cueFlash

Glossary of The American Way

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CRESCENT
To retirement
FIREBANG
That’s it!
I’m done! I can’t take it anymore!
CRESCENT
Good morning, Firebang.
FIREBANG
Yeah, that’s debatable.
CRESCENT
Is everything okay?
FIREBANG
No, C.W., everything is not okay. Everything is pretty far from okay. What, what’s the opposite of okay?
CRESCENT
Not okay?
FIREBANG
Exactly! I’m not okay. Everything’s not okay.
CRESCENT
What’s the problem, son?
FIREBANG
Jesus Christ, Jesus Tickle Me Christ! I can’t believe it. The worst possible time...
CRESCENT
Well, what’s the matter? Did the evening news pronounce your name wrong again?
FIREBANG
C’mon, did you have to bring that up?
CRESCENT
Oh, you can’t laugh about that?
FIREBANG
Hey, you have Action Four News call you “FireBONG”, and see how you like it. Did you really have to bring that up?
CRESCENT
Now, settle down. Take it easy. What’s wrong?
FIREBANG
You wanna know what’s wrong? I’ll tell you what’s wrong. I’m finished.
CRESCENT
How so?
FIREBANG
I just got a phone call.
CRESCENT
The commissioner?
FIREBANG
Oh, don’t I wish. My agent. My comic book is in negotiations.
CRESCENT
You’re not serious.
FIREBANG
Well, with a name like Firebang, it sorta comes with the territory.
CRESCENT
Really?
FIREBANG
Yes.
CRESCENT
I thought it was doing well.
FIREBANG
Yeah, it is.
CRESCENT
Why would they cancel it?
FIREBANG
You wanna know what they’re saying? Get this, get this. Not enough variety. They said there’s not enough variety. I don’t do enough, apparently.
CRESCENT
You don’t do enough?
FIREBANG
I guess one super power and striking good looks aren’t good enough for them anymore.
CRESCENT
Huh.
FIREBANG
Not enough variety? I shoot...freaking fireballs out of my...freaking hands. What more do they want, FLAMING PISS?
CRESCENT
That’s a horrible break.
FIREBANG
Yeah, that’s a horrible break. I’ll show Defensive Comics a horrible break, I’ll show them a break in their spines. I’m serious, man, anybody who crosses my path today, I swear, anyone who gets in my way, they’re getting it. I’m taking off the gloves, I swear to god, I’ll take off the gloves.
CRESCENT
You need to relax, son. Let me get you a nice, cold beer.
FIREBANG
Oh, screw you. What is that, supposed to be a joke? That supposed to be funny?
Oh, I’m glad you’re laughing, you callous prick.
CRESCENT
Hey, hey, hey, I’m only joking. C’mon, Rule One.
FIREBANG
Okay.
CRESCENT
What is it?
FIREBANG
Control. You’re right. I’m sorry.
CRESCENT
Okay, then. Here, look, I got you some tea.
FIREBANG
Chamomile?
CRESCENT
Spiced with orange peels.
FIREBANG
Good, is it hot?
CRESCENT
Yeah, it’s hot.
FIREBANG
Hot hot? Like boiling hot?
CRESCENT
Hot as the fires of Hell.
FIREBANG
Oh, you’re a saint, C.W.
CRESCENT
Take it easy, now.
FIREBANG
Yeah, that’s hot.
CRESCENT
I got us the patio seating, too. I know how you feel about the air conditioning inside.
FIREBANG
Thanks.
CRESCENT
Well, there was no one else here, so I took it.
FIREBANG
I can’t believe it. My life is ending.
CRESCENT
Your life isn’t ending.
FIREBANG
(Overlapping)
I’m on a decline.
CRESCENT
You’re not on a decline.
FIREBANG
Ohhhh, but I am. I mean, the criminals, yeah, they still fear me, but you know, the kids? They don’t love me anymore.
CRESCENT
Oh, now, that’s not true.
FIREBANG
No, no, it’s true. They don’t. I can’t remember the last time someone asked me for an autograph. Thinking, thinking, can’t remember.
CRESCENT
Kids are more shy these days. Everyone’s just so scared. Wait until Halloween.
FIREBANG
Yeah, exactly! Halloween’s next month, right? Yesterday, I’m walking around as my alter ego, I go into a costume shop. Not one, not...ONE...Firebang costume in the building, not one. It’s not popular anymore.
CRESCENT
Really? Didn’t Consumer Reports name that the safest Halloween costume?
FIREBANG
Three years in a row. Three years! It’s bright orange, you can see it for miles. Kids loved it, parents loved it. They were huge. Now, not one.
CRESCENT
Maybe they were sold out.
FIREBANG
No, no one’s buying them. I haven’t seen a royalty check in months.
CRESCENT
Well, the economy being what it is, costumes are expensive. By the way, where’s yours?
FIREBANG
Oh, I left it at cape check, I’m on break. And I got a run in my costume.
CRESCENT
I hate that.
FIREBANG
I might as well just leave my cape there when I go.
CRESCENT
Look, you’re going through a bad year, but you’ll--
FIREBANG
Oh, no, not “year”. No, no, no. Last December, I was at the Toronto Convention, promoting the comic book.
CRESCENT
Right.
FIREBANG
This little kid comes up to me, saying that he wants to be me when he grows up.
CRESCENT
Oh, now, that’s sweet.
FIREBANG
(Holding up a finger)
BUT...But I tell him to stay in school, of course, and he says, “Thanks, Bolt Boy.” He thought I was Bolt Boy!
CRESCENT
Well, your costumes are similar.
FIREBANG
