"The Cloud Creature That Menaced Two Worlds": This story is reprinted from Mystery in Space #81.
Appearing in "The Cloud Creature That Menaced Two Worlds"
Synopsis for "The Cloud Creature That Menaced Two Worlds"
This story is reprinted from Mystery in Space #81.
Once again in New York City, Adam Strange is once more stopped by a police officer that has seen him twice disappear while driving in his own car (In both issue #72 and issue #77) When Adam spots somebody who looks like Alanna on Earth he tries to get out of his car, but the police officer forces him to actually park it. Catching up with the girl, it turns out to be Alanna, who explains to him that her father repaired the device that could control the Zeta-Beam and sent her to Earth to visit Adam.
Two days later another man with a device called a Cyberay waits for the Zeta-Beams arrival, he uses the beam to transport himself and the weapon to Rann. There he is confronted by Alanna who is shocked to find somebody else instead of Adam Strange on Rann, introducing himself as Alva Xar, he uses the device to make Alanna disappear. We soon find out that 1,000 years ago he used to be the dictator of the city of Zared on Rann. During the war that saw his empire crumble, Alva escaped persecution by hiding himself under the city where all his scientific devices were kept and put himself in suspended animation. Awakened when the Arvese race invaded Rann (in Mystery in Space #77) Alva began studying modern day Rann and it's champion Adam Strange, including the Zeta-Beam. Planning revenge on Ranagar for his past defeat, he uses his Cyberay to absorb Zeta-Beam radiation to allow him to make a one-way trip to Earth where he can study his foe Adam Strange. Finding an body double of Alanna on Earth, Alva uses a device to implant copies of Alanna's memories in this Earth womans mind to distract Adam long enough for Alva to intercept the next Zeta-Beam and take over Rann without Adam's interference.
Back on Earth, Adam is showing the woman he thinks is Alanna the sights around Earth when suddenly everybody on the planet except for Adam is suddenly frozen in place. Switching into his costume, Adam goes to investigat and soon finds a glowing Cyberay in Tasmania. Taking it and flying over the Pacific he is attacked by a sentient cloud. The cloud creature explains that it caused everybody to freeze and it attacks Adam seeking to claim the Cyberay itself. During the combat, Adam realizes the device gives its user the power of mind over mater and uses it to will the cloud creature away. With the creature defeated everything resumes its normal course, and Adam returns to the museum where "Alanna" is waiting for him.
Trying to kiss the girl he thinks is his lover, Adam is shocked when she slaps him. The girl explains that she's Betti Smythe, and that she was waiting to meet her finance when suddenly she started thinking she was somebody else. Figuring out that somebody has been manipulating him, Adam prepares to meet up with the next Zeta-Beam which is due in two days.
Back on Rann, Alanna wakes up to find that she has been transported to the Land of a Thousand Smokes, she returns to find Ranagar in ruins, and the people there inform her that Alva used his Cyberay to defeat the armies of Ranagar. Alanna then goes to the next location where the Zeta Beam will strike to wait for Adam to reappear.
When he does, he confronts Alva and challenges him to a duel between both of their Cyberay devices. Adam eventually bests Alva by willing the cloud creature to reappear making everybody but Adam frozen, Adam takes the moment to take away Alva's Cyberay and then will the cloud creature away. After Alva is defeated, Adam wills the Cyberay's to disappear. Afterwards the Zeta-Beam wears off and Adam is returned back to Earth.
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