By Joseph Pratt
Last May, local superhero Hollywood unmasked himself as ten-year-old Andrew Peck. He made the reveal to rally support from the community, as he prepared a finale battle against his arch nemesis, the vile Leukodystrophy.
The young hero began the fight when he was three-years-old, combating a villain who promised to ruin everything. This clash continued until Christmas Eve.
He lived a normal life, outside of his superhero days, competing in baseball, basketball and bowling, through the Autism Project of Scioto County.
He was also known for his sense of humor and smile.
The hero received so much support after his public unmasking, that he received allies from two major paralleling forces, the Avengers and the Justice League of America, two groups that rarely come together.
Through these partnerships, he received many perks. Captain America gave him a shield made from authentic and indestructible vibranium, while Batman gave him a batarang, the use of the Batmobile, and more. He also had support from the Justice League Watchtower and access to the Bat-signal, should he need help.
Most importantly, he had his fans, who all powered him through love and support of over 20,000 birthday and Christmas cards in 2015. Receiving mail and cards was Hollywood’s favorite surprise.
He blasted through his May birthday battle with ease, collecting over 6,000 cards, using that strength to dodge, weave and eventually strike down Leukodystrophy.
Hollywood sent the fiend to prison in the Phantom Zone and returned to normal life with family, friends, and teammates of the Challenger League.
Peace didn’t last long, however.
The despicable Leukodystrophy returned in November for the battle of a lifetime, having Hollywood donning the cowl and cape once again.
Batman was very involved in the fight, making many trips in the Hopemobile for cruises and parades. He also received support and gifts from celebrities, local businesses, and major sports teams.
In-between celebrating a beautiful Christmas with friends and family, Hollywood was fighting alongside his superhero friends to take down Leukodystrophy for good.
It proved to be a herculean battle. Many hits were dodged, but many more were taken. Blades clashed and Batman’s Hopemobile saw many miles.
Each step of the way, the symbiotic Leukodystrophy took a tighter hold onto the young hero. But, each time all seemed lost, Hollywood continued to receive more and more cards and support from people all over the world.
The love he received powered him to continue the fight, until he no longer could.
Despite shields and Batmobiles, the final fight came to a close this week.
Hollywood made the ultimate sacrifice to defeat his enemy, to the loss of us all, by paying with his life.
On Dec. 24, while most were with friends and family for Christmas, Hollywood, Andrew Peck, fell in combat. He died a hero, but not alone, or in a losing battle.
So much love was raised for the hero that no villain could ever triumph. Through a final blow that was backed by over 20,000 friends, Hollywood ended his nemesis, before finding a resting place in the heavens.
He now watches over everyone who gave him the support to win his battle, especially his personal heroes, grandma and grandpa.
Batman, who occasionally goes by the alias John Buckland of Heroes 4 Higher, was available after the fight to comment on his good friend.
“It is young heroes like Andrew that inspire me to be the best that I can be every day,” Batman said. “Knowing Andrew has empowered me to continue my outreach with more fervor and commitment than ever before. Andrew’s life has been an inspiration to many. The greatest thing we can do to honor his fighting spirit and passing is to live our lives to the fullest and in service to others. May we all take a look at our own lives and measure our efforts in this world against the heroic example that Hollywood set for all of us to follow. To not do so would be an injustice.”
A service will be held for the young superhero on Sunday, between the hours of 2 and 6 p.m. at Brant Funeral Home. A funeral will be held Monday at 11 a.m. at Cornerstone Nazarene. He will be lain to rest in a personal casket designed by Trey Ganem, which is in the image of his Batmobile. In a sign of respect, fellow superheroes, Batman, Batwoman, Spider-Man, and Captain America will be serving as pallbearers for the community’s fallen hero.
Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-464-4501, or by Twitter @Joseph Pratt03.