Powernauts in Comic Books:
Journals of the Powernaut
Hello, my human, superhuman, and non-human allies! You can call me the Powernaut.
Last month, this kindly web provider had a public service announcement from our planet's guests the Jellyfish. This month, they're letting me speak.
I'm here to report, the stories of reality storms are true. Our universe seems safe for now, but the storms are raging outside. I know of refugee movements from two other universes to our own. Like any good citizen would, I've taken on the task to see them settled peacefully. And I've seen some action in this duty.
The first refugee made quite an impact... but secretly.
- You all saw on pay TV, when the genie named "Vesper" went public, in a challenge match against humanity, in the Wisconsin Dells. He fought humans in an arena, three at a time. That's when he came to my attention. But he'd gotten someone else's attention too.
- In my travels among the universes, I've come across an Earth designated d1939.20, commonly known as "Marvel Universe". There I met an extraterrestrial called "Thanos", a seeker of power. That makes him kind of like me, except I never actively sought power, I just opened myself to it. Thanos sought it, and he found lots of it.
- Thanos used to be an all-out Death worshipper. But human sacrifice wasn't enough for him; to get the results he wanted, he'd blow up suns. Nowadays, he's mellowed out... so he's only about as scary as a battle fleet of alien peacekeepers. But even he's scared of these reality storms. So he's sought refuge... among us.
- But he found, our universe has shields. The shields let us out and back in, so we don't go crazy from being unable to even dream of other lands. But outsiders bounce off... unless they catch a ride with one of us. Apparently, Thanos caught a ride with the genie Vesper.
- And Thanos knows our universe; apparently he's worked with the infamous Wyatt Ferguson before. As soon as he found out Ferguson was at the Wisconsin Dells genie challenge, Thanos popped out and shut things down.
- But it's been revealed, this Wyatt Ferguson is only a simulation; the real one's somewhere else, if he's still alive at all. So I intervened to save his simulated life.
- Thanos was actually quite reasonable. He let his captive go... on condition that I go on a reconnaisance mission for him, in another universe. And I don't object to learning more about reality, so I went.
- And Thanos shared some information with me too, about his universe's superhumans. Where he comes from, some team named "Thunderbolts" have taken over the remnants of Avengers Mansion, but they're having a schism, and the Beast is going in to infiltrate. The Beast is covered with fur, so I guess he must have really, really good rubber masks.
And so I went out among the reality storms. And I led more refugees back.
- My coordinates were (by omniversal standards) d1937.50 Reference, commonly known as "DC Universe". In my own travels among the universes, I've learned the terminology.
- But on this mission, I've learned more. It seems "the Crisis Effect" is breaking loose from "Earth Prime". Superman, Superboy, Wonder Woman, Jimmy Olsen, and I had to get out of the way, but we could only make it if we merged, Amalgam style.
- So we shifted, and then...
- A woman was in a drinking and trivia contest, but she was about to fall over and barf. There was also a little boy, a newspaper photographer, and me, and I had a sacred trust. I'd merged with Superman!
- My friend Julia consented to merge with Wonder Woman, to save her life. But they weren't a good match. You see, Julia turns into a dog whenever she wants to have real fun. And then she can turn back to human - but still with dog attitude. She's loyal, like a dog... but only if you're paying the drink check.
- Superboy had merged with this little boy, who was dreaming outside his land. It seems lots of kids dream of where these people come from.
- And Jimmy Olsen found some newspaper photographer named Peter to merge with. It seems Peter had dreams too.
- But of course, I'd merged with Superman. And he's the responsible one. So I had to get this motley crew to safety. Which is about the same as being the last sober one at a pub crawl. Adventurous, but successful in the end.
- Suffice it to say, we made it. Most of the "DC Universe" people un-merged and went back, because they're responsible crisis-fighters.
- But Jimmy stayed. Maybe his pal Superman wanted him to stay and do reconnaisance.