Bolt Boy??? That hyperactive so-called “crime fighter”. Guy couldn’t stop a mutant if he had laser beam eyes.
CRESCENT
That happens to the best of us every now and then.
FIREBANG
I know. Believe me, if it was just one of those things, I’d be okay. But the fact that...
(He counts on his fingers:)
...one, no one buys my Halloween costume, B, no one asks for my autograph, and thirdly, those that do think I’m someone else...It...
(Another deep sigh)
...sucks, ya know?
(Pause)
I should just go back to Pyro.
CRESCENT
No. Why would you want to go back to your home planet? You know you’ve got nothing there.
FIREBANG
Respect. Dignity.
CRESCENT
You’re just a face there. No comic book, no costume. Here, you’re something.
FIREBANG
Yeah, used to be.
CRESCENT
C’mon, this is just a phase that kids go through. It comes and goes and comes back again, I’ve seen it many times before. One day you’re the top-selling action figure. Then it’s baseball players, then monsters, then wizards. They’
FIREBANG
Yeah, maybe.
Thanks, old man.
So, how’s the retired life treating you?
CRESCENT
Well, it’s good to take a rest. Look at the world. Especially days like today. The smog is clearing, the people are smiling at each other. It’s beautiful.
FIREBANG
Yeah.
CRESCENT
How’s the Alliance doing without me?
FIREBANG
Well, it ain’t the same without good ol’ Crescent Wonder. Greatest superhero of them all. Harnessing his power from the moon.
CRESCENT
Seriously, though.
FIREBANG
It’s...Well, you know, it’s the Alliance. It’s fine.
CRESCENT
How’s that new guy, that...Lone Tornado? How’s he working out on the Council?
FIREBANG
Lone Tornado is...well, he’s no Crescent Wonder. But I’m sure he’ll be whipped into shape by the other members in no time.
CRESCENT
(Disappointed:)
Good to know.
FIREBANG
What’s wrong, C.W.?
CRESCENT
You worry about your problems, son, I’ll worry about mine.
FIREBANG
Uh-uh. Not happening. C’mon, out with it.
CRESCENT
Just this feeling.
FIREBANG
What feeling?
CRESCENT
Being retired. You know, you fight the good fight for over forty years, you save the world Lord knows how many times, and at the end of the journey, they reward you by throwing you out. You’ve served your time.
FIREBANG
Huh, you make it sound like a prison sentence.
CRESCENT
Yeah, a prison you actually want to go back to.
(FIREBANG smiles)
But I know if I go back to the job, I’ll go back to hating the job.
FIREBANG
Oh, join the club. What’s your reason?
CRESCENT
It wasn’t like it used to be. It was changing. It was hard to keep up, it was changing so fast. Guys like the Lone Tornado, cocky kids like that, we would’ve run them out of the Alliance twenty years ago. Now he’s helping run the plac
FIREBANG
Well, the times they are a-changin’.
CRESCENT
Tell me about it. I keep thinking of my last street job.
FIREBANG
Oh, that’s right, that woman that accidentally got cut by the Luna-Rang?
CRESCENT
That’s the one.
FIREBANG
Doesn’t matter that guy had a knife to her throat.
CRESCENT
I know.
FIREBANG
That’s when they took you off street jobs, right?
CRESCENT
Yep. I sat behind my desk until the day I retired.
FIREBANG
That’s horrible, you saved her life!
CRESCENT
Oh, but what good is life when you’re wearing a Band-Aid?
FIREBANG
People take any opportunity they can, no matter how trivial. Did she even give you a thank you kiss?
CRESCENT
Nope. The only people who kiss wrinkled faces are granddaughters and golddiggers. I lost my sex appeal long ago.
FIREBANG
Well I don’t get thank you kisses, either.
CRESCENT
So much change.
FIREBANG
C’mon, what are you worrying about? You’re retired! Act like it! Quit thinking about the past.
CRESCENT
When you’ve got nothing to look forward to, you can’t help but look back. Hell, I once stopped thirty-seven unrelated crimes in one day. That record still hasn’t been broken! That means nothing to them now!
FIREBANG
See, that’s what I mean. All of this...philosophalizing you’re doing. That’s gotta be unhealthy. You need to get away. Pack your alter ego and go to Europe. Travel the world under the name of Mr., uh, What’s-His-Name?
CRESCENT
Pro...
Nice try.
FIREBANG
Oooh, I got close that time. You’re getting slow, old man.
CRESCENT
That was good.
FIREBANG
One of these days I’ll find out your secret identity.
CRESCENT
Not in this lifetime, kiddo.
(Pause)
Maybe you’re right. I should just leave it all behind.
FIREBANG
Yeah. Forget about the Alliance and the International Federation for the Liberation of the Idiosyncratic.
CRESCENT
Oh, there’s something I definitely don’t miss.
FIREBANG
(Pronounced “eye-fly”)
IFLI?
CRESCENT
No. Him. The other fellows at IFLI I could handle...but he was different. Rogue De Sprado!
FIREBANG
We’ve shut him down a lot of times.
CRESCENT
But he always comes back. It’s not easy to defeat a guy with the power to turn invisible. I’ve never even had a look at him.
FIREBANG
Who has?
CRESCENT
What--?
FIREBANG
Oh, hold on.

