Transparent Comics - Enforcers #2: "Undead Showdown"
jmturner at fuse.net
Sun Oct 21 07:21:49 PDT 2007
When I got up, Magic King was fixing breakfast.
"Would you like some eggs, Waterboy?," he asked.
Before I could answer, some way bad news came on the TV. Prince
Zomibe and his super zombies were at it again. They were in Central
Park, and Zomibe was calling us out--challenging us to a throw down
right there. Zomibe said we had one hour to face them or else. Magic
King never got to eat the breakfast he fixed that morning. We hopped
in the lightship and started picking up the others. It wasn't cool at
all going into the fight on Zomibe's terms, but what choice did we
have? He might do some mondo damage to Central Park and hurt innocent
people if we no showed.
As usual, Magic King laid out the plan. The rest of us would have to
tangle with the super zombies while he went after Zomibe. If he could
take Zomibe down, then the zombies would just go back to being
lifeless corpses. He told us who to pair off against. He wanted me
against Masked Maiden, Bulb against Bionic Boy, Electric Lady against
Winglord, and Bouncer against Black Hercules. He told us not to hold
anything back because they were just soulless bodies now. He said if
we could break an arm or leg of one of the zombies, then go ahead to
slow them down. We got to Central Park before Zomibe's deadline, and
it was time to rumble.
Masked Maiden has above average strength and agility. She's not as
strong as Black Hercules or anything, but she can really hit you hard
with all those martial arts strikes she does. When she'd try to chop
or kick me, I'd just turn into my liquid form, and she'd go right
through me. Electric Lady was trying her best to zap Winglord out of
the sky with her electric blasts. It looked like she really got him
good a few times, but he kept on flying back at her. Black Hercules
couldn't really hurt Bouncer--just made him bounce, and Bouncer
usually crashed back into Black Hercules on the rebound. Bionic Boy
sent his bionic arms flying after Bulb, but Bulb can move at the speed
of light just like his lightship. The only difference is the
lightship flies, but Bulb has to stay on the ground. Anyway, those
arms couldn't catch Bulb when he got going. Magic King used his magic
wand to levitate him over our little slugfest and right in front of
Prince Zomibe. They started swapping magical attacks, but it seemed
like each man always had a counter spell to whatever the other one
We had a total stalemate going. We weren't getting our tails kicked
like last time, but we didn't seem to be gaining any ground either.
I'm telling this all the best I can. It was kind of hard to keep
track of everything when I had to keep dodging Masked Maiden.
Finally, I heard something crash to the ground. I saw with a quick
glance that it was Winglord. Electric Lady had finally hurt those
wings of his so bad that he couldn't stay up in the air anymore. She
started zapping him with all she had while he lay helpless on the
ground, but then she stopped. She gave me the heads up, so I ducked
while she gave Masked Maiden a big electric blast for me. With Maiden
down, I went over to help Electric Lady. We both grabbed Winglord's
left leg and snapped it. Before we could break the other leg, Masked
Maiden was back on the attack. Electric Lady let Masked Maiden have a
few more shots of her electricity. Things were still about the same
between Bouncer and Black Hercules at that point, but Bulb had managed
to take Bionic Boy off his feet in their fight. We were starting to
win, and it felt so good! Prince Zomibe realized what was happening,
and that's when everything went south on us.
We didn't know it going in, but Zomibe had a ton of reinforcements
just waiting for him to send them in. About 50 more zombies showed
up. They weren't super-powered zombies like our original opponents,
but just the number of them was enough to overwhelm us. They kept us
away from the super zombies, and that gave the super zombies time to
recover. I asked Magic King later just how many of those zombies
Prince Zomibe could control at one time, and Magic King said he didn't
know. Magic King also told me Prince Zomibe seemed stronger than he
ever had before. I guess that's why Magic King finally called for us
to retreat. We all fought our way through the zombies to the
lightship while Prince Zomibe howled with laughter. A few zombies
actually jumped onto the lightship, but they went flying to the ground
when we took off. We were lucky it was just a few. If a whole bunch
of them had got on top of the lightship, we wouldn't have been able to
take off. It was another loss for us against Prince Zomibe, and it
was a major embarrassment because there were TV cameras there. It was
going to be all over the TV news for days. I guess not even a pack of
zombies can scare away snoopy reporters. I don't think they really
needed to be afraid, though. I think Prince Zomibe wanted them there
specifically to embarrass us. Magic King agreed with me. The leader
man said Zomibe was through having fun now and would be looking for
his final victory next time.
"He'll want me to be the last to die," Magic King told us. "He'll
want me to see my friends perish before me. After that, he'll want to
make me into one of his zombies like some sort of ultimate victory
trophy. I hate to say it, friends, but as it stands at this moment,
he may succeed. We're going to have to throw something unexpected
into the next battle."
