Secret Origins: Beware: The Origin of the Creeper, Prologue: The Mysterious Death of Emil Yatz

by Christine Nightstar

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The Mysterious Death of Professor Emil Yatz

Professor Emil Yatz dead at age 72, noted expert in bioelectric engineering. Shot through the head, execution-style. Survived by his wife Mary. Police are investigating the circumstances of his death.


The time was 6:05 AM. Two men were lying on the ground; one was breathing, while the other was dead. Over them stood two figures. The lead investigator turned to the man in the red costume and said, “Looks like a standard mob execution, except for our friend Knuckles over there, Cap.”

“So I see,” replied Captain Marvel thoughtfully. “But Knuckles isn’t one to be taken down so easily, even in the times that I’ve been called in to apprehend him.”

“There’s evidence of a third party here, that’s for sure,” agreed the investigator. “Whether Knuckles came in on the execution or was here to kill the professor, that’s still undetermined as yet. I doubt that Knuckles will be cooperative.”

“So who is this third party, Inspector?” asked the world’s mightiest mortal.

“We haven’t been able to figure that out yet,” replied the inspector. “We haven’t even found the notes on what the professor was working on. But someone commented on seeing a figure crawl out the upstairs window last night and jump away.”

“Jump away? Not swing or fly?”

“That’s what I asked, too, but all accounts said that he jumped over to the building across the street, climbed to the roof, and jumped across the rooftops away.”

“When was this?” asked the Captain.

“Reports started coming in at about… when was the first call, Scully?” the inspector said, trying to read Scully’s notes and having some difficulty deciphering the scrawls.

“Can’t you tell, Dominguez?” replied Scully. “It was at 10:25.”

“Got calls from all over the area about someone disturbing the peace, until about midnight,” continued Inspector Dominguez. “Patrol vehicles couldn’t find the perpetrator but could see signs that someone had been beating the hell out of the trashcans.”

“When was the professor killed?” asked Captain Marvel.

“Time of death, from the state of his body, pointed to between ten and eleven o’clock last night. Cleaning lady called us at about four AM.”

“So our third party could be this mysterious troublemaker that disappeared at midnight,” surmised Captain Marvel.

“That’s what we’re working on,” said Dominguez. “We’ll let you know if we come up with anything else. Someone able to knock out Knuckles Shultz — that has got to be a first.”

“It’s not a first, but it I can’t recall it happening that often,” Captain Marvel replied. He looked over at the unconscious mob enforcer who was being finally lifted into the ambulance. As he flew away, the hero peered down, spying the buildings around the laboratory and crime scene before returning to the ground. “I’m going to be checking what Knuckles was doing here in the first place,” he said to the investigator. “Old Professor Yatz just doesn’t seem the type that would be involved with the Mob.”

“Maybe he was, but didn’t know who he was working for,” Scully suggested.

“Wouldn’t be the first time it’s happened,” agreed Dominguez.

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