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The Phenomenal ZAPMAN Chapter 13 Part 3 :icondazzle2099:Dazzle2099 0 0
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The Phenomenal ZAPMAN CHAPTER 13 Part 2 :icondazzle2099:Dazzle2099 0 1
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The Phenomenal ZAPMAN Chapter 13 Part 1 :icondazzle2099:Dazzle2099 0 4
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THE PHENOMENAL ZAPMAN Chapter 12 :icondazzle2099:Dazzle2099 0 2
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The Phenomenal ZAPMAN Chapter 11 :icondazzle2099:Dazzle2099 0 1
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The Phenomenal ZAPMAN Chapter 10 :icondazzle2099:Dazzle2099 0 2
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The Phenomenal ZAPMAN Chapter 9 :icondazzle2099:Dazzle2099 0 1
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The Phenomenal ZAPMAN Chapter 8 :icondazzle2099:Dazzle2099 0 1
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The Phenomenal ZAPMAN Chapter 7 :icondazzle2099:Dazzle2099 0 1
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The Phenomenal ZAPMAN Chapter 6 :icondazzle2099:Dazzle2099 0 1
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The Phenomenal ZAPMAN Chapter 5 :icondazzle2099:Dazzle2099 0 1
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The Phenomenal ZAPMAN Chapter 4 :icondazzle2099:Dazzle2099 0 1
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The Phenomenal ZAPMAN Chapter 3 :icondazzle2099:Dazzle2099 0 1
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The Phenomenal ZAPMAN Chapter 2 :icondazzle2099:Dazzle2099 0 1
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The Phenomenal ZAPMAN Chapter 1: Elevator Blues :icondazzle2099:Dazzle2099 2 8

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Chapter 13: Star Spangled War Stories Part 3:  FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (AND MAYBE A TEENY TINY HYDROGEN BOMB, YOU'RE WELCOME)
"Hold it Mark, before we do this we have to set the mood, this was your Grandpa's favorite song" A.T. switches Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy out for another record and puts the needle on as Slim Gaillard expresses his undying love for potato chips: "Potato Chips, how my mouth just drips, Potato Chips, how my mouth just drips. Crunch, crunch, I don't want no lunch all I want is Potato Chips...."

1952: BOSQUE VERDE, the Home of famous luchador and superhero, Francisco  Carlos Numera, otherwise more famously known as ZAPMAN: EL LUCHADOR DEL RELÁMPAGO!
ZAPMAN is currently stopping an armored truck getaway....
"Come on out and I'll go easy on you guys. Wait! Don't drive away! You're really not making this easy on me!" ZAPMAN runs after the truck at blazing speed and suddenly stops in front of the truck. Not expecting him to suddenly stop, the truck driver slams on the brake and Francisco sticks his laced boot out and stomps hard onto a part of the engine hood, flipping the car over and sending it somersaulting into a large field of grass.

Francisco goes to inspect what the occupants of the armored car might have stolen when as he opens the door he is greeted by sound of laser gun fire! With no time to think, ZAPMAN rips off the steel doors from the back of the truck and moves upwards to the front of the vehicle, using the steel doors as shields from the laser fire. "HAHAHAHAHA Yes keep firing it won't help I'll take you ALL ON! HAHAHAHAHAHA!" Francisco's laughter rings out, meant to strike fear into the hearts of the criminal showing them that he wouldn't back down because he didn't feel fear or pain. Sure enough, that did the trick and one by one the armored truck assailants surrender their weapons at ZAPMAN's feet, saying "Please don't hurt us!" while being hauled off to jail.

A boy of about ten years old comes up to ZAPMAN excitedly showing him a picture that he had taken of ZAPMAN during one of his wrestling matches with other luchadors. "Could you sign this please ZAPMAN? My name's Enrique and I'm your biggest fan!" At that, ZAPMAN breaks into a broad grin, "Why, of course my little amigo, I didn't know I had a fan, let alone my biggest one!" After signing Enrique's photo, Francisco lifts him onto his shoulders and gives him a piggyback ride all over town, stopping for ice cream. After all, how can you argue with your el más grande admirador?

"So is it true ZAPMAN, that you got your powers from the Hydrogen bomb they detonated earlier this year?" Enrique asks, hoping to get some juicy details. ZAPMAN just chuckles, "Well that's one part of it Enrique. You see, I was visiting my family for Dia De Los Muertos and I got attacked by a vicious cult who planned to sacrifice me to Tlaloc, the Aztec god of lightning and thunder. However, it did not go as planned and Tlaloc himself came down and punished the cult by killing everyone in the room except for me. He told me that I was worthy of his power and he struck me with lightning in the shape of a snake and I passed out when its fangs sunk into me.

I awoke hours later, unsure of where I was when I heard a loud explosion.... I was in the epicenter of that bomb and no one knew. Fortunately, I found out I had the power of flight and fly I did, all the way home like a bird's internal migration. It felt effortless and natural and also a little disturbing but I enjoyed it very much... for a time. My family was struggling financially so I sought a way to support them, but what could I do that made use of my special talents? That's when I discovered that there were local Lucha Libre tournaments! I could easily win money doing something I actually enjoyed because Lucha Libre is a hobby of mine. Of course, that was over 2 months ago so I haven't had much practice. Say, how would you like to be my sidekick?!" Enrique looks stupefied and then slowly it dawns on him, "Really? De Verdad? You want me to be your sidekick?! This is everything I've ever dreamed of!"
Later, when Enrique gets his own costume....
ZAPMAN and Enrique shake hands commemorating their status as superhero and sidekick as they get their picture taken by many photographers and the Daily Volt is busy printing out their latest headliner "ZAPMAN AND SPARKY: Newest Duo to Take on Crime!"

In the ten years that follow, no one could have suspected how popular ZAPMAN would become. Instead of just being known in the city of Greenwood, his exploits became known all over the world, translated into dozens of languages. ZAPMANMANIA shook the world with ZAPMAN Comics, ZAPMAN Novels, ZAPMAN Action Figures, ZAPMAN Movies, Film Serials, Mugs, CDs, Limited Edition Bendy Straws, Plates, Halloween Costumes.... but the fame had a price. Everyone saw Francisco not as a professional Wrestler but a sell-out, not as a Superhero but a panderer to the crowds. No one took him seriously and he wasn't able to find any other work because everyone wanted to take advantage of him for autographs, backstage passes, secret tours of his home. He was tired of it, tired of being a celebrity and longed for a life where he could just save people for once instead of being paraded around like some circus animal. He just wanted to make a difference with his powers but somehow someone had got the right to use his name for products and suddenly he was on everything from popcorn wrappers to dish soap and sponges.

