Jackal and Turbo #1 : A New Kind of Justice

Turbo zipped through the back streets, laughing as the wind rushed past him. He was a blur of color to the people on the streets, but a shadow high above on the rooftops tracked his position. Jackal always knew where his partner was, always kept one eye on him to make sure he was alright. After all, they’d been together a lot longer than they’d been doing this hero thing, long before they’d made the change from friends to boyfriends. Jackal adjusted his jet black armor and lowered the visor of his helm. It was the best way to hide the glow from his eyes as the night grew darker. It was almost time to call their patrol for the evening. There were other heroes out there who stalked the night more effectively than a pair of inner-city teens who had to go to high school in the morning. And anyway, they had a nice stay-at-home date planned for tonight. Jackal began making his way down one of the fire escapes, pulling a phone out of his pocket.

“Hey, babe, ready to bounce?”

Turbo touched a button on the headset he wore under his light helmet and grinned when he heard Jackal’s voice.

“Ready. Just need a minute to get back to base. Meet you there?”

He was already turning, changing course with ease. Honestly, he’d probably be there before Jackal had a chance to respond. That was the upside to his powers. There were downsides of course. Heightened metabolism was a bitch and a half for a teenage boy. When you already want to eat everything in sight and then you need to eat even more everything? Yeah, it gets hard to explain and harder to manage.

“Yeah, sure. Mind if I borrow your jacket for the walk home?”

Turbo laughed, skidding to a halt in front of the abandoned warehouse they used as a homebase.

“Do I want my super hot boyfriend wearing my letterman? Does the moon orbit the Earth?”

Jackal was laughing as he came walking up a few minutes later. Turbo, now in his normal jeans and a t-shirt and known as Terry Walker, was leaning against the wall inside waiting for him. Jackal changed quickly, stowing his armor back in his duffle bag to take home and turned. With a grin, Max Jackson pulled Terry’s letterman jacket on and reached for Terry’s hand.

“Let’s go, babe. I’m so ready for movie night.”

They were on the train home when they heard the crash outside and exchanged a look. There was someone hovering over the tracks ahead of them. Terry sighed and unzipped his backpack.

“Looks like we’re going to have to postpone movies, handsome.”

Max looked out the window and nodded, reaching for his duffle bag.

“Yeah, this looks like the real deal. Give me a second to suit up and I’ll be right behind you.”

Photon and Spark – Issue #2

Spark didn’t like bleeding. It wasn’t something she had a lot of practice in, after all. So having a trickle of blood coming from her nose after a punch left her more than just a touch cross. Jackal growled low in his throat and launched himself off a building at Photon, aiming to grab him. Photon moved out of the way but Turbo was there with a blinding series of punches. It did nothing. They could barely land a hit on him. He was the greatest superhero the world had ever known, a paragon of good and right and justice. How were a group of teenagers supposed to beat him? Spark wiped the blood off her face and threw a shield around Turbo before her dad could do anything to hurt her friend.

“Dad!” She hovered in the air, cape flapping behind her in the breeze. “Is this what Mom would want?”

Photon rounded on Spark, abandoning his pursuit of the smaller speedster.

“She wouldn’t want you fighting me, pumpkin. You know that as well as I do.”

“Would she want you doing this?”

She gestured around at the city. The three teens had been trying to contain the damage, keep the civilians clear of Photon’s rage. It had only worked so well. A fire was ripping through the city now, started by one of Photon’s attacks, and there was nothing Spark could do about it. The time it would take to fight the fire was time taken away from stopping her father from causing more of the same in the pursuit of his mad goals.

“I get it, Dad. I really do. I miss Mom. I miss her like crazy. But you can’t just…what? Kill people until you get killed or get her back? That’s not how it works.”

“You don’t know what I’ve done, what I have to do. But I will get your mother back home with us, Jessica. Even if I have to go through you to do it.”

