The 52 special

Where are they now?

by Ron Troupe, Daily Planet Senior Staff Reporter

METROPOLIS, APRIL 12 — 

They were to be the next generation of superheroes. Those young men and women who volunteered their bodies and their wallets to Lex Luthor’s Everyman Project in exchange for extraordinary abilities far beyond the reach of most mortal men. But after the tragic events at the start of the new year in which most Everymen lost their powers suddenly, only a few individuals remain with their newfound abilities intact, the most notable of these being Luthor’s own private hero squad, Infinity Inc. And now with Luthor’s arrest and pending high-profile trial, even Infinity Inc. is officially calling it quits, ending their fifteen minutes with a whisper, rather than a bang.

But what of the others? What of the overlooked Everymen who managed to somehow retain their special talents? I decided to seek out these surviving few to see what life had in store for them after the dust had settled. I was able to locate just three such individuals, each with a story to tell.

The easiest to find, was an eager young teenager, whose crime-fighting services were posted on a local college bulletin board. I met with this so-called Gazebo Boy to see how life was treating him.

“It’s okay, I guess,” the young hero said, “I haven’t really nabbed too many crooks yet. But there’s no real rush.” When asked about his method of catching criminals Gazebo Boy said, “When I see trouble, what I do is run up behind the guy, right, and use my powers to morph into this giant park-style gazebo. You know, in order to trap him. But the thing about gazebos is that they don’t really have like, walls. So usually the perp just kind of climbs over my railing and then runs away. But it’s only a matter of time before one doesn’t think of doing that.”

The second Everyman I located outside a StaggMart Grocery via police blotter. Arguing with that establishment’s manager, was the remarkably bald hero Turkey Man, who apparently was busy being quite unsuccessful in convincing the store to promote Easter turkeys this season. “It’s how I make my living, you know?” Turkey Man said when I finally got him down to a reasonable temperature. “Who says you have to have ham at Easter? It’s not in the Bible or anything. It’s backward-thinking guys like this who keep me from moving out of my aunt’s house. And I got to do it soon. I’m pretty sure she keeps sniffing me when sleeping.”

But Turkey Man isn’t alone in being reduced to public appearances in order to make a living. The last Everyman I tracked down relies mainly on children’s parties to make ends meet. “I do not blame the children. They do not know no better. Who I blame are the parents,” said Paper Mache Guy of his new occupational hazards. “Yes, I do look remotely like a Mexican hanging decoration. Yes, my skin and skeletal structure are very weak and fragile like a baby made of glass. And yes, it is true I am filled with delicious candy treats. But you have no right to arm your little ones with the sticks. I am quick, yes, but the little ones are feisty and they have the sharp teeth.”

But despite their less than glamorous lifestyles, the surviving Everymen seem to have no regrets when it comes to Lex Luthor’s experimental treatment. Paper Mache Guy seemed to sum up the group’s mutual feeling on the matter, “It has been a great rollercoaster of a life so far. But yet I feel that my luck will run out one day soon. But I must continue down my chosen path. For going to birthday parties and running for my life from the little children with the swinging and the hitting to the face, is not just my job. No, it is of course my passion.”

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