Silly bit of Comic Book Hero. Part 1
Peter Parker took refuge within the shadows of a begrimed bar. Frequented by hopeless cases, wrecked dreamers and begrudging winos, he merged seamlessly with the other clientele as he waited. His mobile vibrated. The tremor revived him from thoughts of past adventures. Choosing to ignore the silent beckoning device, Peter searched the length of the bar from his seat near the rear. Finally, a familiar colleague picked his way through the semi-mobile patrons; brushing against one whose mouth overhung his drink like a cobra ready to devour an innocent.
‘Oh, hi Spiderma…I mean…’ he nervously scanned the bar, ‘Hello Peter.’
‘Don’t make it so obvious Clark. You’re as subtly as one of Doctor Doom’s henchmen.’
‘Ok, ok jeez, sorry Peter.’ Superman slid into the booth facing Spiderman. ‘It was out of habit, ok.’
‘I thought you’d be use to it by now. How long have you been lounging at home anyway?’ Spiderman asked sarcastically.
‘I don’t lounge about. It’s just heavy object, which potentially threaten the lives of hundreds of innocent people, don’t fall out of the sky as often as they use to do. Anyway, you’re one to talk. I thought you were supposed to be dead.’
‘Shush,’ Spiderman snapped. ‘Listen man, keep it down, will yah! I’m not getting into the ins and outs of my demise just now, ok. Let us just say for the mean time, it is best for all concerned to believe I am dead. Well, at least for now. Besides, ever since Captain Miscellaneous showed up things have slowed down all round.’
‘That’s why we’re meeting here. It’s best we wait for Batm…I mean for Bruce to arrive. After all, he called the meeting. Where is he anyway?’
Spiderman smirked, ‘Some gala or another. He’s probably donating a new hospital wing or something. Honestly man, he’s such a bighead at times. Always flaunting his cash about the place. He actually believes money makes him superior. Even if it does, it doesn’t give him the right always to be late.’
‘It can be frustrating at times, Sp— Peter. He’s always had that haughty arrogance about him, even as a child. But he’s one of us Peter. A good guy. And we have to stick together especially in times like these.’
Spiderman shrugged in agreement as his mobile vibrated again. Instinctively, he wiped it out and scanned the message. Grunting, he returned the device without replying.
Superman waited until he was finished, and then spoke, ‘Before he gets here, don’t you think it would be best to change?’
Spiderman muffled a curse. ‘Shhhh…Old habits er. It was the only way to get out of the house without Penny accusing me of seeing someone else.’
‘How is Penny? I haven’t seen her in nearly a year.’
‘Let’s just say that since we got married, Penny has gained several pounds. But the worst of it is her nagging. She nags when I’m at home and she nags because I am at home. There’s no pleasing her anymore.’
‘Sorry things aren’t going so well,’ Superman said with concern.
‘No, they are. We still love each other to bits, but only lately it has become obvious that we both need a certain amount of space. A little room to breathe. We’ll be ok. I guess I better change. I’ll be back in a second.’
As Spiderman hurried out of the bar, Superman caught the eye of a passing waitress. ‘Two beers please.’
Unfazed by the departing superhero, she headed slowly towards the serving hatch. Superman watched as her foot began tapping in tune to an old Beastie Boyz number playing in the background.
Superman found himself doing likewise: tapping in time on the side of his leg with his hand. Getting slightly carried away, he moved his drumming fingers from leg to the table just as the chorus kicked in.
[ KERRANG ] the table instantly smashed to smithereens. Blushing with embarrassment, he quickly checked the other drinkers in the establishment. Thankfully nobody noticed. Seizing the opportunity, he blew the splinters across the room into a darkened, unoccupied, corner. With super speed he grabbed an empty table resting against the adjacent wall and replaced the broken one just as the waitress turned from the bar counter with his order in hand.
He had only paid her when Spiderman returned in civilian clothing and plopped back down in his chair. ‘Are you wearing your costume under that?’ he asked while reaching for a beer.
Clark nodded, ‘I always do.’
‘Well, a piece of advice for you. If you’re changing don’t do so behind the bins out back. Somebody threw up all over the place. I nearly stepped in it.’
‘You know I use phone boxes.’
‘Yeh, good luck finding one around here. Since mobiles they’re nearly obsolete.’
‘Tell me about it.’ Superman took a gulp from his bottle.
