Pauly looked into the window and sighed. The spandex costume was unforgiving where his body had sagged and swelled. At least the cowl covered the bald spot. Heroes didn’t have the benefits of immortality.

He set the flowers down on the bedside table, wincing when the plastic wrapping crinkled. Frank always had keen hearing, but the old man on the bed didn’t move. The only other noise in the room was the constant hissing of the oxygen machine. Pauly visited the night before, but Frank hadn’t recognized him. He called him Patrick. Patrick, alias Thunder Stroke, had been killed in a shootout twenty years ago, around the time the last big villain went down.

Pauly stopped at the door. Doctor Awful was back from Kronoz and had the city in the sights of his freeze gun. Frank wouldn’t be there with his trusty uppercut.

Not this time.

“You didn’t think I recognized you,” a voice whispered from the bed. “You’re Awesome Boy.”

Pauly fought to control the quiver in his voice. “No, Frank. This time, I’m Awesome Man.”

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