dinsdag 8 juli 2014

GODLING # 40: The Fall of Godling part 3: All-New, All-Different! by J. Vandersteen

GODLING # 40:  The Fall of Godling part  3: All-New, All-Different! by J. Vandersteen

– GODLING – THE ONE MAN PANTHEON:  The Fall of Godling part 3: All-New, All-Different!

The mountains of Tibet, the castle of The Dark Monk and his followers. The Dark Monk stands before his men, dressed in his black robe, silver bracelets and a traditional Tibetan hat.
   “We are sorry, it seems we were unsuccessful in killing Godling,” one of the monks says, bowing before his master.
   “Cretin! How dare you return here then?” Dark Monk yells.
   “The hero disappeared in a flash of light. We had him on his knees though, I’m sure he is badly hurt.”
   “That is not enough. Pay for you failure!” Dark Monk says and fires a blast of purple light from his hand, disintegrating the monk. “Let that be a lesson for the rest of you. I do not accept failure. Find the Godling and destroy him. THAT is your order.”

Maybe this isn’t so bad after all, Quentin Alexander says, walking on-campus of Troy University. I haven’t been able to provide the quality of colleges I want to with the lack of preparation caused by my adventures as Godling. Without superpowers I have a lot more to time to spend on my real work.
   He runs into Monica. “Quentin, good to see you. You look relaxed.”
   “I guess I feel relaxed.”
   “I heard you broke up with Janson. Too bad, I liked her for you.”
   “It just wouldn’t work out. But how did you find out?”
   “She called me. We’ve become pretty good friends through that whole affair with Wade and that armor of his (a few issues ago).”
   “Good to know something good came out of that whole mess,” I told her. “How are you and Wade doing now?”
   “I’m afraid I saw no other possibility then to break up with him. At least for a while. Even though I know in my head he acted so aggressively towards me because he was under the control of that stupid helmet I just can’t feel… at ease with him like I used to. It might just take time, I’m not sure.”
   “So we’re both single now,” Quentin says. Did I sound too happy about that, he wonders.
   “I guess. That’s not too bad. I always used to enjoy watching bad sci-fi movies with you, or check out new restaurants. We’ll have a bit more time to hang out together again.”
    “Yeah, that’s not too bad indeed. In fact, there’s a new Thai place downtown we could check out tonight.”
    “You got yourself a deal,” Monica says and shakes Quentin’s hand.
   This might have been the best time to lose my powers, that’s for sure. Time to make something of Quentin Alexander’s life instead of Godling’s, the professor thinks.
Superstar Mark Brant wakes up in his penthouse. Bottles of champagne litter the room. There’s a good looking lady in her underwear sitting on his bed. She’s just putting on the rest of her clothes.
   “Hey baby, you leaving?” he asks.
   “You were pretty direct to me when you told me you didn’t want me to stay for breakfast.”
   “Yeah, but I can autograph your behind if you want me to,” Mark says.
   “That won’t be necessary,” the lady says. “Thanks for the experience.”
  Mark watches her put on a dress and walk out the door.
    “Man, I don’t even remember us doing anything. Maybe I should cut down on the booze a bit after all,” Mark says to himself.
    “Wine, women… Bachuss would get along with you just fine,” a voice says.
    Mark jumps out of bed. “Who the…”
    Hermes, Apollo and Ares stand in the room before him. “Just us gods,” Hermes says. “No reason for alarm.”
