The Powernaut
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Episode 1

The Clenching Fist of Iowa


Hello, Readers!

The Big Thing this year is, heroes vs. governments. What happens when you throw the Powernaut in the mix? The answer may not be what you expect.

(signed) Scott Eiler, Publisher for Powernaut Comics, 2006.

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... And You LOST?

Bonus Section: Commentary from Wyatt Ferguson! We Join 2006 Already in Progress!

As you can see, the Powernaut started out 2006 with me. Or vice versa. So let's see if I can catch you up...

  • It started when the Occulator Compuplex (the alien hive-mind on Earth, along with some Earth mages) thought it should make a peace treaty with the legitimate government of Earth. But their idea of legitimacy is, well, alien. So they went looking for descendants of the Tsars of Russia.
  • Their search led them to Wisconsin. My brother Calvin is a US Government agent, and he was keeping track of the various rednecks and neo-Tsarists the aliens were dealing with. I got sucked in alongside him.
  • But the deejay formerly known as Ellipsis was stalking the aliens too. One night he struck, in an attempt to drive the Occulator Compuplex from Earth. The Powernaut got drawn into that confrontation, as did the dancers Ellipsis works with now.
  • By the time it all was over, everyone was awfully annoyed at Ellipsis. The Powernaut didn't exactly win that one, but it surely was fun to watch.
  • Afterward, my brother and I got called to check whether my mom was safe after a bombing in her neighborhood. The Powernaut was kind enough to come along in case we needed some muscle. So after that, I went with the Powernaut to Karl's office in case they needed some explaining of stuff.
  • When the Powernaut offers to travel with me and my brother, he flies on his own while we take an airplane. He kindly offered to fly us himself from Wisconsin to Connecticut in February, but we didn't feel like being cold. But when the Powernaut flies with just me, we can merge. That's something I didn't invite my brother into. But since I did it myself, that's why I got to pop out of the Powernaut and surprise Karl. It was worth it.

Of course, you could go read my journal yourself. Or you can read the dancers' account. You'll need both those if you want all the details. But I understand, Powernaut Comics decided not to get too deep into describing that particular adventure. Oh well, the journal can't make the big time *all* the time.

Well, Yeah, Everywhere Has Prisons

Bonus Section: Commentary from Wyatt Ferguson! Evil Mayor Anvernacht

I see Russell Anvernacht figures into this story, and it's up to me to provide his history beyond "You saw him once".

  • Anvernacht was a Dutch businessman, and was rumored to be the secret identity of the armored terrorist Domesday. Domesday was actually the first enemy of Ellipsis and the Balance. This conflict lasted until 2004, when Ellipsis and two of his allies finally got the advantage.
  • That's where I came in... Anvernacht wanted a time machine, and I had access to the one the United Nations operated. So, he kidnapped me! That did not end well for him, though. Messing with time, tends to set off reality shifts. This episode was no exception. Russell Anvernacht ended up as the mayor of Maquoketa, Iowa. Evil Mayor Anvernacht!
  • I have my own grudge against Anvernacht, even aside from being kidnapped... He maneuvered my friend Ted Clark into wearing some dangerous alien armor. It ate his mind, and he died. After the reality shift, Ted came back... on which more later. But that doesn't excuse Russell Anvernacht.
  • Now, why was a *mayor* providing security for a Federal installation? Well, it seems this *particular* U.S. Gov was really into secret installations to interrogate potential threats to the U.S. Gov. Often it was convenient to put the installations overseas. But with potential superhumans, it was deemed necessary to put them in the United States mainland *and* centrally located. And so entered Evil Mayor Anvernacht in Iowa! His economically-depressed town was entirely willing to sign up for this. They had a conservation area, which served as a prison camp. They even provided a security force as best they could. Hey, at least they were in a Federal budget category which no one expected. (ref: my diary. Heh.)

Wyatt's Road Trips Aren't for Everyone

Bonus Section: Commentary from Wyatt Ferguson! That Road Trip

heh, I see it's up to me to document the time the Powernaut spent with me in 2006. My journal has details, but here's the summary.

