Superheroes – Once upon a Time in 1968 – Issue 15, B-Story – Shopping

10 December, 2022

A B-Story is a short filler story to complete a comic, this is the one in the back of Issue 15 and follows some undisclosed amount of time after that story.

Opening page:  The team in civilian clothes, Roboto thoroughly wrapped up with scarf and hat, wandering through an international Christmas market in New York City as snow falls and there is an additional person with them, Vulpix’ slightly younger cousin!  “How did we get here, turn the page to find out, dear reader.”

Next page: Roboto gets a new, sleaker (“more modern”) look as part of his latest upgrade.  (This is a result of a new art team taking over on the comic and they did not like the current design.)

Horizon is struck by another headache and notices a man in a full black costume with a pattern of white dots on it watching him from an alleyway.  When he approaches, the person just vanishes, and so does the headache.  He asks around and a few of the other kids in the neighborhood have seen the person as well so he is not going crazy.  His grandmother is very concerned.

Meanwhile, Leonard has reported a set of small dimensional transitions happening in New York, only large enough for a single person.  808 goes to investigate, only to be contacted by Horizon for help in locating the figure in black, discussing the timing, the dimension breaches seem to match up with some of the siting of the mysterious figure and of Horizon’s headaches.

They go to visit Vulpix and her uncle, who has a wider knowledge of supervillains than any of them.  He is getting ready to travel to Europe to investigate the Black Rabbit who initiated the attack on the theater, leaving his son (Vulpix’ cousin) in Vulpix’ care while he is away.  He does not recognize the person but he does recognize the pattern as the astrological sign of Orion the Hunter.

Meanwhile, a member of the Chinese criminal organizations passes on word to Shadowfist that there are rumors that one of the major criminal syndicates from outside is thinking of making a move to take control of the underworld of NYC.  But so far, it is just rumors.

Let's go shopping!The team gets together in their civilian identities to discuss this and visit one of the International holiday markets in the city.  Vulpix’s cousin is tagging along, naturally.

“Five dollars says he saves us,” says Roboto.

“I don’t take sucker bets,” says Shadowfist.

While shopping in the Canadian pavilion, they notice that the light from outside is getting dim.  They quickly realize that the pavilion is being enclosed in ice.  Five rough-looking men produce submachine guns and demand that everyone gather in the center of the area.  They announce they are the QuebeCommando of the Front de libération du Québec, Vulpix recognizes the leader as “Jacque Frost”, as he has been dubbed by the press, though he hates that name.

Three of them sling their guns and move to start tying up people.  Unsurprisingly, when they come up to tie up Roboto, they recognize him as a robot though not until they start to physically tie him up as Bob used his power to cloak him in a hologram.  Once the game is up, the team spings into action, Roboto grabbing the one who was trying to tie him up in his steely grip.

Bob uses his powers to create a geodesic dome in blinking Christmas color to guard the civilians.  Shadowfist leaps out and legsweeps two of them, while also avoiding a bust of SMG fire that destroys an innocent display of maple syrup.  One of the two stays down.

Using his gravity powers, Horizon grabs a lumberjack manikin and it spinning at Jacque.  Jacque freezes it solid after it hits him but that takes all of his attention and the ice stops getting thick outside.

Vulpix moves forward and tosses an electrofox dart at Jacque who freezes it in midair and sends an icy blast back against her.  Horizon shifts Roboto to intercept the blast which does very little harm to the mechanical man.  Le Jeune Renard (the young fox, Vulpix’ cousin) distracts one of the commandos with a smoke bomb.

“Vive le Québec libre!” yells one of the QuebeCommandos as he lines up a shot at HorizonShadowfist leaps forward and takes in on her shield of Chi and follows up, with a boost from Horizon, to coldcock the shooter.

Roboto bends the SMG of the one he has a grip on around his arm in a bid to get him to surrender, which works.  Horizon uses his power to disarm another.  Jacque curses and shouts orders to the two remaining QuebeCommands, opening a path through the ice for them to retreat to.  With a sweep of his arm, he causes the rest of the ice to crash down on the roof of the pavilion when the intent to collapse it.  Horizon used a pulse of gravity to shatter the ice and blast it high into the air where it starts to fall back to earth like snow.

Bob catches Jacque in a ribbon-wrapped box of light.  Shortly thereafter, the authorities arrive, detaining Jacque and the QuebeCommando who are taken away.  The thankful Canadians give the team with a variety of gifts from Canada.

Bob boxes Jacque in a ribbon-wrapped box of light.  The authorities arrive and Jacque and the unconscious QC are taken away.  The team is rewarded with Canadian gifts.  “I think it is going to be a good Christmas.” says Vulpix, arms full of things.

Next time, really, Issue 16.

Notes: This was such a nice short adventure, I did not think it needed to be a full story so it works as a good holiday-themed backup for Issue 15.  Yes, I probably overthink this.

Image found online of holiday shopping in the 1960s, licensing status unknown.

Please share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: