This podcast is reflects the views of our freelance collaborator, Peggy Sue Jones, and her views only. Monitor the City Post blog for further updates.
At first, New Yorkers struggled to believe there was truth to the story published by the City Post. It sounded like the stuff comic books are written about. A superhero against a supervillain, the usual story. A week later, however, a television crew capture proof of their existence, live. They waged a fiery battle in Central Park, destroying a great portion of the Bethesda Terrace in the process. All of this had allegedly happened over a prank played on an old lady walking her dog.
The Post article explained how Barry and Jerry Gould had grown up as siblings in North Dakota, before moving to upstate New York to work as technicians on a new power plant. As kids, Jerry resented Barry for his copious amount of volunteering and community involvement, as so he resorted to pulling pranks on him, posting them on his YouTube channel. The video where Barry was convinced his brother had actually inked a tattoo on his ankle during his sleep even went viral.
As a result, the brothers could barely stand each other, but they were the most talented in their field, and of course neither could turn down working at the largest power plant in the country. Things got more complicated when they were exposed to radiation.
The gamma rays magnified their respective characteristics. Barry became Helpman, a superhero set on helping those around him. He used his power of flight and superspeed to carry New York City’s homeless population to shelters at night, dashing through the sky with his golden cape and silver tights like a star shooting across the moon. As for Jerry, he became Prankster, a purple-tuxedo supervillain who played pranks for the heck of it. He notoriously his teleportation skills to coat the Brooklyn Bridge in silly strings.
Siblings or not, the two super-powered men were now archenemies, and a violent confrontation was looming. Rumor had it Prankster’s powers were amplified on April 1st due to the cosmic alignment happening every year on that date. All over town, papers wrote about the impending doom. What would Prankster do? Cover the Empire State Building in toilet paper? Throw stink bombs on Wall Street bankers? Dress the Statue of Liberty in a grandmother’s evening gown? Anything was possible.
On March 31st, Helpman was seen flying tourists across Times Square during a really bad traffic jam. Thankfully, my fellow reporter, Sarah May Lee, was there on the scene to capture some comments.
SML: Helpman, a few questions here please! City Post has questions!
HELPMAN: Ask away.
SML: The Mayor has spoken today about a possible massive prank from Prankster tomorrow. Are you at all concerned?
HELPMAN: Of course I am. The reckless actions of my brother have to stop. He is dangerous and must be held accountable.
SML: Some say he is actually as helpful as you are. Many even found the silly string incident funny, and claim such displays of unabashed comedy are actually beneficial for the well-being of New Yorkers. Your thoughts?
HELPMAN: If some people believe this, then they are hopelessly lost, I’m afraid.
Helpman flew away after this encounter. I must admit, I was one of those who agreed Prankster’s actions were not dangerous, and this caused frequent arguments with my family members. Regardless, the events of April 1st settled it for many of us.
At 10:50AM, Helpman was seen contributing to a mural painted by street artists. Sarah May Lee was live on the scene and reported her latest information to Helpman.
SML: Helpman, my sources claim Prankster is currently at the Uptown Children’s Hospital wreaking havoc. You must go, quick!
HELPMAN: Not the children!
Helpman instantly flew away. Some say it took him as much as five minutes to get to the hospital. The fear of what might happen to these poor children in his absence must have weighed down heavily on him, as my sources confirm he had to pause numerous time at the top of skyscrapers on his way. Perhaps the cosmic alignment was having the opposite effect on him, diminishing his powers.
Most of what transpired at the hospital came to us from a particularly gossipy nurse who spoke to us on the condition of anonymity. Let’s call her Kate. Her identity is being protected out of fear for her job.
Kate mentions Helpman rushed inside, out of breath, screaming “I must save the children!” She told him Prankster actively searched for targets on the fourth floor, on the palliative care ward. He went up the staircase as fast as he could with his diminished powers and went through every room, calling for Prankster every time.
The alleged supervillain was in the last room, at the end of the corridor. Helpman did not find what he was expecting, however.
The room was that of Elliot Langfield. Elliot’s mother spoke to us. She said Prankster gleefully came to visit her son, who is currently battling leukemia. The alleged supervillain played pranks on the doctors, sticking fishes behind their backs. It might Elliot laugh. As a matter of fact, she says she hadn’t seen him laughing this way since the diagnosis.
Elliot’s mother also mentions Helpman froze on the spot when he saw Prankster and Elliot laughing together. The kid looked happy. The pranks were harmless. But a superhero needs his nemesis, and the caped saviour could not accept the reality of his archenemy’s ways.
He then disappeared. There hasn’t been a sighting of Helpman since April 1st. Some say he might never comeback, but my sources say Oprah is preparing a heartfelt reunion interview between the two brothers. That’s something I’m eager to see.
Until then, be sure to follow next week’s podcast for more updates. This has been Peggy Sue Jones. Please note that my views are independent from the City Post’s. Let’s be real, we all know the Post is on Helpman’s side.