Spark froze in midair. He’d used her real name. In costume. Her real name out where anyone could hear it. And who wouldn’t be watching the throwdown of the century? Photon and Spark, everyone knew they were father and daughter, and here they were brawling at high noon over the city. Then a fist connected with her chest and Spark flew backwards, slamming into a building. She smashed through the window, glass spraying everywhere. And this time, she didn’t get up. In all her years of combat training, in all her experience with villains and heroes alike, nothing had ever hit her like that. Laying there, Spark was pretty sure that she had broken something. What, she didn’t know. She’d never broken any bones before. The sensation was wholly new and she didn’t like it one bit. Then a new thought slammed into her mind fully formed. What Photon had said. She couldn’t think of him as Dad right now. Not until this was over. But he’d said something. What he’d done. He’d made a deal with someone, that had to be it. Gritting her teeth against the pain, Spark tried to focus on the list of names. Who could have the power to raise the dead? Or at least be powerful enough to convince Photon that they could. Then one name rose to the surface. The sorcerer who called himself Faust. Slowly, Jessica called Spark got to her feet and winced, one hand holding her side where the pain was focused. She would have to find Faust. And hope Photon didn’t kill her friends while she searched. As she flew out and zipped off, she coughed and stared in horror at the blood on her hand. It looked like she would have to worry about a few more things than that. Like not dying before she stopped Photon.

Photon and Spark – Issue #1

Spark hovered over the city, uncertainty showing behind her mask. This was one of those turning points where you have to make a decision. Are you the hero or are you the villain? When the chips are down and your father is holding out his hand to you saying he has the power, with you at his side, to fix everything. He can bring your mother back, he can put the city to rights. Photon’s cape fluttered in the breeze and Spark took a deep breath. He could probably do it too. She knew his powers inside and out, they were the same as hers after all. For a long moment, Spark looked at her hands.


“Just think about it, Princess. We could have your mom back. We could have everything back.”

His hand was still outstretched, hoping she would take it. She could see it in his eyes behind his crimson mask. Then she flew back a bit.

“You hurt people, Dad. Innocent people. You told me heroes never do things like that.”

Photon’s hand dropped to his side and he sighed.

“Spark, how can you call them innocent? They took your mother.”

Electricity flared around Spark for a moment.

“They didn’t, Dad. It was an accident. A stupid accident. And you’re scaring the shit out of me right now.”

Photon raised his hand again, flying towards her. But Spark pulled back again.

“Are you turning on me?”

“What?” Spark’s voice cracked on the single word, confusion evident on her face. “Dad, you’re… you’re not acting like you.”

“I don’t want to fight you, Spark.”

There was lightning whipping around Photon now and light building up around both of his hands.

“Fight? What?” Spark threw a translucent shield up just in time as Photon swung his electrically charged fist at her. “Dad! What are you doing?”

He bounced off her shield, spinning for a moment in the air before he righted himself.

“The right thing.”

He growled the words before throwing himself at her again. Spark dropped out of the air as quickly as she could, positioning her shield over her head. She couldn’t take Photon in a straight fight. He outweighed her, outclassed her in experience. But she had one advantage he didn’t have. She was fast and she had friends he didn’t know about. And today, he was going to learn what she had really been doing on Saturday nights when she said she was out partying. Spark spiraled in the air, using it to control her speed as she dove between buildings at breakneck speed. She had to make it to the south side. She had to find…. There!

Slamming into the ground, Spark barely caught herself to prevent a crater and ran.

“Jackal! Turbo! I need backup and I need it now!”

The two young heroes exchanged a look and then looked at Spark.

“What’s up?”

She looked into the sky nervously.

“My dad. He’s…gone rogue. I can’t get ahold of anyone at the Sanctum. I tried that earlier. It’s just us.”

Jackal’s eyebrows shot up, his glowing red eyes wide.

“Well, shit, Spark. We gotta fight Photon?”

Turbo shoved Jackal teasingly.

“Yeah, hot stuff, and we gotta win. You ready?”

Jackal took a breath and adjusted his armor before stopping to check Turbo’s equipment. Turbo was a speedster, sleek and muscular in his lightly armored spandex. When he was certain that everything was settled right, Jackal leaned in to kiss Turbo gently.

“Don’t let him hit you, Turbo, or you’re gonna be a skidmark.”

“Yeah, I know. Duck, dodge, weave, right?”

The three teens exchanged a shaky smile and looked up into the sky as a shadow fell over them. Photon was here.