Francisco thought back to Enrique as tears stung his eyes. He would be about twenty now.... if he had lived to see it. Many people told ZAPMAN that Enrique's death was not his fault, but it was, it had to be. Because ZAPMAN took him on as his apprentice fully knowing that they both might get killed, and he let Enrique be his sidekick anyway. Enrique should have been able to go to high school, get married, but now? None of that was possible. If ZAPMAN had just been a little faster... his death could have been prevented.  

It was 1958 and Enrique had been ZAPMAN's sidekick for 6 years when Atomik, one of ZAPMAN's most dangerous enemies because he could shoot atomic blasts, melt people's faces off, and bend steel in his bare hands. What ZAPMAN didn't know is that when they met that day, Atomik could detonate people without even touching them... and as his final vengeance.... he imploded Enrique from the inside...
Luckily ZAPMAN was able to get Enrique away from the general population and prevented anyone else's death. Francisco thought to himself over and over, "What if?". But there was no what if and there never would be because there was no way ZAPMAN could've known....

At the funeral Francisco hired Chuck Berry to play Johnny B. Goode as a tribute to his fallen friend. But as he looked at what was left of his friend, a charred body, devoid of hair, and missing a leg and a couple of fingers? Well, that was the final straw.... no more ZAPMAN. Francisco had hung up the cowl ever since that day, finding work as a local mechanic named "Biff". Fixing up people's cars proved relaxing enough to the point where Francisco was able to take his mind off of Enrique "Sparky" Balcázar for the time being. He still could not bring himself to accept Sparky's death and would not for several years to come.

So there Francisco was, in 1962, in a bar drinking his troubles away to the song "Tequila" by the Champs (which is kind of ironic because he can't get drunk), when in walks JFK! Kennedy says he has a special assignment for ZAPMAN in case things get worse with the Soviet Union and JFK needs a way to keep the tensions low. Someone who can go behind the scenes and prevent things from escalating too quickly. How could Francisco say no?

For the next couple of months, he trained to the song Misirlou by Dick Dale. Francisco practiced until he was able to shoot tiny beams of lightning that could slice through metal like laser beams. He practiced until his arms felt like they were going to fall off because he was carrying 3 sets of 20 ton bags on both shoulders. Francisco timed himself running from Greenwood all the way to New York: 4.2 seconds.  He would have to do better if he was going to be able to stop whatever was coming, strength, precision, and speed wouldn't be enough. Francisco would have to be stealthy, maybe even make up a new power. Was that even possible?

Eventually the time came that Kennedy had need of him. The Cuban Missile Crisis had begun and the Soviet Union was aiming its sights on the U.S. from the missiles it had planted in Cuba. So Francisco set off Cuba taking to the skies humming "I'm coming home baby now" by Mel Torme (the most spy-like song he could think of). "The kids these days are interested in some sort of Solar fellow or Spider guy or something. I'm more of an afterthought. Maybe this will help me be a real héroe again."

ZAPMAN lands on a nearby beach in Cuba and begins trying to persuade generals to move away from the blockade.....
"Excuse me? I need you all to turn your boats around! You're getting too close to the naval barrier President Kennedy has around the United States! nothing I do is getting through to them!" ZAPMAN isn't able to persuade them so he turns to other tactics. Concentrating hard, ZAPMAN focuses his attention on one of the captains aboard the boat he was shouting at. "What the- I can read his thoughts. I know what he's thinking! Talk about science fiction level stuff. I wonder... if I can read his mind.... can i control it? Here goes...."

Hiding in a bush, ZAPMAN secretly snaps his fingers and the Captain is under his control via his. Using the Captain as a mouthpiece, ZAPMAN relays his "orders". "Stand back men, this guy is a dangerous superhero! He's liable to fry us without so much as a look 'cause of his lightning eyes! Oh, and he has one of the most dangerous abilities known to man! Uh, telekinesis that increases on a ten-hour radius, yeah that's it. Every ten hours his telekinesis grows stronger! When he first used it, it started out small but now he can lift our missiles and send them back at us and move mountains and, uh all sorts of crazy physics-defying stuff! We all better just turn these ships around or that President of theirs is sure to send him after us! Quickly now! We don't want to get decimated do we?!" The Captain screams in desperation like a little girl while everyone else sheepishly replies no sir and begins turning their boats around.

Afterwards, Francisco is awarded special recognition for his part in the Cuban Missile Crisis and is able to return to his old life with his confidence as a superhero restored, with Kennedy promising to help him get back on his feet in whatever way possible. Francisco later went on to win several heavyweight championships in Lucha Libre and found the superhero team Bolt Force before his retirement in 1974 to help take care of his 5-year old son Nathaniel Numera in 1974. He had left quite a mark on the world when he passed away at the age of 45, having been personally responsible for the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the defeat of giant kaijus like Todoroki and his successful campaign to highlight the dangerous consequences of nuclear weapons and their effect on the environment using Enrique as an example and living proof of their destructive capability. That isn't to say that nuclear power didn't have benefits, but it was clear that after the death of Francisco Carlos Numera, the Atomic Age was at an end and the Dark Age was beginning......

Atomic Thunderbolt finishes his story....
"So what did you think of my story Mark? Pretty exciting stuff, huh?" Atomic Thunderbolt says through mouthfuls of his banana split, suddenly ravenously hungry. Probably because he spoke so much. "I enjoyed the story, it was a little sad though. Poor Enrique...." Mark lowers his head as he thinks what Enrique would've been like had he have lived to the present day. "Well I thought my story was better." Captain Future pipes up, adding in his 2¢. Pyroman slumps his shoulders and smiles apologetically, "Wish I had a story to tell you Mark, but I didn't write any down." They all laugh and finish eating their banana splits while playing Bingo before ZAPMAN has to leave to go check on Doctor Heath to make sure he was still in his jail cell....

