Author Disclaimer: MASH is not about superheroes, and Justice League is not about medics keeping from going mad. These stories are goofy fun. Please read them as such.
By Rob Morris
BJ Hunnicutt loved his in-laws, and he loved visiting them for the holidays. What he didn't like was being dead-last in a long line of cars seeking to get into San Francisco- but this time he couldn't even get out of his own driveway. Thankfully, Peg and Erin were asleep. But the sky wasn't. BJ spied two people, superhumans, battling it out. From his binoculars, he knew them both readily.
One was the infamous Henshaw Dupree, the Cyborg Superman. An imposter who seized upon Superman's apparent death at the hands of WarDay, he tried to use his position to destroy Metropolis. But the real Superman revived in time. Together with SpearChucker Jones - The Man Called Steel - and Supergirl AND Superboy, the true Krypton Man from Maine had thwarted the psychotic Dupree. The sacrifice of the Incubator-a Kryptonian Artifact in living form-seemed to disperse Henshaw Dupree's energy-form. But the being behind the Multiversal Crisis had re-formed Dupree, to serve him. BJ Hunnicutt wasn't worried, though. His hero was above him in mortal combat with the Cyborg. All would be well.
"You don't know it, Pal, but your butt's in a sling! Any creep that messes with The City By The Bay gets smacked back by Green Lantern!"
BJ couldn't know that his feelings were not shared by Trapper Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern. Dupree had Superman's powers, plus Kryptonian technology, at his fingertips. Trapper knew he was in for the fight of his life.
"Well, Boo-Howdy! I wanted Kent to follow me back from the 23rd Century, but sloppy seconds'll have to do! Lesee, I likes my Green Lanterns...WELL DONE!"
Despite its yellow color, the seasoned veteran superhero easily dispersed the Cyborg's fireball.
"Kent's busy, Dupree! Hawkeye is gonna tear your boss's head off! Or did you think he was gonna let him get away with killing Supergirl? OR BARRY?"
"Sure is a damned shame about Kent's little sister. Back before Superman destroyed my life, I coulda had me a time with a philly like that. Hey, I still could! Bet decay hasn't set in. Howdja think ole' Benny'd react to seein' me usin her body to attack him, make him pay for my wife's death? As for Flash-in-the-pan, well, he jes wasn't fast enough!"
Trapper let loose on the delusional monster by slamming him into the Bay floor.
"Tell me, Dupree, do you study Psycho at "Blame Someone Else U"? Superman did his best to save your wife and friends! But you guys decided to play "Fantastic Four", and go on a rocket ride! Not his fault the radiation killed yez!"
Suddenly, an Electronic Billboard sprang to life and grabbed Trapper. HIs Ring would protect his life, but not his pride. He had forgotten that any machinery was a potential resource to the Cyborg.
"It didn't kill ol' Henshaw, Lantren! My mind found Kent's crib-rocket, cribbed some of his DNA, and set out to show him what revenge is all about!"
Trapper Hal shredded Dupree's current form. He then tried to imprison the slippery being's energy. But it was impossible to do without killing him.
"Just what is revenge all about, you pathetic shell? Batman has more of a social life than you!"
Dupree grinned. It was a grin as phony as his cheesy imitation Southern accent. "Because of Superman, I don't have a life, anymore! So, Green Latrine, revenge is all about---THIS!"
The Cyborg seemed to be aiming at Green Lantern. Trapper automatically raised his shield against the blast - which never came. Instead, Dupree unloaded all of his energy-onto San Francisco below. Louise Jordan, her children, and millions of others souls were dead before they knew what hit them. Many more on the road that holiday season were sucked in by the resulting vaccuum.
Only 3 people, beneath Henshaw Dupree's notice, survived - The Hunnicutts, who had never left their driveway. Beneath the rubble of their garage, BJ wondered how long his family could hold out. He also wondered why Green Lantern had failed them. Up above, a dumbstruck Trapper wondered the same thing, as the sight of his city, his life in ruins, intermixed with Henshaw Dupree's Jokeresque laughter. Then, the hero turned and used his Power Ring on the Cyborg. The obscenity screamed, but was defiant.
"C'mon, Ol' Son! You are a limp-noodle do gooder! You ain't gonna do nothin' but turn me over to....YEAAARGGH! Boy, what the hell you think you're doin ta me?"
Trapper was grinning, now.
"I THINK I am sending your energy, 1% at a time, to every Quasar, Black Hole, and anomaly in our Universe. In other words, Dupree, THIS is what revenge is all about!"
"SS-Stop It! Yer killin' MEEEEEEE!"
He had tried to say that in a mocking voice, but Trapper was hurting Dupree. And he was enjoying hurting him. Finally, there was only 10% left-the Cyborg's core essence.
"You wanna be like Hawkeye Kent so much!? HERE!"
The Cyborg awoke to the sound of a man and woman talking. A rocket was launched, and went out of sight-and Dupree's range. Then, two seconds later, the largest fission bomb ever unleashed in the history of the Universe exploded, and the planet Krypton died. The radiation pulverized what was left of Henshaw Dupree.
But the damage was done. The Cyborg had gotten his unholy revenge on Superman-by destroying the Metropolis of another hero, Hawkeye Kent's best friend. For all this, Trapper Hal Jordan appeared oddly calm. He raised his ring.
"Masters-Guardians Of The Universe, I, Harold Francis Xavier Jordan, do hereby request a boon. Give me enough power to restore San Francisco and the lives lost. I am your greatest Green Lantern. You have said this. Give me what I ask."