A Second Achilles – A Scuttle Bay Story

    The child would have powers. She had promised herself that when he had been born. This child would have powers one way or another. No matter what it took, she would not let her son be one of the few Normals of Scuttle Bay. Even if she was, even if her husband was. The question was how. It wasn’t in his blood, that much was clear. That left magic and science as her options. From the day he was born, she started in with everything she had. Vitamibe, spellwork, offerings left for Faeries and gods alike. None of it worked. Finally, she took her infant son to the coast. A pirate wreck lay deep under the water still and she could just barely see the shadow there. Holding the child by the ankle, she held him in the water. He would have powers. He would be a hero. He would make it in this place. Of that, she was convinced. The boy stopped moving. She pulled him out, a mad gleam in her eye. What great powers would he manifest? But his eyes were glassy and dull and he didn’t move

Scuttle Bay

That’s the thing with living in the Scuttle Bay area. It seems like half of the people in the city have a mask tucked in a pocket and some kind of super powers. It could come from the nuclear tests they did just up river back in the 40s. It could come from the modern biotech firms dotting the city. It could also come from the meteor storm that struck about ten years back. I’ve even heard a few people say it’s an old curse or something else to do with the pirates the bay is named for. But honestly, it doesn’t matter. It’s enough to know that half the people in the city have powers and other lives. And the biggest hero is none other than Atomic Ace. He’s pretty much what you’d expect, really. Over 6-foot, sculpted like a god and hung like a horse based on the way the leather clings. Bright blue eyes, like a cloudless day, framed by strong, dark brows and a roman nose. His hair is black as night and cut in a way that screams rugged and manly, which is honestly impressive for a guy who wears his underwear on the outside. Who am I? Folks around here call me Rabbit. I’m what you’d call a speedster. It cropped up when I was about 14, and my folks are both normals so it was something of a surprise. I tried to live as normally as I could, blend in and all that. I was about 17 when I first encountered Atomic Ace. And I thought I was going to die

Boomerang Vs. The Robot

Marlee Walker held her toothbrush between her lips and glared at her reflection, trying to pull her curly black hair back into a loose ponytail. She had 10 minutes to finish getting ready, get downstairs and get to the bus stop. Assuming, of course, that her day didn’t get wildly disrupted like it usually did. There was a reason she was still working at the family business, after all. At least her folks understood when she had to suddenly vanish in the middle of the day.
That was when the sound of shattering glass echoed through the air. With an audible groan, she jammed her toothbrush into the cup on the counter and spat out of the mouthful of toothpaste. She could fix her hair while she flew.

“Boomerang!” The woman standing on top of the giant robot grinned broadly, throwing her arms wide. “What a pleasure.”
Marlee hovered in the air, a frown on her face behind her painted leather half-mask.
“Who are you and what are you doing?”
The strange woman fidgeted, adjusting the mask that covered her own face.
“That… isn’t important. I’m here to… defeat you!”
Marlee stretched idly, landing with barely a sound.
“Well, we’ll see about that.”

The robot lay in pieces, metal scattered all over the ground. Boomerang held this strange new villain against the wall of a nearby building.
“It’s over.”
The woman tried to look away.
“I…it’s… I still have one weapon left.”
She blurted the last bit, seeming to surprise even herself.
“Oh? And what’s that?”
Then the woman smiled nervously and leaned in to kiss Marlee gently on the lips. For a long moment, Marlee just stared at her.
“What is this really about?”
The woman pulled her mask off to reveal Marlee’s best friend, Emily, with a chagrined smile on her lips.
“I… couldn’t figure out another way to get your attention. You’re always running off and…”
Marlee could feel the blush coming to her cheeks.
“Em?” She looked around at the scene around them. “You did this so you could…?”
“Corner you long enough to ask you out on a date?”
Marlee pulled Emily in close and carefully floated back down to the ground.
“Friday night sound good? Just don’t bring the robot this time.”
“Only if I get to come with you if you have to run off to save the world.”

The First Date Begins

You know, there are days where I really feel like I don’t live up to the name Captain Courageous and today is one of those days. Standing in front of the door to Doctor Destruction’s secret base with a bouquet of flowers in my hand and one hand upraised to knock on the door. Before I could move, the door slid open and I found myself staring just over the head of a small robot.
“Master is expecting you.”
“Uh…oh. Good? Th-thank you?”
I’d never really gotten a good chance to look around the volcanic base. Usually, we were fighting. It felt odd being here without my shield, being guided by one of the robots that I was usually trying not to get killed by.
Then we turned a corner and my jaw dropped. There was an entire dining room and kitchen just…here. Doctor Destruction had his back to me as he hummed along to his music and puttered at the stove.
“You cook?”
The words were out of my mouth before I had thought the better of it and I felt the blush creeping out from under my mask. Luckily for me, Doctor Destruction had a wonderful sense of humor.
“Of course I do, silly. Do you think I can get delivery out here?”

