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Whatever Happened to Master Man Chapter 2

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  • John Packer
    Here s the second installment of Whatever Happened to Master Man. I ve borrowed a few scenes from Libby Lawrence s Master Race for continuity purposes. I d
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 4, 2005
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      Here's the second installment of Whatever Happened to Master Man. I've borrowed a few scenes from Libby Lawrence's Master Race for continuity purposes. I'd appreciate feedback. Hope I'm building the suspense well.





      Whatever Happened to Master Man?



      Chapter Two: Who is Master Man?

      By John Packer



      The delivery van whizzed by, its tires splashing up water from the rain-soaked street, which sprayed the man in the tan raincoat as he hurried along the Chinatown street. It did not seem to bother him. Neither did the torrential downpour. Though the brim of his rain hat was curved down and the collar of his coat turned up, neither was to protect him from the chilling wind and rain. They were only for purposes of hiding his identity. Wind and rain didn�t bother Black Adam. Being as he was invulnerable to most forms of harm, rain, no matter how strong, was nothing but a nuisance to him. He could barely feel it against his body even without rain gear. He turned down a certain alley. He scowled. What filth! The alley was strewn with broken glass and ripped open plastic garbage bags. Odors of all kinds assailed his nostrils. A keen sense of smell was not always a good thing in certain situations. Halfway down the alley he found the metal door that seemed sealed shut with
      ages of grime and rust. He walked through as if the door wasn�t there � and indeed, for the most part, it wasn�t. It was an illusion. He emerged on the other side of the portal into the headquarters of The Monster Society of Evil.

      �It�s about time you got here,� said Mr. Mind. The worm leader of the Monster Society was in the middle of the round table, seated in a tiny chair behind a magnifying glass that enabled the others to see him. Around the table were Dr. Sivana, Mr. Alias, The Weeper, Captain Nazi. Standing vigilantly against the wall was the giant atomic robot, Mr. Atom.

      �I come when I please worm. I am Black Adam. I answer to no one.�

      Black Adam pulled off his hat and raincoat.

      �Cool off, Blackie,� said Mr. Alias. He stretched his pliable body behind Black Adam, his face curving around to look into Black Adam�s face, while one arm waved a glass with a brownish liquid at him. �Have an iced tea.�

      �Fool!� Black Adam backhanded Mr. Alias sending his rubbery body flailing around so that it completely encircled the meeting table.

      It took a few seconds for Mr. Alias to return to his normal appearance. By that time Black Adam had taken his seat at the table.

      �Speak worm,� Black Adam demanded. �Why did you call me here?�

      Mr. Mind seemed unperturbed by Black Adam�s manner.

      �Power, Black Adam. Ultimate power, that will enable us to rend the fabric time and space. We must find the Millennium Trowel and its guardian, Master Man.�

      *******



      �Who is Master Man?� Captain Marvel posed this question in reply to Ibis.

      �I�m surprised good Captain, that you don�t know? After all, you fought him sometime ago?�

      �Huh?� Marvel said. �I never even heard of him, how could I have battled him?�

      Captain Marvel, Ibis, Spy Smasher, Golden Arrow, Mr. Scarlet, Minute Man and Bullet Man sat at the meeting table in the Squadron of Justice headquarters.

      �What are you saying, Ibis?� Spy Smasher joined in. �None, of us have ever even heard of this guy. Surely, if this Master Man existed there would be some recollection of him.�

      �He, existed and still exists,� said Ibis. �But up until a few hours ago, I never heard of him either.�

      �So, what�s the rub, Ibis?� Asked Golden Arrow. �Just who is Master Man, and why don�t any of us know of him?�

      �Let the Ibisstick explain,� Ibis answered. He waved the wand, and moving images formed in the air slightly above their heads.

      The Squadron of Justice watched intently as the story of Master Man unfolded before their eyes.



