Issue 15 Review

Rising Stars 15 Synopsis


A NexusCorp executive stands by a podium speaking about his company while Patriot stands quitely behind him. The executive brags about NexusCorp's investments in Third World countries, but a reporter asks about how many Americans were laid off to provide these jobs and how poorly the foreign workers are paid. The executive sidesteps the question and introduces Patriot to provide a less controversial presentation.

As Patriot steps to the podium, an apparent earthquake shakes the stage. The costumed spokesperson is shaken to the ground. Jason Miller comes forward and demands that the imposter remove his mask, which the cowering actor promptly turns over.

The reporters are surprised that there are more than one Patriot. Jason reveals that NexusCorp employs four or five stand-ins. While he has their attention, he announces that he is resigning as NexusCorp's corporate symbol. He adds a list of NexusCorp's crimes including operating sweat shops, dumping toxic waste, and performing unlawful medical experiments without patient consent.

The executive says that Jason is just a disgruntled employee and can't prove his charges. Jason announces that he has acquired evidence and sent it to the news agencies.

A reporter asks if Jason has a better offer from another company. Jason explains that he only has a finite amount of life. He's squandered it up to now with his silly job. From now on he wants to do something meaningful with his powers. The reporter asks him to clarify that he hasn't yet decided which company he will work for. They just don't get it. Jason tells them to write down a Horace Mann quote. "Be ashamed to die, until you have won some victory for humanity."

Jason flies away as the reporters shout inane questions after him. Jason has become disenchanted with modern American society and disappointed with Patriot's contribution to it. It is now time for him to act instead of talk.

Jason flies his wife, Andrea, and their infant child to a secluded cabin in the woods. He bought it with cash from a secret account under a false name. No one should be able to find them here. Jason has already filled the cabin with months worth of food and established pre-paid credit at the local store. He warns Andrea to avoid using credit cards for as long as possible.

Andrea can tell that Jason doesn't expect to return very soon or very often. She asks what he plans to do. He doesn't know. The Specials' plan to change the world without permission will earn them a lot of enemies. Jerry Montrose has destroyed half the cocaine fields in Columbia and has a billion dollar price on his head. Jerry might enjoy the danger, but Jason doesn't want to put his family at that sort of risk.

They eat dinner, and then Jason contemplates his next move while Andrea cleans up. Andrea asks Jason what he has decided. He's ready to start, but he doesn't know what to do. He asks Andrea what she would do in his place. She suggests bringing Saddam Hussein in for trial. Jason says that would just increase terrorism, so Andrea suggests putting an end to fighting in the Middle East. Jason says that if he disarms one side the other will exploit it, and if he disarms both sides they will keep fighting with sticks and knives. Andrea suggests going after criminals or the cocaine trade. Jason says that Randy Fisk has been working on the criminals for years and Jerry Montrose is taking care of the cocaine trade.

Jason laments that he has incredible strength and speed, but he can't teach a child to read, rebuild a ghetto, stop drunk driving, or eliminate domestic abuse. He could stop a comet from hitting the Earth, but most problems can't be solved by brute strength. Andrea sympathizes and looks to the night sky for a comet.

Jason says that he has pretended to be a hero for years, but now that the opportunity is here to do it for real, he doesn't know how.

Andrea thinks of one thing that only Jason could do as the strongest of the Specials. She is hesitant to tell him because she may never see him again. He promises her that she will and asks her to tell him her idea.

In the Ukraine, two guards complain about their predicament. They get paid absolutely nothing to guard a bunker full of ten million dollar nuclear warheads. They continue to do their jobs because they are patriots and idiots.

A bright flash of light floods through the window as guns begin firing outside. The two guards rush outside to join their comrades. Jason Miller rips the metal from a mobile missile launcher and pulls out the warhead. Bullets rip through his clothes but leave his body unharmed. An officer orders the men to stop firing before they rupture the warhead and expose the plutonium. The soldiers attack Jason with flame throwers, but they don't deter him from collecting the five warheads and flying away.

An American General receives word of the theft in the Ukraine. He is glad that there are a few less former Soviet warheads in the Ukraine but is concerned that the United States might be blamed for the theft. His alibi comes a few seconds later when the alarms at his own facility go off. Outside, Jason flies off with a complete ICBM amid a hail of gunfire.

Jason has now collected nine warheads out of tens of thousands. He is alternating between different countries so that everyone will know that it is not a one-sided attack. He has a high sensitivity to radiation and can detect a shielded weapon miles away. Jason brings his captured warheads to a two-mile deep shaft that he carved in the North Pole. It is so delicately balanced that the only way to get in without collapsing it is to fly.

Jason moves on to Pakistan, India, Great Britain, China, and Israel. They try to hide the warheads, but he always finds them. Jason begins to think that he actually may be able to complete his awesome task in a few years.

Jason returns to visit Andrea with his clothes destroyed by countless attacks. Andrea says that half the people on the news say that it is the most important positive step in world affairs in recent history. She doesn't care what the other half say.

An American four star General addresses a conference room full of delegates who suddenly have a common interest: Jason's threat to the sovereign rights of their governments. The General announces that they have prepared for this eventuality. He welcomes an elderly and wheelchair-bound David Paulson to the room.

Paulson reports that they documented the Specials' powers and weaknesses as they grew up. Their abilities have changed with the deaths of other Specials, but Paulson believes certain principles still hold that haven't been exploited yet. Paulson believes that the Specials can be killed. It will take time to reevaluate the proper methods, and they won't get a second chance, but it can be done. Even Jason Miller can be killed.

Jason flies into Matthew Bright's hospital room and reports on their progress. He's not sure if Matthew would approve of him taking matters into his own hands, but Matthew will just have to come out of his coma if he want's to do anything about it. Jason promises to keep bringing his news to Matthew. He jokes that Matthew should wake up soon or else there will be nothing left for him to do in their perfect world.

Jason promises again to continue visiting Matthew. Reluctant to leave, he asks Matthew if he's heard any good jokes lately...