part of his fortress and buried Superman in rubble.
When Superman once again reached Luthor's fortress, Luthor did indeed announce his intention to destroy the island and then pulled a switch that caused explosions in the bottom of the fortress. Superman grabbed Lois and jumped for safety; content to let Luthor destroy himself and the animals he had "created" After Lois and he were far from the island, the fortress exploded. Of course he must have realized that there was a good chance that Luthor did not perish in the cataclysm.
the comic book states that Superman reached Metropolis in a matter of minutes,
this is pure hyperbole. Superman could jump 1/8th of a mile on the
land; jumping up and down in the ocean is much more difficult and would have
been much more dangerous for Lois, so Superman was forced to swim. Even at 86
mph it would have taken Superman days to reach the Western American coast and
then it would have taken about ten hours at a fast, sustained run from the West
Coast to the East Coast of the
the comic book shows
of the comic book version in which the gigantic monster attacked Metropolis
seems to have some basis in fact, although it took place approximately one
the effect of his paralysis ray on Superman, Alexi Luthor used it as the basis
for his next line of research—the study of light and optics and their
application to neuroscience. He devised a blinding white light that would
paralyze anyone who viewed it. He also combined the white paralytic ray with a
multihued prismatic ray that placed the subject in a state of deep hypnosis,
making them his willing minion. With these two devices, Luthor believed he
could dominate the
In June of 1940, a
populist senator named Billingsly planned to give a speech. He had been
threatened by someone named the Light who had sent him a message that he would
never give that speech.
He arrived at the spot in the road where the senator's car was stopped. According to the driver, a sedan with blinding white lights had driven straight towards the senator's car. The senator's car stopped and the driver and everyone in the car must have been paralyzed for the senator was gone when the light disappeared. The senator's guards blamed the arriving Superman for the Senator’s disappearance. As they shot at him he bounded down the road, chasing after a racing auto and finally jumping in front of it. The car increased speed and aimed the blinding light at Superman. Superman somersaulted over the car and landed on its back. He tore into the metal at the back and disabled the guards holding the senator. As the car careened out of control, Superman seized a tree and held onto the car, stopping it cold. He then carried the car back to the senator's guards.
At the meeting hall, a bright light paralyzed the audience and then a message appeared on the wall, written in blazing light, stating that while the senator might have escaped there would be other victims.
into the Daily Planet, Clark
and Clark were driving back to the Daily Planet their car was stopped by
a sleek sedan, which pointed the paralytic white light at them. Agents of the
Light kidnapped Lois and Clark because the Light considered them dangerous.
They were taken to an out of the way building, where the Light’s agents used a
telephone to call for further instructions. The henchmen were told to rub the
reporters out. In the comic book depiction rather than overtly save Lois and
risk exposing his secret identity,
This entire charade was created by Siegel to maintain the fiction that Lois Lane did not know that Clark Kent was Superman. But by June of 1940 Lois Lane had known about Clark Kent's secret identity of Superman for some time and helped him to maintain his dual role. In 1940 Jerry Siegel had written a story that depicted what may have been Superman’s first real encounter with the substance called kryptonite, but this was suppressed by Siegel’s editor. So in the comics Kryptonite would not appear for another nine years and it would be decades before Lois would figure out who Superman really was.
What probably occurred was that Clark Kent threw his voice, and while the hoodlums turned to investigate, Kent moved at his enhanced speed to knock them all out.
Lois herself told the police that Clark had been standing beside her and Superman had arrived to take care of the hoodlums. This was to reinforce Clark's mild-mannered pose.
At the Daily Planet Clark and Lois learned that the Light had threatened the governor.
Clark changed into his Superman guise and went to the governor's mansion. He noticed that one of the guards posted around the governor's mansion was one of the suspicious characters he had seen at the hall where Senator Billingsly was supposed to speak.
Grabbing the guard, Superman juggled him around and jumped up, dropping him from a great height, only to catch him at the last moment.
The henchman confessed that they were going to overpower the governor's guards and take him to the Light's hideout in a cavern beneath Barrows Ridge. Superman arrived back at the governor's mansion too late.
While Superman sped to the Light's hideout, the Light subjected the governor to his hypnotic ray treatment, enthralling him.
The Light was made aware of Superman's arrival and subjected him to the hypnotic light treatment in concert with the green ray he had previously used. Weakened by the kryptonite and the power of the prismatic ray, Superman succumbed to the brainwashing. The Light directed him to destroy any military materials that might be used against him.
Superman traveled to the nearest armory and was about to destroy it, but by this time the kryptonite had worn off. In the comics Lois Lane happened to be driving by this armory at the same time Superman landed and she talked him out of his mental fog. This depiction has a grain of truth to it. In Superman's mental confusion, his mind focused on the one constant since he began his life as Superman, Lois Lane. By this time Clark and Lois were had been a "dating" couple for some time. They had begun dating even before she had discovered his secret identity. Although she had been constantly irritated at Clark's seeming cowardice, she had seen him do many brave things and then dismiss them as accidents. Although she unfavorably compared Clark to Superman in public whenever possible, this was an inside joke between them. It also helped Clark's milquetoast image to be dating a woman who publicly humiliated him.
Lois helped him clear his mind and he hurried back to the Light's hideout. He arrived in time to stop the Light from brainwashing some other victims. The Light revealed himself to be Luthor, who once again tried his patented “I will destroy us all“ routine. Superman was faster, however, and stopped Luthor from triggering the button on the floor that would have blown up the hideout. Luthor order his henchmen to kill Superman and then made his escape while Superman was occupied.
Alexi Luthor was disappointed that his mental thralls soon came to their senses without continued treatments of the hypnotic rays. He continued his study of optics, seeking to discover how John Hawley Griffin and William Carpenter had achieved their invisibility successes. Although he could not replicate their methods or even their mode of invisibility, his multidisciplinary approach found an odd answer in annual of cryptozoology. There was a natural form of invisibility achieved by legendary beasts the Yeti, Sasquatch, unicorns etc. Even without a sample of the fluid that an ancient Tibetian text alluded that the animals exuded, Alexi was able to formulate a chemical substitute once he knew that invisibility by chemical means could achieved. The chemical had the ability to bend light waves around an object, but it had a short duration. As he tested its duration and flexibility of use he also found means to enrich himself or at least enough to keep his experiments going.
He sprayed an autogyro with the chemical, then sprayed the Metropolis Trust building with the chemical from the hovering autogyro. He had several of his henchmen don suits that were then sprayed with the invisibility chemical. The bank building then became invisible for a few moments. Inside Luthor's invisible men committed a robbery of millions of dollars.
Clark Kent investigated the invisible robbery and told editor George Stevens about the incident. Ever the skeptic, Stevens disbelieved Kent. After using the restroom Kent noticed that there wasn’t any water. He heard cries of “no water” from all over the city.
The comic showed Superman ripping a fire hydrant out of the street to ascertain that there really is a water shortage. Being a good citizen Superman probably did not do this, he merely opened the valve with his fingers and closed it when no water flowed.
An autogyro boomed out a message over the city telling them that if they wanted their water back, they would have to pay for it. Superman jumped up at the autogyro but it disappeared in mid-air. Yet the loudspeaker spoke to Superman. The voice told Superman to return at the same time tomorrow with one hundred million dollars or the city would remain dry.
Clark Kent visited the mayor and told him the message that Superman had received. The city government believed that Superman was behind the whole scheme. The Mayor agreed to give Kent one hundred million dollars to pay the ransom. As he left the office Clark overheard them planning to substitute fake money for real.
According to the comics the water plant was unable to function because certain important pieces of equipment had vanished. The implication is that it had been rendered invisible by Luthor. Yet as previously seen the chemical he used was of a short duration. The equipment seems to have vanished literally. Probably Luthor's invisible henchmen sprayed the machinery and disassembled it while it was invisible and carried it off.
Superman noticed an autogyro hovering above the plant. Yet as he neared it became invisible once more.
The next day Superman carried the fake ransom to the hovering autogyro. The autogyro led him to an area outside the city where there were some bluffs alongside the Hudson. He was directed to enter the Cave of the Winds and deposit the money.
A figure in a body suit with a square glass face plate came forward to collect the money. Although the comic calls this an asbestos suit, it was probably also one of the suits that had been sprayed with the invisibility chemical. Ripping the hood off of the suit, Superman revealed the face of Alexi Luthor. Several of Luthor's men began firing at Superman. Luthor wrenched free and the henchmen threw hand grenades at Superman, sealing the cavern. After digging himself out of the rubble, Superman tracked Luthor. Luthor shot Superman with a gun that discharged an electrical bolt powerful enough to wreck a battleship. This is probably an exaggeration on Siegel's part, however it was powerful enough to knock Superman out.
Since Superman had not been killed by the electrical bolt, Luthor's henchmen grew nervous and wished to divide the money immediately. Angered by this Luthor stunned them with the remaining charge of his gun.
At the center of the cavern was a man who waited for Luthor. The man was Bob Dunning, a highly regarded stock broker who had been involved in stock fraud with Luthor. Although Dunning's relatives would later claim that Dunning had been enthralled by Luthor using the black lotus incense, there is no evidence for this. It seems to be Dunning's own greed that caused him to go into partnership with Luthor.
There was also a large device at the center of the cavern that Luthor claimed was the device that had stopped the water from flowing into New York City. Yet he also claimed it had the power to destroy New York City. Although the claim to this being the device that stopped the water flowing seems to have been a lie, that it could destroy the city or at least cause it a great deal of damage seems to have been a possibility. The device could create a vast amount of electricity. It was connected to the water station and would send an enormous electrical current into the water supply, which would then be carried through the metallic water piping of the city, wreaking havoc, or so he hoped.
After Luthor discovered that the ransom was a fake, he decided to test his device. Dunning attempted to stop him. Superman broke into the area in time to smash the machine. Luthor escaped and Superman took Dunning into custody.
It would be almost a year before Alexi Luthor and Superman would once again clash.
In April 1941 occurred the incident of the Powerstone, (Superman Vol. 1 #17, July-August 1942, "When Titans Clash"). The first part of the comic book depiction of this event concerns Alexi Luthor regaining his electrical superpowers that were portrayed in the comic book tale “The Powerstone,“ (Action Comics #47, April 1942). As discussed in the Lawrence Luthor article, Alexi Luthor never actually had the electrical powers ascribed to him. These were actually possessed by Dan McCormick the Electrical Man. However Alexi and his brother were deeply involved in McCormick's saga and so Siegel condensed the matter for dramatic effect.
The first section of the “The Powerstone”, which shows Luthor being electrocuted and regaining these powers, was fictional in regards to Alexi Luthor.
Alexi Luthor, however, did want the Powerstone. He attempted to kidnap Lois Lane to use her as a hostage, but his henchmen botched that job and Lane was saved by Superman.
Luthor tried a new tactic, actually an old one for himself and one perfected by his father. To get his hands on the Powerstone, which was kept in the New York Metropolitan Museum under heavy guard, he decided to run a confidence game. He spent six months setting up the identity of Carlyle Allerton, a prominent authority on ancient stones and their mystic powers. He became an expert on gems and gem folklore to carry out the disguise.
To make certain that he would not be recognized Alexi went to the length of shaving his head, although most people believe he merely removed a red wig.
After proving his nearly encyclopedic knowledge of gemstone and their folklore, the curators of the Metropolitan Museum of Natural History allowed Carlyle Allerton to examine the gems from the Denhem expedition with the stipulation that Superman must act as a guard.
Alexi Luthor's disguise fooled even Superman. Alexi spent nearly an hour examining the various gems of the exhibition until he had discovered the one he sought. This Powerstone was one of those relatively rare stones that responded to mental commands. It had been part of a set given to an elite guard in ancient Lemuria. It was geared for defense and had the ability to generate a forcefield around the person who wore it. The forcefield created defensive shield which protected against it projectile and energy weaponry. This shield also enhanced the strength of the wearer and could provide camouflage, allowing the wearer to blend in with their environment. Another function of the powerstone was that it could also enhance the telepathic abilities of the wearer, enabling them to broadcast information to other people; this was used in Lemuria for silent communication among the Lemurians and also for a psychic defense as false information or terrifying visions would be broadcast to enemies.
Luthor was fortunate enough to trigger a “help file” in the memory of the crystal, which enabled him to learn its operation almost immediately.
He revealed his identity to Superman and then picked Superman up and threw him against a wall. Luthor jumped out the window, the forcefield saving him from being smashed on the sidewalk. When Superman followed Luthor, Alexi expanded the force field to its greatest extent and used the camouflage function to create a giant image of himself. It appeared as though a giant Alexi Luthor was attacking Superman. He used the forcefield to smash into a viaduct and brought it down on Superman. Although the comics show Luthor tearing up a large suspension bridge, none of the major bridges in the New York area are reported to have suffered damage on that scale even for a few days.
He then used the hypnotic function of the gem to implant the suggestion in Superman that he had lost his super strength. One of the reasons that this hypnosis was so effective was that it tapped into one of Superman's deepest desires, the desire to be normal. Superman's unconscious wish to be normal caused him to deliberately use his strength at its lowest level and to ignore any accidental uses of super strength.
Unable to pursue Luthor because Superman could no longer use his leaping ability, Clark Kent returned to the offices of the Daily Planet.
According to the comics Luthor snatched many of the nation's greatest leaders. He kidnapped many of the key people on the New York Stock Exchange
Although Lois wanted to pursue this story, George Stevens sent her and Clark Kent to do a story on the old Mogul factory since it was about ready to be turned into a munitions plant.
As coincidence would have it, the old Mogul factory is where Luthor was stashing the prominent men he had captured. Two of Luthor's henchmen captured Clark and Lois. Unable to use more than normal strength, Clark could not fight off the two henchmen. They threw him down a shaft in the factory while Lois was tied to a pole. Clark fell down the shaft, ripping his clothes as he did. He grabbed onto the sides of the wall, certain that the great fall would kill him. It probably would not have, even without his strength his dense muscle and bone structures would have prevented injury.
Clark saw that his Superman suit was exposed, so he discarded his outer clothing and dressed as Superman went to rescue Lois. Upon seeing Superman the henchmen ran away. Superman untied Lois.
After Lois was untied Luthor appeared stating he was glad that he had arrived in time to prevent her escape.
She laughed at that, asking what chance he stood against Superman. Luthor boasted that he had stolen Superman's powers and could tear him apart. He picked up the powerless Superman and began throwing him about the factory. In the comics Superman challenged Luthor to duplicate one of his super stunts, which was to run around a room at superspeed including across the ceiling. As Luthor raced across the ceiling he the chain holding the Powerstone fell from about his neck and into Superman’s hands.
Because Superman did not wish for many true details of this incident of the Powerstone to be released, a semi-fictionalized account of how Luthor was defeated was depicted in the comic books.
Once again it was Lois who made Superman come to his sense. When he was untying her she asked him why he did not just rip the ropes apart as usual. He told her that Luthor had stolen his super strength. She told him that was ridiculous, he had just survived being thrown into a shaft and his clothes had been shredded by the sharp hooks that lined the walls of the shaft. If he had not retained his invulnerability he would have been slashed to death, since his invulnerability like his super strength was derived from his dense bone and muscle structure, his super strength could not be gone. She concluded that Luthor must have used the gem to hypnotize him.
When Superman realized that she was correct, the mental block faded. Luthor walked in on Lois and Superman as they were kissing. He was enraged. One of Alexi Luthor's primary motives in kidnapping Lois Lane several times was his infatuation with her. He was jealous of Superman on this account but believed until that moment at least that he could woo her away from Superman with his superior intellect.
Not knowing the full extent of the Powerstone's abilities, Superman did not want Luthor to know that he had recovered his super strength lest he try something else.
Superman allowed Luthor to toss him about but somersaulted and hooked his legs onto a pipe on the tall ceiling and hung upside down. He challenged Luthor to come and get him. Fortunately Luthor was by then worked up into such a rage that he was not thinking straight. He used the Powerstone's forcefield to jump at Superman, each bounce taking him higher and closer to Superman. He had increased the field about his feet and legs to give him extra bounce and made it thin about his upper torso so that he could feel his hands crush the life out of Superman. The conditions were thus right for Luthor to be taken totally off guard by one of Superman's full out punches to the face. Luthor flew back, smashed against a wall, bounced off, and slammed to the floor. The combination of the three terrific blows in quick succession to his thin forcefield was enough to stun Luthor.
