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Authors: Brian Clevinger

Tags: #General Fiction

Nuklear Age

Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright Notice:

Acknowledgements

Preface to the 2012 Digital Edition

Issue 1 – Giant Sized Special Deluxe Gold Foil Embossed Holographic Variant Cover Collector’s Edition

Issue 2 – So Many New Characters!

Issue 3 – Dr. Menace Strikes Back. For the First Time. Again!

Issue 4 – Bringin’ Down the House

Issue 5 – The Restaurant at the Beginning of the Book

Issue 6 – Let Them Eat Cake

Issue 7 – Food Fight

Issue 8 – Serial Cereal Industrial Espionage...ial.

Issue 9 – College Daze (IT IS A CLEVER PLAY ON WORDS!)

Issue 10 – GIANT RADIOACTIVE SPIDER MUTANTS! And the Mall.

Issue 11 – The Lost Tribe of Arachnor

Issue 12 – They, Robots

Issue 13 – War and Spiders

Issue 14 – On the Road

Issue 15 – Today’s Lunch Special: Justice!

Issue 16 – Driving Mr. Nuklear (Crazy)

Issue 17 – Speed Limit Enforced by Radar

Issue 18 – Beach Birthday Blowout, Yeah!

Issue 19 – A Bad Case of Crabs

Issue 20 – A Worse Case of Crabs

Issue 21 – You Can Catch Crabs from the Ocean. Both Kinds.

Issue 22 – Planning for Failure

Issue 23 – Wherein Angus Has Too Much Crab Meat

Issue 24 – Hijackery!

Issue 25 – Teaching Assistants of DOOM

Issue 26 – Back to School

Issue 27 – A Cult Above the Rest

Issue 28 – Combative Religions

Issue 29 – The Ravages of War

Issue 30 – Adventure into Science!

Issue 31 – The Terrible Secret of Rachel

Issue 32 – Are You Experienced?

Issue 33 – Getting Choked Up

Issue 34 – Drinkin’ Buddies

Issue 35 – The Mechanical Revolution Begins! And Ends!

Issue 36 – Law and Disorder

Issue 37 – Due Process

Issue 38 – Blind Justice

Issue 39 – Like Father, Like Son

Issue 40 – The Reign of Superion

Issue 41 – He’s SuperiorTM in Every Way

Issue 42 – Usurper!

Issue 43 – The Gambit

Issue 44 – The Enemy of My Enemy

Issue 45 – The Gathering Storm

Issue 46 – Clash of the Titans

Issue 47 – Ain’t Got Time for Physics

Issue 48 – The End of an Age

Issue 49 – Not From Around Here

Issue 50 – Strange Visitors from Another Planet

Issue 51 – A Long Time Ago, on the Other Side of the Galaxy…

Issue 52 – We Have Reached an Accord

Issue 53 – Everyday Monsters

Issue 54 – Victory, Lunch, and Murder!

Issue 55 – Turning Point

Issue 56 – The Fall of Nuklear Man

Issue 57 – Everything Falls Apart

Issue 58 – Epilogue

Sort of an Epilogue or The End of the Sequel I Never Wrote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nuklear Age

by Brian Clevinger

Copyright Notice:

 

NUKLEAR AGE copyright © 2012. All rights reserved. Nuklear Age, the Nuklear Age logo, and all characters, likeness and situations featured herein are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Brian Clevinger. Except for review purposes, no portion of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the express written permission of Brian Clevinger. All names, characters, locations and events in this publication are fictional. Any resemblance to actual persons (living or dead), events, institutions, or locales, without satiric intent, is coincidental.

Acknowledgements

 

I’d like to thank all the brilliant pulp and comics writers of the previous century. You guys were just a bunch of charlatans and hucksters trying to make a few bucks, but somewhere along the line you screwed up and left us with a legacy of wonderful and absurd stories that will be forever lodged in our subconsciousness. We are richer for it. I’ll be lucky to fulfill just the charlatan/huckster part and get a hot meal out of this line of work.

Preface to the 2012 Digital Edition

 

So, me and this book, we got a history.

I started writing it in the summer of 1996 and finished it in December of 2000. It was "my life's work" at the ripe old age of twenty-two.

Of course, sitting here today at the ripe older age of thirty-four, it's obviously the clumsy work of an amateur. I feel a pang of embarrassment every time someone hands me a copy to sign. But, y'know, that's okay. This is what I was writing back when I was too young and inexperienced to know I couldn't write. It was the age of dial-up modems and Grunge music being more-or-less "in." It was an embarrassing time for all of us!

And the fact that
to this day
I'm still asked to sign well-worn copies of this thing at conventions speaks to something about the book. Yeah, it's flawed. The prose is purple and the craft is clunky. Also it’s a million pages long. But people found a way to connect to it and to love it anyway.

So, what the hell. I'll be a little embarrassed and a little proud.

 

Addendum to the Preface Because I'm Dumb

 

Oh, hey! I almost forgot.

Okay, so, folks have been asking/begging me to write the sequel, Atomik Age, for years. And, guys, I tried. I did. There's fragments of four or five attempts at Atomik Age on my hard drive right now. I got as far as one-third of the way through once. All I can say is the magic wasn't there, and I'm doing you a favor by not subjecting you to it anyway just to turn a quick buck.

But!

I can give you guys a taste of it. This edition of Nuklear Age contains the
never before published
final chapter of Atomik Age. Yes, it's true. Since I tend to figure out the endings of stories before starting them, I wrote the final chapter before I wrote the stuff that would lead to it.

While I can't give you the sequel, but I can give you its ending.

It's a little trippy!

