(This is a long post, so I'm breaking it up into two parts)
I finally ran into Wombat last night. Literally.
It’s about midnight, and I’m doing my usual patrol circuit through Old Town, enjoying the crisp fall air and the fact that I can leap an entire city block. I decide to swing by the InterBionics construction site, just in case there’s another ninja skulking around. You never know. I’m beginning to think I have a better chance of seeing Bigfoot than I do of seeing that ninja again.
Anyway, I’m running along the roof of the Masonic Temple building when from out of nowhere, fucking Wombat attacks me.
With a scream he launches himself off the peaked roof of the Temple, 250 pounds of fluffy aggression. I spin in time to catch a glimpse of Wombat’s maniacal grin before he slams into me and carries me off the edge into the night.
We’re free falling and he’s laughing. A warehouse rooftop rushes us to meet us.
We land hard on the roof. That was a fifty foot drop. I feel the air leave my lungs.
Wombat pops up, all smiles, and cocks a big gloved fist for a punch. Enough of this: I kick him in the head and he rolls off me.
Unsteadily I rise to my feet. My ribs hurt. “What the fuck’s the matter with you?”
Wombat shakes off the kick, and with a berserker yell he launches himself at me.
“Hey, time out!” I say. Too late. He tackles me and we both tumble off the warehouse. Another fifty foot drop.
Wombat is pretty boisterous to begin with, so this behavior isn’t out of context, but you never know, he could be possessed or mind controlled or some shit. It happens all the time.
This time we land on a car, somebody’s red VW Cabriolet. CRASH! Our combined weight and velocity just fucking pancake the roof of the car, blowing the windows out. The car alarm starts wailing.
“Oh shit!” he says, laughing. We’ve destroyed the car.
“Get the fuck off of me!”
Wombat untangles himself from the wreckage, laughing. He tries to help me up but I slap his hand away.
“What’s wrong with you?” I shout over the car alarm.
“Sorry,” he says sheepishly. “I was just roughhousing.”
We both look at the mortally wounded Cabriolet, which is whooping in agony. It is just fucking ruined. It suddenly strikes me as funny, and I have to laugh.
“Dude, let’s get the hell out of here,” he yells, laughing. We split.
Later, on a quiet rooftop, we pause. The car alarm is now a distant plaintive sound of a dying animal, echoing through the urban jungle.
Wombat is still giggling about the car. “That was funny,” he says. “Who put that car there?”
Wombat is a hyper little guy, always bouncing from one foot to another and smacking his fists together, sort of like Burt Ward’s Robin from the old Batman TV series. I remember watching that as a kid and thinking, “Man, don’t they have any pills they could give Robin to calm him down?” Wombat has that same eager, aggressive, A.D.D. vibe.
Why he created the brand Wombat is a mystery to me. Why Wombat?
As alt.animals.wombat tells us:
1. What is a wombat?
The wombat is a cute-looking furry creature which is native to Australia.
To be more specific, wombats are a family of species of the marsupial
order, and there are actually three species within the wombat family. The wombat digs burrows, is mainly nocturnal, and mainly eats grasses.
Wombats do not appear clever or agile (for instance they prefer to barge through any obstacle rather than figure out a way round it) and this has made them an object of derision in Australia where "you wombat" is an accusation of clumsiness or stupidity. In fact, however, although they are extremely stubborn, wombats have proportionally the largest brain of all the marsupials and in captivity are easily house-trained and recognize their pet name when it is spoken.
Wombat does not conform to the Western superhero archetype.
He is a squat little American dude, a good two inches shorter and twenty pounds heavier than me. He wears a suit of body armor covered in a fine brown fur (fake rabbit fur treated with fireproof material) and a helmet/cowl that tapers into a snubby little nose. His stupid grin is the only part of his face visible. Wombat has big furry mittens that hide spring-loaded spades that pop out of his wrist – sort of like Wolverine, but with shovel blades instead of adamantium claws. Instead of a utility belt Wombat has a utility pouch, a marsupial pocket full of gadgets and weaponry. My Guy makes Wombat’s armor and weaponry. As a matter of fact, Wombat introduced me to My Guy when I was first starting out in the hero game.
Wombat’s powers are similar to mine: mid-range super strength, tough skin, dense bones, super-leaping, etc. Wombat has “seismic sense,” a radar based on ground vibrations. He can dig like a motherfucker with those spades of his, too.
Wombat’s okay in my book.
We fought side-by-side during the Villain’s Revolt and he helped me track down Trog last fall. He seems to genuinely enjoy the superhero gig, and he’s not a classist dickhead like some of the superhero elite you run into. He’s a little crazy, but that’s part of his charm.
“What are you doing in town, Wombat?”