REPOST: RAC Challenge! #3

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer at
Tue Aug 18 20:59:15 PDT 2015

Chapter by Michael Kelly creator of the LNH character

From: franke at (Jerry L Franke)
Newsgroups: rec.arts.comics.creative
Subject: REPOST:  RAC Challenge! Ch. 3
Date: 4 Nov 1995 04:19:04 GMT

Chapter 3 in our retrospective of the rec.arts.comics Challenge!  See Henry
Broaddus' informational post elsewhere in this newsgroup for more info.


                                RAC CHALLENGE
Chapter 3: Ducks and Delirium

   by Michael Kelly
   title by Daniel Warren
   Doctor Malevo stepped towards the powerless form of Paragon, the
   Ultimate Man, and squeezed the trigger of his pistol. Just then, he
   was struck in the back of the head with a rather large, rather pink,
   and not entirely unripe grapefruit.
   "Who dares interrupt the slaughter of my pathetic opponent?!" He
   snarled, turning to see his assailant. In the back of the warehouse
   he saw a young man in dressed in blue jeans and a leather jacket.
   Around his head was wrapped a red bandanna. In his left hand he held
   another grapefruit.
   "It doesn't seem like Paragon is the only one with a weakness for
   citrus fruit!" the newcomer laughed.
   Malevo aimed his pistol at the youth. "Dr. Malevo would know the name
   of his next victim. Answer me, child."
   The newcomer gave a toothy smile. "You can call me Tito, the Ultimate
   "I hate that moniker. I hereby rechristen you 'Tito, the Ultimate
   Fool.'" Just then, a half ton of grapefruit fell on the mad doctor
   from above. "Nobody insults my kid brother but me!" cried a voice
   from the rafters. As a young woman, similar in appearance and dress
   to the first youth slid down a rope, she shouted: "Score another
   victory for Tina, the Ultimate Girl!"
   Tito rushed past his sister to the crumpled form of Paragon. "Jeez
   sis, quit hoggin' all the glory and come give me a hand. Paragon is
   in a bad way."
   Tina eyed the monstrous pile of grapefruit that concealed the body of
   Doctor Malevo. "That will teach you to tussle with The Ultimate
   Twins!" She moved to help her brother. "How is he?"
   Tito lifted Paragon's head. "He took one bullet in the chest. It
   looks like some grapefruit juice may have entered the wound.
   Hopefully, if what Malevo said was true, Paragon will develop an
   immunity to both the grapefruit and the bullet lodged in his chest."
   Tina was shocked. "If he lives that long, you mean." Tito nodded.
   Just then, Paragon stirred. "uhmilate mahbl" were the only words to
   pass through his lips. "What did he say?" asked Tina.
   "I think he wants us to carry him to the Ultimate-Mobile. Maybe there
   is something there that can save him." The twins struggled with the
   massive form of their hero, eventually half-dragging him to the
   Ultimate-Mobile. Fevered and confused, Paragon keyed in the entry
   code and fell inside his high-tech crimefighting weapon. Before the
   twins could climb in behind him, the door closed and the car sped off
   into the night.
   "Gosh, that was rude!" said Tito. "I don't know why you made me help
   you rescue such a loser."
   "Hey!", shouted Tina, "I thought he was your hero. Maybe he just
   respects his privacy? Anyway, I think we better get out of here
   before Malevo decides to eat us for breakfast."
   Inside the Ultimate-Mobile, Paragon faded in and out of
   consciousness. His thoughts became a confused jumble, a strange
   mixture of the events that transformed him from Dirk Darringer into
   Paragon, the Ultimate Man. The lights inside the U-mobile started
   spinning, and once again he found himself in the muted blue light of
   the arch-Wizard Tempo's forgotten lair on the Mount of Duck Lodge.
   Dirk was still wearing his parachute harness. The cows turned and
   asked him about all the forgotten birthdays. "What birthdays?" he
   asked. Hearing a strange buzz behind him, he turned to face it. Now
   wearing his Ultimate Man costume, he saw Tempo's broken body on the
   floor in front of him. A female voice cried to him.
   "The ghost is not yet ready." Then Darringer was in front of the
   Ultimate Collective, wearing his sensei's green robe. "Unworthy, but
   necessary" was the unified voice of the Collective. "In time, the
   hands will find their voice." The pain then returned to his chest.
   Malevo stood over him with a book and a red candle. "Quack!" Then,
   Paragon the Ultimate Man awoke.
   The U-mobile had dropped its only passenger off near Dirk Darringer's
   office at the Morning Herald. Somehow he found himself not in his
   Ultimate costume, but in the civilian clothes of his newspaper man
   identity. "What's the matter big boy", asked a familiar voice,
   "another late night on the town?"
   The sultry voice belonged to Myrna Maple, Dirk's constant foil on the
   Herald's sportswriting staff. "You know how it is Myrna, anything for
   a story." Myrna feigned looking hurt. "Well you can tell me all about
   it as you drive me to Barkington Plaza. Steinhoofer is going to make
   some big announcement."
   "No problem, but why don't we take your car."
   Darringer and Maple pulled up to the plaza just in time to see the
   owner of the local baseball franchise, Jorge Steinhoofer, step to the
   podium to start the press conference. Myrna was a little surprised.
   "I wonder what the big hurry is... usually Jorge is a little more
   relaxed at these things." Dirk's Ultimate Danger Sense tingled.
   "I don't know Myrna, but it looks like something exciting is going to
   "Good morning everyone," started Steinhoofer. "As you know, my ball
   club has had a solid lock on last place in the division for almost a
   quarter of a century now. I think it is high time we did something
   about that. I talked it over with the rest of the club, and I've
   decided to replace our manager."
   The crowd began to mumble, and Myrna snorted. Steinhoofer continued.
   "I know what you're thinking, this is the eighth managerial change in
   three years, but I assure you, this time is going to be different.
   Dirk's Ultimate Sense was on fire. He looked around for the cause of
   his alarm, but couldn't see anything.
   "Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the new manager of the Dixon City
   Dodgers, Spurgo the Conquestor!"
   The crowd gasped as the seven-hundred foot tall massive hulk of evil
   stepped out from behind the Barkington Building.
   "Mortals. Spurgo the Conquestor has agreed to save your pathetic
   baseball team. This will only happen after Spurgo has enslaved your
   world. Prepare yourselves for the final glory that awaits the
   genetic insult you call... humanity." 
     * Next issue: Chapter 4: Thrown Out Stealing by Jerry Franke
   "Paragon and Spurgo tussle while the fate of Dixon City hangs in the
   balance! Will it be up to the Ultimate Collective's previous failure,
   the Pen-Ultimate Man to save the day? And if Paragon should fall, who
   will be man enough to face The Ultimate Woman?! Come back next
   chapter, true-believers for these and other answers. You will be
    Michael Kelly



Jerry L. Franke                        franke at
Computer Science Dept.                 Indiana University
formerly from Florida State University

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