[Following are excerpts from the transcript of today's Annual State of the Universe Address from Hero Corp. Academy, given by The Pro.
The proceedings began with a five minute standing ovation as The Samaritan of Heroes flew into the Presentation Hall, greeting students, fellow agents, leading politicians and executives from H.C.I., eventually taking to the main podium.]
Fellow Citizens of the World, from every nation, and our friends watching from the stars beyond, I greet and thank you today.
As I stand here, I am once again overwhelmed by your enthusiasm and support, which only seems to increase with every passing year. The faces I see before me, both of my fellow Agents, many of whom I have proudly worked side-by-side with, as well as the cadets of Hero Corp. Academy, all renew my belief that the future of our world will always be on the horizon. And we will always have champions brave enough to see to it that tomorrow shines brightly.
As a company, Hero Corp. is dedicated to reaching out to consistently serve our customers' needs with ever increasing speed and efficiency. Our critics would have you believe that our company is solely profit-minded, and the common good takes a back seat to our profit margins. I'm here to assure you, this is not so.
Does Hero Corp. exist to make a profit? Yes, which is nothing to be ashamed of; democracy and freedom should be considered the single biggest dividends of a world-society smart enough to invest in its future by adequately funding its protectors. Everything in our lives comes with cost, and nothing with greater cost than the assurance that tomorrow will be better than today.
We have accomplished much this past year, and succeeded in raising the bar of standards of excellence in providing heroic support wherever we are requested. We set goals for our company, and surpassed them. Last April, we announced proudly at The Pittsburgh Comicon that we would have a new issue of HERO CORP., INTERNATIONAL available for consumers to follow our exploits, and it would be ready by the Fall.
And after months of labor, and the best efforts of our mortal enemies to derail our plans, we stayed on track to present Issue Number One at the inaugural Pittsburgh Independent Comic-Book Expo a.k.a. P.I.X. in October!
[Another lengthy standing ovation.]
To my fellow agents I thank you for your dedication and service, and yet still challenge you to work harder than ever towards achieving our most difficult goals. In the days, weeks and months to come, there will be more hard work to do. By early February, HERO CORP., INTERNATIONAL #1 will be available for purchase online. And in mid-March, H.C.I. and RICOCHET GRAPHICS will jointly venture into S.P.A.C.E. as I travel to Columbus, Ohio to promote our book at the Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo, along with honorary H.C.I. Board Member Dawn Best.
I say to every Hero Corp. Agent of every classification, our accomplishments are many, yet we still have much work to do. Let's not forget our pledge, and always remember that heroism is our business.
To the students of Hero Corp. Academy, let me remind you of the tremendous challenges you too face. I implore you to follow in the footsteps and slipstreams of these agents before you. As you look to them for inspiration, they - and I - look to you for justification of our efforts. When the day comes that we are to pass along to you the torch of our hopes for a safer, more peaceable world, we know it will burn even brighter in your capable hands. You are all truly the brightest stars in our universe.
The challenges before us are shared by everyone though, meta-powered or not, from every walk of life. If we should feel disillusioned or unsure about our collective ability to rise to the challenge, remember that strength comes in numbers and conviction. Those of us lucky enough to call New Pittsburgh our home need look no farther for evidence of this than the black-and-gold flags of Terrible Towels that are propelling our Steelers toward another Super Bowl victory!
[Another ROUSING standing ovation.]
Let me close by renewing my pledge to honor my charge as Provost Marshall of the Planet Earth's Meta-Human Defense Network, and always stand for Principle, Equity, and the Milky Way.
God bless the United Nations, all peoples of the Good Earth and the populace of our Universe. Thank you.