New Superhero Erupts onto International Stage

Merrick A. Flagg never meant to be a hero. Frankly, he never meant to do much of anything besides trend on Instagram. And the only way he was going to do that was with an epic volcano selfie. How else do people even get famous?

For this particular epic volcano selfie, Flagg leaned over the ridge of the smoldering caldera of Krakatau, Indonesia. But, as fate mixed with a little bit of serves-you-right would have it, his footing slipped in the powdery gray ash, and he skidded into the crater like a cat into a bathtub.

For those of you now terribly anxious that this farce might really be a tragedy, it’s not. Merrick was fine. Maybe not in the head, but he didn’t die. And why didn’t he die? Because a bolt of white-hot lightning struck the bubbling magma precisely as Flagg splashed down into it, imbuing him with superpowers. Obviously.

Among his new superpowers were not self-awareness or common sense, but that hasn’t seemed to stop Flagg from becoming a fearless protector of the innocent. A champion of justice. A defender of truth. Or something like that.

This Wednesday in Flagg’s native Jacksonville, a 96-year-old woman attempted to cross San Jose Boulevard on foot, at the rather inopportune time of 3:17 p.m., oblivious to the reckless high school student yet unnamed barreling towards her in a small monster truck. Fortunately, an equally unaware Merrick A. Flagg was crossing the street at the same time in the opposite direction, on his way to Liberty Landscape Supply, recently finding himself strangely attracted to patriotically named establishments.

The two pedestrians crossed paths just as the F-7813437850 bore down on them before coming to a grinding halt as it collided with Flagg, who was now quite irritated.

“Watch where you’re going!” our hero shouted. “You could have killed me!”

The woman, who preferred to be identified only by her surname, Ms. Taikes, scurried off to give an exclusive interview to The Bolles Bugle, because that’s just what you do when you have a near-death experience. You tell it to a high school newspaper.

“I can’t believe Jacksonville has its own superhero!” she crowed. “You always hear about them in big cities like New York and Gotham, but I’m so glad Jacksonville is getting the attention it deserves.”

“And he’s just so clever,” she continued. “When he scolded that driver, it was like he didn’t even know he was invincible.”

As a gesture of thanks, the Jacksonville City Council offered Flagg a permanent seat, expanding the legislature’s ranks from 19 to 20 members. He told reporters he was excited to be able to make an impact in his community. “Wow! I get one of the twenty votes in city council,” he said, before pausing, apparently deep in something that an untrained eye could mistake for thought. “That’s like a majority! I can make laws!”

“Sure you can,” said at-large member Polly Tix, sporting a worried look. “You’re gonna do great.”