‘There’s an empty trailer across the street. Behind that’s the best place… Oh-o, will you look at him. Where does he think he is?’
Superman followed Spiderman’s gaze. ‘Shush, he’ll hear you.’
Batman spotted them and made his way through the bar.
‘Relax Clark, he doesn’t have your ears. What is up with the tuxedo? He walks like someone shoved a broom handle up his–’
Superman gave him a gentle kick under the table. [ShaaaDing]
‘Ow! What the…Oh, Hi Bruce. So good of you to join us. Impeccable timekeeping as always ’
Batman took a seat and glanced about the bar with a grimace. ‘We could have met up in mine instead of this dump. I take it you chose the location Peter.’
‘Anywhere is better than spending another night listening to you fawning over your extravagant possessions. What’s your latest passion: seventeenth-century chambermaid chastity-belts?’
‘I wouldn’t speak ill of the dead, Peter. In fact I’m surprised to see you’re still alive,’ Batman countered.
‘Cut it out you two. Honestly, it’s like babysitting two kids. It’s the same every time we meet up. We are here for a reason. Lets get on with it and be done, shall we?’
‘You’re right Clark. Sorry Bruce.’
‘Yeh, me too.’ They shook hands and waited for the waitress to take a fresh order of beers and make her lazy trip back to the counter. ‘Right, I may as well begin.’ Batman shunted his chair closer to the two superheroes and lowered his voice. ‘The reason I called you here is for a serious matter. It’s paramount this doesn’t leave the table unless we decide to act.’
The heaviness of his warning was understood. With a brief nod to continue, Spiderman and Superman moved closer still.
Once sure he had their full attention, Batman continued, ‘You can no longer deny it, we have become nearly obsolete since the arrival of Captain Miscellaneous.’
Superman and Spiderman’s silence confirmed their agreement.
‘Since he made nuclear reactors and biohazard transportation vehicles failsafe against even the most diverse chances of destruction, the opportunity for contamination has diminished drastically. This, as you know, has led to a steep decline in mutations. Even venom from the rarest of animals has come under such scrutiny that the very notion of the phenomena intermingling with the physical and mental capabilities of “normal” citizens is minute. Our likes are close to extinction.’
Spiderman gritted his teeth as his phone vibrated yet again. Choosing to ignore it he turned to Batman. ‘I agree with you Bruce, but let me be honest; you and the likes of Ironman have not been mutated.’ Then facing Superman, ‘Clark, sorry about this, but your from another planet, so why are you so concerned?’ Spiderman asked.
‘I’m getting there, Peter. I and Ironman and those like us turned to crime fighting to prevent crime, not just to look cool in our costumes.’ He smiled, ‘Lets face it, I definitely look cool.’ It was an old boast that kept rearing its ugly head ever since he was voted Sexist Superhero of the Year 1971. ‘However, we are not the only ones affected. There are no new nemeses or arch-nemeses worthy or our powers.’
Superman looked thoughtful. ‘Is the plural nemesis or nemesessss or nemesi?’
‘Nemeses, spelled “ES” not is “IS” the plural.’ Batman assured him.
‘Are you sure?’
A nod was the reply.
‘There’s no denying what you say is true, Bruce. And for the most part his sidekick, Diplomacy Girl, has changed the views of most of the nemes-es we caught. So What should we do about it?’
An awkward silence fell over the three.
It was Spiderman who broke the deadlock. ‘We all know what needs to be done, but we are all too afraid to say it.’
‘What?’ Superman asked naively.
‘I’ll say it if nobody else will.’ Spiderman offered.
‘What? Say what?’ Superman asked growing impatient.
‘In order to survive as we have grown accustom to we need to breakout our nemeses’ Batman finally admitted. ‘Clark? Clark, are you listening?’
Superman’s head was cocked to one side. Forty-three miles away a series of distressing screams ripped through the night. Without a word, Superman took off in a blur.
Batman frowned. Spiderman raised his eyes skyward. ‘Well, what did you expect?’
##### What heinous crime is unfolding forty-three miles away?######
##### Will Superman arrive on time to rescue the victim? ######
##### Is Batman really suggesting a prison break? ######
###### Will Spiderman ever answer his phone? ######
##### For all these answers and much, much more join us next time here on
—- Silly Bit of Comic Book Hero… Den-den DEN!!!!—–