A dapperly dressed figure was carefully reading about the bounties that had been placed on the heads of the Zoo Crew by the criminal underworld. (*) As of yet this sinister skunk known as the Stink Bomber hadn’t made a name for himself. Well, that would change when he took these costumed do-gooders out himself. And the individual behind these bounties probably had a price on his head, too, come to think of it.
[(*) Editor’s note: See Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew: Open Season.]
Well, one thing at a time, the master of noxious odors thought. One thing at a time. First, scout out the Zoo Crew, then take them out one by one.
Stink Bomber would soon be a name to be reckoned with — and feared.
Pig-Iron was up to his neck in trouble, literally. The arch-villainess-wannabe called Honey Bear had him trapped in a huge vat of honey with the intention of slowly drowning him. His only hope laid in his ability to eat enough honey to keep from drowning or going into a sugar coma.
“Now, my fine pretty,” began Honey Bear, a massively overweight golden bear, cackling in what she thought was a true arch-villainess-like cackle, “now I will add more of my beautiful honey, and no swine can eat his way out of this trap! Ha-ha-hah — er, cough! — ha-hah!”
She went to one of her diabolical machines and turned back to look at the swine of steel. “Any last words?” Sniffing suddenly, she added, “Hey, do you smell something funky?”
“Yeah, I do,” Pig-Iron said, sniffing the air. “Sorta like roasted almondsss…” His head swung back as he fell unconscious, which was a good thing; if it had gone forward, he would have been snorting sticky goop. He didn’t notice Honey Bear had also passed out.
Nearby, a shadowy figure emerged from the dark, a handsome young skunk dressed in a lime green and purple biohazard suit.
He looked around and decided to tie up the bad-girl wannabe before rescuing the porcine powerhouse. Although, as he was listening to Pig-Iron’s loud snoring, the Stink Bomber was tempted to leave him in the vat.
As he tied the ursine failure up, he looked around and said, “Wonder where she got the funding for this setup. Stears and Roe Bucks doesn’t sell equipment like this.”
Suddenly and unexpectedly, a wall collapsed, and a police van drove in.
“Hah! The local yokels are almost too late once again,” said the costumed sprayer with a yawn.
Turning to the police, he raised his hands and stated, “I’m one of the good guys, and if you give me a hand, we can rescue a Zoo Crewer right quick, I reckon.”
Later, Pig-Iron thanked his rescuer. “Anythin’ I can do for you, Stink Bomber, lemme know.”
“Well, there is one thing…”
Stink Bomber was virtually beside himself with glee; he had, in one mission, collected a highly valuable super-villainess called Honey Bear — he’d never heard of her, but apparently she was worth a bundle — and he’d made friends with Pig-Iron, one of the Zoo Crew. This would definitely help his plan to round up and capture all of the heroes, thus giving him the big bounty that had been put out on them.
Currently he was standing in an alleyway watching Pig-Iron go shopping. By convincing the porcine powerhouse to meet him at the orphanage to entertain the children there, he had then been able to follow the metallic hero around afterward. As a proud skunk, he hated stalking about like this, but then when one made a living tracking bounties, one did a lot of stuff like this.
Nonetheless, the plan was in motion: a simple working of a system of traps, an emergency call to Pig-Iron guaranteed to bring the whole team in, and voilà — captured heroes.
Stink Bomber looked at his watch; he had gathered enough information. Now it was time to go home and watch Spider-Ham on TV, have dinner and relax, and maybe develop some new odors for his civilian job as a perfume chemist. Soon he wouldn’t have to work two jobs; soon he could be a full-time bounty hunter. Heck, with the Zoo Crew out of the way, he could even establish himself as a super-hero and cash in on the royalties of the toys and stuff.
Yeah, Stink Bomber fragrances — that would be a line of products. Perfumes, aftershaves, body washes… he could see it all now. So busy was he thinking of his possible line of products, he wasn’t watching where he was going and fell into an open sewer opening.
“Sacre bleu, to coin a phrase. This place stinks!”
As the Stink Bomber reached for the ladder to climb out of the sewer, he heard a gruff voice call out, “Norton, that you?”
Stink Bomber looked up and called, “Could you reach down and give me a paw up, please?”