While it would be nice to credit Superman for having anticipated this outcome, it was actually a combination of luck with Luthor's arrogance and desire at that moment to kill Superman that preventing him from using the Powerstone effectively. Had Luthor maintained his forcefield to it greatest depth, a protracted battle between Luthor and Superman would have raged. This was one of the main reasons that Superman had the writer of the comic story downplay the confrontation between him and Luthor, else Luthor or someone else get the bright idea to more effectively utilize the abilities of the gem.
While Luthor was stunned, Lois grabbed the Powerstone and ran away with it. Luthor's henchman pounced on her, and Superman jumped down to her aid. Luthor regained consciousness and pulled an emergency switch in the wall. A series of explosions sounded as incendiaries planted throughout the building ignited, setting the factory on fire. Superman and Lois ran to the cells where Luthor's prisoners were held. Superman freed them, and using a section of wall he carried everyone to safety.
Superman decided that the Powerstone was too powerful a weapon to be allowed to fall into the wrong hands and so told the Museum it had been destroyed in the factory fire. He actually took it to his Secret Citadel, which was then located in the Catskills. This most recent defeat of Alexi Luthor by Superman embittered him, especially when he had seen first hand that Lois Lane was wholly enthralled by the muscle-headed do-gooder, much like girls in school had gone for the athletes instead of the scholars.
Alexi Luthor, who once had defied his brother over useless killing, now planned to kill Superman, Lois Lane, and any inhabitant of New York who dared defy him.
In late January of 1942, the city of New York experienced a sudden heat wave of over one hundred degrees.
The Daily Planet sent Lois Lane and Clark Kent to investigate a mysterious occurrence at a farmer's field outside of Metropolis. Scorched into the field was a message, stating that the heat wave was not a natural event. New York was to be evacuated in 48 hours or anyone left in the city would be burned alive.
Although the comic book depiction shows the Daily Planet printing this story, they were requested by the Office of Censorship not to run it. The War Department was uncertain if this was an enemy attack or a hoax, but believed that the story would spark a panic. The city would be chaotic and difficult to defend should some attack be forthcoming.
Lois Lane received a note telling her that if she wished to learn what caused the heat wave to come to the edge of the Digby woods near Fellows Avenue. Once Lois arrived at the location she was held at gun point by two men. They lead her deeper into the woods and locked her in a steel-barred cage. The two men contacted Alexi Luthor on a radio unit, telling him that the reporter had been captured.
Luthor wanted Superman to come to her rescue so Luthor could dispose of his enemy once and for all.
The cage holding Lois was hoisted over a pit by a chain connected to a mechanism that slowly lowered the cage into the pit. Below her Lois could see a horde of hungry lions.
One of the henchman climbed a telephone pole and contacted the Daily Planet. Editor George Stevens refused to believe the story that Lois only had five minutes to live. Clark excused himself and ran as fast as he could to Lois' apartment. Letting himself in, which demonstrates how close their relationship was at that point, he discovered the note telling her to go to the Digby Woods. Superman ran as fast as he could and located Lois’ place of captivity. He arrived just as the cage to her door opened. Superman jumped down and fought the hungry lions. He knocked two of the lions unconscious and threw one out of the pit straight at one of the henchmen, who was firing at them. When the lions failed to dispose of Superman, the henchmen poured a vat of molten metal down the pit. Superman burrowed into the pit wall pulling Lois behind him. He burrowed up to the ground's surface.
The henchmen made a futile attempt to capture Superman. The air became hot and the ground began to smoke. Once of the henchmen shouted that Luthor had double crossed them. Concerned for Lois' safety, Superman picked her up in his arms and sprang as far away as he could. He returned to the area of the wood where the two henchmen should have been only to find a charred circular hole about a half of a mile in diameter.
The published record of this event in The Heat Horror (Superman 18, September-October 1942) depicts Clark Kent reading an item in the newspaper about an astronomer named Professor Glenn Calloway who claimed that a giant meteor had entered the solar system. Clark Kent went to visit Calloway on the off chance that the meteor was connected to the odd heat wave. Calloway showed Clark Kent the meteor, but Kent ascertained with a look that the meteor had nothing to do with the heatwave. What was left out of the published record was that Calloway had remarked on a possible side effect of the meteorite’s approach, that it had possibly caused an anomaly that Calloway’s telescope had picked up—an odd cloud formation or possibly a reflection of the meteor registering on the clouds
When Clark Kent visited Dr. Calloway and had viewed the object through his telescope. He also looked for the cloud anomaly. It looked like a stationary cloud formation but with odd protuberances.
As Clark Kent left the observatory was taken over by some of Luthor's men. They had been watching him and when Kent had gone to the observatory, they knew he was getting too close to the truth. They tied up Kent inside his car and then pushed it over a ravine into a lake below. Superman exited the car and swam away. He followed the henchmen's car to Luthor's current hideout.
In the published account of “The Heat Horror”, Superman discovered that Luthor had a rocket, which took off just as he arrived. Superman hitched a ride on the rocket, which traveled out of the stratosphere. The rocket's destination was an orbiting space station, which was built to resemble a meteor. The meteor was large enough to admit the rocket with ease.
The henchmen exited the rocket and reported to Luthor. Superman revealed himself and Luthor stopped him cold with a freeze ray. Luthor looked down on New York and saw that the city had not been evacuated. Three giant lenses slid out from the side of the artificial meteor and began to focus the sun’s energy on New York.
Superman recovered from the freeze ray, knocked out Luthor, and destroyed the lenses. Exiting into the vacuum of space, he sabotaged the artificial meteor so that it would fall back to earth. The falling meteor hit the rocket in which Luthor was escaping. Luthor, however, was seen escaping the wreckage of his rocket.
Professor Calloway would have realized that the meteor was not approaching the Earth but was in orbit and so would not have called it a meteorite but rather a new satellite. While Alexi Luthor may have had the inventive genius to develop both a rocket and an orbiting space station, to think that he could have done in a few months—with pre-World War II technology—feats that took the most brilliant minds in the world years to accomplish—defies belief. Even if he had based his rocket technology on Dr. Zharkov's designs, the building of the orbiting space station in a few months time is incredulous. What Luthor had created was ingenious, but it was not beyond the realm of contemporary science.
As for what did occur, Superman saw an autogyro departing with the henchmen on board and hitched a ride on it. The autogyro flew straight for an odd cloud formation. As the autogyro approached a cloud formation, Superman saw that it was not a cloud formation after all but three giant dirigibles. Each dirigible was completely white, circular, and had what appeared to be tubes jutting about their outer diameter. These were also painted white. The three dirigibles were tethered to one another, spread out like a large flower. Each of the dirigibles had a gondola, one of them very large. As the autogyro approached, a bay opened on one of the gondolas and the plane landed inside it.
Luthor spotted Superman almost immediately and shot him with what he believed to an improved version of the ray he had used on him before. Superman was affected by the ray, but not as much as he had been before. However, he acted as though he were paralyzed in order to learn Luthor’s plans.
Luthor intended for New York to be evacuated so he could loot the city without interference, following which he would destroy it. Since the city had not been evacuated as ordered, Luthor prepared to destroy it with the people still in it.
Superman noticed that the center ring of each of the circular dirigibles was composed of glass. The dirigible complex was kept hovering above New York City by a series of powerful air jets. When the three lenses were spread out in a flat design it created a heat ray that covered a wide area, which was rather weak but effective as it moderated the effects of winter by raising the temperature in a limited are by several degrees. When the lenses were placed in a stacked pattern, they created an intense beam of heat that could incinerate a small area, as Luthor had done in the Digby woods. Luthor ordered the dirigibles to hover above each other and the three rings of glass were positioned so that a beam of sunlight would be turned into a beam of deadly heat that would lance down to New York City and begin the process of incinerating it section by section.
Having heard enough of Luthor’s plans, Superman threw off the effects of Luthor's weaker ray, even to the point of ignoring another blast to wrench the device from Luthor's hand. Superman broke through the gondola's window and onto the skin of the dirigible; he began ripping the tethering cords out of the dirigibles and pulled them out of alignment, stopping the heat beam. He began punching holes in the skins of the dirigibles. One of Luthor's henchmen fired a gun at Superman, which caused one of the dirigibles to burst into flame as the hydrogen ignited. The falling burning dirigible clipped the autogyro in which Luthor was fleeing and the plane spun out of control towards the ground. Superman rode the sinking dirigibles to ground. Once on the ground he destroyed them by igniting the remaining hydrogen in the gasbags.
Alexi Luthor did survive the plane crash, but he was severely injured. It is fortunate that he happened to crash in upstate New York, not too distant from the complex that was dubbed the Crime College by Doc Savage’s biographers.
The Crime College had a staff of highly trained surgeons, so Alexi Luthor was saved from near death by their capable hands. He was recognized as Alexi Luthor and this information was relayed to Doc Savage. Doc Savage personally took charge of the operation to remove Alexi Luthor's criminal tendencies.
Doc removed Alexi's memories, as was the common practice, but believing that Alexi's natural genius could be beneficial for humanity he was extremely careful not to tinker with the cognitive sections of his brain.
Alexi graduated with honors from his rehabilitation program with the new name of Archimedes Goodman. Doc Savage felt that Alexi's past actions needed more redemption than other former criminals and so sent him to rectify a situation that his previous actions had caused.
Archimedes Goodman was sent to infiltrate occupied Yugoslavia, with the main goal of liberating the royal family of Lutha.
Although King Barney Custer had weathered Alexi Luthor's attempt to destabilize his country during the Toron-Calbia war, he could not hold back the German Army in 1941, when they occupied Yugoslavia as a means of securing their rear while advancing towards Russia. As it turns out their rear was anything but secure as partisan resistance developed.
After arriving in Lutha, Archimedes Goodman discovered that King Barney and Queen Emma were imprisoned by the Nazis and sentenced to death for crimes against the Aryan Peoples of Lutha. Archimedes Goodman organized a resistance group that freed the King and Queen. There was, however, a quick counter strike and Goodman had to decoy the Nazis away from the royal family. Using his gift for disguise, he pretended to be the King and allowed himself to be captured. He was tortured to reveal the location of the royal family. When he was near dead, the Nazis flung him into solitary confinement to die. Inexplicably he escaped from their prison.
For the remainder of the war, Archimedes Goodman was the leader of a partisan band that kept the Germans occupied and guarded the Royal Family of Lutha. His risky missions of espionage and sabotage had more success than failures. Because he was seen as a gambler he acquired the sobriquet Zar, which means “dice” in Romanian. Using forgotten skills, he often posed as a vagrant who eked out a meager living running a variation of the pea-and-cup monte game, he used a single die and paper cones. He also acquired the nickname Zarcon, “dice cone.”
His partisan band also had some displaced Greek Macedonians who thought that Zarcon meant Archon, which is Greek for “leader” or “prince.”
At the war's close, King Barney and Queen Emma remained alive, but barely so. Their children had been killed, including their daughter Gusta who, along with her husband Prince Michael of Graustark, had been executed by Titoist partisans near the end of the war. The royal line had only a twelve-year-old boy as heir.
Archimedes Goodman was involved with the post-war negotiations concerning the fate of the far-flung provinces of Lutha. Lutha did possess one commodity that was quite rare, its mountains contained a rare element that the United States felt needed be kept from Stalin. The independence of Lutha became a key point of the Yalta conference, with Stalin pushing for it to be absorbed into the Federation of Yugoslavia under Tito.
In the end Lutha was able to retain the provinces of Lutha and Noventia, but Calbia and Toron were absorbed by Yugoslavia. Lutha also had to pay a yearly tax to the Federation of Yugoslavia, and was placed under the condition that should the royal family die out, the kingdom would revert to the Federation of Yugoslavia.
King Barney installed Archimedes Goodman, who was also known as Archon Zar and Zarcon, to the throne of the vacated Principality of Noventia and appointed him Prince Regent. Prince Zarkon was regent of Lutha until 1954 when Prince George reached his maturity.
After George's coronation, Prince Zarkon announced he was going to travel. His yacht was lost off the coast of Australia, or so it was believed. He turned up a year later floating in a raft off the coast of Pohnpei. He was tanned, in very good health, and seemed to be years younger.
Prince Zarkon stated that he had been the only survivor of his yacht and had been fortunate enough to land on a small island. He eventually built a raft to escape from the island.
Only a few people would learn that truth about the missing year of Prince Zarkon's life.
He and his crew were slated to die when the yacht sank. Instead they found themselves brought forward to the future, the far future—one million years in the future.
The earth was a nearly a dead world. Life was almost extinct. "Unbridled pollution of air and water, uncontrolled wastage of natural resources, endless millennia of warfare and ecological depletion had left the Earth exhausted, sterile, very nearly uninhabitable."
A domed city in the arctic named Polarion was the only remaining inhabited city on Earth. Polarion was ruled by the Great Brains, a collection of computer intelligences. These computer intelligences had once been men whose great intellects had been uploaded into an artificial intelligence matrix.
Beyond this last remnant of civilization were savage humans and animals, most of which were diseased and prone to genetic abnormalities. Although the Great Brains of Polarion possessed prodigious skills in medicine, genetic enhancement, and biological modification, most of the inhabitants outside of the dome of Polarion were affected with a genetic virus that would have necessitated completely debugging every cell in the body. This was beyond even the Great Brains’ abilities.
The Great Brains tried to emulate the Arisians who had previously guided mankind through their earliest years. When the Arisians left the galaxy in the 30th Century, they left their guardianship of the galaxy to mankind. Yet even without Eddorian interference or influence mankind had failed to conquer its less savory attributes and once again became a violent, conquering force in the galaxy.
In the late 32nd Century a despot by the name of Killer Kane had successfully been revived from a millennial slumber. He launched a sneak attack on the small core of Lensmen who were all that remained of the Galactic Patrol. The Patrol had become complacent from nearly six hundred years of peace and Kane exterminated them. The immortal Kane ruled the galaxy with an iron fist for six millennia until a successful rebellion by the outer worlds drove his forces back to Earth. Earth became the final battleground and was devastated by the war. Kane disappeared and his empire fell.
Earth was kept in isolation and left to its own devices. Kane had used the Earth savagely, bleeding it dry of resources and poisoning it with various forms of pollution from his great factories. One theory was that he was punishing the Earth for having cursed him with long life. In the final battles against Kane the infrastructure of Earth's civilization, including Kane's great factories, had been destroyed.
The Great Brains guided the remnant of humanity that remained free of disease and genetic malformation. They also sought solutions to reclaim and redeem the Earth.
In their attempts to reclaim the earth, they used one of the few time travel devices that remained after the scourging of Earth. They saved people who were recorded lost in disasters and brought them forward to the future to restock the genetic pool of humanity. From these saved people they also selected certain individuals who they believed could aid them in their most ambitious plan to redeem the earth.
The select individuals became their agents and were given biological modifications, and training in various technologies, sciences, and arts and sent back to past to steer the world away from the historical path that led to the devastated world of Polarion. Although the Great Brains’ research indicated that time was immutable, that any action that they took in this direction was futile, and that history would resume its course despite temporal interference, they hoped that with enough temporal agents in the past changing things for the better that the Polarion would disappear and a better world take its place. A similar theory posited that each action that diverged history created an alternate timeline so despite their agents’ efforts Polarion would continue to exist in at least one timeline. The Great Brains decided that even if this were the case, the effort would be worth making since their actions could reduce the number of timelines fated to become like Polarion.
In giving the man called Archon, or Zarkon by some, his modifications, they noticed previous brain damage that they repaired as a course of action. This of course was the brain surgery given to Alexi Luthor to cure him of his criminal tendencies. And so once this was corrected Archimedes Goodman recovered his lost memories of being Alexi Luthor. The Great Brains biosculpted his musculature to have more strength, stamina, and endurance. After returning his body to the physical state of prime maturity, they slowed down his aging process. In addition to having made adjustments to his sensory system, they modified his body so that like all of the inhabitants of Polarion he could draw sustenance and energy from solar radiation. At least one of the modifications to the eyes was necessary, as were the adjustments to his skin. These modifications were received by every person brought forth from the past. Most of the harsh solar radiation was filtered through the dome of Polarion, but even so the lack of an ozone layer made the level of solar radiation ultimately fatal for any person from the past without the modification to their skin or eyes.