Meanwhile at the  Greenwood City St. Jupiter Super Villain Rehabilitation, Treatment and Reform Center...
"Yes, I'm still in my jail cell you brainless boob! It's where I've been ever since you brought me here! Honestly, the nerve of you sometimes is BEYOND MY UNDERSTANDING!" Doctor Heath sighs and begins again, "I'm sorry ZAPMAN, Old Boy, I just need to get a grip on things, you know? Some rest and peace and quiet will do me good don't you think? I'm glad we had time to talk." "Yeah, listen don't do anything dangerous and I'll take you to the movies.", ZAPMAN says. Just have to make sure they restrain you. Aaah it feels good to break the 4th wall again after not doing it for so long. Sort of like stretching after a long nap. ZAPMAN exits through the door of the facility after saying goodbye to Heath and his psychologist, the nurses, and various other staff that work in the GCSJSVRTRC. "The FOOOOOOOL hehehehe!" Dr. Heath rubs his hands together, "He doesn't know my Love Ray is almost complete!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA EEEEEEEEEEEVIL LAUGH! Ooh! that was a bit too much even for me."

Doctor Heath's Love Ray? What is he planning? How will ZAPMAN stop him? How does it involve pickles?! It doesn't. We were just messing with you. Have a nice day.

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Chapter 13: Star Spangled War Stories Part 2: I Can Do This All Day
"Sorry for startling you like that. ZAPMAN, why don't you come inside? You must be soaking wet!" ZAPMAN heads inside with Captain Future. "The rain doesn't bother me much Captain Future- I mean Mr. Bryant- I mean Dr. Bryant- I mean Dr. Mr. Bryant. Ugh I'm sorry I guess I'm just a little out of it today."  Just then Atomic Thunderbolt's face perks up. "Well y'know what helps me after a tough day? Listening to good ol' tales of justice!-"

Captain Future interjects, "Oh no you don't WILLIAM, You went last time. It's my turn to tell young ZAPMAN here of his family's daring exploits." Atomic Thunderbolt's real name is William "Wily the Willy the Wharf Rat" Burns. "But Andyyyyy...." Atomic Thunderbolt looks at his longtime friend sullenly. "No buts William. You can go next though. Now, Mark this is a War Journal from your Great-Grandfather Charles Thaddeus Numera during World War II." Bryant gingerly hands Mark the journal, fearing that it would break if he used too much of his super strength.
The journal is black save gold trimmings on the title of the journal "Property of C.T. Numera". It didn't look like much but was filled with dozens of illustrations of things that would have made Flash Gordon blush. Guns and other various superweapons of all sizes, no doubt dismantled by the very hands that drew them. One of Charles' annotations caught Mark's eye: "Gee, that Sun Gun would've given America the worst summer tan!"  "What's this one about Mr. Bryant? Some kind of Sun Gun? Sounds kind of cool"

Mark hands the journal back to Captain Future who inspects it more closely. "Heeey! I remember this! This is when Charles and I first met. I hadn't known much about him so I was a little skeptical of this "ZAPMAN" who had supposedly gotten his powers via magic. Especially in the '40s magic was looked down as something that occultists or witches practice. But we needed all the men we could if we were going to win the war......
To set the mood he put on Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy by the Andrews Sisters, "He was a famous trumpet man from out Chicago Way

From the Journal of Charles Thaddeus Numera: March 1st 1941:
I got my powers on July 4th 1920 at age 15. It's now the year nineteen fourty-one. I've had my powers for some 21 odd years and I've still no clue as to how they work. On that day I was just some stupid teenager looking for something fun to do for the fourth of July.. Well I got more "fun" then I bargained for.

I entered the voodoo shop not sure what I'd find but then I got sucked up into some magic mishap involving some sort of stone and suddenly I'm a human lightning rod. What did that Swamp Queen call it? Bound to the soul of Shango.  He's some sort of Vodou god of lightning or something. She said that when I touched it I absorbed his powers (he had sealed them away in that stone, leaving him powerless to protect his people until someone "worthy" came along).

Any way you slice it human lightning rod or conduit of some foreign god, it lets me do things like turn invisible or phase through walls or charge guns with electrified bullets (they're not really bullets just electrical constructs I made to look like bullets, I would never take a life). Now flying? That would be a cool power. Seems to be one of the few I don't have. I can lift tanks and outrun cars but I can't fly?  Good Grief, gimme a break.

Still, with all the powers I do have , I  should be able to help America win if it ever does decide to go to war right? That's part of the reason why I'm signing up for the draft today, it's a chance to flex my powers. The other part? I get to make America look good and do my part in "Making the World Safe for Democracy" as Wilson would have put it. Never did like the guy but he did good work. Now Hoover? He was even worse. I lived through both and I have to say I'm all the stronger for it and so is America. We both rose through our hardships to become greater than we already were...

From the Journal of Charles Thaddeus Numera: December 7th 1941:
Today Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese. Countless lives were lost. Still wasn't as bad as September 1st 1939. Germany invaded Poland and actually succeeded. Still, I never expected the war to get so bad that the Axis would be able to gain an advantage on our home front. On Hawaii no less! I actually kind of liked Hawaii. I heard it's nice in the summer. More importantly, today is the day America goes to war. Things don't look good but hopefully I can do something about it. If not me then who? Someone's got to do what's necessary to make sure people all over the world are safe, and I'd go so far as to say I'm the star spangled man with a plan....

From the Journal of Charles Thaddeus Numera: December 21st 1941: 2:20 P.M.
It's been 14 days since the bombing of Pearl Harbor and already intel has come flying in about a dangerous superweapon called the Sun Gun. A weapon of mass power capable of frying the United States. So naturally Uncle Sam has developed a team capable of stopping the Sun Gun before it even gets built. People like me, Captain Future, Fantomah,  and Stardust the Super Wizard. A four-man (and woman) band capable of handling threats and righting wrongs too big for one person..... I'll get back to you on the name.

From the Journal of Charles Thaddeus Numera: December 21st 1941: 5:20 P.M.
It's now been 3 hours since we were briefed on the Sun Gun and I'm on my way to Berlin with three people I'm starting to come to know. Kind of scary but hey, I make friends easily. I instruct everyone to hold hands with each other and they look at me like I have a case of malaria. I think Fantomah wants to murder me in my sleep, I can't tell because when she does that skeleton-face thing it looks like her face is locked in a permanent grimace.