Yeah?
(To CRESCENT)
Excuse me


Yeah?...Hey, Alan, tell me some good...Well, Defensive Comics can kiss...Look, Alan, do they have the demographics...Look, Alan, we’ve got the eighteen to thirty-five demographic, that’s not anything to sneeze at...That’s only TV?...Well, males six to nineteen read my book all the...Yeah, a bunch, I see them all the time...All I’m saying is you cancel it, you’re gonna get letters... Look, Alan, aren’t you supposed to be helping me here?... Alright, call me back.
Sorry about that.
CRESCENT
Not looking good?
FIREBANG
It’s still a popular title. I mean, it makes a lot of money. But not enough variety. Of course, of COURSE, I get the publishers with artistic integrity.
CRESCENT
Look, son, if they cancel the book, another company will pick it up, I’m sure.
FIREBANG
But Defensive is the best. Best artists, best publicity, best circulation. I don’t want anybody else.
CRESCENT
(Sighing, clipped)
Well, your decisions are your own now, I can’t tell you what to do. I’m retired.
FIREBANG
I’m sorry, this was supposed to be a nice get together. Instead I’m--
CRESCENT
(Overlapping)
No.
FIREBANG
I’m ruining it.
CRESCENT
No, it’s good to get these things out, give them some air.
(MANDIBLE MAIDEN enters.)
FIREBANG
Hey, there’s that shining beacon of beauty, Mandible Maiden.
MAIDEN
Bite me.
FIREBANG
Ooooh, what’s wrong, Maiden? Is it that time of the--?
MAIDEN
I hate my job.
FIREBANG
What’s your excuse?
MAIDEN
Okay, I hear a distress call from this guy who fell into Independence River. He’s about to go over Liberty Falls. So I save him...
FIREBANG
In the knick of time.
CRESCENT
(Wincing)
Ohhh.
FIREBANG
He actually called you “babe”?
MAIDEN
And then he copped a feel. I haven’t been this insulted in, like, three months.
FIREBANG
What did you do?
MAIDEN
You know the way to solve all crime? Take away a man’s testicles. Every crime is either done because of, or in cause of, testosterone.
FIREBANG
Okay, now--
MAIDEN
I mean, I’m supposed to be a respected superheroine. I’m supposed to be a role model for young women to look up to. But what am I? Just a model.
FIREBANG
You might even say...a SUPERmodel.
MAIDEN
All my life consists of is catcalls and magazine covers. It’s because my dominant superpower, out of all of them, had to be, it just HAD to be the ability to stop projectiles with my teeth. You can’t imagine the amount of blowjob jokes I
FIREBANG
Well, with an outfit like that, are you really surpr--?
(MAIDEN shoots him a glare)
You know, I’m gonna shut up.
MAIDEN
There’s no respect for a female crime-fighter anymore. It doesn’t help when you haven’t had a good crime in a while, and your apprentice gets swallowed by a sea serpent.
FIREBANG
Wait a minute, wait a minute, Little Spinner was eaten?
CRESCENT
By a sea serpent, no less. Tough break.
FIREBANG
Yeah, he had promise.
CRESCENT
Right out of the starting gate. Damn shame.

