Legion Subs vs. A Quartet of Misfit Villains
by David R. Black
Page 1 -- Four panel page
panel 1: Two hyperactive young girls, Violet and Chrys, are running around a large, plant filled room. Their grandfather sits in a large, comfortable looking chair in the middle of the room.
Caption: The 31st Century
Violet: C'mon, Granpa Ral! Tell us another story!
Chrys: Yeah! Please? Please? Tell us about when you were a hero!
Grandpa Ral: Another one?
panel 2: Close up of Grandpa Ral. He looks exhausted, the children having tired him out.
Grandpa Ral: Don't you two want to do something else? Like take a nap maybe?
panel 3: The two children shake their heads "no."
Chrys: Tell us a scary story!
Violet: No! A funny story!"
Chys: How 'bout one with cavemen?
Violet: Or one with knights in shining armor!
panel 4: Grandpa Ral smiles.
Grandpa Ral: OK, OK! Did I ever tell you about the time I went back in time to the year 2000?
Violet (interrupting): So this is gonna be a caveman story?
Grandpa Ral: Well, not really. You'll see. Now then .
Page 2 -- Splash page
panel 1: The interior of a warehouse in the year 2000. Seated around a table playing cards are Cat Man, Calendar Man, and Kite Man. On the table top is a pizza box and a bunch of cigarette butts. The Calculator is standing, reading a newspaper tilted "The Underworld Times." In the background are Sasha and Rasputin, Cat Man's black panthers.
Caption: 1: Once upon a time there were four supervillains ..
Caption: 2: Four not so successful (or dangerous, either) supervillains, but nonetheless, these four had just escaped from jail.
Caption: 3: These four decided to stay together because they had a plan well, kinda.
Page 3 -- Five panel page. 2 top, 2 middle, 1 on bottom.
panel 1: Kite Man: I say we go after the Titans! Those little punks
Cat Man (off panel): .would kick our butts.
panel 2: Close up of Cat Man, waiting impatiently for Calendar Man to take his turn.
Kite Man (off panel): How bout the JSA? Those old dudes .
Cat Man: would kick our butts too.
panel 3: Close up of Calendar Man, eyeing his cards intently.
Calendar Man: Got any tens?
Cat Man: Go fish.
panel 4: Kite Man: How 'bout the Sea Devils? Those ocean lovin' bleeding hearts
Cat Man: .would harpoon our butts. And me and my cats ain't goin' anywhere near water!
panel 5: Wider view of room.
Calculator: Cat Man! Kite Man! Knock it off! We aren't going after any superheroes. We always lose!
Kite Man: So what do we do then?
Calendar Man: Yeah! I have a villainous reputation to uphold, you know.
All four at once: Hmmmm .
Page 4 -- Six panel page
panel 1: Various inmates breaking out of Arkham. Among them are the Joker, Maxie Zeus, Charaxes, Mr. Zsasz, and other villains who have appeared in other writing challenge entries.
Caption: It had been a few months since the four of them had escaped from prison .
panel 2: Rex the Wonder Dog and Detective Chimp fighting Cat Man and Calculator.
Caption: 1: And in that time, all they had done was rescue Cat Man's two panthers from the Bureau of Amplified Animals.
Caption: 2: They had sunk pretty low.
panel 3: The four villains.
Kite Man: I'm hungry! I haven't eaten in --
Calendar Man: - two days. I know. Neither have I. Wanna rob that pizza place up the street?
Cat Man: We've done that twice in the past week!
Calendar Man: Oh. I forgot.
panel 4: The four of them sit there, thinking. Calculator is looking through the newspaper.
SFX: Grumble, grumble.
panel 5: The four villains.
Kite Man: Man, my poor stomach. Maybe I'll turn myself in.
panel 6: Calculator holds up the newspaper triumphantly
Calculator: Wait, I've got it!
Page 5 -- Standard four panel page
panel 1: Calculator (excited)
Calculator: We're going to join the circus!
Kite Man: What!?!
