Tagged: Dr. Karl Malus

The Law Is A Ass

Bob Ingersoll: The Law Is A Ass #385


So are we sick of talking about Serpent Solutions yet? Yes. Then let’s talk about its older brothers, Power Broker  and Power Broker, Inc .


First, there’s one more thing about Serpent Solutions, that corporation of super villains which would hire itself out to other corporations that needed illegal things to be done. Serpent Solutions did the illegal things and the corporations paid Serpent Solutions for doing them. My recent thrashings of the reasoning – or lack there of; and I think we’ll go with the latter – behind this premise failed to address one important question; how did Serpent Solutions find its clients?

Did some masked serpent villain appear on a TV screen asking, “Do you know me?” then shill their skill on the premise that because Serpent Solutions was were a group of unknown super villain, they were the perfect people to hire to do what ever illegal stuff potential clients needed to be done? Did Serpent Solutions send out mass-market e-mails which they hoped didn’t end up a spam filter nestled between entreaties from Nigerian princes? Craigslist?

Well, the same question could be asked of Power Broker and Power Broker, Inc. Not just could be. In a little bit, will be. But first there’s another question: Who is Power Broker?

I don’t know. That is I knew once but I don’t know now.

The original Power Broker was Curtiss Jackson, a professional criminal who, along with Dr. Karlin Malus – yes him, again – founded Power Broker, Inc. Power Broker, Inc. had a fairly simple business plan; for a price, it gave its customers superhuman abilities using Dr. Malus’s experimental genetic manipulation techniques. Many became wrestlers in the super-human-only Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation. Others just became straight-out super villains.

The second Marvel villain called Power Broker is whoever took over Power Broker, Inc. after Jackson disappeared and maybe died. We don’t know this person’s real name. All we know is that Power Broker II wears a battle suit and probably used the company’s augmentation process on himself, because he can project energy bolts from his hands.

The second Power Broker kept Power Broker, Inc’s original business plan. For a price, usually a hefty percentage of whatever the clients earned with their super powers, he gave super powers to people. In the case of those who wanted to compete in the UCWF, it was what they earned as wrestlers. In the case of the customers who wanted to become super villains, “earned” was a euphemism for whatever ill-getting means got them their ill-gotten gains.

Then Power Broker II branched out. In The Astonishing Ant-Man #1, Power Broker II introduced his newest business plan; the Hench app. The Hench app is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, despite the fact that what it sounds like is silly.

Hench is a smart phone app that uses a proprietary algorithm to match up super villains with jobs. Super villains, either ones that already exist or new ones who got their powers from Power Broker, sign up with Hench to become providers. They offer their services as independent contractors available for hire and are stored in the Hench database. Then customers who need crimes committed use the Hench app. The app would algorithm and algomusic and then suggest the perfect super villain from its database for the customer’s job. Who could ask for anything more?

antmanHench is Uber for the ubermensch. An invaluable service for those who have crimes that need to be committed. However, the Hench business plan begs a question. Begs it more than a terrier taking tables scraps. That question, which I asked before, is how does Hench find its customers?

I imagine it could find its super villains by posting one of those photostated “take a number” ads on the bulletin board in either location of the Bar With No Name, the infamous bar catering only to Marvel super villains that has franchises in New York City and Medina, Ohio. But how does Power Broker, Inc. find potential customers who want crimes committed or link them up with the criminals stored in the Hench app database?

Again, as with Serpent Solutions, Power Broker, Inc. can’t exactly advertise its services or the Hench app. At least not without drawing at least a modicum of unwanted attention from the local constabulary. Then there’s the question of how does Power Broker, Inc. get the Hench app onto people’s smart phones?

Apple screens apps before it allows them access to its App Store. Google does the same before it allows Android apps into the Play Store. I can’t imagine either of these corporations would accept apps whose sole purpose was to help people break the law and get the corporations prosecuted as aiders and abettors.

Yes, Power Broker, Inc. could set up its own web site where people could go to download the Hench app. But that process is not without a significant problem. It’s a very public way for conducting business that absolutely no one would want to be public.

So I’m just stumped. I don’t know how Power Broker, Inc. could attract any sort of client base without revealing itself to the authorities.

You see, I can think up the question, how could anyone actually do these criminal things without getting caught, but I can’t think up the actual ways that anyone could do these criminal things without getting caught. Guess it’s a good thing I became a criminal defense attorney and not a criminal.

The Law Is A Ass

Bob Ingersoll: The Law Is A Ass #384

583334captainamerica6Sorry I’ve been absent the past couple of weeks. Blame it on the taxing business of prepping for the taxing business. Now I’m back. Not back with a vengeance – I’m not the Punisher – back with a comic book to write about: Captain America: Sam Wilson #6 .

