Mystery Men Comics

Issue 43

ALL-STARS OF EVIL REBORN!

Perfectly Ordinary People, Legolas, Strider, Dr. Nimbus

Garlic Press, Spammer, Captain Lint, the Gumblower, Extremely Horrific Man and the Noodler promote themselves to first-string All-Stars of Evil, adding to their bag of captured heroes and taking over Townsville! Captives include the Mad Scientists, Frodo, and Sam.

The one free member of the Mad Scientists, Dr. Nimbus, feels quite awful about leaving the hobbits unattended (relatively) with Dr. Revenge, and will certainly assist in freeing them and his comrades from the All-Stars. As for Dr. Deterrence, since his own presence is required elsewhere, Dr. Nimbus will have to make do with sending him a pointed letter stating that his threat of 'massive retaliation' is possible grounds for gimmick infringement, and that such a violation is taken very seriously by at least one of his comrades.

"A-HA!" crows Garlic Press. "Weíve led the eight superheroes right into our trap, just as my clever plan predicted!"

"Weíre outnumbered two to one, Garlic," points out the Noodler.

"Man, you suck," says the Gumblower. "Green Flashlight was a much better leader than you."

Garlic Press and the Gumblower begin fighting each other as the superheroes descend!

Major Nelson vs. Spammer: The Spammer tries to interrupt Major Nelsonís workflow with floods of mail, and in a blink of light heís turned into an upside-down palm tree with glowing neon roots. Jeannie and the Major look at each other, shrug, and giggle.

Tim OíHara vs. Captain Lint: Captain Lintís sock-shredding powers spray powdery gray lint all over Tim, enfolding him like a soft and comfy but slightly ticklish blanket. He uses his journalistic powers to call a cop and have Captain Lint arrested. Hey, not everyone has a supersonic signal watch, okay?

Darrin Stephens vs. Extremely Horrific Man: Darrin, petrified beyond endurance, sticks one hand over his eyes, swings wildly with the other, and clonks Extremely Horrific Man right onto his horrific ass. Without ever looking at him!

Agent Beta and Legolas vs. the Noodler: Agent Beta considers spiriting Legolas away to her love harem on the Moon, to raise a race of perfect Moon elves. But then she catches sight of her flashy-thing device and forgets all about it. The Noodlerís interwoven ever-lengthening noodle whips are formidable indeed, ensnaring Agent Beta into al-dente immobility! But Legolas aims straight and true and plugs up the pasta-makerís vents, causing a pasta feedback explosion that encases the Noodler in his own weapon like a human tortellino.

Gilderoy Lockhart vs. the Gumblower: Gumblower goes for the obvious threat (the impressive confident wizard) and smears Gilderoy with filmy sticky gum. But Gilderoy Lockhart, as he proudly declaims, is made of sterner stuff than a movie theater seat back or city sidewalk, and valiantly fights free of the clinging goo to ensorcel the Gumblower with a Globus Infugit spell! Now he canít find the Earth.

Strider and Dr. Nimbus vs. Garlic Press: "So, Strider, at last we meet! Long has this day been foreordained in the annals of cosmic battle, for I Ö"

"Excuse me, but who are you again?" Strider asks politely. "The Garlic Man? And what exactly is this Ďgarlicí you wield?"

"Oh! Ah! Maybe, maybe I didnít have any MOVIES about me, m-maybe Iím not the idol of, of millions of, of teenage girls, but I, I, I have the POWER OF THE BITTER ROSE, Gondor-boy, and Iím gonna whomp you good with it!"

So it is that Narsil, the Sword That Was Broken, clashes in combat with Bitter Rose, the Garlic String that Retains Its Full Pungency. Narsil, of course, slices the garlic to bits, but thatís exactly what Garlic Press intended, as it releases the full fury of its bitter aroma and juices to overwhelm Striderís abstemious Middle-Earthian senses, driving him to swoon.

Dr. Nimbus, surrounded by an extremely local high-pressure system, is unaffected, and soon is pelting garlic-flavored hail back at Garlic Press. Itís not much, but it stings.

"Ha! Ha ha! Ha ha ha!" crows Garlic Press. He looks around for comrades to share his triumph with, and instead sees ten victorious superheroes.

"Ha Ö aw hell," he says, and bolts. Sleeping Beauty and Snow White use their wits to track him down, where he surrenders, armed only with a garlic-press whose garlic has all been used up.

He also surrenders the key to the self-storage unit where the captives are being held, which is a good thing. The hobbits were starting to get on Dr. Revengeís nerves.

Perfectly Ordinary People: +5 municipal, +6 public

Fellowship: +2 municipal, +2 public

Mad Scientists: +1 municipal, +1 public

2 xp each, 3 xp for Legolas, Tim OíHara and Gilderoy Lockhart

BLUE BLUR BLASTS DOWNTOWN!

