Tagged: super villains

Martha Thomases: Apokolips Now


As I do so often in uncertain times, I turn to comics. Specifically, DC superhero comics.

Because I do, I have some idea what it will be like to live in a world run by an enormous, self-centered creature who considers himself to be a god. This is a world where every aspect of life is devoted to praising a being who expects complete and total adoration, who expects his every utterance to be praised and obeyed. He runs his world based on his whims, turning his attention from one perceived slight to another.

His inner circle schemes to see who can flatter him the most. They do this to empower themselves, but also to stay alive. Those who displease him are banished to an eternity of suffering.

The people on this world toil endlessly in darkness. No matter how much they praise their lord, he pays them no attention. And they’re better off for it, because his attention arrives with his anger.

Everyone works really hard, every single day. Most of this is physical labor, the kind that combines intense exertion with soul-crushing tedium. The best to which they could aspire was a lifetime of this. There were no wages, or rewards, or respites of peace.

Perhaps this set-up satisfied the god for a few millennia. It’s no longer enough. Now he wants to conquer more worlds, more universes, more alternate realities. When he gets them, he is not satisfied, because he will never ever be sated.

When everything is about you, you can never be sated.

I suppose it’s possible that, for some people trapped in this world, there are moments that are better than others. Perhaps, before they fall asleep, they share a moment of camaraderie with a friend, or a moment of tenderness with a lover. In those moments, they might imagine a better world. They might try to find a way to make their own world better.

Because this world is so hellish, these people never get much farther than that. They don’t have the numbers, or they start to squabble with each other. They’re people, and they’re flawed, and too often, they put their own individual passions and opinions ahead of effective action.

In these comic book stories, there is sometimes a superhero to save them. There is a superhero who can defeat the dark lord, and in doing so, debase him in the eyes of his subjects. If they see him as fallible, they might be able to fight against him more effectively.

Here in our reality, where these stories only exist in comic books and folklore, we don’t have any superheroes. No one person is going to come in and save the day.

In fact, that kind of thinking is what gives power to the dark lord. Instead, we have to find common ground with each other. My priorities will be different from yours. The things that hurt me and make me feel helpless will be different from those things that affect you. This should not make us enemies. We should be able to take our individual, unique experiences and find common ground and common cause. There will be plenty of time to split hairs and determine who was most oppressed when we are all free.

If it helps, we can wear capes, too.

Marc Alan Fishman On Villains – Super, Real, or Other


kathy-fishmanThis past Sunday my wife screamed for me from our upstairs bathroom. I found her on the floor, convulsing in agony, attempting to decide which tile looked the most comfortable to lay on. Minutes later, our boys were packed up and whisked to our sitter. My wife and I rocketed towards the emergency room. Some pain meds, some x-rays, and plenty of doctors’ questions later, Kathy was diagnosed with cholecystitis. Surely this was the work of Red Skull, Circe, or possibly King Shark. Or, you know, the ravages of having a baby six months ago who was all up in that tummy pushing and prodding on various organs.

Over the next three days my wife and I sat around a hospital room perusing daytime television. Amidst paternity tests, minor civil cases revolving around shoddy craftsmanship, and Jeopardy, my mind wandered towards villainy.

For Kathy, her own body was the ne’er-do-well. What she’d largely chalked up to multiple bouts of unlucky food poisoning turned out to be her gallbladder — that nefarious cur — carpet bombing her colon with rocky misiles of doom.

For the denizens of daytime TV, villainy was found in deadbeat dads, crooked landlords, and “I’ll take Potent Potables for $1000, Alex.” Elsewhere in the real world, villainy is found in the acts of terror around the globe. Villainy is found in the unfair treatment of citizens by equally scared and confused police. Villainy is even found in a fluorescent orange bully of women, somehow competing for the most important job in our country like many reality stars who used their heelish tendencies to land themselves in the final spots on their respective TV shows. Apropos, no?

The politicians? Scary, yes. Villains? In real life, not even close. The blowhards, dirt bags, and the writers on Jeopardy? Mean, sure. Villains? Nope. Hell… even my wife’s gallbladder? It was acting out in self-defense.

