Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Hughes High: Hard Knocks

Not all of the teenagers that came out of Hughes High went onto careers as do-gooders and capes. In fact, a few of them started on the wrong side of the tracks and never really crossed to the other side. Whenever an organization thinks about restarting Hughes High or something of a similar nature, these are often the names that get used to shoot the idea down.

The most famous cloak team in its day was ARCADE. Even though it did not have Hughes High students as members, it clashed with various teams all throughout the 80's. For awhile, ARCADE was even seen as cool 'anti-heroes' and their merchandise became a hot seller. Even after the Astro-BOOM! caper, where thousands of video game cartridges were programed with mind control screens, ARCADE merchandise was popular for those that followed the super-scene but wanted to be on edge. Many also consider it the theme-team of the decade, with such names as Player Two, Cartridge, Zapper, Bison Kong, and Leaper.

The Myth-Fits began as a group of escaped experiments of the infamous Atlantian scientist (and later Ambassador of Mu) Dr. Korbana. He kidnapped human children and genetically redesigned them to have the powers of of various mythical creatures. While they escaped his lab, in the early days they often turned to crime to survive. Eventually, many of the members were sent to Hughes High instead of prison, and the team expanded to include mystics and other outcasts.

A group that skated the line between good and evil were The Street Sentinels. Krush Groove's vigilantism definitely made faculty advisors sweat. The Sentinels were more likely to bring down a drug kingpin than a VIPER nest. This often brought them into conflicts with other capes, since the capes usually got the press. A few members also had more militant views on crime and criminals, especially repeat offenders like cloaks often are. Fights sometime broke out between the Sentinels and teams that ended up on their 'turf', letting cloaks escape in the process.

Finally, the most infamous group of Hughes High students were The Dropouts. The name is even a bit dishonest, as many of the teens that came and went never saw the inside of Hughes High. One of the main reasons why so few teens were expelled from the school was that it was a sure-fire way to send that child to the dark side. The few teens that were kicked out of Hughes High generally ended up on this team at some point. The sad thing about the Dropouts is their durability. The most recent edition showed up last year, under the guidance of Sure Shot.

I remember Silverwing and Vorpal facing off on top of the bus that I took to school. The Silver Sentinels had caught The Dropouts trying to sabotage Glitterdance and the fight spread out over the city. Putty and Goober stretched each other to a stand still. Krush Groove and Winterfist turned the Bankridge Mall into a dojo. Silerwing drew Vorpal across the rooftops, trying to keep himself out of the way of Vorpal's dimensional claws. I felt them both impact on the roof of the bus, saw Vorpal's claws slash through the roof, and almost had a chance to take a Silverang home.

Ultimately, an institution like Hughes High is a tool. Good kids and bad kids both went there. Some of them turned out better than others. But there were probably just as many kids that went to sleep at night dreaming about the Dropouts as there were about Varsity.