"Tights, Part Two": Bored, Buddy Baker watches Tights, the movie he starred in, about an aging superhero, on his video-on-demand service.
- Look, Mr. Drummond. I appreciate you coming out here. I do. But I don't want to be famous. I'm a superhero. I just want to help people. Do something real, you know?
Appearing in "Tights, Part Two"
- Animal Man (as Chas Grant, the Red Thunder)
- Jamie Grant (Fictional character)
- Paige Grant (Fictional character)
- Steve Daley (Fictional character)
- Roger (Phone call only)
- Dave (Fictional character)
- Helena Wood (Fictional character)
- Katy Johnson (Fictional character)
- Cliff Baker (In a photograph only)
Synopsis for "Tights, Part Two"
Bored, Buddy Baker watches Tights, the movie he starred in, about an aging superhero, on his video-on-demand service.
Chas Grant is about to be released from the hospital after he was beaten to within an inch of his life by thugs. As a result of the attack and his injuries, his Red Thunder suit had to be cut off his body, and it is now useless. Though Chas doesn't have any insurance, he is surprised to find that his ex-wife Paige covered his bills.
He is further surprised when Paige and his son Jamie show up to give him a ride home. Paige admits that the decision to pay Chas' medical bills was actually at her boyfriend Dave's insistence. Upon arriving home, Chas hopes that Jamie will spend the night, but his apartment is a mess, and Jamie admits that he has a lot of homework to do back at his mother's house. They are interrupted by Tom Drummond, an agent with a talent agency. Apparently, the man Chas had intended to save from the thugs filmed the brutal beating he received, and the clip went viral. Mr. Drummond explains that while Chas may want to eschew fame, there is no reason not to capitalize on his fame. Jamie is enthusiastic, and Chas agrees to take Drummond's card. Before leaving, Paige warns that he should take the offer - he doesn't have many other options, after all.
Eventually, Chas decides to make the call, and soon he is swept up in the entertainment business, entering the talk-show circuit, and attending events with beautiful models. He stars on a reality show and appears in commercials.
One night, Chas attends a party and discovers that Paige is there as well. Apparently, Dave is busy schmoozing, and she got bored. Chas admits that all of the barely legal dates he's been on were set up by his publicist; all for show. Despite the fame, none of this is what he really wanted for himself. Sadly, Paige explains that he wanted to save the world - and that is simply impossible. Chas complains that he is famous for nothing, and it sends the wrong message to his son. He should have been accomplishing things. Paige smirks that his idealism was one of the reasons she fell in love with him. At this, Chas leans in for a kiss, and Paige angrily backs away, warning that she was only trying to be nice.
Making his way to his car in the parking lot, Chas overhears a woman screaming, and finds her being assaulted by an older man. Angrily, the man warns him to get lost, demanding to know just who Chas thinks he is. Chas tears open his shirt to reveal his costume beneath, announcing that he is Red Thunder.
Following his attempt to save the woman, Chas ends up getting sued by the man, who happened to be big-time studio executive Steve Daley. Tom Drummond chastises Chas for jeopardizing his career by angering Daley, and explains that none of the endorsement and movie deals are going to happen anymore - in fact, he's dropping Chas as a client. Chas responds that he is glad of it, because now he can just be Red Thunder again. Unfortunately, Drummond reveals that the Red Thunder name and likeness are owned by his production company. Chas can never wear that costume again. Enraged, Chas smashes his phone.
That night, Chas pours himself a drink and spots the old photo of Jamie dressed as Red Thunder, and lays out his costume on his bed. Taking the photo with him, Chas stares out over the side of a bridge, and presumably decides to jump to his death.
The entertainment news machine follows the story, claiming that Chas has been missing for that last eight days, and is presumed dead. A funeral is held, where Paige plays the guitar at the burial.
After returning to Dave's place, Jamie goes to his room, and discovers a package on his bed. Opening it, Jamie discovers his father's costume in the box, along with the old photo. His attention is caught, suddenly, by a news report, claiming that a mystery hero has just saved two children from a fire downtown. Seeing this, Jamie breaks down.
Buddy stops the film there, reflecting on the fact that his own apartment is a mess, and he looks at a photo of his recently deceased son Cliff, and breaks down as well.
He is shaken when his phone rings, and rather than his wife Ellen, it is his agent Roger. Despite the emotional weight that Buddy carries, Roger has good news: Buddy has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor.
- This book was first published on May 1, 2013.
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- No trivia.
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