Firehawk and Wonder Girl search for Walter Reilly and Terry Long in thisCrisis on Infinite Earths crossover. They help Tomahawk and George Washington battle British Redcoats in a Manhattan stuck in 1776.
* Firestorm does not appear in this issue featuring Firehawk *
July 1985: I don’t know where to begin. The last few days have been so crazy, I feel as if I’ve been turned inside out. First the weather changed. Then the whole world seemed to come apart. If it hadn’t been for Donna and the Titans, I’d be lost now…alone…out of my mind…maybe dead. Like so many others. Where do I begin? With my name…My name is Lorraine Reilly. My father is Walter Reilly, former Senator from New York. I’m a college sophomore…I’ve been a college sophomore for two years. I have trouble staying in school. Schools have trouble staying with me. I have another name, too…Firehawk.
“Is that really Manhattan down there, Donna?” Firehawk asks. She and Wonder Girl fly over the city. Its skyline is strangely altered, ranging from tall buildings to rocky plains to strange geometric futuristic complexes. Black plumes of smoke drift upwards from several locations. “I keep asking myself the same question, Lorraine,” Donna replies as she scans below, “The world is mixed up. Everything has changed…then most changed back except New York. Titan’s tower is still in the middle of the East River, though, so that must be Manhattan below us. I hope we can find Terry and your father down there.”
Firehawk worriedly looks at the odd landscape below as they fly. “Donna, I have to thank you…you and the Titans. When this started, I almost went nuts. You guys helped pull me back together.” Donna gives her a nod, answering, “You helped yourself, Lorraine. That new costume was your idea - - and a good one. It helped cement your sense of identity.” They soar to a landing on the observation tower spire of the Empire State Building. “Hey, it did, didn’t it?” Firehawk agrees, “My old outfit was designed by the creeps who made me Firehawk…and sent me off to kill Firestorm. These clothes are all mine. Y’know, for the first time I really feel like a super-hero.”
Donna looks up at her for a moment, then scans the land stretching off into the distance. “Good for you, Hawk. The world needs all the help it can get these days,” she answers. Donna shields her eyes to focus on something. “Uh-oh,” she says with an anxious tone, asking, “Didn’t you and your Dad have a townhouse in the east Thirties?” Firehawk flies down next to her. “What’s wrong?” she asks. Donna points at a volcano-filled landscape in the area where the townhouse once stood. “I’m sorry, Hawk…look,” Donna says sadly.
“Dad!” Firehawk yells, jumping skyward. “Hawk, wait,” Donna calls to her, “You can’t just swoop down like…! Listen to me! I know how you feel!” Donna leaps from the building and flies in pursuit. “Since this madness started, all I can think about is Terry. Is he alright? Is he alive?” Donna asks with worry, “We’ve only been married a few months, but it seems as if we’ve spent all our lives together.” Firehawk and Donna fly low over the lush green landscape near the smoking volcanoes. “I’ve lost too many people in my life, starting with my mother, to lose Terry, too,” Donna continues, adding, “That’s why I agreed to this ‘expedition’ when you suggested it - - but we can’t charge off without thinking.” Firehawk speeds on, her mind focused on finding her father. “Hawk!” Donna yells, “Will you listen to - - No!”
SPLASSSH! Donna shrieks in fear as a gigantic tentacle lurches up from the dense jungle growth below. It reaches into the sky and wraps tightly around her! Firehawk hears her friend’s yell. She quickly turns back. “Wonder Girl! Oh, wow!” Firehawk yells as she watches the tentacle pull Donna underneath the green canopy of leaves.
“Ever have the feeling you must be asleep, but you know you’re not? When I broke through the low mist and saw what had a hold of Donna, I wanted to pinch myself awake. But what was the point? Awake or asleep, there was only one thing I could do. So I did it,” Firehawk recalls. Donna is tightly clutched by a giant octopus. Its other tentacles wriggle and pulsate as it sits on the jungle floor. SSSSSHHH! Plants and leaves start to steam and burn as Firehawk punches her way through the upper reaches of the trees. FFSASH! She banks and dives right at the octopus, brushing her trail of fire over the tentacle that tightly grips Donna. Feeling the pain from the flames, the octopus releases Donna and yanks the tentacle away. Firehawk grabs Donna from mid-air. “I always wondered how you’d give an octopus a hotfoot,” she jokes, adding, “Just trying to even the score.” Donna looks down at the writhing octopus and then back at Firehawk. “Thanks,” she says with relief.