Calculator: It says here that there's a circus just outside of Opal City that could use some help. Calendar Man, didn't you used to be a stage magician?
panel 2: Flashback picture of Calendar Man in a magician's outfit. He's sawing a girl in half.
Calendar Man: Yeah! I was Maharajah the Magician! I used my act as a front for my crimes.
Calculator: Exactly! We join the circus, use our talents to act like performers, and rob small town banks and other such places along the way! Whadda ya say?
All four villains: NYAH-HA-HA-HA!
Pages 6 and 7 -- Eight panel spread, panels 1-4 across the top, panels 5-8 across the bottom
Caption: And so, the Fearsome Foursome joined the circus. By night they were the darlings of the big top .
panel 1: Kite Man soaring through the sky on one of his fancy hang gliders, performing stunts for the crowd.
Caption: Kite Man wooed the crowd as the Aerial Acrobatist
panels 2 and 3: Calendar Man dressed as Maharajah the Magician. He's wearing a tux and top hat, much like Zatara, and performing various tricks. Behind the stage curtain, we see the Calculator in civilian clothes.
Caption: The Calculator used his costume's projector helmet to create special effects and illusions for Calendar Man's show.
Caption: He could solidify the dust in the air with just a push of a button, creating any object he desired. Pretty high tech stuff for the early 21st century.
panel 4: Cat Man, Sasha, and Rasputin in the circus's center ring. Cat Man is wearing a lion tamer's outfit and holding a bull whip, while Sasha and Rasputin jump through hoops, stand up on two legs, etc.
Caption: And Cat Man .well, he became one of the main attractions. Young and old alike were awed by his seeming kinship and skill with the big cats.
panel 5: Kite Man, in his standard costume, running out of a building marked "Sal's Pizzeria" with a stack of pizza boxes in his arms.
Caption: .But by day, they robbed banks, armored cars, and even held up a few pizza joints.
panel 6: Star Spangled Kid II and S.T.R.I.P.E. chasing Calendar Man, who's bouncing through town on springs attached to his shoes.
Caption: They traveled all over the Midwest. To Blue Valley
panel 7: Calculator knocking Jay Garrick for a loop with a giant size fist made of solidified dust.
Caption: . Keystone City .
panel 8: Cat Man punching the Question.
Caption: . And Hub City, among others.
Page 8 -- Four panel page
panel 1: Grandpa Ral scooping up Violet and sitting her on his knee.
Violet: So where do you come into the story Grandpa?
Grandpa Ral: I was just getting to that!
panel 2: We see a framed picture of all the members of the Legion of Substitute Heroes standing outside their yellow, upside down, rocket ship club house.
Grandpa Ral (off panel): You remember how as a young man, I was part of the Legion?
Chrys: Yeah! But weren't you a Sub?
Violet: The Subs! The best team in the galaxy!
panel 4: Grandpa Ral (laughing): Perhaps I've been telling you too many of my stories! Anyway, back to the action!
Page 9 -- Five panel page
panel 1: Color Kid asleep in a chair while on monitor duty. We see a perturbed Brainiac 5 on the view screen.
Caption: We had just gotten a call from Brainiac 5 .
panel 2: The Subs' transport shuttle lifting off. Fire Lad is running towards the shuttle, waving his arms frantically, but it takes off without him.
Caption: and we soon headed to the Legion's HQ because Brainy had a mission of great importance for us.
panel 3: Brainiac 5: Calamity and unrest are sweeping across the galaxy, Subs! The UP Culinary Institute recently lost its award winning recipe for apple pie --
Stone Boy: Really?
Porcupine Pete: I heard a Bismollian accidentally ate it!
Brainiac 5: Yes, something like that. Anyway, after days of searching, the pie recipe has yet to be found.
Polar Boy: So what can we do to help? We're subs, not chefs!
Page 10 -- Six panel page
panel 1: Brainiac 5 points to a time sphere.
Brainiac 5: I'm sending you back in time. More specifically, to Smallville, Kansas circa the year 2000.
panel 2: A picture of Martha and Jonathan Kent, in an "American Gothic" type pose outside their farm, appears on a view screen.
