The Unknown Soldier

Despite his name, Captain Nothing is not a nihilist. He’s a superhero. In fact, he’s so dedicated to crime fighting that he stitched a leather mask onto his face. Unlike Batman, for example, Captain Nothing is “always on duty, always on call.”

Forget about secret identities. Captain Nothing is Captain Nothing all the time. After a while, he muses, you don’t need an identity anymore. You don’t even need a super power. All you need is a judgmental nature and a bad attitude. And for a costume, just wear a cape, some black jeans and a Coors T-shirt. Later you can upgrade to a costume made from the skin of a giant mutant lamprey eel. Or whatever.

The world of Captain Nothing is pretty bleak, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. Some days are better than others. After slipping into a trance that “few mystics, saints and lunatics ever achieve,” Captain Nothing is able to initiate a love connection with a lonely housewife. Never mind that she’s trapped in a freezer in her basement and he’s sitting at a bus stop waiting for “a bus, or a meteor” (he isn’t quite sure). Love is a fickle thing. You’ve got to get it where you can.

In his afterword, the author says he grew up reading comic books about tough guys, “the ones who did not fart around.”  But even Batman and the Spirit weren’t tough enough for him. And thus Captain Nothing was born. If the Joker came to town, Captain Nothing would simply bash him over the head with a brick. He wouldn’t lock him up in a cushy place like Arkham Asylum. This unknown soldier never takes prisoners.

[Nothing to Lose / By Steve Vernon / First eBook Printing: January 2011 / Crossroad Press]

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