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Edges Vingette - New Years 2010


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It's one of the most iconic images of the Golden Age: the assembled members of the Liberty League standing together against the Eisenmech, the Aryan Ape roaring defiance as his great iron contraption wrestled with the Centurion and Lady Liberty simultaneously. The League never did catch the Ape; the super-genius albino Nazi gorilla escaping into Latin American exile in the latter years of the war. But not everyone in the picture is a full member of the League, at least, not all the way. In one corner of the picture, carrying away an unconscious Secret Service agent, is the teenage James Lucas.

Mark remembered clutching the sepia reprint avidly, staring with big eyes as his father told him the story of the heroic grandfather he'd never met. "Your grandfather loved the Centurion like a father and a brother," said Rick, holding his small son his lap. "His parents were busy with their social life, so they never did pay much attention to him. That's how he was able to get away from school so often to go away on his adventures."

Jimmy Lucas is best-known to most people today for his role as a full member of the League, but his family and scholars of the Centurion's early history remember those early days when he was just the Centurion's Pal. "He was a senior in high school when the Centurion debuted. That'll be you in about ten years," Rick added a few years later, sitting with Mark as they watched the Fourth of July fireworks overhead. "He was right there, you know? He was right there at the bank when the Centurion broke up that robbery." Together, father and son recited the events of the Centurion's public debut almost in unison, something that always got a big laugh from Rick at his son's cleverness. Mark wasn't a terribly smart kid, but he knew his superheroes.

"And so he stood alongside the Centurion, against the Nazis, the fifth columnists, and the gangsters," said Mark proudly as he spoke to his class for not the first time about his family's career. "He didn't have any special training or special powers, he just had courage. He...he believed in himself."

And I believe in you, Grandpa The revelation of his true parentage, or true grandparentage, rather, had been a blow to Mark, one he'd quietly nursed alone even after his friends had lifted him out of the depths of despair. The knowledge that the simple, rock-steady truths about his family weren't all he'd been taught had been a terrible blow, even though he'd rationally known that it certainly didn't change anything about his parents or how much they loved him.

Mark was a believer in the truth, in the basic reliability and trustworthy nature of the universe itself. Some people thought alien invasions, time travelers, and other dimensions were crazy, or at least one of the stranger parts of the wide world of being a superhero. But Mark believed in those things with every fiber of his being, and the discovery that something might come along to overturn those sacred beliefs, especially when it came to his family had been a horror.

But not anymore,[/] Mark vowed, looking again over that faded old sepia photograph. He knew who his grandfather was; he knew what his family was all about. "And I know who I am. I'm a superhero."

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