Brainiac 5 (off panel): There you'll find a woman named Martha Kent. Her apple pies are legendary for their delicious taste. Your mission is to either obtain her apple pie recipe or an actual slice of it for our scientists to analyze. If you can get your hands on a whole, intact pie, that would be even better.
panel 3: Brainiac 5 holds up a well worn advertisement. We can see that it's one of those "Hostess Fruit Pie" ads that frequently appeared in the DC Comics of the late 1970's, early 1980's.
Brainiac 5: One more thing, Subs. Don't be fooled by these ads! We want the real deal. Accept no substitutes!
Polar Boy: That's it! That's what you need all eight of us for?
panel 5: Flashback showing the Subs' "greatest moments," including Ambush Bug running amok and Infectious Lass accidentally turning Color Kid into Color Queen.
Brainiac 5 (off panel): Well, given your less than stellar track record .
panel 6: Brainiac 5: Wait a minute! I only count seven of you! Who's missing?
Page 11 -- Nine panel grid, this page serves to introduce unfamiliar readers to the Subs
Polar Boy: OK, roll call everybody! Stone Boy?
Stone Boy: Ready to rock and roll, chief!
Polar Boy (off panel): Night Girl?
Night Girl: Here!
panel 4: Head and shoulder shot of Chlorophyll Kid eating a banana.
Polar Boy (off panel): Chlorophyll Kid?
Chlorophyll Kid: Mmfff!
Polar Boy (off panel): O-kay. Color Kid?
Color Kid: Live and in technicolor!
panel 6: Porcupine Pete with his arms around Infectious Lass. They look all lovey-dovey and haven't been paying attention at all.
Polar Boy (off panel): Ha ha. Porcupine Pete and Infectious Lass?
panel 7: Pete looks up, both his and Infectious Lass' faces turn red.
Polar Boy (off panel): Umm, hello?
Porcupine Pete: Huh? You say something?
panel 8: Polar Boy (scratching his head): Hey! Where's Fire Lad?
panel 9: Brainiac 5: <sigh> Seven subs, eight subs, what's the difference? Just get in the time sphere.
Page 12 -- Seven panel page. 3 on top, 2 in the middle, 2 on bottom.
panel 1: We see the Subs pile in the time sphere, and Chlorophyll Kid tosses the peel of the banana he's been eating over his shoulder. It lands on the floor near the time sphere control console.
panel 2: Brainiac 5 working at the console.
Brainiac 5: You all remember the prime directive of time travel?
panel 3: Color Kid: Look both ways before crossing the time continuum?
Infectious Lass: Don't drink the water?
panel 4: Brainiac 5: <sigh> Just don't do anything to alter the future. Please? Here we go, I'm starting the launch sequence.
panel 5: We see Fire Lad running into the room at full speed.
Fire Lad: Wait! Wait for me!
panel 6: Fire Lad slips on the banana peel and falls into Brainy's machinery, bumping some levers and switches.
Brainiac 5 (off panel): 5 4 3
SFX: Beep! Beep!
Computer Voice: Time sphere launched!
panel 7: The time bubble fades out of view.
Brainiac 5: Oh no! The sequence wasn't finished yet!
Page 13 -- Five panel page. 2 on top, 2 in the middle, 1 on bottom.
Caption: We arrived in 21st century Smallville .Well, most of us, anyway.
panel 1: The time sphere appears in the middle of a downtown Smallville street. Only Night Girl, Infectious Lass, Porcupine Pete, Stone Boy, and Chlorophyll Kid are inside.
panel 2: Passersby begin to stare and gawk at the Subs.
Chlorophyll Kid: This isn't good.
Stone Boy: You can say that again.
Chlorophyll Kid: This isn't good.
panel 3: Night Girl: Hardy-har-har. The five of us better hide. C'mon! Down this alley!