  • Aliens were actually setting foot on Earth, in Powernaut outfits. They figured it was Earthling peacekeeper uniforms... That did not work out well for them.
  • The Earth's friendly Solarian was introducing himself to the world, by doing impromptu weather control near the NEXRAD 2 weather control radar in Illinois while it was down for maintenance. That actually *did* work out well for him.
  • A magic warrior known as the White Knight, had adventured on Earth in the 1990s. But once his realm figured out how the modern era worked, they took home "outsourcing" contracts! The White Knight had a grudge against me, for one such contract... I suspect my ladyfriend felt I should have stood up for myself instead of giving the Powernaut a chance to stand up for the powerless... But that *was* his only chance to throw a punch during the whole adventure. So I was standing *down* for the Powernaut!
  • That's about when I left the tour bus of Body Up, the dancers who were monitoring Ellipsis. The Powernaut stayed on for one more incident, though... Human criminals known as the "Basher Clan" invaded Body Up's tour bus. They dealt not only with the Powernaut, but with my friend "Toejam". He was one of the bus drivers, and he had superpowered toes (or at least *one* toe) which even survived the superhuman power-down. Heh, that's my kind of friend. That incident made it into a video game as, "Battle for the Bus"!

After all that, Ellipsis was no threat as far as I could tell at the time. Even the Powernaut gave up monitoring him. Heh... We both missed his goal. Yet still his dancers kept him under control.

You Need to Come Inside Now

Bonus Section: Commentary from Wyatt Ferguson! Meanwhile, Plan B

Karl didn't really need the Powernaut to *do* anything at Prison Camp Iowa. He figured, just *being* there would be enough to shake things up.

When the Powernaut decided to help me watch Ellipsis instead, Karl came up with Plan B: Send some *other* hero whom Anvernacht hates. Fortunately there's no shortage of those. Many were in Anvernacht's prison... but Leo was outside! He'd been with us in Iraq. And he had some history with Anvernacht, almost as much as Ellipsis himself. So he was *eager* to dress up as the Powernaut, just to psyche Anvernacht!

It was *not* required that the guy in the Powernaut costume actually have Powernaut powers. The guy who *did*, just had to be brave enough to bluff an evil mayor, and (ideally) competent enough to defend himself if things went wrong. Basically (in pop culture terms), Karl got Wolverine (missing powers, yet still with some claws) to dress up as Superman.

It took some time to arrange this. Meanwhile, the Powernaut signed back on for Plan A. But Karl and Leo saw no reason to abandon Plan B. So, the Powernaut got a diversion in support of his own mission!

We Shall Bring Darkness!

Bonus Section: Commentary from Wyatt Ferguson! Dramatis Personae

I get to describe things again. Or in this case, people. I noticed within this strip...

  • The Mighty Tim. Founding member of the Balance, alongside Ellipsis. Formerly with teleportation and flame powers. Unlike Ellipsis, the Mighty Tim eventually worked alongside law enforcement to the best of his ability. He actually became his world's finest hero, at least other than Powernauts.
  • Madfinger. Mercenary, with enhanced skills over computers and robotics. Pretty much the brains of almost any group he joins. He actually worked alongside Karl last year!
  • Eve Ste. Marie Lateran. Little sister of Philippe St. Joseph Lateran, formerly with mental influence powers. It would seem she still subconsciously tried to use her "influence" on the Powernaut.
  • "Crack Hitler". Black Mage. He fought some of my magic-user friends in the 1990s. Bad riddance to him.
  • Crusher Joe Corrigan. Big guy by the door, with the wonky mustache. Former Governor of California, before reality shifts. He'd be the natural leader for the group, except it looks like the two smartest people in the room really needed him to hold that door shut for a while.
  • I'm not sure about the *other* big guy by the door. But based on his "zero"-shaped tattoo, I'd guess it was El Cero. Argentine super-agent, and quite likely a mercenary by now.
  • And hanging around the prison yard... Vara Hosea. "White mage", now with her natural hair color. Assistant to Lucianus Autonomus. I didn't see Lucianus in the comic *or* in the camp. I'll get into how I got in the camp later... Anyway, Lucianus may just be too well-connected diplomatically.

Not everyone in that room was an American citizen. But due to the manner in which they lost their powers, they were all caught powerless in the United States. Much of the world was not happy about this.

Sorry to Intrude!

