DC Comics Presents #44

    DC Comics Presents » DC Comics Presents #44 - The Man Who Created Villains! released by DC Comics on April 1982.

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    When Clark Kent is sent to investigate the appearance of many superheroes in the town of Fairfax, Superman and the Dial "H" for Hero team face "The Man Who Created Villains."

    Much to Morgan Edge's chagrin, Perry White sends Clark Kent and Jimmy Olsen out on assignment, to investigate the astonishing number of mysterious super heroes and villains operating in the town of Fairfax. At his home, in Fairfax, Christopher King stares at his Hero Dial. Discovered by King, and Victoria Grant, in an old chest in King's attic, King and Grant learned that by dialing the word "Hero", on the strange device, they were transformed into super heroes, but only for an hour. A different one each time. Foolishly, King decides to dial the word "Horror" just to see what will happen. He becomes the Beast-Maniac, a barely intelligent, rampaging berserker. Growing leather bat wings out of his arms, the Beast-Maniac takes to the skies over Fairfax. He soon encounters the Galaxy Broadcasting Helicopter, carrying Kent and Olsen. The Beast-Maniac immediately attacks. Kent pitches himself out of the helicopter, and changes into his Superman costume as he "falls". Superman then quickly catches the news copter, keeping it from crashing into the town. Grant, watching from the crowd below, dials "Hero", on her own device, and becomes Sphera, a heroine with the power to create energy spheres. Creating a stairway of spheres, Sphera joins the fight against the Beast-Maniac, mistakenly believing that the Hero Dial transformed King into Superman. Soon enough, Sphera spies the Hero Dial on the Beast-Maniac's wrist and realizes the truth. Imprisoning the Beast-Maniac within one of her spheres, Sphera carries her horrifically transformed partner away. Superman keeps an eye on her, using his telescopic vision. Thus, he is able to see the Beast-Maniac gain the upper hand over Sphera, and render her unconscious. Superman quickly races to her side.

    Using his super-breath, Superman pins the Beast-Maniac down, while also drawing the air from his lungs. Eventually, the Beast-Maniac passes out. When the rest of the hour has elapsed, the Beast-Maniac transforms back into King. Minutes later, Sphera transforms back into Grant. King and Grant take Superman into their confidence, revealing their origin, and the secret of their powers to him. While this explains where all the mysterious super-heroes of Fairfax are coming from, it doesn't explain the super-villains. For that answer, one must travel to a secret underground genetics laboratory, where the Master works day and night to create a super-villain powerful enough to defeat Grant and King. For the Master wants their Hero Dials. After ordering a flawed incendiary villain into the disintegration pit, the Master releases his newest villainous creation, the Nullifier, from the life tubes. Kent and Olsen are wandering the streets of Fairfax, when the Nullifier appears, using his power to literally stop traffic. Kent makes himself scarce, to don his Superman costume. As luck would have it, he picks the same alley to change, as Grant and King do, and thus holds back, so as not to reveal his secret identity to them. Dialing their Hero Dials, Grant and King become Blazerina and Prism. The police fail to apprehend the Nullifier. Blazerina's spinning unleashes a powerful burst of laser energy, but the Nullifier stops it with his powers. Blazerina unleashes an even more powerful burst. This time the Nullifier not only stops the blast, but redirects it back at her. Prism absorbs the burst, magnifies it's power a thousandfold, and returns it back to the Nullifer. Though the Nullifier is able to stop the burst, this time, it is not without considerable effort.

    Once more the Nullifier redirects the burst. Superman steps into it, forcibly being knocked to the ground. Superman charges the Nullifier, only to be forced back. After conferring with Prism and Blazerina, Superman details a plan to defeat the Nullifier. Prism walks towards the Nullifier, absorbing the villain's powers, as the Nullifier tries to ward Prism off. Prism redirects the Nullifier's own power, magnified a thousandfold, back at him, vaporizing the Nullifier. Superman flies off in response to an emergency signal from his Fortress of Solitude. Olsen attempts to get an interview with Prism and Blazerina, but is denied. Investigating a soil sample left at the scene of the battle, Olsen tracks it back to the underground genetics laboratory. Upon entering the laboratory, Olsen is immediately seized by the Master's assistants, and dragged towards the disintegration pit. Fortunately for Olsen, he had been observed and followed by Grant and King. Dialing their Hero Dials, Grant and King become Thundera and Essence. Thundera uses her booming voice to incapacitate the Master's assistants. Attempting to push Olsen into the disintegration pit, one of the men falls into it himself. Thundera and Essence battle against an army of the Master's assistants, who turn out to be humanoids, human-looking robots. The Master activates the facility's self-destruct system, collapsing the cavern. Superman arrives to find Thundera shielding Olsen and Essence, with a voice powered sonic screen. Superman reveals that the entire laboratory set-up had been one big trap. The evidence Olsen used to discover it's location had been left at the scene of the crime on purpose, to lure King and Grant to their deaths. The Master was never there. Kent and Olsen inform White that they will be staying on in Fairfax a while longer, as they have yet to break the story.


    • Beast-Maniac created by Rocky Bakletta.
    • Sphera created by David Brown (13) of Fresno, CA.
    • The Nullifier created by Nicky Alvarez (12) of Long Beach, CA.
    • Prism created by Jay Dickson (15) of St. Paul, MN.
    • Blazerina created by Davey Crowe (13) of Roupville, GA.
    • Essence created by Brad Bechtel (16) of Millersville, MD.
    • Thundra created by Lannie Hood (12) of Alberta, CN.
    • WGBS Flying Newsroom appears.

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