Infectious Lass: I wonder where Color Kid and Polar Boy ran off to .
panel 4: Kite Man, Calculator, Cat Man, and Calendar Man running out of the 1st Smallville Bank. They are carrying bags of money and loot.
Caption: Meanwhile, the bad guys were up to their old tricks.
Calculator: C'mon! Down this alley!
panel 5: While the Subs are headed one way down the alley, the four bad guys are headed in the other direction right at the Subs.
Page 14 -- Six panel page
panel 1: The two groups run into each other. Porcupine Pete slams into Kite Man, Night Girl bumps into the Calculator, etc.
SFX: CRASSH! OOOF! OWWW!
Porcupine Pete: Hey! Bank robbers!
Kite Man: Hey! A walking pin cushion!
Calendar Man: Damn! More costumed do-gooders!
Calculator: Ignore them! We haven't got time for a fight!
Cat Man: Yeah, I have a sold out performance tonight!
panel 4: The bad guys flee, leaving the confused Subs in the alley.
panel 5: With Polar Boy missing, the Subs look to Night Girl for leadership.
Chlorophyll Kid: Well, should we go after them or not?
Infectious Lass: Brainiac 5 said not to mess with the past. Just get the pie and get out.
Porcupine Pete: I dunno. But we're heroes, aren't we?
Night Girl: I've got it! We'll split up! Pete, you and Infectious Lass head to the Kent's farm to get the pie. Chlorophyll Kid, Stone Boy, and I will go after the bank robbers.
Page 15 -- Eight panel page. 2 on top, 3 on middle, 3 on bottom
Caption: Later that day, at the Kent Farm .
panel 1: The interior of the Kent's house. Martha, Jonathan, and Clark are sitting around the table eating dinner. On a window ledge in the background, a freshly baked apple pie is cooling.
Clark: Dinner sure is good, Ma! Can't wait for the pie!
Martha: Thanks, Clark. I'm just glad you could stop by.
panel 2: Jonathan rises from the table, wipes his mouth with a napkin, and heads towards the front door.
Jonathan: I'll get it.
panel 3: Exterior shot of the Kent's front door. Infectious Lass is standing on the stoop.
panel 4: The door opens.
Jonathan: Yes? What the?!?
Infectious Lass: Mr. Kent? May I have the recipe for your wife's apple pie? It's very important.
Jonathan: Aren't you too early for Halloween, miss? Nice costume though.
panel 5: The door slams shut.
panel 6: Porcupine Pete at the door.
panel 7: The door opens.
Porcupine Pete: Sir, I'm from the 30th century, and it's imperative that ..
Jonathan: Don't you youngsters have anything better to do?
panel 8: The door slams shut.
Page 16 -- Nine panel grid
panel 1: Jonathan has walked back to the kitchen.
Martha: Who was it dear?
Jonathan: Oh, just some pranksters. Must be those Collins kids from down the road again.
panel 2: Porcupine Pete and Infectious Lass outside the house. They're walking away when Pete spots the pie.
Infectious Lass: Now what?
Pete (pointing): Look!
panel 3: Close up of the pie cooling on the open window.
panel 4: Pete: All we have to do is grab it and run off!
Infectious Lass: But what if we get caught?
Pete: There's no way two old people could catch us! C'mon!
panel 5: Back inside the Kent's kitchen. The three are clearing the table when they notice a pair of hands (Porcupine Pete's) snatch the pie.
Martha: Clark! The pie!
panel 6: Clark runs outside at superspeed.
Clark: I'll get it, Ma!
Jonathan (off panel): Pie thieves! Hmmf! There goes the neighborhood!
panel 7: Pete and Infectious Lass running off with the pie. Clark is right on their heels.
Infectious Lass: Faster! Faster!
Pete: <gulp> I just realized something ..
panel 8: The two Subs take to the air using their flight belts. Clark narrowly misses grabbing Pete's foot.
Pete: Martha Kent ..Clark Kent ..Clark Kent was .
panel 9: Close up of a shocked Infectious Lass
Infectious Lass: We just stole Superman's dessert!
