In addition to fighting grime at night as a janitor and fighting crime during the day as Banana Man, Banana Man has a son: Kid Banana. Kid Banana gets “Dad Time” alternative weekends. This is one of them.
Banana Man straightens the slightly soiled white ball cap over Kid Banana’s long-ish straggly dirty blonde hair. He steps back a moment to take a good look. Normal-looking skinny 13 yr old boy. Blank white ball cap. Slightly soiled and just a bit too large white overalls. White T-shirt printed with one word: “TRASH”. Work gloves.
Banana Man turns and looks at his reflection in the windows of the storefront of the Stark Industries office. He’s dressed just the same, only bigger.
“Ok Kid, ready to get your superpowers?”
“Um, ok Dad. I guess, I mean.” Comes the uncertain reply.
“Good Kid. Just follow my lead. Nod your head a lot. Let me do the talking.”
“Ok, Dad.” Kid Banana scuffs the pavement with his worn Keds then looks up at the sign. “Are you sure this is OK dad? I mean, I don’t wanna go to jail or ‘nuthin’.”
“Hey, don’t you worry about it.” Banana Man gives the Kid one of those mock knuckles-across-the-chin punches. “What do the kids say these days? ‘You got this!’ Follow me. Onward towards Justice…” He pushes open the door. Inside standard-issue corporate beige carpet, white walls with minimal color added by abstract paintings and plastic plants. A few chairs. A wide reception desk occupied by a man with thick, round glasses underneath the big gold letters of a “STARK INDUSTRIES” sign.
“May I help you?”
BM steps forward confidently. “Yes. We are here about the trash.”
“Ah yes, that.” He presses a button and a set of double doors to his left swings open. “Just follow the green line in the floor. That will take you to the staff lunch room. Then follow the black line which will take you to the back door and the dumpsters.” He shakes his head. “Man, that was some retirement lunch for Leonard yesterday. You’re going to have your hands full.”
“We’re on it. We are professionals. We fight grime.” Banana Man confidently strides through the doorway, Kid Banana in tow. Once through the passageway and out of earshot of the man at the reception desk, BM turns and whispers to KB. “Ok, now keep your eyes peeled. Watch for a research lab, chemicals. Anything marked ‘Radioactive’.”
“Um, OK Dad.” KB trails along as his dad takes the lead peering around corners, examining signs on doors and peeking through windows.
The green line leads them further into the building. “Nothing yet. Looks so ordinary. Must be something here…” The place seems pretty empty of people. Saturday, no surprise perhaps. The green line abruptly ends at a set of double doors which our heroes push open. “Hm. Lunchroom.” Sure enough. Ever seen a generic employee lunchroom? They look just like this one, perhaps with fewer grease-soaked pizza boxes, half eaten cake mushed into paper napkins, empty sodie-pop cans. Cheap paper banners celebrating Leonard’s long years of service droop on the walls as if sad the whole thing’s over.
“What now, Dad?”
Banana Man scratches his chin. “Hrm. Trash is our cover story.” He waves over at some large trash cans in the corner. “Gimmie a hand loading these up.” The pair start stuffing the remains of the party into the big 50-gallon trash barrels, lined with your standard garbage can liners. “Hey cool, these things are on wheels. Handy!” They roll the cans out the doors and start following the black line in the floor. “We’ll stick to the black line. We call that our ‘cover story’.”
They walk along, Banana Man keeping a sharp eye out, occasionally trying a door only to find either bland beige office cubicles or a locked door. Frustration. Not too long later and the black line has lead them another double-set of doors that clearly leads outside. Banana Man bangs them open with his can. Sure enough, an almost empty parking lot and two dumpsters.
“If you need that, the bathroom’s inside, man.” A man is leaning against the building. Foot crooked back against the wall and holding a cigarette between his fingers. He’s wearing a white lab coat and sunglasses.
Banana Man huffs the first trash can into the dumpster. He turns to the guy in the lab coat. “Say, you guys work with radiation here?”
“Nah, not really.”
Banana Man mumbles to himself, “So much for the Spiderman angle.”
The man eyes the remaining stuffed garbage can. “Leonard, what a card. He invented Anti-Velveeta. What will we do without him?”
“Hm. Maybe you’ve got some kind of toxic waste?”
“Maybe, not my department. What would you want that for?”
BM motions to Kid Banana. “Kid here needs some super powers. I was hoping for maybe a bite from a radioactive rhino.”
The tall man chuckles and scratches his beard. “Heh. Well, I’ve got some rats that are totally high on cocaine.”
“No good. What else you got?”
Another scratch. “We’ve got some grumpy bunnies. We’re working on some new anti-flea medications.”
“Anything that shoots some kind of rays? Gamma rays worked for The Hulk.”
“Unless you count the photocopier, no.”
“You call yourselves a research lab, or what?”
“Oh sure. Want to sign up for a study on diet pills? Have be 18 or older though.” The man waves a hand dismissively.
“What is this world coming too? I expected more from Stark Industries. Maybe you’ve got some strong chemicals?”
With a snort, “Yeah, lots of bleach.”
“Feh.” Banana Man heaves the other trash can into the dumpster. He dusts his hands. “Dead end.” He grits his teeth and puts his hand on Kid Banana’s shoulder. “Ok kid, no superpowers today. Let’s go get some donuts.”