A large mitt came down and helped him out of the hole. “Thanks, my friend,” Stink Bomber said to the rather rotund hippopotamus in a bus driver’s uniform. “I sure appreciate it; that place smells really bad.”
The bus driver waved the thanks off. “If I was you, pal, I would hit the showers quick. Hey, you didn’t see a weasel down there, did you?”
Stink Bomber shook his head. “No, but I see one over there — a tall, thin fellow with a hat with a front brim pushed back.”
“That’s my buddy Norton. Well, take care, pal, and remember — hit the showers.” The bus driver took off to meet a tall, thin weasel who had just climbed out of a different opening.
“Hey, Ralphie boy, who’s your smelly friend?”
“I thought he worked with you, judging from that outfit of his, but you know skunks…”
“Yeah, had one working with us. Really stunk the sewers up big time. Come on, first round is on me.”
Stink Bomber watched them leave. “Well, nice to know prejudice is dead.” He dropped a really strong fragrant bomb into the sewer opening, a bomb that would leave a smell of roses, lilacs, and burnt toast under the city streets for weeks.
At the Z-Building, the swine of steel was talking to Captain Carrot. “I like the guy a lot, and he really seems to care about the children at the orphanage,” said Pig-Iron, “but somethin’ about him smells odd.”
“Well,” said the amazing rabbit, “he is a skunk, after all.”
Pig-Iron looked at Captain Carrot and nodded. “Yeah, but besides that.”
“Just be careful, is all I’m saying,” the Captain added. “Just be careful.”
After taking a strong shower and running his costume twice through the laundry, Stink Bomber checked his answering machine to discover that the bounty on the Zoo Crew had just been raised from one billion dollars to two billion per Zoo Crewer.
“That money will really help me get established, as well as provide a playground for the orphanage,” he muttered to himself. “Even if I just bring in one Crewmate… Hmm… Pig-Iron should be real easy. I’ve already got his trust. Taking him prisoner without him knowing it’s me will be the easy part.”
Later that night, Stink Bomber awoke from a vivid dream and wrote down his newest idea, which was sure to bring the porcine powerhouse down.
“Heh-heh… I am so brilliant, I need shades to sleep in!” he chuckled to himself, pulling his eye-mask over his eyes.
Stink Bomber was walking back to his apartment, chuckling to himself as he counted the money from his latest capture, enough here to pay his rent and maybe take in that new Gérard DeParrotieu movie. “Man, this bounty hunter business is really starting to… whaaa–?!”
He couldn’t move his left foot; it was stuck in something orange-like in color. He sniffed it and realized what it was. “Honey?” he said. “Honey Bear?”
At that moment, the super-villainess came from around a corner. “Surprise, surprise, mister — I am out of jail and ready to kick your tail.”
“Wait! We can discuss this.”
“What, you gonna tell me you’ve changed sides?” said Honey Bear. “You’re out for the bounty on the Zoo Crew? Save it, flower. I already twigged that much. I may be a so-far-minor-league villainess, but I am smarter then the average bear.”
Stink Bomber groaned. Every bear he met used that line from the old TV series Jellostone.
“So why this?” he asked, pointing to his left foot.
“New and improved honeytrap, sweetie, just for you.”
“Hey, neat,” said Stink Bomber. “Never would have expected that. So let me go, and we can figure out a way to get the whole Zoo Crew, fifty-fifty split. What do you say?”
“You got a good poison bomb?” Honey Bear asked.
“No. All of my bombs are non-lethal. I wouldn’t want to hurt anyone, you know.”
Honey Bear looked thoughtful for a moment, then shrugged. “Nah… revenge is sweet.”
“So is apple cider!” Stink Bomber exclaimed, throwing a smoke bomb, followed by his new and improved acid bomb, which freed his foot. “And I am placing you under arrest again,” he stated as he threw a left hook that took her in the chin and knocked her down. “Mama always said never hurt a lady. Well, sister, you’re no lady.”
“Nor is she Honey Bear,” a voice hissed. Stink Bomber turned around to spot a rather snappily dressed gecko. “Ssseee…?”
Stink Bomber turned back and saw Honey Bear dissolve into Alley-Kat-Abra.
“Ssshee was trying to find out what ssside you’re on. My bosss wasss curiousss, too.”
“Whom might that be?” Stink Bomber asked, but then suddenly fell unconscious.