   “Gods you say? Man, I really really need to cut down on the booze… I’m getting delirious.”
   “You’re not delirious. We’re really gods and we’re really here,” Ares says. “Man, Alexander really did a bad job promoting us.”
   “Alexander?” Mark says.
   “Yeah, the Godling before you.”
  “Before me?”
  “We’re here to turn you into the next Godling.”
  “The superhero from New Troy?”
  “That’s the one.”
  “Why? How? You’re kidding me.”
  “I’m not the biggest kidder,” Ares says.
   “But… I don’t want to be a superhero. I’m a superstar, that’s good enough for me. I’m no superhero material. I like to party, I don’t like putting my life on the line.”
   “Zeus picked you. You can’t just say no,” Apollo says.
   “The hell I can’t!” Mark says.
   “Think about it… You can be all-powerful. Have the powers of the gods… Money you have, we know. But power like that even you can’t buy,” Hermes argues.
   Mark rubs his chin. “Power, huh?”
   “Just let us take you to Olympus and perform the ritual needed,” Apollo says.
   “To Olympus?” Mark repeats, full of disbelief.
Mark stands in a basin a few minutes later. Around the basin all the Olympians stand, holding knives.
   “How did I get here? What is the meaning of this?” he asks.
   “My godlike speed. And the ritual to turn you into Godling, granting you the power to channel our powers,” Hermes answers.
   “Whoa, so you are all the Olympian gods? I have to admit that is cool somewhat. And whoa… Who’s the honey?”
   “You seem to talking about me? I’m Aphrodite and you are way ruder than the former Godling. You have quite a legacy to live up to,” the goddess says.
   “I have no intention to live up to any legacy whatsoever,” Mark says, holding up his hands. “And those knives you are holding really make me antsy.”
  “Start the ritual,” Zeus says.
   All gods cut their wrists, blood pooling into the basin. Slowly the basin fills.
   “That’s disgusting. But hey… I start to feel weird… Energetic…” Mark says.
   “You should, you are gaining the powers of Godling,” Zeus says. “Now Poseidon will grant you the power to change your appearance in that of a superhero.”
   Poseidon steps forward, putting his trident gently against Mark’s forehead. Mark changes…
   “Look into the pool of blood at your reflection. Like what you see?” Zeus asks.
  Mark looks into the pool. What he sees is muscular warrior dressed just like Godling was, but where Godling’s hair was black his is blonde and he is wearing a beard. Also, where Godling’s clothes were blue with a gold trim Mark’s outfit is red with a silver trim.
   “I have to admit I look pretty damn spectacular.”
   “Good,” says Zeus. “We will give you some training now and then you can go back to your world as our champion.”
   “This is all going way too fast,” Mark says. “How many times do I need to tell you I don’t want to be a superhero.”
   “You know Perseus?” Zeus asks.
   “I do, saw him in a movie. Guy can fly right?” Mark says.
   “He can. Think about his powers,” Zeus says.
  As he does suddenly Mark takes to the sky. “I can fly! I can fly! That feels great!” He lands again.
  “Now think of Heracles, you surely know of him,” Zeus says. “Then hit that large boulder.”
  Mark takes a look at the huge boulder behind him. It’s twice his size. “I’d break my fist.”
  “Try it,” Zeus says.
  Mark does and shatters the boulder with one massive punch. “WOW! That felt awesome!”
  “Have you ever felt more powerful, more alive? Think about the adulation of the masses, the things you will be able to do. You will enjoy being Godling, I’m sure.”
   “I do like adulation,” Mark admits. “Okay, I might want to give this gig a shot.”

