|Teen Terrors Pinup by Erik Burnham
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The Tri-Metro area has been protected by some two dozen superteams in the last century, from the World War II-era Champions of Liberty (forerunners of the modern team) to such current superteams as The Primos, the Workshop Wonders and the American Dream.
It was in this environment that a collection of frightened young monsters saw an opportunity. Alone, they stood a good chance of being chased by torch-wielding mobs, yet social acceptance could be as simple as donning colorful costumes with a flashy logo and publicly bringing the pain to a few bad guys. The monsters joined together to become the Teen Terrors. Dressing in spandex, appearing in public service announcements and distributing merchandise with their insignia keeps the public thinking of them as pop stars instead of horrid freaks.
The Teen Terrors operate from a haunted youth center on the outskirts of New Athens. Roller-skating spirits still linger on the grounds, frequenting the spot where they died in a devastating all-skate in 1985. The youth center is equipped with a pizzeria and gameroom. The un-rentable apartments above it have been converted into living quarters.
The Teen Terrors have branches in Chicago and Texas, and in an emergency all three teams will join to tackle a great menace.
Zackula – It was Zack Michaels who conceived of the Teen Terrors, and he remains the team’s leader. However, most of the world thinks of him as a minor member since he never appears in group photos or on TV. Zack is fully committed to their superhero image and almost always dons a superhero outfit when leaving their headquarters in order to keep up appearances; many of the other members have reverted to wearing casual clothes with the team’s uniform jackets. Zackula has more to lose than the others do if the public turned against them, as he is still a predator of the human species. He sates his thirst by purchasing expiring blood from Metro Med and other blood banks. Zack refuses to let his aversion to sunlight destroy his sunny disposition. As a result of this upbeat attitude, Zackula is the kindest, friendliest vampire in the world. He hates dark, depressed goth teens, who nevertheless send him dreary fan mail full of suicidal poems. Whenever his existence as a blasphemous carnivore of the underworld starts to get to him, he remembers his motto: “B Positive.”
Francine –The monster created by Victor Frankenstein, seeking companionship, has spent the better part of two centuries forcing members of the Frankensteins to continue their ancestor’s research. Francine was the first of his “children”, though she screamed and ran away from her parents upon sight of them. (She gets that from her mother.) With her piercings, tattoos, makeup and hair, Francine may look like an amalgamation of bad girl stereotypes. That’s because she was sewn together from stereotypical bad girls. She is wont to point out that parts of her are 18, making her arguably the team’s oldest member. Francine’s tremendous strength and invulnerability are an asset to the team, although her bitter, rebellious attitude is not.
Gillda – Gilda Eastwood’s father was a humanoid fish-monster that had been captured by a team of scientists and contained in a Florida Aquarium. Upon breaking free, it went on a rampage and carried off team member Lori Browning. When she was rescued, Lori was found to be carrying the monster’s child and her fiancé deserted her. Determined to bring her child to term, she was assisted by researcher Tom Eastwood; while caring for the newborn’s unique needs, the two fell in love and married. Gilda was raised in a loving household and is remarkably well adjusted for a girl with big eyes, scaly skin, gills and webbed toes. However, with the onset of puberty, Gillda seems to be growing increasingly boy-crazy.
Hairball – Louis Garrew was well on his way to a scholarship when a werewolf attack on the streets of New Orleans stole his future. Louis covered his body with mayonnaise from a nearby food stand, thus rendering himself unpalatable to the Cajun werewolf. Louis was left alive but cursed. His first transformation occurred onstage at the national spelling bee finals. (Oddly enough, his word was “lycanthropic.”) Estranged from his disappointed and frightened parents, the outcast Louis was approached by the contrite werewolf, André Deville. In his werewolf form, André had attacked Louis, and he regretted the shambles it had made of the boy’s life. Seeking to put things right, he passed on a gypsy charm which allows Louis to control his transformations and retain his human intelligence. André serves as the team’s cook, valet and chaperone.
Vanessa Price – Although at 13 she is the youngest of the Teen Terrors, Vanessa Price already holds 14 Masters degrees, two genius grants, one Nobel Prize in Science and one C. Forrester Prize in Mad Science (the latter two are for different applications of the same invention). The latest in eight generations of “mad scientists,” Vanessa is as intelligent as she is cunning and amoral. The Teen Terrors keep her around in the belief that it is better to have her on their side than working for the opposition, and they hope that some of their values may rub off on her.
Igordon - The last and least of his hunchbacked line, Burt Gordon Ygorovich serves as the lab assistant to Vanessa Price.
Ken, the Monster Child - Ken was the first person on site of a monster attack and is thus elevated to a highly revered station in Japan: “Monster Child.” He has been given the traditional signal device by the Japanese emperor; it allows him to summon any and all monsters from Japan’s Giant Monster Detention Island and instantly bring them to his location where they will do his bidding. Ken does not speak English, but Vanessa Price built a device which translates for him, albeit badly and in a Bronx accent. Though not a monster himself, Ken has been sent to the U.S.A., supposedly as a “foreign emissary.” Japan’s real purpose is to get rid of him because he makes horrible judgment calls.
Bort – In 1958, during what was coined The Week The World Went Wobbly, the guardian robot Bort landed in a flying saucer as part of a representative peacekeeping force from another galaxy. Accidentally left behind, Bort ran from the authorities and “borrowed” a motorcycle. After a decade of exploring America, Bort was run off the road by hooting yokels and fell into a ravine. Deactivated by a landslide, he was not discovered until two years ago. Now a stranger to both the planet and modern America, Bort doesn’t even fit in with the other teens.
Tombie – When Tom Zastrow, a friend from the Teen Terrors’ neighborhood, was killed by a hit and run driver, the Terrors used the last wish on André’s monkey paw to bring him back “intact” but they forgot to say “alive.” A mindless, unstoppable zombie, “Tombie” is unkillable. He can be wounded, but all of his wounds instantly heal. The Terrors are seeking a way to restore him to life or grant him peace.
Booger – The son of the Boogeyman, Booger can never leave the shadows. He tags along with the team by appearing under furniture, in dark alleys, in closets, in basements and behind you right now.