Part 1: here


Cataclysm wavered where she stood and fell to her knees. She was out of tricks, exhausted, and overwhelmingly done. That meant Vanguard had won again. She looked up at him, ready to surrender, and realized something was wrong. The look on his face. Eyes wide in shock, mouth open. What was happening? What was he looking at like that? Suddenly he stepped in front of her, arms thrown wide.
“Stay down.”
“What? What are you talking about?”
His voice cracked as he spoke again.
“Just…just stay down. I won’t let them. I won’t let them do this.”
She stared up at him and realized there was a single tear rolling down his cheek.
“I always thought they’d listen to me. I’ve always believed in you, that someday you’d listen and stop all of this. I…I guess they didn’t believe.”
He was shaking.
“Vanguard, what are you talking about?”
Her voice was hard with fear and confusion and he just looked at her, his own eyes full of sorrow.
“There’s a sniper on the roof behind me. Right now, they’re trying to decide if I’m an acceptable loss in taking you down for good.”
“But.” She faltered. “You’re a hero! You’re their hero. Why would they do that? How do you know?”
He hesitated and reached to brush her auburn hair away from her forehead.
“I saw the laser sight. I’m so sorry. If I’d known… If I had any idea.”
Cataclysm reached up and pulled her mask off.
“Jamie. My…my name is Jamie Fisher. Tell them I’ll stop. I’ll surrender. Hell, I’ll become a hero, if that’s what they want. But I’m not worth you dying over.”
Vanguard relaxed slightly and started to move, reaching for the radio that would let him speak to the police. Then a single world shattering crack tore through the sky and he fell. Cataclysm stared in horror as his white body armor began to turn red.


“Wait, wait, go back. You like me? Like me like me?”
Slowly, I lowered my deathray and stared at Captain Courageous. He had a wry smile on his face and a bit of a blush under his mask.
“I know, it was a surprise to me too.” Taking a step towards me, he slung his shield on his back again. “To be perfectly honest, before I met you I’d never even…” He took a breath and looked me up and down. “I’d never considered that I might-”
“What?” I cut in, grinning. “That you might be capable of love? That you might have a crush on a villain?”
He reached out and grabbed the front of my costume.
“That I might be gay.”
My breath caught in my chest and then I let my deathray fall from my fingers as I reached for him.

What Makes a Hero?

“No, I’m not going all existential on you, I’m being 100% serious. What makes him a good guy and me not?”
I looked him over, arms crossed over my chest. It was an interesting question, really.
“Your last operation, what happened?”
He sighed and brushed his hair back out of his eyes for the millionth time. The white streak was still there, cutting its way through the dark brown like a bolt of lightning. Dropping back into his chair, he steepled his hands and leaned his forehead against them.
“It was the usual, really. A snatch and grab. I got the loot and got out, no problems, no casualties.”
“Then what?”
Another long-suffering sigh and he shifted.
“I split it up with a few of the guys that work for me-“
“Your minions.”
I said it calmly, no judgment in my voice, but he still went tense.
“They’re not minions. Minions wear faceless masks, no one knows their names and they have a short life expectancy. Danny and Coop have been working for me for nearly ten years and I know their families.”
“Okay, okay, employees.”
“They even have dental plans…” He smiled sheepishly and then continued. “Anyway, we split up the cash and they were taking it to the drops.”
“Oh, you know,” there was a little flutter in his hands now and a smile on his face, “soup kitchen down on third and the battered women’s shelter on fifth. I was taking the rest to get it to this guy who’s a whizz at laundering. He makes sure the guys get paid a legitimate paycheck.”
That made me pause and I set down my pencil.
“You were making donations? You stole from the bank to make donations.”
It took me a long moment to pull myself back together enough that I could keep taking notes.
“So…so what happened then?”
“Well, Captain Courageous shows up, as always. He put Coop in the hospital, by the way. Danny managed his drop alright, but Coop…poor guy. I’m still making sure we get the usual amount to the shelter…its just coming out of what I usually use to post bail.”
“And you?”
“I’m here again, aren’t I?”
He looked at me seriously for a moment and then looked pointedly at the glass separating us.
“What about-?”
“They’re getting paid and Coop’s medical bills have been taken care of. It just means I’m staying here a little longer than usual.”