DC/Marvel: Access Denied
By Christopher W. Blaine
DISCLAIMER: The characters and situations contained in this story are ©2003 by either DC Comics Inc. or Marvel Entertainment Group and are used without permission for fan-related, non-profit entertainment purposes only. This original work of fiction is ©2003 by Christopher W. Blaine and may not be reproduced in part or as a whole without the express permission of the author.Note: The opening scene is taken with artistic license from DC Special Series Volume 5, Number 27: Batman VS. The Incredible Hulk, published by DC Comics Inc, ©1981. Story by Len Wein. The Crossover Earth, before the Crisis…
So many choices, so many things I could do; my imagination is only limited by the speed of thought. I can't process the information fast enough; I can't get all of the idea and fantasies to come out. My mind is a dam and the damn thing has broken!
The Batman watched in horror as the entire world seemed to twist and turn, morph and bend to the will of the Joker. The madman was now a god, in possession of powers granted to him by the Shaper of Worlds. All physical laws broke down before him; he saw with his ears and heard with his eyes, as the senses became nothing more than footnotes to the human machine.
The Hulk roared and then whimpered, his childlike mind trying to make sense of the insanity that was being displayed before him. The Hulk saw the world in black and white, good and evil, but now he could only feel despair and hopelessness. As each new sensation tore into his brain, the Hulk started to get angrier.
And the angrier the Hulk got, the stronger he became.
Batman knew that the situation was becoming drastic just by the way the Joker was babbling. He watched as his costume changed from that of the Dark Knight to one of a clown. The Joker's forehead creased in concentration and he started to drool slightly even as he started laughing.
This is far too much…I can't do all of this myself! Wouldn't it be nice if I could split myself in two? Divide the fun, divide the power! Well, not 50/50 that's for sure! Old Joker doesn't want to share that much with anyone, not even himself!
Batman's screaming at me and the Hulk doesn't look happy. Hell, I'm not happy! I can do anything…where is the creativity, the theater? Maybe if I did split myself off, gave a little of myself away and sent it flying into the future! Yeah, then maybe we'll meet up one day and I'll have someone to talk to!
Is that it? Did I do it? I thought about it, but I think about so many things. I see the past and the future…I can know anything and forget it all if I want. Boy, the Hulk really looks mad and my head is starting to hurt! Sure could use some gum right now…
Wait! This isn't right! I see the future, a white wave of anti-matter and then a rebirth. Too much information! I see galaxies and universes and is that God? Hi God! It's Joker! Want a ham sandwich? I like ham! Is it kosher? Hell, who cares?
You're not God? You're me? A part of me? The future? Yes, I like pudding, too! Crap! The Hulk is going to hit me! Too much power! I WANT MY MOMMY!
The world returned to normal instantly, leaving a battered Batman and Hulk to ponder what had just transpired. Someone had given the power of creation to the Joker; thankfully he had not held it long. His frail human mind could not deal with being able to do anything.The Crossover Earth, after the Crisis…
Henry Pym brought in the tray of lemonades and set it down on the table located in the rear of Avenger's mansion. It was a special day as members of the Justice League had stopped by for the annual volleyball tournament. In the yard proper, a team consisting of Hawkeye, Hellcat, Black Widow, Captain America and the Falcon were facing off against Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Green Lantern, the Flash and Wonder Woman. Hank set the drinks down and then took a seat next Janet Van Dyne.
The Atom reached across the table and grabbed a drink. Tasting it, he smiled. "Damn, I wish we could get Jarvis to come work at the Watchtower." The Avenger's butler was their most prized possession it seemed. "You can't imagine how bad it is when someone like the Batman makes coffee. Thick. Black. Viscous."
Janet laughed easily. "You boys are going to have to excuse me but Wonder Woman's swimsuit looks better than mine and I must know where she bought it!" Also known as the Wasp, Janet was the Avengers' current team leader and resident fashion expert. Shrinking down to insect form, she flew away from the table and headed to the game in play.
"That's a fine woman you have there, Hank," the Atom offered.
"I wouldn't exactly call her mine, Ray," the scientist began, "but I am lucky to have her in my life."
"So, what hero are you playing this week?" the Atom asked. During his long career as a super-hero, Hank Pym had assumed several identities, each one based on powers and equipment he developed through scientific means. "Well, Scott Lang is still doing the Ant-Man thing and you never know when Hawkeye over there is going to decide to become Goliath again! I'm thinking about sticking with Yellowjacket for now."
"Wasn't there a criminal that used that name and one of your costumes a few years back?"