I’ve been writing about the adventures of Samtain America, the portmanteau of Sam Wilson and Captain America I created, quite a bit. There’s a good reason for that, Serpent Solutions. As it’s been a couple of weeks since I wrote my last column, let me recap. (Oh, and DC take note. This is what a recap looks like.)

Serpent Solutions is a “legitimate” business made up of the villainous snake-motifed artists formerly known as the Serpent Society. It hired itself out to major corporations to do the dirty work said corporations couldn’t do. Although said operations were well within the corporations’ budgets, they were, well, outside the law. So the corporations hired Serpent Solutions. Serpent Solutions did the dirty work, then sold the results of their illegal operations back to the corporations which needed those illegal things to be done.

Serpent Solutions’ shareholder reports were a little vague on the services it provided for its clients. Fortunately, Captain America: Sam Wilson was more forthcoming. Serpent Solutions developed new patents for major pharmaceutical companies by kidnaping undocumented Mexican immigrants and having Dr. Karlin Malus use those kidnap victims in illegal genetic cross-breeding experiments. Dr. Malus developed new, hybrid species that Serpent Solutions patented those species and sold the patents to big pharma for obscene profits. Big pharma, in turn, planned to turn the new patents into obscener profits.

As sinister schemes go, this one was straight out of The Island of Doctor Moreau. Unfortunately, it was the Marlon Brando version, because this scheme, like that Brando movie, was monumentally stupid. Before I explain why, let me digress into some more of that endangered species, the recap.

One Dr. Malus’s subjects was Joaquin Torres. Dr. Malus cross-bred Torres with Samtain America’s pet falcon, Redwing turning Torres into a winged avenger. (“Eee-urp!)  Torres escaped and scientists of the non-mad variety tried to undo the hybridizing. Unfortunately, back in All-New Captain America# 5, the Nazi vampire Baron Blood bit Redwing so Redwing had a vampiric healing factor, which got gene-spliced into Joaquin. Joaquin’s body healed all attempt to reverse the hybridizing, so his wings are permanent. (If it sounds like I’m making that up as I go along; I’m not. Cap’s writers are.)

The fact that Joaquin escaped and teamed up with Samtain America made Viper, head of Serpent Solutions, none too happy. It also made him quite loquacious. (Okay, the fact that Viper was a former Madison Avenue advertising agency executive turned super villain made him loquacious. Verbosity was in his both his job descriptions.)

In the big fight scene, Viper soliloquized more than if he’d been cross-bred with Hamlet, Macbeth, and Richard III. Viper monologued that Joaquin’s wings were Serpent Solutions’s property. The wings were the “result of [Serpent Solution’s] innovations and patents,” made for them under “a very strict work-for-hire” agreement. Which just proves super villains should be fight scened and not heard. Because nothing Viper said was even remotely correct.

See, kidnapping is illegal; even if the people being kidnapped are coming into the country illegally. Detaining them for the Border Patrol is fine. Kidnapping’s illegal.

Performing unauthorized gene splicing experiments on the people to turn them into people/animal hybrids is also illegal. As Dr. Malus’s medical manipulations happened in New York City, I’m going to go with NY Penal Law § 120.10, Assault in the First Degree. We have kidnapping and assault. There were probably more crimes, but these two are enough for our purposes. (Well, for my purposes, anyway, I’m too damned lazy to look up all the possible other crimes that may have been committed.)

Old court cases such as Riggs v. Palmer, have held that criminals can’t profit from their crimes. New cases do, too. For example, courts prevented convicted wife murderer Scott Peterson from receiving the proceeds of his wife’s life insurance policy. In addition, many states have some sort of Son of Sam law, which say that profits criminals earn from their criminal activities should be paid to the victims instead of the criminals. Under such laws, Joaquin, as the victim, could be entitled to the profits of Serpent Solutions’s crimes, his wings.

In addition, contract law says that a contract for an illegal purpose – such as kidnapping and criminal gene splicing – is not enforceable. So even if Dr. Malus was working under a strict work-for-hire contract, that contract wouldn’t be enforceable. Thus, the fruits of his experimentation would actually be his property, not Serpent Solutions’s. And as he conducted his experiments by way of kidnapping and assault, he wouldn’t be entitled to the profits of his experiments, either. (You were paying attention last paragraph, weren’t you?)

Ditto the big pharmas that hired Serpent Solutions. As aiders and abettors to the crimes, their claims to the patents are just as patently ridiculous, because their methods were patently illegal.

Any way you splice it, those wings belong to Joaquin. Which is a good thing because in Captain America: Sam Wilson #6, Joaquin became the New Falcon to Sam’s Cap. And a falcon without wings is just as bad as a criminal with profits.