Chuckleville, the latest offering from award-winning author Richard Rose.
© 2023 Richard Rose
Covid Comic Crusaders © 2020-2023 Richard Rose
In my screenplay novel, COMIC CRUSADERS, Ralph Zumbroom, a teenage cartoonist, uses a magic pen to create a superhero to help him find his father, who has mysteriously disappeared. In so doing, he unwittingly unleashes a grotesque supervillain and his Dark Legion, challenging him to find a way to save his father while preventing the Dark Legion from taking over the world. This he accomplishes in this lighthearted adventure/fantasy recently released as a screenplay novel by Savant Books and Publications. See more about it in BOOKS on my website RrichardRoseAuthor.com.
Now follow Ralph on a series of my website blogs in a new adventure that requires him to use the magic pen again to deal with another deadly menace. The story begins in the comic book world where there is a loathsome creature dwelling in a pestilential swamp. The creature, known as INFECTO, is even feared by the Dark Legion. And for good reason, because the creature is about to emerge from the swamp to spread a deadly virus that threatens not only the comic book world but all mankind.
In the previous blog a hideous creature known as INFECTO has emerged from a pestilential swamp in the comic book world to be greeted by a swarm of bats.
The story resumes with teenage cartoonist, Ralph Zoombroom, working on the next edition of Crusader Comics at his desk in the family study. He is startled when an evil looking comic book bat flaps out of the drawing. It circles the room, as if on a recon mission, while being harassed by a barking Charlie, the family mutt.
Ralph rises and knocks over a waste basket as he rushes to grab a tennis racket on a wall hook. He takes some swipes at the bat before it vanishes back into the drawing. Bewildered and alarmed, Ralph stares at the drawing. What was the bat doing here? Ralph doesn’t know. But he senses that it portends some ominous event in the comic book world. He is right.
Sent by INFECTO to recon the family study where teenage cartoonist Ralph Zumbroom is working on the next edition of Crusader Comics, the bat reports back to the hideous swamp creature.
What is Infecto’s plan? And why does he fear the magic pen?
The news that Infecto has emerged from the swamp has alarmed the denizens of the Comic Book World. It was years ago that a demented sorcerer created the evil creature with a deadly virus that he could spread throughout their world.
To confront the crisis, the superheroes and supervillains united. However, they were unable to get within a few feet of Infecto without being exposed to the virus. It was up to Maid Merlin to use her wand to encase him in ice, which enabled them to throw Infecto into the swap without being contaminated.
But Invecto has kept his vow. He has returned. Now it’s up to the Superheroes and Supervillains to find a way to save themselves and the Comic Book World from the wrath of the evil monster.
While Ralph is drawing Crusader Comics, a SPIRIT HAND appears and guides Ralph’s hand with a warning. A hideous creature called Infecto is threatening to spread a deadly virus in the comic book world. The hand informs Ralph that he can help prevent this, but he will need the Magic Pen. The hand vanishes before Ralph can learn more.
Meanwhile, Infecto takes the next step in his plan to unleash the virus by recruiting a traitor.
Infecto has a problem.
Infecto is safe from his advisories as long as he remains in the pestilential swamp. But being confined there prevents him from carrying out his plan to take over the comic book world by spreading a deadly virus. To resolve this dilemma, and to protect himself once he emerges from the swamp, Infecto needs a confederate.
Recruiting a superhero from the ranks of The Astral Paladins is not an option. But there is supervillain – Vulturo – who Infecto believes could be persuaded to betray his fellow members of The Dark Legion. To find out he sends Igor, the leader of Infecto’s swarm of bat allies, to contact the vulture like creature.
Ralph believes that the spirit whose hand warned him about Infecto’s plan to spread a deadly virus in the comic book world must be that of the superhero, D’Acrhangel, who had died in his battle against The Dark Legion and its leader, Mephisto.
It was D’Archangel’s spirit that had emboldened Ralph and the Astral Paladins to defeat the supervillains and destroy Mephisto. To find out Ralph draws D’Achangel with the hope that his spirit will contact him. It does, and with the MAGIC PEN!