“Hawk, this part of Manhattan - - it’s in a prehistoric timeslip,” Donna explains as they resume their aerial search, “Different parts of the island…are stuck in different time lines. It’s the same all over the world.” The clouds hang low above the ground like lazy pink puffs of cotton. “Donna…Do you have any idea what’s going on?” Firehawk asks. Donna shakes her head. “No more than you, Lorraine,” she answers, “Tell you the truth, I’m frightened.” Firehawk nods, replying, “Me, too. You ever shake a dead light bulb when the filament’s come loose inside? That’s how I feel right now. Loose and crumbly.” The landscape below them is thickly covered and difficult to see into from the air. “Where is he, Donna?” Firehawk asks nervously, “Is my Dad down there…in that jungle?”
The two fly down and land upon a large rocky outcrop. “I don’t think so, Hawk. Your father and midtown Manhattan are from our time,” Donna answers, “That jungle is from a different era. I’ll bet they’ve switched times somehow.” Firehawk stares off into the distance. “Dad’s in the past?” she asks. “I wish I could say for sure,” Donna guesses, “This is stranger than anything I was taught by the Amazons on Paradise Island.” Firehawk looks at her with surprise. “’Amazons?’ Real Amazons?” she asks. Donna nods, explaining, “Queen Hippolyta and her people raised me as one of their own…gave me a share of their power…and their love. I hope they’re all right.”
Firehawk thinks back to her own family. “Queen Hippolyta and the Amazons. It sounds like a fairy tale,” she thinks, recalling, “My mother used to read me fairy tales when I was a little girl…before she died.” Donna feels sympathy for her friend. “I’m sorry,” she says softly. Firehawk continues to reminisce. “I was four. She smelled like roses,” she remembers, “We had a garden, a rose garden…She worked in the garden after breakfast. I remember that…” A vision of her mother happily tending to the roses appears in Firehawk’s mind. Her mother looks happy, peaceful, enjoying her work on a bright, sunny day. “And her hands…I remember her hands,” Firehawk continues, “She kept her fingernails short, and they were always smudged with soil. I remember she used to laugh because she could never get them clean…” Firehawk remembers her mother standing at the bathroom sink, suds nearly overflowing the basin as she scrubs her garden-stained fingers. “That’s all I remember,” Firehawk says somberly, “She was lovely. She smelled of roses and she could never get her hands clean from the soil.”
She turns back towards Donna. “Not much to remember about your own mother, is it?” she asks. Donna reachs to touch Firehawk’s arm and comfort her. “It’s more than I remember about mine, Lorraine,” she answers, asking, “Do you want to keep looking for your father?” Firehawk sighs dejectedly. “With all my heart. But what good would it do?” she asks, adding, “I know he’s not here. Let’s find your husband.” Donna asks. “You’re sure?” They leap skyward. “I’m sure,” Firehawk answers unconvincingly. “Liar” Donna answers.
Firehawk explains more about herself to Donna as they fly. “I never wanted super-powers, and for a long time after I got them, I pretended I didn’t have them…except when Firestorm was around,” she reveals, “For as long as I can remember, I’ve avoided responsibility…in school, at home, with boyfriends. I hate it when people expect me to do things. I guess that’s why I haven’t done much as Firehawk.” They reach the edge of a thick, misty fog bank and cautiously fly inside. “Firestorm…I’ve only seen him once since he left for Pittsburgh, the day before the craziness started between him and Dad. I don’t know who to worry about more,” Firehawk says.
Donna waves a hand in front of her eyes, but the mist obscures her vision. “Hawk! This mist’s so thick, we can’t see a thing! Can you light us a path?” Donna asks. “Might as well try,” Firehawk answers. She pulls up in the air, widely flexing her wings out away from her. FHWHOOSH! Waves of fiery heat flow from her wings into the foggy air. Donna calls out, “The mist is burning off…I can almost see...”
TATHOOM! A sudden explosion rings out below them. Donna is suddenly hit by a cannonball! It strikes her in the abdomen and flings her away from Firehawk. “Ohmygod, Donna!” Firehawk yells in horror.
“Look, we expected all kinds of trouble. But an iron cannonball? That wasn’t on our list. Donna went down like a struck bird, and I went after her as fast as I could fly…which is pretty fast, as it turns out. Half a second later, I got the second biggest shock of my lifetime. This was lower Manhattan, all right. Lower Manhattan, circa 1776. Smack in the middle of the Revolutionary War,” Firehawk recalls.