NEXT ISSUE: The All-New, All-Different Godling faces his first test     

woensdag 11 juni 2014

GODLING’s WORLD # 9: Octo-Boy in: Mommy’s Little Helper

       Octo-Boy in: Mommy’s Little Helper

Bay City…
A humanoid figure with grey tentacles instead of arms and legs swings from rooftop to rooftop. He is clad in purple spandex and a purple mask that covers his entire face. The mask has bulbous yellow lenses and his mask makes his head look bigger, like that of an octopus. He wears a very broad black belt with an emblem of a yellow octopus.
    He thinks, Wow! I never get tired of swinging and leaping around as Octo-Boy… Well, of course I’ve been only doing that for a few weeks now.
   He lands on top of an old warehouse. So, this must be where the bad guys are hiding. An old abandoned warehouse. Just like in the comic books.
   He looks through a skylight. In the building are six rough looking men, unpacking large crates. The crates contain futuristic looking weapons.
   Time to spring into action, Octo-Boy thinks. He smashes the skylight with his tentacles and jumps inside.
   “What?!” one of the thugs cries out, surprised.
   “Who is that costumed freak?” another one asks.
    “The name’s Octo-Boy, dear baddies!” the hero says and lands on top of the thug that cried out. He wraps his tentacles around the thug’s head until he passes out.
    A thug fires his gun at Octo-Boy as he jumps off the other thug. The thug misses, the bolt that is fired by the gun disintegrating a stack of crates.
    “Whoa, glad I wasn’t hit by that one,” Octo-Boy says and uses his tentacles to leap up again, flying through the air until he crashed down on the thug that fired the gun. Another thug already aims his gun at the hero, but a quick slap with a tentacle disarms him. The hero turns towards the thug and slaps him in the face with two tentacles, knocking him out.
    That leaves three thugs who all have their guns aimed at Octo-Boy now. He releases a big mist of ink from a gland in his neck, blinding them. Quickly he dispatches the bad guys with a few slaps of his tentacles. As the ink dissipates Octo-Boy stands victorious on a top of unconscious bad guys.
    “What is this?” a voice says. The voice comes from a  man with the lower body of a snake, 
wearing armor and carrying a staff.
    “Who are you? You look even weirder than me!” Octo-Boy says.
   “I am Cecrops. Who are you?”
   “Octo-Boy, hero of Bay City.”
   “And to think I decided to flee New Troy so I wouldn’t be bothered by superpowered meddlers,” Cecrops says, of course referring to his archenemy Godling.
   “Well, you’re out of luck, snakeskin!”
   “I will not be discouraged by another superfool again!” Cecrops says and fires a bolt of energy from his staff. Octo-Boy leaps away just in time, the bolt misses.
   Cecrops tries to slap Octo-Boy with his tail, the hero blocks with a tentacle, hitting the bad guy with another. Cecrops staggers backwards.
   “So you’re the leader of these thugs? Well, your arms-dealing days are over!” Octo-Boy says, swinging his tentacles at the villain once again.
Five hours earlier…
Matt Tatum arrives home, his letter jacket slung over his shoulder. He is a blond, good-looking and muscular 15 year old kid.
    “Hi mom,” he says.
     In the kitchen a tall woman with short blond hair and a powersuit is busy cutting some vegatables. “Hi, Matt. How was football practice?”
   “Went pretty well, mom. The coach rode us pretty hard though.”
    Matt’s mom gives him a peck on the cheek. “Only to improve you, I’m sure.”
    “Of course. How was your day?”
   “Pretty busy. There’s some rumors about a big load of futuristic weapons being sold to gangs in the city. We’ve got a lot of people working on it.”
   “Is that FBI business?” Matt wonders.
   “Together with the ATF we’re dealing with it. I do wish sometimes we weren’t  bound by so many laws. If we could just get a few gang members to talk,” Matt’s mom says.
   “They’re not talking?”
   “Nope, all keeping their mouths shut. Well, we’ll see what we can find out tomorrow. For now, it’s time for dinner.”
    And after that it’s time for Octo-Boy to help his mom out, Matt thinks.


“These weapons will make me rich and I will not let you keep me away from those riches!” Cecrops says and fires two futuristic pistols at the attacking Octo-Boy.
   The hero manages to evade the shots and two tentacles slap Cecrops so hard the villain is sent flying against a bunch of crates. The crates fall down, on top of the villain. The crates break open, futuristic weapons spilling from them.
   “DIE!!!” Cecrops yells as he manages to get from under the crates and grabs a huge gun from the weapons now surrounding them.
   Maybe it wasn’t so smart to have him crash into a bunch of crates filled with big ass guns, Octo-Boy wonders.
    A shockwave is shot from the huge gun. There’s no way to evade it, Octo-Boy is hit and falls down. And how did I get into this mess again, he thinks.


Two hours earlier, a dark alley in the worst part of Bay City.
   Octo-Boy has a knife and a baseball bat in his tentacles. He is standing on top of a pile of four gang members.
   “I told you to drop your weapons,” he tells the gang members.
   One gang member is still standing. He is wearing a red bandana and gold teeth. “Just don’t hit me man, I just got these teeth.”
   Octo-Boy throws the weapons away. “Talk and you get to keep the teeth. There’s talk about high-tech weaponry being dealt. I want to know from where.”

