by Stan Hopewell
Ray Denver, the superhero commonly referred to as “Reboot Man,” has had a difficult life when he gained his superpowers several years ago. Now, the veteran cannot land a job with a superteam.
“This is pure discrimination,” said Denver, now going by the alias Clayman and exhibiting shapeshifting powers. “Just because I’m a shapeshifter they think I’m a villain. The Peace Force has at least three shapeshifters, so why am I being shunned by them?”
The shapeshifters on the Peace Force are limited in their abilities. Techno-Man can turn into electrical equipment, Orgo can transform into animals in a pink hue, and Super Stretcher can morph his body into most objects but cannot fully change his appearance. In other words, none is a true shapeshifter by the UN Security Council definitions, whose legal definitions are used worldwide.
Denver still believes he can pass any series of tests a superteam wants to know he’s not a villain. “They can keep me on the reserve squad for a year to keep an eye on me,” he said. “I’ll wear an ankle bracelet, have a computer chip implanted into me, I’ll let them read my mind once a week. I just want to prove my mettle.”
He also needs a paycheck. Denver hasn’t been employed either as a superhero or a civilian in three years, and reportedly, has massive amounts of debt from his research trip to Alpha Centauri. In the past three months, he’s been turned away from the Peace Force, the Amazings, SuperSeven, the Quinton School (for a teaching position), The Good Guys, and, curiously, QTpi’s, the all 16-under girls superteam. “He was really weird,” said Mighty Mary, the 10 year-old leader. “And super gross and old! We don’t want weirdoes on our team.”
Denver is considering legal action against the Peace Force and some other superteams, assuming he can find a lawyer to work pro-bono. In the meantime, Clayman will patrol the streets of New York, New Romford, Philadelphia, and Boston in an effort to increase his “brand”. “I’m just going to have to do this like the old days,” he said. “I just need to get out on the streets and help the people. That’s the only way I can prove myself.”
“And if companies want to advertise on me, I’m open to that, too. Just putting that out there.”