Funny thing, our bodies. Mine under-produces insulin, and over-produces uric acid. But it’s never purposefully held me hostage or demanded the secrets of the jade monkey.

So often in our fiction, we take these minor malcontents and extrapolate their worst tendencies to create true villains. What separates the fiction from fact typically is the glut of nuance that shades our world from the graphical black and white on the page (or screen, what-have-you). Since the dawn of our narrative prowess, humankind has often simplified the world to make better sense of it. Think back to the rudimentary recitations of history taught to you in grade school. England was mean, the pilgrims sailed across the sea, befriended the native Americans, and poof! America. Never mind the fact that there were political issues, religious issues, and plenty of interpersonal conflict. But it’s hellasimple to call the King of England a villain and then start a revolution.

I believe that villainy exists, but villains do not. There are those amongst us who prey on the weak, who rape, steal, lie, murder, or act only on selfish impulse. But it’s too simply a concept to label someone as solely a villain. It’s too easy a label. Too easy to cast final judgment.

“A man that believes that we should take an eye for an eye… eventually leaves the whole world blind.”

So, retreat then to the pulp paper for your super-villains. The maniacs and eaters of worlds. The corrupt and lost souls who ravage without remorse. Who toy with their fellow man to play a larger game against their arch nemesis. But know that in the real world… nothing is ever that simple. For you see, my wife’s gallbladder is now long gone from her body. But that’s not to say her appendix isn’t scheming against her, while you read this very sentence.

Villains, indeed.

(Editor’s Note: our dear friend Kathy Fishman, we’re happy to say, is back home and recovering nicely, surrounded by two small boys and a confused but doting larger boy who produces comic books.)

Marc Alan Fishman: Our Legion Of Doom

Legion of Doom

Let’s just get this out of the way, kiddos. I know ComicMix is a site built on the back of the abundance of comic book geek culture that is out there to cover and pontificate on. But I imagine all of you reading my column this week are likely nursing a hangover from catching Star Wars: The Force Awakens for the eighth time.

I tend to write my articles a few days before we post it up here on ComicMix. It just so happened on the evening I was penning this article, I put the Republican presidential debate on my second screen. I wanted to write about Batman, or Deadpool, or something heroic. Instead, I find myself with villains on the brain.

Make no mistake: I’m as left as left can go. In college – prior to watching The West Wing – I was more or less a moderate. I thought waging war on people half a planet away was a great idea; it clearly keeps the killing away from us. And I thought big government and tons of taxes meant less money in my pocket, and drug addicts getting to prance around with my tax dollars. And then 9/11 happened. And I found The West Wing. And I started paying a bit more attention to the world around me. Blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda, and poof! I’m rainbow-flag-waving, democratic-socialist-loving, left-hearted-softy. But I digress.

Watching the debate between the Republicans on Tuesday evening felt like spying on the Legion of Doom holding their annual holiday bash – as moderated by an old, bearded Jimmy Olson. Everyone was given free reign to voice their mutually exclusive opinions, loudly, while an audience of well wishers hooped and hollered at the end of every verbal stanza. But with these words tic-tic-tacking on my left screen, and the infernal musings from the best the GOP had to offer in my periphery… I find myself staring at the space between my monitors “Wait, no, seriously? People are applauding this?”

Take for starters, the wave of opinions on global threats like ISIS. I heard things like “carpet bomb them until the sand glows in the dark”, “arm like-minded people over there to fight this on the ground”, and “we just have to do what we did the last time we were there!”. Really? The term “bad guy” was bandied about with as much frequency as “kryptonite” might at a Legion kegger. When asked direct questions about their chosen methodology and tactics? We got exactly what we’d get from Solomon Grundy or the Riddler: either odd non-sequiturs or feckless verbal gymnastics.

When the Legion, err, candidates (I guess?) weren’t pandering to the crowd of blood-thirsty gun-toters (I assume, as all liberals do), they were arguing amongst themselves. We were treated to Toyman and Black Manta sniping at one another over who would be allowed into Keystone City (in short: no one). Bizarro and Captain Cold spent time calling one another “chaotic” and “weak”. And all the while… Giganta prattled on how she was a woman, and Grodd demanded people remember he was a lawyer, and around September 11th. Funnier still then, that the silly ape forgot the time he hugged the Flash after Hurricane Sandy. I bet that pissed off the Weather Wizard something fierce.

