Untold Tales Of Amalgam Present:
"The Spider-Boy Rescue Squad"
Written by Crazy Ivan
PREVIOUSLY IN OUR STORY SO FAR, IN CASE YOU'RE JUST JOINING US...
The Scarlet Scarab and Golden Torch are members of the St. Louisville-based super-team the Young Heroes For Hire. They recently embarked on a personal mission to California but have returned to resume active duty. And in New York, Spider-Boy has become a suspect in a murder case that has enraged the media to the point of putting a price on his head.
Power Drive, The Young Heroes For Hire's head-man, has accepted the contract to bring in the Web-Slinger, believing that Spidey stands a much better chance of being brought in alive with the YH4H than he does with the other vigilantes and mercenaries after him. He gathers Hulkgirl, Off-Fist, Tigerfire, Ant-Kid, FrostKnight, Scarlet Scarab, and Golden Torch to brief them and they head for NYC.
Scarlet Scarab and Golden Torch decline the mission, citing personal reasons. Personally, Johnny Carter has no idea why they can't do it, but he opts to follow Ted Reilly's lead until he can talk to him in private.
"Okay, why can't we go to New York? That little detour to LA cost quite a bit, and we're no where near finished paying off the O'Donalds' credit card. We need the money!"
"This isn't about the money, John. Spider-Boy is a real hero, and he needs an ally right about now. Besides, I kind of feel like I owe him; without him I wouldn't be a superhero."
"This isn't about Silly String, is it? Because I'm not letting you within ten miles of a Super-Soaker from now on!"
"No, I'm being serious! My powers were derived from his DNA patterns. Except for that personal gravity thingie, I could pass for his double! I figure with him in hiding it's up to us to clear his name!"
"Right! And I suppose we can do that without giving ourselves away, getting all three of us locked up, or costing the YH4H thousands of dollars for making the trip and NOT collecting the bounty! I'm not so inclined to go off half-cocked this time!"
"Hold on now, here's the good part; I have a plan that will work this time! I used to hang with the Teen Warriors in New York, and they've already denounced the manhunt. Publicly they can't do anything to interfere with it, but they'll be more than happy to give us a hand!"
"They can't get away with it, but WE can? We can't even get there! My El Domino is in the shop." Johnny Carter recognizes the evil gleam in Ted Reilly's eye. "And we're not stealing that van again!"
Ted dangles a set of keys in John's face. "Won't have to; it's ours! The Reality Check comic shop booked Grant Robinson and Garth Ellis for a book signing, and afterwards they had a drawing."
"You expect me to believe Denny and Donny raffled off their VW?"
"Not exactly. What I won was an autographed copy of DOOM FORCE SPECIAL #1. Turns out it was the store's only copy, and they REALLY want to have all of Scratch's appearances."
"So you traded them a comic book that was less than ten years old for their only means of transportation! How coincidentally lucky!"
"Yeah, and I thought we could use it for road trips like this one! We could call it the NoWhere-Van, since you said we're the NoWhere-Men and all."
"Gee, I think 'Deus-Ex Machina' might be more appropriate." John sighs and packs a few things for the drive. It takes nearly fourteen hours to get to NYC from St. Louisville by van. The Young Heroes For Hire have quite a head start in the company jet, so to save time John and Ted skip several paragraphs of dialogue and go straight to the scene where they arrive at the Warrior Watchtower (sure are an awful lot of teams with Watchtowers these days).
"Ah, Manhattan Isle! This place brings back a lot of memories."
"Then why exactly did you leave?"
"Hey, I never said they were good memories. Besides, I still owe around $1200 in rent." Ted Reilly parks the van in the sub-basement of the building, using an access code he got from Kid Speed. The teen speedster greets them at the entrance and lets them in.
"Teddy! Good to see you again! Are you still toting around a Super-Soaker?"
"Ah,... not today. But what about you? Do you still use those 'speed-bubbles' to play Quantum Leap-Frog?"
"No, I only did that once. When we fought the DNAlien plague."
Kid Speed and the Scarlet Scarab continue to reminisce about each other's most embarrassing moments (there are a lot of them). The Golden Torch waits around for one of them to realize he's still in the room. A brightly-colored anthropomorphic cat walks up and introduces himself. "Hi, I'm Garfield."
"Well, that's about par for the course. Oh, wait. You're the Caricature, right? The guy who changes into cartoons. Sorry, at first I thought you meant your NAME was Garfield."
"Actually, it IS Garfield. With a name like that, I either had to become a silly two-dimensional character or run for President."
"Or you could do both, like Bob Dole."
The sixteen-year old smiles, looking quite a bit like the Cheshire Cat. Caricature reminds John Carter a lot of Silicone-Man, but he finds himself liking the boy anyway.
