“Hey, Carlton, can I talk to you for a sec? It’s about the the potential destruction of humanity.”
Our tale begins above the Atlantic Ocean in the incredible Hover Headquarters, home to that famous sextet of stoutheartedness, the Team of Superheroes! Here we find that the stone-visaged hero Meteorface has walked into the office of Unable To Fly Man, the team’s leader, also known as Carlton G. Carlton. This latter champion looked up from the spreadsheet on his computer screen to respond “What? The destruction of humanity? Geez, what now?”
“Yeah, well, potentially anyway,” said Meteorface holding up a magazine. “Remember last month when I did that interview with Black Superhero Monthly?”
“Yeah, I guess. I don’t think I read it though. I thought that might be offensive or something, y’know? For a white guy to read a magazine designed by and for the black populace, that’s probably offensive, right?”
“What? That doesn’t even… never mind. Look here.” Meteorface flipped to an article with the title “‘Face Facts!” and Carlton began skimming it. Meteorface pointed out a paragraph. “Right here. They asked me what my weaknesses are.”
“‘Every Friday the Thirteenth, I lose my powers for a whole day.’ Okay, well first of all I have to ask, why did you even answer that?”
“I don’t know. They gave me free sandwiches, I wasn’t really paying attention to the questions. It was stupid of me, but I did it. And now all my enemies know.”
“So you figure that, tomorrow being your day of powerlessness, all your enemies will turn up and try to destroy the world at once.”
“Well, looks like the Team of Superheroes is in for a busy day!”
The next day! Meteorface, a man who can usually soar through even the most stellar locales with the greatest of ease finds himself as unable to fly as Unable To Fly Man himself. But not just that, all of Meteorface’s amazing Meteor-powers are gone for twenty-four hours. His career as a superhero on hiatus for a day.
It began when young Chris Andover, a mere child of eight, was walking down a street with his family. Suddenly some supernatural creature burst from the shadows and attacked them, leaving Chris’s parents dead and the boy alone in the world. Chris prayed after this. He prayed for the ability to fight the bizarre and abstract forces of evil that made the world unsafe for innocent people.
His prayers were answered.
After the young boy recovered from being hit in the face by a meteor he realized the space-borne stone was lodged there. But Chris did not mourn the loss of his face, because the new face, the Meteor-Face came with a host of powers that allowed him to combat the bizarre and abstract forces of evil as one of the mightiest superheroes on Earth. In time he met Hover Head, a fellow hero and now his best friend. The two of them then joined the Team of Superheroes and still serve there until this day.
Of course, in those years of service he has gathered a Rogues Gallery of some of the universe’s most threatening villains.
From many exotic locales, they came. Criminals and fiends from Earth, Space, and Beyond gathered on the shore nearest where the Hover Headquarters floated. The worst beings Meteorface had ever faced, all in one spot. From inside he saw Corporal Meanfellow revving the engine in his Mean Jeep. He saw the Space Scoundrel sharpening his fingernails with a knife. He saw Lightninga shooting sparks from her eyes. And there was his evil doppelganger Asteroidfists. There was Gonkoxo, Bank Robber From Galaxy Two. There was Operalopithecus. There was Haunting Harry. There was Doctor Killfolk. There was Robo Moth. There was Mace Face. There was the Crustacean Crew. There were the Invasion Boys. There was Team Torture. There was the entire Army of Onomatopia, land of the Sound People. According to HQ sensors, there were over two hundred villains waiting below as the sun rose.
One stepped forward from the pack. He put a megaphone to his lips.
“Alright, Team of Super-Pricks!” Warlord Badass’s amplified voice reached Meteorface. “Listen up! We know you’re not up to full strength today and because of that we’re going to beat the crap out of you. So come and get it or we come and get you!”
The Team was standing on the observation deck looking down. Carlton turned around first. “Well guys,” he said, “there’s a whole lot of bad guys down there.”
“Nothin’ we can’t handle,” said Ka-Blewy, the team’s resident lone wolf. “I say we just get down there and bust some heads. Half of them will probably run away before we even get started.”
Carlton put a hand on Ka-Blewy’s shoulder. “For once, old friend, we actually agree on a tactic.” He adjusted his cape and looked down at the scene. “I’ll come in from behind, you guys come down from this direction fanning left to right in standard order,” then turning to Meteorface. “Except Chris obviously. You stay here and watch.”
With that Unable To Fly Man vanished in a flash of light. He rematerialized below, behind the mob of criminals and malcontents, completely unnoticed. The hero shouted “Hey!” to get the attention of some, then spewed lightning from his hands. The villains were in disarray before Ka-Blewy finished counting. “Three,” he said, then looked at Chris “I’ve been aching for a fight like this. Thanks Rock-face.”
Ka-Blewy jumped over the side of the Hover Headquarters cushioning his descent by creating explosions below. Behind him Granny Muscles stepped up to the ledge. “Don’t worry about this, dear,” she said to Chris. “It isn’t your fault. And we’ll be fine.”
