Too Many Long Boxes!
   
   

End of Summer
 

Villainy on Vacation

Never Smile
at a Killer Crocodile

Plastic Man vs. Killer Croc

by Ed Buckler

 

"No, babe, you've got me all wrong!" Eel O'Brian cried. "I meant that I liked the way that you wore your… umm… hair! Yeah, that's it!" He sulked as the woman walked away. "Well, Wooz, struck out again. Any pointers?"

"Well, Plas, normally I would tell you to be yourself, but in your case, I'm sure that telling you to do the exact opposite would see better results." Wolfgang "Woozy" Winks and Eel "Plastic Man" O'Brian sat outside a small beachside resort in Florida. Woozy had, so far, seen all the luck as far as the ladies were concerned, having gotten the names, addresses, and phone numbers of at least twenty -- at least that Plastic Man knew of.

"Never mind, Woozy. I'm gonna go for a walk. See what's up."

"Suit yourself, Plas," Woozy turned back around to talk to a voluptuous blonde at his side.

As Plas kicked along the beach, he had an odd feeling that he was being watched. He looked over his shoulder, but saw nothing. When he turned to continue walking, a large man in snorkeling gear stood before him.

"Excuse me, are you the hero known as Plastic Man?"

"The one and only, my good man!" the original Sultan of Stretching replied. "Unless, that is, you are an insane supervillain extrordinaire or a member of the IRS…" The man removed his mask and produced an ID.

"Mr. O'Brian, I'm Agent Jennings with the D.E.O."

"D.E.O.? Ducks Entering Orthopedics? Donkeys Except Ornerier?"

"Department of Extranormal Operations. We require some assistance from you and your special talents in order to clamp down on the 'Arkham Operation.'"

"Say again?" Plas' ear grew much larger and closed in on Jennings' mouth. "Arkham? As in Gotham City? Batman normally doesn't like people closing in on his town. I tend to keep the heck out myself."

"No, sir, several Arkham inmates have escaped and are running rampant in various parts of the country."

"And I've not heard about it? I'm JLA! … I must be further out of the loop than I thought…"

"The media has remained tight-lipped about it, Plastic Man."

"Oh… well, that explains it. So how can I use my powers of stretchiness to save the States from these psycho scourges?"

"Well, we at the D.E.O. are doing what we can to isolate these escapees, but we're having a bit of trouble with one of them…"

"Which one? Is it the Mad Hatter? Scarface? Riddler?"

"No. Killer Croc."

"Wha…?" Plas' jaw hit the ground, tongue rolling out onto the sand. "You're kidding, right?"

"No, sir. He's already killed two of our best agents. We aren't willing to risk any more. Would you care to give us a hand?"

"I'm on vacation right now, so, against my better judgements, I'll help out."

"Then, we should get going," Jennings said, straightening his soaking jacket.

"Hold on. I've gotta get my sidekick."

"We don't have time, Plastic Man. We need to be gone. Now."

"Alright, geez…." Plas sluggishly trailed the D.E.O. agent.

MEANWHILE, UNDERNEATH THE STREETS OF CHICAGO

The Killer Croc was enraged. Government scum. How dare they even try to shut him down? This was no good. Ever since he had busted out of Arkham, Joker had promised him that everything would be his for the taking. So far, he'd been shot at, chased down, and been forced to kill two people that didn't deserve life in the first place. He was furious.

He raged down the corridors of the Chicago city sewers, seething and soaking in the odors and slimes of the sewers. He needed a new plan. He was in uncharted territory now, with no heroes to bark down his throat and toss him away. Chicago was his city now. He could play by his own rules. No Bat. No Arkham. And, most importantly, over a million innocent bystanders -- his for the taking…

THE NEXT DAY -- DOWNTOWN CHICAGO

"Ah, Chicago!" Plastic Man spread his arms open wide and sharply inhaled, coughing and spewing the smoke out of his nose. "The Windy City! Well, I'd better get to where I can find this deranged mutant reptile."

Plas' body became a giant kite, that soared above the city. From his perch he could see the entire city, enabling him to spot any abnormally large green, scaly monsters. After about two minutes of not spotting anything unusual (for Chicago anyway), he floated down to the ground.

"Hmm…" he began to wonder. "If I were a bloodthirsty mutant crocodile that just escaped from a maximum security mental institution, where would I hide?"

Just then, the doors to the Sears Tower slammed open as crowds of people came pouring out onto the streets, shrieking in horror.

"Well, I guess that answers my question." Plas elongated his neck and hovered his head over the building's opening. Upon seeing an especially well-dressed tourist, his elastic arms picked the frantic man out of the crowd and holding him inches from his face.