As a result of these latter treatments Alexi Luthor's eye color were changed to jet black and his skin took on a tawny bronze color.
One might have expected Alexi Luthor, upon recovering his memories, to immediately set about taking over the city and using the time-travel capabilities of the Great Brains to dominate the world. However like many people who had lost their memories and lived for years as another person, when Alexi regained his memory he did not revert to the person he had been but was horrified at who he had been. Seeing the horror of the world about him, he realized that had Doc Savage not stopped him, he very well could have helped bring about a world such as this future Earth.
He considered Alexi Luthor to have died in the plane crash after his use of the heat ray weapon and chose to use the name given to him by the people of Noventia, Prince Zarkon.
Prince Zarkon embraced his new role as an agent of the Great Brains of Polarion. He soaked up the knowledge that they taught him.
His one eccentricity was that he discovered that he missed his gray eye color and took to dressing in gray. He also started wearing a gray wig, realizing that this would make him instantly noticeable. It would also lessen the chance that anyone would recognize him as Alexi Luthor. Doc Savage's organization or Justice Inc. were, he realized, ideal organizations for working towards the goals that the Great Brains wished to accomplish. He planned to start such a group and work with Doc Savage or Richard Benson to prevent the world of Polarion from coming into being.
Since history recorded that Prince Zarkon had eventually turned up alive from the yacht wreck, the Great Brains evidently returned him to his own era. He was their thousandth agent, with one agent being paced every thousand years between the 20th century and the current era in Polarion.
After spending only a few weeks back in Noventia after his rescue, Prince Zarkon departed from his adopted country for the United States.
Arriving in the United States in 1956, Prince Zarkon immediately discovered that Doc Savage's organization and Justice Inc. had been disbanded or at least were no longer publicly fighting evil. Prince Zarkon set about setting up his own organization, but he had decided to use people who needed a second chance or a new life.
The first person he chose was a man he came across by chance while looking at abandoned buildings for possible sites of his headquarters. In one of the Brownstones he was interested in purchasing lived a derelict. Prince Zarkon recognized the man as a wanted felon, although it was hard to imagine him as being of any danger to anyone.
Yet this derelict had once been the villain known as the Wizard and had worked with the likes of Vandal Savage, The Thinker, and others to bring terror to America. The man was an addict, deep into heroin when he could get it, otherwise he drank himself into a stupor with cheap wine. He was both pleased and paranoid that Zarkon had recognized him. He claimed that he had to hide out because Superman was actively looking for him. The Wizard had wrought a spell that had sent Superman away for a year and Superman was still angry about that. Zarkon bought him a meal, and when the man began to fall into a slumber Zarkon hypnotized him to discover not only why he had become a derelict but why he had turned to crime in the first place.
Despite whatever alias he may have used while being the Wizard, his real name was Nicolas Naldini and he had once been a stage magician of some renown under the name of Mephisto the Marvelous. He had been a friend and rival of Houdini, Merlini, Dante and Norgil. He had married his assistant and they had a wonderful little girl. At the height of his fame and happiness, it was all taken away from him. His wife and daughter died in a train accident and he worked through his depression with booze and cocaine. Yet these addictions and the effects of the drugs led him to become an unreliable performer and eroded his skills. With his reputation as a magician destroyed, Naldini turned to gambling with crooked cards and using his escape-artist skills to pick pockets or crack safes. He had assumed the guise of the costumed villain the Wizard to use his skills of prestidigitation and legerdemain. Yet he had been continually beaten by costume vigilantes and imprisoned. Once out of prison he became an addict and drunkard once again but in a worse state than before.
Using psychological techniques learned in the far future, Zarkon treated Naldini. Naldini confronted his demons, ended his addiction, and was once again filled with a desire to rehabilitate himself. Naldini agreed to use whatever time he had left to help Prince Zarkon. Prince Zarkon revealed that he was from a dystopian future that megalomaniac supervillains, like the Wizard, would bring about unless they were defeated. Once Zarkon was certain of Naldini's devotion to the Omega organization, Zarkon began treating his disease of old age and rejuvenated Naldini to the physical peak of his thirties.
Zarkon heard of another possible member of his organization, Mendel Lowell Parker, a contemporary of Edison and Steinmetz who lay dying in a hospital of a wasting disease. Prince Zarkon performed a delicate operation on his brain and spine, conquering the seemingly incurable disease. He interviewed Parker at length several times before deciding that he too would make a good team member. He then gave him the rejuvenation treatment.
The third member of Zarkon's team was found in a mental institution, he was a large hulking brute who was asocial yet overly communicative. He would repeat verbatim conversations and portions of written works. Zarkon visited him and discovered that Theophilus Jenkins had the ability to instantly recall anything he had ever seen or heard. His problem was in learning how to process this information cognitively. Getting Jenkins released into his custody, Zarkon designed a program of mental exercises that allowed Jenkins to process and use the information he absorbed, making him to all intents and purposes a human computer.
Since Jenkins was still a young man, Zarkon did not need to give him the rejuvenation process.
The fourth member of Zarkon's team was Jimmy "Speedy" Shannon. Shannon was an auto mechanic and amateur race car driver who had been seduced by a young lady into taking part in a bank robbery as the driver. When he discovered that the leader of the bank-robbing gang was going to kill him rather than pay him off, Jimmy killed him in self defense. Zarkon arranged for Shannon to get an early parole.
The fifth member of Zarkon's team was a judo expert, crack shot, and pilot named Pussy Galore. She had previously worked for Auric Goldfinger but had worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to thwart Goldfinger's Fort Knox scheme.
Menlo Parker was instantly and deeply attracted to Pussy and feverishly learned karate and judo so he could spar with her.
Zarkon converted an entire block of brownstone houses into a fortified complex specially equipped to fight evil. He also purchased as the property of the Luthan embassy a small island in the Hudson River, which was equipped with a private airfield. This airfield was purchased from Patricia Savage Hazzard.
As a resident dignitary Prince Zarkon easily obtained membership in some of the most exclusive clubs in the country, including the Cobalt Club. Since the Cobalt Club was a gathering place for costumed vigilantes in their everyday guises, it is unknown how many of the members were cognizant of the other's secret identities or if the vigilantes were just drawn to this place because they sensed kindred spirits inside. It is unknown if any of these members knew Prince Zarkon's true name.
It is rather unfortunate that the earliest cases of Prince Zarkon and the Omega organization have not been declassified and released to the public.
In it known that in 1965 Prince Zarkon and his Omega Crew clashed with Zandor Sinestro for the first time. According to Nemesis of Evil, at that time Sinestro was a respected scientist who went bad and tried to blackmail the United States with a stolen H- bomb.
Although this criminal whom Zarkon fought did use the first name of Zandor, he did not use the last name of Sinestro. This was Zarkon’s biographer Lin Carter's joking method of pointing out the medium where the villain, under another name, was most likely to be found. Sinestro was one of the main villains of the silver age comic book version of The Green Lantern, who in real life was a sadly deranged man. The name Lucifer is also a bit of a clue as to the real last name of the villain. It denotes evil and it resembles to some extent the name the villain was most known under.
The real name of Zandor Sinestro was Zandor Lampe, but this too was an alias, for Lex Luthor. This Lex Luthor was Alexi Luthor's successor, Alexander Wainwright Luthor. Alexander Wainwright Luthor had set up a number of legitimate identities, one of which was Zandor Lampe.
In 1964 Alexander Wainwright had tried to reshape the coasts of the United States using atomic bombs and an earthquake machine. Although he was thwarted, his efforts did trigger an Alaskan earthquake. He was sentenced to prison for a long time. He escaped after a few months and disappeared. Knowing that if he surfaced Superman would fall on him like a ton of bricks, he began using one of his false, but seemingly legitimate identities, and took a job at a research laboratory. One of his colleagues recognized him and tried to blackmail him. Although Alexander Wainwright Luthor killed the blackmailer, the blackmailer actually had left a note to be opened in case of his death urging told the police to investigate Zandor Lampe.
Feeling that this legitimate cover was blown, Alexander Wainwright Luthor assembled a criminal gang using the Zandor Lampe identity so as not to trigger any interest by Superman or bounty hunters. One of the members of the gang was a biochemist from Indochina, but of immigrant Chinese parents. His name as Chang Ching. Ching sold his services to the Diem government, using various plagues to cut down the Hmong population, he also worked for the Viet Mihn and the Chinese. He was forced to flee when his triple loyalties were discovered. He took refuge as an illegal alien in the United States. How he met Zandor Lampe remains unknown.
Two other members of Zandor Sinestro's gang were African nationalists using the names Mongo and Simba. Mongo is a Yoruban name meaning “famous.” Simba is a Swahili name meaning “lion,” which was a common name for an African revolutionary to take during this time period. In Carter's written account the two Africans seem to come across as something like stereotypical guards of a Sultan or a pulp-fiction villain. Zandor calls them his Nubians, which tends to reinforce this formulaic depiction. They were hired as bodyguards for Zandor Sinestro, but they wore military style clothing underneath their ceremonial robes. Zandor called them Nubians because this is what they called themselves. They were part of a Pan-African movement that believed in an antiquarian prehistoric Nubian Empire as the source of civilization.
Using a powerful aesthetic gas created by Ching, Lampe's gang invaded a missile silo and hijacked a hydrogen bomb. While Zandor Lampe certainly could have built a hydrogen bomb, he chose to steal one because by doing so he would establish credibility with the government once he asked for a ransom. If he had just built one and then asked for money chances are he would have been treated as a crank. Besides it was easier to steal one that to make one.
Zarkon and the Omega Crew defeated Zandor Lampe. Jimmy Shannon's quick thinking and superior driving skills were able to stop Zandor and Ching's escape.
Almost immediately after this case Prince Zarkon had to return to Lutha to act as a diplomat. He was a third-party arbiter in the renewal of the agreement between Tito and the small Kingdom of Symkaria. Lutha had to agree to be responsible for Symkaria's upkeep and security. Symkaria would receive no aid from the Federation of Yugoslavia.
Zandor Lampe had been sent to prison for life but had died in prison of a heart aliment after serving only two months.
Nick Naldini had examined the corpse and ascertained that the body was of Lampe and that he was dead. Ching escaped from prison.
In 1967 Jimmy Shannon received a birthday card, which when opened released deadly fungal spores. He died alone in his room.
Pussy Galore had been thinking about leaving the Omega Crew for some time. Menlo Parker's obsession with her had become bothersome to her. She had explained to him that there could never be any type of relationship between them, but he persisted, thinking she was playing hard to get. She had also become quite fond of Jimmy Shannon, in a sisterly way, and his death brought home just how easily she could lose her other new friends. So leaving only a note to Prince Zarkon, Pussy Galore departed from the Omega Crew.
Embittered by her rejection and sudden departure, Menlo Parker became a dedicated misogynist.
During one of his periodic jail escapes, Lex Luthor as the supposedly dead Zandor Lampe infiltrated the Brotherhood of Lemurian Wisdom and rose through the ranks to take it over, naming himself Lucifer. He used it as a money-making scam and also used the cult as a means of gaining control over prominent people foolish enough to join the cult. Also by using various chemical concoctions created by Ching he was able to persuade people to join the Brotherhood. He came to see this as a long range plan to place cultists in positions of power and thus create a shadow empire.
Over the next few years, between prison sentences, Luthor expanded the Brotherhood, and established a secret lair inside Mount Shasta.
In an odd twist of fate, in 1968 Prince Zarkon impersonated Lex Luthor. Making arrangements with prison authorities Zarkon entered prison as Lex Luthor and was put in a cell with a dimwitted henchmen of Lex Luthor's with the unlikely and hilarious name of Otis Otis. Zarkon planned to have Otis lead him to Luthor's lair and or Luthor's cache of secret weapons. Zarkon and Otis had just broken out of jail using holograms and a hot air balloon when the crisis of the escaped Phantom Zone criminals arose.
Zarkon was contacted and asked to continue the ploy of being Luthor to meet with and stall the Phantom Zone criminals until Superman could arrive to apprehend them.
Zarkon intercepted the Kryptonians when they arrived in New York. Pretending to be Lex Luthor he acted shocked that they had never heard of him. He made the point that he had heard of them from their previous escapes from the Phantom Zone, although never as a group. Yet they had never heard of him…the greatest criminal mind in the history of mankind. Ursa wanted to emasculate and then kill him. Zarkon played along with the plan, claiming that he could take away Superman's powers without killing him. Zod and Jax-ur restrained Ursa. Ursa seemed to acquiesce but then turned to Otis and burnt him to a cinder with her heat vision. Zarkon was shocked and saddened by this brutal act. Zarkon's visible shock pleased Ursa.
As Zarkon began his long, complicated explanation of how to take away Superman's powers, the four villains were suddenly confronted by Superman. Each of the villains was engaged by Superman in individual combat. Most people believed that Superman was moving at such a great speed that he appeared to be time fuguing. Against General Zod Superman used beams that shot from his hands, a power he had not previously demonstrated. Despite the four-to-one odds, Superman and the four Kryptonian villains were evenly matched. New York suffered a great deal of damage in the super battle until Lex spotted Lois Lane on the outskirts of the battle. He mentioned to Faora Hu-Ul that Superman's girlfriend was nearby and she could be used a hostage to end the stalemate.
Faora Hu-Ul took Lois Lane captive. Superman had to give himself up unless he wanted Lois to die. Superman stopped fighting all four villains simultaneously. The one who had been fighting Zod was the only one of super figures to remain.
General Zod demanded that Luthor use his machine to make Superman powerless. Luthor stated that he needed the technology inside the Fortress of Solitude to do so. Only Superman knew the location and the way to get inside. Luthor suggested leaving Jax-ur and Faora Hu-Ul to hold New York City hostage and to bring Lois Lane as a hostage to make Superman open the Fortress.
Zod agreed to this stratagem. Inside the Fortress Luthor revealed that the technology was not actually his but that of Jor-El; Lex had discovered it on a previous visit to the Fortress. Zod thought it appropriate that Jor-El would be the instrument of his son's death. The Kryptonians forced Superman to work with Luthor to prepare the molecular reconstructor. Superman whispered to Luthor that the Phantom Zone criminals would dispose of Luthor as soon as Superman was dead. If Luthor helped Superman to defeat the Zone criminals, Superman would make certain Luthor would get a light prison sentence. All Luthor had to do was to convince them that they would be safe from the molecular reconstructor if they stepped into a into the crystal cage.
Luthor immediately told Zod Superman was trying to pull a fast one. Zod approved of Luthor’s loyalty, especially since he had heard the whole conversation due to his super-hearing. They put Superman into the chamber he had tried to maneuver them. Luthor gloated that he was finally going to end the career of his greatest enemy. Zod commanded him to stop. He demanded Luthor show him how to work the device and tossed him to the other side of the room with Lois.
Zod worked the controls. The chamber in which Superman was imprisoned glowed a bright red and Superman screamed in agony. Lights began to flash all through the room. Ursa looked around and saw that Luthor and Lois had vanished. The rooms flashed another color. Ursa screamed. General Zod, Ursa, and Non were back in the Phantom Zone.
There was not a molecular reconstructor…it was all an elaborate ploy to get the villains back into the Zone without further bloodshed.
"Luthor" and "Lois" stepped back out into the main chamber as Superman freed himself from the crystal chamber. Lois was actually Kara Kent in disguise. She looked enough like her mother to pass as her even at the age of fifteen.
"Luthor's" betrayal of Superman was of course all part of the scheme…as Superman would not had made the mistake of trusting Luthor or thinking that he could whisper to Lex without the other Kryptonians hearing him.
Jax-Ur and Faora Hu-Ul had been captured and returned to the Phantom Zone as soon as the Zod and the others left New York.
In 1967 Prince Zarkon and the Omega Crew were called to the Okeefenokee swamp to investigate tales of a monster. This case has never been declassified because Zarkon and his men discovered that Okeefenokee was one of the few places in the world which had a portal into that other reality called the Tooniverse. They discovered a group of Toons inhabiting the swamp on both realities. The monster of the swamp however turned out to be the creature known as the Heap, formerly the Baron von Emmelmann. 
