Issue #1 (Jan 2017)Edit
This issue was written in 2015, and drawn in 2017, by Michael J. Longo.
14 year old Ezra Stern, who fantasizes about being a hero, is dressed in a cape and mask, and tries to fly by jumping out his 2nd story bedroom window. As he breaks through the glass, he exclaims "Look at me, I'm Mr. Fabulous!"
Later Ezra is in Quadropolis General Hospital, where Dr. Hu is telling his parents, Ronald and Estelle the extent of Ezra's injuries. He has a broken arm and bruised ribs, and needs to rest for a few days.
Back at home, his dad is yelling at Ezra, telling him he'll never be a hero, and he threatens to throw out all the posters and comic books that filled his head with those ideas. On the wall behind him stand posters of Stellario, Mr. Fabulous, McSpidey and Boner.
The next day, Grandpa Murphy visits Ezra, and the boy tells his grandfather how he wants to be a hero. Grandpa Murphy tells Ezra that when he was a boy there were no superheroes. And then, Superb Guy came along. He says that Superb Guy was a true American hero - but the funny thing is, he wasn't American, nor was he even of Earth. Superb Guy came from the planet Dumanis as a baby. His parents sent him into space and his home planet exploded.
On Earth, Superb Guy had amazing powers, and he used them for good. He defeated many villains over the years, like Robo-Ruskie, Killer Gorilla, and Stargun the Space Cowboy. Superb Guy became so popular, that others joined his ranks, and out of nowhere, there were dozens, or more, superheroes, during what was called the Superhero Emergence. Note: The picture showing the Superhero Emergence features cameos by Flying Rodent Man, Lady Lightning, Amazin' Tree, M.C. Frog, Armor Al, Screeching Eagle, Black Fury and Astonishing Arachnoid, among others.
Grandpa Murphy goes on to tell Ezra that he can't be a hero like them because he doesn't have powers. But he can be a hero in other ways, by helping his parents, or old ladies cross the street, etc. Grandpa leaves, and Ezra is upset, and uses his phone, going to gregslist, where he sees an ad: "Have you always wanted a superpower? Volunteer for lab work and become super! -G". Ezra decides that he will become super.
Note: This issue is collected in D.O.P.E. Short Story Collection Volume 2.
Issue #2 (Sep 2018)Edit
This issue was written and drawn in Jul-Sep 2018, by Michael J. Longo.
Ezra goes to an address, 92 Lieber St., in Quadropolis, that he got from his phone, presumably from a correspondence with the mysterious "G" who posted on gregslist. He enters the building, which leads to a laboratory, full of scientific equipment, and aquatic animals in tanks. The eccentric Dr. Geneius greets Ezra, whom he was expecting, and starts talking about the amazing regenerative abilities of various starfish species.
Geneius straps Ezra down in a chair, applies electric nodes, and puts on a hazmat suit. Ezra gets increasingly nervous as Geneius applies more and more constraints on him. Then, Dr. Geneius puts a gas mask on Ezra and tells him not to worry, that he'll be the "best thing since spliced bread". Ezra questions him (doesn't he mean "sliced bread"?), as he's zoning out, and then looks to his left as he hears a talking loaf of bread tell Ezra that he heard the doctor correctly. The spliced bread is called Olaf, based on the name on his water bowl.
Ezra passes out and is dreaming weird imagery. When he wakes up, Geneius tells him he's done great so far, but in order to test if it was successful, he's going to have to cut Ezra up. Geneius then takes a bone saw to Ezra, who screams, and blacks out.
When Ezra wakes this time, he is no longer constrained. He no longer has a cast. He feels good, strong. He stands up, and Geneius tells him is now super, with enhanced strength, speed, agility, and with the regenerative power of a starfish. Starfish Boy is born!