By the end of the evening I was angry and exhausted. It was only in the wake of the in-fighting, hate-mongering, and Blitzer-bashing that a voice of reason flew in from the Internet. You know the Internet, right? It’s that thing you can turn on and off on a whim, because… America. Or science. Or something. Anyways. The voice was clear, humble, and weathered. “…not one word about income inequality, climate change, student debt, or racial justice. Not one serious idea to defeat ISIS — just chest-thumping.”

But what was this Supermench really hoping for? And to be fair: they did title it the “Foreign Policy Debate”, so not mentioning the problems at home isn’t that big a surprise. But, I get the deeper point: it’s not enough to spend 2 hours with 9 people who all basically agree that the Justice League can’t stop the bad guys, and it’s time to get busy snooping and killing, or get busy crying and dying. Like we do.

It seemed to me that last night, those who are desperate to lead us cared more about violence in the name of freedom, boldly telling lie after lie, and spewing fearspeak… then they cared about using insight and wisdom to suggest solutions to the problems we’re all facing.

Then again… care is a concept not held highly by super-villains.




This week we bring you the first half of a SUPER HEROINE story appearing in the recently released Moonstone collection, CHICKS IN CAPES!  The staff behind this project, from editors through the writers, artists, and all others involved are women and put together not only super hero fiction from a feminine perspective, but also produce some of the best action, drama, and adventure you’ve read anywhere in a long time!  Enjoy Elaine Lee’s tale, MISCHIEF, this week on CLIFFHANGER FICTION!

by Elaine Lee

Her side and rearview mirrors blazed like a terrible binary star.
            The giant SUV trying to climb up Mischief’s tailpipe had three banks of retina-searing lights all trained on the back of her ’92 Honda Civic. It felt like the mothership had descended from on high and now had her tiny vehicle caught in the grip of its tractor beam.
            Mischief leaned forward over the wheel beyond the range of the blinding mirrors to peer through the windshield at the road ahead. She blinked a few times to clear the spots from her eyes, and a double yellow line swam into view. No shoulder. Well, she’d be damned if she’d let this guy push her into going faster. Didn’t he know there were large numbers of suicidal deer just waiting to leap at any car that dared to drive on this road?
Not that a crash would hurt the guy behind her. That thing he was driving looked like the box her car came in. It wouldn’t need airbags. A slave to hurl himself between the driver and the shattering windshield probably came standard. Mischief took a deep breath and tried to calm down.
In truth, a crash wouldn’t hurt her much, either. Not much could these days. But it would crush the Civic with her computers in the back seat, and those she would definitely miss. Perhaps in the event of an accident, she would have time to alter the Civic’s molecular structure as well as her own. Perhaps. But she couldn’t count on it.
Frustrated, Mischief raked the wayward bangs from her eyes and the hair touched by her moving fingers changed color from its usual nondescript sand to a shining blue-black.
How the hell did she get here? Driving down County Route 1 in upstate New York with all her earthly belongings in a rust-bucket Honda borrowed from a friend? How had her life gone so horribly awry that she felt the need to escape it entirely?