MAIDEN
Yeah.
FIREBANG
Whose serpent was it?
MAIDEN
Who do you think?
FIREBANG
Rogue De Sprado.
CRESCENT
We’ll just have to agree to disagree.
(Awkward silence)
Well...
(He raises his glass)
...here’s to Little Spinner.
FIREBANG and MAIDEN
To Little Spinner.

You training anybody new?
MAIDEN
Yeah. In fact, that’s why I’m here. I invited him over so that he could get some tips from you guys, if that’s okay.
FIREBANG
Whoa, whoa, hold on, this is our secret café! We don’t know this guy!
MAIDEN
He’s a good kid. I met him this morning, and--
FIREBANG
(Overlapping)
Wait a minute, kid?
CRESCENT
It’ll be fine, Firebang. So, what’s the kid’s power?

MAIDEN
Well, that’s the other thing.
FIREBANG
What? What’s his power?
MAIDEN
Icy breath.
FIREBANG
Whatty breath?
MAIDEN
I know, I know.
FIREBANG
Icy breath. You invited some puberty case with icy breath to our secret café?
MAIDEN
He can control it, Firebang! It’s okay!
FIREBANG
He better be able to control it.
MAIDEN
He can.
FIREBANG
He better.
MAIDEN
He can!
FIREBANG
Okay!
MAIDEN
Fine!
(Pause)
FIREBANG
I’m sorry. It’s just--
CRESCENT
Well, it’s nice to find a kid who studies his history.
FIREBANG
He a geek?
MAIDEN
No, not a geek, they just inspire him or something,
FIREBANG
Does he read my book?
MAIDEN
He reads everybody’s.
FIREBANG
(To CRESCENT)
See? See? Males six to nineteen. That’s my demographic.
MAIDEN
Well, you do just shoot fireballs out of your hands.
FIREBANG
Okay, what’s wrong with that?
MAIDEN
You’re always attacking. You have no defense.
FIREBANG
No defense? What are you talking about, I’ve got the strength of fifty men!
MAIDEN
Thank you.
(To FIREBANG:)
What do you do when someone’s attacking you?
FIREBANG
I fight back.
MAIDEN
With what?
FIREBANG
Firepower.
MAIDEN
That’s offense. I’m talking defense.
(FIREBANG thinks)
FIREBANG
Just myself.
MAIDEN
That’s right. No heightened senses, no supporting powers, no nothing.
FIREBANG
That’s no reason to--
MAIDEN
I’m not saying that’s a reason to cancel your book, I’m just saying they do have a point. You’re not well-rounded enough.
(She gets an idea)
Hey, what if, you know, what if you tried something different with the book? Littl
FIREBANG
Like what?
MAIDEN
I don’t know, a 3-D issue, a choose your own adventure, something like that. Couldn’t hurt.
FIREBANG
(Liking the idea)
Okay. Okay! Hold on.

Hey, Alan, it’s me, listen...No, I’ve got something that I think Defensive Comics will like...
(exit)
MAIDEN
I know. I hate it.

CRESCENT
No you don’t.
(Pause. They chuckle.
FIREBANG reenters)

FIREBANG
Okay, so what’s the...The story ideas? What’s wrong with...Well, I’m sorry, Alan, but I can’t choose my assignm...Okay, I’ll fake crimes if that’s want they want, but...Yeah, I’ll be waiting...Yeah...Okay, I’ll talk to you later.
MAIDEN
You’ll fake crimes to keep the book?
FIREBANG
Hey, times are hard, darling. A superhero has to eat.
MAIDEN
But to fake them--
FIREBANG
Well, these guys won’t listen unless you play their game. I need to give them something, don’t I? I’m not getting cancelled.
MAIDEN
So you’re going to sacrifice your morals for a buck. Good job.
FIREBANG
Oh, right, this from someone who threw a guy over Liberty Falls.
MAIDEN
Yeah.
(Motorcycle is heard)
FIREBANG
He drives a motorcycle?
MAIDEN
Motorbike. Isn’t it great? I’ll be right back.
(She bounds off)
FIREBANG
She’s something else.
CRESCENT
Certainly is.
FIREBANG
You know, I bet I can tell you who this guy is before he even walks in.
CRESCENT
I’m listening.
FIREBANG
Just out of high school. Perfect haircut. Wearing a second-hand costume. Ready to go save the world, and kick some ass.
CRESCENT
You were one of those once, you realize.
FIREBANG
That’s how I know what he’ll look like. Maiden goes crazy over those kind of guys. Don’t ask me why, she just does.
CRESCENT
Why don’t you tell her?
FIREBANG
What?
CRESCENT
Your feelings for her.
(Pause)
FIREBANG
I...What?
CRESCENT
I don’t have X-ray vision, but some things I can see.
FIREBANG
Yeah, I don’t think I agree with you there.
CRESCENT
Are you sure about that?
FIREBANG
C’mon, don’t start that with me, C.W.
CRESCENT
You had something magical with her for a while.
FIREBANG
Yeah, so did you.
CRESCENT
It’s not the same. She’s a daughter to me. The two of you, that was something else.
FIREBANG
Well, whatever it was, it’s past us.
CRESCENT
Are you sure?
FIREBANG
(Overlapping)
Yes! I’m sure!
HUMBOLDT
I...You know, I’ve been watching you guys fight crime since I was a kid.
FIREBANG
What are you now?
(CRESCENT nudges him)
Sorry.
CRESCENT
Wait, run that by me again?

