Carl Franks Is A Terrible Superhero

He hasn’t been in the business very long, but Carl Franks is a terrible superhero. He needed a change, something new in his life, so he fashioned a costume for himself a year ago this summer using some old Lee jeans and the upholstery of a thrift store recliner that was briefly fashionable in the late 1980’s. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is that makes Carl such a terrible superhero, though it probably traces in some way back to his lack of any obvious talents (safe driving record aside). Sadly, he’s been on the losing end of nearly every battle he’s fought in the last year and when he does manage a victory, it’s really nothing to brag about; recent conquests include a guy dressed like the statue of liberty who was waving at passing cars with a discount furniture store liquidation sign and bitey little man named Dr. Ouch who, as it turned out, was actually someone’s pet hamster. Everyone knows Carl should go back to working in that sweaty little toll booth in East Bay but no one has the heart to tell him. He’s so happy, so alive, he’s a cat that’s been indoors all of its life and suddenly allowed to spend time outside with bees and traffic. He enjoys the brand of barefoot freedom that’s usually attached to membership in an odorous hippie community, but he answers to no one, radiant and satisfied every night, as he hangs his gingham checked cape on that loosely fixed hook in his parents’ front hall.

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