Mischief’s secret identity, Wendy Webber, sat in a Williamsburg coffee shop called The Present Tense shooting skater zombies with a harpoon gun. A tester for Death’s Head Games, Wendy often drifted over to the Tense to game on her laptop while tossing back espressos, thus avoiding the acute cabin fever that came from working and sleeping in the same 10 x 12 ft. room. She had half an espresso, three harpoons, a tenth of her life force, and no resurrection draughts left. The zombies were closing in.
“Yum!” said their leader. “Ill brains, Brah!”
Bells tinkled as the front door to the Tense swung open and a young man with artfully rumpled hair, wearing skinny black jeans, a gray hoodie, and a vintage leather jacket entered and loped toward Wendy’s table. He slung a dirty canvas messenger bag over the back of a chair, fell into the seat, scanned the shop to see who was watching, and struck a pose that said, “You don’t know me yet, but you will.”
Theo always looked as though he were waiting to be discovered. She loved that about him—loved his utter lack of shame. And she had to admit that he certainly had “it,” whatever “it” was. She loved that about him, too.
Wendy had enough shame for the two of them, which would’ve been surprising to most people, had they known what she was. People with super powers were supposed to be…well…super. Tiny and flat-chested, Wendy certainly didn’t look super. Though cute as the proverbial bug’s ear, she always seemed to have a coffee stain on her shirt or a button missing. Bad hair days were the norm. Worse, she looked back on her life thus far as a horrifying daisy chain of embarrassing moments and missed opportunities.
How the hell do you get ahead in a career, any career, when you’re running off to fight crime every few minutes? Super villains were not, by and large, very accommodating and refused to confine their criminal activity to the hours between 6:00 and 11:00 pm. And a gal could hardly put “superhero” on her résumé.
She imagined the interview, “Well, yes, there is a two year gap in my work experience, but I was actually being held prisoner in an extra-dimensional warp by a space-altering super-mutant with some really nasty mommy issues.”
Don’t call us. We’ll call you.
Super villains certainly had it easier, as far as making the bucks went. Steal a priceless diamond. Hold a world leader for ransom. Hire yourself out to an evil corporation that’s wrecking the environment for fun and profit. And if all else failed, you could sell your patented death ray on eBay. There were no similar options for a superhero. If a hero charged for her heroics, could she even call herself a hero? Somehow Wendy didn’t think so.
So she had suffered through a succession of McJobs, the best of which was her current gig with Death’s Head. It was more fun than slinging hash, she could make her own hours, and nobody asked her the kinds of questions about her life she’d have to lie about. Even if they did ask, she could say something like, “I have to fly out to Montauk and defeat some super villains who are melting the beach sand into glass to make a giant lens with which to fry Manhattan,” and they would just laugh and think she was moonlighting with another company. Death’s Head didn’t care what she did when she wasn’t killing their zombies.
Currently, the zombies were munching down on the brains of Wendy’s avatar, so she quit the game without saving and turned to Theo. “I have something I want to talk to you about.”
“You should do your hair like that,” Theo said, nodding toward a girl with a shock of white hair that listed slightly to starboard atop her head.
“Good idea. I’ve always wanted to look like a toilet brush,” quipped Wendy, mentally kicking herself as soon as the words had left her mouth. “Anyway, I need to talk to you about something.”
Theo heaved a big sigh. “What have I done wrong now?”
