MISC: Transparent Comics - Enforcers #1: "Cruises & Bruises"
jmturner at fuse.net
Mon Sep 17 18:40:59 PDT 2007
Allison Anderson was enjoying herself. The sunlight on her skin
almost felt like it was healing her while tanning her at the same
time. It was so nice to be on vacation from the dusty city library,
and this cruise had been nothing but relaxing for her so far. Maybe
her friends were wrong about what might happen. She hoped so anyway.
She didn't want anything to happen that might spoil how good she felt
right now. She closed her eyes while a breeze brushed through her
light brown hair.
She had almost fallen asleep when she heard a sound. Her eyes popped
open, and she saw another ship coming dangerously close to the one she
was on. This was it. She sprang to her feet and headed for her
quarters as fast as her legs would carry her. The ship's crew was
panicking. What was going on here? A small rowboat full of unsavory
characters left the oncoming ship. The rowboat soon stopped alongside
the cruise ship. The men aboard it started climbing onto the cruise
"Who are you people?," the cruise ship's captain demanded. "Is there
something wrong with that other ship? Is this some sort of
As the captain spoke, a man flew from the other ship. He was wearing
some sort of jet pack on his back, and there was something in his
arms. He landed directly in front of the captain.
"I couldn't hear you for me jet pack, laddie," the man said. "Would
you mind asking your questions again?"
"I asked if there was something wrong with your ship," the captain
repeated. "Is this some sort of evacuation?"
"Yes would be the answer to both, sir," the man smiled. "There is
something wrong with our ship. There's no plunder on it! That's why
I ordered this evacuation--the evacuation of all the valuables on your
The captain looked horrified. The man just laughed at him.
"Thought pirates were a thing of the past, did you?," chuckled the
man. "You couldn't be further from the truth. Let me introduce
myself to you, lad. I'm Graybeard, and I'm nastier than any other
buccaneer who ever sailed the seas. Isn't that right, Scurvy?"
The dog in his arms barked in agreement. The dog was as gray as
Graybeard's facial hair with a patch over one of its eyes. All of the
men from the rowboat were now aboard the cruise ship.
"Gather up all the valuables you can find, boys," Graybeard told his
men. "If you're quick about it, maybe I'll even let you take one of
those lovely ladies aboard back with us for some fun and games. You'd
like that, wouldn't you, laddies?"
The men roared their approval and began taking items from helpless
passengers. As this all went on, Allison Anderson was nowhere to be
Waterboy, the Bulb, and the Bouncer couldn't believe what they had
just seen on the TV news. Super Knight, the former superhero who
became a murderer, would not be facing life in prison. His lawyer had
used an insanity defense, and Super Knight was only going to be
spending some time in a mental institution. When the doctors there
felt he was ready, Super Knight would be released back into society.
"The dude is seriously dangerous!," Waterboy exclaimed. "How can
they even think about letting him back into the world in a few
"Maybe they won't," suggested the Bouncer. "Maybe they'll keep him
in that place for the rest of his life. Who knows? I would have felt
a lot safer if he'd got life in jail, though."
Magic King entered the room.
"Dude, you won't believe it," Waterboy told the magician. "Super
Knight didn't get life. They're putting him in a mental institution,
and he might be a free man sometime down the road!"
Magic King didn't like the sound of that, but there wasn't time to
think about it now.
"Let's go, friends," the magical one said calmly. "I just received
The four men headed to the Bulb's lightship. They all strapped
themselves in quickly, and the strange craft carried them away at the
speed of light.
With such remarkable speed, it didn't take them long to reach their
destination. The Bulb put the lightship in hover mode, and they all
jumped out. Magic King used his wand to turn their descent into a
gentle levitation. Graybeard watched them as their feet touched the
deck of the cruise ship.
"I'm afraid you're a little late for the cruise," the pirate quipped.
"As were you," Magic King replied. "Bulb, go after the pirates. The
rest of us will make sure the innocent passengers stay safe."
The Bulb clapped his hands. He began to glow as he took off in a run
at light speed. He started disarming Graybeard's men before they even
knew what was happening.
"You swabs aren't playing fair, so I won't either," Graybeard growled
as he pulled out a pistol. "Stop what you're doing, or I'll start
The Bulb stopped in his tracks. He had about a dozen or so weapons
in his arms. He had successfully disarmed all but two of Graybeard's
"That's good, laddie," Graybeard grinned. "Stop the fancy tricks.
Just stand still right there."
