Publisher: Pride Publishing
Publication date: August 15, 2017
Length: 54 pages
Reviewed by Michael
When a scientific procedure has unexpected results, Rory tries to make the best of a bad situation and ends up becoming an accidental superhero.
Medical scientist Rory is working in his top secret underground laboratory in Central London when a procedure has unexpected results. Far from curing his patient, a monkey called Arnold, of an unpleasant disease, he manages to turn the animal invisible! In his panic, Rory accidentally gets some of the serum he injected Arnold with into his own bloodstream, rendering himself invisible, too.
With disbelief and confusion filling his brain, Rory finds it impossible to think straight, much less to figure out what precisely happened, and what on earth he’s going to do about it. So, after stripping off his clothes—which remain visible and therefore would give him away—he heads out into the London night for a walk to try to clear his head. Soon, a series of events lead him into a situation where he takes heroic action to protect somebody from hurting themselves, or someone else. And, just when Rory thinks things can’t get any weirder, he’s found, completely naked, in the home of the man he’d helped the previous evening. How can he explain his way out of this?
The “scientific experiment goes horribly awry” is the most commonly used “origin story” for the modern superhero. With our cultures increasing reliance on technology, and our propensity to reach for a bottle the latest drug to cure what ails us, this isn’t too surprising. When executed poorly, you are often left with either a copy of an existing character that will quickly fade from your memory. But when an origin story is well written, the character has the potential to be memorable.
Such is the case with Rory. He’s a scientist working on a serum to cure an unnamed disease. After accidentally injecting himself with a small amount of the serum, he finds his body has turned invisible, but not what he’s wearing. This leads to a somewhat humorous revelation: he can’t leave the lab without his clothes seeming to walk by themselves. However, he needs to get out, if only to clear his head, which leaves him only one alternative.
While the scenario is funny, it’s handled intelligently. Where can he leave his wallet and keys? Where can he stash his lab’s keycard so he can get back? What about shoes?
While wandering, in the buff with no one the wiser, he walks into a pub. There, he meets Joel, although the latter doesn’t know it.
Joel is having a really bad day, hence the getting drunk at the pub, and is THIS close to making what could be the worst decision of his life. If Rory doesn’t intervene. But how? I’m not going to give it away.
This is a fun short that may require a certain suspension of belief to truly enjoy (are you really going to be that calm to find a naked stranger in your living-room?). But, if you’re a superhero buff, suspension of belief is the name of the game anyway. Just go with it, because you’ll enjoy yourself.
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