In 1968 while Zarkon was investigating an insurance fraud perpetrated upon the families of men serving in Viet Nam, he made the acquaintance of a washed out pilot named Frances Harrington, the son of distinguished ace Hop Harrington. Francis Harrington had accidentally shot down one of his own flying squadron. To make matters worse, it was the brother of the woman whom Harrington had loved. Harrington was suicidal when Zarkon met him, but Zarkon was able to talk Harrington into joining the Omega Crew as a means of redemption.
A few months later Zarkon also recruited Scorchy Muldoon, a professional bantam-weight fighter whose anger had led him to kill an opponent in the ring. He too was offered redemption by joining the Omega Crew.
In the later part of 1969, fantasy and science fiction author Lin Carter became embroiled in one of the cases of the Omega Crew. Although Carter did not release details of the case, we have ascertained that it had to do with the lost Khymer city of Arangkor and involved keeping Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge from finding it. A small band of Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge had forcibly recruited a number of people from the city of Lodidhapura. As a bribe for the promise of Lodidhapura being left alone, some of the Lodidhapurans had told the Khmer Rouge about fabulous and mysterious Arangkor. Lin Carter contacted Prince Zarkon when the Khmer Rouge began making incursions near Arangkor. Prince Zarkon and his Omega Crew were able to defeat the Khmer Rouge with mercy bullets. They were hypnotized to forget the city. Zarkon and the Omega Crew, along with Malcolm Jerrolds, began to systematically destroy the trails leading to Arangkor. Jerrolds vowed to die rather than reveal the one path left to Arangkor.
The hypnotized Khmer Rouge band was discovered by a group of fighters from the lost city of Pnom Dhek, led by their King, Beng King. In retaliation for capturing Lodidhapurans and forcing them into their ranks, the Khmer Rouge were killed to a man. This was also to keep secret the locations of Lodidhapura and Pnom Dhek.
Pol Pot, however, had received a report that the city of Arangkor had been found. His patrols found Malcolm Jerrolds lurking about in the jungle in 1973. Nothing more was heard from Jerrolds. No more manuscripts ever made their way into Lin Carter's hands, so it seems that Arangkor is once again lost.
In August of 1970 Prince Zarkon was contacted by millionaire publisher Robert Russell Ryan to investigate the death of one of his reporters. The reporter had been looking into the mysterious occult organization known as the Brotherhood of Lemurian Wisdom.
This investigation would have Zarkon confront his old foe Zandor Lampe (Sinestro) /Alexander Wainwright Luthor. Zarkon learned that Luthor had co-opted this cult and was using it as a money making scheme through fraud, contributions from duped followers, and the more lucrative rackets of extortion. He was also able to gain the confidence and trust of some wealthy and influential men who joined the cult seeking personal gain.
Zarkon and his men tracked Zandor to his secret lair in the ancient lava tubes of Mount Shasta. Robert Ryan Russell was revealed to have been an active member of the cult who had attempted to sabotage the investigation. He died of a fall during the course of the adventure. When Zarkon confronted Zandor in Zandor's laboratory, Zandor's ceremonial robe caught fire and he became a flaming human torch. Enveloped in flame, Sinestro fled from Zarkon. An explosion rocked the laboratory as Zandor's body ignited some combustibles.
Zarkon and his men captured Zandor's men and allowed the series of explosions to destroy Zandor's lair. Ching was captured and returned to prison. Mongo, one of the two Nubian bodyguards employed by Zandor, was killed. Simba escaped, however, surfaced a few years later as the right hand man of Colonel Kojah as part of an organization known as the People's Army. The Peoples Army was an even more militant paramilitary group than were the Black Panthers. Under General Ahmed they literally drove organized crime and drug leaders out of their neighborhoods in Oakland and South Central Los Angeles by the use of armed force. Colonel Kojah, aided by Simba, led a coup and ousted General Ahmed. Once in power, however, Colonel Kojah began to use the armed might of the People's Army to fill the void that organized crime had left. General Ahmed led a counter coup, resulting in the death of Colonel Kojah. Rather than face the people’s justice, Simba fled Oakland and returned to New York. He became part of Tommy Gibbs, the Black Godfather's, organization. When Zandor was setting up his organization in New York, he discovered that Simba was there as well and hired him back.
Three weeks after this second encounter with Sinestro, Zarkon was asked to investigate the mysterious death of Jerred Streiger. The investigation revealed that some wealthy men had received notes that told them to sign over their controlling interests in various businesses to a bank account. If they did not they would die. The notes were signed the Grim Reaper. The search for the Grim Reaper took the Omega Crew to Chinatown, where the insidious Choy Lown Tong had been resurrected to carry out criminal acts. The criminal mastermind was a young man who felt he had been cheated. He used his knowledge of Chinatown and his expertise at radio and microwave technology to create a weapon that could induce death without physically touching the victim.
Between September 1970 and April 1971, Prince Zarkon and his Omega Crew worked on three cases, the details of which were not provided to Lin Carter. As of yet we have not been able to gain access to read the files, but we were allowed to peek at the folders and caught a glimpse of the names given to the case files.
Omega Case 14 was called The Doom Goblet
Omega Case 15 was The Media Master
Omega Case 16 was The Green Shadow
Although the names seem intriguing, we unfortunately do not have any details as to what they might have been about.
One of these cases was probably about the Omega Crew's visit to South America to help some poor villagers destroy a man killing monster. Zarkon and his men discovered an ancient city of Mayans.
In April of 1971 Prince Zarkon was contacted by the richest man on the small pacific Island of Ranatoa, who tried to hire him for the princely sum of seven hundred and thirty nine dollars. The “rich” native wished him to investigate a monster made of lava who was killing and terrorizing the natives. As the Omega Crew began their investigation they also learned that a well regarded mining engineer working for the firm of Pacific Mining and Minerals had disappeared as well. The heiress of Pacific Mining and Minerals had come to investigate this disappearance on her own. The missing engineer was her fiancee.
The Volcano Ogre was the product of science rather than of supernatural origins. The Volcano Ogre intended to drive everyone off the island so that he could obtain complete control of a large meteor of radium. For reasons we will not dwell on, Miss Mulligan broke her engagement to the mining engineer who was discovered very much alive. The heiress Phoenicia Mulligan would become over the next few years an unofficial member of the Omega team.
There is once again a gap in the published record of Prince Zarkon's adventures.
From May of 1971 to June 1978 there aren't any published records as to what adventures he and the Omega Crew were involved in. 
However diligent research has uncovered a few instances of their investigations.
September 1971 Doctor Zarkon was asked by a prostitute to investigate the sudden violent deaths of several prostitutes which the police had chalked up to a particularly sadistic pimp. The Omega Crew's investigation triangulated the murders as having occurred among three different areas where prostitutes congregated. Although the girls in each area had been very watchful, they had not seen the man who had taken the other working girls. One thing that piqued Zarkon's interest was that each of the areas had reported being approached by a female client. Zarkon's client told him with some embarrassment that it was unusual but not that unusual. Some girls preferred female clients, there was less chance of getting disease and no chance of getting pregnant. With this mad killer running loose, girls who would not normally take female johns might do so to avoid the crazy man. Zarkon trailed the woman after she had picked up a prostitute. The woman and the prostitute walked a short distance and got into a limo. The limo was registered to Dr. Hess Green. Having an odd feeling that this was the killer he trailed the limo and had his other members keep an eye on the car as well.
Zarkon knew who Dr. Hess Green was and had met him a few times. Dr. Hess Green was a renowned authority on anthropology and geology specializing in pre-historic Africa and pre-colonized Africa, his earliest work on the Ebone tribe  had made his name a household word among archaeologists. His follow up work on Nyumbani and the historicity of Imaro was even better received. However his "Evidences of the Prehistoric Komali Cult in Modern Central Africa" was highly controversial for it claimed that several supposedly lost cities depicted by a fiction writer did in fact exist. To make matters worse, as one reviewer put it, "this writer's novels depicted a white supremacist lording it up over the natives of Africa. If that was not bad enough Green claimed that the purported lion cult was derived from a cult existing on Mars and had been brought here by Ancient travelers from Mars." Dr. Green claimed that his investigation into ancient Black civilization of Myrthia would substantiate his claim.
While trailing the limo Zarkon talked to Doc Jenkins and discovered that Dr. Green had recently gotten married to a Ganja Meda. Ganja's husband Dr. George Meda had been one of Hess' assistants on the field study of the lost civilization of Myrthia but he had recently disappeared under mysterious circumstances. 
After the prostitute entered the home of Dr. Green, Zarkon began knocking on the door. When there was not any answer, The Omega Crew broke inside. Dr. Green and his wife were taking turns drinking the blood of the prostitute.
In this instance mercy bullets would have had no effect so Prince Zarkon and the Omega Crew had to physically restrain and capture Dr. Green and his wife. Dr. Green had been infected with a form of vampirism from an ancient Myrthian dagger. He had passed this onto his wife. They had killed their victims so as not to infect anyone else.
Prince Zarkon sent Dr. Green and Ganja Green to the Crime College, Doc Savage's facility to rehabilitate criminals. One of the consultants called into attempt a cure of the Greens was Dr. Anton Zarnak.
Although Ganja Hess was cured and released in the mid-seventies, her resemblance to Janet Lawson, a divorcee who became engaged to Lamont Sanford was probably purely coincidental.
Dr. Hess Green's cure continued to be elusive. He escaped from custody briefly in early 1990 and roamed the streets of Brooklyn. He was captured with the aid of an undercover New York police officer. A film version of these events was drastically distorted.
Prince Zarkon and Anton Zarnak's paths crossed in 1974.
In 1970 Anton Zarnak traveled to Venice, California to investigate the rumor that Frankenstein's Monster, Dracula and the Wolf Man had all been engaged in nefarious activities there. All of the action was over by the time he arrived. He discovered that the wolf man had just been a mentally deficient old man named Groton who had been given drugs to turn him violent. Although Groton did bear an odd resemblance to an older Larry Talbot. The Doctor who had drugged Groton was named Dr. Dr. Durray. At first Zarnak thought this might be the mysterious Dr. Peter Drury but after examination of the corpse, he realized that this was Dr. Lorenzo Cameron, Peter Drury's brother. Peter Drury and Lorenzo Cameron were members of the notorious Frankenstein family, their original names had been Praetorious Frankentein and Hermes Frankenstein but their mother had changed their name to Durrie after she had divorced their father.
Zarnak learned that one of Dracula's lesser soul clones had been revived by Dr. Durrie. Dr. Durrie had some measure of control over the Dracula soul clone, at first. Dr. Durrie wished Dracula's expertise in occult matters to help him revive a corpse so he could carry on the legacy of the Frankensteins. Since Durrie would not allow Dracula to leave and hunt for prey, Durrie provided the vampire with sustenance by having Groton kill people on the beach on Venice. As Dracula gained power however Durrie's hold over him faded.
Accounts vary as to what happened. The revived Frankenstein killed or destroyed the Dracula soul clone which started a fire in which all of the culprits were killed or destroyed. Dr. Durrie died of smoke inhalation.
Zarnak had an idea of what Durrie had used to control Dracula but found no evidence of it. He wondered if it had been destroyed in the fire.
In late 1973 one of Phoenicia Mulligan's school chums disappeared. She had had been living in Los Angeles trying to break into the film business, under an assumed name, since her father was already a well regarded film director. After Phoenicia began to investigate the case, she too disappeared.
In early 1974 Prince Zarkon went to California to see if he could find Phoenicia. The Omega Crew were slightly surprised that Zarkon had gone off on his own but he sometimes investigated matters by himself when he thought a whole crew would bring too much attention. Once California, Zarkon disguised himself by doffing his wig and wearing street clothes of the period.
Since mainstream films were seemingly closed to her Phoenicia's friend had decided to enter the now legitimized pornographic film industry. To find her Phoenicia had pretended to be interested in pursuing a career in this industry as well. Zarkon became very worried about Phoenicia; he was one of the few people that knew that the Mob still controlled much of the pornographic film industry.
Zarnak was only partially relieved to discover that in this particular case the pornographic films were not Mob owned or operated. Instead a religious cult was using pornography as a means of finance and as a conduit to the drug culture to attract more members. The pornography ring and the religious cult were located in Venice, California.
The cult called itself the Seti Fellowship at its center was a man named Anton Keram. Zarkon allowed himself to be persuaded to attend one of the Fellowship's parties which was held at a large house in Venice. Most of the party's attendees were lured there by the prospect of wine, beer, drugs and sex. Anton Keram was a short but powerfully built man who walked about with a wolf's head cane as a seeming affectation, despite being dressed in a swimming suit. Zarkon was surprised when he caught Keram's reflection in a glass window or rather Keram's lack of reflection. Zarkon did this three times to ascertain that he was not just seeing things. All the people around Keram showed up but Keram did not. Zarkon then noticed that the house did not have any mirrors. He realized that he was dealing with something beyond his experience and possibly truly supernatural. He contacted Anton Zarnak in San Francisco. Upon hearing of this cane, Zarnak flew to Venice.
Zarnak believed that Keram was some sort of supernatural creature but was not certain what kind. The sex and drugs seemed to be the indication of some sort of succubus who fed on pleasure yet Seti was a god of death and destruction so the sex and drugs could be a lure to bring in victims who would be used in some sort of sacrifice.
Zarnak felt that caution was in order until they were certain what they were dealing with. Zarnak would concentrate on Keram, Zarkon would concentrate on discovering the whereabouts of Phoenicia and her friend. Zarkon pretended to be a young tough on the rise interested in taking part in the pornographic industry. Becoming friendly with Worm, one of Keram's close companions, Zarkon asked what happened to girls who changed their minds about working in the cult's films. He speculated to Worm that they were narcotized into submission but guessed there might be a market for making films with reluctant girls. Zarkon told Worm that he would be willing to break these girls on camera if it would mean getting into better films.
Worm told Zarkon that the Master had not thought about making rape films but this was a good idea. Without consulting Keram, Worm, Zarkon and a small film crew went to a small house off the beach in Venice. The nearest other building was a burnt down House of Horrors. Zarkon noticed that several of the guards looked like they had been in a fight all having black eyes, broken nose and split lips.
Seeing this Worm quickly made a survey of the house and angrily began beating one of the guards. The guards had allowed several of the girls to escape, including the one that the Master had truly desired. Zarkon asked the distracted Worm if she had been a platinum blonde with an eye popping figure and received an affirmative nod from a puzzled Worm.
Zarkon realized that Phoenicia had allowed herself to captured and then overpowered the guards. Quickly rendering Worm, the guards and the camera crew unconscious with adhiti nerve pinches Zarkon called the police and left the house.
He headed down the beach but the tide had washed away Phoenicia's trail as she had intended.
As Zarkon ran down the beach he heard splashes behind him. A voice told him to stop and keep his hands outstretched.
He saw a large African-American man in a business suit running down the beach after him. He was carrying a .45 magnum extended in a shooter's grip.
The man told him to start marching back to the house so he could join his other friends.
Zarkon asked if he were a police officer and to show some identification.
The man told him he was a private cop making a citizen's arrest and the gun was the only identification he needed.
Zarkon decided to stop wasting time. He spun kicked the gun from the private detective's hand. The private detective sprung back into a defensive posture. He was well versed in Judo and Karate. He gave Zarkon an impressive workout… for about a minute. After making certain that Shep Stone, from his identification, was laying on his back and away from the tide, Zarkon began hurrying down the beach.
Zarkon discovered Phoenicia about three miles up the beach, she was carrying one girl in her arms, urging another who was staggering and lurching in a half trot to run. Another girl clung to Phoenicia with her arm thrown around Phoenicia's neck, Phoenicia held her up as best as she could. Zarkon hurried up to catch them. Phoenicia spun, dislodging the girl hanging onto her, her spin kick would have caught Zarkon in the groin had he not supernal reflexes. He caught her foot and smiled, something rare for him. He asked her if she would like him to help carry the girls, although they were not in any danger of pursuit, the guards at the house would be out for hours.
Phoenicia blinked and then smiled back recognizing Zarkon despite his bald pate. She said that she hoped Zarkon would reassess his outmoded and sexist, adventure is no business for a woman stance.
Zarkon told her he would be reassessing his feelings on a number of things.