“This isn’t about you,” Wendy said, trying hard to sound reasonable. “It’s about me.”
“Oh, wow! You’re breaking up with me. You’re breaking up with me, right!”
“It sounds like you’re breaking up with me.”
“No, I love you, Idiot! I just need to talk to you about something important. Can we take a walk? Maybe to the park?”
Theo looked around the coffee shop. “You’re scared I’ll make a scene here.”
“I just want to tell you something that I don’t want everyone else to hear.”
“Oh, my god, you’re not…? Are you? Because that would be…”
“No, no, no, no, no, no, NO!”
This was not going well. Not at all. During the early days of their relationship, Wendy had decided against sharing her big secret with Theo. Having had several relationships with fellow superheroes go super sour, she desperately wanted something normal. As normal as any relationship could be that began with a big lie at its core. But that had been almost a year ago and, though they had thus far avoided the talk about sharing a place, most of Theo’s belongings had migrated to Wendy’s apartment. In every way that didn’t include sharing the rent, they lived together. And if things were ever going to move forward, she would have to fess up.
“Okay. I’m going to tell you, but you can’t freak out. You have to keep your voice…”
Wendy’s cell chirped, signaling a text. She held up a finger to signal “one second” and grabbed the phone. The text was from her last ex.
“Ur needed. Emp State. Stat.”
Wendy pocketed the phone, stood, slipped her laptop into her bag and gave Theo a kiss.
“This’ll have to wait. Something’s come up.”
“Tell you later,” she said, tossing a twenty onto the table and spinning on her heels.
“Wait a minute,” Theo called as Wendy made for the door. “We were supposed to go to the flea market to look for old vinyl!”
“Surprise me!”
To the sound of tinkling bells, the door swung closed behind Wendy. Still on the move, she quickly scanned the street, looking for a place to change. There! An alley! That would do. As she ducked between buildings, she suffered a twinge of guilt about the way she’d left Theo.
“Another damn daisy for the chain,” Wendy muttered to herself. She was beginning to feel like Marley’s Ghost.
In the shadows behind a dumpster, Wendy stripped off her pleated mini and tee. Immediately, the molecules that made up the fabric of her ordinary black tights began to combine with available particles in the air surrounding her. Metamorphosing into material with the tensile strength of spiders’ silk, this supple, shining armor crawled over her body to become a revealing black costume. And as the costume manifested, Wendy’s body changed with it, becoming taller, more voluptuous, her freckles fading, while her fair hair grew and thickened, its color brightening to a shining red-gold. On her feet, the shabby Converse high tops were transforming into black boots, with white starbursts emblazoned on the sides. Within seconds, Wendy was gone—in her place stood Mischief.
Mischief reached to touch the brick wall beside her. The hard surface beneath her hand seemed to soften and give way, opening into a compartment in the building’s side. She shoved Wendy’s clothes and laptop bag into the hole and immediately, the brick surface grew over it, hiding her belongings from view. Tapping effortlessly into her power, she heated the air immediately surrounding her lower body, rose above the buildings on the resulting updraft, and took off toward Manhattan.
On her way to the Empire State Building, Mischief had a few minutes to think about how things had been left with Theo. This was the third time Wendy had tried to tell him about her super half and it was the third time she had failed. Maybe this really was a sign. Things were going pretty well, for the most part. Did she really want to risk what was, by any accounting, a pretty good thing? Why rock the boat?

