Issue 12 Review

Rising Stars 12 Synopsis

"A, B, C, and D"

William Smith asks John Simon what he's going to do next. When John says that they should warn the other Specials, William corrects his choice of pronouns. William only helped John to repay the help that John gave him when they were children. William doesn't care what happens to the other Specials.

As he leaves, William tells John that one of his powers allows him to sense things about other Specials. He mentions John's three friends and says that Randy has been captured and Chandra is still waiting for John. When John asks about Joshua, William cryptically asks, "Which one?" before flying away.

John knows that Randy wouldn't want him to attempt a rescue alone. He would want John to warn the others first, then rescue him in force. John begins flying across Chicago and plans to check on Chandra first. As he flies, he wonders where Critical Maas is.

Chandra is still looking for Joshua, who has disappeared. She knows she should warn the others so that they don't rush in too soon. She trusts that they won't move without word from her or Randy. Chandra sees a woman walking among the ruins and warns her that it's not safe for her to be here. From the darkness the woman asks whether it is more dangerous to be seen or not be seen.

A horde of Maas' bizarre creatures approach Chandra. She begins to fight them and tells the woman to get clear. The woman says that's not necessary. She levitates and sends out a bright flash of light that burns the creatures' eyes from their sockets.

While flying overhead, John Simon witnesses the battle below. He swoops down and picks up Chandra. As they fly away, Chandra tells John about the other woman. John asks if she is a Special. Chandra says that she obviously is, but she's never seen her before. John tells Chandra that Randy was captured and that they'll rescue him after meeting up with the rest of their team. He's thankful that at least the others are safe.

Meanwhile, Randy has met up with the other Specials who are waiting. He tells them that John is waiting for them at the rendezvous point and that they should head into Chicago immediately. Some of the Specials are reluctant because John said that he would come back for them. Randy says that they only have one chance to defeat Critical Maas and they are running out of time. The Specials agree that they will go to the rendezvous point while Randy waits here in case John comes back. He tells them not to do anything until he and John catch up to them.

The Specials who work for Critical Maas arrive at McHenry Air Force Base. They are on a strict timetable and only have twelve minutes left. They fight through the Normals guarding the base and blast into a sealed vault. The vault contains tactical field nuclear weapons. They steal one and head back to Critical Maas with the clock down to eight minutes.

Critical Maas is pleased with her new acquisition. She summons a Special that she hold prisoner. The woman apparently has the ability to control electronic equipment. Maas orders her to give them control of the weapon. The woman refuses, and Maas threatens to "go inside". When the woman still doesn't cooperate, Maas reaches into her mind...

John and Chandra arrive at the first meeting point. They are confused because Randy is there but no one else is. John asks Randy what the Hell is going on. Randy says that "Hell" is exactly what is about to happen and no one can stop it. He attacks John and throws him into a tree.

Randy tells John that the others are about to be dead. His job is to keep John here. He has no choice.

As John and Randy lock in combat, John tries to understand the situation. Fighting Randy feels like fighting himself. He knows that Randy would never side with Critical Maas, so he doesn't understand why Randy is fighting him.

John remembers Dr. Welles' theory that he controls the source of all the Specials' powers. He feels Randy's powers drawing on his. He tries to use this to his advantage and finds himself entering Randy's mind.

Once inside Randy's mind, John can sense that there is a third person in there as well. As they continue to fight, Randy's thoughts tell him that it is Critical Maas. She is a control link. She can get inside the mind of any Special she has intimate access to and control them. That's how she has so many Specials working for her.

John asks how they are able to communicate without words. Randy says he was hoping John would fight back with his force that is similar to Randy's. Randy is surprised that John doesn't know the truth already.

The first case Randy solved was his own. He and John look very much alike. They became instant friends. They can talk without words. John's mother conceived him when she was having an affair with Randy's father. John and Randy are half brothers.

Randy urges John to use his power to cut Maas out of his mind. He wants John to do whatever is necessary to stop Maas and save the other Specials. She wants to kill all of them at once. She believes that the increased power she will receive when they die will allow her to keep the weaker Stephanie Maas personality from ever emerging again. He warns John that Maas has a nuclear weapon.

John knocks Randy unconscious as Chandra cries out in confusion. John tells her to take care of Randy and rushes off to warn the others.

The Specials land on a rooftop in Chicago as instructed by Randy. The glowing woman follows them and lands nearby.

Under Maas' control, the woman uses her power on the missile. Maas tells her to order it to head for the rooftop with the Specials. The missile launches on its 30-second trajectory.

John has never been able to fly as fast as Jason Miller or Matthew Bright. He pushes himself to the limit now. He can sense the missile approaching.

The Specials on the rooftop see the missile approaching, but they don't know what it is. The glowing woman takes flight, and they notice her also.

Ten seconds before the impact, Critical Maas notices the glowing woman flying towards the missile.

The woman is really Joshua Kane.

Joshua is wearing a dress. "This is who I truly am," he thinks.

Joshua hid his true self during the years they lived in a dormitory. Jerry Montrose once found Joshua's stash of women's clothes, and Joshua was grateful that Jerry never shared his secret. Joshua was grateful for all those times he was alone in a hotel when he could be himself. Those were the only times that he could accept his power and beauty.

Joshua thinks he was wrong to be grateful that secrets were kept. He should have revealed himself long before now. He came to Chicago in opposition to his father, and now he can finally take his opposition all the way. He is no longer afraid of his father, and he is no longer afraid of what others will think. Today he will be who he is. And he will be something he has never been: a hero.

Joshua flies into the path of the missile. He can save them. He can take the energy from the missile into himself. His father said he was nothing but a worthless glowing ball of light, but we are all creatures of light, hope, and love. Today Joshua will shine for the entire world to see.

The missile strikes Joshua and explodes. Everyone looks on in shock and amazement. The Specials on the rooftop are safe. One of them asks if anyone knows who saved them.