Phoenicia left the next day with the three rescued girls to get them checked into a private hospital where they could get therapy and treatment for their addictions. One of these girls was unfortunately Phoenicia's friend.
While Zarkon was rescuing Phoenicia, Zarnak was able to learn that the cane had been given to Keram by one of his female disciples. She had been found dead on the beach shortly afterwards. According to the gossip, the girl had been a call girl and pornographic actress. Hooked on heroin she drifted into the Fellowship of Seti. Keram appeared to have cured her of the heroin addiction and for this she worshipped him as a god.
One of her clients had been horror star/producer Lawrence Woolsey who collected odd artifacts which he often used to build film storylines. He had paid some of Venice Beach surfer boys to comb through the wreckage of Dr. Durrie's burnt down House of Horrors and find some interesting artifacts. Woolsey acquired the wolf' heads cane.
Purportedly Anton Kerem tried to buy the cane from Woolsey but Woolsey refused to sell it. Keram had one of his female cult members who was also a prostitute seduce Woolsey, kill Woolsey and steal the cane.
Zarkon researched the cane and discovered that according to legend Dracula had the wolf's head forged from what he called a star-stone, obviously a meteorite, possibly of the substance known variously as radium x or thyophite. The star stone talisman became a receptacle for a portion one of Dracula's psychic powers which was control over the lower orders or animals, specifically over the wolves. 
Zarnak did not believe that Keram knew what he had, only that it was a powerful occult object. Zarnak believed it was important to get this cane away from Keram before he realized what he possessed.
Since Phoenicia was safe, Zarkon and Zarnak began formulating a plan to get the wolf's head cane away from Keram and break up his drug and pornography ring. Zarnak had also discovered what kind of being Keram was, a demonic being known as a psychic vampire. Purportedly Mycroft Holmes had fought some psychic vampires in 1887, and Doc Savage's associate William Harper Littlejohn had fought some in the 1950's. Littlejohn described a defense against them, a hyskos pyramid. They were however quite rare and Zarnak was only able to get a hold of one of them.
Through the contacts Zarkon had made among Kerem’s people, they discovered that Keram would be directing a pornographic film at a private residence with a pool. Zarnak and Zarkon had broken into the house while the filming was going on. They were going to confront Keram and get the cane. As they were making their through the mansion, a commotion sounded below. There were gun shots, screaming and shouting. Zarnak and Zarkon hurried towards the sounds. They were met with people fleeing from the area.
They entered a room in which two of Keram's men lay dead on the floor. Keram was smiling at a large African American man who held a gun pointed at him. Zarkon recognized him as Shep Stone, the private detective he had met earlier. Keram feinted at Stone, and Stone let him have a grouping of three shots in the chest. The shots had no effect on Kerem. He moved rapidly forwards and grabbed Stone by his throat. Stone began shuddering as if extremely cold or in great pain.
Zarnak rushed forward holding the small pyramid in his hands shouting a phrase that Zarkon could not make out.
Keram stiffened as if shot and suddenly threw Stone at Zarnak. Zarnak dodged but not quite enough. The pyramid was knocked from Zarnak's hands. Keram pounced on Zarnak, laid his hands on his shoulders and smiled. Keram’s smile turned to a look of agony as he suddenly began to age and wither.
The clock struck noon. Keram's form shivered and he transformed into a bird and flew from the room.
Zarkon asked Zarnak what just went on. He explained that Keram had tried to drain Zarnak's life energy but Zarnak had worn a talisman that was known to reverse black magic, so Keram had been draining himself of life force. He had used what little energy remained to transform into a bird which he could do at noon, midnight, twilight or dusk.
Despite a diligent search for the cane they could find no trace of it. They did find enough evidence to bring in the Federal authorities and shut down Keram's operation although Keram remained at large.
Despite their having saved Shep Stone's life he was less than grateful. 
After this incident Zarkon began spending more time with Phoenicia Mulligan although he maintained to the other members of the Omega Crew that this was because they were working on various charitable projects together.
One of the girls that Phoenicia had rescued from the pornography film studio had returned to her home city of New Orleans. She contacted Phoenicia and asked if Phoenicia's friend could look into a racket that was strong arming small businesses into paying protection money and strong arming the owners of profitable businesses into selling them for a nominal fee.
As Zarkon began his investigation various members of the protection racket began dying in gruesome ways. Witnesses stated that their killers could not be killed despite being shot, stabbed or run over by a car. Zarkon felt that this might be an upsurge of lycanthropy perhaps related to the cane. He informed Zarnak of the situation. Zarnak arrived the next morning.
Their investigation proved that Zarkon's assumption was half correct. It did have something to do with the cane but the beings killing the criminals were zombies. Zarnak and Zarkon back tracked the person directing the zombies by investigating the backgrounds of the dead criminals and about the various victims of the criminals. The protection racket was run by man named Morgan. One of the protection racket’s victims was named Langston and he had owned a nightclub that Morgan wished to acquire. Langston refused to sell and was beaten to death. According to witnesses who had seen the beating and the body, Langston had been beaten to death with a cane he had acquired recently. The cane had a wolf's head.
Further investigation revealed that Langston had a girlfriend named Diana "Sugar" Hill who was devastated by his death. She publicly had vowed to take revenge, even if she had to sell her soul. Another tidbit was the Diana Hill's grandmother was also known as Mamma Maitresse, a voodoo priestess.
Zarkon and Zarnak went to Mamma Maitresse's house only to find her gone. They saw Morgan and a few of his henchmen climbing into cars looking as if they were loaded for war. Zarnak and Zarkon followed the cars out into the swamps. Morgan and his men were only a little into the swamp when the muddy waters founted as machete wielding zombies rose up from the waters to drag them down. Morgan was spared from the zombie attack. However Zarnak and Zarkon were attacked by the zombies. As they fought them off with salt, fire and brute force, they saw Morgan run towards a makeshift altar in the swamp. Upon this altar was a middle aged woman, the mistress of Morgan.
As Morgan reached the altar Sugar Hill hit him on the head with the cane. He fell face forward in the water and lay still. After a few moments he lurched to his feet and headed for the woman on the altar. Morgan had become a zombie and was being directed to kill his mistress.
Zarnak suddenly shouted an incantation and all of the zombies within earshot of his voice crumbled to dust to float on the swamp water.
Zarnak slogged towards Sugar Hill, Mamma Maitresse and a tall thin black man wearing a top hat who stood beside them. Zarnak told Sugar Hill that using the zombies to kill the gangster could be considered just but using Morgan to kill an innocent was not justice and would imperil Diana Hill's soul.
Diana Hill told him that she had sold her soul to Baron Samedi so he could raise the demons. Zarnak shook his head grimly. This person called Baron Samedi was not the true loa, he was a minor demon lord who planned to take her back to his home dimension use her up sexually and then sell her life force to the highest bidder.
Snarling Baron Samedi grabbed for Diana Hill only to be pushed back by the wolf's head cane. A crackle of energy seared across the Baron's frame. He stumbled backwards onto the woman on the altar. Grabbing her he faded from this plane of existence.
Anton Zarnak took the cane from Diana Hill asking her why she had used it. She explained that since Langston had been killed with it, Mamma Maitresse reasoned that it would have enough negative energy in it to get justice for his killers. Zarnak told her that Mamma Maitresse had reasoned well, however the cane was now corrupt and needed to be purified. He would see that this was done. In return he would keep Diana's and Mamma Maitresse's involvement in the murders a secret.
Retrieving the cane, Zarkon and Zarnak left Diana Hill and Mamma Maitresse in the swamp.
Zarnak revealed to Zarkon that Mamma Maitresse was wrong, since the cane contained part of Dracula’s essence, it had attracted Baron Samedi who wished to possess it but could not unless he also possessed Diana. The cane also allowed Diana to control the zombies that Baron Samedi raised.
Zarnak returned to San Francisco with the cane. Zarkon helped to clean up the rest of Morgan's gang before returning to New York.
In February of 1976, While Zarkon and his men were investigating poaching in the Alaskan hinterlands, they became involved in an adventure stopping a group intent on hijacking the Alaskan pipeline. Assisting Prince Zarkon and the Omega Crew was Power Girl. The two villains were Brainwave and the Wizard. In a sense this is ironic since the Brainwave was Prince Zarkon's half brother and Nick Naldini had been the 1940s version of the Wizard.
Between late February of 1976 and June 1978 Prince Zarkon and the Omega Crew had only a few adventures, none of which unfortunately ever made it into print.
In August of 1976 Prince Zarkon became aware that someone in Canada had recreated the formula for Herakleophorbia. The Omega Crew and he travel to a small island in Canada, fighting through a variety of gigantic beasts, giant wasps, chickens, rats and even maggots. He discovered that although a Mr. and Mrs. Skinner had been using the animal vitamin, the chemicals to make it had been provided by a Mr. Bensington. Bensington was the descendent of one of the original creators of Herakleophorbia. The Omega Crew spent several months hunting down the gigantic animals and making certain that all the sources of Herakleophorbia were destroyed. 
However they heard of another instance of giant ants taking over a community in the Florida everglades and hurried there. The colony of giant ants had been destroyed. The Omega Crew attempted to interview one of survivors named Dan Stokely but he seemed to have disappeared after destroying the Ant Queen. The description of Mr. Stokely immediately intrigued Prince Zarkon. Another survivor Joe Morrison stated how they had discovered that the ants had been created by canisters of radioactive waste which had washed up on shore. 
Yet something did not add up. Morrison also stated how when his group had fled from the giant ants they had entered a town which had been forcibly adopted into the colony of giant ants, the queen had used pheromones to control the populous. The queen's nest had been in a sugar refinery. Zarkon wondered how the ants could have taken over the town so quickly if they had just mutated after eating radioactive waste.
Examining the site where the canisters had come to shore, Zarkon discovered that the radioactive waste had killed the ants, not mutated them. What had initially attacked Morrison and the rest of the people looking over real estate had been scouting parties from the ant colony.
Zarkon and his men carefully examined the wreckage of the refinery, taking tissue samples of what remained of the ant colony. Zarkon's suspicions were confirmed, the tissue of the ants demonstrated DNA not found on earth. The wreckage of some of the silos had the remnants of alloys and plastics containing unidentifiable elements. The giant ants which had taken over this Florida town were not the result of radioactive contamination or Herakleophorbia but were a scouting party of an alien invasion.
Prince Zarkon believed that Dan Stokely or as he was otherwise known, Gary Seven was an agent of the Brains of Polarion like himself. 
Zarkon and his men discovered a hidden cache of eggs which Stokely had not known about. The Omega Crew destroyed them with blowtorches.
In January of 1977, Prince Zarkon and the Omega Crew were called to San Francisco. A woman named Martha Bennett pleaded with Zarkon to look into the welfare of her brother. Matthew Bennett  had suddenly begun exhibiting a cold, passionless personality as had all of his friends and associates. She wondered if he had gotten a strange disease from the foreign restaurants he had to inspect. Zarkon made a few inquiries and discovered that many people in San Francisco were complaining that their friends or relatives had changed. Zarkon and his Omega team interviewed many of these supposedly changed people. They found that there was an odd sameness to them, as if they were the same person in different bodies all coexisting at the same time.
By using special gloves, which picked up tissue flakes as he shook hands, Zarkon was able to gain tissue samples from the people in question. He discovered something very odd. Despite the physical differences in the suspect people, the tissue samples are virtually identical and yet they had an odd make up which seemed to contain cells from a variety of species on Earth, although the two main cellular components seemed to be human DNA and bean plant DNA.
Doc Jenkins recognized a face in the crowd, his photographic memory enabled him to recall having seen this face on the periphery of their investigation from the beginning. Zarkon had Nick Naldini and Scorchy Muldoon escort the man to Phoenicia Mulligan's estate, which they were using as a base during their trip. The man was Dr. Miles Bennell.
Zarkon and Doc Jenkins recalled the name immediately. In 1953 Dr. Bennell had been one of the few survivors of a fire that had devastated the environs of Santa Mira, California. Doc Jenkins also recalled that despite being a physician with general practice Dr. Bennell had a serious interest in exotic plants and had written monographs about a particularly poisonous variety of bean plant which he strongly advised to burn on site. Zarkon remarked on this, asking if the toxic bean plant was the reason why the fire that had burned down Santa Mira had been started. Investigators had ruled the fire to be arson with gasoline used an accelerant. Zarkon further wondered if the lingering effects of the bean plant poison or the toxic smoke was why much of the remaining population of Santa Mira had died in a five year span.
Or, Zarkon asked was it possible that the residents had been replaced by duplicates?
Bennell was startled. No one had ever believed that tale before. He related the tale of the space spores as told to him by Professor Budlong, one of those people who had been replaced in Santa Mira.
Zarkon smiled grimly and told Bennell that what Budlong had told him was mostly false either deliberately so or through false information and faulty memory.
The so-called pods were a fusion between the Thing from Another World and an ordinary bean plant. Zarkon briefly explained how a piece of the Thing from another world had been revived by Lex Luthor (Alexander Wainwright Luthor), although it had been damaged by its death and by the electrically charged fluid.
The exchange of DNA in its weakened state had somehow limited its abilities. At first it had no control over its shape shifting abilities. Seeming at random it would touch and absorb the DNA and RNA of people and duplicate them, also draining enough energy from the person to often kill them.
This “rogue” or “parasite” would believe it was the person that it had duplicated and continue that person's life until it once again without conscious effort stole an identity. After several such incarnations something odd began to happen, the duplications were no longer perfect because the previous memories had not been erased. As the memory fragments accumulated a sort of persona emerged that often but not always carried over from identity to identity. This persona seemed to have the ability to sometimes, but not always, selectively absorb memories or abilities from people.
Originally the Thing from Another World had the ability to create satellite bodies which were directed by one consciousness. It retained the ability to create satellite bodies but this often seemed to be an unconscious act. Whenever it absorbed a strong consciousness whose memories and personality overwhelmed the base personality of the Parasite, as a survival mechanism the Parasite expelled these memories into an independent satellite body, in essence creating a twin, often amoral, of the person it had copied the memories from. These satellite bodies however did not always perfectly duplicate the personality or memories of the duplicated person.
The stabilized Parasite eventually began to believe that it was a man named Maxwell Jensen. In 1952 Jensen was severely wounded in an electrical accident at the power plant where he worked. He was severely burned and dying. He unconsciously grabbed onto a coworker who was carrying him to safety and drained him of his life force. It was not enough energy to sustain him and he searched for more living energy to absorb. Jensen's skin had been flash burned and was purplish red with burns. People fled from the flash burned Jensen who should not have been able to walk around in that condition. Angered by people running from him he grabbed several people and absorbed their energy. Drunk with power Jensen realized that he would never fit in with these cattle.
Superman answered the call to save people from the monster. The Parasite was surprised by the amount of power he could absorb from Superman. The Parasite continued to draw power from Superman as they battled. As Superman grew weaker, the fight seemed to become evenly matched. The Parasite began to writhe as if in pain and he began exuding energy from his body in an uncontrollable manner. Superman realized that the Parasite could not process all of the energy he had absorbed and is about to undergo some sort of explosive event, Superman carried him up to the stratosphere where the Parasite exploded and was seemingly disintegrated into many pieces. Superman used his heat vision to flash burn the falling parasite pieces. A few, however, escaped his attention.
A piece of the parasite fell to the earth, in California. The partial and ultimately failed complete absorption of Superman's power had enabled it to survive the heat friction of re-entry but it had not escaped unscathed. Burnt and nearly dead the parasite piece absorbed the first type of living matter it came across. This was a bean plant. It drew substance from the earth. Its genetic coding was even more screwed up than before. The parasite sought out intelligent life forms and duplicated them but grew them out of giant pods. This duplication erased the mind and memories of the person who had been duplicated. Doctor Bennell was successful in stopping the plant, yet one or two of the pods must have escaped the fire.
How a pod had made its way to San Francisco twenty years later would probably remain unknown, although it is likely that one of the pods was accidentally mixed in with some produce.