Maybe it would have been better if I just left this to the FBI and that gangstah didn’t know where the weapons were being kept. Of course, I wouldn’t want mom to face this dangerous crazy, Octo-Boy thinks as he slowly gets up.
   “You won’t be able to hit what you can’t see,” the hero says and sprays a large amount of ink in the air.
   “Damn you! Where are you?” Cecrops says, firing blindly everywhere.
   Suddenly Octo-Boy drops from the air, on top of Cecrops. He wraps his tentacles around the villain’s neck and chokes him until Cecrops lights go out.
   Octo-Boy stands victoriously next to the unconscious villain. Now to give my mom an anonymous call and get the heck away from here. Good to know I’m still mommy’s little helper, he thinks.



woensdag 21 mei 2014

GODLING # 38: The Fall of Godling part 1: Not A Fighter by J. Vandersteen

GODLING # 38:  The Fall of Godling part 1: Not A Fighter by J. Vandersteen

– GODLING – THE ONE MAN PANTHEON:  The Fall of Godling part 1: Not A Fighter

“I think you should be a bit more lenient about Quentin,” Aphrodite tells Zeus. She stands before his throne, Apollo, Hermes and Ares are standing there as well.
     “Really? Take a look at the effects he had on the people’s belief of us. That Kevin Sorbo TV-show did more for us. And that was ridiculous,” Ares says.
    “But what about his fight against those aliens? The way he saved the city from King Winter or those guys from another dimension?” Aphrodite countered. “Or the heroes he inspired like Safari, Dober-Girl, Bogatyr, etcetera?”
    “That’s just it. He inspired a lot of those so-called superheroes. And sure, more and more people seem to follow in those footsteps. But how much focus has he given the fact he owes all his powers to us?”
   “Ares does have a point. I don’t think that many people are aware he was in fact created by us,” Hermes admits.
   “Yes, maybe. But he’s been busy saving the world, he’s not an actor or rock star appearing on talk shows and their like,” Aphrodite says.
    “Why do you keep sticking up for him? Do you have a soft spot for this human?” Ares asks.
    “He’s got a very big and kind heart and is unlucky in love. Yes, I have soft spot for him,” Aphrodite confesses. “And I think that this heart still makes him the best choice for our prophet.”
    “He’s not the most talented fighter though,” Ares says. “I guess that’s another reason you like him so much… He’s a lover, not a fighter.”
    Hermes smiles. “I actually don’t think he does much loving…”

Luigi’s, a popular Italian restaurant in New Troy. Professor Quentin Alexander and Janson are eating. Quentin is eating pasta, Janson a pizza. Janson is drinkin wine, Quentin a Coke.
     “What I wanted to talk about… We’ve been seeing each other for a few months now…” Quentin says after a bite of pasta. “And I really like you…”
    Oh dear, where’s he going with this? Is he going to ask me for some more commitment? Janson thinks. I’m not ready for that. Not after all the doubts that have been sown. I really think he’s more into Monica and I’m just sloppy seconds. That doesn’t feel right…
    “The thing is… It’s been nice but not really too serious yet… And I think….,” Quentin continues, thinking, I just have to tell her we have to break up. It’s not fair to be with here when my feelings may be influenced by my future self. It just might not be the true, real love I’m after…
    “Stop! Before you go any further, I have to tell you something,” Janson says, holding up a hand. “I think we should take a break. You’re a really nice guy, but this isn’t working out. I’m not sure it’s because we don’t match. It’s more that I really think you’re not into me enough. I think you need to face your crush on Monica before you can really be in a relationship with someone else.”
    “Wha-a-at?” is all Quentin can say.
    “You seem to be denying it but everyone can see what you feel for her.”
    “But… But she’s with Wade. I mean…”
    “I know she’s with Wade. But that doesn’t diminish the fact you have very strong feelings for her. You need to get over those before you can really commit to anyone wanting a serious relationship with you.”
    “I-I’m not sure I follow you,” Quentin says, thinking, I don’t believe this is happening… Should I be relieved that I’m not the one having to break up now? Why don’t I feel relieved? This is what I wanted, right?
    “That’s it. I said it. I’m sorry, Quentin, you’re a nice guy but this just isn’t working,” Janson says with tears in her eyes. “I think I’d better go.” And off she walks, leaving a befuddled Quentin.
    “Err… Check please!?” he says to the passing waiter.

