“Tony’s got a lot of comic books worth more than $80,” Sean said as he thought out loud. “And it’s not like the thief doesn’t know their value. Tony has price tags on every bag. The thief must be purposely taking less expensive ones.”
“Or they’re crimes of opportunity and the thief never has time to grab anything pricier,” Roger said. “Are you serious about this?” he asked, changing the subject.
“I mean about being Stardust?”
“Of course,” Sean said as they approached their house. “I mean, I’m not 100% sold on that name if you have a better one, but I definitely need a more serious superhero identity for what I can do now.”
“But that’s just it,” Roger said as he parked the car in the driveway. “How can you be so sure that you have superpowers? The gunman who froze up, how do you know he just didn’t have a medical condition or something?”
The car doors slammed shut as the two friends walked around the front of the car and confronted each other.
“What about my getting stronger?” Sean asked.
“Sean, you lifted 350, not a ton. And you said yourself you’ve been working out.”
“Not that much! I’d have to be taking steroids to get that strong so fast…” Sean noticed the look Roger was giving him. “Geez! I’m not taking steroids!” he shouted as he walked away from Roger. Then he turned around and came back up to Roger – right in Roger’s face and looked him in the eye. “You don’t believe me, do you?”
Roger looked away and shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know what to think,” he said.
“I wish I could see an example of this superpower you say you have.”
“And I’ve been avoiding eye contact with you for two weeks to keep that from happening,” Sean said, calming down. “I was afraid because I don’t know if the mesmerizing effect will always be temporary. I didn’t want anything to happen to you and now – now I find out that you never believed in me.” Sean turned and stalked off toward the front door.
“The Hell I didn’t!” Roger said, following Sean. It was his turn to be angry now.
Sean, unaccustomed to hearing his friend sound like that, turned back again.
“I have been nothing but a supportive friend to you all these years of being Captain Amazing! You want to do feed the homeless in a superhero costume? Fine with me! You’re going to be late on your half of the rent this month because you gave too much to charity again? Hey, that’s why I put in long hours at work, because I know you’re like that! And I have always admired that about you. That you don’t just read about superheroes in comics and think how cool they are and go back about your life. You live out those ideals you read about every day. So you want to be Stardust now? Fine. You say you have superpowers? Fine. You want to catch a comic book thief? Well, let’s go inside, dig through our collection, and see how those superheroes would go about it,” Roger said. When he was done he unlocked the door and went inside.
Sean followed and put his hand on Roger’s shoulder. “Thanks,” Sean said with a smile.
Roger turned around and smiled back.
NEXT: Well, we haven’t met our Man Who Stole Comic Books yet, did we? Wanna bet he shows up next issue? When our next title is “The Thief Revealed”, it’s good odds!
Black Cat by Steve Rude
8 hours ago