Chris shuffled his feet and looked down as Granny vaulted over the rail and came down punching. Arms-Man was next. With extra arms in place of his legs and head he couldn’t talk, but gave a thumbs up. Holding a bo staff, a broadsword, and nunchucks, he also leapt without fear into the murderous masses.
This was the position in the standard order when Chris would take his turn deploying. He put his hands on the railing.
“What are you doing?” Hover Head was suddenly in front of him, nudging him away from the ledge with the left side of his face. “You can’t go down there today. Do you want to get killed?”
“This is my fault,” Chris said. “I can’t let you all get into danger because of me and just sit here.”
With no body to slow him down, Hover Head was one of the fastest beings in the cosmos, so he could spare a moment without breaking up the team’s formation. “First of all,” he said “this isn’t your fault. Granny just said that. This is the fault of that crowd of idiots down there. They woke up and thought this was how they should spend the day, not you. So sit back and relax. We’ve got this.”
Hover Head zoomed to the scene below and ruined any impressiveness his arrival may have caused by shouting “Why the long face?” to nobody in particular. Meteorface leaned against the wall with his arms folded.
The fight went exactly as the heroes predicted. It went so well that Meteorface was almost offended. On any other day of the year he would tangle with one or two of those criminals and win, but he’d have to put effort into it. Today the Team of Superheroes was kicking their asses with relative ease.
From inside he saw Granny Muscles toss Corporal Meanfellow and his Mean Jeep into the ocean. He saw Ka-Blewy knock out the Space Scoundrel with an explosive punch. He saw Unable To Fly Man mentally control some trees forming a cage around Lightninga. Hover Head smacked into Asteroidfists’s face, leaving the crook unconscious. Arms Man caught Gonkoxo in a net. Granny Muscles wrapped telephone pole around Operalopithecus. Ka-Blewy blasted Haunting Harry into a dozen ghost pieces. Unable To Fly Man pinned Doctor Killfolk under a truck. Hover Head smacked Robo Moth, breaking its wings. Arms Man left Mace Face hog-tied. Granny Muscles clobbered the Crustacean Crew. Ka-Blewy choked the Invasion Boys with smoke. Unable To Fly Man caught Team Torture in wet cement. The entire Army of Onomatopia were the first ones to run away.
As the villains started fleeing Chris left the observation deck. He didn’t feel bad for endangering his friends anymore. Apparently they were in no danger. Apparently even a mass gathering of all the villains that gave him trouble as Meteorface was nothing to those guys. And if Meteorface’s villains were jokes, what did that make Meteorface?
Inside, he went to the kitchen and opened the fridge. He leaned in to decide what to drink when suddenly he heard a noise.
Standing up, he turned around. In the doorway stood a shadowy figure.
“Meteorface,” said Warlord Badass. “I don’t know why all those clowns are down there fighting the guys with powers when the real victory to be had is up here.” He stepped into the light of the kitchen.
In his right hand he held a baseball bat with a nail driven crookedly through. The other hand held a dog leash at the end of which dangled a small chihuahua. With a flick of the wrist Badass swung the dog within inches of Chris’s neck where is snapped its little teeth in an effort to rip out his throat.
Chris jumped back and before he could recover the baseball bat was coming for him. Even without his power he still had instincts honed by a lifetime of fighting. Rolling under the table, Chris came up on the other side holding a chair.
Badass swung the chihuahua again. This time it took a chunk of flesh from Chris’s hand.
“When you’re dead,” said Badass, “I’m gonna get that rock outta your head and keep it in my toilet bowl. To piss on.”
Meteorface threw the chair. Badass sidestepped it. “Psh. You call that a–” but he was cut off when Chris pushed the whole table forward, pinning Badass to the wall. He followed this up by grabbing the chihuahua and shoving it in Badass’s face, leaving it snarling as it held onto the villain’s nose.
Some movement behind him made him turn around and he saw the Team of Superheroes standing at the entrance of the kitchen.
“Way to go, Meteorface!” said Carlton.
And so the Team took Warlord Badass into custody, alongside several dozen other wanted felons. At midnight Chris’s powers clicked back on and he felt the energy of the cosmos coursing through his blood once more. Soon Meteorface was back in Carlton’s office.
Meteorface said “My villains are a bunch of idiots, aren’t they?”
“Yeah,” said Unable To Fly Man. “But they’re a tough lot. I sure hope this isn’t something we’re going to have to go through this every time Friday the Thirteenth rolls around.”
“Not going to be a problem. I’m getting Black Superhero Monthly to do a follow-up interview. I’ll tell about how today turned out. We caught more villains than we get in most fill months. And make some corny comment about how a person is never powerless as long as they’ve got some good friends. That should put an end to it.”
“Yeah. That should work.”