After a quick detour to the kitchen, Caricature, Kid Speed, Golden Torch, and Scarlet Scarab join the remaining Teen Warriors in the conference room. Omni-Girl, Block, Firestarfire, Levy, Red Nova, the Slip, Aquaera, DarkHawk, and TurtleDove are waiting for them. Only Night Thrush is absent, having given up leadership of the team to fight crime in Belfry, the Gaslight City. Having reached the age of twenty-one, Night Thrush doesn't really qualify as a Teen Warrior anymore, technically.
"So," Aquaera starts the meeting, "Speed tells us you want to help clear Spider-Boy. I should probably let you know that there are a few more costumed characters in New York these days, and the Web-Head is the main reason. We have an edict from the city that forbids us from getting involved, since Spidey was a reserve member for a while. But we'll give you two any support you need."
"Good, because here's what I want to do. First, we need to set up a public event I can pop up at. Next, I'm gonna need about 500 fluid ounces of Silly String. Hey, where's everyone going?"
Omni-Girl, Slip, and Block walk away in disgust.
Red Nova, who wasn't with the team during Ted Reilly's tenure, continues to explain the situation. "Four new figures have popped up in the last few months, and each one of them exhibits traits that make us suspect he could be Spider-Boy in disguise." He pulls up a video to clarify. "Crimson Cricket, Prodigy Centurion, Dusk Buster, and Ricochet Blue all share certain personality or physical traits with Spider-Boy, in addition to his build and size."
"That'll work even better! If we DO accidentally draw him out, he'll be one of those guys, and no one else will know I'm not him! Now, once we stage some kind of accident, nothing lethal but sure to grab the media, *I* show up in the Spider-Boy costume and save the 'innocent by-stander' played by Torch. No real danger, but it will show everyone that Spider-Boy is a hero and not afraid to help out, even with a price on his head. Maybe I could even say a few words for the press."
Caricature's eyes pop out of his head and his jaw drops completely to the floor. "THAT'S your plan? What happens when you show up in Spidey Underoos and the crowd opens fire on you?"
"That's where you guys come in. You'll be standing by in case anything goes wrong."
Block returns to the table and tries to explain in words Ted will understand. "The Teen Warriors are not allowed to get involved. If we stop them from shooting you, WE go to jail for violating a court order!"
"But I'm not really Spider-Boy! If it goes sour, I can just pull off the mask. They can't arrest you for saving MY life!"
Aquaera growls as she picks Ted Reilly up by his collar and hefts him into the air. "They don't know what Spider-Boy's real face looks like. WE don't know what his face looks like! If you get taken down there's not a damn thing we can do to get you out of it!!" Then she tosses him down and turns on Kid Speed "I thought you said he had a PLAN! All this insect has is a way to get us all locked up!"
John Carter isn't enjoying any of this. He's as disappointed in Ted's scheme as the rest of them, but blasting him for being shortsighted isn't fair. "At least he's TRYING to come up with something! Beats sitting around bickering over what NOT to do! Now set back down, we're all going to work together and come up with something that will work out for everyone. Including Spider-Boy."
Later, just outside the 17th floor of the Empire Trade Center, a character wearing a costume resembling an amalgam between Spider-Boy and Sparrow hovers on artificial wings in the late night sky. "Cease and desist all criminal activities and turn yourselves in!" he shouts at the four black-clad men inside. "I don't want to have to come through this window!"
"Aw, no! It's that new kid, the Crimson Cricket!"
"No, listen! That's Spider-Boy, I heard him talk like that before. He ain't coming after us, he's too busy runnin'; scared hisself. Fergit about him."
"Better not 'fergit' about me!" A shadowy figure says, emerging from the darkness inside the office they are burglarizing. A light beaming in from the Crimson Cricket's belt-buckle catches the newcomer. A tattered robe conceals most of the polished armor bands he wears, but not enough to hide his identity.
The second thief makes an exclamation and tries to hide in the darkness. His friends take his cue and do the same. Even though he's only been spotted in the last few weeks, the Dusk Buster's reputation has spread fast through the underworld, and no one wants to find out if the rumors are true.
To Be Continued
This issue of NoWhere-Men may bring up a few continuity questions. Let me just point out a few things to keep it simple. This story obviously takes place after the murder of Mr. Z. Perhaps less obvious is that is comes after the 16- WORLD WITHOUT ADULT HEROES mini-series. But it occurs before the 'official' formation of the Junior League Avengers in JUNIOR GIANTS #1. Hopefully that will keep the Spider-Boy fans from flaming me for having messed up the Arach-Kid's continuity!
As for the Teen Warriors, they haven't appeared much since WARRIORFALL ended. They did show up in 16- WORLD WITHOUT ADULT HEROES (well, Kid Speed and Caricature did at least), and are expected to have a story of their own in JUNIOR GIANTS later this year. In case the team didn't look the way you remembered it, I have catalogued the changes which occurred in the final story arc of the series.
1: Temorita is now Aquaera. The Atlantean woman has discovered that she is really a clone created by Cadmus with cells taken from Dolphora, the 50s heroine who was a member of the Forgotten Champions. This revelation was accompanied by a change in costume and powers.