We hold hands and dive into the side of building, my molecular phasing is able getting us through the lasers and turrents that guard the facility we're currently in. The locals call it Sonne Fabrik, which in English means "Sun Factory". Kind of fitting considering scientists in here are building something that uses the sun, and a giant reflector machine in order to vaporize cities on a whim. I pitch a name for the group as the Four Comrades but I gave up as I realized there was already a group with that same name...... Oh well I guess.

We split up into groups of two as our paths diverge. Soon two SS officers are on our tail yelling things like " Stoppen Sie dumme Amerikaner!" I shoot them quickly with my ZAP-Gun using just enough electricity to stun them. Captain Future shares his thanks and clasps my shoulder firmly, a bond of brotherhood is beginning to form. The good captain has but a few precious moments before he returns the favor by flying up and sabotaging turrets that were hidden into a secret panel in the walls, ripping up the wall panel with his super strength. Wires crackle with sparks showing where a huge hole is left behind.... just big enough for us to slip through. I phase through the wall and sucker punch one of the yahoos guarding the main entrance to a vault.

Sensing that the vault is too thick for me to phase through without tripping at least a few alarms I ask for Captain Future's help to rip the door open. Together with a mighty, HEAVE! we're able to get the door open. At this point all we can do is watch in stunned silence as a creature of alien origin was hooked up to a machine I swear looked like something straight out of the movie serials. The creature looked weak and emancipated but did not look frail as was usually the custom. Various tubes were hooked into the creature's arms and yellow liquid was flowing out of the creature and into an even bigger tube which feed directly into the machine. "Please.... I can't do this anymore.... they're using me as a way to power their sun gun since my race Minotaur Solaris naturally produces and absorbs solar energy." Cap and I unhook the Minotaur who informs us his name is Asterion before collapsing from fatigue and weariness.

From the Journal of Charles Thaddeus Numera: December 21st 1941: 10:32 P.M.
I'm still coming to grips with Asterion being trapped in that vault, who knows how long those wacky Nazis kept him there? Of course, it's not the first time the government knew about aliens before we did. Heck, Stardust is an alien! You think that the higher-ups would tell you that you're dealing with a visitor from beyond the stars. Kind of makes sense considering his brutal torture methods. I mean turning some gangsters into popsicles and sending in other gangsters who were transformed into rats to go eat them?! It makes me sick to my stomach, but he's invulnerable to any physical damage and that's a good power to have... he's just got to work on his people skills. With any luck maybe Asterion will fare better.

This little adventure was fun and all but the war's far from over.

Duty calls,
C.T.

ZAPMAN closes the journal and sits for several seconds with his eyes closed. Captain Future pipes up, " When the media first found out about Stardust they twisted his story to their advantage, calling him a superhero whose "vast knowledge of interplanetary science has made him the most remarkable man that ever lived!"  Of course it's their words not mine. Heck, they called me an Avatar of Zeus! Can you believe it?!  That's how desperate people for a hero, a symbol to believe in!"  Captain Future shakes his head sullenly.

"Just be glad you didn't get stuck with a name that doesn't even describe your power! I mean PYROMAN?! UGH Like I've got fire shooting out of my hands?! I don't see any fire guys do you?!" Pyroman A.K.A. Dick Martin sits down on a seat next to Mark's to give his two cents. "Your great-grandpa there was a friend and mentor to all of us even if if it wasn't in the usual sense.

Of course I wasn't able to meet him until December '42 but my experience with him was rather startling. Within a year he had mastered his phasing ability to the point where he could make himself harder than granite or lighter than a sack of feathers. We still had no idea where he got his powers and to what extent he was capable of. We still don't even know with you Mark Numera. We've watched you grow up but then we remember good 'ol Charlie and it's like in some odd 75 years or so we all met him, his powers seem so much weaker than yours. He never was able to fly or lift objects with electrical telekinesis or shapeshift or absorb atomic energy or trans-mutating objects or see into the electromagnetic or teleport or whatever else it is you can do... Makes me wonder if things would have been different you had been around during World War II. So much suffering....."

Pyroman tries to speak again but is cut off by Atomic Thunderbolt in an attempt to lighten the mood, "Who's up for Banana Splits? They've got tiny little American Flags!" A.T. passes one to Mark and Pyroman while Captain Future declines. "Now are you ready to hear my story?"
Mark grins, "I can do this all day."

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Chapter 13: Star Spangled War Stories Part 1: A Can of Spam and Some Zombie Robots
ZAPMAN had been scouring the city for the good part of half an hour trying to look for the bombs Heath has laid out for him with his x-ray vision.
Being able to switch between the various "channels" of the electromagnetic spectrum comes in handy for an "endeavour" of this magnitude I would assume. I'm running out of time here and that fiend Dr. Heath knows it..... But where to look?! If I was a supervillain I probably would hid bombs in abandoned warehouses or storage systems.... That's it! I should look near the meat package plant and the spam factory (why Greenwood used to have a spam factory I'll never know. All I can say is.... GOOD RIDDANCE! BLECH! Just thinking about spam makes me nauseous...

Just then the voice of Mark's dad pipes up in his head, saying indignantly that he actually likes spam thank you very much. Feels weird dealing with all these people bouncing around in my head. It comes with being ZAPMAN I guess. Think of it as like the Speed Force, Barry Allen gets his powers and the collective knowledge of allllll the other people who have tapped into the Speed giving him access to all their powers and abilities, with mine being you know, hereditary, and besides my family I share space with a bunch of thunder gods because they gave up their powers to create the Bolt Force, the magical extra-dimensional energy that gives me my powers.

Without it I'd just be Mark Numera. ZAPMAN is technically what someone in the Numera family becomes when they have access to the Bolt Force, an amalgamation of all the tendencies of themselves and whoever has had access to the Bolt Force before them like Zeus, Indra, My dad, Grandpa Frank, etc. It gets even weirder because if I fight with them sometimes they can manually take over my body. Why are you hitting yourself images come to mind. Perhaps the scariest thing is that they can take over my body if I ever get knocked unconscious.

When someone taps into the Bolt Force they become stronger, faster, helck, even taller when they use their powers. Helps with a secret identity to be able to just transform, not that I have a secret identity anymore. Deadpool is probably the best example of what I think of myself now: Everyone knows he's Wade Wilson, but everyone calls him by his superhero name Deadpool. That or Captain America, yeah.... let's go with Captain America...Or Captain Deadpool.

