Caped Crusader Turns Superfreak
Captain Jackson, costumed defender of the citizens of Jackson, Mich., has to hang it up after pleading guilty to impaired driving, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Local factory worker Thomas Frankini, 49, donned his crime-fighting tights a few years ago — along with a purple cape — to patrol city streets struggling with gangs, amass awards from community groups, chase shady characters from dark corners, and help merchants be sure to lock up.
“It was a cold winter night, as I remember it,” said George Davis, the former manager at Jackson’s historic Michigan Theater, to the Free Press. “We were playing a Cary Grant movie or something like that and he suddenly appeared and held the door open for seniors.”
As word of his feats spread, Captain Jackson, with an amused wink from the cops, even began to pose for photos with visiting Elvis impersonators, celebrities, elected officials — even the new postmaster for the city.
“Believe me, I didn’t ask for this job,” Captain Jackson said last year on his Web site,
But as the caped crime fighter’s glory reached new heights, there was only that much further to come crashing down.
The Dec. 14 edition of the Jackson Citizen Patriot greeted readers with a headline that dealt the worst blow for vigilantes in tights since J. Jonah Jameson went after Spider-Man:
“Crime fighter busted for drunken driving.”
Even worse, the paper exposed the Captain’s secret identity, and that he’d suited up his daughter and girlfriend as his super sidekicks: Crime Fighter Girl and Queen of Hearts.
Now, Captain Jackson is considering hanging up his cape and leaving town.
“My patrol days are over, I’m afraid,” Frankini told the Free Press in a phone interview last week, before he failed to appear for an interview with the paper on Tuesday.
“We’re gonna keep going, but I guess not in Jackson. We’re definitely in danger, I know that,” he told the paper. “We’re like David Hasselhoff from ‘Baywatch’ — he had this singing career and he was popular everywhere but America. Why they decided to destroy one of the best things I know in Jackson, I have no idea.”
If he does move away, disappointed local residents say maybe their fallen hero will don his tights yet again elsewhere.
“Maybe,” Davis suggested, “he could become Captain Parma, Captain Hillsdale, or something like that.”
— Thanks to Out There readers Steve P. and Daniel H.