Bad guys tremble at the sound of his name!
Crime is at an all-time low in Los Angelesbut not for long. The McNasty Brothers have escaped from prison, and they want REVENGE. The superheroes need all their noggin power, and a little help from a pretzel-loving rat, to capture the baddest-smelling villains around.
About the Author
GREG TRINE is the author of the Melvin Beederman, Superhero books. He is also the author of the young adult book, The Second Base Club. He lives with his family in his Southern California hideout.
RHODE MONTIJO is Superhero Greg's sidekick. He enjoys creating art from his topsecret headquarters in California.
Read an Excerpt
Chapter 1: The Intruder
Superhero Melvin Beederman lived in a tree house overlooking Los Angeles, California. When he wasn't catching bad guys or rescuing good guys, he was home in his tree watching cartoons.
And eating pretzels.
And drinking root beer.
And doing math problems during commercials.
This is what superheros do when they're not working. The only thing that changes is the snack...and the math. Why was Melvin taking it so easy? Because the McNasty Brothers, those notorious bank robbers and all-around bad guys, were back in prison where they belonged. There were other bad guys who needed catching, of course. But they were not nearly as nasty as the McNasty Brothers.
They didn't smell as bad either.
So Melvin was taking a break, watching his favorite cartoon—The Adventures of Thunderman. Like most superheros, Thunderman had an assistant. Her name was Thunder Thighs. Melvin Beederman also had an assistant: Candace Brinkwater. The only person ever to run the 100-yard dash in three and a half seconds. The only person ever to score 500 points in a basketball game. The only third grader who could fly.
This flying stuff came in pretty handy for a superhero.
When the Adventures of Thunderman was over, Melvin began typing an email to his assistant.
Meet me at the library after school.
We'll do a little math, then catch bad guys.
Your partner in uncrime,
This was their agreement. Melvin helped Candace with math, and she helped him save the world. Candace's parents loved having a daughter who saved the world on a regular basis—just as long as shewas home for dinner.
Melvin pressed send on his computer, then suddenly he heard something.
Melvin jumped to his feet. He wasn't alone. "Who's there?"
The squeaking was coming from behind the TV.
Melvin got ready to fight. "Whoever you are, come out with your hands up."
Wait a minute. That was policeman talk. And Melvin was a superhero, not a policeman. The squeaking intruder must have caught him off-guard. He couldn't think.
"Come out and show yourself." That's more like it, Melvin thought. Superhero lingo. He grabbed the TV and pushed it aside. Even though he stopped trains and outran bullets for a living, his heart was pounding.
Melvin stared with his mouth open.
The intruder was nothing but a rat. A big rat, but a rat.
Melvin and the rat looked at each other. The rat wiggled his whiskers. Melvin didn't have any whiskers to wiggle. He wiggled his eyebrows instead.
"Hit the road, rat," Melvin said.
The rat didn't move.
"Take off. Scat. Beat it."
The rat stayed.
"Get out of—" Melvin stopped. Back at the Academy of Superheros he could speak gerbil. And this rat was kind of like a gerbil. Four legs. A tail. Fur.
Melvin gave his eyebrows another wiggle. This was part of gerbil language. If he had whiskers he'd give them a shake. But eyebrows were all he had to work with. Then he said, "Squeak."
The rat looked startled. "Squeak?"
"Squeak Squeak." Melvin kept those eyebrows wiggling.
The rat did likewise with his whiskers. "Squeak squeak?"
"Squeak squeak squeak." Melvin wasn't sure, but he thought he'd just said, "Do you like pretzels?" or possibly "What's your favorite Thunderman episode?"
Melvin held out a pretzel. The rat came forward and sniffed. Then he took it in his teeth and backed away. Melvin turned the TV back on and gave the rat another pretzel.
Before long the two of them were watching TV together. And eating pretzels. If only this rat was good at math, Melvin thought.
It was too much to hope for, of course. But for now Melvin had a pet. He named him Hugo.
Later that day, Melvin was trying to get off the ground.
"Up up and away." Crash.
"Up up and away." Splat. It always took him many tries to get up and flying. But this time it didn't bother him.
"Wait till Candace Brinkwater hears about this," he said to himself. "I have a roommate." Copyright © 2006 Greg Trine
This text is from an uncorrected proof