Hank nodded. "Yes, but that's old hat. Let's talk about something exciting, like when are you going to get a girlfriend and all of us head to the cabin?" The two heroes, both scientists (Ray's specialty being physics), had been friends for several years. Each had supported the other through their divorces (though Hank was now back with Janet) and had also become quit the pair of fishermen.
The Atom shrugged and then got a far-away look. "My love life has always been complicated, Hank. You're lucky that Jan is a hero, too, with similar powers. You have a lot in common. Jean and I, well, I guess being the Atom was more important to me."
"It's the work," Hank added. "I tried to retire, remember? Once this lifestyle gets in your blood, its hard to walk away from it."
"It doesn't lend itself well for a love life," the Atom replied. "Face it, I'm not Superman or Captain America; it's not like the women are pounding on the door for a date with the Atom!"
"Oh, I don't know…a little bird told me that Hellcat is interested in meeting you," Hank said with a grin. "She's a little younger than you…"
The Atom turned to regard the red head in the thong bathing suit that was happily spiking the ball past a bewildered Blue Beetle. "I might be persuaded!"
Hank laughed. "Great! I'll have Jean set it up!"
The Atom started to turn back when he noted something on the New York skyline. He pointed out past the mansion. "Crimson skies," he muttered.
Hank turned around. "That's near the Latverian embassy. Dr. Doom up to his old tricks again, I'd say."
"Going to do anything about it?"
Shaking his head, Hank refilled his glass from the pitcher. "Can't. No laws yet against creating weather front. His lawyers won that particular battle two years ago."
"Oh, yeah, now I remember…"
"Besides, that's near the HQ of the Fantastic Four, or at least the current incarnation of them! If they need us, they'll call." Hank took a drink. "If we don't respect each other's little piece of the action, we start having gratuitous super-hero fights, remember?"
The Atom nodded and a large grin came over his face. "Yeah, like when Superman handed all of you your asses!"
"Until Thor bonked him on the head," Hank pointed out.
A cool wind, welcome in the heat of the Big Apple's warmest summer yet, passed through the area, coming from the direction of the cloud formation. The Atom shook his head. "I'm off duty."
"Ben," Johnny Storm called into the hallway, "we've got trouble!"
The man-mountain known as the Thing stubbed out his cigar and stood up, the specially designed recliner groaning under the effort. "Damn it! My fav'rite show is comin' on!"
"You can watch 'The Dude Show' some other time! It looks like Doom is cooking something up at the embassy." The current leader of the Fantastic Four adjusted some monitors and examined the data scrolling on the screen. His sister and brother-in-law, former-founding members of the team as the Invisible Woman and Mr. Fantastic, had left the team only a month before for "quality" time.
Johnny knew they were trying to have another child. "Tell Plas and Karen to haul butt up to the roof. I'll warm up the Fantasticar!"
Minutes later, the Thing and Plastic Man were flying towards the Latverian embassy while the Human Torch and Power Girl raced ahead under their own power to scout the location. "You want me to contact the Titans?" Plastic Man asked.
The Thing grunted. "Naw, let's keep the babies in the crib. This ain't the Justice League anymore, Stretchy; the FF relies on itself."
Plastic Man accepted the admonishment. The fact that he had been asked by Reed Richards himself, the former leader of the Fantastic Four, was an honor that very few super-heroes received. Always there were four members, but not always the same. Plastic Man, once considered a nobody has-been in the same category as the Elongated Man, was now part of a team that was as respected as any of the larger ones. "Just thought I'd ask in case you get knocked out. I know Kara is getting tired of carrying you home all of the time."
"Keep talking like that and it'll be clobberin' time," the Thing joked. Ahead of them, Power Girl, now clad in a low-cut, tight fitting blue uniform, was closely pursuing the fiery tail of the Human Torch. Karen Starr had fit in perfectly with the team, replacing not just the Invisible Woman but also taking the place of the She-Hulk, another replacement. This last time the cousin of the Hulk had decided to pursue an opportunity with the Justice Society when it reformed.
Plastic Man regarded the red clouds now spreading over the entire city. Every few moments, there was a flash of lightning, sometimes white and sometimes black. The Pliable Wonder shook his head and rubbed the back of his neck. He could feel the hairs standing up. "Is it always like this when you face Dr. Doom?"
"Ha! That's right, he's never messed with ya Justice League wimps!"
Plastic Man stretched his neck so his head moved behind him to face the Thing. "I'm not League anymore, but you're right: Doom avoided confronting the League, but he's crossed horns with Superman and Wonder Woman before."