Energy crackles through the air as ZAPMAN zips through the sky as a lightning bolt. If one were a reporter they might look up and conclude the bolt as nothing more than a strange weather phenomenon, nothing more, because after all Greenwood was known for its unusual weather pattern and people would often try to cash in on it claiming that Greenwood was something kind of city-sized weirdness magnet. Others would look at the lightning bolt and swear they heard the words Whoooooo and Hooooooo together, real faint-like coming from the lightning. Of course at first various citizens would  start pointing fingers as to who was really crazy.... the reporter/weatherman, or the townspeople? After a while everyone would have a good laugh and then go about their day as if nothing happened, it probably was a freak occurrence. Those freak occurrences were pretty darn common....

"Bingo, meat-packing plant, here I come!" ZAPMAN touches down to Earth in a flash of lightning, thunder signaling his arrival.... KERCHOW! "Hmmm.... Looks empty, smells rotten, and I can see next to nothing... At least one of those things I can change.... Let's shed some light on the subject!" ZAPMAN holds his hand out and a spark illuminates the darkened warehouse enough for Mark to see clearly. "There... that's better.... Hi, Robots I didn't see you there.  Robots?! Dang, I forgot! What did Dr. Heath call you guys?

The... *deep breath ULTIMATE KILLER ROBOT VAMPIRE ZOMBIE NINJA PIRATE WARRIOR ARMY! Well I hate to disappoint you guys but I'm not here to fight you. I know what I did was wrong... but at the time I didn't know I had killed you! I figured you all would reform from the ashes or something. I mean jeez... maybe you guys had little vampire babies or vampire wives, I don't know! But I'm sorry about it, I really am. So what do you say we hug this out?"  The KRVZNPWA stares at him in confusion until one brave warrior steps out. "Our prime directive is to kill you... but our hearts say otherwise. You seem truly conflicted and we do not blame you. We'll put up a good fight to make it look professional but you must promise you will find a way to make to reverse what Heath has done to us."

"Sure pal you have a deal" ZAPMAN says. Whipping out his kusarigama, ZAPMAN's sickle sinks itself eagerly into the arm of one of the zombie vampires. Pulling the zombie towards him, ZAPMAN finishes him off with a clothesline knocking him to the ground and into unconscious slumber. "oooh! I um..... Did I do it too hard? Here, I tone it down for you guys...." a moment later and the kusarigamas disappear in a flash of lightning.  

ZAPMAN launches a zombie into the air, punching him twice in a one-two punch before grabbing his leg. ZAPMAN spins him around, the zombie begging to be let go. "Are you sure? Like really really sure? Because I don't have supernatural creature insurance for when you go splat." But your wish is my command!" SLAM! The impact of the zombie's body hitting the ground leaves a crater the size of Mount Rushmore. "Gah I did it again" ZAPMAN groans in frustration. I have to work on holding back more. I can't hurt people! How would it look if I high-fived the president and the next thing you know I'm in jail because the president has just been vaporized?!

Ok next best thing....  *FINGER FLIIIIIIIICK! Holding back all he can, ZAPMAN flicks a zombie's head watching as the remaining zombies behind him all fall like dominos... Clink Clink Clink CLUNK! Say what? Why did the zombie pirate ninja robot whatever the heck theyre called at the end just make a clunk noise? Does he have a clock in his head? Scanning the area ZAPMAN locates the bomb inside a crate How convienent. "Time to put this in a "safe" place" ZAPMAN picks up the crate and lifts it over his head, searching for places to put the crate.

Taking flight faster than the speed of light he turns into a bolt of pure lightning. He reappears a moment later in another sector of the Milky Way Galaxy, away from any signs of life. Uh-oh. Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb! The bomb explodes and ZAPMAN absorbs the nuclear energy from within the bomb, minimizing the damage as well as giving himself a much needed boost in speed and energy. Aaah that was a good snack!

RING RING! ZAPMAN touches a finger to his forehead so that people can talk to him as a sort-of human telephone over electrical signals. "Hello? Dang it not you again! Heath, What have I told you?!" ZAPMAN responds furiously. "That you love to hang with me and want to do it again sometime?" Heath replies meekly. "NO.  It's not that... it's that I don't have a cell phone so I'm not just some PRIVATE LINE you can tap into!"
Heath clears his throat and begins again: "Ahem, I just wanted to tell you that there wasn't another bomb so... that was it. You're welcome." Doctor Heath states in a matter-of-fact tone. Heath begins to say something else but Mark cuts
him off and ends the conversation, annoyed at his frenemy. That son of a Beatrice really grinds my gears. I feel like I'm missing something important though... Something I was supposed to do today... AW SNAP! I forgot to go to the Retirement Home, I was supposed to volunteer today!

Ok, so the "Retirement Home" is a code name for the place where Golden and Silver Age characters go out to live their lives after they've been replaced by the "modern" versions or are generally forgotten. Yes, that does include famous heroes too. I'm looking at you Golden Age Captain Marvel/Plastic Man! (DC, please don't sue me. The golden age versions of these guys are in the public domain and its your own fault).  Moving on, this includes people like Stardust the Super Wizard, the Atomic Thunderbolt and Captain Future... they're nice guys and may be some of the few people still alive that silve have memories of my great-grandpa and grandpa.. Speaking of which, I have to help them with setting up bingo today, maybe they'll tell me something I haven't heard before!

