An abusive single mother frenzied over her daughter Penny’s abduction, a veteran cop working amid rampant government corruption, and a mental patient emerging from a delusion in which he believed himself to be a superhero, find themselves together in a search for the missing daughter.
When Mary wakes up one afternoon, still drunk, and finds her daughter missing, she sets out to find her. She solicits Angus, a loner on a motorcycle, to help her. They learn of Lieutenant McCarthy, the only remaining good cop. McCarthy has been sidelined for refusing to join the new, corporately-funded police union and spends his days in the city archives researching the early stories and characters of the city’s history. Meanwhile the mental patient who calls himself ‘John Common” goes through a catharsis of realization that he is not really the superhero Omni-man but just a normal human, and he escapes from the hospital where he went to get his superpowers back. Various adventures bring them together and reveal where Penny is being held, and, pursued by the city authorities, they set out to rescue her. They find Penny safe and being cared for by a wise elderly man, a friend of John Common, the former hero. In the surprise ending, they learn it was he, the former hero, who abducted the girl, his last act while under his delusion. And in a closely interwoven subplot, McCarthy’s private research of the city records reveals the ‘Garden of Eden’ history of the city’s establishment, and the advent of the super-villain Lucy Burden whose ghost still inhabits and controls the modern-day city.