The mountains of Tibet… Hidden by magical anti-surveillance spells stands an impressive looking castle that seems to be a strange combination of old-fashioned building techniques and high-tech technology.
    Inside, a dozen black-clad monks bow before a tall man, wearing a black robe, silver bracelets and a traditional Tibetan hat. He has a Fu Manchu moustache and a goatee. He wears a mask with red goggles.
    “Dark Monk, Master! Why have you asked for us?” one of the monks asks.
    The Dark Monk speaks, “My followers, the time has come. The planets have finally aligned in the correct manner to start our conquest of Earth.”
    “Finally, how wonderful. What can we do to server you?” the monk asks.
    “We start our conquest in New Troy. The stars say we need to defeat the hero known as Godling first if we are to have any success.”
    “We know of this hero. He is a powerful man. How will we defeat him?”
    “He will be no match against your magic. Worry not. Soon he will lie defeated at our feet.”


“Your arguments have been lacking,” Zeus tells Aphrodite. “My opinion is clear now. Professor Quentin Alexander was not the right choice to be our prophet.”
    “I’m telling you, you are wrong about that,” Aphrodite insists.
    Zeus holds up a commanding hand. “I still make the decisions here.”
    Aphrodite lowers her eyes. “Of course.”
    “So, what do we do now?” asks Hermes.
    “We take away his powers, of course,” Zeus says. “And then, we find us a new prophet…”

Quentin walks out of the restaurant. Janson is already gone.
   “Man, what just happened. I really didn’t see that one coming,” Quentin says to himself. The moment he speaks those words six dark-clad monks appear in the middle of the street.
    One of them, apparently the leader says, “According to our divination spell we are very close to the Godling now…”
    Cars need to break like crazy. Two of them smash into each other.
   Who are these guys? What are they doing here in the middle of the street? Where did they come from? Did they just teleport in here something? Quentin wonders. They sure seem to spell trouble.
   The leader of the monk says, “Godling? Godling? Show yourself now, or we kill until you appear.”
   With those words he draws an ancient looking black dagger and points it a man walking by, wearing an iPod, lost in thought. A black bolt of fire shoots from the dagger, burning the man in a second, leaving only ashes.
   This violent move is reason for Quentin to lose all caution, he transforms into Godling, oblivious of anyone who could witness the transformation and runs into the monk.
   “Vile being! How could you do that?” he punches the monk with enough force to send him flying into a car, smashing the window.
   The monk jumps of the car, unharmed. “I was just in time with my protection spell. Good to see you, Godling. Let us make you taste your defeat.”
    Godling clenches his fist, face full of anger. “You haven’t caught me at my happiest moment… And what you just did to that citizen is unacceptable. You’re going to be in a world of hurt soon!”

NEXT ISSUE: Godling loses his powers at the worst possible moment as he faces the mysterious evil monks and… who will be the new Godling then?    


GODLING # 37: The Right Person

GODLING # 37:  The Right Person
by J. Vandersteen


“I don’t believe it… You actually call yourself Marble Man?” Godling asks. He is standing in a jewellery store. The display windows are smashed, jewellery strewn all over the floor. Facing him is a man in a red skintight suit with black lining and a red facemask. Silver marbles cover his suit.
“Why not? Marbles are my main weapons,” the man in red and black says.
“And with weapons like that you think it is a good idea to rob a jewellery store in my hometown?”
“I’ll show you why!” Marble Man says and throws a handful of marbles at Godling.
The hero catches them with the speed of Hermes. He opens his hands, showing the marbles he caught. “That’s why?”
“Wait for it…” Marble Mans says. That’s when the marbles explode. Godling is thrown against a wall by the impact, badly hurt.
Two cops have just entered the store. One of them is Officer Janson. She runs towards Godling and kneels beside him. “Godling? Are you okay?”
“Just dandy,” the One Man Pantheon groans. “That should teach me not to underestimate these costumed clowns.”
“You’re bleeding,” Janson says.
Godling moves his hands over his wounds. “Easily remedied.” The healing powers of Aescilapus close the wounds left by the explosions.
The other cop is pointing his gun at Marble Man. “Freeze!”
“Right, I almost defeated Godling… No way you are able to stop me,” Marble Man says and throws another handful of marbles. They hit the cop’s head and he goes down, KO.
Marble Man laughs. “I didn’t even need to use the special marbles.”
“You caught me off guard, I admit… But now I’m going to take you down,” Godling says, fists clenched. “Janson, will you take care of your partner?”
“Sure,” Janson says and sits next to the other cop, inspecting his bruised head. “He seems to be okay, considering…”
Marble Man throws a handful of marbles. From the marbles thin lines of rope appear, forming a net that drops over Godling. “I’ve got a lot more trick marbles up my sleeves, hero.”
The Olympian Prophet tears the net apart with the strength of Heracles. “Show me.”
“Sure,” Marble Man says and throws a marble that suddenly grows in size, becoming the size of a wrecking ball.
Godling catches it and throws it on top of Marble Man. “Stupid move!”
Marble Man is lying helpless underneath the giant marble. “Craaaaaaaaaaaapppppppppp…”
“Go ahead and cuff this moron,” Godling tells Janson.
“Sure thing,” she says, cuffs in hand. “By the way, did I thank you yet for clearing up that whole business with sergeant Hudson? We were really happy to find out his behaviour had been caused by that Japanase shapeshifter and he didn’t actually become the creep he seemed to have become.”
“Just glad to help out, Officer,” Godling says. “Take care.” And he runs out of the store, jumps up and flies away.
“That’s our hero,” Jansons says.

