(Yet another superhero story scrap.)
I think it’s pretty common for kids to go through a phase where they think, not really think but just for fun think, that their dad is in the CIA or the FBI or is some kind of spy. It’s more interesting to think that he’s going on a secret spy trip to Uruguay to do some super-secret spy stuff than a trip to Sioux Falls. Eventually you accept that your dad is just a regional manager of a muffler manufacturing company like you accept that Santa and the Easter Bunny aren’t real.
I was already past that stage in life when I found out that my mom is a supervillain. Which really made it a punch in the face. I mean it would have messed me up no matter what age I was don’t get me wrong, but if I still young enough to believe in shit like the Tooth Fairy maybe it wouldn’t have been as bad for me.
My mom is Lady Lightning. I read a bunch of books about supervillains in high school and my thesis is that there’s basically three kinds. There are the really bad ones, the ones that realistically we should just call terrorists instead of supervillains, the ones who blow shit up and kill people because that’s what they like to do.
Then there’s the plain old criminals that just happened to find a magic relic at a museum or touch a space rock or whatever and they got powers. They want what all criminals want, they want to get ahead in life. They want money and power and respect. They want to be in control of their lives. Hurting people is collateral damage.
Then there’s the third kind. The attention seekers, the ones who are doing it as part of a game of sorts. They’re bored or insane or whatever and this is how they get their jollies. They don’t really want to get away with this schemes, they want Captain Atomic Brain and his Brain Squad to show up so they can fight and it will be on the news and on the internet everyone will know about what they did.
I don’t know if it’s true, but there’s a famous story about The Bug and how he planned the perfect heist, got away clean with seven million and no one knew it. And he couldn’t stand it. It drove him crazy. He couldn’t sleep, he couldn’t eat. He needed people to know how smart he was, the seven mil was worthless to him if nobody knew how he did it.
People who talk about these kind of things put my mom in the thrillseeker category. I can see why given her flair and panache, but knowing what I know she’s more of a criminal criminal. She does some splashy stuff for no other reason than to do it, but for every one of those she pulls off ten other jobs that no one knows about. I was set to inherit a literal fortune before she got arrested. I’m still waiting for the lawyers to explain to me how that’s going to go.
So that’s a lot to deal with as a teenager. You don’t even really think of your mom as a person, she’s more of a concept, some amalgamation of telling you to wash your hands after you pet a dog and saying that your swimsuit is too revealing and asking why you don’t apply yourself more in physics class. I hadn’t made it past that stage when I was smacked in the face with the supervillain thing.
But that’s not all. There’s another part to this. And it’s really weird.
Maybe you already know this, Lady Lightning is the supervillainess (one of them anyway) that everyone wants to have sex with. It’s like a joke. She’s always at the top of the listicles of supervillains you want to fuck. After I found out who she was and I started searching out everything I could find about her online I was smacked in the face with metric ton of Lady Lightning deepfake porn. They sell shirts with my mom on them getting finger blasted that say SHOCKER. It doesn’t really look like her on those shirts but you know what they’re going for.
That’s a kick in the tits when you’re fifteen. One of the worst things that can happen to a teenage girl is when a boy you’re hanging out with turns to you and says “your mom is really hot” and then it just lays there like a festering turd in the summer sun. Why would you tell me that? What I am supposed to do with that?
So that’s bad enough, but then suddenly you find out that it’s not just Jacob from home room that’s thirsty for your mom, it’s EVERYONE. Like I didn’t already have enough issues with sexuality and body stuff then they drop this on me? I’m trying to find out what happened when my mom fought the Liberty Legion in Mississippi in 2017 and one of first three search results they throw at me is “Lady Lightening nip slip compilation”.
That will mess with your head good.