Graybeard took a quick shot at the Bulb with his pistol. The Bulb
was taken by surprise, but Magic King used his wand to alter the
bullet's course. Frustrated, Graybeard took a shot at Magic King.
The Bouncer jumped in front of his magician friend, and the bullet
bounced off of him. Unfortunately, the bullet headed straight for
Waterboy when it bounced. Waterboy quickly turned into his liquid
state. The bullet soared over a big puddle of water. Once it had
passed, the puddle turned back into the human Waterboy.
All these odd occurrences had Graybeard distracted, so he was an easy
target for a newcomer to the scene. An electric blast came from
Electric Lady's fingertips to zap Graybeard. The stunned pirate fell
on his face. The Bulb clapped his hands again before promptly
disarming the remaining two thugs. The Enforcers had put a stop to
this crime. Grateful passengers began to thank them, and the captain
called the Coast Guard. The Enforcers started gathering Graybeard's
men together for the Coast Guard to take away when they arrived.
Now it was the Enforcers who were distracted as Graybeard got to his
feet. He called out to Scurvy. The dog jumped into his arms, and the
two of them flew off the cruise ship with his jet pack. Electric Lady
tried to zap him before he could escape, but he avoided her lightning
blast. The pirate held Scurvy in one arm while fishing in his pocket
with the other hand. He pulled out some sort of remote control. He
pushed a few buttons on it, dropped it into the ocean, and soared out
While Graybeard disappeared, some sort of robotic missile launcher
appeared on the deck of his pirate ship. It launched two missiles at
the cruise ship. Then the pirate ship exploded. The missiles plowed
into the cruise ship's side. The damage was done. The cruise ship
was going to sink.
"What do we do now?," Waterboy asked Magic King.
The Enforcers had never officially named Magic King the leader, but
he had somehow fallen into the role naturally. The magician thought
for a second. The lightship could only hold ten people, so it wasn't
much help. Graybeard had destroyed his ship, so that wasn't an option
either. He could only think of one thing to do, but it would not be
an easy task. Using all his concentration and all the power of his
wand, Magic King levitated the broken ship up just about an inch above
the water. He would have to try his best to keep it there until the
Coast Guard arrived.
"This is totally cool!," Waterboy grinned.
"This isn't a time to celebrate, sweetheart," Electric Lady told
him. "Magic King might not be able to keep this up. We've got to
help him somehow."
"How?," Waterboy asked.
"Maybe lightening the load will do some good," she said. "Let's get
as many people as we can into that rowboat the pirates were using."
Electric Lady, the Bulb, the Bouncer, and Waterboy managed to fit 20
people into the rowboat. Then the Bulb and Waterboy picked the
Bouncer up. They threw him onto the deck. He bounced up and down off
the deck several times. He got higher each time. He eventually got
high enough to grab the lightship and climb aboard. The Bulb usually
liked to pilot the lightship himself, but he had taught all the other
Enforcers how to do it. The Bouncer pushed the right buttons to lower
the lightship, and nine passengers joined him aboard. It helped a
little, but it was still a tremendous strain on Magic King to keep the
ship above water.
"We can still get rid of a little more weight," Waterboy said. "I'll
see you all later."
With that, Waterboy jumped overboard. He turned into his liquid form
to become part of the ocean. He knew removing his weight wouldn't
make much difference, but it was the right thing to do. The Coast
Guard soon arrived, and everyone was saved. Magic King collapsed from
exhaustion. A medic on the Coast Guard ship tended to him. It was
time for the Enforcers to go. Magic King wasn't up to traveling on
the lightship, so he stayed behind with the Coast Guard medic. The
others headed back to their mountain headquarters.
It was the Bulb's night to serve as monitor. If any emergencies
arose, he would signal the others. It looked like it would be a quiet
"I guess we better hop on the lightship again, so I can fly you two
home," Waterboy said.
The lightship soon arrived in Chicago. The Bouncer got off there.
This left Waterboy and Electric Lady alone.
"You don't have to go home right this second, do you, babe?,"
Waterboy asked with a smile.
"I'm in no hurry," Electric Lady smiled back. "Find us a secluded
spot, and we'll put the ship in hover mode."
"Whoa!," Waterboy exclaimed. "You want to hover with me? We must be
"You're silly, Mickey," she laughed.
"I was worried about you when we got there," Waterboy said. "Where
were you hiding?"
"When I saw the pirates coming, I ran into my quarters, signaled the
rest of you, and hid below deck," she said. "I was lucky nobody saw
me change into my costume and hide, but I guess there were plenty of
"That was wicked how you zapped that pirate dude," Waterboy said.
