‘What’s so super about being a superhero if you are only as super as every other superhero?’

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Falcon Boy 1: 4 ‘Bacharach McCarthy’ Pt. 1

Bacharach McCarthy also lived a lonely life. He was tall and athletic-looking, capable of lifting heavy things, and took a keen interest in how the world worked but none of these attributes ever made a real difference to his adult life.

Bacharach left school and went to work for a small manufacturing company that produced the world-famous Universal Drain Righter©. This handy-sounding device is a small twist of metal that you attach to any antipodean plughole to re-right the direction that the water swirls as you empty a bath.

For eight hours a day and six hours of overtime on Saturday, Bacharach McCarthy placed a piece of metal into a groove, pressed a large red button and then laid the now twisted metal onto a conveyor belt for packing.

In all this time, he spoke to no one. And no one spoke to him. But when the shifts were over, Bacharach raced home, wolfed down a pot of noodles, logged onto SuperHeroVerse™ and turned once more into Bewilder Bird.

Online, Bacharach felt completely free and was able to express himself in ways that he couldn’t in reality. He could behave in any way that he wanted to, but still he chose to be as silent in SuperHeroVerse™ as he was in real life. He just preferred it this way.

The SuperHeroVerse™ community was an active one and new members were quickly met and gret by more established denizens. There was the usual list of rules covering such things as player interactions, acceptable behaviour and other ethical guidelines. These rules would be similar to any that you might encounter in any other online communal space. But the one thing that makes SuperHeroVerse™ so different from any other online superhero communities is that special powers had recently been outlawed.

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