“Oh, great!” Mischief thought.
The fog was rolling in and the SUV’s three banks of lights were creating an envelope of glowing mist around her car that was impossible to penetrate with normal human sight. And normal human sight was all she had to work with, as her powers didn’t include X-ray or Infrared or any type of Thru-Fog vision. She couldn’t see anything until she was practically past it. What was it with fog lights? It was Mischief’s experience that fog lights only served to illuminate the fog, while great numbers of large ruminant mammals hid safely on the far side of the glow, biding their time. Was there a shoulder now? She couldn’t tell.
Mischief realized she was clenching her jaw and tried to relax it.
It would be easy to blame her current problems on Theo but, truth be told, she had never been lucky in love. As was the case with most female superheroes, Mischief had always had problems with her personal life. Several relationships with male heroes had turned into nasty competitions as, she’d been told, when a writer marries another writer or actor dates an actor—only worse. You live together, you work together, you accidentally rip the fabric of the space-time continuum together. It gets tense.
And what do you do when an affair with a super-jock is over? Changing the apartment locks is a joke when your ex can walk through walls.

Still fretting about the way she’d left things with Theo back in Brooklyn, Mischief circled the Empire State Building and spiraled down toward the 102nd floor observatory. She’d only had this new power, something akin to flight, for the past few months. Though it might be more correct to say she’d only realized she had it a few months ago. Her power was constantly revealing itself. Initially an ability to alter her own substance, which included shifting shape to mimic other beings, it had gradually expanded into the power to alter any object in physical contact with her—in this case, the air beneath and around her.
Cooling the warm updraft that held her aloft, she lightly touched down on the observatory deck. As she looked out over the borough of Manhattan from the vantage point of its tallest building, she was slightly shocked to realize that this was her third or fourth battle with super villains at this very location. What was it about the Empire State Building that attracted this sort of thing? She vaguely remembered once thinking that superheroes primarily caught bank robbers and foiled assassination plots. But ever since her own powers had manifested, Mischief just seemed to fight other beings with superpowers with all the resulting destruction of private property. No wonder so many “normals” hated them!
            “Look! It’s Mischief!”
            Speaking of normals, the tourists had spotted her and were calling that name. God, she disliked that name! A mishearing of her chosen hero name, Ms. Shift, printed several years past in the Daily News, had been picked up and endlessly reiterated by mainstream media hacks and Internet bloggers alike, resulting in a moniker that hinted at a less-than-forthright character. Once the name had stuck, she had never been able to shake it off.
            “Mischief! Where? Over there!”
            Tourists were surrounding her now, cameras clicking, instant images snapped with cell phones already speeding through cyberspace toward various news and networking sites. Tomorrow would be hell, but there was no time to think about it now.
            “Where’s the fight,” Mischief thought, realizing she could feel the building trembling beneath her feet. This wasn’t good.
            “Get down!” she shouted to the crowd, “Cover your heads!”
            The crowd scattered, some screaming, others running in circles, all doing anything other than getting down. The building’s trembling became a violent shaking, and most of the uncontrollable mob was thrown to the observatory deck. There was a weird half-moment of perfect silence, then the wall before Mischief exploded, and Amp walked through the falling rubble.
            “Lookin’ good, hot stuff,” he said, brushing cement dust from the bright red spandex that made the most of his natural attributes. “Glad you could make it.”
The guy knew how to make an entrance, she had to give him that. How many men were there who could pull off red Spandex? Though Amp’s power to drive bursts of concussive force into anything he touched didn’t require that he have an inordinate amount of muscle, the skin-hugging outfit certainly did. So, when Amp wasn’t engaged in thwarting super villains, he pretty much lived at the gym; just one of the things that annoyed her about him back in the days when they were dating.
“Happy to see me, babe?”
“Not especially,” Mischief said flatly, “but you’re certainly happy about something.”
The interesting bulge in Amp’s Spandex was a byproduct of his talent for amplifying and focusing available energy. In short, blowing up walls gave him wood. It had been a problem during their brief relationship, as Mischief had never known when he was truly interested in her or when he just needed to work off some excess energy. She’d begun to feel like his exercise bike.
            “You know, you could help me with this,” he grinned.
            Mischief was about to tell Amp just what it was she’d like to help him with, when a giant tentacle burst through the hole in the wall, grabbed Amp, lifted him high into the air, then tossed him high over the barbed wire coils at the top of the observatory wall.
“Cephalopod!” Mischief yelled, as a second tentacle wrapped around her waist.
In an instant, she had stretched herself thin as a strand of linguini, slid from the Cephalopod’s grasp, then bounced back into her previous shape, leaping over a third tentacle to hurl herself over the wire just as Amp was passing her on his way to a date with the street below. Mischief dove, compressing her substance into a lead-dense arrow. Once past him, she turned in the air, returning her body to Mischief form and grabbed him.
Marshalling her power, she tried her trick of heating the air to achieve an updraft beneath them, but the Spandex-wrapped hunk in her arms was far too heavy to get much of a lift. What a lousy time to learn the limitations of her new ability!