      ***********************



      INTERLUDE:



      There was shear and utter blackness. Captain Marvel, Jr. lifted his hand up in front of his eyes. �The proverbial �Can�t see my hand in front of my face� darkness,� he quipped. The levity was intended to take the edge off of things. He�d never encountered anything like this, and he had to admit, he was somewhat scared. �Am, I blind?� He thought this, but knew instantly that that was not the case. He walked along slowly, moving his arms from side to side in front of him. He thought it better not to fly. Something touched him. He started. �Who�s there?� No answer. �This is really, really weird,� he thought.



      ***********************



      Scenes of a young, scrawny boy being approached by a wise old doctor who gives the youth a magic capsule, full of vitamins, containing every source of energy known to man float above the Squadron of Justice. Next the boy displays amazing powers of strength and agility. Upon the highest mountain peak he builds a castle made of solid rock. From there he watches. As he sees evil, he races to destroy it. The Squadron of Justice watch in awe as the man known as Master Man races to the scene of a train speeding out of control toward a demolished bridge. They see him stop it with shear, brute strength, then rush off to capture the saboteurs who blew up the bridge. Day after day, week after week Master Man peers from his citadel and races to rescue the victims of vile, reckless evil.



      ***********************





      INTERLUDE 2:



      Mary Marvel stood in a house of mirrors. �Where am I and how did I get here?� Not only was she confused and perplexed about how she got there, she also couldn�t believe her eyes as she stared incredulously at the images in the mirrors surrounding her. They didn�t display her image. They displayed strange, distorted images of Captain Marvel, Jr. She moved her head from side to side, taking in each image. One was short and stumpy. Another was long and wiggly. Still another was jagged. �What�s happening here,� she said aloud. She noticed a corridor. Then she realized that she was in a maze. As she started along the corridor, the images changed. They were no longer distorted. She could see a clear image of Captain Marvel, Jr. in each mirror on either side of her as she walked along. He appeared to be walking alongside of her moving his arms back and forth in front of him as if he were searching, groping, feeling for something. She had a sudden urge to touch the image in
      one of the mirrors. To her surprise it moved as if startled. Junior�s head turned toward her. She heard him say, �Who�s there?� She answered excitedly. �Junior, it�s me, Mary!� He didn�t respond. He seemed not to hear her. �Junior!� She shouted. But still, silence. She saw Junior�s head turn forward again as he started on his way moving his arms back and forth in front of him as he was doing before she touched the image.



      ***********************



      The scenes shift through the years showing Master Man ever diligent, watching for any signs of evil from his rock citadel. Decades pass as he defends the downtrodden, rights the wrongs, saves cities from natural disasters. At times he thinks he is the only one alive of all the heroes who existed. Where are the Marvels? He saw so much of them in the early years, but after the 1950s, they seemed to disappear. On and on Master Man fights feeling so alone in his quest to protect mankind and eradicate evil. The Squadron of Justice watches intently, silently. Then the scenes shift again to a more modern time, and the faces of the heroes display utter surprise. There are scenes of Master Man battling Captain Marvel. Master Man succeeds in knocking Captain Marvel through a building. Captain Marvel recovers and holds up the roof so that that the people in the collapsing building can escape. When all are safe Master Man is gone. Next, there is a visit by Captain Marvel to the Rock
      of Eternity where Shazam explains that he was the old doctor who gave the magic pill to the scrawny young man named Ron Davis, thereby creating Master Man to be a back-up for Captain Marvel in case he failed or turned evil as did Black Adam. Shazam bids Captain Marvel to capture Master Man and bring him to the Rock of Eternity.



      �But, but,� stammered Captain Marvel. �I remember none of this. When did this all happen?�

      �The scene shifts again, my friend,� says Ibis.



      Master Man races toward a blonde woman dressed in black, and falls flat at her feet.