HUMBOLDT
(Striking a pose)
Pungent Humboldt.
FIREBANG
Of course.
HUMBOLDT
Thanks.
(He starts to exit and looks back
at CRESCENT and FIREBANG)
Wow!
FIREBANG
Well. He seems...excitable.
MAIDEN
Yeah, he kinda reminds me of you when you first started. You were so cute.
FIREBANG
But I was nineteen when I started. How old is he?
MAIDEN
You think so?
FIREBANG
He’s much younger than I was.
MAIDEN
Really?
FIREBANG
Yeah.
CRESCENT
Well, I’m sure he’ll do a fine job, nevertheless.
FIREBANG
But hold on...Pungent Humboldt?
(MAIDEN nods)
Okay, I think I speak for C.W. and myself when I say... What?
MAIDEN
Well, “pungent” means strong, of course.
FIREBANG
(Covering)
Uh, of course.
MAIDEN
As for “Humboldt”, you’d have to ask him. I really don’t know.
FIREBANG
C.W.?
CRESCENT
Don’t look at me.
(Slight pause)
FIREBANG
Where the hell did you find this kid?
CRESCENT
Have a seat.
(A BEEPING sound. MAIDEN
freezes, then slowly pulls a
pager out of her utility belt and
checks it nervously)
FIREBANG
Is it that guy?
MAIDEN
No, I got it.
FIREBANG
You sure?
MAIDEN
Yeah.
(She smooths her outfit and spins
in a circle)
How do I look?
FIREBANG
Great.
MAIDEN
No, Hummy, you stay here with the guys. They’ll tell you anything you want to know. Firebang, be nice.
FIREBANG
Sure.
MAIDEN
Firebang--
FIREBANG
No.
MAIDEN
Don’t tempt me.
(She exits in George Reeves
“Superman” style, leaping off-stage)
FIREBANG
So, uh, “Hummy”, how’s it going?
HUMBOLDT
Oh, incredible. I can’t believe I’m here. I mean, I actually can’t believe I’m here.
FIREBANG
We can’t believe it, either. We stopped sacrificing virgins a while ago, and I’m glad it’s been brought back.
HUMBOLDT
I...What?
(Pause)
FIREBANG
I’m just screwing with you.
CRESCENT
Firebang--
FIREBANG
You trying to kill me? You know, you need to get it together before you end up hurting one of us!
HUMBOLDT
I know. Well, after I found out, I thought, “This is my chance,” so I sent in a letter and here I am. I can’t believe I’m here. Man!
FIREBANG
And here you are. So...what’s with your name?
HUMBOLDT
Well, pungent means--
FIREBANG
Strong. I know, thanks.
(He laughs, snorting)
HUMBOLDT
Oh. Well, I was named after the Humboldt Current on the southern part of South America, mainly Peru, where it meets with the Antarctic. It’s a really cold climate. Penguins live there.
FIREBANG
Okay.
HUMBOLDT
And the chill is kinda...pungent.
FIREBANG
Right.
HUMBOLDT
That’s where my backstory comes from. How I got my icy breath. I was born with it.

CRESCENT
Really?

HUMBOLDT
Yep.
FIREBANG
So you’re a mutant?
HUMBOLDT
No, it’s okay, that’s not offensive to me. After all, he’s right.
FIREBANG
See? Besides, you’re not like the mutants I’m used to dealing with. Not enough slobber.
CRESCENT
That’s not nice.
FIREBANG
Oh, c’mon, I just...Fine, whatever.
CRESCENT
I’m very sorry.
FIREBANG
Coxrand has done a lot of horrible things.
HUMBOLDT
I know. Rogue De Sprado runs that.
FIREBANG
That’s just a rumor.
CRESCENT
Well, that’s a hell of a backstory. You could get a decent comic book from that.