- Last I heard, Jimmy was involved in a Manchurian border incident for the fate of the South China Lottery. I wonder if my old pal Chang from the FERG is in on this?
- And some of the DC people come back to visit. They're terraforming Mars as a side project, to hold refugees if need be.
- Superman's there... merged with me, because I'm his way in now. We're not that strong on Mars, because he gets powers from sunlight, and the sun isn't that bright there.
- Fortunately, there's other help. Doctor Octopus is there now... merged with a mercenary. And I've arranged payment for his services. Remote-controlled robotic arms are exactly what Mars needs right now. We're looking into mass-producing them.
Just like trees grow after a forest fire, superhumans rise up after a reality shift. Like any good citizen would, I've taken on the task to help keep us all safe from the bad ones. And I've seen some action in this duty.
- I sometimes have the chance to do normal citizen things, like go see plays in a grand old theatre. I found one in Woodstock, Illinois.
- But during the play, a man threw a body up into the balconies, near me. The victim's heart was beating fast, and he got up and ran away fast. Could he have been the famous Hurrier?
- I followed, but got caught by the ushers who were naturally interested. I didn't fight them to get away. The play went on, but I didn't see it. I also didn't see anything that might have happened afterward, in the world of superhumans.
- I sometimes get to work alongside normal citizens, in places like the O'Hare Air Force Base, tucked away in a corner of Chicago O'Hare Airport. They call the lab there, the "O'Hare O'Lab".
- The O'Hare O'Lab has security issues, since people bashed down the fence cameras because they want to go out to eat. And you dig your own workspaces there; I got to dig for my fellow worker Alice. At least my fellow worker Tobin carried his own.
- And when I was there, the lab had two stone men attacking, throwing pillars around. Just like in Woodstock!
- I had to make them surrender by chiseling off the fingers from one of their hands, then reassuring them it's better than no fingers at all.
- Since then, sadly, it's become fashionable for young toughs to break people's fingers by squeezing. Some of them even tried it against me, near Elgin, Illinois, in a line for 99-cent gasoline. Of course, my hands are too strong to break. Let's just say, I had to convince the owner to control his clientele better.
I'm doing my own best to make sure things are under control. But the reality shifts are coming faster now, and our shields may not hold. Allies of mine (particularly Thanos) are researching how to calm these down, and minimize their effect upon our reality. If you wake up one morning, and the world is different... we did our best to give you a soft landing.
And all of you in the Power Patrol have helped. We can all fight for our reality, just by liking it and wishing to defend it. You can sign up for the Power Patrol here!
- I actually saw the last reality shift happen, at the Mobile Downtown Airport in Alabama. It's a freight airport, industrial park, and now a U.S. Navy facility. The state was having a party in the terminal, to welcome the Navy to town.
- Meanwhile, a storm was moving in from the Gulf of Mexico. Most of the natives were evacuating. But the party was still going on. They must have figured, Navy facilities are safe.
- There were weird storms all over the world. San Diego was getting snow! Of course, the Navy was paying close attention. TV screens all showed the weather.
- I was there incognito, because my allies told me, a reality shift was going to start there, under cover of the approaching storm. I was there to watch... and to coordinate with you, the Power Patrol.
- When the party started, government agents took over the concourse. I figured it was this secret agency called SHIELD, but I can never keep track of what universe they originated in, or whether they're evil or good, or whether their leader's in on the plot or not.
- Then, people's cell phones started getting messages with psych tests, with questions like: "Would you assasinate the 12 most evil world leaders?" and "Would you watch a giant rabbit eat a giant carrot until Cthulhu returned?" I'd go with the carrot.
- Then the party started, with booze and strippers, for everyone who passed the psych exam. The theme was, "Party Till the World Obeys."
- I decided, maybe I'd best hide. Maybe it was an evil plot, but I couldn't exactly beat people up for partying in the face of a reality shift.