The rain begins to fall rapidly, picking up speed until every street is wet and discolored a soggy grey. Rain pours down in drones heavier and heavier until ZAPMAN reaches the Retirement Home and rings the doorbell. He is greeted by the Atomic Thunderbolt's semi-wrinkled face, (a side effect of the Retirement Home's ability to either reduce aging or suspend it completely). A.T. is in full costume, including his trademark white cap with a red atom symbol.  If one had seen what his hair looked like they would have remarked that it looked reddish-brown. "Well there he is! The big man himself! I wasn't sure you'd make it! Just in for bingo, who knows you might become king of the bingo game today!" A.T. greets ZAPMAN jovially. "I don't know about that. The last guy got knocked unconscious, nasty stuff, sometime back in the '50s I think.", a mysterious voice answers. It's none other than Andrew Bryant A.K.A...... Captain FUTURE!
I know, I know, I don't own the name ZAPMAN... but I can still use it. My ultimate goal is to make him into a creative commons character that way I can still keep ZAPMAN/ Mark Numera but allow others to use him with my blessing. It means that he's still my character but everyone is able to use him. Just when you do send me a note or something I want to see what you have so I can give my two-cents.  I don't know how to do this to this but let's just say that he is and be done with it. (If anyone really does know how to create a CC character or you have any ideas for ZAPMAN.. lemme know in the comments.)
  • Listening to: Where is My Mind by the Pixies
  • Reading: The Monkey King's Amazing Adventure by Wu Cheng'en
  • Watching: Jojo Part 2/ Freakazoid/The Mask
  • Playing: Batman Arkham Knight/ Double Dragon IV/ Broforce
  • Eating: Nothing
  • Drinking: Nothing

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Chapter 12: ZAPMAN 24 Hours a Day, 7 days a week, 29.53 days a month, 365 days a year  or..... MARK NUMERA NO MORE!
*Author's note: I found this cool font called Decotech and I'm trying it out for chapter titles. Bank Gothic will still be around for meanwhile moments though.....
.... It was the last day of winter break and Mark Numera was bored out of his ever-lovin' skull. He had studied for his finals, prepared for competitions and generally felt good about his grades but he felt he needed some excitement, especially on the last day of break, something that would make people go "OH JEEZ!"  while at the same contemplating what exactly would happen now that that particular event was over. I wanted something awesome... but I certainly never expected for it to be plastered all over my doorstep! On that last day of break, Mark heads outside determined to make the most of it when he notices a poster of some sort nailed on the side of his apartment. It was for a movie..... STARRING ME! I mean, it was a movie about half of me, the ZAPMAN half.

This did not discourage Mark because he knew that the director would probably need a stunt man. ZAPMAN heads over to the movie lot at superspeed just in time to witness a "dramatic clash" between ZAPMAN and his supervillain Wrecktor. Unfortunately, the actors delivered their lines with as much enthusiasm as nails on a chalkboard. To make matters worse, they spoke in solely monotone voices that were horrible to listen to. The director pointed at Mark, "Hey you, Guy with the Fabulous Hair, are you the Stuntman I asked for? Get your ASS ON SET BUSTER!

After a couple of grueling hours doing various scenes against the stunt double for ZAPMAN's enemy, The Cough it was finally time for Mark to go home. Unfortunately, as he was preparing to go home, the Real The Cough showed up demanding that his scenes have more action and emotional drama leaving Mark backed into a corner with no way to escape.
"Hey guys, I've got something important to tell you...." Mark starts to say, but then gets interrupted by the director. "Hush my child, we already know. You've been shooting lightning out of your hands all day but it'll be our little secret", the Director says.

"Not for long" *Click Suddenly, a Captain of the military and his second-in-command appear behind ZAPMAN and the Director taking a selfie with ZAPMAN in-costume in the process!
"Um... how long were you?"

"5 minutes"

"And you came from?"

"The bushes. We happen to be your biggest fans ZAPMAN. That, and we thought you could be a danger to society with that mask you wear. Sorry but that's just the way it goes in the military world. We just HAD TO KNOW! You'll understand right?"

ZAPMAN looks at the Captain's phone where he had just taken the selfie. Text was written at the bottom: "Captain Robert "Awesome" Ryan is the best.... never forget that. ZAPMAN UNMASKED! Uploaded to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Views: We're sorry, but you seem to have broken the internet for the time being. Most Comments: THE ZAPMAN FANCLUB: We can't see his face what a bunch of *CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED

"Ok sparky Plan B: Send in the Tanks People!!" Captain Ryan screams into a portable walkie talkie. Within seconds, Boeing AH-64 Apache Helicopters swarm the place, dropping in tanks that they supported on wires.


ZAPMAN sticks his head into one of the tank's muzzles. "Hey, listen I know we haven't known each other a short time but really how important is this rea-"

"Ready... Aim... FIRE AT WILL!" Captain Ryan gives the order for the tanks to commence attacking ZAPMAN.
This gives me an idea I'll swallow the bullet like they do in those old cartoons!  KA-GUULP! ZAPMAN swallows the bullet whole, his stomach rumbling with the sound of indigestion. "Uh-oh Maaaybe this was a bad idea" KABOOM! 'Cause I'm TNT, I'm Dynamite, I'm TNT, and I'll win the Fight! I'm TNT, I'm a power looooad, WATCH ME EXPLOOOOOODE!


A bolt of lightning strikes the ground where ZAPMAN stood and he pops out unharmed when the smoke clears.

Captain Ryan snaps another selfie while ZAPMAN's back is turned with his mask off this time. A new comment is shown from the ZAPMAN FAN CLUB. "We have NO IDEA WHO THIS IS!".


Captain Ryan addresses ZAPMAN with a barrage of questions:
"So what are you going to do now that everyone knows your secret identity? Are you going to erase everybody's minds of the event by giving up the most important thing in your life (like marriage) to some demon so that no one remembers? Or are you going to give up being ZAPMAN and throw your costume into the dumpster while refusing to look behind you and dramatically walking off into the sunset? Ooh or how about going on a rampage as a darker version of ZAPMAN because of an attack on your aunt by a bald guy who wears a lot of white suits and is a powerful crime boss? Ok. Wait.... This is perfect. What if... you dress up as four different guys to delete the evidence and keep your identity safe?!"

"I got an idea, I collect the reward for your head." A dark figure clad in bright orange and black steps out of the shadows. Alright now would be a good time to panic because the guy in orange and black might not seem that menacing (and actually not that out of place from a story selling Halloween themed knickknacks and costumes) but he's an assassin trained in the art of just about a little of everything. Torture, espionage, recon, stealth, guerrilla warfare, the correct way to open pickle jars, you name it. Some say he knows a thousand techniques designed to "take people out of action" without even LOOKING AT YOU!
Other than that, he's one of my most dangerous enemies in the history of ever, I don't know a lot about him other than he's really good at twirling around his scorpion headed staff of his. He should seriously consider joining the color guard. I mean, his staff is filled with scorpion venom but I'm pretty sure he can get past that.