Bonus Section: Commentary from Wyatt Ferguson! The Apathynaut

One may notice the Powernaut *not* solving problems with his fists for once. For this Powernaut, that's almost unprecedented.

There are at least a couple of possible explanations.

  1. The Powernaut had just spent time hanging out with *me*. People say that hanging out with heroes, makes you more heroic. Well then, hanging out with me makes you more apathetic. You see, I learned years ago that with great power comes great irrelevance. The more people associate with me, the more they learn that too.
  2. Also, one might say the Powernaut wasn't excited at associating with the criminal element. Even though there were some heroes in that prison camp, it was a bit more squalid than the Powernaut was used to.
  3. But let's remember, Powernauts are experts in the use of power. Perhaps the Powernaut subconsciously realized, power really *was* irrelevant in this situation.


Bonus Section: Commentary from Wyatt Ferguson! Escape Plan

It would seem, the whole point of the plan was to get *someone* out of the camp with evidence from within. It's no coincidence that the courier happened to be the little sister of Philippe St. Joseph Lateran. Lateran was in about as good a position as anyone to coordinate the plan outside the camp. He would never approach captivity himself, but he has usually had fiercely loyal minions who revere him above any government. This has been true regardless of his power level. Once Lateran truly controls you, you stay controlled.

On the inside, the plan relied on subverting the construction of the water tower. Madfinger managed that, once he got himself assigned to the work crews. He may have lacked *superhuman* hacking skills, but he was still a hacker, up against the most inexperienced guards one can imagine.

The Water Tower is Escaping!

Wiki! Russell Anvernacht

MUST I Do Everything Myself?

Bonus Section: Commentary from Wyatt Ferguson! Points of View

This may go without saying, but the Powernaut and I tell stories different ways. We also remember different things. But that doesn't mean either of us was wrong. At least, not always. For instance...

  • The cover art for my account, showed me there watching. That was pure artistic license. In the account, I admitted to being absent for the rampage. But in my artist's defense, I think he came closer on the structures than the Powernaut's artist did.
  • In that account, I reported that the runaway water tower was partly made of wicker. I admit that would be an odd feature, but I'd heard the rumor of substandard building materials and assumed it was part of a battle plan.
  • My account does not mention any sort of Powernaut on site. But neither does it deny that. He and I were simply there at different times; I got there first, since I left the Deejay Ellipsis tour bus first... Anyway, given what would happen shortly after the Iowa Incident, I'm lucky my account was as descriptive as it was.
  • Speaking of which, I reported a later encounter between me, the Powernaut, and that thing which was missing from the rampaging water tower - and I reported it happening before the final events of this Powernaut comic episode. Given what happened at the end of the episode, it's silly to argue about history. But I wouldn't be surprised if it all still happened *somewhere*.

He's Doing It!

Bonus Section: Commentary from Wyatt Ferguson! About That Darkness

I should probably explain Ultimate Darkness... It is the void between the universes. Each universe is kind of like a little bubble in the Darkness. And all those bubbles, kind of give the Darkness indigestion. So it has had some attitude, for as long as humans have trafficked with it.

I got a chance to see the mages playing their Ultimate Darkness games in the camp in Iowa. I didn't take it seriously, because I've heard that Ultimate Darkness is well adjusted nowadays. It kind of has a crush on one young woman, Pam Brown. Really. The World Journal Monthly said so. They even call her "The Bride of the Ultimate Darkness". And they're usually pretty reputable, among people who know how weird our world really is. Besides, I've met Pam. She seems a good custodian for Ultimate Darkness.

However, no one knows where Pam is right now. When superhumans were abducted and depowered last year, Pam was not there, any more than any other avatar or Force of Nature was. Plus, she was wounded in 2004. So she may be in isolation among Darkness.

Ultimate Darkness acts kind of like a lovesick puppy when it doesn't have Pam handy. And now we have these Dork (excuse me, "Dark") Mages, talking with Darkness using what seems to be Doom Squirrels. (North America currently has a vacancy for Doom Creatures; Doom Squirrels seem to have arisen in response.) With all that, Ultimate Darkness might be kind of scary right now. But if Dork Mages can make deals with it and light themselves up within it, I'm guessing *anyone* can. Just not on the first try.

