Mia’s eyes widened as she stared at her new teammates.
“Mia Ortiz,” Dwayne announced, “welcome to the Redressers!”
Mia responded as anyone would in her situation. “Is that Frankenstein?”
The being composed of slightly decomposed body parts stood up. “That’s correct.”
“Oh, sorry. Should I have said Frankenstein’s monster? Well, being called a monster can’t be nice.”
“You were correct the first time. I am Victor Frankenstein. My orginal body died in the Arctic and my creature killed himself soon afterwards, but I left instructions with my assistant for placing my brain into another body assembled through, ah, para-ethical methods. One thunderstorm later, I was off the table and continuing my biological research.”
“Wow!” Mia exclaimed. “That’s amazing! So are you all literary characters or are some of you non-fiction?”
A woman stood up and raised her sceptor. She wore a robe that covered her like a cloak made of mystery but somehow exposed 90% of her breasts. “I am Azrella, sorceress of the dark arts. My soul is tied to a demon who grants me limitless power, but I can only use it once a day. I have worked with this team for…I feel like you’re staring at my chest.”
“Oh! I’m sorry. It’s just weird that everything else is covered except, uh, your–”
“I know. It’s ridiculous. But the demon I draw my power from is…let’s say he’s from another time.”
“Oh, right. Biblical times.”
“No, like 1991. It could be worse. He could have dressed me in just a few straps.”
“Tell me about it! Isn’t it nuts that full nudity in today’s comics comes across as less pervy and gross than early 90s women who are at least covered enough for a PG-13 movie?”
“It’s all in the depiction. The gatekeepers who kept female writers and artists out of comics for so long are finally going away so now we’re seeing women depict female characters as fully developed people instead of boobs in spandex.”
“Oh, I know! It’s so refreshing to feel like I can see myself in a comic!”
“Hopefully, the wave of inclusion will soon fulfill its promise and people of all types will feel welcome and represented in all kinds of media. Even comedy nerd blogs soon won’t be a bunch of straight cis white men.”
Dwayne interjected, “While I appreciate that we’re all learning today, I feel like we should move on.”
Mia and Azrella rolled their eyes at each other.
“Who’d like to go next?”
A blue, hairless person with no pupils, no clothes, and apparently no gender stood up. “I shall volunteer. I am Dorizan, this sector’s iteration of the galactic consciousness known as Dorizan. I protect this solar system’s lifeforms from cosmic threats with my invulnerability, control over my body’s density, and sweet finger lasers. Pew, pew.”
“Wow, that’s incredible! Do we get a lot of cosmic threats?”
“I suppose so, relatively speaking. Especially considering the primitive nature of life on this planet. Few of you seem to understand the infinite vastness of reality and your insignificance within it. It’s enough to make one reconsider protecting lives that are wasted so frivolously.”
“You must be great at parties.”
“Of all activities, parties are one of the least practical.”
“You know, for some big deal space god, you’re not quick on sarcasm.”
“Sarcasm is a hindrance to communication and should be avoided.”
Dwayne stepped in. “He’s like this a lot. Traversing the galaxy kinda wrecks your perspective.”
“And the, uh, bathing suit area?”
“The Dorizan don’t have sexes. They’re kinda like if you stored the universe’s power into some mannequins. No organs, no names. They barely have individuality.”
Dorizan began spasming and making a strange breathy grunt.
“Are you okay?” Mia asked.
“I’m fine. My counterpart in sector 9561 is being tickled.”
The only one left was a monkey in a little robe.
“And I suppose this is the team mascot?”
The monkey screeched.
“Sun Wukong isn’t our mascot,” Dwayne said. “He is the most eminent member of our team. He is the ancient Chinese monkey king, who traveled west to retrieve Buddhist sutras with a famous monk.”
Sun Wukong screeched again.
“Yes, yes, I’m getting to that. He’s immensely strong and can go halfway around the world in a single somersault. He can clone himself with a single hair, command the elements, and protect people against demons.”
Sun Wukong made a sly, offhand hoot.
“He wouldn’t interfere with Azrella’s demon, naturally.”
“Naturally,” Mia replied. “So with a monkey god, a cosmic defender, a sorceress who can do anything, and the brains and brawn of Frankenstein, what do you need with an engineer? Can’t you just smash and zap just about any threat you come across?”
Son Wukong grunted.
“Don’t listen to them,” Dwayne said. “You fill a very important role. Besides being presumably able to make any necessary repairs to the Redress Jet, as the token mortal, you can remind us that human life is frail and needs protecting.”
“Oh, goodie. That’ll look great on my resume.”
“You can also get kidnapped by villains if we’re ever low on missions.”
“Is it too late to quit?”
“Fine. Well, I guess if I’m gonna work with a team of heroes, I should know any backstory. Do you guys have any personal baggage?
“I used to date him.”
“I used to date them.”
“I died four times. No, five!”
“I was evil for a few weeks.”
“Oh, right, I was evil once, too, but I was being controlled by a wicked psychic, so it doesn’t count.”
“I come from an alternate universe where we don’t have nachos. It doesn’t come up much, but when we had a team fun day at a baseball game, boy, did I make a scene! Ha ha.”
Sun Wukong screeched for about 20 seconds while gesturing at the others one at a time.
Dwayne looked down in shame. “Yes, that was a dark period.” He took a deep breath. “But we’ve moved on from that and I think we’re stronger for it.”
Sun Wukong chirped.
“Right. Except for Mike.”
“Who’s Mike?” Mia asked.
“A former teammate we lost.”
Frankenstein chimed in, “He was our last engineer.”
Mia looked in vain for a jetpack or a parachute or some other means of getting the hell out of the plane immediately. Not seeing anything, she resigned herself to her fate and asked the next logical, if regrettable, question.
“Well, Dwayne, what’s the mission?”
“I’ll be happy to tell you next episode. But now it’s time for the credits.”
[a crappy rap beat starts]
Vick Frankenstein, he was dope in the lab.
Died in the Arctic, but his body was nabbed.
Got a new body made of dead dudes’ parts,
Now he’s a Redresser and the doc of dark arts!
Dorizan and Azrella: a powerful pair!
One is from space and don’t have any hair.
The other’s got a demon that’ll do what she wants.
Together they kick butt on all of their jaunts.
Next up is Sun Wukong, the monkey king.
He can fight. He can clone. He can do anything!
Mia is the STEM queen, the top engineer.
She’s integral to the team, though she just got here!
They’re the Redressers and they’re saving the world,
From all kinds of baddies, whether urban or rural.
So come back every week if you like this crap.
This is The Redressers, and that’s a wrap!