Page 17 -- Six panel page
panel 1: Night Girl, Stone Boy, and Chlorophyll Kid hiding behind a bale of straw inside a circus tent. We see a sign reading "Show starts at 6PM"
Caption: Meanwhile, the rest of us Subs had trailed the four villains to the circus.
Chlorophyll Kid: They're circus performers!
Stone Boy: Sshh!
Chlorophyll Kid: What'll we do? We can't reveal ourselves, we'll screw up the time continuum!
Night Girl: Hang on! Listen, you know how my powers only work in the dark ..
panel 2: The stands are filling up and the show is about to begin. Elephants, clowns, the four villains, and various other circus performers and animals are entering the big top. Chlorophyll Kid and Night Girl enter among the performers, disguised as staff members who scoop the elephant's droppings.
Caption: Some time later .
Chlorophyll Kid: This is so gross!
Night Girl: Just stick to the plan!
panel 3: We see Kite Man and Cat Man, in their circus outfits, standing among the other performers.
Kite Man: I'm tellin' ya! I thought I saw those kid heroes we bumped into snoopin' around.
Cat Man: Ah, you worry too much! Probably nothing.
panel 4: The lights dim and a spotlight shines on the circus ringmaster.
Ringmaster: Ladeez and gentlemen! Boys and girls of all ages! We direct your attention to the center ring and our first attraction -- Maharajah the Magician!
panel 5: High above the crowd, Stone Boy is up on the acrobat platform. No one in the crowd notices him.
panel 6: The spotlight now illuminates Calendar Man, decked out in his magician outfit. His assistant, a young blonde girl, is to his left.
Calendar Man: And now, for my first trick, I will make my lovely assistant Laura disappear before your very eyes!
SFX: Oooh! Ahhh!
Caption: Wait a minute Grandpa!
Page 18 -- Five panel page
panel 1: Back in the 31st century, a close up of Violet.
Violet: Whatever happened to Color Kid and Polar Boy? How come they're not in your story?
Grandpa Ral (off panel): Ah, I was just getting to them! After the accident in Brainiac 5's lab .
panel 2: A cave dwelling in prehistoric times. Color Kid is surrounded by a group of cavemen, including Anthro and Vandal Savage. Color Kid is decorating some cave paintings using his powers.
Caption: Color Kid ended up way, way back in the past, and he taught some cavemen how to paint. Because of him, Vandal Savage eventually became a comic book colorist instead of a supervillain.
panel 3: Medieval Camelot. Polar Boy, wearing ill fitting armor, is riding a horse alongside the Shining Knight.
Caption: Polar Boy became the Shining Knight's squire. Somehow, he accidentally froze Sir Justin in a block of ice, and the poor knight didn't unthaw until the 1940's.
Caption: And back in the future .
panel 4: Fire Lad and Brainiac 5 in Brainy's lab. Brainiac 5 is hunched over a computer while Fire Lad looks bored beyond belief.
Brainiac 5: Damn! I've located them, but your friends' activities are causing time to unravel!
Fire Lad: That's bad, right? I mean, we've been re-booted before .
Brainiac 5: Yes, that's bad! The last thing we need is a visit from the ..
panel 5: A boom tube-like opening appears in the lab. Liri Lee, Matthew Ryder, Waverider, and Rip Hunter step out.
Brainiac 5: .the Linear Men!
Fire Lad: D'oh!
Caption: See girls? I told you this story had cavemen and knights in shining armor in it!
Page 19 -- Nine panel grid
panel 1: Stone Boy steps off the acrobat platform and uses his flight belt to slowly levitate towards the spotlight.
Caption: The trap was about to be sprung!
panel 2: Calendar Man performing an illusion. In the upper corner of the panel, we see that Stone Boy is now directly overtop the spotlight.
Calendar Man: Ta-da!
Caption: Stone Boy was in position.
panel 3: Night Girl and Chlorophyll Kid, next to the elephants.
Night Girl: OK, Ral, time for your part
Chlorophyll Kid: One distraction, comin' up!
panel 4: Chlorophyll Kid running towards the center ring.
