Alan showed up at the scene in a blue body condom that hugged and accentuated his dreadfully average build. He wore a thick black belt around his waist, pinching his spandex shirt and allowing it to fall freely over his groin like a tunic. “So I wouldn’t have to wear a dance belt,” he said. “Hides the junk. My huge super junk.” Deadpan. The spandex hood covered his head, and he hid the rest of his face with a plastic domino mask — the cheap kind you find at dollar stores, with an elastic string to keep it in place, which he hid beneath the hood. A golden A-shaped emblem adorned his unremarkable chest. He worked in the film industry, or so he said, which is how he financed this and his other costumes — including the supposedly infamous “White Deadpool,” and the “Super-Soldier” Captain America/Superman mash-up from the late 90s. “Oh yeah. I’ve worked on a whole bunch of films. Haven’t really made any money off of them, but I’m getting there. I’m up to 9,000 plays on YouTube.”
After berating Captain Planet for his homemade mullet wig, with its sticky straw-like consistency from that awful green spray paint, Alan decided it was time to shoot for the big leagues. Between takes, he managed to slip by security, and approached Jason Schwartzman, waiting off-camera.
“So? What do you think?” he asked, striking a generic hands-on-hips superhero pose.
Jason Schwartzman looked around a moment, unsure of how to react. “Um. That’s cool, man. Yeah,” he said, once he realized that the costumed creep couldn’t possibly have been speaking to anyone else.
“Yeah, you like it?” Alan baited.
“Yeah, sure. Um, who are you supposed to be again?”
“Okay.” Silence. Awkward, awkward silence of the most awful kind. Jason looked for an exit — a cameraman, or a costume PA to fix his hair or something equally arbitrary. No such luck. Despite his reluctance and general level of comfort, he felt obligated to continue the conversation with the Blue Wonder. “Um, who’s Avenger? Like, the Avengers, or —”
“Nope. Just AVENGER.” Once again, Alan awaited the moment of recognition. Nothing. “He’s an original creation.”
“Oh. Okay. So you made him up?”
“He’s an original creation,” Alan emphasized, irritated. He thought that an fellow artist like Jason Schwartzman would understand the difference between an original creation and something that was simply “made up.”
After a few more moments of silence and frozen time, Jason finally turned to walk away. Alan worried that he had missed his chance, and tried one last time to capture his attention. “I based the costume design on the original Blue Beetle. His costume is actually in the public domain now, so…it’s pretty similar, you know, except I added the ‘A’ here,” he said, pointing at the emblem on his chest.
“Oh. That’s an ‘A’? Weird. I thought it was a carat. Like the arrow carrot sign, not the food.” With that, Jason Schwartzman walked away, and headed back to set, forever relegating AVENGER to background status, more likely left forgotten on the cutting room floor.