Truth. Justice. Minesweeper.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Finished Mask Wars today. I was just picking it up when Greyghost walked through.

"What's that?" he asked.

I showed him.

He nodded. "I've heard of it, but never read it. May I see?"

"Sure," I said, passing it over.

He flipped through it, stopping at a couple of places near the back. "Mm," he said.

"I'm almost finished, and it doesn't have to be back at the library for another couple of weeks," I told him. "You could borrow it, if you want."

"That's all right, thank you," he said. "It seems accurate. Enough."

Well, okay, then.

The last part of the book is about the formation and nature of the Special Irregular Auxiliary, or SPIA, as it's called. Why haven't I heard of this group? For that matter, why hasn't everybody?

Simple enough idea. In '94, a bunch of prominent superheroes (including, yes, thank you, Greyghost) had the idea that they'd do better if they teamed up, shared information, and otherwise co-ordinated their actions. Perfectly fair.

And I can't find anything in the book that suggests these guys actually did a lot as a group. Once or twice, yes, in unusual circumstances. But mostly they pass along alerts about supervillains in each others' towns.

The idea of SPIA makes me nervous, though. Superheroes are already uncontrolled. Nobody knows what they really do or who they really are. Hell, I work for one and I don't know. Now I hear that they're conspiring?

I checked the address book. Sure enough, Carl has a phone number there for SPIA. I'm tempted to call it.

There's actually a quote from Greyghost in one of the SPIA chapters. He's talking about the name of the group. He says, "I am uncomfortable using the word 'superhero'. If our powers can be described as superhuman, if our actions strike some as heroic, people are free to say so. But we can't afford to think that way. We must be an auxiliary to the law. If we allow ourselves to be anything else, we are no more than marauders."

Yeah, well. He can call himself anything he wants, but I don't know of any cops who put on masks, lurk around on fire escapes and don't answer to anybody.

I'm going to photocopy the book before I take it back to the library. If it was still in print, or otherwise available (and I've checked) I'd buy a copy. But it's not. I hope I don't get caught in the act by any superheroes.
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