"Aw, Doc Doom is interested in fightin' people on his brain level," the Thing responded as he adjusted their speed. "He's been tryin' to be real subtle the past few years, 'specially since Luthor became president!"
"Yeah, talk about two peas in a pod. First thing our illustrious leader did was reestablish diplomatic relations with Lateveria…"
"Doom is also some kind of sorcerer, so who knows what the hell he's doin'."
Nodding, Plastic Man returned his head and neck to normal. "So, what's the plan?"
The Thing shrugged. "I'd say Johnny-boy and little Miss Cutie will just go up and knock on the door…ask what's goin' on…how's it hangin?"
"Actrumen Nosora Iganna Yofit!"
Victor Von Doom, scientist, magician and world leader, dropped his gauntleted hands and waited until the thunder cracked three times. The spell was working and soon he would open the gates to time and space. From there he would find the answers he was seeking regarding the whereabouts of his mother's soul.
A gypsy witch, she had been condemned to hell itself and her son had been spending most of his adult life trying to free her. Bargaining with the nether realms and the use of force had produced no results. Now was the time to look to other worlds, other realities for the answer. Somewhere in the annals of time was a way to rescue his mother.
Thankfully, President Lex Luthor had normalized relations between the United States and Lateveria, providing Doom a way to access his embassy. In the latter half of the 20th century Doom's support of Qurac had caused the president at the time to bar the leader of Latveria from entrance into the United States.
Certainly Doom could have still come, but his presence would have attracted the super-heroes like ants to a picnic lunch.
"Unto me thou shalt come!" Doom commanded into the slowly forming rift before him. He had come across this spell in a tome he had liberated from underneath the Sphinx in ancient Egypt. He possessed a wondrous machine, his Time Platform that allowed him to travel to the past. With it, he went back to before the time the pyramids had been built and discovered a complete library of forgotten knowledge.
"Avarish! Septunem! Avarish!"
The rift opened a little more and there were a few more thunder cracks. Behind the metal mask that covered his ruined face, Doom smiled. He predicted it would be another two minutes before the members of the Fantastic Four, a mockery of the team he was used to battling, would make a foolhardy attempt to breech his embassy's defenses.
He was about to speak the final part of the spell when he saw a hand reach out from within the rift and claw the air. It was a skinny hand, not at all what he was expecting. The hand was followed by an arm, then by a body and finally a head.
It was a man, a man dressed in a suit several years out of fashion. His skin was pale and his eyes were pink, an albino. The pink eyes were filled with anger. "Who are you?" the man asked.
"I am Doom!" he roared, angry that the spell had obviously failed. Doom had expected to grab a powerful demon to press into his service. "I am power! I am your master!"
The man smiled, his grin far too wide to be normal. His teeth were sharpened black blades. "Really?" He took a step towards Doom. "I am a wave of death coming to wash over you." Another step. "I am blood-filled rage with a primal scream." Step. "I am a holocaust here to remove your race from existence."
Fifteen minutes later, Power Girl punched through the heat-tempered wall and she and the Human Torch stepped into Doom's private sanctum. Outside in the passageway, the Thing and Plastic Man were arguing over who would get to battle the last Doombot.
"Anything?" the Torch asked as he extinguished his flame. Power Girl held up a finger and cocked her head. Her hearing was enhanced above that of normal humans and she was listening for any sounds outside of the battle taking place.
As she did so, Johnny Storm scanned the room. There were several braziers burning and there was a peculiar smell in the air. He started to slowly walk around, Power Girl taking his lead and moving to the opposite side of the room.
"Any of you mooks hear any more of dat thunder?" the Thing asked as he stepped in, holding the left arm of a Doombot.
"Now that you mention it, you're right," Power Girl said as she examined a large painting of Doom without his normal ugly mug. She could see why he had been so vain; he was once a very handsome man.
"What is that smell?" Johnny asked aloud.
"Smells like burning plastic," Plastic Man said as he entered the room.
"We should be so lucky," the Thing joked. He sniffed the air. "Gawd! It smells like a bad cigar!"
"You'd be the expert on those," Power Girl said as she stepped down several stone stairs into a pit area. "Crap!"
The other members of the team ran over as the Maid of Might stumbled backwards up the steps. "What the hell is that?" she exclaimed, pointing towards the floor. Deposited there was something smoking, the source of the bad smell. It looked like a blackened lump of metal and rubber.