We all wondered what he meant, but we found out pretty quick. Magic
King took the lightship to the United Nations building. The people
there were definitely surprised to have us as visitors. Magic King
wanted to get a message to the underground kingdom of Tectonica, and
it could only be done from there. Magic King was taken to a tiny
room. In that room, there was a radio transmitter with a special
signal to reach Tectonica. I guess it isn't used too much because it
took a while before anybody answered him. Magic King told the dude on
the other end that he wanted to speak to their "Great Defender."
That's Worm Woman's official title in her homeland, and it's a pretty
cool one if you ask me. After a lot more waiting around, Worm Woman
was on the other end of the radio, and Magic King explained our
situation to her. He asked her to return to the surface world to help
us. Worm Woman hadn't left Tectonica since all that mess with Super
Knight murdering heroes at the Superhero Summit, and she seemed pretty
uneasy about doing it again.
"Please, Great Defender," Magic King implored her. "You know in your
heart any threat to our surface world will eventually become a threat
to Tectonica. That's why you fought for justice here before. It's
time to come back up here to continue that work as one of the
It was a tough decision for her to make, but she agreed. She
promised to meet us the next day at a top secret location. (Magic
King's house) She was going to be our surprise for Prince Zomibe next
time. She wouldn't be involved in any Enforcers missions until then,
so she stayed behind when the rest of us went to the zoo a few days
Somebody working at a zoo out in California had flipped out. I don't
know why, but he decided to start setting all the animals free. It
was way more than the local authorities could handle, so we came to
lend a hand. Most of the animals weren't really dangerous, and we
were trying to get them back safe in captivity before something bad
happened to them. It was actually kind of fun dealing with a lot of
them. This one elephant sucked me into her snout while I was in
liquid form before I could change back. Then she sprayed me out, and
I went flying. It was a wild ride! I would have liked to do it
again, but we couldn't waste any time. Electric Lady didn't want to
use her lightning blasts on any of the animals because she was afraid
she'd hurt them. She just used her powers to scare them instead, and
that was kind of a way to steer them where she wanted them to go. The
Bulb was able to use his speed to catch several animals before they
even knew what was happening. The Bouncer had a real tough time with
a gorilla that kept bouncing him against a wall. Magic King helped
Bouncer by levitating the gorilla. When his feet left the ground, the
poor gorilla just kind of froze in terror, and Magic King's power
carried him back into his cage. We got all the animals back where
they belonged, and the local authorities caught the one who turned
them loose. Everything turned out fine in that deal.
The day after the zoo stuff, Prince Zomibe came on TV again. He was
back in Central Park. He wanted a rematch with us against his super
zombies. I tried to tell myself the third time was the charm when we
got there, but I wasn't sure I believed it. We did different pairings
this time--except for Electric Lady. She was against Winglord again.
Bouncer tangled with Bionic Boy, and Bulb fought Masked Maiden. Black
Hercules was my dance partner this time.
Black Hercules' big muscles didn't mean squat against me. He'd throw
a punch, and I'd turn into water. He'd throw a kick, and I'd turn
into water. He'd throw something heavy at me, and I'd turn into
water. I was hoping to eventually tire him out. Maybe I could
actually do some offense then, but he just kept going like that bunny
rabbit in the commercials. I think I was wearing out faster than he
was, but what else could I do? Bouncer was doing even worse than I
was. Bionic Boy's detachable arms were holding him in place, so he
couldn't bounce. Bionic Boy kicked Bouncer over and over again. It
didn't really hurt Bouncer physically, but I know it was killing him
mentally since he couldn't escape it. On the positive side, Bulb
managed to take Masked Maiden down. He overwhelmed her with super
speed. While she was down, he broke both her legs. She was pretty
much out of the fight now, so Bulb went over to help Bouncer. Bionic
Boy had to release Bouncer to defend himself against bulb, so the two
of them started working together on Bionic Boy. Electric Lady was
getting anywhere against Winglord this time. He was being more
careful than last time to avoid her lightning blasts. Prince Zomibe
and Magic King were swapping spells like last time with nobody coming
out ahead. Masked Maiden actually started dragging herself toward the
battle with her arms. I guess she thought maybe she could bite
somebody or something. I'll say one thing for those zombies. They
may be dead, but they're not quitters. Bulb was doing a good job
against Bionic Boy on his own, so Bouncer decided to help me out.
Bouncer ran into a tree, and his body bounced off of it and into the
back of Black Hercules. The muscle man went down. We tried to break
his leg, but he sent us both flying with a powerful kick. I turned
into my liquid form to land safely. Poor Bouncer just kept bouncing
off of stuff. He couldn't stop himself until Black Hercules caught
him. Black Hercules threw Bouncer at me, so I turned into water
again. Bouncer went through me, but I didn't realize fast enough that
he was headed right for Electric Lady. He plowed into her, and she
fell down hard. I just stared in my human form. All I could do was
hope she wasn't hurt too bad.
While I was staring at her on the ground, Black Hercules tackled me.
He got some major shots in on me before I turned into liquid again.
