Fist to the Face
"Well," said Grandpa Anarchy to his new sidekick, the Glass Cannon, "how would you sum up your first week on the job? I think we had a spectacular week! We battled Baron Climate Change in the skies above the Brazilian rain forests, we stopped Death Medal from unleashing a heavy metal zombie apocalypse, we broke up a smuggling ring run by Idiot Ball, and we teamed up with Deathcop 2000 to smash a crime syndicate threatening to take over the city! I tell you, Dr. Wertham had it right when he said: Fists that smash against faces settle all problems."
Grandpa's current sidekick the Glass Cannon frowned. This was a young woman with hazelnut skin and cornrow braids. She wore a leotard with a scooped neck and loose sleeves that had a glass-like surface, with similar knee-high boots and wraparound mirror shades. She was seated in a chair before a large wall screen in the Anarchy Cave. Grandpa stood nearby. On the screen was depicted a visual representation of the Anarchy Computer A.I. known as Annie Two -- a young woman dressed in a 19th-century outfit with wire-rimmed glasses and her hair in a bun.
"It's been pretty busy," said the Glass Cannon. "But -- solve all the world's problems? With a punch?"
"Of course!" Grandpa nodded emphatically.
"Forgive me, Mr. Anarchy," said Annie Two, "but you are misquoting from a 1948 symposium on The Psychopathology of Comic Books by Gershon Legman and Dr. Fredric Wertham, two people who were decrying levels of violence in superhero comics and not, as you surmise, suggesting a blueprint for your crime-fighting career."
"Nevertheless they were right!" Grandpa exclaimed. He held up his fist. "With this I can solve any problem!"
"Okay," said his sidekick, "but you can't solve a wallstreet financial crisis..."
"Any problem!" Grandpa insisted. "When the sub-prime mortgage crisis struck in 2007, I went to the house of the CEO of Bank of America and I punched that S.O.B. in the face!"
The sidekick raised an eyebrow. "And you weren't arrested for it?"
"Well... I was," said Grandpa. "But the case was dismissed in court. And do you know why?"
"Because you have the best demonic lawyer money can buy?" suggested the sidekick. "Also, because you're not black?"
"No!" exclaimed Grandpa. "Well, partly that, but also because I threatened to punch the judge in the face!"
"Threatening a judge is obstruction of justice, at the very least," said the young woman. "I have to believe that the only reason you weren't thrown in jail is because of your demon lawyer."
"The judge was intimidated!" Grandpa said. "That's how it works!"
"Okay, but that did not solve the crisis, did it?" the Glass Cannon asked. "Similarly, you cannot solve global warming...."
"Already done!" Grandpa stated. "Baron Climate Change is in prison as we speak!"
"For the moment, yes," the sidekick said, "but Grandpa, he's not really responsible for...."
"Oh yes he is! He admits it!" insisted Grandpa.
The Glass Cannon pursed her lips. "Okay, let me try this from another angle," she said. "Last year comedian and actress Leslie Jones was attacked online by internet trolls. They hurled mysoginistic and racist epitaphs at her and threatened her with death, all because she was a woman -- a black woman -- in that Ghostbusters movie. I guess recasting the movie with women was a threat to the masculinity of some people, or something. But this sort of harassment of women happens online all the time, and...."
"People say this kind of crap to you?" Grandpa asked. "I know you do that chirping stuff and facelog and snapbook and whatever on the intertubes...."
"Yes, and I'm a black woman so of course I get threats and called names, but...."
"But, nothing!" Grandpa exclaimed. "You're my sidekick, Glass Cannon! They can't say that kind of stuff to you! Just tell me who they are and I'll pop them one...."
"Grandpa, this is a systemic problem. You can't just fix it by punching people in the face...."
"Says you!" Grandpa retorted. He turned to face the screen. "Annie! I'll need a list of names and addresses of anyone who has sent a racist or mysoginistic threat to the Glass Cannon...."
"No, Mr. Anarchy," said the computer, "I will not be providing you with such a list, just so you can beat up ordinary citizens, no matter how poorly they behave online. I've already contacted your lawyer Malevolent P. Brimstone, and he expresses support for my position on this matter in the most stringent of terms...."
Grandpa Anarchy glowered at the computer screen. "Fine," he said. "You won't give me a list? Then we'll do this the old fashioned way!"
As Grandpa disappeared up the elevator, Annie Two said, "Don't worry, I doubt he'll get very far."
The man on the right wore a black tuxedo with white gloves, a diamond-studded cane, and a flowing black cape. He was a tall man, with a diamond mask and closely-cropped blond hair. His face was set in a permanent sneer.
The one on the left was shorter and wiry. He was dressed all in black, like a ninja, including a black hood covering his head.
"Grandpa Anarchy, you fool! We meet at last!" the first exclaimed. "And I see that you have come with your pathetic black dog...."
"Her name's the Glass Cannon, and she's my sidekick!" Grandpa snarled.
"Nobody cares!" the second villain exclaimed. "You and your Feminazi-supporting ways are no match for the Masked Mysoginoirist and the Alt-Right Avenger!"
The Glass Cannon sighed. "Well, this won't solve anything," she said. "Although I'm going to enjoy it. But Grandpa, where do you find these people?"
"Good old-fashioned gumshoe detective work," replied Grandpa Anarchy. "And I don't need no fancy computer to help me do that!"