She swoops and dives after the plummeting Donna. She reaches her and catches her, banking sharply back into the air. Just another second or two, and Donna would have been impaled on a building’s spire just below. Firehawk carries her unconscious friend though the air above the waterfront. TATOOM! TATOOM! A huge frigate bombards the buildings on the shoreline with cannon volleys near Firehawk’s flight path. “Donna…wake up, Donna. Tell me what to do,” Firehawk asks pleadingly, “Don-na…oboy.”
Suddenly two cannonballs appear directly in her path, fired from the frigate below. Firehawk sweeps a wing protectively in front of them. FWWHOOOSH! The iron projectiles melt and dissolve as they hit the unbelievable nuclear heat of her fiery wing feathers. “I’ve got to find shelter. Donna’s been hit pretty hard,” Firehawk worries, “Even with her Amazon powers, she might be hurt.” She lands between buildings along a cobblestone street. “We need a doctor,” she thinks, “But what colonial doctor is going to help us with me looking like this?” She gently lays Donna against a wall. Quickly, she transforms back to her normal persona. “Exit Firehawk. Enter Lorraine Reilly,” she thinks.
She lifts Donna to her feet, supporting under her friend’s shoulder. She guides Donna as they walk. “Maybe I can find some help in this tavern…” Lorraine decides. She walks up the steps and opens the door. “…and then again, maybe not,” She says as she looks in at a jammed and chaotic scene of characters drinking and reveling inside. “Uh…Hello. Is there a doctor in the house?” Lorraine calls out loudly, trying to be heard above the din.
Two men approach her. One wears an eye patch and wipes a drippy swath of ale away from his mouth with his sleeve. “What’s this, eh?” he asks as he surveys Lorraine, “A girl in men’s clothing?” His friend looks over Donna’s Wonder Girl costume. “An’ another in her underdraws,” he sneers, “Take a look at ‘er colors, Bill.” Glaring through his one good eye, Bill points at them accusingly. “Red ‘n’ blue…They’s Union Jack colors,” Bill says as he pokes at Lorraine, “We’ve got us a pair’s Tories, Ned. Let’s teach ‘em how we treat Tories here.” Lorraine tries to shield Donna with her arm. “You’re making a mistake - - we’re not - - she’s not,” Lorraine blurts anxiously. “Enough from you, girl,” Bill growls, growing hostile, “I’ve a mind to…”
KTHUNK! Suddenly, a hand ax sails right past Bill’s line of sight, lodging itself in a wooden beam of the tavern wall. “Leave her alone, Bill,” a voice commands loudly. Bill looks back quickly, seeing a man in a camel-suede fringe frontier shirt and coonskin cap. “Tomahawk,” Bill replies, asking, “What’s she to a wilderness man like you?” Tomahawk tightly clutches his rifle to his chest. “Nothing. Anyone but a drunken fool could see she’s no Tory,” Tomahawk answers, “Would she come in here like that if she were? Let her be.”
Bill reaches quickly and yanks the ax from the beam. “Go to Hades,” he hisses threateningly. Instantly, Tomahawk swings his rifle at Bill. The rifle butt smashes hard into Bill’s wrist and he drops the ax to the floor. “Don’t make me hurt you, Bill,” Tomahawk warns. Bill takes an inebriated swing at him which Tomahawk easily dodges. “We’re all in this fight together,” Tomahawk says, “But if you insist…I’ll oblige.” SWAK! He lands a hard slap across Bill’s face. Bill stumbles and falls face-first to the floor with a thud.
“Help him up, Dan, and buy him an ale on me,” Tomahawk asks his travelling partner, Dan Hunter. “We need strong men like him in Washington’s Army…even if he does have more brawn than brain,” Tomahawk says, “And call Doctor Wiles…this young woman needs help.” Tomahawk reaches out and picks Donna up, cradling her to his chest. “You’re Tomahawk…the frontiersman,” Lorraine says to him. “I am. Have we met, Miss…” he answers. “Reilly, Lorraine Reilly,” she explains, “No, we haven’t met. But I’ve heard about you.” She follows as he carries Donna out of the tavern’s main room to the back. “Make that ‘read about you.’ History’s the only subject I ever enjoyed. For a while, I almost drew straight A’s,” Lorraine thinks, “Tomahawk was…is…will be…a hero of the American Revolution. He’s a legend like Davy Crockett. This is too weird for words.”