"Excuse me, citizen, are you by any chance running from a giant reptilian creature from Gotham City?"

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"

"I'll take that as a 'yes'…" Slithering into the building, while dodging the screaming masses, Plastic Man smacked his malleable head into a large, scaly chest. "Dr. Croc, I presume?"

"What?" the Croc yelled, his eyes blazing with visible fury. "Who the heck are you?"

"The name's Plastic Man, evil-doer! Turn yourself in or prepare to meet the harsh reality of my pliable justice!"
"Look, I don't know who the heck you think you are, but there aren't supposed to be superheroes in Chicago -- or anywhere, for that matter. Joker said so."

"Oh, really?" Plastic Man contorted his body to look like the Joker. "Well, I've been the Joker before, and, trust me, whatever he's told you is sheer insanity at best. This guy's not what you'd call the rancid-est sardine in the can…" A large leather hand clamped itself around Plas' face, shutting his mouth as well as covering his nose and his chin.

"Shut up, you wormy lil' runt!" bellowed the Croc. "Don't make me tear you limb from limb like I did those wussy government agents!" With that, Plastic Man was tied into a giant pretzel knot and thrown out into the madcap mayhem of the streets of Chicago. Plastic Man, amid being trampled by many a frightened tourist, managed to see Killer Croc rip open a manhole cover and jump into the sewer below.

'So, that's his game,' Plastic Man thought to himself.

ONE HOUR LATER -

The Croc sat in his sewer lair, contemplating the rubber twit he'd run into earlier in the day. He patted the money beside him -- the loot he'd managed to haul away from an ATM machine after his little run in with the elastic loon.

"What the heck kinda hero was that?" the Croc mused as he loaded his murky, algae-covered safe and slammed the lid. He went back, sunk down in his armchair, and turned on the television.

"…and the mayor's decision is to be made by this coming Monday. In other news, the Gotham City local, Killer Croc, has been sighted in Chicago today, rampaging through the Sears Tower. Eye-witnesses say that the JLA had the situation well in hand as none other than Plastic Man showed up to handle the insane Croc."

"Stupid news anchors. They don't know jack!" Croc threw his remote at the TV, sending a shower of sparks flying all over the small room. Croc slammed his hand down on the arm of his red chair. "Wait a minute…" Croc looked down to see a red armchair with yellow and black stripes adorning it. There was something oddly familiar about it… then, it hit him. Literally.

The chair's "recliner" kicked into gear, throwing the lug onto the floor. "It's the Plastic Geek!"

"Right-o, Croc-o, old boy!" Plas, now looking like a safari guide, opened Killer Croc's crushing mandibles and in his best Australian accent, said: "Now, wotch me stick me head down this croc's maeowth, just to make 'im cranky!"

The verdant behemoth clamped down his mouth, trapping Plas' head inside. Imagine Killer Croc's surprise when a head popped out his nose and said: "Excuse me, Mr. Croc? Have you ever considered blowing that nose of yours? I mean, honestly, you've got quite a patch of snot in there!"

Now, utterly enraged, the Croc ripped Plas through his mouth and out his nose, screaming. "YOU ARE THE MOST INSUFFERABLE EXCUSE FOR A SUPERHERO EVER! I'VE SEEN SOME WACKOS IN MY DAY, BUT YOU TAKE THE CAKE! THEY LOCK ME UP? THEY OUGHTTA LOCK YOU UP! YOU'RE CRAZIER'N JOKER!!"

"Now, I wouldn't go that far, but you're finally startin' to notice my competitive edge!"

"I have no other inclination right now than to tie you into knots and bash your face in until your Silly Putty body turns into an infinitesimal speck of rubber goo!"

"Now, I know I'm probably committing a social 'taboo' here, but it worked for Davy Crockett, so… what the heck!" As a coonskin cap appeared on Plas' head, a giant grin spread across his lips. The Croc's muscular hand smashed the grinning head. To Croc's horror and amazement, an oozing mass poured from his hand to reveal a lone grin. The Croc threw the hero against the wall and ran into the sewer. Plas oozed down the wall and formed a puddle. Then, taking the shape of a Cheshire Cat, he chased the mammoth beast down the pipes to a dead end where raw sewage poured from a large pipe into a cesspool of sludge and slime.

"Ewww… Plastic Man uttered, turning himself into a fat old lady. "Guess I'll have to get my purse another day. Sewage-drenched 'gator skin is not my idea of a fashion statement."

ON THE CHICAGO CITY LIMITS

Killer Croc emerged from the sewer system, drenched in scum. He shook his head, sending grime all over. He was reminded at that moment how much he HATED the Joker. He was headed back to Gotham -- never more to roam…

THE END…?

 
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This story is 2000 by Ed Buckler
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