If he had hit me just once more, he might have knocked me out. I
wasn't in good shape mentally or physically anymore. Magic King was
tiring out, too. Prince Zomibe was starting to win their fight until
something caught him off guard. The ground under his feet kind of
went away, and something pulled him down. He fell into a hole--
dropping the magic staff he always carried on the ground. Magic King
quickly snatched the staff up. Worm Woman came out of the new hole,
and she dragged Prince Zomibe out behind her.
"You're beaten, Zomibe," Magic King said. "Without your staff,
you're not powerful enough to defeat us. Your zombies are returning
to corpses as we speak."
The leader man was right, too. Black Hercules and the other zombies
sort of slowed down a little, and then they just collapsed. I ran
over to check on Electric Lady. I was happy to see she was back on
her feet. She just smiled at me.
"I'll be fine," she said. "I've got some bumps and bruises, but
nothing is broken."
I couldn't help but hug her before we gathered around Zomibe with the
others. He had tried to run away while I was checking on Electric
Lady, but Bulb had stopped him.
"I was wondering how you had become more powerful, Zomibe, but I
think I know now," Magic King said. "This staff is different. Your
old one didn't have this wolf's head in the design. Where did you get
this? It seems to be very old."
Things got real creepy all of the sudden. Everything had been clear,
but just then a spooky fog came out of nowhere. I got cold chills,
and the others told me later that I wasn't the only one.
"The staff was stolen from me," somebody said, and then all the fog
went away just as quick as it came.
There was a tall man standing beside Zomibe now, and he hadn't been
there before. He had dark hair and a beard, but his skin was very
pale. He was wearing a robe as red as blood. Zomibe looked like he
was scared to death.
"I was going to come for it myself, but it appears you have done my
task for me," the mystery man said, and he snatched it from Magic
King's hand. "Thank you for returning my staff to me. Now I shall
use it to punish the thief."
The tall dude made some kind of portal by waving the staff.
"That is the gateway to the realm of darkness," the man told Zomibe.
"There you shall spend the rest of your existence for defying me!"
"No," Magic King interrupted. "I won't allow that. No one deserves
such a fate--not even Prince Zomibe."
"Your opinion means nothing to me," the man told Magic King. "It is
not your decision to make."
The tall man shoved Zomibe into the portal, and then it disappeared.
Zomibe let out an awful scream just before it vanished.
"There is only one true master of the undead for now and all of time,
and his name is not Prince Zomibe. I am the true one--the one called
The spooky fog and cold chills came back, and then they went away
again real fast. The tall, pale man--or whatever he was--was gone.
We all asked Magic King if that freaky dude was the real deal.
"I can't be certain, friends," Magic King told us. "Most say he's
only a myth, but that visitor we just had was quite convincing. I'll
have to research the matter further, but there's something we must do
first. We have to burn the bodies of Black Hercules, Masked Maiden,
Winglord, and Bionic Boy to make sure they're never used in such a
vile manner again."
None of us liked that idea, but we sucked it up to get the job done.
We took the bodies to a private place and burned them. Electric Lady
cried while they burned, and I tried to comfort her. I don't think
the rest of us really knew what to feel. When the cremation was over,
Bulb wanted to lead us in a prayer. He's a pretty religious dude, so
we all told him to go ahead. Magic King made a request before we all
bowed our heads.
"Be sure to ask for mercy on Prince Zomibe. I truly pity him."
ENFORCER INQUIRIES (The Letters Page)
This series spins off from the events of Mr. Transparent #3. The
story starts with a cruise liner being attacked by Graybeard the
pirate and his crew, but it's clear from the opening paragraphs that
at least one superhero (Electric Lady) is on board incognito and has
been expecting something like this even if she would prefer her
vacation to continue uninterrupted. The Enforcers arrive and put a
stop to Graybeard, even though he subsequently escapes. More
pertinently the fight offers several instances for the team members to
demonstrate their abilities and in some cases their limitations. In
fact, on a superficial reading of issue 1 that seems to be pretty much
all the Graybeard confrontation was for, although that doesn't
discount the possibility of him returning in the future. For me most
of the meat of the story was the interpersonal relationships (worrying
about the outcome of Super Knight's trial, Waterboy and Electric
Lady's romance...) The second fight scene, however, combines the
two. Magic King's foe Dr Zomibe has found and reanimated most of the
superheroes murdered by Super Knight's betrayal. The Enforcers are
infiltrated by the zombie of Winglord (posing as his own son) and
there's a fight. I do think it would have made for a stronger ending
if Magic King's exposition had been held over to issue 2, however.--
Thanks for your review. I really enjoyed it. I hope you'll review
this issue as well.
You may be right about the ending being more effective by holding
Magic King's exposition off until #2. #1 was actually going to be 2
different issues. #1 was going to originally be the Graybeard fight
and Winglord II showing up at the end as sort of a cliffhanger. The
rest of issue #1 was actually going to be #2, but I decided to make
them one issue because I thought #1 was too short the original way.
As for Graybeard, you will be seeing him again.--Frumpy
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