From Miles Bennell Zarkon learned that the pod people had a life expectancy of five years and they could not reproduce on their own. It was the pods which could either seed or spawn duplicates. Although it saddened Zarkon that the originals were dead and that nothing could be done for the duplicates, he and his men made a search of San Francisco for the pods. They used tried and true methods of back tracking the locations of the pods through the pattern of movement by the victims, they also used scientific means of searching. Zarkon created a scanner which could pick up the unique chemical make up of the pods. Using hand scanners and a satellite hook up using a department of defense satellite Zarkon and his men tracked down the green houses and garden shops which were inadvertently growing the pod plants. They destroyed the pods and hoped that this would be the end of this particular menace.
In 1977 Prince Zarkon was recalled to Lutha for an important diplomatic crisis. Symkaria was on the verge of exploding into civil war. Symkaria's royal family had been slaughtered by neo-Nazi's intent on taking over the nation and using it as a bastion of fascism and as a base for international terrorism. Upon seeing the body of the slain Princess Sylvia, Prince Zarkon thought of a plan to stave off the situation until a more permanent solution could be devised. Gwen Stacy, a biochemist who owned a consulting firm specializing in biochemical forensic investigations and biochemical research.. She had various public and private organizations as her clients. Among these was the Omega Crew. Prince Zarkon asked her to pose as Sylvia Sablinovia, the slain princess. Gwen was reluctant until Zarkon revealed that he knew about her alter ego the Black Cat.
As part of a sting operation to trap the royal assassins Gwen Stacy assumed the identity of Sylvia Sablinovia. After this operation was successful a new government was formed with the smaller state electing to become a part of Lutha. Prince Zarkon felt that it was necessary to keep up the pretense that Sylvia Sablinovia was still alive at least for the time being. The Symkarian provincial government was highly factionalized and a symbolic monarchy was vital to unify the country. So once every so often she would make a public appearance as Sylvia Sablinovia. Symkaria maintained an embassy in New York but all the actual diplomatic protocol was handled by Luthan representatives. Prince Zarkon also had use for the organization that had been formed by the slain King, its mission had been to hunt down war criminals. It was variously known as the Wild Pack or Wild Huntsmen.
Oct 1977- April 1978 The Frozen Time Terror
Prince Zarkon embarked on one of his longest and far ranging cases when two men were found frozen to death outside a burglarized warehouse in Chinatown. The two guards had been completely frozen to the point of shattering when they were moved.
The Chinatown connection made Prince Zarkon wonder if someone had once again resurrected the Choy Lown Tong or if perhaps Zandor Sinestro's henchman Ching were prowling about. Further investigation revealed a Harlem connection to the Chinatown one, a connection of drugs, guns and pornography. The Harlem/Chinatown connection led to an organization backed by a woman called the Dragon Lady. According to police and FBI records The Dragon Lady had died recently. This was confirmed by The FBI agent Cleopatra Jones who also was investigating the supposed resurrection of The Dragon Lady and her criminal network. To Cleopatra's amusement both Nick Naldini and Scorchy Muldoon vied for her attention.
Prince Zarkon, the Omega Crew and Cleo Jones followed Jone’s investigation and traveled to Hong Kong. A Japanese connection to the Hong Kong connection surfaced in the investigation. Two members of the Japanese Intelligence Bureau were found frozen solid. One of them clutched a torn paper. When carefully thawed the paper was part of a religious tract belonging to a religious order in Japan. The Omega Crew traveled to Japan to investigate this religious order. A man who was also investigating this cult joined the investigation. Cleopatra's own head soon became turned. This man was Robert Sand, who was known in certain circles as the Black Samurai. Sand had been following up on the rumor that an apocalyptic cult based in Japan had access to a weapon that would bring about the destruction of the earth. Several of those people investigating the cult had been frozen solid.
The investigation once more returned to New York as more frozen deaths occurred. Cleo Jones and Robert Sand accompanied the Omega Crew. They aided investigating in Harlem and Chinatown. Cleopatra and many of the Omega Crew did a double take when during the course of the investigation into the Harlem/Chinatown/Japanese connection Robert Sand appeared to be in two places at once.
As it turns out this was not Sand times two but his cousin Detective Jim Asch from Los Angeles. Asch had learned about the solidly frozen bodies and had taken a leave of absence to come to New York to investigate this. A year prior to this case Asch had stopped an Asian villain called The Pig from using a device called the freeze bomb. It had been developed as weapon by a Dr. Mason and was supposed to be so terrible that it could stop warfare. The bombs would instantly freeze organic material. However the process to make the bombs was complicated and expensive. The Pig had planned to sell the process to the highest bidder but Detective Asch had stopped him by shooting down his airplane as it took off. When these new freeze deaths occurred Asch wondered if the Pig had truly died in that airplane explosion.
The freeze deaths in New York continued but a mixture of people were being frozen drug lords, heads of mob families and wall street brokers. The Omega Crew spotted a suspicious pair around each crime scene, a Caucasian man in his thirties and a beautiful young Asian woman.
Zarkon set up a false crime scene to lure the man and woman. When the Omega Crew surrounded them, they reached for a set of controls on wide belts that they wore. The man disappeared but the woman fell over in a slump, Ace Harrington had tagged her with a sleeping dart in the nick of time.
The man reappeared with a boom of displaced air. As he hurried over to his fallen companion, Dr. Zarkon moved quickly and touched the back of his neck with adhiti nerve block, paralyzing the man's arms.
Prince Zarkon gazed deep into the man's eyes and demanded an explanation. Zarkon's hypnotic orbs compelled the man to tell his story even though he had been trained not to divulge this information.
His name was Justin Power, he was a government agent from 1975. He and his partner Kitty had been given time travel belts to stop an agent of the Chinese who had blown up Los Angeles with a nuclear bomb in 1964. Their mission was to travel back in time and stop him before he had finished importing the components. The Chinese Agent's name was Big Buddha. He was actually the head of a Japanese apocalyptic cult based on a twisted version of Buddhism. Destroying Los Angeles was only one part of his plan, he believed that this would lead to war between Red China and the United States. At the same time the United States would be attacked by Russia as part of a retaliation bringing about the apocalypse. Big Buddha had used prostitutes and mind control drugs to brainwash members of the United States military when they were based in Japan. One of his sleeper agents was Air Force General Jack D. Ripper who had ordered an unauthorized air strike against Russia. Justin Power and Kitty had thwarted Big Buddha's attempt to blow up Los Angeles and the Russians had, with United States approval, shot down the rogue air strike. 
Yet somehow it appeared that Big Buddha had survived and was behind this recent string of atrocities connected to the freeze bomb. Big Buddha planned to build enough bombs to freeze the world back to a new ice age. To do this he had to acquire money and followers. In the last few years Big Buddha had built a criminal empire based in Asia and the United States. He and his followers had no qualms about participating in any form of criminal activity to carry out their nilhistic agenda; drugs, assassination, robbery, theft, stock manipulation. Big Budda also used the name the Pig as a signal that the plan would all come together in the Year of the Pig.
Zarkon looked closely at Justin Power and Kitty. He remarked that Power and Kitty were not from 1975 that would be but a 1975 that never would be. Shaken Power told Zarkon that he was correct, once he and Kitty had stopped Big Buddha back in 1964 they were stuck in a world where they no longer existed. Big Buddha had succeeded the first time around and a conflagration had consumed the Earth. They could use their time belts to travel back and forth in time but only between 1964 and 1975 and stuck in a world very different from theirs.
The Dragon Lady was a partner of Big Buddha as far as the drugs and guns were concerned. Big Budda could manage to slip drugs through customs like nobody she had ever seen before. The Dragon Lady was Katherine Javin, the sister of Bianca Javin, the Dragon Lady whom Cleo Jones had earlier fought. Ms. Javin was unaware of Big Buddha's religious beliefs but did not care what he did so long as the product and money kept coming flowing.
Zarkon and the others set traps for Big Buddha but he seemed to one step ahead of them every step of the way. He even managed to elude traps in which Justin Power and Kitty used their time belts. Prince Zarkon asked to examine the time belts. As he suspected they were built with material from the far future world of the Great Brains of Polarion. They were also running low on power and could only be used for a sort time longer. Justin and Kitty only knew that they had been given the belts by their "government".
Zarkon noticed that each belt had a homing beacon in it, this allowed the other belt to home in on it even after a time jump. Power explained that was so their partner could find them even in case of an injury or fatality.
Zarkon realized that Big Buddha had somehow acquired a belt. He was thus able to track Power and Kitty through their movements in time. Big Buddha used the time belt to avoid customs, he was able to elude their traps and this was probably how he escaped from the exploding jet that Asch claimed the Pig had died in.
Zarkon had Justin Power and Kitty travel back and forth through time two weeks backwards and forwards, but going opposite directions as if they were temporally guarding a particular warehouse. As Zarkon had hoped Big Buddha popped up a couple of times to see what Justin Power and Kitty were guarding. It appeared to be a large shipment of confiscated heroin. Big Buddha began to steal the heroin using the time belt to land when no one was around. They found him unconscious on the warehouse floor. Zarkon had coated the containers of the "heroin" with a fast working topical anesthetic.
When Big Buddha awoke in Zarkon's custody he reached for the time belt that he had worn. Zarkon had removed it.
Zarkon deduced that Big Buddha was also a victim of a temporal paradox, probably from a timeline adjacent to the Justin Power and Kitty working with him. In Big Buddha's original timeline he had killed Justin Power and stolen his time belt after Justin and Kitty and successfully thwarted his plan. For some reason the belt would not allow him to travel back to the point where they had stopped his operation. Zarkon surmised that some law of conservation of temporal energy had shifted Big Buddha, Justin Power and Kitty into a world where they no longer existed. Zarkon asked if Big Buddha had been shocked when he discovered that the man he had killed to get the time belt was still alive?
Big Buddha was a bit shocked that Zarkon had deduced this but admitted he was shocked at first but then he realized that this was a sign to him that all things were possible. This is true when he discovered that he had arrived in this universe the second that that his counterpart in this universe, The Pig, had been killed aboard a plane crash. Buddha the Almighty had given Big Buddha another chance to bring about the next age of the world.
Since Big Buddha was an exact duplicate of The Pig even to having the same fingerprints Prince Zarkon believed that justice would be served by allowing Big Buddha to go to prison for the Pig's crimes. Since the crimes that Big Buddha had committed with the time belt and freezer bomb had left no evidence this was the best way for him to be punished for his heinous acts. The knowledge of how to make the Freezer bomb was hypnotically removed from Big Buddha's mind.
Only Justin Power, Kitty and the Omega Team knew that Big Buddha was a time traveler from another universe, Detective Asch, Robert Sand and Cleo Jones believed him to be the Pig who had somehow escaped from the exploded airplane. As the Pig he was put on trial. Despite attempting to use an insanity defense by claiming to be a wrongfully accused man from another dimension, The Pig was sentenced to life imprisonment without the chance for parole.
Prince Zarkon destroyed the three time belts, which only had a few moments of use remaining anyway.
He asked Justin Power and Kitty if they would like to join another organization with which he had some influence, Justice Inc. This was the second generation version of this organization, run by Josh Newton's son and financed by Zarkon.
In June of 1978 New York City was terrorized by a series of tremors. These tremors were the work of a madman using Dr. Alexi Zorka's map of the hidden fault lines in the bedrock of New York City. Dr. Zorka had artificially created earthquakes using these fault lines and explosives. The madman had refined to the technique the point that he was able to send earthquakes against individual buildings with pin point accuracy. The madman in question was Zandor Sinestro once again in league with Ching. Zandor Sinestro was heavily bandaged having been burned in the fire that destroyed his headquarters in The Nemesis of Evil.
Zandor Sinestro targeted the Omega Headquarters for destruction but Zarkon and his team were able to discover Zandor's lair and stop him before this happened. Zandor Sinestro had used a device using sonar waves to create the quakes. In the final fight, the heavily bandaged Zandor was shot and was seemingly dead.
In this novel Phoenicia Mulligan goes out on a date with Ace Harrington, purportedly since she could not get Zarkon interested in her. Actually this date was part of an investigation and really had nothing romantic to it. Lin Carter was deliberately downplaying Phoenicia and Zarkon's relationship just as the previous pulp writers down played the relationships between Margo Lane and the Shadow, Richard Wentworth and Nita Van Sloan, Doc Savage and Princess Monja. Carter was using the real events of Zarkon's life to recreate the era of the pulp magazine even to the point of bringing in old style sexual roles and stereotypical characters.
In an epilogue of the novel Zandor Sinestro is seen being operated on by a team of doctors vowing to once again destroy Zarkon.
There is a slight problem with the appearance of Zandor Sinestro in this novel, especially since Zandor Sinestro was previously proven to be Alexander Wainwright Luthor. As seen by his biography in the Alexander Wainwright article, in 1979 Alexander Wainwright Luthor was in Lexor. So who then was Zandor Sinestro in this adventure? It was Robert Ryan Russell, the millionaire newspaper publisher. Although in The Nemesis of Evil he was said to have perished with a broken neck, Russell did not die but was paralyzed from the waist down. He was also very burned from the fire that ravaged Sinestro's lair under Mount Shasta. Russell used millions in hidden assets to take over Sinestro's organization and rebuild it. As one of the characters in The Earth Shaker stated it was no wonder that Sinestro was extorting millions from the city of New York, it cost that much to run his organization and build his machines. He was nearly broke.
The newspaper boy who lent his bike to Joey Weston was Freddie Freeman. Win Eckert states in his Original Wold Newton Universe Crossover Chronology "Also mentioned is newsboy Freddy Freeman. Because this Freddy is a boy in 1978, he must be an "Elseworlds" Freddy an must have been born much later than his "twin" in the Fawcett Comics Universe who gained the powers of Captain Marvel, Jr., in the 1940s. There is no evidence to support the notion that the Freddy Freeman in The Wold Newton Universe has the powers of Shazam." However I believe that Freddie Freeman was the same newsboy who adventured with Billy Batson in the 1940's. How they remained so young and what relationship they bore to the characters known as Captain Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr will be dealt with in another article.
Shortly after this incident with “Zandar Sinestro” the Earth Shaker ended, Doc Jenkins discovered an item in a London newspaper about a gang of robbers which could not be stopped by force, they were invulnerable to weapons fire or gas. These men were entirely blue from head to foot, including all their clothing, facial features and skin color. Zarkon and his crew were invited to join the investigation by Scotland Yard Assistant Commissioner, Sir George Gideon.
The adventure which followed was actually rather tame. Other than the mysterious blue force which enabled the criminals to carry out acts of thievery without suffering harm there was little to investigate or occupy most of the Omega Men. Scorchy Muldoon was disappointed because there wasn't even one good fight to occupy him. The mysterious blue force as a forcefield designed by a wizened old man called the Vulture. In the novel he is called Mortimer M. Mortimer, a pioneer in sub-electronics. There is good reason to believe that he is the same person whom Marvel Comics named Adrian Toomes. His true name seems to have been Adrian Mortimer Wright, a descendent of Jack Wright. He had designed the small electric motors which enabled the members of the Vulture Gang fly on small gliders enacting acts of burglary, thievery and mayhem. However in the 1970s the gang's founder Adrian Mortimer Wright had been ousted as the leader of the Vulture Gang. He fled to England where he used his scientific genius to start another criminal gang.
Phoenicia Mulligan was noticeably absent from this adventure, although this seems to have been due to her doing some charity work rather than any problems she had with the group.
The novel entitled Horror Wears Blue was the last published Zarkon novel. Lin Carter planned at least one more named The Moon Menace but he unfortunately passed away before that novel could be written. According to Wold Newton researcher Rick Lai:
Robert M. Price in Lin Carter: A Look Behind His Imaginary Worlds mentions that Lin Carter wrote three chapters of The Moon Menace and left an outline. Two of Zarkon's enemies, Lucifer and the Vulture, join forces. They plan to lure Zarkon into a trap by faking an alien space-ship landing. In the end, their plot fails due to the action of a young boy's dog. Price mentioned that something similar happened with a dog in Renegade of Callisto. The owner of the dog in The Moon Menace is named Spunky Washington. Long Tom from the Doc Savage series would have had a cameo in The Moon Menace.
As far as Prince Zarkon is concerned he is still active, although shuns the public eye and uses his influence to keep his name out of the press.