Issue 1 – Giant Sized Special Deluxe Gold Foil Embossed Holographic Variant Cover Collector’s Edition

 

High caliber machine-gun fire tore across the city. Debris and shards of glass spilled over the streets as an explosion rocked the earth and gave way to a cacophony of screams that mixed into a tumultuous cocktail of civic chaos.

“It must be Tuesday,” Nuklear Man said to himself as he soared over the downtown spires of Metroville. He made a wide golden loop around the roof of an office building that had all the harsh angles and weird geometry of a modern skyscraper. Another volley of heavy arms fire barked up at him from the streets. Scores of bullets zipped by like furious bees. Nuklear Man’s highly advanced mind buzzed with intelligence. It was a simple matter of calculating a series of trigonometric equations to pinpoint the gunfire’s exact origin in the streets beneath him and rocket into justice.

SMASH!

Nuklear Man stumbled out of the demolished rubble of what had been a very large bank lobby. He groggily shook the dust out of his hair. “Wish I knew trigonometry.” He coughed up a puff of plaster.

The street was full of abandoned traffic and the sidewalks were devoid of humanity. The citizens of Metroville were used to things like this and they knew how and when to clear an area. The Eyewitness Action on the Spot Breaking News Force team was already setting up along nearby storefronts and behind the larger parked and overturned cars. Since they were news anchors, the area was
still
devoid of humanity.

Nuklear Man examined the filthy state of his outfit. Its sun-themed yellows and oranges were a soup of masonry gray. The trademark Nuklear Style N with little electron orbits displayed on his chest was completely obscured and he certainly wasn’t going to have any of that. The state of his cape wouldn’t bear mentioning at all. He closed his eyes and concentrated. A glow emanated from his body as his ever-present Plazma Aura intensified. It grew, slowly at first, then burst like a hundred simultaneous camera flashes. He was clean once more.

Nuklear Man could see the news crew making a fuss on the other side of the street. There was a lot of pointing and other excited gesticulations in his general direction.

“Geez, you’d think they never saw a
fantastically
handsome Hero before.”

The
actual
object of their attentions then turned the corner.

Mechanikill.

A two ton walking gun platform, it was some sort of robot, presumably of the Military Prototype Gone Horribly Awry variety. It was built with one very simple design philosophy: bullets kill people. Each of Mechanikill’s arms were five Gatling guns. They were already spinning up as Nuklear Man’s light speed reflexes kicked in.

“Hey, Mechanikill!” he would have said, if not for the hail of bullets that blasted him out the side of the ruined bank and into the street. His superhero outfit was a dusty shambles all over again.

Nuklear Man was flat on his back in the middle of the street. Half a dozen vehicles had been pushed aside or knocked over on his way there. “Well, that wasn’t fair,” he said while raising himself up on his elbows.

“Fair?!” Mechanikill’s speakers spat with digital surround sound ire. “Don’t talk to me about being fair!” It waddled over to Nuklear Man smashing chunks of debris with every robotic step.

“For the love of Liberty’s cape,” Nuklear Man muttered as he stood. “You don’t talk to
me
about fair!”

Nuklear Man’s verbal riposte scrambled Mechanikill’s logic circuits for an instant. This happened at least once every time they clashed and it would have been the perfect time for Nuklear Man to follow up with a devastating barrage of attacks to subdue the Metallic Menace by way of complete destruction.

But no.

He saw the news crew scrambling into position to get good shots of this new battlefield. He reflexively Plazma Burst his costume clean. It wasn’t that he was vain, he just couldn’t live in a universe where he wasn’t beautiful. He turned back to Mechanikill.

“I don’t spend several hundred dollars a month on dry cleaning so that my spiffy outfit can take this kind of abuse from the likes of you!” Nuklear Man said as Mechanikill’s digital senses returned.

"You just cleaned yourself!" the robot spat.

Nuklear Man stomped over to the robot and shoved an accusatory finger in the vicinity of its optical sensors. He often found the best way to deal with things like accusations and the truth was to ignore them entirely and forge ahead undaunted. "And I most certainly don’t take a good
five
minutes from my busy schedule of eating, sleeping, eating again, and watching cartoons to patrol the city for acts of villainy—so I can perpetuate the illusion that I’m actually doing my job while being given license to dispense justice by completely disposing
of
justice—only to have
you
pop up and delay my return to the sweet, sweet couch where I can continue my eating, sleeping, cartoon cycle!” He gave Mechanikill a shove that knocked him back a few heavy steps. “So don’t
you
talk to me about fair!”

“You said that already.”

“Don’t you said that to
me
already!”

There was an audible pop as Mechanikill’s logic circuits, already strained beyond their Reasonable Limit, finally blew. The robot shuddered as the final nuances of sanity coursed out of its intelligence matrix. It made a sickly whine like a smoke detector in a blackout. It teetered, hovering between vertical and horizontal alignment for an eternal moment, and collapsed backwards in slow motion.

Nuklear Man took a deliberate step away from the fallen beast. “It was self-defense!” His eyes darted back and forth. “Yes. And since he’s not in any condition to testify otherwise, I’ll get away with it! Again!” He turned to walk away as casually as a man running away in blind terror can. He took three panicked strides from the slain husk and froze. A bolt of terror ripped up his spine and strangled his brain stem. The Eyewitness Action on the Spot Breaking News Force team had captured the whole dirty murder on tape.“Way to go Nuklear Man!” the sound man cheered.

“Yeah! We got it all on tape!” the cameraman pumped his fist enthusiastically.

“This’ll get me the top story for sure!” the anchorman said to his cell phone.

“Curses!” Nuklear Man cursed under his breath. He shrugged. “Well, I suppose it was going to come to this eventually.” Fusion-like energy rippled from his clenched fists. “I must eliminate
all
witnesses: actual, potential,
and
imaginary! The Purging will be swift and without remorse.”

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