The 52 special

“Everyman” Subject Turns to Crime

by Josef Schuman

METROPOLIS, NOVEMBER 9 — 

A participant in Lex Luthor’s “Everyman Project” was apprehended after a botched attempt to rob the First Bank of Metropolis. The would-be super-villain, who calls himself Mack Truck, has been identified as Michael “Mac” MacLaren, 45, owner of a Big Belly Burger franchise in Hob’s Bay. It is the first known instance of someone gaining superhuman abilities through the popular power-granting program and then using them for less than noble purposes.

MacLaren was described by eyewitness Ira Goldstone as short, stout, balding, and sporting a bushy mustache, “like the guy from those old TV commercials, the one who had to get up early to make the donuts.”

According to bank manager Howard Norris, MacLaren entered the bank, demanded that the contents of the vault be turned over to him, and became agitated when he wasn’t taken seriously.

“He wasn’t carrying any weapons and, frankly, he didn’t seem very threatening,” said Norris.

When MacLaren’s demands weren’t met, he thrust out his arms, put his fists together, and rammed himself through the vault’s huge, locked, super-fortified, solid-steel door.

But having smashed his way in, MacLaren realized he had a problem: he’d neglected to bring something in which he could carry off his vast ill-gotten gains-a satchel, a briefcase, or even a large plastic garbage bag.

“He seemed really angry with himself over that,” said Norris.

By that point, the Metropolis Police Department had been alerted by the bank’s silent alarm. As MacLaren desperately started stuffing thick stacks of $100 bills into his trenchcoat pockets, he found himself surrounded by police officers, who were backed up by Infinity, Inc. A final attempt to use his “ramming” ability to escape failed.

According to McLaren’s estranged wife, Maureen, his original intention was to become a super hero. He was a survivor of the brutal massacre three weeks ago, in which more than two dozen other “Everyman” participants were slaughtered and a new Justice League team was soundly defeated and driven to disband.

“He had a change of heart after that,” she said. “He figured if he was going to risk his life, he might as well get a lot of money out of it.”

Lex Luthor had no comment about MacLaren. A Luthor spokeswoman said, “The ‘Everyman Project’ has been a phenomenal success. Unfortunately, one bad apple turned up in the batch. But the screening process for candidates is undergoing re-evaluation and we expect the program to continue to benefit Metropolis and the world for many years to come.”

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