“Hello darling,” Wade Hudson says, standing in front of Monica at her door.
“Err… Hi, Wade,” Monica says.
“Can I come in?”
“Err… Yeah… I guess… Sure….” Monica stammers.
They walk inside her apartment.
“How are you doing?” Wade asks.
“Fine. Fine I guess. You?”
“I’ve been better, I didn’t really enjoy my time being cooped up in the interrogation room but I’m happy everything has been cleared up and we all know what caused my erratic behaviour.”
“Yes. Right.”
Wade puts a hand on Monica’s shoulder. “What’s wrong? Are you okay?”
Monica puts a defensive step back. “I’m sorry, Wade. I’m sorry. I know you were under the influence of that damned helmet when you mistreated me, but every time I see you I can’t help being… scared. I keep seeing that other side of you.”
“Come on, Monica. Give me a break here. We’ve been together for years now. How can you see my evil version when you’ve know the good version for so long?”
“I gues… God, I’m so sorry, Wade… But I guess I have some doubts about how far apart the two versions of you are.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Wade yells.
Monica holds up her hands defensively. “That’s just the kind of behaviour I’m talking about. You’ve always been every bit the Alpha-male. Aggressive. Combative. I’m not sure you’re the right person for me. I love books, poetry, classical music. You like sports, action flicks and heavy metal. Maybe we just don’t really belong together. Maybe that’s why we never moved in together.”
“I thought you just liked your own space. But maybe that was just my reason not to. But haven’t you heard that opposites attract.”
“Maybe that’s just not the case for me.” A tear appears in the corner of Monica’s eye.
Wade moves forward, holding up a hand tenderly. “I just want to wipe away those tears.”
“Please don’t. I think you’d better leave. I think we need to take a break.”
“Huh. What? You think that weakling Quentin is a better match for you? Is that it? I bet he came running to your rescue as soon as he heard what happened between us. I bet he’ll come running to you the minute he hears about this news as well.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. We’re just friends. And he has a thing going on with Janson.”
“Wonder how long that will last now. I’ve seen the way he looks at you, Monica. And I’m sure that, if you’re honest you’ve seen it to.”
“Please. Leave. Please.”
“Sure. Gladly.” And Wade walks out the door, slamming it behind him.