Minutes later at the rear of the tavern, in a room smelling of tallow-smoke… “This girl is fevered. What happened to her?” Doctor Wiles asks, studying his patient in the soft glow of the candlelight. Donna lies motionless on the bed, covered with a blanket. Lorraine and Tomahawk look on with concern. “What do I tell him…? She was hit by a cannonball, Doc, but it’s okay, she’s an Amazon,” Lorraine thinks, wondering how she could make the truth make sense. Doctor Wiles lifts the blanket to examine Donna. “In all my years, I’ve never seen a fever so - - God’s oath!” he exclaims as he sees huge, swollen tentacle marks on Donna’s abdomen. “Where did she get this welt?” Lorraine’s eyes get wide as she remembers the source. “Oh my god…” she thinks worriedly, “Those look like sucker marks from that octopus tentacle! Donna’s probably got some kind of infection!” Doctor Wiles shakes his head anxiously. “This is beyond my experience,” he announces, turning to Tomahawk and instructing, “I’ll have the tavern prepare a broth. Keep her warm…all we can do is let the fever burn itself out.”
Tomahawk nods and thanks Doctor Wiles as he departs. He reaches a hand to Lorraine’s shoulder. “Now, Miss Reilly…isn’t it time you told me who you are and what you’re doing here?” he asks, “I’m not blind and I’m no fool. You’re no Tory…but I don’t know what you are.” Lorraine looks back at him. “I’ll never make you believe me,” she answers. “Why don’t you try?” Tomahawk suggests. Lorraine stands to face him. She raises her arms and begins to concentrate. “Okay, but remember - - you asked for it,” she warns, “First thing you’ve got to know is that Donna and I are from the future. Your future. Second thing, we’re…uh…different.”
FTOOOSH! In a radiant flash of nuclear energy, Firehawk appears! Tomahawk bends back, shielding his eyes from the sudden burst of light. “See what I mean?” Firehawk asks.
“I’ve got to hand it to Tomahawk - - he took what I told him in stride. After I explained a bit about what Donna and I were doing there, he was quiet for a long time. I’ll always wonder what went through his mind then, just before he started to smile,” Lorraine recalls.
Tomahawk sits backwards on a tavern chair, gazing out the window. Lorraine busies herself wiping Donna’s feverish forehead with a cold, damp cloth. “Young Miss Reilly, you’re a gift from Heaven,” Tomahawk says, breaking the silence. “Would you step over here, please. Tell me what you see out there in the harbor,” he asks. Lorraine walks over to the window. “British ships…” she answers as she scans the waterfront. Tomahawk points at the fleet of warships. “No, Miss Reilly. What you see is the bitter end of our young revolt,” he says sadly, “The British completely control the waters around New York Harbor…and what’s worse, they’ve cut off General Washington’s left flank on Long Island.”
Donna rolls restlessly on her bed, gripped in the effect of the octopus’s venomous poison. “Our information is, Howe’s army - - 20,000 strong - - plans to crush Washington’s forces in Brooklyn, tomorrow at dawn,” Tomahawk explains. Lorraine thinks, then asks, “Why doesn’t Washington evacuate?” They stand in the dim candlelight. “He would…but Howe’s army has his position surrounded. Washington desperately needs a diversion,” Tomahawk answers, “My men and I were planning to provide it tonight…but there’s a strong chance we’ll fail…unless…” Lorraine quickly realizes what he implies. “You want my help? That’s crazy!” she exclaims. “Men may die without it…the revolt may fail. Can you say no?” Tomahawk asks. They turn to look back toward the harbor. “You don’t know what you’re asking. Suppose I screw up? I’ll change history,” she worries, “No. I’m not cut out for this kind of thing. I can’t do it. I won’t.”
A frail voice from behind surprises them. “I’ll do it,” Donna says softly. Lorraine and Tomahawk turn to her. Donna stretches a foot gingerly to the floor, trying to get out of bed. “Donna, get back in bed - - you’re sick!” Lorraine cautions her. “Sick or not…somebody…has to help…somebody has to…” Donna mumbles, quickly lapsing back to unconsciousness. Lorraine and Tomahawk scramble to catch her, gently returning her to her bed. “I guess that settles it, Tomahawk. You win,” Lorraine sighs, asking, “What do you want me to do?”
“That’s how I found myself flying over the village of Brooklyn about an hour later, more scared than I’d ever been before…” Lorraine recalls.
Firehawk soars over the colonial cityscape. “Too weird. Other parts of New York are in different time zones - - but the whole southern tip of Manhattan, New York Harbor, and Long Island are caught in 1776,” she thinks as she glides on her outspread wings. She banks sharply in the air over the strange mist. “Because of the fog bank to the north, the people here don’t know what’s happened to the rest of the city,” she figures, asking herself, “So what happens when Washington tries to retreat north? Will he end up in the later Jurassic era or what? Forget it, girl. No way you can figure that out. All you can do is wait for Tomahawk’s signal, and do your…Aw, no!”
