“The Plan” by Charles “Zan” Christensen from The Lavender Menace: Tales of Queer Villainy, Northwest Press, 2013. Edited by Tom Cardamone.

Eclipse is a super villain, but he didn’t start out that way. My favorite thing about this story is the lowdown it provides on one way in which a man with super powers might become a villain. There are no plans to take over the tri-state area here. No, there was simply a need to pay off student loan debt he accrued obtaining a useless master’s degree, debt that a “shitty office job” wasn’t going to touch.

He’s a decent guy at heart, which is why he and a superhero called The Eagle have been having a sort of love-hate relationship for some time. The Eagle is a pretty steadfast do-gooder (he used to be downright insufferable; he’s mellowed with age), but he can see that Eclipse isn’t cruel or evil, just a bit selfish. Also, opposites attract, right? It’s obvious The Eagle has developed a thing for Eclipse. They just can’t tell anyone because, you know, villain.

Then again, maybe Eclipse has been seeing only what he wants to see. Maybe he’s been had.

It’s enough to drive a guy right over the edge.