But Still Have Power-Voice!

How About THIS Way?

Bonus Section: Commentary from Wyatt Ferguson! All Those People Who Still Have Powers

So, apparently there was a superpowered fight among people in a detention camp for *depowered* superhumans. I imagine a lot of people just ducking for cover... But how could that be?

Aside from the Powernaut, I blame magic. Evil Mages went through an elaborate ritual to summon power from beyond the universe, and used "Crack Hitler" as their focus. They used some rudimentary Doom Creatures for that purpose. Doom Creatures stayed on Earth, and never got depowered by aliens. These squirrels were low-powered anyway, at least compared to (say) the Doom Bear. Of course, when universes were breached, a conduit was open for Vara Hosea (our world's second best mage, and my *superior* as a Champion of Death) to tap power to more-or-less match the Powernaut.

Still, I have to explain one other... Remember the Big Toe Which Thrashes Men Severely? It *made it through* the Alien Powerdown. But the power *source* was outside the toe. *That's* what got powered down. Until the toe *spent* its power, it had its power! And my friend Toejam hoarded that one last toe... until his bus full of *relatively*-defenseless lady dancers got invaded! Of course, they were all highly skilled, and they had (DJ) Ellipsis *plus* the Powernaut on board... but that's another story. I shall have to get interviews for that one someday.

There may be some other anomalies, but I think I've got most of them now.

And now: RACCie Award-Winner Favorite Single Issue of 2016!

Then It $#!+s Them Out

DOUBLE Wiki! Crack Hitler


Ultimate Darkness

Wiki of Darkness

Iowa Cultural District

Author's Notes:

The Big Thing for 2016 is, a big-budget superhero movie based on an old story from 2006 about heroes vs. heroes vs. governments. What better time to begin to publish Powernaut 2006? This "Part 1" story actually *was* influenced by the "Civil War" comic.

Heh, the artwork of this story led to some commentary. And some of that commentary has led me to realize how Wyatt Ferguson became a Familiar of the Ultimate Darkness. (ref: later in 2006 - and no Powernaut!) ... That's part of the reason I do these Powernaut stories. All my other stories make more sense when I do.

The artwork also led to more artwork. When I published what was supposed to be the final panel of the comic, I realized it wouldn't be fair to not give Powernauts a chance against it. So, this episode has gone from eleven strips to thirteen. (Isn't it awesome that I let people read eleven or more strips at once? I'll have you know, that's almost unknown in the industry.)

Always before this, I considered eleven strips the upper boundary for one episode, and thirteen strips the lower boundary for two. I could yet divide the episode in two; I'd always considered a separate episode for the March of the Vincible Stomper. But if I did it now, readers would be confused when they read the panel that says "Next: 2006 Part Three!" So, I'm likely to just make this a mega-episode.

For years now, I've considered how quickly I could (ahem) cover the world in Ultimate Darkness, provided I could summon it and make it grow exponentially. I figure: five seconds to cover my body in Darkness; five more to cover several square blocks; five more to cover a county or metro area; and five more after that to cover the Earth. Five seconds after *that*, I'd blot out everything inside the orbit of Earth's Moon. By then the Darkness would be traveling faster than light, so that's about when the effect would peter out... But yeah, Powernauts vs. Ultimate Darkness is a very quick fight.

Since I actually wrote this story ten years ago, I have to admit that Powernauts don't win this one. Since I put in a graphic depiction of a world consumed by darkness, I have to admit that Powernaut stories can't always be light-hearted or funny. But I hope at least I put in the proper amount of pathos.

(signed) Scott Eiler, 14 September 2016.

Powernaut: Home 1912 1941 1944 1945 (with Stories) 1948 1954 1955 1962 1966 1968 (with Stories) 1969 1976 1979 1984 1985 2005 (with Stories) 2006 (with Stories) 2009 (with Stories) 2011 (with Stories) 2012 .
Powernaut 2006: 1 2 3 4.
The Rest of the World: Wiki Home Startup Escalation 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 The Maker .

Leo is a character of Ray Conrad. Crusher Joe Corrigan is a character of Joe Fucile. The White Knight is a character of Darryl Hunt. All other characters and all artwork in this fiction are copyright © 2016 by Eiler Technical Enterprises.