Infecto has a request for Vultoro. Does Vultoro know a way he can protect himself from his advisories when he emerges from the swamp to unleash the virus? Vultoro does, but the evil bird is canny. Before he can serve Infecto, he has to be able to protect himself as well, but in his case from the virus. No problem, Infecto assures him. The swamp is proliferated by Tana bushes with berries that when eaten will provide immunity from the virus.
After consuming five Tana berries, Vultoro embarks on a mission to steel something that Infecto can use to shield himself from the weapons of his enemies.
Space Maiden is unaware that Vultoro has been following her, waiting for an opportunity to accomplish his mission for Infecto. When she lays down her WONDER WAND for a moment, Vultoro swoops down and snatches it!
Infecto uses the Space Maiden’s WONDER WAND to create a force bubble that will shield him from his advisories. When he flies out of the swamp in the bubble, he is immediately confronted by the superhero, ULTRAMAN, who fires his laser gun. Infecto laughs as the laser disintegrates harmlessly off the bubble. Now Infecto can unleash the virus on the denizens of the comic book world with impunity.
Or can he?
The spirit of D’Archangel has returned with dire news for Ralph. Infecto has used Maid Merlin’s wand to create a protective force bubble and has emerged from the swamp to unleash the virus. To combat Infecto and protect the denizens of the comic book world from the virus, D’Archangel tells Ralph he must use the magic pen to create a new superhero.
Ralph does - SUPERDOC! - a virologist, who is both a physician and a scientist.
The denizens of the comic book world welcome Superdoc and provide him with information about Infecto that they have learned by the creature’s previous visit. Infecto need only cough to release the virus. To prevent this, Superdoc advises the superheroes and supervillains take turns watching Infecto. If he emerges from the space bubble, they can destroy him with their weapons.
Then Superdoc seeks out his nemesis, who is still inside the force bubble. Infecto greets him with a show of sneering arrogance. He knows from Vultoro about the plan to keep him under constant surveillance. “And no doctor, not even a super one,” he boasts, “will be able to deal with the virus once I unleash it!”
Superdoc is not intimidated. “Although the force bubble protects you,” he tells Infecto, “it also prevents you from releasing the virus as long as you are confined inside.”
Infecto laughs. “There is another way, Superdoc!” What is Infecto’s ominous “other way”?
Kept under constant surveillance by the superheroes and supervillains, Infecto is unable to emerge from the protective force bubble to unleash the virus without exposing himself to their weapons. But he has a Plan B. Having foreseen this problem, he has infected Igor and his band of loyal bats with the virus after insuring them that – like himself – they will be immune from its effects. Now Infecto summons Igor to give him his orders. He is to lead his bats on a mission to spread the virus throughout the comic book world..
Having heeded Infecto’s warning about another way to unleash the virus, Superdoc organizes the denizens of the comic book world to manufacture masks and provide him with a clinic and a laboratory. Superdoc also suspects that Infecto will use his cadre of bats to spread the virus and alerts the superheroes and supervillains to be ready with their laser weapons in case that happens.
It does happen. Sent by Infecto as an observer, Vultoro hovers at a safe distance to watch Igor and his bat brigade unleash the virus only to be met by a barrage of lasers. Although most of the bats are destroyed, they are able to carry out the mission.
With the virus loose in the comic book world, what can Superdoc do now?
Although wearing masks has helped the denizens of the comic book world avoid the virus, it has still infected some of them. Superdoc recognizes the symptoms – a hacking cough. Assisted by the superheroes and supervillains, he has those who are infected isolated in the clinic. But others may be spreading the virus before they experience the symptoms.
To deal with this, Superdoc advises that everyone avoid congregating keep at least six feet from each other and wash their hands frequently.
Given everything he has to do, Superdoc is frustrated that he has little time to develop an antiviral drug and a vaccine. Observing this is the spirit of D’Archangel, who realizes that Superdoc needs the assistance of a nurse. And not just any nurse. A SUPERNURSE!
