Sunday, March 13, 2011

Walking with Superman: Day 235

Before the war, in the waning days of Vaudeville, Leo Niemann gained fame as one of the youngest magicians to make the circuit. He started performing at twelve, and by the time he was in his twenties, he was really starting to make a name for himself. Unfortunately, so were the motion pictures, and somehow people just weren't interested in his tricks anymore. He puffed up his act with more dangerous and shocking stunts, he started calling himself "Astonicus," hoping to draw more people with his flare (and hide his German ancestry), and it had a small effect--at least until the mystery men came. What magician could get a show in New York or Metropolis or Gotham City with Green Lantern and Dr. Fate and the Spectre flying around? And so Niemann did as he always had: he adapted. It took what remained of his fortune to accomplish it, but eventually he was able to obtain a piece of true magic, a stone that could grant him the power that had so outshined him, the incredible abilities of the Justice Society of America! So Astonicus fought the heroes with their own powers, one at a time or together, and they soundly defeated him each time. Then, war broke out in Europe, and soon after, at home. Suddenly Astonicus couldn't even gain their notice as a supervillain. Once again, the new, big thing had left him in the shadows. So he retired to the last place where he'd played a show, never to perform in public again.

When Superman arrives in Branson, Missouri, he unexpectedly encounters the vacationing Wildcat--but before either of them can take in a show, they find themselves attacked! Neither one recognizes the angry young woman called Astoundia, but they certainly recognize the amazing powers she possesses--the powers of the entire Justice Society! Our heroes may unravel the mystery of her amazing abilities and her thirst for vengeance--but first they have to survive her assault!

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