We know for instance that he was deeply involved in the Balkans in the late eighties and early nineties as he used his diplomatic skills to keep the violent situation in the Balkans from igniting into another World War. He also managed to keep Novenia and Lutha from being swallowed up by the emerging Balkan states. To this end he employed Gwen Parker as Sylvia Sablinovia more often than before because of the situation in the Balkans after the break up of the Soviet Union. Her Wild Pack was often used by Zarkon to circumvent certain laws that he did not feel comfortable breaking and using their bounty hunter status to capture criminals without due process. The Wild Pack was often joined by a CIALD liaison, Ralph Dibney in his guise as Flint Marko, The Sandman and Gwen Parker's husband, The Spider-Man.
Zarkon has been spotted in various trouble spots, as of now we do not know what tragedies he as prevented or what men of evil genius he has brought low in the hidden years from the eighties to the turn of the century but we can all feel safer in this perilous world knowing he is out there fighting the good fight against evil.
 One of Piquette’s most famous clients would be John Dillinger.
 This incident was depicted in John Byrne's Generations in which a young Lex Luthor was depicted as trying to rob a diamond exchange inside a crude robot he had constructed. That part of the story is true. In Generations a young Superman and Batman defeated the crude robot in one of their earliest collaborations, before in fact they had become full-fledged crime fighters. However, this depiction is not accurate. The incident took place in 1929 in Chicago. The Batman figure was the mysterious vigilante called The Bat (who in 1995 was revealed to have been Eliot Ness—see Scar of the Bat, DC Comics, 1996, by Max Allan Collins). The Superman figure was indeed Clark Kent, but a journalism student wearing civilian clothing, not a costumed adventurer. Bruce Wayne and Lois Lane actually played no part in this adventure.
 As detailed in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ The Mad King.
 In Tarzan Alive (chapter seventeen), Philip José Farmer proposed a theory that the incidents described in The Mad King and A Prisoner of Zenda were attempts to create an independent state in Austria Hungary. Farmer speculated that Lutha was actually Carinthia, an imperial province of Austria Hungary and he also speculated that Ruritania had also been Carinthia, and that the similar incidents that occurred in The Mad King and A Prisoner of Zenda were examples of history repeating itself in this small province. As an imperial province Carinthia did not have a prince or ruling aristocracy of its own. Yet Mr. Farmer’s his genealogy in Tarzan Alive seems to refute the idea that Lutha was a fictional state. Mr. Farmer makes these statements:
"John Cecil, 1st Duke and Viscount of Greystoke, b. 1730, m. (when he was 16) Hilda, dau. of Major Bolko Rubinroth of Lustadt, Kingdom of Lutha, and Julia, dau. of Dr. Wilhelm von Harben and Augusta, dau. of Baron von Ruderfurd of Cronstadt, and had issue, including:
1.Cecil Arthur, 2nd Duke, and
2.John William, 3rd Duke.
"..At fifteen, the precocious 1st Duke went on the Grand Tour and met Hilda Rubinroth, a famous singer, 30 years old, served a year in the Luthan army as a Lieutenant, and then resigned, eloping with Hilda…"
.."William went to the American Rockies with the scientific expedition of Prince Peter Rubinroth of Lutha, having been invited along because of his relationship to the prince." (Emphasis added).
These statements appear to contradict the theories made previously in this same book. It appears that Farmer believed that Lutha was an independent Kingdom with a standing army with a Rubintroth dynasty as its monarchy. Why he made the statements in Chapter Seventeen that dismissed The Mad King as mostly fiction is unknown. Mr. Farmer may have been misdirecting people away from Lutha at someone's request or perhaps he was himself misled.
 How King Barney of Lutha came to be on the throne is described in Edgar Rice Burroughs The Mad King. Rick Lai's phenomenal work The Chronology of Bronze was instrumental in helping me to locate the principality of Calbia. Lai provided the information that "Will Murray had found among Lester Dent’s notes a paper where the words ‘Calbia’ and ‘Yugoslavia’ appear next to each other. Dent stated that Calbia’s population was ‘ten or twelve million’ (chap. 8). A 1931 census indicated that Yugoslavia had a population of fourteen million. Like Yugoslavia, Calbia had a seacoast accessible through the Mediterranean."
In Chronology of Bronze Rick Lai fully equated Calbia with Yugoslavia and the King Dal le Galbin with King Alexander of Yugoslavia. I respectfully differ with him on this. I believe that Dent provided clues to the location of Lutha but also made certain that it would be confused with the larger country as a means of protecting King Barney and the Luthians and yet describe the exciting adventure of Doc Savage. Dent gave false geographical information about the location of Calbia in the novel. The only real and perhaps unconscious clue that he provided in the novel as to its approximate location was the use of the Romanian language as the language of Calbia.
 In Romanian cozonac means spongecake, which may have been a reference to the soft, doughy appearance of Conte, who was a hugely fat man.
 Although it was believed that Conte Cozonac had been killed aboard this plane, this does not seem to have been the case. He had decided against boarding at the last moment. Conte Cozonac instead decided to cut his losses in Lutha and used a previously arranged escape route to take him to Yugoslavia proper. Although Conte Cozonac had ostensibly been working for the Romanians, he had also been carrying out a mission for a group to whom he owned a greater allegiance. Conte Cozonac was one of the few remaining Capellean agents still operating after 1873. The Count had learned that many of the so-called Capellean organizations or Capellean missions were actually organizations or missions controlled by a mysterious group of immortals based in Africa called the Nine. They paid well, so the Count did not mind carrying out tasks for them. Conte Cozonac had been an agent of the Capelleans for over two centuries. He had been known by many names, most of them fortunately obscure. Previous to his pose as Conte Cozonac he had been known as Kaspar Guttman. He had faked his death in San Francisco and returned to Europe. He had been unable to reassume the Guttman identity because of the popular book written about his adventure in search of the Maltese Falcon. (That Guttman had not been killed seems to be indicated by a case involving Sam Spade Jr. in 1974, in which it appears that Guttman had returned only to be shot to death.) One of Cozonac's previous identities, Count Fosco, had also been briefly made famous in The Woman in White, written by Wilkie Collins. The account was biased against Fusco, however, turning his aid to a young heiress into a scheme to bilk her out of her money. She had been trapped in a loveless marriage and Fusco had helped her by proving that her husband was a cad, a thief, and a bastard. Certainly he deserved some compensation for this service. As Gottfried Kaspar he had worked briefly for Professor Moriarty in 1891. After leaving Calbia in 1935, he established the identity of Signor Ferrari. As Ferrari he was the owner of the Blue Parrot Café in Casablanca, but he was also an information and arms dealer. See Casablanca for more information about Signor Ferrari. As an aside, a descendent of Count Fosco recently surfaced as part of a nefarious and deadly scheme involving a demonic pact and deaths that seemed to be caused by either spontaneous human combustion or hellfire. This Count Fosco encountered the mysterious FBI agent known as Aloyisus Pendergast as seen in Brimstone by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Warner Books, 2004.
 In Action Comics #23, (April 1940) the two countries involved in the conflict are called Toran and Galonia. Superman was portrayed as the person who destroyed Luthor's weapons cache.
 Dr. Alexei Zorka’s reign of terror was depicted in the film serial The Phantom Creeps, Universal 1934. However, his use of an earthquake machine to terrorize New York was omitted from that depiction. This was revealed in the Prince Zarkon novel by Lin Carter The Earth Shaker, Doubleday, 1982. The Little Brother was a villain fought by Doc Savage as depicted in “The Man Who Shook the Earth,” Doc Savage Magazine, February 1934.
 The comic book version has Alexi Luthor spot Superman climbing the window and dispatching a plane to drop a bomb on Superman. Superman caught the bomb and threw it back at the plane. This was purely the invention of Jerry Siegel.
 This was depicted in “The Challenge of Luthor,” Superman 4, DC Comics, Spring 1940.
 The rest of the story in “Luthor's Undersea City” in Superman 4 (Spring 1940), actually occurred in 1936 and involved the Ultra-Humanite and Alexi Luthor. More details can be found in the Lawrence Luthor article.
 Although it is quite possible that Hugo Danner probably would have been unaffected by the acid bath since nothing less than a bursting shell can burst Danner's skin. His muscle tissue was probably very molecularly dense, and it stands to reason his skin, which had to contain this dense muscle tissue, is also quite strong and so would be resistant to acid, electricity, and topical irritants. If he had gotten some in his eyes or mouth then there might be problems since even Danner was not immune to certain types of gas. Even though he did not have the Kryptonian level of super hearing or speed, he could have heard the device open up above him and moved so that most of it hit his back. His costume however would have been affected. In the comic book, Superman remarks, “It’s a good thing for my uniform it’s constructed of a cloth I invented myself which is immune to the most powerful forces” Superman scholar Al Schroeder in his article Cape and Costume also speculates that Danner invented such a cloth because he had “learned enough science to do this---at the skilled hands of such scientists as Prof. Abraham Erskine and Dr. Hans Zharkov, if my sources are correct. Nor should we be surprised that Jor-El's son made at least one great scientific discovery in his lifetime.”
Yet if Danner actually invented such a material, why didn’t he share it with the world? Such a fabric would have been of great value not only commercially but socially. Even if Danner had not been interested in exploiting the commercial aspects of such a fabric for his own gain, the funds from such a fabric could have been used to alleviate poverty and slum conditions, or could have provided funds for medical research or for the indigent poor who could not afford medical care; in short the funds from such a fabric could have alleviated many of the social ills against which Danner fought. Such a fiber would have at the very least saved many lives because it could have been used not only as protective garments in various industries, but also in dangerous professions such as fire-fighting, law enforcement, and the military. A fiber that was not only resistant against acid and fire could have been used in homes at the very least as fire resistant blankets for children and even possibly as fire resistant insulation to replace such dangerous substances as asbestos. The answer of course is that considering the benefit from such fabric, had Danner actually invented such a fabric he would not have kept it to himself.
Yet Danner is often depicted in situations where he is subjected to perils such as acid baths, fire, electricity, small arms fire, even artillery fire, and his suit is none the worse for the wear. A good portion of this is, of course, exaggeration on the part of the artists who drew the comic books and strips who avoided depicting the hero running about in tattered clothing. Another part of it is that Danner did indeed have a costume that was to certain regards impervious to harm, but it was not derived from a fiber that he invented; rather it was made from a material that mankind had been using for ages, asbestos. Asbestos has been used in clothing since ancient Egypt. It is not combustible, has high tensile strength, has good thermal and electrical insulating properties, is moderately resistant to chemicals, and has good frictional properties. It is durable, flexible, strong, and resistant to wear. Danner most likely had his suits woven from asbestos. While a suit that was comprised mainly of asbestos might not be comfortable for most people to wear, Danner’s thick skin would not have been irritated by it. The health risks posed by asbestos come from long-term exposure to the small fibers that it gives off. Danner was probably immune to the ill effects of his suits and it is unlikely that those people he rescued over the years would have suffered any ill effects from a short term exposure. Yet when the dangers posed by asbestos became well known he undoubtedly abandoned this fiber for new, more effective materials.
 In the comic depiction of this event—“Luthor’s Incense Menace,” Superman 5 (Summer 1940)—when disguising himself as Borden Mosley, Superman moved the muscles of his face so that he would look like an exact duplicate of Borden Mosley. This power has become known as super muscular control. (Oddly enough most of the accounts on the Internet about this particular power state that it originated in Superman 18 and that he continued to use it off and on until 1947). Yet Alexi Luthor knew right off that it was not Borden Mosley, so either his skill at shaping his face was not as proficient as it should have been or he did not really possess this power. Fellow Wold Newtonian Scholar Al Schroeder states in his article From Gladiator to Superman that Danner had learned the arts of disguise and mimicry from The Shadow, mainly to create the Clark Kent persona. However had Danner possessed the power of altering his face, then there would have been no need for him to act to change his hair style and wear glasses or alter his character to distinguish Clark Kent from Superman; he could have just drastically changed his features from persona to persona. It more likely that this face changing power was borrowed by Jerry Siegel as a tribute to the then-popular Avenger pulp series, whose protagonist Richard Benson had paralyzed facial muscles that could be shaped into what ever visage he desired.
 The black lotus plant has been known since pre-historic times. Its juice can be fatal, yet its scent could cause fantastic dreams. According to Robert E. Howard, Conan the Barbarian encountered people who used the black lotus to ill effect a few times in the course of his epic. In the “Tower of the Elephant” (Weird Tales, March 1933) it is revealed that the black lotus was found in the regions of Khitai, which corresponds to modern China. Various secret societies have used the black lotus for centuries; most notably in the modern age it has been used by the Si-Fan under Dr. Fu Manchu, and the Chang Li under Wu Fang (as noted by Rick Lai in “The Brotherhood of the Lotus,” Nemesis Incorporated 28, December 1988). Alexi Luthor’s brother William had contacts with both of these criminal organizations and so had access to samples of the black lotus. Alexi convinced him that they could use some of the black lotus samples to create a powerful narcotic that could be used to enthrall important financiers and through them manipulate the financial markets.
 According to the publishing chronology, the adventure after “Luthor’s Incense Menace” should have been “The Invisible Luthor,” but as will be shown this adventure probably occurred after “The Beasts of Luthor.”
The Coda island group is an uncharted and primarily uninhabited group of small islands in the South Pacific past Australia. They were discovered by the Italian navigator Caproni in 1723. Caproni also claimed to have discovered several other mysterious islands and all that remain are his geographical drawings; the writings with his longitude and latitude measurements were destroyed after his death by his grieving wife. For more information see Frank Edwards’ Caproni: Unknown Explorer of Unknown Lands, Hauser Press, 1934. Some creditable researchers believe that Caprona or Caspak exists in or near the Coda group, as does Skull Island, as shown in David Hatcher Childress’ Lost Islands of the Pacific, Mediterranean and Atlantic, Adventures Unlimited Press, 1999. Less creditable researchers have attempted to place the Coda island group as the location of Odd John’s Colony or even where the “real” Gilligan’s Island took place; see David Ickes’ Islands of Lost Souls, Island of Love Press, 1994.
 This bit of business was added by Siegel to liven up the dull monotony of the trip. It probably never happened. There was a storm, but the submarine dove below surface to escape it. How long the trip took is not detailed in the comic book account, but the highest speed a U.S. Navy submarine in 1939 could muster was 19 knots. However this submarine was a custom-made vehicle and so the modified engines probably could do a higher speed of perhaps 23 knots. Even so, the journey to the Baracoda Islands must have taken weeks.
 Grimes fleet did fire depth charges, but the oil slick was Master’s idea. He had his crew release some non-essential oil. Clark Kent noticed that this oil release system seemed to have been built into the submarine's design
 This part of the comic book version is true, although the vessel was topside at the time and Superman exited the submarine through one of the upper hatches.
 Figures derived from Super-Powers in the Wold Newton Universe -- Explained! By Matthew Baugh. Although Superman scholar Al Schroeder's article More Powerful Than A Locomotive demonstrates that Superman could have had much increased strength and powers, I believe that Baugh's estimation was closer to the truth concerning Hugo Danner , the Golden Age Superman, whereas Schroeder's speculations were closer to the truth concerning Clark Kent,the Silver Age Superman. This distinction is a bit of a misnomer since the two men operated concurrently and the distinction between the two was not always accurately reflected in the published record.
 Al Schroeder has a nice description of this incident in his article The Forties: World War II and Wondrous Friends and Foes.
 For more information on John Hawley Griffin and William Carpenter, please read The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells and the Invisible Menace by Philip Wylie. For how they fit into the Wold Newton Universe, see The Invisibles: John Hawley Griffin and The Invisibles: William Carpenter
 Although Alexi Luthor had been depicted as bald in comic book versions of some of Luthor's adventures prior to this event, those depictions were erroneous. In the actual events depicted in “The Invisible Luthor,” “The Beasts of Luthor,” “The Machinations of the Light,” and “The Powerstone,” Alexi Luthor still had his full head of red hair. Why this erroneous depiction was made is fairly simple. The first comic book depiction of a bald Luthor was in the “Invisible Luthor” in Superman 10, June 1941. This was but a couple months after the events portrayed in “When Titans Clash.” The artist had seen a newspaper photo of the bald Luthor and made the assumption he had always been bald.