"Does NO ONE remember I EXIST? C'mon guys! I'm THE COUGH! FEAR ME AND MY DEADLY GAS-BASED ABILITIES!", The Cough protests.

Scorpion King turns to The Cough and zeroes in on him, giving him a leering glare that would make even Loki proud. "Listen you utter pest, that's an ultimate waste of a power, especially on someone like YOU. You want GAS?! I'll SHOW YOU GAS!" He fires a dart from his scorpion staff, which hits ZAPMAN squarely on the chest.

"Aw Scorpy you DO CARE! You shot me with a DART? I'm TOUCHED that you think a little pinprick is going to stop me. Truth be told, I REEEEALlY HATE NEEDLES. Seriously though. I hate needles. It's a really good thing I have selective invulnerability. So... are you here to kill me?", ZAPMAN asks.

" I wouldn't have used 32 darts to kill you. There's one on the chest, 10 on the back, 5 on your head, and 16 on your BUTT. All filled with the one thing you truly can't stand.... Nylon. Like I said Z-Man, I'm here for the bounty, I don't personally want to know who you are. I'm not here to kill you. I'm here to deliver you to the person who WILL! HAHAHAHAHAHA *Cough cough Sorry I was a horrible chain smoker before I became an assassin. It really helped me to.. see the light....

Succumbing to the dangerous, unchecked power of nylon, ZAPMAN promptly gets knocked out.....

"Hullo ZAPMAN, I'm glad to see you got your beauty rest" says a voice with a foreign accent that Mark can't quite place. A switch clicks on as one by one lights flicker on slowly and the place ZAPMAN is held in becomes illuminated in a ghostly haze. It's a laboratory, like something out of a pulp fiction story with weird little doohickeys like death rays, different models of clunky robots, and torture devices (axes, hacksaws, plyers, a stretching machine, butcher knives, a treadmill, The Best of Marty Ingels, 1 hour of Care Bears on repeat (because 1 hour is enough pain let alone on repeat). The Horror! THE HORRORRRRRRRRRR!  His mustache looks even more cheesy and HIDEOUS UP CLOOOOSE! You need a beeeeard to go with that mustache of EEEEEVILLLLLL!


"Yes I know what you must be thinking. Word must travel fast for someone to already put a bounty on your head, I wonder what he wants to do with me? Well, some might want to become your equal. Others might want to eventually replace you or switch bodies with you to become a better superhero then you ever could be. No, No, I do not desire that. I want to see what makes you tick. My wife has an untreatable form of cancer and I'm DESPERATE for a CURE. So desperate in fact, that I, Doctor Ulysses S. Heath (I, Heath DIO! Possible nickname of Heath Bar. Mmmm Heath BAAAAR) ,  would dissect you."

"wwwwait... WHAT?! You sure I can’t just heal her of her cancer?!

"No that's too complicated " muses Doctor Heath

"Well, what if I went back in time?!" ZAPMAN offers

"Too time-consuming" Doctor Heath shoots back

"Dude, I'm friends with DRACULA! Certainly he can make her a vampire which would make her live forever WITHOUT CANCER?!"

"I am a man of science. I don't particularly believe in fairy tales." Doctor Heath is now notably irritated. "You know what I'll do? I'll dissect you, then burn all my research and PISS ON IT then I'll bury you somewhere and watch as my wife dies a slow and painful death while you go to your grave knowing that YOU. CAUSED. IT!!!!! I hope you're HAPPY. NOW PREPARE TO DIE!" Doctor Heath whips out a MASSIVE multipurpose machine that had giant drills, hacksaws, and other necessary instruments when dealing with dissecting someone... the evil way.

Gotta think gotta think. That drill is buzzing closer and closer to my brain.

In a last-ditch attempt at appealing to the mad doctor's humanity, ZAPMAN.... begins to sing. "Don't gooo changing, to try and please meeeee, you've never let me down before. Don't imagine, you're too fa-miliar.. and I don't see annnymooore. IIIIIIIII- wouldn't leave you, in times of trouble. We never could come this far."

"Sorry to interrupt ZAPMAN but WHAT are you DOING? Where IS that Music COMING FROM? HOW did you get a TUXEDO, TOPHAT AND CANE?  And, More importantly... WHERE THE F^&* did you get can-can girls from and HOW DID THEY GET INTO MY LABORATORY?! But please continue...."
ZAPMAN continues singing
"I took the good times, I'll take the bad times, I'll take you just the way you aaaare. Don't go trying some new fashiooon. Don't change the color of your hair. You always have my... unspoken passiooon. Although I might nooot... seem to care. I don't want clever conversation, I never want to work that haaaaaaard. I just want someone... that I can talk to, I want you just the way you aaaare.  I need to need to know that you will al-ways be- the same old someone that I knew. What will it take 'till you be-lieve in me... the way that I believe in yooooooou? IIIIIIIII- said I love you and that FOR-EVER, and this I promise from the heart: I couldn't love you any better, I love you just the way you aaaaaaaaaare. *SAXOPHONE INTERLUDE! HECK YEAH! I don't want clever... conversation, I never want to work that haaaaard. I just want someone... that I can talk to, I want you just the way you aaaaaaa--aaaaaaaaa-aaaaaaa-aaare, oooooh, GOOD NIGHT GREENWOOD CITY!" ZAPMAN ends with a heavy metal guitar riff.

By the time he finishes, Doctor Ulysses S. Heath is in tears. "That urk was beautiful. That was my wife's favorite song..... THAT'S FOR MAKING ME REMEMBER HER, YOU W#$%ER!" Heath lunges ferociously at ZAPMAN with a shiv he had secretly hidden up his sleeve, losing himself to feral instincts.

ZAPMAN grabs his arm and pulls him close, "Listen you psycho, You're going behind bars where you can reflect on the reflect on the fact that you're FLIPPIN NUTS and you should be convicted for attempted (ZAP) MANSLAUGHTER! HAVE A NICE DAY!" ZAPMAN flings him like he would a roach and Doctor Heath hits a brick wall at breakneck pace.

"AAAAARGH DEAR BLEEPING GOD YOU BROKE MY ARM YOU PIECE OF SH^T", Doctor Heath wails.  He examines his arm, which is now a crumpled up piece of twisted flesh.

