An Unlikely Hero – Issue 0
My name’s Todd Marshall, I’m thirteen years old and I’m the last thing you’d think of when it comes to superheroes. I’m not a mutant or an alien refugee; I don’t have a superhero like Paragon as a parent and my dad is way too careful to let me fall into a vat of toxic waste. Not that he keeps that stuff around the house, he’s smart enough not to bring the really dangerous stuff home with him and I’m not smart enough to crack the keypad on the door to his basement lab. I’m a regular, normal kid, living in an abnormal world. I go to school with my friends, play video games, suck at math tests; you know, all the normal stuff.
Actually I really suck at math. Big time suck. You see, when I was a baby I was in a car crash. Some drunk driver hit us. My dad walked away without a scratch but my mom and me weren’t so lucky. She was killed instantly. I don’t really remember her much, I guess I was too young. Sometimes I catch dad looking at me with a sad expression when he thinks I’m not paying attention. He says I’ve got her eyes, I guess I remind him of her. Anyway, I was trapped in the wreckage for a while. I got pretty badly injured, mainly to the head. That was the first time I nearly died, but I’ll get back to that in a minute. The short of it is, my brain got busted up pretty bad. Now I’m not a head case or a vegetable or nothing, but I got “issues”. I get in trouble a lot at school and I find it hard to concentrate on school work for long periods. Plus I got trouble with numbers and words. Not all the time, but enough to mean I’m lucky if I get a C. Dad says when my head got whacked in the crash, something in my brain broke. He doesn’t quite say it like that, he uses much bigger words and stuff.
I guess it kinda sucks for dad, having an idiot like me for a kid. He’s like the smartest person on the planet. I’m not kidding, his IQ is off the chart. My dad’s a scientist and he’s worked on some really cool stuff. Paragon’s rocket pack? My dad designed and built it, and he helped design Sentinel too; he’s worked with a lot of superheroes over the years and the government too. I just wish I wasn’t such a disappointment.
Like I said, apart from the fact that my dad’s a supergenius, I’ve got Paragon as an uncle (did I mention that?), and our house is run by computer called Baxter that my dad built, I’m just a normal kid. Things didn’t start to get weird until the night before the big test at school. Which was also the night I died.