Speedball #1 (V1)

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Nova #6 (V5)

The issue begins with Johnny Roarke as a passenger on a small two person plane, flying over Springdale. The pilot tries to make small talk, but Mr. Roarke wants nothing to do with it – his mind is centered on one thing and one thing alone – getting revenge on a Distract Attorney by the name of Justin Baldwin.

The scene briefly shows Justin Baldwin arguing with another lawyer, saying that there will be no plea bargain and that his client had been caught red handed.

The scene shifts again, to where we see Madeline Naylor speaking in front of an audience about protecting the art of the world from the cold clutches of censorship, which seeks to silence and destroy some forms of art. Madeline is the wife of Justin Baldwin.

The scene changes again where we see some kids playing football and they invite Robbie Baldwin to play, but he declines, fearful that it would trigger his powers. He thinks about how he wish he could talk to his parents, but they were too busy to hear him, as they planned his future; one for law, the other for art.

Roarke lands and meets with several goons who assure him they have all the fire power they will need to “take care of business.”

Elsewhere, Robbie is walking through a park, when three bums, who have just run out of anything to drink spot him – and target him for money. They feign that one of them is wounded and push him under a bridge. This triggers his powers and the bums, flee for their lives, unsure of what they saw.

The scene shifts again, and we see Roarke casing Baldwin’s home. Both Justin and Madeline arrive home at the same time. Justin asks his wife what she’s doing home early and she explains, due to a conflict of schedule, they had to cancel her drama class for the day but she picked up tickets for a play. They begin to argue about who is pushing what on Robbie as Roarke comes out with a gun and forces them to go with him.

At the park, Robbie sits on some rocks, pondering his life and what he was going to do, how he was going to learn to control his powers, when he suddenly sees his parents being held at gun point. He slips off the edge of the rocks, and hits his bottom, then falls forward and hits his neck, then his arm – all the while, his clothes begin to change their appearance, even as colorful bubbles form all around him. He lands between the gunmen and his parents. His “colorful bubbles” begin to draw a crowd; and while his Madeline seems grateful, Justin seems suspect. After the battle is done, Robbie bounces away, never being seen who he was. He reverts back and returns to his parents, only to find them now arguing about the “super hero” who had saved them. Madeline believed that he was in the right, while Justin claimed that they operated beyond the law, and that’s why they wear masks.

This issue ends here and leads into a back up story, detailing the origin of the “Masked Marvel.”

The origin opens up with three men donning on masks to prepare for a robbery of some kind. The scene shifts to Robbie working as an intern for Dr. Benson. Curious Robbie puts on some goggles and peeks around the corner of Dr. Benson’s experiment room where they have tapped into an unknown extra-dimensional energy source. It begins to go out of control, before striking Robbie. Robbie quickly runs off before he’s seen and goes into the bathroom – and discovers, it’s made his hair longer, and standing on end; his clothes have been replaced by a skin tight blue and orange costume; and where his goggles once were, was a strange mask!

Robbie escapes to the roof where the three robbers have climbed up to. One knocks Robbie off the roof – and rather than breaking his back and dying on impact from falling off a three or four story roof – Robbie bounces back up, feeling no pain! Robbie bounces off a few of them; before the three of them decide to make their escape when the police come. Their van turns over and bursts into flames, claiming the lives of all three would-be robbers.

Robbie discovers in the locker room, that impact is what triggers his powers; which also changes his clothes, his hair and gives him a mask!