HUMBOLDT
Really?
FIREBANG
Sure. Probably not with Defensive, but it might still be good.
CRESCENT
You still have a lot of training ahead of you, though, before you get that far.
FIREBANG
A lot.
CRESCENT
Not tight enough.
FIREBANG
Yeah, you need skintight. Won’t catch on anything.
HUMBOLDT
But I need pockets. Where am I gonna put all my stuff?
FIREBANG
(Sighing)
Utility belt.
CRESCENT
You’ll get used to it. It can actually become an asset.
FIREBANG
Yeah. Women love it, and the men are easier to intimidate when you have more to show. That is, if you have more to show.
CRESCENT
A lot of superheroes do it.
FIREBANG
I’ve never done it.
(CRESCENT glares at him)
What, I’ve never done it.
HUMBOLDT
What do you use?
FIREBANG
Yeah, what is it, C.W., bundle of socks? Bottle of water? How about a cucumber? Different object for each day of the week?
CRESCENT
Oh, the finest model. American-made. Hand-crafted to perfectly spotlight my John Thomas.
FIREBANG
Okay. You know, I’m surprised the Alliance didn’t help you out with a costume when you registered.
CRESCENT
You haven’t registered?

HUMBOLDT
No.
FIREBANG
Jesus, you haven’t been fighting any crimes yet, have you?
HUMBOLDT
Okay. Um, where is it?
FIREBANG
I’ll give you some info.
CRESCENT
No, but you can’t start work until you have. Otherwise, you’re a vigilante, and we’d either have to stop you or recruit you. Either way, we’d get to you.
FIREBANG
He means The Alliance.
CRESCENT
Right...The Alliance would get to you.
(FIREBANG holds up the napkin to him)
FIREBANG
There you go. That’s their phone number. You can just call them to--
HUMBOLDT
I...don’t have a phone.
FIREBANG
You’re kidding.
HUMBOLDT
Could you give me, like, an address or something?
FIREBANG
Sure.
(FIREBANG starts scribbling on
napkin again)
CRESCENT
(Chuckling)
Well, that’s great.
FIREBANG
Here you are. One set of directions.
(He holds the napkin out)
You punch in that code on the bottom there. It’s an underground tunnel that’ll lead you to...
(He points out to the audience)
...that building out there.
HUMBOLDT
The Allied Bank and Trust building?
FIREBANG
Or so you’d think.
HUMBOLDT
Ohhh. Thanks.
(He reaches for the directions,
but accidentally knocks MAIDEN’s
glass in FIREBANG’s direction.
FIREBANG jumps up from the table in a rage)
FIREBANG
Hey!
CRESCENT
Oh, no.
FIREBANG
Son of a bitch!
HUMBOLDT
What?
FIREBANG
What the hell’s wrong with you?
HUMBOLDT
I don’t under--
FIREBANG
You know how cold that water is?
(HUMBOLDT realizes)
HUMBOLDT
Oh, oh, I’m sorry, I--
FIREBANG
Answer the question, kid, do you or do you not know how cold that water is?
CRESCENT
(Simultaneously; to FIREBANG)
Rule One.
FIREBANG
Don’t talk back to me, kid! You do not know who you are messing with!
HUMBOLDT
Well, well, I could say the same!
FIREBANG
Oh, really?
(FIREBANG starts to take off his gloves)
CRESCENT
Firebang, Rule One!
FIREBANG
Look, kid, you don’t have the right to talk to me that way.
HUMBOLDT
(Overlapping)
Well, same to you, ya know.
(MAIDEN enters and, seeing thesituation, gives a deep, exasperated sigh)
FIREBANG
Yeah, what are you gonna do?
MAIDEN
HEY!!!
(Everyone stops)
How long was I gone? Five minutes? What is going on?
(All three men start talking at
once)
HEY!!!
(They quiet)
What is it with you guys?
(She points at FIREBANG)
You.
FIREBANG
Your Hummy almost killed me.
HUMBOLDT
It was an accident!
FIREBANG
Yeah, a fireball in your face, that’ll be an accident, too.
MAIDEN
(CON’T)
So...are we okay?

HUMBOLDT
Yeah.

