#29, April 1997
The Return of Bobo
Jake Benetti, a super-strong, super-villain has come to Opal having just been released from prison after serving a sentence for murder. Despite his life as a criminal, he never killed while on the job and his murder came from his loosing his temper when he found out about his wife’s infidelity. We first see Benetti, or Bobo as he was called sometimes, having a drink and talking with the bartender about his past. He used to fight Doctor Midnite, The Human Bomb and of course, Starman (Ted Knight). We find he’s a big fan of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Tony Bennett. He also still speaks in 1950’s slang. He tells the bartender he’s thinking about robbing a bank again and leaves to go on a walk of his old home town and see how much it has changed and perhaps how much HE has changed.
We cut to the Observatory where a teary-eyed Jack gives a letter to Ted. The Letter is from The Mist (Nash) explaining why she is delaying her return to Opal when she said she would fight Jack again in a year. We read that she has had a baby; the result of her raping Jack when she held him captive (Back during Sins of a Child, Starman #12. She says that she has named the boy Kyle Theo (after her brother and father, both named Kyle and Jack’s father). She notes the baby has blue eyes, that she will teach it to hate him and then make him into a new Mist when he is grown. She says she is traveling through Europe at the moment and that she will, despite the delay, return sometime to settle things with Jack.
Cut to Benetti in the park, feeding pigeons. He is approached by Clarence and Hope O’Dare, who introduce themselves. Benetti says he remembers their father, who helped Starman catch him once and had a drink with him another time. We also see Mason hiding behind a tree, following Benetti from a distance. Clarence asks Benetti if the rumors of his planning to rob a bank are true. Benetti says he isn’t sure and then winds up recounting how he fought against Negative Man (from the Doom Patrol) and the original Green Lantern (Alan Scott).
In another part of town, Jack gets a tarot reading from Charity. She mentions that she thinks Mason is the man she foresaw in her vision of a true love, but she has to let him be the one to make the first move. Little has changed since his last reading (Starman #17) except that now she sees Jack’s son in his near future. She notes that someday he will hold his hand, smile and they will go on a car ride together.
Back in the park, Benetti sees Mason following him and invites the youngest O’Dare to walk with him. He reasons that it would simplify Mason’s job of watching him, give him a tour guide and give them both someone to talk to (Ironic he should ask the usually quite Mason for conversation). From a distance, Matt, Hope, Barry and Clarence watch Mason from a distant rooftop. Jack, Mikkal and Ted watch from another with Ted noting that they are a family of sorts, like the O’Dares. Jack agrees, saying all they need is David and Will Payton. Ted corrects him, mentioning the Starman of 1951 (Starman II) and then another Starman who never came to Earth (Prince Gavyn, Starman IV).
Back on the street, Mason tells Benetti about the new Starman. He says that Benetti would like Jack, since they both live in the past and Jack has a special fondness for the 50’s. He also says that Jack, like his father (Mason’s) and Mason himself, is one of those who fights with his heart. The two enter the French Area of the city and Bobo notes with relief that it is as he remembers it. Watching from above, Jack is also relieved, as the French Area is inside “The Alleys”; the part of Opal he knows best. Conversely, Mikkal has a reaction of shock, as he has a flashback to the time before the Circus and says he has been where they are now before. (Mikall’s flashback image, it might be noted, shows him fighting Martian Manhunter and Felix Faust).
Back on the street, Benetti points out the shop where he got his first tattoo. Mason tells him about Jack’s tattoos and then the two discuss fine music (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Tony Bennett are good for a talk in a bar but Nat King Cole is the best music in the world to get a woman to melt). Eventually, they come to a place where there used to be an oyster bar. Benetti says it is where he met his wife and how he still loves her and misses her despite his killing her. He wanted to come by to say goodbye, but then he realizes that he’ll never really say goodbye to her. He then asks to leave the French Area, saying he could never stand the place aside from the tattoo shop, the oyster bar, the wine and coffee you could get there. He finally thanks Mason for walking with him and says that he’s seen enough of the city to make a decision. Feeling totally out of place in the new Opal, he says he’s going to rob a bank and go back to prison. Mason tried to talk him out of it, but Benetti knocks him out with a finger flick before he can raise too much of an objection.
Up on the roofs, The O’Dares and Jack spring into action. Clarence puts in a call on his walkie-talkie that “the super-villain is entering the bank”. He then gets a confused response from dispatch about “costumed villains” in the plural. As Benetti enters the bank and shortly before Jack flies in through a window, we see the source of the confusion: The Royal Flush Gang is already holding up the same bank. Momentarily confused, Benetti and Jack work together to fight against the gang.
Back in the bar where his day started, Bobo tells the rest of the story to the bartender as Jack tells the story to a friend (we don’t see her too clearly, but it is Sadie Falk (last seen in Starman #17). We find that Bobo was arrested for assaulting Mason, but he later dropped the charges when he found out what Bobo did. The bank then hired Bobo as Head of Security on the spot, Bobo speculating they either liked having a superhuman as a security guard or figured “Set a thief to catch a thief”.
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