Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Walking with Superman: Day 42

At one time, it would have been common to see over a hundred steamboats in the Mississippi River near St. Louis, Missouri. Today, though, there's just one: the Hell's Fury, a ship that left port in the River Styx and won't stop 'til it reaches revenge! St. Louis's twin superheroes Rush and Silence quickly fill the visiting Man of Steel in on the strange tale of the undead steamer: Mary Freeman wanted nothing more than to pilot a steam ship up and down the Mississippi, but that wasn't much of a possibility for a black woman in the 1830s. So she masqueraded as a man, taking the name "Martin" instead, and obtained her license and a ship to captain. She served for years, until her identity was discovered by a jealous would-be lover while the ship was moored between slave states. A small, hateful mob attacked her for her hubris, sabotaged the boiler, and set fire to her ship; the resulting explosion killed Mary and her crew, and the wreckage burned on the water for days. Ever since, Mary has sailed the river in a steamboat as black as night, standing at the helm in the finest gowns the afterlife ever saw. Folks along the Mississippi whisper her tale, the story of "Proud Mary," who never again will hide herself beneath a man's fa├žade. She sails the river, taking her revenge on the descendants of those who wronged her, and adding anyone who sets foot on the steamship to her ghastly crew.

Now it's up to Superman and his allies to halt Mary's vengeance, before she and her undead army burn St. Louis to the ground!

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