Dennis O’Neil: A Superhero Story
It’s emerging from the darkness…the ghastly, horrible, revolting…Copyright Monster!
Okay, that’s enough of that. Now: Springboard for a 22 page Superhero Story!
Birdman is in torment. For over 75 years he’s been fighting crime, swinging from rooftops, crashing through windows, escaping from death traps. He has vanquished foe after foe: the list is long and formidable – Prankster, Macaroni, Captain Conundrum … Demonface! And countless others. Time after time he has delivered them to the authorities, and time after time he has seen them escape to resume their careers of evil. It is enough to frustrate a saint.
Demonface is worst of all. He considers his mission to be saving the Earth by eliminating its human population, which, he feels, is destroying the environment. Five years ago, Birdman sent Demonface to prison only to see the villain released for lack of evidence. Lack of evidence? Come on! Demonface, who could be a charmer when it suited him, continued his scientific wickedness by night while beginning to dabble in politics by day. He was – let’s be fair and give credit where due – a terrific politician and, lo and behold, he won a candidacy for President of the United States.
Today is election day, and Demonface is considered a shoo-in. To celebrate his victory, as soon as his victory is official, Demonface will push a button and activate the culmination of his genius, a device that will open a portal to another dimension through which humans can travel to a lush, green planet, very sparsely populated by cuddly little humanoids that resemble Hobbits and love company. This migration will be voluntary, but there should be no shortage of volunteers because, let’s face it, Earth has become pretty crummy.
Birdman has had plenty of opportunities to kill Demonface but has always settled for a stern admonition and, when appropriate, a lusty right cross to the mandible. Birdman has never killed anyone. It is his basic commandment: never kill anyone – no matter what. No killing. Now, today, election day, would be a good day for the dealing of justice in the form of a little long overdue homicide.
Demonface won’t be alone; no doubt there will be a few red-eyed volunteers armed with nothing more formidable than cardboard coffee cups at the villain’s combination campaign headquarters/laboratory, but none of the huge – huge! – minions bearing massive armament that used to be part of the gestalt. So eliminating Demonface should be a walk in the park. Of course, there is that little matter of Demonface being about to save humanity but, darn it, he broke the law! Again and again! He is a criminal and he must pay for his crimes. No love taps to the jaw Not now. Enough sissy liberal nonsense!
The election results are in. Demonface by a landslide. His finger hovers above the button that will save everyone, savoring the moment, Suddenly, the skylight above him shatters and a masked figure plummets toward him…