When Superheroes Let Themselves Go
August 24th, 2018
Back in the day, I used to play a game called City of Heroes. It was right up my proverbial alley, in that I'm a big nerd about super heroes, to some extent. This was the first massively-multiplayer online game devoted to this subject matter, and when it came out I had no choice but to pick it up. I even got a few friends of mine hooked on the thing, thus causing us to lose thousands of hours to the pastime.
The game was set up so you could build all kinds of different characters, and go for broke with them. Hundreds of different power combinations, millions of different costume combinations, and a rather leisurely learning curve meant that I tried out just about everything I could possibly think of over the course of my time in the City. But one of my characters received a lot more face time than the rest.
Dash Apostrophe is a biker who, while moping in the desert one night after his girlfriend dumped him, got hit by a falling space rock. Torn apart, his dismembered body lay buried under the earth for decades, until itinerant college students, using a metal detector, found a portion of said space rock wedged into his skull. Suddenly regenerating an entire body from that old bone, Dash returned!
Reborn in a world literally overflowing with super heroes and super villains, Dash did what any sensible person would, once he realized that space rock could heal any injury in mere moments: he got in on the action. Having that space rock forged into a sword by an old buddy, Dash began carving up scofflaws for fun and profit. And since his sword healed them afterwards, they couldn't sue for damages!
This is Dash Apostrophe, here, detailed thanks to a couple screenshots I took while the game was still live. Yeah, City of Heroes is no more, its Korean owners deactivating it because it wasn't making enough money. Which is odd, as all of their other games tank after about a year, and the City was raking in cash, year after year, hand over fist, due to the considerable fan base that remained. You know, like me.
I liked the game and my goofball slice-and-dice hero so much, in fact, that I dressed as him for Halloween, back in 2007. Why haven't you heard about this until now, you ask? Well, for one thing, the pictures are embarrassing, and another, I'd actually lost them until I started rebuilding the Banality into the Obnoxious Jerk. As I am continuously humiliating myself online anyway, I figured why not share 'em.
So there you have it. Some nostalgic images of the most infamous, showboating loudmouth in the City of Heroes, as well as some photos of a tubby clown emulating him. Minus the leather jacket, which Dash wore incessantly once the developers introduced one that didn't suck. Oh, and the ability to change costumes once you'd created your hero. Yeah, it was a perpetual work in progress, but I loved it.