- Besides, fighting a reality shift with one's fists, is like inserting a screw with a hammer. It may be cathartic, and if you bang it hard enough, it may seem to work, but it's really not effective in the long run.
- What works when you know the shift is coming, is wanting it to be the same way you like it now. That's what my Power Patrol is really for.
- We all have the power to keep the Earth the way we like it. My Power Patrol volunteers had already sent out the alerts, and all of you were ready. In this fight, I am just decoration; you're the real fighters. And sometimes, decoration just gets in the way.
- Of course, while I was hiding, I sent you those e-mail updates. Thanks for responding!
- But even in that den of evil, I found allies! There was a weather girl who was tracking the incoming hurricane - and she'd come from outside the universe! She linked me up with others with powers. That's how Hurricane Katrina went from Category 5+ to Category 4 before it struck Mobile. It widened and hit more places, of course, but no place was hit quite so hard.
- But then the reality shift hit. The next thing I knew, a terrorist cell called AIM was tracking down their customers, to demand payment for the successful reality shift. It seems AIM were extradimensionals, and they had impersonated the SHIELD government agents!
- Too bad their customers now knew nothing about it. My allies figured afterward, it just doesn't pay to depend on drunk people to drive a reality shift. It looks like the rest of us kept reality mostly the way we wanted. Thank you, Power Patrol!
- There was one side effect, though. After the reality shift, the hurricane went west from Mobile, and broke the levees around New Orleans. I did my best to deal with it. I'm only one man, so I worked with law enforcement and relief authorities. Even many of us couldn't do everything... but we did better than nothing.
I don't wish to hide anything from you, my allies. The Earth really is on the edge, and we all have to fight as allies to keep it from going under. I'll continue to make my full records public as they come out.
If all goes well, you'll hear more from me. God Save the Earth!
(signed) the Powernaut
24, 31 August and 4 September 2005
Hello, this is the Powernaut. I'll take all your letters, as soon as they come in. Here's what I have so far, from some of the people I work with.
What for you say some boy has Superboy comic book powers? Now my son says you was talking about him. He says we has to go down to Alabama to fight a crisis or something. That's like two days drive from where we live. And that's where my ex-wife lives too. It best be worth it.
(signed) Kent L. Cletus
23 Aug 2005
My ally Kent,
There are indeed crises that science can't detect, but little children may be sensitive to. At some level, you and your son may have saved Alabama and the Earth from the last reality shift!
Thanks for helping fight for the Earth. Please tell your son, he helped the Power Patrol!
(signed) the Powernaut
Daddy says the aliens want to give us happy cereal and make us all happy. I like the new "Firebomb Wisconsin" cereal tin. Thank you for helping the aliens.
(signed) Calvin S. Ferguson (age 5)
24 Aug 2005
My young ally Calvin,
I don't think the aliens planned any kind of cereal called "Firebomb Wisconsin". I'm glad you like the cereal, but I think humans must have made it up.
And it's fun to talk about firebombing Wisconsin, but it's just pretend fun. It's not real fun. If you really did it, it would hurt people. So don't really do it when you grow up.
Thanks for writing. Keep Patrolling!
(signed) the Powernaut
Why do you say I'm only simulated? I feel as real as anyone. Admittedly, I can't remember anything before when the extradimensionals captured me in Wisconsin. But my brother and sister tell me, it must be one of those reality shift memory things.
I tried to find you to talk to you at Mobile. (Thanks for keeping an online diary!) But we had traffic trouble north of town, and you'd gone by then. I only found a weather reporter who'd seen you. That meeting didn't go well... but that's another story.
(signed) Wyatt Ferguson
26 Aug 2005
My ally Wyatt,
The aliens said they were going to bring back anyone who'd disappeared, and was dear to their relatives. Apparently you qualified.
I know something of how you disappeared. The next time you chase me, I'll stop and talk. But be ready for a tale of woe that makes reality shifts look like windy days at the beach.
(signed) the Powernaut
Powernauts in Comic Books: