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


by J. Vandersteen


Wade Hudson shakes his nightstick at Godling. “You really want to take me to jail? Forget it!”
Detective Darlene King says, “You’ve been committing an act of police brutality. There’s no way to deny that. I need to take you in.”
Wade spits. “You can’t take me on. Not in this armor you can’t.”
“We’ll see about that,” Godling says and attacks, his fist swinging at Wade.
Wade catches the fist on his nightstick and kicks Godling in the gut. The hero doubles over, switching to Achilles’ invulnerability from Ares’ fighting skills just a bit too late. The nightstick comes crashing down against his temple, but the invulnerability saves him from harm now.
“Damn you! Go down!” Wade yells and keeps clubbing Godling with the nightstick. While he isn’t hurt by it Godling has a hard time striking back with the hits coming again and again.
Darlene King and Officer Janson grab Wade’s arms and try to pull him away from The One Man Pantheon. Wade shakes them off, then turns to face them, gun pointing at them.
“Leave me alone, stupid cows!” he yells.
“No way! I’m taking you in!” King says and hits Wade in the face with a roundhouse kick. He takes it on the helmet, though and fires the gun.
King falls, smoke coming from her side where the gun hit her with a laserblast. “@#$ that hurts…”
“ENOUGH!” Godling says and with the speed of Hermes he ploughs into Wade, carrying him across the street into a building. It feels to Wade if he has just been hit by an F-16 fighter jet. Dizzy, he tries to get his gun up to defend himself but Godling is faster.
With the strength of Heracles Godling’s mighty fist knocks Wade through the wall he’d just cracked by being knocked into it.
“I think he’s down,” Godling says, panting.
Janson walks toward him, supporting the badly wounded Darlene King. “Detective King is hurt… Bad…”
“Don’t worry. That is nothing I won’t be able to heal,” Godling says and puts a hand on King’s side. His hand starts to glow and he uses the healing powers of Aesculapius to close and heal the wound.
“Ungh… Thanks,” King says.
“Thank you for coming to my aid,” the hero says.
“Sure. I don’t know what’s gotten into the sergeant, but it seems a good idea to lock him up so we can try to find out what happened to him,” King says.
“Think… When has he started to act this violent? Isn’t it since he started wearing that armour? Maybe you thought he started wearing it because his mental state had changed… But couldn’t it be possible it’s the armour that is in fact changing his mental state?”
“Hadn’t thought of that,” Janson admits.
“Me neither. Some detective I am,” King says.
“Let’s get this armour off him so I can have a better look at it,” Godling says.
The hero bends over Wade’s unconscious body and takes off his helmet. He looks at the inside. “Hmmm… There’s some pretty impressive circuitry inside. This is not just a piece of armour. It would be interesting to have better look at this.”
“Maybe you can do that in our crime lab?” Janson suggested.
“Sounds like a plan,” Godling says.
“Good, you concentrate on the tech, meanwhile I will interrogate Wade,” King says.
So they get to work… In the crime lab Godling uses microscopes and other diagnostical equipment together with the engineering skills of Hephaestus to analyse the armour. Meanwhile, in the interrogation room Darlene King grills Wade Hudson. Hours pass…
King and Godling meet each other in the crime lab five hours later.
“And? Did you find out something?” King asks Godling.
The hero holds up Wade’s helmet. “I sure did. This thing is lined with advanced circuits sending electromagnetic pulses. I think they are used to block out parts of Wade’s brain that control his moral impulses.”
“Say what? Is that possible?”
“There have been several experiments with it in the past. The way technology seems to advance these days it sounds like a possibility indeed. It would explain a lot,” Godling says.
“During the interview Wade seemed to become more logical and relaxed by the minute,” King says.
“That would be the effects of the pulses wearing off,” Godling explains.
“He told me he got the armour from some guy in Tokyo named professor Tsuraya. Apparently that scientist was also responsible for the creation of Japan’s biggest hero, the robot know as Ninjoid.”
“I actually once fought at Ninjoid’s side,” Godling says. “I can’t imagine his creator being responsible for something nasty like that.”
“Maybe it’s a malfunction or something? A glitch?” King offers.
“Something like that isn’t really anything you would engineer accidentally. A lot of thought and work had to go in it. I think I’d better have a word with Tsuraya.”
“Want some company?” King says.
Godling shakes his head. “No, you look after Wade. I’ll tell you what I find out in Japan. Will be there in minutes…”
Janson and Monica Sawyer are standing in a room next to the interrogation room, looking through a one way window. Wade sits at a table his head in his hands.
“I don’t like seeing him locked up,” Monica tells Janson.
“I don’t think you should see it that way. We have him here under observation. We just want to see why he was acting so eratically,” Janson explains. “But I can understand it’s not easy seeing someone you love in a situation like that.”
“Yeah… It sure isn’t. And on the subject of love… How are things going between you and Quentin?”
Janson sighs. “I’m not sure… We get along really well, but sometimes his mind seems to wander off… Like he’d rather be somewhere else. Or with someone else. Monica… The way he looks at you sometimes… Or talks about you… Do you think he might be in love with you?”
Monica blushes. “No, of course not! We’re just friends. More like brother and sister max. There’s nothing romantic going on between us!”
“How can you be so sure of that? You’re a beautiful woman, Monica, you must know that yourself. I’m just a chunky Irish girl with too many freckles. I can imagine him rather being with you than with me.”
“Now you’re selling yourself short. You’re a strong, feisty and funny young woman. And I think you’re a pretty cute looking one too.”
“Thanks for the compliment, but I really think he has stronger feeling for you than you think. Again, how can you be so sure that’s not true?”
Monica holds up her hands in defence. “Whoa! I feel like I’m on the other side of the interrogation room all of a sudden.”
“I’m sorry. I’ll shut up. I have no right to grill you like that. Ignore what I said. If you’re sure his feelings towards you are only platonic you are probably right. You know him a lot better than I do.”
But the thing is, I might not be sure of that anymore, Monica thinks.

Tokyo, Japan. Professor Tsuraya’s lab. Godling stands inside, high-tech gadgets, monitors and computers everywhere. Thick metal tentacles that are coming from the floor are wrapped around him.
“These things are pretty tight…” Godling groans. “But the strength of Heracles can… BREAK THEM!” And with those last words he snaps the tentacles in two.
Professor Tsuraya, an old, tall man in a red jumpsuit with a bald head and a goatee, walks in, Ninjoid at his side. “Next time, please just knock. You won’t have to break my security measures in half.”
“Err… Sorry? Are you professor Tsuraya?” Godling says.
“I am. I believe you already met Ninjoid?” The professor puts a hand on Ninjoid’s shoulder.
“Yes. He was a great helping fending off an invasion from another dimension a few weeks ago.” Godling extends a hand that Ninjoid shakes.
“So what can I do for the One Man Pantheon?” Tsuraya asks.
“I want to talk about the armour you donated to Wade Hudson.”
“Ah, yes. Nice piece of technology. Just the thing for a policeman to keep the streets safe.”
Godling points an accusing finger at Tsuraya. “It messed with his mind. What was up with that?”
“I don’t know what you are talking about,” Tsuraya says.
“Come on, when you built that thing you had to know exactly what you were doing,” Godling insists.
“I really don’t like the tone you are using,” Tsuraya says. “Ninjoid, escort this barbarian out please.”
Ninjoid steps forward. Godling balls his fist.
“I want some answers and I’m not going anywhere until I get them,” the Olympian hero says. “I don’t want to fight you, Ninjoid, but if I have to, I will.”
“Understood,” Ninjoid says and draws his laser-katana. “Let us battle then.”

NEXT ISSUE: Ninjoid versus Godling! The secret of professor Tsuraya!



by J. Vandersteen


Professor Quentin Alexander walks into the New Troy police station. The cop at the reception desk asks him, “What can we do for you?”
“I need to talk to Wade Hudson. He knows me.”
“Do you want me to give him a call?”
“Not necessary,” Janson says, just walking in. “I can take him to the sarge.”
“Hi,” Quentin greets her. “And thanks.”
“Why do you want to talk to the sarge, anyway?”
“He hit Monica.”
“What? No way! Not the sarge! He can be a bit of an ass sometimes, but hitting his girlfriend? No way!”
“Haven’t you noticed him acting a bit… strange lately?”
Janson scratches her chin. “He IS a bit testy lately. I figured it was just stress, you know. Taking on superpowered baddies every day can get to you.”
“Well, I want to talk to him about what happened.”
“In that case I want to come along.”
“Thanks,” Quentin says and kisses her on the cheek.
Together they walk through the station. They see Wade standing at the coffee machine. With him is Detective Darlene King, wearing leather pants and a red tank top along with a big shoulder holster, .44 Magnum inside. Wade is in uniform, but not in his new armor.
“Well, professor… To what do we owe the honor of you visiting us here?” Wade asks.
“I want to talk to you about what you did to Monica.”
“What are you talking about?” Wade asks.
“Stop the bullcrap. You hit her!” Quentin points an accusing finger.
“Whoa! What?” Darlene says. “My man Wade here? No way!”
“Why would Monica lie about it?” Quentin says.
“No idea. But I would never hit her. You’re not trying to put a wedge between us, are you? I know you have the hots for my girl, professor!”
“WHAT!?” Janson says.
Quentin puts a hand on her shoulder. “Don’t listen to him.”
“Come on, professor. Don’t lie to the girl. She’s got a right to know she’s just sloppy seconds,” Wade says.
“STOP IT!” Janson yells. “What are you trying to do?”
Wade holds up his hands. “Sorry, sorry. Seriously, where’s all this talk coming from. If I hit her, I would remember, right?”
“Yeah, of course. But maybe you’re lying,” Quentin says.
“We could hook him up to a lie detector?” King suggests. “But personally I think you’re full of crap, professor. The sarge here is a stand-up guy.”
“Yeah, that’s what I thought as well,” Quentin says.
“Hook me up if that will make you feel better,” Wade says. “But why don’t we just call Monica first.”
“Okay, sounds like a plan,” Janson says.
All of them walk into Wade’s office. He dials Monica’s number and puts her on speaker-phone. Everyone gathers round his desk.
“Hi babe. Wade here. I’ve got Quentin in here and he’s spouting all kinds of nonsense.”
“W-wade,” Monica stutters.
“Yeah. He says I hit you.”
“B-but you did. Please don’t deny it… I think you might need help,” Monica says.
“What are you talking about, girl? I didn’t hit you. I never did anything to hurt you, ever.”
“I’m sorry. But you did.”
“I really don’t know a damned thing about that!”
“Calm down,” King tells him, hand on his shoulder.
Wade throws the phone against the wall. “I WON’T CALM DOWN!”
“Wade…” Janson tries.
“She’s turning me into an abuser. I can’t have that.”
King says, “I don’t know what is going on but we will get to the bottom of it. Don’t worry. There has to be some kind of explanation for this.”
“Yes. You really seem to think you’re innocent of this,” Quentin says. “Maybe you did it but just don’t remember. Can’t that be some kind of Post Traumatic Stress thing or something?”
“PST? Why? How?” Wade says, burying his head in his hands.
“That whole thing with Master Destiny maybe?” Janson offers.
Wade points at her and King. “You’re the ones who got captured and tortured, not me…”
A young cop runs into the room, excited. “We’ve got a supervillain and his thugs in a shootout with a few fellow cops. We need some SWAT help, Sarge!”
“Details,” Wade commands.
“Swan Street. They were robbing an armored car when a patrol car passed by. The thugs are carrying some kind of high-tech blasters.”
“Sounds right up my alley,” Wade says. “Let me get my gear.”
“I’m coming along,” Jansons says.
“Ditto,” King says.
Quentin says, “So I guess we’ll be getting back to this soon enough…?” He is left alone in the room as the cops sprint off. He will join them soon enough of course, as Godling.

