A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office released this statement early Tuesday: “We first want to thank all the concerned citizens in the community for your outpouring of support and invaluable information -- especially the children, for whom this must have been particularly difficult. But we can now say with certainty that the costumed crime-fighter known as Mystery Man is our prime suspect in this case. All other persons of interest have been cleared of suspicion at this time.” On the heels of the highly publicized arrest of Seattle’s crime fighter, Phoenix Jones, this news comes a powerful shock to costumed adventurers, their fans, Miami residents and police.
“For over a decade, Mystery Man has helped bring down some of the city’s worst drug dealers and organized crime syndicates,” one officer said. “Now it appears he’s chosen the other side of justice, using his powers for the forces of evil.”
Mystery Man first emerged on the scene in the late 1990s as a masked vigilante in a magenta body suit, cape and cowl. During his initial adventures, however, conservative residents in Florida were slow to accept Mystery Man. They found the hero’s attire suggestive, sexually provocative and confusingly androgynous.
“I could never tell if Mystery Man was trying to make a political statement or if he was just a drag queen,” said one area resident. “Round here, neither would surprise me.”
The two elements of Mystery Man’s outfit that raise the most eyebrows are his mask and protruding, nippled chest plate. The mask appears to be fashioned from black nylon hose, and offers no facial features except for a mouth crudely painted in pink lipstick. Around the pectoral rings of Mystery Man’s armored chest plate are two brass circles. On the left is the male symbol (a circle with a protruding arrow), while the female symbol (a circle atop a cross) adorns the right. A protective cod piece in the form of a question mark is also worn. It has been suggested that Mystery Man may be a hermaphrodite.
Little is known of Mystery Man’s actual superpowers or tactics. The District Attorney says the avenger’s victims are usually found deposited on the steps of the police station, tied up in bondage gear, gimp suits or other sadomasochistic paraphernalia. The victims are almost always drugged.
Police officers also assert that despite Mystery Man’s gaudy demeanor, he can assimilate into any club in Miami’s vibrant nightlife without notice.
“From what I’ve seen and heard,” said a local club owner, “Mystery Man poses as a tranny crack whore to lure criminals into secluded alleyways and motels. Then he doses them up with rufies. When the cops find them, they don’t remember where they’ve been or what’s happened to them. I guess that’s the ‘mystery’ part, huh? Anyway, almost all of his victims have been sexually violated with a...well, it’s disgusting. I mean, it ain’t no mystery what happened to them. The first time Mystery Man dropped a crook off at the police station -- some small time pusher, I think -- he left a note on the guy that said, ‘Just a taste of your next 5 to 10 in county.’ The drug dealer had been violated in every orifice.”
The District Attorney concurred: “Yes, we agree it’s extreme, and we certainly don’t endorse vigilantism. But it’s a hell of a deterrent.”
Heinrich Guff, a private investigator familiar with the superhero’s work, reiterated that until all the facts are in, Mystery Man is presumed innocent: “He’s just wanted for questioning at this point. My guess is he’s being framed by the cartels who control contraband in the area. After the arrest of Phoenix Jones in Washington, I think it’s safe to say that the criminal underground is doing what it can to rid itself of costumed heroes. That, or we’re going to find out former Representative Bob Allen’s got himself a new job. And that he’s still afraid of black people.”
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