"You only did one thing wrong."
"What's that?," she asked as she took off her mask.
"You called me sweetheart in the middle of all that," he told her.
"We were in a serious situation, and I let my guard down for a
second," she said. "Is that so bad?"
"The others aren't supposed to know about us," Waterboy replied.
"They're not supposed to, but they do," she said. "They've known
since Day One."
"They wouldn't if you'd be a little more discreet," countered
"How discreet do you want me to be?," she asked in astonishment.
"That's the only time I've ever said anything like that in front of
"Well, you don't have to look at me the way you do when they're
"Well, if you don't like the way I look at you or call you
sweetheart, Mr. Mickey Hale, maybe I should find myself another
boyfriend," she teased.
"You don't really want to do that, do you?"
"Of course not, but I don't want to have to force myself to keep my
feelings a secret either--especially when it's so pointless. They
know already, Mickey, and I don't care. I'm glad they know. I want
the world to know. I love you."
"I guess you're right," he sighed. "It's not like it's anything to
be ashamed of. I'm sorry, babe."
"Umm..You can call me sweetheart whenever you want."
"You can look at me however you want."
He thought for a second before putting his arm around her.
"I love you, too," he said.
"That's what I wanted to hear," she smiled, and she kissed him.
"You hot librarians with super powers sure can get to a dude."
"You say that like there's more than one," she laughed. "I'm sure
there are tons of librarians prettier than me, but I doubt any others
have super powers."
"What if I found another one?," Mickey suggested.
"Then you'd better stay away from her," Allison played along. "If I
catch you with her, I'll zap the both of you."
After spending a few hours together, Waterboy flew Electric Lady back
home in the lightship. He headed back to headquarters. Actually, it
was more than that to him. To him, headquarters was home. He didn't
have a secret identity like the other Enforcers. He didn't even have
a costume. He was just a man in a pair of swimming trunks when he
fought crime. He really didn't have a life outside of Enforcer
business. He didn't need one. What he did need was sleep. He landed
the lightship and headed for bed. He dozed off as soon as his head
hit the pillow, but his slumber didn't last long. Only about 30
minutes had passed when the Bulb woke him up.
"What is it?," Waterboy asked weakly.
"We have a visitor," the Bulb answered.
"Is Magic King back already?," Waterboy inquired as he slipped his
swimming trunks back on. Then he looked up to see another man enter
the room. He couldn't believe who it was.
Waterboy was stunned. How could Winglord be standing in the
Enforcers' secret mountain headquarters? Winglord was dead. The Bulb
explained that it wasn't really Winglord. It was Winglord II.
"Dude, you look just like your dad!," Waterboy exclaimed. "It's
almost freaky! How did you find us?"
Winglord II told the two Enforcers how Mr. Transparent had sent him.
The winged man told them he wanted to join the team of heroes.
"I believe this calls for a team meeting," the Bulb suggested, so
Waterboy flew off in the lightship to gather the others. Electric
Lady and the Bouncer were just as surprised to see Winglord II as
Waterboy had been.
"This young man wants to join us," the Bulb announced. "We'll talk
to him for a few minutes. Then we'll ask him to step into the other
room while we vote on his membership. I think that's the best way to
"What about Magic King?," the Bouncer asked. "He's still recovering
from holding that cruise ship out of the water. Shouldn't we wait for
"What for, dude?," Waterboy wondered. "We won't need his vote unless
it's a tie. Majority rules."
"Fair enough," agreed the Bouncer.
After a brief talk with Winglord II, the Enforcers sent him off to
"He's a nice kid, but I'm not so sure he belongs in the Enforcers,"
commented the Bouncer. "Are we supposed to adopt every basket of
kittens Mr. Transparent leaves on our doorstep? He turned us down
when we wanted him to join us, so where does he get off sending this
kid to us?"
"Mr. Transparent isn't the issue," Electric Lady said. "He didn't do
anything wrong by refusing our invitation. He just didn't want to
join at the time. Maybe he'll change his mind someday. Captain
Canine and Worm Woman didn't join either. That doesn't mean we should
hold it against them. I think Mr. Transparent made the best decision
he could by sending him to us. We can always use an extra hand."
"That extra hand might get in the way," the Bouncer suggested. "This
kid doesn't have any experience as a superhero. He might make some
big mistakes. He's not his father."