2: Levy. Vance Chase was shown to be expelled from the team earlier, due to legal charges brought against him. But he was allowed to return after proving his innocence in court, also with a new identity.
3: Omni-Girl joined the team after TEEN WARRIORS #130, in the pages of her own mini-series. She is NOT the Omni-Girl who was retconned out of continuity by the Secret Crisis.
4: The Slip betrayed the team, possessed by the Azarath Circle. She's all better now (Thanks for the flowers and get well cards).
5: Night Thrush has left active duty on the team to persue a solo career in Belfry, NJ, as seen in his new series.
Hope that clears things up!
Till next time, Always Ask About Amalgam!
COMICS SHIPPING THIS WEEK:
AMALGAM TAILS #40 More Animalgam madness as the 'Mazing Moo Crew's Flubber-Duck takes center stage! The fabulous fowl has a full dance card, trying to juggle a received movie career, battling Fishterio, and romancing Follywood starlet Duckie l'Orange! Oh yeah, and Galactiyak pays him a social call!
CRAZY IVAN'S FOURTH HOST #4 Thorion the Celestial judges in favor of Earth, and sets his sights on a new target, Oa the Living Planet! The evidence is stacked against Oa; Thorion holds him responsible for the creation of Galactiac! Don't miss part 1 of THE TRIAL OF THE LIVING PLANET!
FREEDOM CRUSADERS #4 A cult of mystics has gotten their hands on the Crown of Calvary, the legendary crown of thorns from the crucifixion! The result is a creature born of arcane power and fanatical devotion! Ensign Jack and True Believer soon discover the fruits of this unholy amalgam as it terrorizes war-torn France; a neo-vampire called Brother Blood!
NIGHT THRUSH #4 The last time the Morphiend came to Belfry he was apprehended by Moonbat and Midnight-Wing! But three years later, Moonbat is dead, and Midnight-Wing has become Night Thrush! Does he have what it takes to handle the master of fear by himself? If not it could mean lights out for the Gaslight City!
NOWHERE-MEN #4 The Young Heroes For Hire are asked by the city of New York to apprehend Spider-Boy! Ted and John join the hunt, but NOT as the Scarlet Scarab and Golden Torch! Find out in the first chapter of an all-new saga, THE SPIDER-BOY RESCUE SQUAD! With special guests the Teen Warriors!
THE BOOKS OF DARKHOLD #4 The Midnight-Force Sons seek Dr. Strangefate's aid and instead find Gypsy Queen, the Brothers Grossout, Fang by Night, and Slitherdaemalion; the supernatural Night Tactic! With both Dr. Strangefate and Winter Shroud missing, neither team is prepared to deal with... Sabrina the Vampire-Slayer!
Disclaimer: The NoWhere-Men were created by "Donovan" Scott Dempley and myself, but the Scarlet Scarab and Golden Torch are based on the concept of Amalgam Comics. Several characters in this story belong to DC & Marvel, and are used without permission. The rest are mine. DOOM FORCE SPECIAL #1 was published by DC Comics. This work of fan fiction is for non-profit, entertainment purposes only. If you were not suitably entertained, please return for a full refund. Sorry, Untold Tales Of Amalgam cannot return the fifteen minutes or so of your life wasted reading this.
THERE CAME A TIME WHEN THE OLD GODS...
-- THORION AND THE NEW ASGODS #1
Ricochet Blue [Blue Superman / Ricochet] -- Possible identity of Spider-Boy
Dusk Buster [Gang Buster / Dusk] -- Possible identity of Spider-Boy
Crimson Cricket [Red Superman / Hornet] -- Possible identity of Spider-Boy
Prodigy Centurion [Alpha Centurion / Prodigy] -- Possible identity of
Teen Warriors [Titans / New Warriors] -
Night Thrush [Nightwing / Night Thrasher]
Block [Cyborg / Rage]
Levy [Danny Chase / Justice]
The Slip [Raven / Silhouette]
Kid Speed [Kid Flash / Speedball]
Caricature [Changeling / Slapstick]
Omni-Girl [Wonder Girl / Ultra Girl]
Red Nova [Red Star / Kid Nova]
DarkHawk [Hawk / DarkHawk]
Aquaera (Temorita) [Tempest (AquaLad) / Kymaera (Namorita)]
TurtleDove [Dove / Turbo]
Young Heroes For Hire
Power Drive (Hard Cage) [Hard Drive / Luke Cage: Powerman]
Hulkgirl [Monstergirl / She-Hulk]
Off-Fist [Off-Ramp / Iron Fist]
Tigerfire [Bonfire / White Tiger]
Ant-Kid [Zip Kid / Ant-Man]
FrostKnight [Frostbite / Black Knight]
Scarlet Scarab [Blue Beetle / Scarlet Spider]
Golden Torch [Booster Gold / Human Torch 2099]
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