Caption: I sprang into action!
panel 5: Still hovering in the air, Stone Boy turns into his stone form and begins to drop.
panel 6: Chlorophyll Kid hops into the center ring, and runs towards Calendar Man, but the Kid trips and falls before reaching him.
Calendar Man: What the ?
panel 7: Stone Boy falling further downward towards the spotlight.
panel 8: Stone Boy strikes the spotlight feet first, shattering it.
panel 9: Total darkness encompasses the circus tent. This is an all black panel.
Page 20 -- Five panel page. 2 on top, 1 in middle, 2 on bottom.
panel 1: A silhouetted Night Girl flies towards the center ring, her powers activated by the darkness.
panel 2: Still total darkness.
SFX: BOOM! THWACK! BIFF! POW!!
panel 3: The tent's backup lights come on. Night Girl is holding a bound and gagged Calculator like a fisherman would hold a prized catch. Next to her, Calendar Man is tangled up in a giant vine. The crowd thinks it's all part of the act.
SFX: Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap!
panel 4: Night Girl and Chlorophyll Kid bask in the attention, each taking a bow.
Chlorophyll Kid: Thank you! Thank you!
SFX: Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap!
panel 5: Kite Man and Cat Man see this and run for the nearest exit.
Kite Man: Probably nothing! Probably nothing you said!
Cat Man: Shaddup and run!
Page 21 -- Seven panel page
panel 1: Clark has now switched into his Superman outfit and is in hot pursuit of Infectious Lass and Porcupine Pete, who still have the pie.
Porcupine Pete: He's almost got us! Can't you do anything to shake him off?
Infectious Lass: Like what? He's Superman!
Porcupine Pete: I dunno. Make him seasick or airsick or something.
panel 2: Infectious Lass turns to face Superman and waggles her fingers at him.
Superman: Huh? What's she doing?
panel 3: Superman puts his hand to his mouth, like he's about to throw up.
Superman: Oooo .I don't feel so good ..
panel 4: Kite Man and Cat Man exit the circus tent. They're almost directly below Superman.
panel 5: Superman begins to fall downwards towards the two villains.
Superman: Oooo shouldn't have flown so soon after eating ..
panel 6: Kite Man and Cat Man look up in horror at the falling Superman.
Kite Man: Look, up in the sky!
Cat Man: It's not a bird .definitely not a plane .
Kite Man: It's ..
Cat Man: RUNNNN!
panel 7: Superman crashes into the two villains.
SFX: CRASSH! WHAM! CRUNCHHH!
Page 22 -- Another seven panel page
panel 1: Night Girl and Chlorophyll Kid come running out of the tent carrying Stone Boy, who is still is his stone form.
Night Girl: Superman?
Chlorophyll Kid: What happened?
panel 2: Porcupine Pete: Never mind! We've got the pie, now let's get outta here!
panel 3: The Subs pile into their time sphere.
Caption: And we did.
panel 4: Back in the 31st century. Violet is asleep in her Grandpa's arms. Chrys is still awake, but she looks ready to fall asleep any minute now.
Chys: And did they all live happily ever after Grampa?
panel 5: Brainiac 5's lab. The Linear Men are all frantically working the computers and chronometers.
Caption: Well, the Linear Men had a big mess to sort out ..
panel 6: The Smallville Jail. Kite Man, Calculator, Cat Man, and Calendar Man are all behind bars.
Caption: .And the villains certainly didn't
panel 7: Chrys and Violet are now both asleep. We see a smiling Grandpa Ral looking at the picture of the Substitutes on his wall.
Grandpa Ral: But the Substitutes sure lived happily ever after .. Especially Chlorophyll Kid.
David R. Black is Fanzing.com's magazine editor and chief archivist. A big fan of "The Warlord," he has a cat named Shakira and is looking for a girlfriend named Tara....
This story is © 2000 by David R. Black
All characters are DC Comics
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DC characters are used here in fan art and fiction in accordance with their generous "fair use" policies.
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