"Being inexperienced is exactly why we should take him in," Electric
Lady countered. "I made a lot of mistakes when I first started
fighting crime. I nearly got myself killed a few times. If we're
teaching and looking out for him, he won't have any bad experiences
"I see your point, but I'm still not sure we should let just anyone
join us," the Bouncer said. "We need to be a little selective."
Waterboy got a confused look on his face all of the sudden.
"What's wrong, sweetheart?," Electric Lady asked.
"I just remembered something. Before we buried the heroes that Super
Knight killed, we went through their clothes to look for an ID or
something. We wanted to find out who they were to let their families
know what happened to them."
"Oh my gosh!," Electric Lady interrupted. "You're right!"
"What are you two talking about?," the Bouncer asked.
"Think back, dude," Waterboy told him. "We found out the real names
of all of them except for Winglord."
"I forgot about that," the Bouncer admitted. "If we never notified
his family, then how does his son know anything?"
"That's very interesting," the Bulb said. "I think we need to call
our young friend back in for some more questions."
The four members of the Enforcers all went in the other room for
further discussions with Winglord II, but he didn't look ready to talk
when they found him. He was sitting in a chair with an odd, blank
expression on his face. The Bulb leaned over to examine Winglord II.
His body was ice cold, and he didn't appear to have a pulse.
"Get the lightship ready!," the Bulb said quickly. "We'd better get
him to a hospital! I just hope it's not too late."
Waterboy rushed off to prepare the aircraft. The Bulb and the
Bouncer started to carry Winglord II out to it. In the middle of the
hallway, the two heroes stopped in their tracks.
"His body is getting warm again," the Bouncer announced.
"Maybe he's coming out of it--whatever it is," Electric Lady hoped.
The Bulb and Bouncer continued to carry Winglord II down the hall.
When they got out to the lightship, they found Waterboy was under
attack. Three people were fighting him while another looked on
approvingly. Then Winglord II sprang to life. The winged man flew
away from the three heroes to join the assault on Waterboy.
"I must be going crazy," the Bouncer said in disbelief.
"You're not," the Bulb assured him. "I see them, too. It's Bionic
Boy, Masked Maiden, and Black Hercules. How can they be alive, and
why are they attacking Waterboy?"
Electric Lady didn't take time to ponder the situation. She rushed
into the fray to help her boyfriend. Bolts of electricity shot from
her fingertips. She zapped each attacker, but her lightning didn't
seem to have much of an effect. It slowed them down a bit, but it
really didn't seem to hurt them at all. They just kept coming with
blank looks on their faces. Black Hercules sent Waterboy flying with
a powerful punch. The yellow-haired hero crashed into his
girlfriend. Bionic Boy approached the downed couple. The Bouncer
jumped into Bionic Boy and knocked him down. The Bouncer kept
bouncing. Black Hercules and Miss Mask were soon knocked down, too,
but Winglord II was safe in the air. The winged man swooped down to
grab the Bouncer. While this struggle went on, the only intruder that
the heroes didn't recognize just kept watching. The Bulb decided the
answers to all their questions would probably come from this
mysterious man. The Bulb clapped his hands together to transform into
living light. In that form, he ran over to the strange man with the
speed of light.
"Who are you?," the Bulb demanded.
The strange man ignored him and continued to watch the battle.
Winglord II dumped the Bouncer on top of Electric Lady and Waterboy.
He bounced back up into the air, so Winglord II knocked him back down
onto them. This process repeated a third and fourth time. Winglord
II was attempting to smash Waterboy and Electric Lady with the
Bouncer's body. The Bulb had to act fast. With his light speed, he
rushed over into the lightship. The Bulb activated the aircraft. He
flew toward Winglord II, so the winged man flew out of the way. The
Bulb put the ship in hover mode. Then the Bulb grabbed the Bouncer.
He pulled the bouncing hero into the ship. Bionic Boy's arms left his
body. The detached limbs came at the lightship. The arms grabbed
onto the aircraft. The Bulb lowered the ship down close to the
ground. Electric Lady and Waterboy scrambled to their feet.
"Get in!," the Bulb urged his friends.
"You mean retreat?," Waterboy asked.
"I'm afraid so," replied the Bulb. "I think it's our only option at
Black Hercules tried to kick Waterboy's head off, but Waterboy turned
into his liquid form in the nick of time. He quickly became solid
again to join his friends on the lightship. Bionic Boy's bionic arms
lost their grip on the lightship as it soared away at enviable speed.
The Enforcers were banged up, but there weren't any serious injuries.