      �That�s Illyria,� shouted Minute Man. �I�ve tangled with her.�


      "You are forbidden to strike me because of the pheromones with which I control you." Illyria sneers at the fallen hero. Just then, Captain Marvel crashes through a wall and grabs Master Man. "That's all I needed to know!" Captain Marvel says as he wraps both arms tightly around Master Man and flies skyward at super speed. Captain Marvel delivers Master Man to the Rock of Eternity and Shazam.



      The images fade.



      �Is that it?� Golden Arrow asked. �There�s got to be more.�

      �There is more,� said Ibis. �But that is all from the Ibisstick. The rest was put into my mind. There was an image of Master Man battling a green tentacled monster with seven writhing heads. How he came to be doing this, I know not. But, I�m sure this image was sent to me as an indication that he needed our help.�



      �You mean Master Man sent the image?� Asked Bulletman.



      �No, it did not come from Master Man, of that, I am sure.�



      �Then, from whom?� Asked Spy Smasher.



      �I don�t know, exactly. But whoever it is wants us to help Master Man and find the Millennium Trowel.�



      �The what?�



      �The Millennium Trowel, Golden Arrow, an object that can rend the fabric of time and space. We must find it before the Monster Society of Evil does.�



      �If those guys are behind this,� said Mr. Scarlet, �we better believe this Millennium Trowel is not just a figment of someone�s imagination. But where did this thing come from?�



      �I don�t know,� said Ibis. �Maybe we�ll find that out once we obtain it.�



      �Ibis, how does all of this fit in with us forgetting all these things about Master Man?�



      �I�m not sure, Captain Marvel. Time will tell.�



      �Okay, Ibis. Where do we find this Millennium Trowel?�



      �It was disassembled and hidden in three different places. One piece is on the bottom of the ocean in an area of the Atlantic now called the Bermuda Triangle. One is hidden in the Swiss Alps. The third is hidden in the jungle of Zaire. Let this Ibisstick send you on your quest.� Ibis waved the wand toward the heroes. .



      �Hey, what�s up Ibis?� Golden Arrow looked around at empty seats. All the heroes except himself, Captain Marvel and Ibis had disappeared. �Where�d everybody go?�



      �To their mission, Golden Arrow. Theirs is to find the pieces of the Millennium Trowel.�



      �What about us?� Captain Marvel was on his feet. �What is our mission?�


      �You, dear Captain, and Golden Arrow have the most dangerous mission of all. To find and rescue, Master Man.� Ibis waved the Ibisstick, and they were gone.


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    • Dan Swanson
      ... Hold on for a just a moment, buddy boy! This is a great story, but Master Man wasn t alone during those years. It s not in the Earth-S archives yet, but
      Message 2 of 5 , Mar 4, 2005
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        --- In ShazamEarthSliveson@yahoogroups.com, John Packer
        <johnpacker2000@y...> wrote:
        >
        > Here's the second installment of Whatever Happened to Master Man.
        > I've borrowed a few scenes from Libby Lawrence's Master Race for
        > continuity purposes. I'd appreciate feedback. Hope I'm building
        > the suspense well.
        >
        > Chapter Two: Who is Master Man?
        >
        > By John Packer
        >
        > The scenes shift through the years showing Master Man ever
        > diligent, watching for any signs of evil from his rock citadel.
        > Decades pass as he defends the downtrodden, rights the wrongs,
        > saves cities from natural disasters. At times he thinks he is the
        > only one alive of all the heroes who existed. Where are the
        > Marvels? He saw so much of them in the early years, but after the
        > 1950s, they seemed to disappear. On and on Master Man fights
        > feeling so alone in his quest to protect mankind and eradicate
        > evil.

        Hold on for a just a moment, buddy boy! This is a great story, but
        Master Man wasn't alone during those years.

        It's not in the Earth-S archives yet, but I'm in the middle of a
        series of stories about some of the 'replacement heroes' in the 50s
        and 60s.

