In his (then) most recent adventure, Dan Cassidy was still a real boy in a robot suit, until the very end. While being trapped into a fancy suit made to look like a movie monster might because for endless pathos (or villainy, if you are, say, Aleksei Mikhailovich Sytsevich¹), Dan’s not exactly happy with his lot, but he isn’t bemoaning the old–er, Cassidy–luck and sulking.²
Let’s not beat around the bush–Dan’slooking for a way out of the suit, and dealing with some poor luck (that only gets worse), but he does find some enjoyment in his now internalized powers, and even uses them to make normal life easier here and there:
But he’s not really given a chance to whinge or exult in his invention’s newly organic nature, as a trip outside in Metropolis results in unwanted and unsolicited attention from passersby and the media, which he simply tears away from. Absent-mindedly, almost, he stops a mugging in process (and is mistaken by some out-of-towners for Superman, in a pretty good gag).
Dan’s casual heroics are left be as he returns to the Brownstone he invested in (and has yet to rent out) to find his phone ringing, giving him a chance to use his powers for the most mundane of reasons (which is a great touch):
(Though he follows this up by accidentally ripping his door off its hinges, so, I guess it’s a wash)
Turns out, all that attention from the media got him in hot water with the shadowy film producer (no, not Marla, she’s not shadowy! Also, she’s the director/producer, not the Money Person, whose name is Jock Verner) of the not-yet-released Blue Devil movie he made the suit for in the first place.
In the meantime, Shockwave (a brand new villain!) is in the midst of robbing S.T.A.R. Labs, and trouncing the questionable security of an ostensibly tech-wonder location to acquire what he’s after, and causing wanton destruction as he does so, making his way to a pick-up spot.
What relevance has this to our hero? Not much. He’s not a hero, after all. He’s a poor schmuck who got stuck. But Shockwave’s casual negligence in his destructive rampage destroys the Brownstone Dan has recently purchased and failed to rent out as yet (ouch!), thus earning Shockwave his ire. Dan’s not outclassed, but he is a bit out of his depth in dealing with Thunder Thumps, as the two try to find their way around each other, gaining momentarily only to lose shortly thereafter, even when trying a few clever tricks.
Dr. Jenet Klyburn from S.T.A.R. appears, though, and informs Dan that the stolen object is an advanced “super Kryptonite”, so it’s imperative that he regain it (partly, she notes to herself, so that Supes doesn’t find out…), which causes him to go ahead and redouble his efforts (and letting Paris Cullins do another super-great Devil-in-Motion panel!³)
The Devil doesn’t successfully wrangle Shockwave, but he does prevent the loss of the super Kryptonite, and rides off with Klyburn in…okay, maybe S.T.A.R. has had some budget woes. A Chevy Astro? That’s what they sent the Doc in to regain an item of the utmost importance? Yikes.
But, of course, we can’t leave out this great bit when Marla has gritted her teeth and sent the lawyers with a C&D after Dan to stop appearing in public. Showing one of the better acknowledgments of proportion and perspective from Paris Cullins, with dialogue to match (a lot of the book shows that Dan is now pretty ridiculously tall compared to normal people, and Cohn and Mishkin even acknowledge this in the dialogue):
As intended, the book is a fun book, despite coming out a time where it contains ads for Alan Moore’s Saga of the Swamp Thing (which was rarely fun, despite its excellence), just as the authors and editor intended.
¹With apologies, for those who demand it, for a Marvel reference in a D.C.-based project.
²Ha! I stopped myself before doing it again, though!
³By now, I guess my appreciation of those things is readily apparent.