Firehawk looks down with shock as she sees Donna approaching the British forces on the ground below. Donna kneels near their encampment, unseen. “Why don’t we chase em’? That’s what I’d like to know,” a Redcoat grumbles to his comrades-in-arms. “We’ve bloody well got the rebels on the run,” he continues, “Cut ‘em down now, that’s what I - - IIIYEEEE!” Donna suddenly springs out and pummels him with a sudden strike! “Somebody…has to help…” she yells as the Redcoat flies up in the air from the impact. “Bloody Hell!” another soldier cries out in shock. “Great,” Firehawk says as she dives to join Donna, “I hope General Washington is ready to clear out, ‘cause like it or not - - here we come!”
The British soldiers scramble for their muskets and unleash a barrage at Donna. Blam-blam-blam-blam! The guns belch their bullets, but Donna quickly waves photonic energy from her hands. Sptang! Ktang! The bullets ricochet harmlessly away from her. Suddenly, Firehawk roars down amid the soldiers. FWWOOOSH! The soldiers jostle and flee as the ground and their uniforms begin to smolder and burn.
“And sometimes I wouldn’t give them up for all the world,” Lorraine recalls.
Tomahawk sits on horseback, looking over a ridge at the scene and sounds of the battle raging where Wonder Girl and Firehawk have ambushed the Redcoats. General George Washington sits astride his powerful steed next to him. “Tomahawk, what in the world is happening at the British camp?” Washington asks in confusion. Tomahawk explains, “It’s the diversion you needed, General - - earlier than I expected, I admit. But if you want me to explain it, sir…the truth is, you’d never believe it. I’m not even sure I believe it.”
“Things were getting crazier and crazier. Even in the middle of all the fighting - - I could see Donna’s fever starting to break. Just in time, too…From where I was, I could see Washington’s army starting to move out…” Lorraine recalls.
Donna barrels through Redcoats quickly, punching them and knocking them off their horses. The stunned soldiers try to swarm her en masse but cannot gain headway against her Amazon strength and power. Firehawk soars ahead and sees a line of British cannons preparing to salvo Washington’s men. “They won’t get far if those cannons start blasting away,” she thinks, “Well, there’s one way to handle that…!” FWOOSH! Like a fighter jet making a high-speed pass, Firehawk sweeps in front of the artillery brigade. Her superheated trail of fire rips through, knocking the men down and shredding the cannons in her roiling wake.
Tomahawk observes the huge plume of smoke and fire rising from just over the hill’s rim ahead. “The army’s safe, Dan…the Redcoats will never catch us now,” he tells his companion, “We owe those women more than we can ever repay.” Dan Hunter looks to him, asking, “Think they’ll get home all right, Tomahawk?” Firehawk soars above the ridgeline in the distance. Tomahawk sees her and points at her. “Part of me hopes they do, Dan, and part of me hopes they stay,” he answers, “Why, with them on our side, this revolt would be over in a week. It’s a sweet dream, Dan. But I know to my bones…It’s not to be.”
Donna stands in the center of a mass of crumpled human forms. Dozens of British Redcoats lie motionless on the field from the unstoppable onslaught of Wonder Girl and Firehawk. “Hawk! I feel like a sleepwalker…?” Donna asks in disbelief, “Are these really British soldiers we’ve been fighting?” Firehawk floats down to land next to her. “Yep. Feeling better?” she asks. Donna looks down at the soldiers and rubs at her temple. “Like used linoleum,” she sighs, “Everything’s so hazy. We were searching for Terry.” Firehawk rests a hand on her shoulder. “Wherever he is, Donna, he isn’t here. And if it’s okay with you,” she says with a gesture across the battlefield, “I’d just as soon explain it later.” Donna nods. “Right,” she answers and the two leap to the air.
“You’d think I would have been glad to go, but I wasn’t. Oh. Sure, I was happy to be finished fighting. But the truth is, I liked how it felt to fight for something important. Always before, I’d used my powers as Firehawk just for myself…to be close to the man I love…I never planned to be a super-hero. I mean, that wasn’t one of my life goals. But that feeling…that sense of doing something important…a girl could get hooked on a feeling like that,” Lorraine recalls.
“Say, Donna, when all this straightens out - - if it ever does - - I want to have a talk about this super-hero shtick,” Firehawk says as they fly. “Hmm? Sure, Lorraine. Anytime you like,” Donna answers. Firehawk flexes her wings, asking, “Could you do me a favor, Wonder Girl? Call me Firehawk.”