MAIDEN
Firebang?
FIREBANG
Sure.
(To HUMBOLDT:)
You gonna get her another water?
HUMBOLDT
What? Why do I have to get it?
FIREBANG
You’re the one who spilled it.
MAIDEN
Firebang.
FIREBANG
What?
(MAIDEN motions to HUMBOLDT)
Oh, c’mon, you can’t be--
(MAIDEN glares at him. Pause)
I’m...sorry.
HUMBOLDT
Me too.
FIREBANG
Okay.
MAIDEN
Yeah, uh...He...Firebang?
(FIREBANG shrugs)
FIREBANG
I don’t...really, uh--
(CRESCENT enters with a glass of water)
MAIDEN
Yeah, it’s a great company to be with.
FIREBANG
(Under his breath)
Despite its faults.
MAIDEN
What?
FIREBANG
Hmm?
MAIDEN
Despite its faults?
FIREBANG
Oh, just...You know.
MAIDEN
No, what? You don’t like the Alliance?
FIREBANG
No, I like it, it’s a good company.
MAIDEN
It’s a great company.
FIREBANG
(Shrugging)
Well, that’s debatable.
MAIDEN
You better not be badmouthing--
FIREBANG
Oh, I’m not badmouthing the Alliance, it’s just with all the leadership changes, it’s gotten a little strict.
CRESCENT
Well, they’re helping to bridge the gap between superheroes and mortals.
FIREBANG
Yeah, but at what price?
MAIDEN
What are you getting at?
FIREBANG
Just stay with me here. I mean, you guys remember the early days of the Alliance. The freedom was incredible.
HUMBOLDT
Yeah, Maiden once threw a guy into space for calling her “sugar”. Issue one-eighty-seven.
FIREBANG
Uh-huh.
MAIDEN
I was very young, though. Looking back, it was probably too harsh.
FIREBANG
Yes! That was the whole point! It got the message across, don’t screw with us! With the new leaders, crime has risen, what, thirty-three percent?
CRESCENT
I think they’re just making sure our heroes stay heroes.
FIREBANG
And I say they hurt more than they help. You guys never used to have repeat offenders. And now--
(His cell phone RINGS)
Oh, wait.
(He answers it)
Alan? Hold on a sec.
(To MAIDEN:)
Look, I know that you care about the Alliance. I do, too. That’s what makes me mad. Guys like the Lone Tornado are pretty rigidous and, and it pisses me off sometimes, that’s all I’m saying.
(To cell phone:)
Yeah, Alan, what’s up?
(He exits)
MAIDEN
Well, the public doesn’t know all that we know. We have to keep a lot of it under wraps, for security reasons. In actuality, IFLI is just an organization of supervillains using their “cause” to take over the world.
(FIREBANG reent
FIREBANG
Look, Alan, I don’t know, I...Yeah, I need some time to figure this out...I’ll talk to you later...Yeah, okay.
(hangs up, and notices everyone looking at him)

They want to do an issue in Antarctica. Something “environmentally aware”, involving the ozone, some crap like that.
CRESCENT
Well, you’d get to travel.
FIREBANG
Antarctica? With my weakness?
CRESCENT
(Overlapping)
Oh, that’s right.
FIREBANG
(Overlapping)
It’d kill me.
MAIDEN
Well, that’s what you get for selling out.
FIREBANG
I...Maiden, I’m warning you. I don’t tell you how to do your job.
MAIDEN
(Overlapping)
That’s because I don’t abuse my position.
FIREBANG
(Overlapping after “abuse”)
I’m not abusing any position, I just--
CRESCENT
(Simultaneously)
The two of you--
FIREBANG
(Overlapping)
Oh, the Alliance, who gives a flying--
MAIDEN
I told you not to badmouth the Alliance.
FIREBANG
(Overlapping)
What, you gonna spit acid at me?
MAIDEN
Fingerbang.
FIREBANG
I told you not to call me that!
MAIDEN
Oh, no, I’d never do that. The thought has crossed my mind...
(She looks at FIREBANG)
...but I’ve never gone through with it.
FIREBANG
I wouldn’t do that, either.
HUMBOLDT
Good, yeah, ‘cause heat is my weakness.
FIREBANG
Huh. That makes sense.
HUMBOLDT
Yeah. Sucks having an easy weakness, doesn’t it?
FIREBANG
I hear ya.
HUMBOLDT
Yeah.
FIREBANG
Believe me, we’ve all suffered for that.
MAIDEN
(Overlapping; raising a finger)
Shut up.
(The guys chuckle)
FIREBANG
I think C.W.’s the only lucky one.
CRESCENT
They obviously had it wrong. When Defensive Comics started out their research department wasn’t--
FIREBANG
So did I.
CRESCENT
What?
FIREBANG
I read that book when I was a kid. I haven’t thought about it in years. You didn’t fake the crime, right?
CRESCENT
I’ve never faked a crime!
FIREBANG
‘Cause I remember that issue very well. You used the eclipse to your advantage.
(Pause)
CRESCENT
Huh. Well, then, it’s not an eclipse.
(Pause. CRESCENT thinks)
I guess...it’s...
FIREBANG
You have a weakness.
CRESCENT
Oh, of course I do. I just, don’t...uh, remember, I guess.
FIREBANG
You don’t remember your weakness? That seems like something you wouldn’t forget.
CRESCENT
Well, the memory’s been fading lately.
FIREBANG
C’mon, you’re sharp as a scimitar.
CRESCENT
Well, then...maybe...I just...don’t have one.
FIREBANG
No weakness?
MAIDEN
But every superhero has a weakness.