No need to seek out villainy, Fairy Tale Four and Perfectly Ordinary People -- the Blue Blazes are coming for YOU! Oh, yeah, baby, yeah! We're makin' gravy without the lumps!

"Where the FRICKIN FRAK are those SUPERHEROES?" demands the Blue Blur loudly. "We TAUNTED Ďem and EVERYTHING!"

No one listens. Dejected, he goes home.

And there, on his doorstep, are the Fairy Tale Four!

"Hold it RIGHT-CHERE, Speed-Freak!" demands the big blue Genie. "Respect my AUTHORI-TAH!"

"Yipe!" says the Blue Blur. "You wouldnít be so tough if I have my gang around! And since I have super-speed Ö I DO!"

He runs off real fast, but the Blue Genie becomes a blue racing car and zips after him. Which takes us to Ö

DEATH-FACE THREATENS DOCKS!

A radioactive screaming skull scares the bejabbers out of dockworkers!

THE UPHOLSTERED MAN WALKS AGAIN!

Half man, half sectional sofa, the Upholstered Man has escaped from his leathery tomb, and all Mankind must pay the price!

THE MALEVOLENT MENACE OF DR. DETERRENCE WILL NOT BE DENIED!

Dr. Deterrence, the Nuclear Nemesis, threatens all who dwell within Champion City with his arsenal of lethal gadgets! Interfere with his rampant crime spree and invite massive retaliation!

Gimli, assigned to fight Dr. Deterrence, cannot see over the heads of his fellow subway passengers and so misses his stop.

Unfortunately, Death-Face, the Upholstered Man, and Dr. Deterrence are all actors, hired to simulate supervillainy for the express purpose of pitting superheroes against each other Ė as Shatner would put it, like ANIMALS. In a CAGE!

Yes, Operation Turnbuckle, Falsefaceís masterstroke, is alive and well and operating in Champion City. Its critical core is the super-speedfreaks the Blue Blazes. As the Metropolitan Minutemen approach the docks, blue blurs whip out of the darkness, affixing Halloween skeleton masks to their faces. Simultaneously, around the corner, another speedy surrogate is sewing pieces of leather and chintz around the arms and heads of the Pentumvirate of Power.

So when the Minutemen come running, seeking the Upholstered Man, and at the same time the Pentumvirate, looking for Death-Face, catch sight of one another Ö

"There they are!"

"GET THEM!"

"Flying Elephant Moon Distraction!"

"Yankee Ö ZUUULUUU!"

Super Strategist vs. L33t Ma5ter: "Donít you see, El-Eat Mafiveter, weíve been tricked! This is all a ploy to get us fighting each other while our enemies wait to swoop down on us once weíve exhausted ourselves Ö much as Stalin hoped to pick up the pieces once Hitler and Churchill had worn each other out in World War Two!"

"Yeah, whatever, Skull-Dude. Eat this!" says L33t Ma5ter, de-rezzing Super Strategistís bitmap.

"Ow! Iím not sure what you just did, but .. ow!"

The Human Chameleon and the Pickler vs. Dr. Teeth: "Pickles, huh? I love pickles," asserts Dr. Teeth. "Eat them bad boys right up."

And he does, too. The Pickler has to resort to his reserve jar, which hasnít had time to properly absorb the brine solution.

Meanwhile, the Human Chameleon sneaks up on Dr. Teeth, perfectly imitating the texture of a spray-stained concrete wall and feeling pretty good about it. Dr. Teeth smiles, casting a white glare over the scene. Instinctively, the Human Chameleon adapts, becoming as incandescently toothpaste-commercial blinding white as Dr. Teethís smile, which badly undermines his camouflage anyplace but the inside of a lighthouse bulb. Like so many superhero battles, this one is taking place outside a lighthouse bulb. Shame, really.

Mr Pups and the Mailman vs. Shojo Shaman: Aw geez. See, the one guy has puppies, the other has mail. Whereas Shojo Shaman can do just about anything as long as itís in pastel colors. Fortunately, she just LOVES puppies! A de facto truce is arranged as Mr. Pups keeps Shojo happy by presenting cute and friendly pups to cuddle, and the Mailman sneaks off to kick Cosmo Beautyís tail.

Unicycle Courier, Yankee Zulu and Tango Foxtrot vs. the Fencer: Unicycle Courier darts between the battling heroes at a great speed and encounters a single-strand low-voltage electric fence. TWANNG! Fortunately, Yankee Zulu has balanced on Unicycle Courierís shoulders and leaps off. Soaring gracefully on his Cloak of Liberty, the Impi of Independence slams the Fencer with his American Assegai, washing his spear in the Blue, White and RED! The Fencer staggers, then trips over a deftly placed white dance shoe courtesy of Tango Foxtrot. Heís out Ė wrap him him up. Tango and Yankee shake hands.