 Although one researcher, Al Schroeder, has proposed the theory that Lex Luthor derived his advanced technology from his contact with the Legion of Super-Villains of the 30th Century, there is little evidence in the Superman comic books of technology that matches the 30th Century of the Legion of Super-Heroes comics. The Legion of Super-Heroes brought Danner forward because they knew that they were going to do so—they had historical evidence that Superman had been to the future. However if The Legion of Super-Villains actually existed (and its name seems a fictional device created by comic book writers for dramatic purposes) and did transport Luthor to the future, then it seems likely that they were more of a terrorist organization than a criminal enterprise since they were risking temporal chaos by bringing forward another twentieth century figure, particularly one of significant historical import who might be killed, injured, or captured while engaging in anti-social behavior. It seems more likely that they would have created a clone of him rather than actually bringing him forward into the future unless they did not care about temporal instability. Even if, for the sake of argument, Alexi Luthor was taken into the future, he couldn’t have transported enough technology back with him—that is, he couldn’t have transported everything back with him that he needed to build the space station and rocket, and he couldn’t have reproduced it given the limitations of 1940s era technology. If Luthor were merely duplicating 30th century technology with 1940s resources, he still would have had to invent the fundamental components such as the transistor, silicon chip, or molecular engineering, which would have taken years.
 According to Rick Lai's Chronology of Bronze, Doc Savage performed intelligence missions for the United States from December 1941 to March 1942. He was wounded several times and on the brink of exhaustion. When he was recalled to the United States he was put on inactive duty. Doc finished his last mission in early February and so was available for this surgery when it came up.
 The Nemesis of Evil, chapter 23, by Lin Carter.
 This timeline diverges from the post-Star Trek version of the future, which led to the formation of the Legion of Super-Heroes, as seen in the article Through a Faceted Lens of History: The Trek to the Legion of Superheroes
 This may be the same Killer Kane seen in various adventures of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Yet his long life seems to indicate that he was another Kane. Could it be that they were one and the same?
 A case in point would be the Thoan Lord Jadawin, once known as one of the most sadistic and despotic of Lords. Having lost his memory, he lived a life time as a man named Robert Wolff. Once Wolff regained his memories of Jadawin, he felt the need to atone for who he had been. Jadawin/Wolff was chronicled in Maker of Universes and The Gates of Creation by Philip José Farmer.
 Alexi’s realization that his quest for power and hatred for Superman could have led to worldwide destruction became the basis for a cautionary tale. This was depicted in Justice League cartoon episode 20, “Hereafter” in which the immortal Vandal Savage was the only remaining inhabitant on an Earth that he had destroyed. Savage helped a time-lost Superman return to the past and so avoid this future. Since Savage was based on Kane one might guess that Prince Zarkon may have been partially responsible for this tale. For a more detailed synopsis see http://www.supermanhomepage.com/tv/tv.php?topic=reviews/jl2-ep20
 This imaginary tale was depicted in Action Comics #484 June 1978.
 This effort was documented in Superman: The Movie (1978).
 His father was the notorious criminal mastermind Mr. Chang, as seen in the works of A.E. Apple.
 "Zandor" faked his death using F. katapelsis, the drug often used by Fu Manchu to simulate death. Escaping from jail, he resumed his Lex Luthor identity and threatened Metropolis with artificial glaciers. He was defeated by Superman and promptly returned to jail.
 A somewhat abridged and distorted version of this prison escape and “Lex Luthor’s” encounters with the Phantom Zone criminals was depicted in Superman II.
 Zarkon was contacted telepathically by one of the four Supermen who took part in the battle between Superman and the four zone criminals. Zarkon had enough mental shielding to keep this Superman from learning his true identity.
 As can be seen by the death of Otis and the inclusion of Jax-ur and Faora Hu-Ul demonstrate that the film’s depiction of events left out quite a bit of information. Portions of the actual events were depicted in the film Superman II and the Phantom Zone story arc in Action Comics 471-473 (May-July 1977). Details of the incident will be revealed in the “Lost Souls and Spirits: The Phantom Zone” article in the Superman Family 800 Page Giant series.
 Actually, as will be explained in greater detail in the Superman Family 800 Page Giant, each of the villains was engaged by a different member of the extended Superman family.
 This is correct. Superman engaged the Kryptonian villains. Despite her depiction as such Faora Hu-Ul in Superman comics, she was not a Kryptonian although she was a Phantom Zone escapee. She was Toc and so was no stronger than a normal Terran when in a physical form. For more about the Tocs please see, Aliens Among Us. Tocs and Ogs.
 As part of the plan, when Lois Lane was taken hostage the other three members of the Superman family seemed to vanish, making it appear that Superman had been fighting all of the villains at extreme super speed to maintain the fiction that there was only one Superman.
 As will be revealed in the “Lost Souls and Spirits” article, Jax-Ur and Faora Hu-ul were overpowered and captured by the other Supermen.
 The idea that Okeefenokee swamp contained an interdimensional portal was first suggested by Al Schroeder in The Eighties: Crisis, Courageous Cousins And New Careers
 The Heap was a recurring character in the Air Fighters and Airboy comics from Hillman Periodical, starting in Air Fighters #3 (December, 1942).
 It was from the city of Arangkor that American helicopter pilot John Dark was transported via a mysterious stone portal to the world of Callisto. His adventures were edited by Lin Carter. In investigating the reality of John Dark, Lin Carter would also once be transported to Callisto. See Jandar of Callisto, 1972; and Lankar of Callisto, 1975, Dell Books.
 King Beng King appears to be the son of American adventurer Gordon King who married into the royal family of Pnom Dhek in 1930. Lodidhapura and Pnom Dhek were brought together by Gordon King, as depicted in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ The Jungle Girl, first serialized in Blue Book, in 5 parts beginning May 1931.
 This was related in Omega Case 12, a.k.a. The Nemesis of Evil, by Lin Carter.
 This was related the Omega Case known as Invisible Death by Lin Carter.
 This case was mentioned as having happened recently in Omega Case 17, The Volcano Ogre. Carter claimed that Zarkon won the Nobel Prize for this article, clearly an exaggeration. It did win the highly prestigious Doolittle Award for Language Studies which had been created in honor of Dr. John Doolittle’s monumental linguistics studies.
 Although Lin Carter states in The Earth Shaker that this adventure took only a few weeks after The Volcano Ogre, he seems to have done this to preserve a smooth sense of continuity in the Zarkon series. As Wold Newton expert Win Eckert explains, "Although it is stated that The Earth-Shaker takes place one month after The Volcano Ogre (April 1971), this is not possible. Newsboy Joey Weston is approximately the same age in The Earth-Shaker and Horror Wears Blue. Horror Wears Blue must be placed in 1979 due to certain details given about James Bond and Sir George Gideon. Therefore The Earth-Shaker must take place close in time to Horror Wears Blue and I have selected 1978 for the year of its occurrence.”. Eckert, Win The Original Wold Newton Universe Crossover Chronology, Part 10, 1978 entry.
 The Ebone tribe is now extinct, slave raiders decimated the population. The Ebone tribe's most famous member was Prince Mamuwalde whose tragic circumstances were portrayed in the films Blacula and Scream, Blacula, Scream.
 Imaro and prehistoric Nyumbani are depicted in the works of Charles R. Saunders: Imaro, The Quest For Cush, and The Trail of Bohu.
 The writer in question was Edgar Rice Burroughs, the series was Tarzan of the Apes. The Komal was a Banth, a Barsoomian lion which was worshipped as a god by the people of Lothar, a city on Barsoom, as seen in Thuvia, Maid of Mars, in the John Carter series by Burroughs.
 After Doc Savage had disappeared, the facility was operated for a few years under his auspices of his four associates and Doctor James Anthony Deadalus, aka Doc Caliban. After Caliban's less than successful operation procedures, it was closed. In 1958 Prince Zarkon in associate with Bruce Wayne and Lamont Cranston began to fund the Crime College as place of rehabilitation for criminals with physical, medical or psychological problems that could not be helped by the public justice system.
 The reason for this is because Groton had originally been John Talbot, Lawrence Talbot’s older brother. John had been bitten by the werewolf that later bit Lawrence. More about the Talbot family and their connection to lycanthropy can be found in the The Hyddean Lineage As a werewolf John came under the control of Dracula, who removed John’s personality from his body, replacing it with a copy of his own personality. He was called Dracula-Grodim. (See Son of Dracula for an account of his mission for Dracula) The Dracula soul clone was damaged in some way and abandoned by Dracula. All that was left was a living body with a vestigial personality that called itself Groton. For a further explanation of the soul clone theory please read Children of the Night timeline, by Chuck Loridans.
 The shadowy Dr. Peter Drury is only depicted by name in one account, the film version of Invisible Man’s Revenge. Yet his influence in the Wold Newton Universe is quite pervasive. He has been associated with various government sponsored super soldier programs, with the eugenics movement, and with various esoteric experiments by unconventional scientists.
 Dr. Lorenzo Cameron had worked on a projected that he hoped would become part of the ongoing super soldier project. His plan was to create an unstoppable soldier by turning ordinary men into artificially created werewolves. See the film Mad Monster for the publicly released version of these events.
 More about Dr. Peter Drury and Lorenzo Cameron can be found in the Invisibles series of articles and in the Hyde and Hair series of articles. The Children of the Night timeline may also be consulted.
 Adhiti is a little known martial art discipline that is an offshoot of the more well-known Kalaripayate, a martial art from India.
 Dracula was fertile when in wolf form. The Children of the Night, the wolf pack that lived in the environs of Castle Dracula guarding and watching it, were Dracula's family, his actual children. These wolves, because of their Draculan heritage, had the ability to become human; they were also smarter and a bit more bloodthirsty than regular wolves. When in their human forms they often intermarried with the Gypsy tribe also attached to Dracula by blood.
Bela Belasko was the son of Dracula-Lejos, one of Dracula's soul clones—in essence Dracula incarnated in another body—and Melava. Meleva was the daughter of the King of the Wolves, the Alpha Male; she was also Princess of the Gypsies through her mother. Dracula’s plans were to make Bela the King of the Gypsies and the King of the Weir-Wolves. When Bela reached a certain age, he was given the wolf's-head scepter. The rod was made of ordinary wood, but the head of the wolf was made of a mixture of silver, melded with bits of the Star Stone. This scepter was believed to control lycanthropes, even at their most bestial state. Legend has it that the talisman allows its wielder to transform partly or completely into a wolf at any time. If the talisman's owner is already afflicted with the curse of lycanthropy, he may control or prevent transformation.
Bela failed to carry out one of Dracula's missions and he lost the wolf's-head scepter. Dracula converted to a wolf and bit out a hunk of flesh from Bela's chest. Changing back, Dracula seared the wound closed with the energy of his ring. Using his sorcerous skills and the force of his will, Dracula cursed Bela. The wound on his chest was a Pentagram. Bela would have uncontrollable lycanthropy and become completely bestial every full moon, although this uncontrollable rage was most likely his uncontrolled human nature. He would not have any rationality. He would kill any living creature he found. He could be killed by a silver weapon but not even death would be permanent, if the silver were removed from his body he would live to kill again. Any person who survived his bite would themselves be cursed with this form of lycanthropy and would bear the mark of the pentagram. Worse of all, any woman who loved him was fated to die at his hands.
Most recently the cane was supposed to have been found by Prof. John Margrave in a cave in Bulgaria in 1969. He had taken it to his home in California and written a monograph about it in late 1969. Margrave placed the talisman in his study amongst many other curious artifacts and forgot about it.
In 1971 a man named Ruschna murdered Prof. John Margrave in his home. The murder weapon left behind was a wolf’s-head cane used as a cudgel.
Ruschna was seeking the transformation talisman taken away from his Bulgarian cave sanctuary by Margrave years before. Ruschna succeeded in slaying friends and colleagues of Margraves while searching for the talisman. The stories of John Margrave and Ruschna were told in Night of the Wolf by Frank Belknap Long.
According to the files of the League of Anti-Diabolists, the man calling himself Ruschna was in fact Bela Blasco. Furthermore according to the League of Anti-Diabolists, the cane was in fact the same scepter, originally bestowed upon Bela by his father and temporally in the possession of Lawrence Stewart Talbot for years. See the Children of the Night timeline for details.
Yet if this is the case, why was the cane left behind as the murder weapon? Why didn't Ruschna take it with him to prevent his transformations? Zarnak believed it was because the cane that was used to murder Professor Margrave was a clever forgery. When Ruschna discovered this, he killed the Professor in a great rage.
Zarnak believed that Professor Durrie had read Professor Margrave's monograph on the cane and stole it from Professor Margrave's house, yet he was clever enough to replace the cane with a forgery so that the theft would not be immediately noticed. Professor Durrie had a theory that the cane or at least the wolf's-head talisman on the cane had other abilities as well, abilities which Dracula may have unconsciously imbued into the talisman.
He believed that since Dracula used his power to control his soul clones that this power may have bled over into the Star Stone. Since Dracula could command other forms of the undead such as lesser vampires, revenants, and zombies, this power could be used to control Frankenstein's Monster or a corpse revived using the Frankenstein method. As Zarnak had previously discovered, while Durrie could control the Dracula soul clone for a time eventually the greater will of Dracula overcame the power of the Star Stone and chaos ensued.
 A man answering Keram's description would be using the name Anton Marek in 1983. He and his Fellowship of Seti were defeated by William Harper Littlejohn and a few other stalwarts. This was portrayed in the novel The Fellowship by Aden F. Romine and Mary C. Romine.
 Shep Stone sold his story, which became the film Black Eye, in which Fred Williamson plays an ex-cop investigating the murder of a call girl and the theft of a walking stick she had stolen from a recently deceased Hollywood movie star. The trail leads him to a drug ring, porno movies, and a religious cult. The film version removes all mention of Zarkon and Zarnak.
 Diana "Sugar" Hill’s raising of zombies to avenge the death of her boyfriend was depicted in the film Sugar Hill. The location was changed to Los Angeles and once again mention of Zarkon and Zarnak were excised from the record.
 In the comic book version of these events (All-Star Comics #66, May-June 1977), Prince Zarkon and the Omega Crew's participation was excised
 Prince Zarkon was wrong in this assumption, Gary Seven was the agent of the Aegis, a mysterious race of beings whose agents spanned time and space. Gary Seven's ancestors had originally been earth humans. The Aegis had agents from most of the civilized species in the quadrant.
 Although the 1978 version of the film had the character's name listed as Matthew Bennell, it was Bennett. There was, however, no family connection between Miles Bennell and Matthew Bennett. The producers of the film used many of the same names of the characters in the first film although slightly altered. This was to give the impression that this was a remake rather than an entirely new incident.
 Jack Finney heard about the incident in Santa Mira and wrote a story called "The Body Snatchers," which he published in Colliers in 1955. Later he turned it into a novel called Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
 It was not. The Department of Defense, having learned what Zarkon was doing with their satellite, decided that this might be a good way to manufacture soldiers who could be expendable cannon fodder. The DOD snagged a couple of the pods for study before Zarkon and his men could destroy them. As a result of this seizure, an outbreak of pod duplication broke out on a United State Army base in 1990. This was depicted in the film Body Snatchers.
 Robert Sand was the main character of the Black Samurai series of novels written by Marc Olden. A film named Black Samurai starring Jim Kelly was released in 1976. It had little to do with the novels using only the character's name and his prowess with martial arts.
 Detective Asch's exploit in stopping the fiendish plot of The Pig was portrayed in the film, Death Dimension, also known as Black Eliminator. Detective Asch was played by Jim Kelly. The Pig was portrayed by Harold Sakata
 Justin Power and Kitty's valiant effort to thwart the evil plan of Big Buddha was depicted in the film Dimension 5. Jeffrey Hunter played Justin Power and Big Buddha was portrayed by Harold Tanaka.
 Justin and Kitty joined Justice Inc. A descendent of theirs was Christopher Pike, the first Captain of the United Federation of Planets Starship Enterprise.
 These events are depicted in the novel The Earth Shaker by Lin Carter.
 George Gideon’s career has been chronicled by author J. J. Marric (John Creasy) starting with Gideon’s Day (1955)
 According to eminent Wold Newton Historian, Jess Nevins, on his Fantastic Victoriana site “Jack Wright was an ingenious boy inventor who used his electricity-powered vehicles to enrich himself, adventure around the world, and kill people who didn't look like him” Jack Wright adventures were edited by Luis Senarens and first appeared in Boys' Star Library #216 (1891).