CRESCENT
Well...I don’t.
(He chuckles. No one else does)
FIREBANG
So, what, you’re perfect?
CRESCENT
Nobody’s perfect, but...Look, just because I don’t have a--
FIREBANG
But you’re a superhero. That’s how it works. Superpower, superweakness. Positive and negative. I mean, unless you don’t have a superpower, but that’s just...
(He stops, considers)
CRESCENT
No. I know what you’re thinking, son, but you’re wrong.
FIREBANG
What’s your superpower? I mean, now that I think about it. You’ve been around so long, I never questioned it. Do you have a power?
CRESCENT
Of course I do. I harness my power from the moon!
FIREBANG
What the hell power is that? I’ve only seen you use gadgets. You say you harness your power by the moon, what does that even mean?
(CRESCENT cannot come up with anything to say)
Oh, my God! Oh...Are you...?
CRESCENT
What? Oh, no, don’t think that just because--
FIREBANG
You’re mortal?
CRESCENT
Don’t say that!
FIREBANG
You’re a damn mortal???
CRESCENT
Please, son, you don’t know what you’re saying.
FIREBANG
Well, what’s your power?
CRESCENT
I’ll have you know--
FIREBANG
What?
CRESCENT
I’ll have you know that I have served the Alliance faithfully from the very beginning. I spent the last
CRESCENT
(CON’T)
fifteen years on the Council shaping the way the entire world views us. You’re going to tell me
FIREBANG
What’s your superpower?
CRESCENT
I tell you, it takes a lot more than gadgets to--
FIREBANG
You lied?
CRESCENT
I did not--
FIREBANG
Are you a superhero?
CRESCENT
I have served the Alliance since--
FIREBANG
Are you a superhero?
CRESCENT
I have saved over two hundred thousand--
FIREBANG
(Almost in tears)
ARE YOU A SUPERHERO???
CRESCENT
C’mon, where’s the excitement in inheriting plastics? Who really wants to be mild-mannered? You think that what I was doing was interesting? I hated being stuck in an office. And I hated my life. I wanted excitement. A way to help peopl
FIREBANG
So your arms are--
(CRESCENT nods)
Just like your...
(CRESCENT grabs his crotch and
nods. FIREBANG says to himself:)
I can’t believe it. All this time.
MAIDEN
But you need to--
FIREBANG
Don’t start.
HUMBOLDT
C’mon, Firebang, just--
FIREBANG
Oh, you definitely don’t start.
HUMBOLDT
If you just listen, then maybe--
FIREBANG
I don’t wanna hear some--
HUMBOLDT
(Overlapping)
Please, just listen to--
FIREBANG
(Overlapping)
...pimple-faced brat tell me--
HUMBOLDT
(CON’T)
By the sanction of Rogue De Sprado, I am given strength to bring down the Alliance. The revolution begins.
(He spots FIREBANG’s cell phone on
the table. He picks it up, and
exits into the bathroom. MAIDEN
FIREBANG
Your power, can...Can you...?
MAIDEN
No. You?
(FIREBANG pulls off his gloves and feels his hands)
FIREBANG
Uh-uh.
MAIDEN
I think it’s only temporary.
FIREBANG
Yeah, same here.
(He looks at CRESCENT, who is
motionless)
C.W.?
MAIDEN
Is he--?
FIREBANG
I think so.
HUMBOLDT
Hold positions!
I’m sorry.
FIREBANG
No you’re not.
MAIDEN
Can you get up?
Where are you going?
FIREBANG
This place isn’t surrounded, there’s no one out there, I’m sure.
MAIDEN
You don’t know that.
FIREBANG
How likely is it, really?
MAIDEN
Firebang, it’s IFLI! Would you really put it past them?
FIREBANG
Okay, then, we gotta get our powers back somehow.
(He helps her up, and she gets
slightly dizzy after standing.
They both look around the bar,
trying to figure out what to do.
FIREBANG rubs his hands together,
trying to brainstorm. That gives
him an idea. He starts rubbing
his hands together vigorously,
like two sticks for a campfire)C’mon, c’mon.
MAIDEN
What are you doing?
FIREBANG
I’ll be back to normal in no time.
MAIDEN
I don’t think that’ll work.
FIREBANG
No, something’s happening, they’re getting hotter.
MAIDEN
That’s friction, that happens with everyone.
FIREBANG
Really?
MAIDEN
Yeah.
FIREBANG
Damn. If I could just get my hands up to the right temperature...
MAIDEN
Yeah.
(She gets an idea)
Um, okay, if, uh...
FIREBANG
What?

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