“Hey, babe, try to land under me, will ya? I just replaced the suit!”
Mischief briefly considered dropping Amp and flying back to Brooklyn, but thought better of it. She concentrated on expanding the fat cells in her body and prepared herself for impact.
“AUMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!” came the awesome sound, as though all the world’s Hindus and Buddhists were chanting the sacred word at once and in perfect harmony.
The numinous tone reverberated in Mischief’s ears, filling her head with light, surrounding and buoying her up, and slowing her velocity until she found herself, Amp still in her arms, bouncing on a spongy cushion of sound. Her first thought, “I’m alive,” was followed quickly by, “Oh, crap!
With a high-pitched whine the sonic pillow deflated, dumping Mischief and Amp unceremoniously onto the sidewalk. Mischief scrambled to her feet, not an easy task at her current size and density, and spun to face The Vibe, a large part of her mass hurrying to catch up with the rest of her so that she appeared to undulate. He stood before her, glowing with violet light, his “aura of self-righteousness” Mischief sometimes thought when she was in a particularly bitchy mood.
“Thanks,” she said, meaning it.
            The Vibe gazed at her with that maddening look of concern, so favored by mainstream newscasters when they wanted to convey empathy for whatever person they were eviscerating on air. Head tilted. Slight smile. Tiny, vertical line between the brows.
“I hope you understand that this is said with love, but you need to lose some weight,” crooned The Vibe, flicking a speck of orange light from his otherwise pristine violet aura. “Just for your health. I’m worried about your health.”
Flushed with embarrassment, Mischief glanced down to see great mounds of flesh pushing over, rolling under and poking out through the formerly sexy cut-outs and plunging neckline of her skimpy costume. She looked like a ten-pound sausage in a five-pound skin.
Embarrassment and guilt were the emotions Mischief most associated with the time she had spent in domestic less-than-bliss with The Vibe. He just seemed to have that effect on her, though he would surely say “no one can make you unhappy but you,” which would serve to make her just that much more unhappy. It had taken her nineteen months to realize that the source of her misery was the gentle, thoughtful guy in her bed. He was classically passive-aggressive, which had finally sent her running toward Amp, a more straightforward soul.
Directing energy through the repulsive gelatinous mass encasing her, Mischief quickly diminished the fat cells, returning her body to the voluptuous figure she preferred while in super-persona, then turned toward The Vibe, perky breasts aimed at him like twin torpedoes.
“Healthy enough for you?”
“Sarcasm is the lowest form of humor,” The Vibe admonished.
“Maybe ‘low’ is what I’m going for!”
“That makes me so sad,” The Vibe professed, oozing sincerity.
“Heads, up!” Amp yelled. “Incoming!”
A beam of energy tore across the sidewalk to explode a nearby hydrant, and water burst from the hole.
“It’s Blast!” Mischief shouted, throwing herself sideways to avoid a second beam.
As she hit the sidewalk, the pavement beneath her gave way, becoming pliable foam that bounced her back to her feet as a taxi behind her burst into flames.
Blast, a truck-sized Neanderthal with shoulders like goalposts, stepped from the building’s entrance, psionic fire in his crazy red eyes. Amp dropped to his knees and, hands on the pavement, sent a shock wave into the concrete that ripped a jagged path of rock-like debris straight toward Blast. With a laugh like a donkey’s bray, Blast loosed a beam of psionic flame that stopped the advancing rock, blasting it to gravel and ash.
“Amp be’s a silly little man!” Blast chortled.
Behind the stretched Spandex, Amp’s manhood shrunk visibly. His face turned as red as his suit. Aura humming like a fluorescent tube on steroids, The Vibe inhaled from his diaphragm, preparing to loose an acoustic blitz.
“AUMmmmmmm…” he began, his sound-force swelling toward the inevitable crescendo.
The Vibe was knocked off his feet, his sound bomb dying mid-hum. Encased in his aura, now a fear-tinged green, he rolled backward like a pill bug, knees to chin, away from the heart of the battle.
“Vibe fight like girl!” Blast guffawed, his gargantuan shoulders heaving up and down.
“I’ll show you how a girl fights, you lumbering dimwitted hunk of meat!”
Mischief sprang forward, dodging a psionic flare by stretching her substance around it as it passed. The Blast hurled another. She deflected it with her belt buckle, which she stretched into a mirror, and kept advancing. Another blast knocked her feet from under her, but her bones were rubber by the time she hit the street. She rolled upright and began to run at the Blast once again.
“Get back! I’ll take care of him!” both of her exes shouted at once, dashing past her straight at the Blast.
As different as her superexes were, they had one thing in common—super-sized egos. As she tore through the space between them determined to get to Blast first, Mischief thought warmly of her very normal boyfriend, Theo. When she got back to Brooklyn, she would tell him everything, the whole shebang. They would laugh about it then make love. Then they would…
            Something hit Mischief’s head. Time wobbled and the world spun. As the ground rushed toward her in slow-motion, she could feel herself losing control of her power, her costume going crazy, swarming like insects over her numbing skin. Its super-strong fabric ripping itself to pieces, the costume slithered and wriggled like a thousand blacksnakes on crack, finally disintegrating, as her semiconscious body morphed into shape after shape, running through its entire repertoire of colors, contours, and sizes, to finally settle into the form of Wendy Webber. Wendy Webber on a bad hair day, naked as the day she was born.
“Naked!” was Mischief’s last thought, as she slipped into unconsciousness to the accompaniment of many clicking phones.
END OF PART ONE, Come back next week to catch the conclusion to this super heroine funfest at MOONSTONE CLIFFHANGER FICTION!!