        In fact, my heroes, Tom Atomic and Red Rocket, actually encountered
        Master Man in very late 1953. He arrived on the scene of their
        battle with a giant flying fire-breathing turtle, after they had
        managed to render the turtle unconscious, and he carried the turtle
        up to the arctic circle where he now sleeps, encased in ice. I hope
        there aren't any nearby nuclear explosions in the next 10 years or so
        to wake him up! In fact, this meeting was quite traumatic for Tom
        Atomic. Once the Marvel family disappeared, he had come to realize
        that he might very well be the strongest man on Earth-S, although he
        got over that fast when Master Man showed up.

        Now I won't insist that he gets to be buddy buddy with these guys,
        but he does know they (and Shiva and Kali) do exist.

        I have future plans for RR and TA during the next 15 or so years;
        they are both going to be active until they retire around 1970. But
        I kinda had plans for a super team in the interval years with MM as
        part of it.

        Suppose the magic that is making everyone forget Master Man also
        makes Master Man forget about every other hero during the interval,
        and whenever he encounters one of them, he forgets the other hero as
        soon as he is out of sight? I couldn't put MM in my potential super
        team, but it wouldn't lock the rest of us out of that era either.

        Dan
      • Dan Swanson
        ... Jon, just in case I wasn t clear, I m not really worried about a possible conflict. You are spinning an excellent story; I know that once you are
        Message 3 of 5 , Mar 5, 2005
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          > > At times he thinks he is the
          > > only one alive of all the heroes who existed. Where are the
          > > Marvels? He saw so much of them in the early years, but after the
          > > 1950s, they seemed to disappear. On and on Master Man fights
          > > feeling so alone in his quest to protect mankind and eradicate
          > > evil.
          >
          > Hold on for a just a moment, buddy boy! This is a great story, but
          > Master Man wasn't alone during those years.

          Jon, just in case I wasn't clear, I'm not really worried about a
          possible conflict. You are spinning an excellent story; I know that
          once you are finished, I am going to go back and read it two or three
          more times and I will still be finding little twists and turns that I
          missed in earlier readings.

          I think we have a great chance here to explore two issues, one of
          which has bothered me ever since I started writing Earth-S stories
          here, and the other of which you just raised.

          When the 'First String' heroes returned from their Suspendium
          vacation, they should have found a thriving super-hero presence, but
          they didn't. And there must have been records of super-heroic
          activity in the Suspendium Interval, but none of the stories written
          after the First String heroes returned has any reference to the
          'Interval Heroes'.

          So the issue is, why are there no leftover Interval Heroes and why is
          there apparently no record of them?

          The second issue is Master Man's feeling of aloneness. If it is
          necessary for your story, then you and I have to come up with some
          mutually agreeable way to reconcile what I've already written with
          what you've already written.

          These issues are not necessarily related. But they might be.

          Dan
        • libbylawrence
          In the one brief Phantom Eagle story on site, I did refer to how he and Radar kept fighting the good fight during the Suspendium Gap and showed how PE
          Message 4 of 5 , Mar 5, 2005
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            In the one brief Phantom Eagle story on site, I did refer to how he
            and Radar kept fighting the good fight during the Suspendium Gap and
            showed how PE eventually retired.

            Now, as for Radar, no one has used him yet at all.
          • BLACKWOLF
            ... Indeed you are! Fascinatingly so indeed! Obviously some force caused the heros to forget Master Man and I for one am very very curious as to what,how,when
            Message 5 of 5 , Mar 6, 2005
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              --- John Packer <johnpacker2000@...> wrote:

              >
              >
              > Here's the second installment of Whatever Happened
              > to Master Man. I've borrowed a few scenes from
              > Libby Lawrence's Master Race for continuity
              > purposes. I'd appreciate feedback. Hope I'm
              > building the suspense well.
              >
              Indeed you are!
              Fascinatingly so indeed!

              Obviously some force caused the heros to forget Master
              Man and I for one am very very curious as to
              what,how,when where and why!

              Wolf

              =====

              ^ ^

              * *

              < >

              --__-







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