"That ain't plastic," Plastic Man said, covering his mouth. "That's Doom!"Earth-T, the headquarters of the Wardens…
"We call it Monitor Duty, but we don't have monitors…"
Aquagirl regarded her boyfriend and shook her head. He complained about everything. She supposed it was the inactivity of maintaining a watch over the headquarters mansion of the Wardens that really burned Kid Flash's britches. "Roy, we have a monitor, of sorts," she offered.
He pointed to the twelve-foot high television screen. "We have a Kryptonian movie screen!" He picked up a bag of chips and started munching on them. "Why do we always get stuck with this job? I'd rather be doing other things."
She blushed. "You are insatiable, Roy Harper! We get this job because we live in the mansion. The other members take their turns! Just because you're suddenly horny…"
"Suddenly? Babe, I'm that way all of the time! I mean my girlfriend runs around in a bathing suit all of the time. Your favorite pastime is skinny-dipping!"
She threw an apple at him, which he caught in the blink of an eye. "I guess I'm just bored. Anything come out of the rift recently?"
The rift was actually a distortion in reality in which persons whose realities had been destroyed occasionally walked out of. It had been formed when this planet had been created by the Time-Guardian. The Time-Guardian was now gone, but the rift remained and under the agreement reached between the Wardens and the Legion of Doom under Dominus, both teams monitored it to check for potential members.
"Two chickens that could talk," she replied.
A klaxon prevented her from responding and with the grace of a ballet dancer; she jumped over the couch and stepped up to the control panel for the screen. A few seconds later, a man in red armor appeared. "Dominus!"
"Ah, the fish-whore, I thought I smelled you," the villain replied.
"Hey!" Kid Flash said, throwing down the bag of chips and stepping up to the screen. He pointed at Dominus. "I'll kick your ass you say that again!"
"And break the truce?" he asked in a mocking tone. In order to prevent another war like the one that killed nearly every metahuman on the planet, Nightwing, leader of the Wardens and Dominus had agreed to a seven-year truce. Dominus was permitted, so long as he did not commit any crimes (or at least get caught committing them) to recruit for the Legion. Recruitment for both teams came from the rift. "My Legion is small, but we are mighty."
Aquagirl interrupted. "What do you want?"
"I just thought I'd tell you something is coming through the rift."
She looked down at the detector. "We show nothing…"
"Ha! Kryptonian second-grade science." Almost on cue, the alarm on the Warden's control panel went off. Behind his mask, Dominus smirked. 'I just thought I'd tell you. I'm sending Wendy to meet whomever it is."
Aquagirl clenched her fist. When the Wardens had been fighting the Legion under the direction of the Time-Guardian, Wendy had paid special attention to Aquagirl when she was their prisoner.
"I'll meet her," Kid Flash said, giving Aquagirl a peck on the cheek. She then flipped the monitor off before Dominus could say anything else. "I'll hurry back."
Three seconds later, Kid Flash halted in front of the rift, located at the spot where the old Hall of Justice had been located, back before the final battle with the Time-Guardian. Standing there was Wendy, once a clean, friendly mascot of a team called the Super-Friends. Now, wearing a black leather bikini top and pants, complete with five-inch heels, she was nothing more than a metahuman nymphomaniac.
"Mmmm, you look tasty," she said, staring at his crotch.
He flipped her off. "Skank."
"How's your girlfriend?"
Kid Flash held his temper in check; he and Aquagirl had already discussed exactly what it was Wendy had done to her. None of it was pretty or natural, but it was important to maintain the truce. Otherwise, more people were going to die so long as the rift existed. Nightwing's calculations said it would last no longer that seven more years, the exact timing of the truce. "Better than you, I'm sure."
"You want me," she replied and then stuck out her tongue.
"Yeah, dead," he muttered.
There was a sudden flash and eight figures stepped out of the rift. "Oooooh, group action," Wendy said, clapping her hands.
Kid Flash recognized four of the eight, but it was the large green one that he couldn't stop looking at. Seven feet of muscles and eyes that were filled with plain meanness. The apparent leader of the group stepped forward, a man who appeared to be wearing the American flag for a costume and carrying a round shield of the same motif.
"I hope you can help us," the man said.
Kid Flash looked over to Wendy. "I win. Bad guys never wear the flag."
"My panties are red, white and blue," she replied, but she could already sense that these were not recruits for the Legion. She especially felt uncomfortable with Wonder Woman looking at her and cracking her knuckles.
As Wendy leapt into the air, the leader held a hand out to Kid Flash. "I'm Captain America and we're the Avengers."