“Well, looks like he isn’t that tough without his gadgets,” Janson says, looking satisfied at Marble Man, walking inside the police station’s jail with his hands cuffed behind his back.
“You and Godling managed to nab another costumed clown?” Darlene King asks her.
“I just cuffed him. Godling gets the credit for taking him down. As usual,” Janson says.
“Nice to get one without superpowers. With all the really dangerous superpowered baddies getting locked up at Tartarus II our jail has been devoid of guests for some time,” King says.
“Indeed. Well, have to hurry. I’ve got a date scheduled with Quentin in half an hour.”
“Stuff still going right between the two of you? Opposites attract I guess.”
“What do you mean?”
“Feisty little punkrock-loving girl like you with a stuffed and square intellectual like Alexander…”
“Honestly? I have some doubts lately. I mean, I really love him with all my heart but sometimes it feels like his heart belongs to somebody else.”
King smiles, arms crossed, looking smug. “Let me guess, with Monica Sawyer.”
Janson blushes. “You’ve noticed too?”
“Who hasn’t? I know Wade has. Hates the professor for it too. Monica denies seeing it, but I think she’s lying. Either to all of us or herself.”
“Damn. So what would you do? I mean, I love him but should I stay in a relationship with a guy who cannot really love me back fully?”
“You’re asking me for advice on relationships? You’ve got the wrong person, sugar. If it’s about guns, forensics and martials arts I’m your girl. Relationships I know nothing about. I still spent most my nights alone with a copy of Guns & Ammo. But I guess if I had to give any advice I’d say… Just talk your man.”
“Guess that’s good advice,” Janson says.
“What is?” a voice asks.
Janson and King turn their heads and are greeted by professor Quentin Alexander.
“Oh, nothing…” Janson says. “Good to see you.”
“Likewise. I reserved a table at Luigi’s. You up for some Italian food?” Quentin asks.
“Sure,” Janson says.
Hand in hand they walk away. King watches them go and thinks, Good luck, sugar.

Olympus. Zeus is sitting on his throne. Apollo, Aphrodite, Hermes and Ares stand before him.
“I asked you here to confer with me about the acomplishments of our prophet, Quentin Alexander / Godling. Or the lack of those. We empowered him so he could spread our gospel across Earth so people would believe in us once more. He seems to have been quite unsuccessful, though.”
“He’s done some very heroic deeds though,” Aphrodite says.
“Oh, he has. And they fancy him quite the superhero. But how much has he really told the world about the source of his powers? How much have his actions strengthened the people of Earth’s belief in us.”
“They have been sorely lacking on that side indeed,” Ares says.
Zeus strokes his beard. “Maybe we have chosen the wrong person as our prophet…”

NEXT ISSUE: Quentin & Janson have an important talk as a new threat rises and the Olympians voice their doubts…


by J. Vandersteen


Ninjoid runs towards Godling, laser-katana in hand. “I will need to defeat you.”
“Go ahead and try,” Godling, The One Man Pantheon and Olympian Prophet says.
The katana swooshes over Godling’s head who manages to duck just in time, countering with a roundhouse kick in Ninjoid’s stomach as he channels the fighting skills of Ares, God of War.
Unfortunately, the kicks lack the power to harm Ninjoid’s metal. The robotic ninja chops Godling in the neck with his right hand. Godling falls down.
Ninjoid lifts his sword above his head, ready to strike down at the One Man Pantheon, lying on the ground.
“Kill him!”  Professor Tsuraya yells.
“I don’t think so,” Godling says and gets up on his knees, chanelling the strength of Heracles as he grips Ninjoid’s wrist, preventing the katana from hitting him. With his free hand he punches Ninjoid so hard the dents the robot’s face. He follows up with a big roundhouse punch that sends Ninjoid flying through the lab.
Ninjoid crashes into the wall, badly damaging some fancy looking monitors, sparks flying.
Professor Tsuraya curses in Japanese, not happy about the destruction of his equipment. “Stop that round-eyed bastard!”
Ninjoid slowly gets up from the floor and looks at Tsuraya. “Your behaviour does not compute. It is extremely irregular and beyond normal parameters.”
“You are wrecking my lab. What would you expect?” Tsuraya says. “Now stop Godling!”
“Affirmative,” Ninjoid says and throws laser throwing stars at the hero. Using the speed of Hermes Godling manages to evade them.
Ninjoid runs straight at Godling and jumps up, executing a flying kick. Godling catches him in mid-air and throws him, with Heracles strength right into Tsuraya.
Tsuraya falls, Ninjoid on top of him. As Ninjoid gets up he looks at his master who seems to… change?

