"You know," Rick Jones said, "we probably should have expected this."
The bartender, a broad shouldered man with a horseshoe mustache, looked up quizzically from cleaning a glass. "What?"
"OK, maybe not the Pokemon thing. That's pretty weird, even by our standards. But we've spent so much time trying to tear these guys down. We slam 'em in the press, try to get them registered, and build giant flying robots to hunt them down and kill
them. We keep trying to put them in cages. Keep trying to control something that we don't fully understand. Then this guy comes along, and...boom."
"I don't think anyone was thinking of turning them into Pokemon," said the bartender. "Or sexing them up, for that matter." He paused a moment in thought. "Well, some of us anyway."
"It's not a perfect metaphor," said Rick. He laid a twenty next to his empty bar glass. "Keep the change." He left the bar, ringing the door's hanging bell as he went.
It had been two days since the Pokemon Nerd had issued his challenge. The rest of the world was struggling to react to the lust-crazed superhumans traipsing around the globe. Rick had yet to come across any of them, and while he was reluctant to go along
with the madman's game, he was ready for the challenge.
The desert of New Mexico stretched out before Rick. He got in his car and started it, quietly enjoying the sound and vibration of the car's revving engine. He pulled out onto the open road and started down to an old, familiar location.
He had every intention of saving all of his friends and heroes. And the villains too, even if they had tried to kill him more times than he could count. But there was one he absolutely had to help first.
One man - or woman now, it didn't really matter - to whom he owed everything.
He just hoped that the Hulk hadn't smashed anything important.