Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Stardust: Prologue

Hi! My name is Sean Causer. If you’re reading this, then you probably already know me as Stardust - or you're about to. You may be wondering, how did I get this way? Have I got an origin story? Well, of course I do! What superhero doesn’t?

I think the moment I first learned I would amount to something special someday was when I was five years old. That was when I ate five hot dogs in a row and didn't get sick and thought I was really cool.

The first inkling I ever had that the ‘something special’ about me was comic book-related came when I was six. I remember reading my older brother’s comic collection – which I wasn’t supposed to do because I wasn’t allowed in his room – but anyway, I’m sitting there in his closet reading his comic books and this whole world of colorful costumes, evocative names, and black and white conflicts between good and evil – it just speaks to me suddenly. I understand, in that moment, that this is another language. That there’s this whole subtext about what the world should be like or what we wish it was like that you can only read by deciphering what these words and picture combinations really mean. And my brother and I are the only ones in the family who can read this special code. Our parents didn't get comic books -- they didn't like them at all and most of my friends, except for my best friend Roger, didn't like or get comic books either. So this was something special. Of course, I didn’t say anything like all that at the time. Hey, I was six! I said it was “Cool!” and waited until I’d had six years of community college under my belt before I could express it better.

Actually, it was after college where my story gets a little confusing. See, I’ve already been a superhero once already. Well, not one with superpowers or anything. No flying, no super-strength. Just me, my bike, and a cellphone, going around Elgin, Illinois and reporting crimes in to the police, doing good random deeds, and helping local charities. You know, a real-life superhero. My hero name was Captain Amazing and for five years after college this was who I was.

I bet I can guess where you think this is heading. Real-life hero meets real-life supervillains and acts out childhood fantasies. Well, okay, maybe you got me on the childhood fantasies part. But I’ve never even heard of a real-life supervillain. I mean, who would really do that? If I really wanted to, you know, rob a bank or something, am I going to put on a costume to make it easier for the police to catch me? C’mon.

Anyway, there really is a point to all this. See, a few nights ago, I was out patrolling the night that the weird aurora appeared in the sky. And it seems to have affected me, you know. I think it gave me superpowers. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking again. That couldn’t happen, because no one can get superpowers in real life. Well, maybe you’re just wrong about that one…

STARDUST. Changing the world one issue at a time.

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