The Bulb was thankful for that.
The following afternoon, Magic King was released from the hospital.
His strength had returned. The Bulb and Waterboy were there to meet
him. The others couldn't be there due to their secret identities'
jobs. Magic King was informed of what had transpired.
"Doctor Zomibe," the magician said to himself. "After all these
years, he's back."
Waterboy and the Bulb were puzzled. Magic King proceeded to tell
them about Doctor Zomibe. Zomibe had learned to use dark magic
somewhere in Africa. Magic King had traveled to that continent
several times to stop Zomibe from taking it over. In their last few
encounters, Doctor Zomibe actually came to America in attempts to
destroy his magician enemy. It was never easy dealing with Zomibe.
In fact, Magic King considered him his greatest enemy, but the
magician had always managed to overcome Zomibe's dark powers. Magic
King had heard rumors of Zomibe's death. Now it seemed those rumors
"Winglord II was actually the original Winglord," Magic King
continued to explain. "It was Winglord's body at least. Doctor
Zomibe has a way of sensing the dead. Since I thought Zomibe himself
was dead, I never dreamed he would find the bodies of our fallen
comrades. He's notorious for turning corpses into zombies, and now he
has four super-powered zombies to carry out his evil wishes."
"That's why they all had those blank looks on their faces when they
were kicking my butt," Waterboy deduced. "Winglord wasn't like that
at first, though. When he first came, he seemed as alive as you are."
"Yes, that's an ability Zomibe has," Magic King went on. "If he
channels his powers to only control one zombie, he can make that
single zombie seem incredibly alive. I can't explain how he does it,
but I've dealt with it before. One thing puzzles me, friends. Why
wasn't Awesome Girl one of Zomibe's zombies? She was buried with the
"I know why," Waterboy sighed. "I was the one who told her family
about her death, and they wanted to have her cremated. As bad as I
hated to, I dug her back up for them to do that. It really creeped me
out, but now I'm glad I did it. That's one less zombie we'll have to
"Once our other members become available, we'll have to try and take
our headquarters back," the magician declared.
That night, all five Enforcers boarded the lightship. They were all
very tense. It was going to be difficult overcoming Doctor Zomibe
with his four super zombies. They soon arrived at the location of
their headquarters, but no conflict took place.
"They wasted the whole place!," Waterboy cried.
Their once great base of operations was destroyed. All that remained
was a huge pile of rubble, and its destroyers were nowhere to be
seen. This filled the heroes with sadness and anger--especially
Waterboy. It wasn't just a headquarters to him. It was where he
lived fulltime. In addition to that, Waterboy was the one who had
paid for everything to build and maintain it. Electric Lady felt his
pain. She slipped her hand into his.
"I'm sorry," she said. "I know none of us will miss it as much as
you. Let's just be glad we're not all buried under what's left of
"It looks like all we can do now is wait for this Doctor Zomibe to
strike again," said the Bulb.
"I'm afraid so," Magic King agreed. "We have no idea where he is
now. Waterboy, you're welcome to stay at my house for a while."
Waterboy just nodded. He wanted to say thanks to the magician, but
he just didn't feel like talking at all at that moment. The lightship
dropped the Bouncer off first. Then the Bulb left the aircraft.
After that, Electric Lady went home.
"Take good care of him," she told Magic King before leaving.
"I will," the magician assured her.
"It's going to be okay," she whispered to Waterboy before giving him
a goodbye kiss. "I'll see you tomorrow."
Magic King and Waterboy soon arrived at the magician's home.
Fortunately, it was in a secluded area, so no one would notice the odd
aircraft once it landed in Magic King's backyard. The magician led
"I know you're tired," Magic King said, and he pointed to a door.
"That's the guest bedroom. Sleep well."
"What is it?," Magic King stopped.
"No thank you is necessary, my friend," Magic King smiled. "You're
welcome to stay here as long as you like. By the way, my real name is
Nathaniel. It's Nathaniel Redstone to be exact. Since we might be
roommates for a while, there's no need for us to keep secrets."
With that, Nathaniel Redstone removed Magic King's combination hat/
half-mask, and Waterboy saw his entire face for the first time.
"It's funny, isn't it?," Magic King mused. "We trust each other with
our lives, yet most of us don't even know the others' real names. We
all know you're Mickey Hale because you don't masquerade like the rest
of us, but I have no idea what to call the others aside from their
superhero names. It's a bit odd when you really think about it.
Well, goodnight, my friend."
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