Mom’s messed-up universe started with one bad star: a nine-month marriage to the man who was my father. He brought her to the States, a living knickknack from his military days. Their union, brief as it was, spawned me and all my biological peculiarities. “You’re like Aquaman,” Luc said when I told him the story — “cool.” But Aquaman’s mother was a mermaid, his father a human being. Nothing is human within the man who was my father. He disappeared from her life just hours before I was born. What I imagine, what I’ve even dreamed, is that he is a sinister breed of assassin, with white hair, white skin, and white eyes, invading alien streets, sent to find and fuck my mother and then finish her off. When she is drunk, she talks about my origin, sticking the sick story in my head, panel after panel after panel.
I’m a lapsed comic book fan, so this story about high school geeks burying themselves in Green Lantern hit home. Of course, I never took things as far as these kids do. As a starting point I’ll call this story Unbreakable meets Elephant. Actually, I’ll leave it like that. Everything I try to write about “Superassassin” ends up giving away too much. Read this story here at the Atlantic, where it was originally published in 2000.