The spirit of D’Archangel visits Ralph again with another urgent job. This time to use the MAGIC PEN to create a Supernurse to assist Superdoc in dealing with the virus while he also tries to develop an antiviral drug and vaccine. Ralph envisions an angel of mercy with wings. But he is baffled at what name to give her. In his mind comes a request from his new covid crusader. ANGELICA.
Superdoc has developed a Covidmeter that will reveal if someone is infected with the virus before symptoms are apparent. Angelica uses it to test the superheroes and supervillains first as they are front liners in assisting Superdoc in containing the virus. The device has a light that flashes green if there is no sign of the virus and red if there is.
Meanwhile, Infecto has learned through Vultoro that Superdoc is working on an antiviral drug and vaccine to combat the virus. Infecto cannot allow this to happen and devises a plan to stop it.
Vultoro has informed Infecto that Superdoc is trying to develop an antiviral drug and vaccine to combat the virus. Infecto decides that the lab must be destroyed. Using Maid Merlin’s magic wand, he creates a powerful bomb to drop on the lab, a mission he assigns to Vultoro. And if Vutoro refuses, Infecto will contaminate the Tana berries that Vultoro must consume to remain immune from the virus. A reluctant Vultoro departs with the bomb.
Infecto has ordered Vultoro to destroy the lab with a powerful bomb. Using cloud cover until he is directly over the lab, Vultoro releases the bomb.
Superdoc has been alerted of Vultoro’s approach by a radar surveillance network he had installed to warn of a possible attack on the lab. From the roof of the lab Superdoc FIRES a heat-seeking missile to intercept the bomb as Vultoro drops it. Will it hit its target?
A catastrophe avoided. But the virus is spreading in the comic book world with still no antiviral drug and vaccine to prevent it.
Although Infecto is furious with Vultoro for his failure to destroy the lab, he still needs him to provide information about what his advisories are up to. Should Vutoro fail again, Infecto warns him that he will carry out his threat to contaminate the Tana berries that Vultoro needs to remain immune from the virus.
Still suffering from his head injury, Vultoro seeks help at the clinic. Angelica removes a tiny bomb fragment from Vultoro’s head, cleans and bandages it while scolding him for dropping the bomb. When Vultoro tells her that Infecto gave him no choice if he wanted to be immune from the virus, Angelica decides she must find out more about this.
When Vultoro leaves the clinic, Angelica follows him to the swamp, where she sees him eating the Tana berries. Suspecting that the berries may have something to do with keeping Vultoro immune from the virus, she asks him if that is true. Grateful for Angelica treating his head injury, Vultoro admits that she is right. Observing this Is Igor, who flies away to report this betrayal to Infecto.
Angelica believes that the Tana berries may contain an element that will enable Superdoc to develop an antiviral drug to combat the virus. Informed by Igor of Vultoro’s betrayal, Infecto returns to the swamp and uses Maid Merlin’s wonder wand to spew a deadly black mist to contaminate the berries. As this is happening, Angelica gathers some Tana branches and flies away with Vultoro.
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Superdoc converts Element X from liquid form into pills. But will it work as an antivirus? One of the sick patients, the superhero, Space Crusader, volunteers to try it.
After Space Crusader took the Element X antiviral pill, two days later he is back to full strength. Now the drug can be administered to all of the patients and others who have contracted the virus. But finding a vaccine is still elusive, and Infecto will stop at nothing to prevent it.
Infecto is able to hypnotize people if he can lure them close enough to exercise this power and they don’t have the will to resist. Of the various superheroes and supervillains who take turns keeping him under surveillance, Infecto chooses the burly blue-skinned mutant, Captain Crusher, who is no mental giant.
What diabolical plan does Infecto have now?
Vultoro follows Captain Crusher to the lab. Superdoc is absent, but suspecting that Crusher is up to no good, Angelica sends Vultoro to get him. However, this is late to prevent Crusher from pulverizing the lab equipment with his massive sledge hammer.
But that was only part of Infecto’s orders to Crusher.
Covid Comic Crusaders, by Richard Rose