The Guardians-with Mulcahet, Hal's sponsor, noticeably missing, spoke through a portal.
"Surrender yourself for Judgement, Trapper Hal Jordan! You have committed willful murder, for the low reason of revenge. Your boon is denied! We have the power to do this, but it must not be done! You do not have the power!"
Trapper calmly cocked his head.
"Somehow, I kinda thought you were gonna say that. Weeelll, if I don't have the power...."
Trapper Jordan then did the unthinkable. He started pulling the Guardians' energies through the portal. They could have easily stopped him. But they didn't believe that this was happening.
"Jordan, you must not do this! Time is too delicate to be played with! You cannot control the energies you will unleash"
"My wife is dead. Our kids are dead. I don't like a video game, I push the reset button. I don't like the way history is playing, I'm restarting the time stream! Now, please be good little blue deities and DIEEEEEEEE!"
All over the Cosmos, Green Lanterns choked and froze in the vaccuum of space. The Guardians, except for Mulcahet, shriveled and fell away to nothing. Heading off to learn time's cruel mysteries, Trapper cast aside his now-useless ring. Below him, unseen, Mulcahet caught it. He weeped openly. Not for his arrogant fallen brethren. But for a fallen hero, driven mad by years of faithful servitude to the ungrateful Guardians and secret resentment of a best friend, who, through no fault of his own, tended to get all the glory. Lifting the wreckage from BJ Hunnicutt's car, he dropped off something to a stunned BJ. He said only two words to the mortal man before returning to the Crisis front in the 23rd Century.
Against Batman and Wonder Woman's advice, Superman raced back to their world and the 20th Century. Frank and Margaret's concerns were quite real, but Hawkeye sensed something was wrong with Trapper. He almost fell out of the sky when he saw the still-smoking San Francisco crater. He knew who had caused it. One word.
Picking up no trace of the Cyborg, Superman looked for Trapper. He saw a man and his family in the distance, and flew to help them.
"Mommy! Daddy! ITS SUPERMAN!"
It was a situation Hawkeye Kent was used to. The delighted child jumped up into his arms. He gave Erin Hunnicutt, the only living child for miles around, a brief hug and a kiss on the forehead, then gave her back to Peg, who also stood in awe of the modern myth made real.
BJ, however, was not as impressed.
"Just where were you, Superman? Those people are all gone! Jordan could have used your help!"
"I tried to get here quicker! But even I can only bend the laws of physics so much! Its the dam--darned Crisis!" Peg was thankful that Superman remembered Erin.
"Folks, how long did all this take? And where is---How did you know his name is Hal Jordan?"
"Well, to answer your last question, he took off for parts unknown after making blueberry pie out of the Guardians! To answer your first question - It all took 10 minutes, from start to finish."
Hawkeye Kent was incredulous.
"I'm the 2nd fastest man Alive! I broke and bent every rule-including common sense-to get here-and you tell me I missed Trapper Hal Jordan by 10 lousy minutes!?"
Little Erin spoke. "You triedjer best, Superman!"
Hands that could pulverize stars gently honked a little nose.
"Look, folks. You still haven't told me how you know who Trapper---was."
BJ smiled, and pulled something from his car.
"Well, Superman, lets just say a little blue man told me. In my head, he also told me to say this."
Erin was spellbound by her father. Peg was simply concerned,as BJ began his oath.
"By Lantern's Light, And Guardian's Charm, I First Will Try To Do No Harm; Not Glare Of Day Or Dark Of Night; Shall Keep Cold Evil From My Sight; Let Those Who Worship Evil's Might; BEWARE MY POWER, Green Lantern's Light!"
Hawkeye knew the occasion was overcoming Hunnicutt; Knew he wasn't prepared to face the Crisis. He knew all this, and more.
"Suit up, Hunnicutt. The group needs you."
Dressing himself in a variant of Trapper's suit, BJ kissed his wife and child goodbye, the overwhelmed man headed off with Superman to face the unknown. Absently, he used his power ring to transport them to safety in Los Angeles. He would later find trying to do anything like this consciously most difficult.
"By the way, Superman. My friends call me BJ."
"Well, BJ, no offense, but---I just wanna see if Trapper pulls himself together before we get too chummy."
"Sorry, Kal-El. But Trapper is not, how do you mortals say, together at all!"
A vision from Mulcahet then showed Superman what Trapper Hal Jordan had done, in his grief and anguish. He visibly gasped.
"Call me Hawkeye."
Oddly, this revelation by Superman only brought home to the new Green Lantern just how dire their situation really was.
On Earth, Peg Hunnicutt called some friends in LA, relieved that they were alive after the disaster in San Francisco. Staying with them, Peg put little Erin to bed.
"Mommy, where did Superman take Daddy?"
"Shhh. Erin. That's our secret."
Peg thought long and hard about what to say next. The man she loved had achieved a great destiny, but now she wondered if he would ever return to her. Resolving to have faith in him, she answered her daughter's question with words she couldn't believe she was saying.
"Daddy has a new job, honey. With the Justice League Of America!"
J*L*A* would simply not exist without the inspiration provided by Paul Gadzikowski, a fanfic writer who combined Star Trek with M*A*S*H* to create T*R*E*K*. If not for this, the idea of placing the 4077th crew in the Orbiting Sattelite of the JLA would never have occurred to me. Combining our heroes with our heroes is something that takes and shows imagination. Thank You, Paul. Folks, read T*R*E*K* . You'll like it -a lot. The link is: http://members.iglou.com/scarfman/mashtrek.htm
More J*L*A* to follow...