"REEEEE-LAAAAX you BIG BABY. ANY injury I inflict on ANYONE heals AUTOMATICALLY within ONE HOUR no matter how SERIOUS. BOLT FORCE FOR THE WIN! BOOYAH!"

"Y-You would do that.. even for me? But WHY?!", Doctor Heath sniffles.

"Um.... DUH! I'm a SUPERHERO! SUPERHEROS aren't supposed to go around KILLING PEOPLE or RIPPING THEM IN HALF! Please I mean unlike BATMAN, If I break an arm or something... I can heal it with my powers. In fact, I don't think SUPERMAN EVEN ATTEMPTS to do this."

"Thank you. I'll go to jail but remember that I get ONE FREE PHONE CALL..... Someday I'll dissect you but not today, I'm get sleeeeeepy" Doctor Heath's head hits the floor, knocked unconscious from the shock of his broken arm.

Not long after ZAPMAN delivers Doctor Heath to the Greenwood City St. Jupiter Super Villain Rehabilitation, Treatment, and Reform Center he receives a phone call....

"Hullo, ZAPMAN I can tell we'll be Best. MATESSSSSSS." Doctor Heath whispers *Menacingly*

"YOOOOOOOOOOU" ZAPMAN draws slowly, don't forget deliberately! , "HOW ON EARTH DID YOU OF ALL PEOPLE GET THIS NUMBER?! For that matter.... I don't even really have a cellphone!"

"Oh, you know, I just tracked your unique electromagnetic signature until I found the right frequency and I could talk to you. So, anyway.... Can I dissect you? C'moooon, just a little wedge of skin or a toenail clipping or a piece of hair?

"No. And the answer is still no. You need to get over that man. Besides there's no way you can get to me, not where you are right now so HA! HA! HA! HA! HA HAHA! HA times infinity!" ZAPMAN beams at himself, standing triumphantly as if he has just won a great victory.

"True. But I'm a supervillain.... and we always carry get out of jail free cards... TEEHEEHEEEHEEEHEHHEHEE!"

"What was that? You sound like the cross of a baby squirrel, chipmunk and hamster giving birth and then subsequently dying", ZAPMAN questioned.

"I'm trying out a new evil laugh, bear with me here. Come visit me ZAPMAN, I'm terribly lonely. Get me a crossword puzzle and stop by and we can discuss my new plot to destroy you over coffee."

"Sounds swell I'll stop by around 5! Goodbye now, Doctor Heath." ZAPMAN enthused. He finishes his conversation and hangs up.
Might as well pay the guy a visit. I figured he'll make a pretty good nemesis and the Superhero Code Book says that you have to visit your nemesis at least once a week and do stuff with them like go shopping or take them out to the movies or go bowling.

In a blink of an eye, ZAPMAN rushes to Greenwood City St. Jupiter Super Villain Rehabilitation, Treatment and Reform Center Or GCSJSVRTRC.... for SHOOOOOORT

"ZAPMAN! You came old boy! Did you bring the crossword puzzle I asked for?" Doctor Heath's face lights up like a kid on Christmas.

"Oh, um whoops I guess I forgot. But why don't  you tell me about your latest evil scheme and I'll sit here and wait for you to explain to me about how there's no way I'll be able to stop it while you inadvertadly give away the details that allow me to stop it, like they do on that one episode of Kim Possible?"
Doctor Heath's face falters for a moment and then seconds later resumes its chipper grin. "Oh, I do Looove to tell my evil plots, and Kim Possible was such a Good show I still miss it even to this day. "My latest scheme is that I've engineered enemies for you to fight out of the corpses of those some odd thousand vampires and zombies you killed over you latest adventures and combine them with Killer Robots, Ninjas and Pirates to create the "Dramatic Pause, ULTIMATE KILLER ROBOT VAMPIRE ZOMBIE NINJA PIRATE WARRIOR ARMY!!!! MWAHAHAHAHA! EEEEEVIL LAUGH! Ooh I do be-lieve I found my mojo back. In each little arena you fight them in, there will be an explosive planted and hidden from sight. Hurry ZAPMAN! CLOCK'S TICKING MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! EEEEVIL LAUGH!"


ZAPMAN's SECRET IDENTITY AS MARK NUMERA REVEALED! PERMANENTLY THIS TIME! as our Hero chooses to stay in costume full time even while showering or attending classes at Greenwood City University, one question remains: How will ZAPMAN Defuse Doctor Heath's Diabolical Deed of Death?! Find Out in the next chapter of THE PHENOMENAL ZAPMAN!
I know, I know, I don't own the name ZAPMAN... but I can still use it. My ultimate goal is to make him into a creative commons character that way I can still keep ZAPMAN/ Mark Numera but allow others to use him with my blessing. It means that he's still my character but everyone is able to use him. Just when you do send me a note or something I want to see what you have so I can give my two-cents.  I don't know how to do this to this but let's just say that he is and be done with it. (If anyone really does know how to create a CC character or you have any ideas for ZAPMAN.. lemme know in the comments.)
  • Listening to: Where is My Mind by the Pixies
  • Reading: The Monkey King's Amazing Adventure by Wu Cheng'en
  • Watching: Jojo Part 2/ Freakazoid/The Mask
  • Playing: Batman Arkham Knight/ Double Dragon IV/ Broforce
  • Eating: Nothing
  • Drinking: Nothing

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:iconabsoloot:
absoloot Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2017   Traditional Artist
I appreciate the fave!
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Freddy-Kun-11 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2017
Thanks for the fav!:+fav:
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Lordwormm Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2017  Hobbyist
I really appreciate the recent favorite! :)
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FullElven Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2017  Professional Interface Designer
Thanks so much for the :+favlove: :D
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madnormigan Featured By Owner Edited Feb 23, 2017
Hello,

Thanks for adding "Creeper1 !!"

M
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muzski Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
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browncoat4life Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the fav!
Interesting to meet a fellow writer here, not a lot of that to be seen (by me anyway) on DA, and yeah, I have some half-assed art up here but mainly I write comics and general fiction. The art is just something I like doing and hope to be halfway decent at someday.
Will be checking out Zapman once I get a chance to sit and read through a couple of chapters soon.
Cheers!
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TedKimArt Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Thx for the watch ;)
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DEATHBRINGER871 Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2017
Thanks for the fave ;)
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Eldacur Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the Fav
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