Swan Street. The armored car has been upended, lying on it’s side with the backdoor open. Six thugs, dressed in green skintight outfits with helmets and yellow goggles and yellow Kevlar vests are firing at two police cars with high-tech blasters. Commanding them is Cecrops,  half-man and half-snake (seen before in # 24 & # 25).
“Shoot them!” he yells.
One of the shots blows up a police car, the blast sending the cops flying.
A police helicopter lands. Out come Janson and King, wearing Kevlar vests and carrying shotguns. Then Wade comes out, wearing his armour and holding a blaster.
“Ha! More cannon fodder!” Cecrops says. “Shoot them too!” He fires a blast from the staff he is holding. The helicopter explodes as the cops duck for cover.
“Drop that weapon, creep!” Wade yells.
“In your dreams, pig!” Cecrops answers and fires another blast. It hits Wade who is knocked back against the still intact patrol car.
“Sarge!” Janson screams and runs to him.
King takes cover behind the patrol car and fires the shotgun several times. The villains are pretty well covered by the armoured care though.
“I’m okay,” Wade tells Janson. “This armour can take a hit.”
Godling lands on the scene.
“Not that costumed do-gooder!” Cecrops says.
“Cecrops… We still have a score to settle,” Godling says, shaking his fist.
“Consider it settled,” Cecrops says and blasts Godling in the chest with his staff.
Godling is knocked against the ground, smoke coming from his chest. Slowly he gets up again. “Is your memory that bad? It’s no use to shoot someone who can channel the invulnerability of Achilles!”
“Kill him! Kill him!” Cecrops orders his thugs who all fire their guns at the One Man Pantheon.
Shrugging off the blasts Godling slowly walks toward the villains. King, Janson, and Wade follow him, guns ready, shielded by the hero’s invulnerable body.
When they get close enough to the thugs the cops attack. Janson knocks down a thug with the butt of her shotgun, King takes out one of them with a flurry of martials arts kicks. Wade smashes a thug in the face with his glowing nightstick, shattering the criminal’s goggles and helmets.
Cecrops tries to hit Godling with his staff. Godling catches the staff with one hand and punches Cecrops in the face with another. Cecrops swings his snake tail at Godling, knocking him off his feet. When the hero is on the ground Cecrops fires his staff in his face, but he is unhurt thanks to the invulnerability of Achilles once again.
“Damn you!” Cecrops says and points his staff at Janson. He fires.
“NO!” Godling screams and uses the speed of Hermes to push Janson down, the blast barely missing her, but hitting him in the shoulder. He falls down, a hole in his shoulder.
“Crap,” he says.
“Holy… God… Your shoulder…” Janson says, kneeling down next to the hero.
“Yeah… Hurts like Hades…”
“Ha! Your stupid heroic attitude will cost you your life, fool!” Cecrops says and aims his staff at Godling again. Godling is in so much pain he has trouble channeling the invulnerability of Achilles, or the speed of Hermes…
“Drop it, creep!” King says and knocks the staff out of the villain’s hand with her shotgun’s butt. She follows up with a roundhouse kick. Cecrops answers with a blow from his tail, knocking King against the armored car.
“Help her!” Janson yells at Wade. Wade is busy kicking the crap out of a thug that is already down, however.
Wade looks up. “I’m still busy punishing this creep!”
“That supervillain will kill Darlene if we don’t help her!” Janson says. “And Godling is hurt too bad to help.”
“All right, I will deal with him first,” Wade says and aims his blaster at Cecrops.
Cecrops sees the blaster being aimed at him and punches a few buttons on his wristband. A purple shield of light appears from it, catching the blast. Then he fires a blast from his staff. The blast hits Wade, but his armor is tough enough to stop the blast from hurting him.
“I’m taking you down, piece of garbage!” Wade says and fires his blaster again, which is deflected by the villain’s shield again, though.
“Don’t you see? You can’t hurt me? But I can hurt YOU!” Cecrops fires the staff in rapid succession, slowly burning through Wade’s armor who falls down on his knees.
Cecrops raises his staff. “HA! I stand victorious!”
“No you don’t,” Godling says from behind Cecrops.
The villain turns around. “Huh?”
Godling hits him with the strength of Heracles, knocking him straight through the nearby patrol car.
“The sergeant bought me just enough time to concentrate enough to heal my shoulder channeling the power of Aesculapius, allowing me to kick your behind,” the hero says, walking toward the villain.
“NO! You will not defeat me!” Cecrops says.
Godling cracks his knuckles. “Wanna bet?”
“I must retreat,” Cecrops decided and pushes a button on his wristband. Suddenly he’s gone.
“Damn his teleportation tricks,” Godling says.
“Damn him indeed! I’ve got something to settle with him,” Wade says.
“That will have to wait,” Janson tells him. “I saw you kicking those thugs while they were down. I saw the fury that you unleashed on them with your nightstick. That was police brutality, plain and simple. We have to arrest you.”
Wade shakes his nightstick. “You can’t arrest me, weak little bitch!”
“She can with a little help,” Godling says, punching his open left hand with his right fist.


NEXT ISSUE: Wade versus Godling!