Disclaimer: Everything belongs to Dreamworks. I'm just having fun.
Note: I know Metro Man's civilian name in the early script was Wayne Scott, but I kind of hate that script, and since almost none of it survived (thank goodness!) into the final movie, I feel I can ignore it. Besides, I feel strongly that superheroes should have alliterative names. So, his name is Steve Scott. (And yeah, there's a homage in there.)
with great power
Metro Man was thirty-three years old when he realized that was his name now.
It was a more profound realization than it sounded. Of course he'd always been Metro Man, and for almost as long as he'd been an adult, it had been one of his names. But always before the name had sat, side by side in an uneasy alliance with Steve Scott. And now, at thirty-three and with the grey already well-established in his hair, he couldn't remember when he'd become simply and solely Metro Man, even to himself.
Of course, it was a well-known fact that Steve Scott was Metro Man. He'd never bothered trying to hide it, and the attempt would have been useless if he had. People were bound to remember the kid who literally flew through school, and they would put two and two together.
And then there was Megamind. He'd gone to school with his arch nemesis, so of course the supervillain already knew his civilian identity and the identities of his family. In the early days of his superheroic career, Metro Man had sincerely believed that hiding this information was the only reason for maintaining a secret identity.
By the time he realized his mistake, it had been far too late to start keeping secrets.
So he was Metro Man. It'd been years since anyone called him Steve. Even Roxanne, who probably knew him better than any of the other random citizens of Metro City, called him Metro Man. And now, it seemed, even he called himself Metro Man.
Well. He shrugged, glanced at himself in the mirror, and decided on the other cape. Didn't people always say that the superhero was the real identity, anyway? That the civilian persona was just a cover? Weren't the other members of the Heroes' League always complaining about having to hide their identities? So Metro Man had just…cut out the lies, that was all.
The other cape really wasn't working today either. He sighed, considered contacting his tailor, and then moved to try the first cape again. The lesser of two evils, perhaps, he thought, and even managed to laugh at the joke.
For his thirty-fourth birthday, Metro Man tried being Steve again. He put on a pair of slacks and a non-descript grey pullover. He tried to do something about the grey in his hair, which the pullover only emphasized. He wasn't terribly successful, but it didn't matter. He considered the possibility of a coat, since it was December and a bit nippy, but found that he didn't actually own one. And a cape was worse than no coat at all. So, it was just the pullover.
He practiced walking on the ground (like normal people: one foot in front of the next, try for a straight line). It felt strange, after so many years, to bend to the wishes of gravity. It took a few minutes to remember how. He practiced up and down the old school house, until he could do it without too much concentration.
And then he went out. He went to one of the parks first, Greenfield Park by the bay, where he remembered an old spreading oak. He arrived by bus, and his feet never left the ground, but still the people looked past the pullover and someone shouted, "Hey! It's Metro Man!" He stopped two petty thefts, signed five dozen autographs, and rescued three cats from trees. The book he'd brought to read under the old oak never left his pocket.
He went into a department store next, with the vague idea of buying a coat. The people swirled around him and someone exclaimed, "Oh my God, it's Metro Man!" He foiled an armed robbery, saved two children from a falling clothing rack, stopped a man from buying a plastic thermos which contained no recycled material, and signed seven dozen autographs. He didn't buy a coat.
He went to the old club on 3rd and Henderson. The music was loud and not really his scene, and it had been years since he'd been inside the place. It looked much the same. A gaggle of young men at the bar looked up, and one of them said, starry eyed, "Oh lord, it's Metro Man!" He broke up three fights, stopped two men from becoming drunk drivers, and signed a club full of autographs. No one asked him to dance.
He went home. The old school house was bright, welcoming, and far too nostalgic. He retired the slacks and pullover for another year, took a shower and washed his greying hair, and redressed in a tatty old bathrobe. He decided that tonight was a good night to pretend he could get drunk. There was nothing in the refrigerator but a couple of bottles of root beer, but since they had about as much effect on him as alcohol (that is, exactly none), he figured they worked just as well. He toyed briefly with the idea of calling someone, but who? Roxanne? Megamind? Neither of them would call him Steve, and who else was there?
So he sat down with the root beer and flipped on the television and told himself, this time, that his weakness was carbonated beverages.
Three months and four days after his thirty-fifth birthday, Metro Man faked his own death.
Steve went home afterwards, back to the old school house, and took his ukulele down from the shelf. It twanged, out of tune, and he smiled to himself as he adjusted the strings. He had no idea what he would do next.
He'd never felt so alive.