Reverse Psychologist and Phat Chick vs. Cosmo Beauty: Cosmoís cruel taunts send Phat Chick into whimpering retreat, her self-image irrevocably shattered, probably never to return. But Cosmo Beauty has picked the wrong person to mock in the Reverse Psychologist! He agrees with everything she says and hides his face in shame so vigorously that he beans himself on a lamp post and passes out. Hm Ö maybe she picked the right opponent after all.

Suddenly, a minivan comes barrelling onto the scene, driven as fast and recklessly as though it were late for an all-important tee-ball game! Yes, itís the Momís Club, clutching their soups to go, and making alternative arrangements to get the kids to soccer practice, rushing to confront Dr. Deterrence with signs in their windows reading:

We need a nuclear-free world for our kids!

No more nightmares for Janie!

The Blue Blazes rush over and conveniently paint fallout-shelter symbols on everyone still standing.

"You know, girls," says Stacey, "thereís something odd about these radiation ruffians. Half of them have skull masks and the other half are wearing upholstery. You donít suppose Ö nah. Letís get them!"

"Wait, Momís Club!" says Super-Strategist, still stinging where his pixels were blurred. "Itís all a trick!"

Behind him, the Mailman kicks Cosmo Beauty right in the sternsheets, and she whirls around and slaps a baton upside BOTH sides of his head. Whop-whop! Return to sender.

L33t Ma5ter and Cosmo Beauty circle Yankee Zulu and Tango Foxtrot in a deadly game of cat and mouse.

"Why would Dr. Deterrenceís men fight each other?" says Stacey. "I think I was right Ė somethingís odd here."

Jennifer and Michelle double-team Shojo Shaman, and with all the swords, fists and cartoon hearts flying around, Mr. Pups gets caught in the middle. All three combatants stop to rescue the puppies.

"Hnh. Grrlz," sneers L33t Ma5ter. "Hey, Colonel Klink. Ready to get it on for the final challenge round?"

"Blast you, thatís exactly what the enemy WANTS us to do!" explodes Super Strategist. "Look at me! Look past this Ö this stupid MASK, at the bicorne hat, the proud letters SS (though unrelated to the German organization bearing those initials, to be sure), the Minuteman logo and secret decoder ring Ö you call yourself the High Lord and Mizzaster of Information! Donít you RECOGNIZE ME? Iím THE SUPER-STRATEGIST!"

Dr. Teeth nods.

"Yeah. Thatís right. I remember this guy," he says. "You led that thing on the Moon that time, uh?"

"Right, when that mean Astrogoth attacked!" says Stacey. "You were right in the middle of it!"

"Good! Now we have .. to work Ö together!" declares Super Strategist as his teams continue to fight each other. "Stacey, Dr. Teeth Ė we have to get our teams to declare a truce long enough to find out whoís behind this fiendish plan, and what their purpose is!"

"Not so fast, Super Strategist!" say the Blue Blazes, roaring out of the night at Mach 1. "Not when our plan is so close to completion. You may have stumbled onto our deception, but once youíre out of the way, no one will stand in the way of Operation Turnbuckle!"

"Yo," says L33t Ma5ter. "I know about it too, man. And information wants to be free. Iím downloading to chat rooms all over the freakin world in about two seconds Ö ow! Damn!"

A Blue Blazer slugs L33t Ma5ter, and down he goes.

Dr. Teeth vs. Blue Blaze Bobby: Thumpthumpthump. "Ow!"


Super-Strategist vs. Blue Blaze Benny: Thumpthumpthump. "Ow!"

Stacey vs. Blue Blaze Bernie: Thumpthumpthump. "Ow!"

"All right!" exclaims a Blue Blazer. "We knocked out three whole teams! Whadda we do with the stiffs?"

"I dunno," says another. "Falseface didnít say."

"Then I guess we gotta bust him outta jail, donít we?"

"YEAH!"

The Blue Blazers rush to stow their captives in a big steel shed, just like all the other steel sheds in Docktown. Then out of nowhere, the Fairy Tale Four and Justice Inc. show up and whomp them!

HEROES DEFEATED! BUT RESCUED!

Justice Inc.: +3 municipal, +3 public

Fairy Tale Four: +5 municipal, +5 public

3 xp each, 4 xp for Super Strategist, L33t Ma5ter, Dr. Teeth and Stacey.

PATROL

Off-Duty Guys patrol Pokey Oaks.

The Pincher stumbles on a crime which he solves by pinching the perpetrators until they drop their spray-paint cans and stop defacing the subway. Life is good!

Stiltman looks for crime on the rooftops, but finds none.

New recruits El Nombre and the Belgian Waffle get into a tussle, each mistaking the other for a supervillain! Their colorful, multilingual, nearly plotless clash scares off a gang of burglars, sparing the citizens of Pokey Oaks and their property. Well done, Belgian Waffle! Kudos, El Nombre!

Metropolitan Minutemen: +4 public

Off-Duty Guys: 2 xp

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