New Troy PD, interrogation room. Wade Hudson paces around the room, hands behind his back.
            “How long are you going to keep me here?” he asks.
            Darlene King enters the room, carrying a pizza box. “Until Godling tells us what’s been going on with you and that armor of yours. I’m sorry,  but that really sounds like the most sensible thing to do.”
Wade sighs. “Maybe. But I swear I feel pretty calm already. Whatever influence that armor had over me according to you guys it seems to be wearing off.”
“That’s good news. Have some pizza now,” Darlene says and opens the box.
Wade picks up a slice of pizza from the box. “Will you join me?”
“I try to cut down on pizza. Goes right through my thighs.”
Wade smiles. “Your thighs seem to be just all right.”
On the other side of a one way window Monica and Janson are standing.
“Is he flirting with her?” Monica asks Janson.
“Don’t worry about it. That’s just Wade,” Janson tells Monica. “Goes naturally with him. Guess he still fancies himself god’s gift to women. I’m glad Quentin isn’t like that… Oh… Sorry! I didn’t mean anything by that. Wade is generally a nice guy. And strong and handsome. Quite a catch. Oh, sorry… I didn’t mean I fancy him or anything like that. I mean… Maybe I should just shut up.”
“I know what you mean, don’t worry,” Monica says, a hand on Janson’s shoulder. She thinks, I really know what you mean…

Professor Tsuraya, spread-eagled on the floor is changing slowly from a human being into a grey-skinned demonic looking thing with pointy ears, red eyes and a tail but also a birdlike beak and wings.
“What the Hades?” Godling says.
“A shape-changer? According to my database a tengu!” Ninjoid says.
“Looks like we have our explanation of why your master would be involved with villainous activities,” Godling says.
The tengu gets up. “Damn you for breaking my concentration and having me show my true form!”
“And an ugly one it is,” Godling says. “Where is the real professor?”
“Dead of course! I broke his neck like a twig. And I will do the same to you!” the tengu says.
“I’d like to see you try,” Godling says, arms crossed, posing in true macho superhero style.
“I am programmed to avenge my master’s death,” Ninjoid says and slices the air with this laser-katana as a demonstration.
“Come on then. I have a bone to pick with both of you. I don’t like it when my plans get thwarted. Wade Hudson was the ideal testperson to see what the professor’s technology could do to influence the minds of men. If that had worked out I would’ve inserted that technology in computer, cell phones, and all kinds of gadgets… Thus turning all humans in aggressive barbarians and soon have the entire world at war.”
“Interesting plan. Too bad for you that’s not going to happen,” Godling says and he sprints towards the tengu, fist raised.
The tengu flies up, showing birdlike claws at his feet, trying to dig him into Godling’s flesh. He is quicker than Godling thought and indeed, the claws strike his flesh, leaving bloody scratches.
“Aargh… That hurt,” Godling says, his hand on the worst scratch.
“Evil monster, you will be terminated!” Ninjoid says and slashes at the tengu with his laser-katana. Some feathers come flying from the tengu’s wings.
The tengu produces a katana from his back and slashes back at Ninjoid. The robot catches the katana on his wristbands and kicks the tengu in the stomach. The tengu loses balance and falls on the floor.
He gets back on his feet, but Ninjoid immediately hits him with two kicks and a punch in the beak. The tengu stumbles a few steps back, then changes into a fiercesome looking tiger. He roars and jumps at Ninjoid. Ninjoid falls flat on his back, the tiger on top of him, snarling.
Godling grabs the tiger by the tail and swings it above his head. In the air the tiger changes back into the tengu-form, punching at Godling. Godling lets go of the tengu and the demonic creature is sent flying through the lab, crashing into a machine.
Godling throws a lightning bolt at the tengu, which turns out to be enough to knock out the demon. He falls down and as soon as he hits the ground turns to smoke. The smoke dissipates, traveling out of the lab through the window.
“Looks like we defeated him,” Godling tells Ninjoid.
“Yes. So it seems. Sorry for battling you before,” Ninjoid says.
Godling shakes the robot’s hand. “No problem. This demon was pretty convincing as a human I guess. Do you think we’ve seen the last of him?”
“I lack the data to confirm or deny. In case he returns I will be ready. I still have to avenge my master.”
“Yeah. I’m sorry about his death.”
“I lack any real human feelings. No need to be sorry. I am programmed to continue my work as Japan’s protector, even without my master. I will continue that work to the best of my programmed abilities.”
“Good for you,” Godling says.
“First task is to find the body of my master.”
“Need help?”
“No need. I believe you have people waiting at home that need more information about the armor and its origins.”
“Guess you’re right. Thanks!”
And Godling speeds off with the speed of Hermes.

NEXT ISSUE: Aftermaths and a new villain