Preamble: Turning back the clock for this one. This story takes place in between issues 35 & 36 of Super Friends (1st series), meaning around the spring-summer of 1980. All characters, except those created for this story, are copyright DC Comics/Hanna-Barbera/Warner Bros.. =========================================== Chapter 1: It was a rather atypical Saturday in Gotham City. Atypical in that, for this time of year, it was snowing. No, Mr. Freeze wasn't in town, and neither were Flash's enemies, Captain Cold or Weather Wizard. This was real snow. Because most of the citizens had put their snow tires away for the season, traffic was backed up for miles, leaving the police stuck in traffic as a trio of bank robbers attempted to take advantage of the situation. "Ok! We're clear!", one robber called. "Let's scram!" However, a pair of familiar figures swooped into view. Batman & Robin just happened to be in the area. "I know it's not winter anymore, but crime doesn't know the difference between seasons, anyway.", Batman cracked as he jacked a robber's jaw. The other thieves tried to escape, but the Dynamic Duo had a surprise in the form of Elastic Lad, the pliable, part-time alter ego of Daily Planet reporter-photographer Jimmy Olsen, who wrapped up the robbers rather quickly. By the time the police arrived, the three had been left in front of the bank, and all Lt. Martin Coffey could see was the Batmobile roaring off in the snow. "Would that Batman could return to help with snow removal.", Coffey mused. Ah, but all was not what it seemed........... The storm had abated within a half-hour. In the meantime, Commissioner James Gordon was at a loss to discern how the Caped Crusaders and Elastic Lad were able to reach the crime scene, unencumbered by the weather. ============================= Later that same afternoon, in Metropolis, Oswald Loomis, aka The Prankster, had pulled a bank job of his own, using one of his infamous trick devices. He expected Superman, but got the Man of Steel's cousin, Supergirl, instead. Either way, Loomis was prepared. "I was hoping Superman would show up, so I prepared this little welcome for him.", Loomis sneered, as he activated a hidden stud under his lapel. The flower he was wearing emitted a familiar green gas. Kryptonite gas. Down went the Girl of Steel. "Oh, this is rich! So rich!", Loomis said gleefully as he headed for his car. But, to his surprise, who should show up but Superman himself! "No! This isn't fair!" "You really should consider taking your idea of comedy onto an appropriate forum, like a night club.", Superman said as he hurled Loomis into a waiting trash barrel before Prankster could use the Kryptonite gas again. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman had showed up and administered an emergency antidote for Supergirl. Abruptly, both women heard the familiar sound of sirens. "Time to leave.", Supergirl said as she recovered. =================================== In New York, a few hours later, scientist Lex Luthor, founder of the Legion of Doom, had been apprised of Prankster's capture. With Luthor was wealthy socialite Priscilla Rich, alias the Cheetah, who was Luthor's date for the evening at a $1,000 per plate dinner for a charity that Rich had taken an interest in. Using the name Alexander Holt, Luthor adopted the appearance of a younger man, wearing a wig and a false beard, but looking like a model citizen instead of a master criminal. After dinner, he & Rich were alone in the latter's limo. "Loomis failed his test.", Luthor said quietly. "Captured by Superman, Supergirl, & Wonder Woman." "But that's impossible.", Rich whispered. "We were told that Superman & Wonder Woman, along with the other Super Friends, were far enough away where we could run these auditions for new members of the Legion of Doom." "Given that all three have super-speed, I don't think it's impossible. They could've flown from wherever it was they're supposed to be to Metropolis, and back, in mere minutes. We should be used to that by now. Still, I don't think this will deter plans for tomorrow. Gotham City is covered in snow, so even if Batman & Robin tried to leave, they'd be late to the party." ============================ Ah, but if only Luthor knew what was really happening. Back in Metropolis, at the Hall of Justice, Jimmy was seated in front of the TroubleAlert, answering a call from-------Superman, who was in London for a peace conference with Wonder Woman and the Dynamic Duo. "Everything went as you'd hoped, Jimmy?", Superman asked. "Yes, it did. A simple robbery in Gotham, despite the snow. Prankster in Metropolis. However, I don't think we can maintain the charade too much longer, especially if word gets out about the peace conference, which is supposed to be top secret.", Jimmy replied. "He's right, cousin.", Supergirl added. "With the information you gave us before you left, this project was meant to smoke out Luthor and bring him out into the open. So far, that hasn't happened, but I'd think word would get back to him by now, somehow, some way." "I agree.", Superman replied. "But this is why I called you in, Kara, for this assignment. You & Jimmy are the field leaders. I can't risk both of you being in the field at the same time. Luthor knows Jimmy, of course, but doesn't know you as well." At that moment, the Wonder Twins, Zan & Jayna, emerged from the gym after a workout, aided by Marvin White and Wendy Harris. For the first time in a year, all four of the "Junior Super Friends" were together on a case. "How long do you think it takes before Luthor tumbles onto us?", Marvin asked. "Probably not too long.", Superman replied. "Hate to cut this short, but something's come up here in London. I'll check with you tomorrow. Superman out." "I have to agree.", Wendy said as the video screen went dark. "Luthor is considered a genius, and if he finds out about the conference, he'll start putting the pieces together and deduce that his "auditions" have been thwarted by a substitute team. One that can still beat him at his own game." "How do we do that?", Jayna asked, as Jimmy began caressing her neck after a lengthy workout. "We're going deeper undercover.", Wendy replied. =================================== Comics fans know that during the Silver Age, Supergirl once went undercover to foil a gang of female thieves. To thwart Luthor, and whatever scheme he has cooked up, the Maid of Might may become a crook again, but only for appearances. We think. More in chapter 2.