“Paper Airplanes” follows Frank Mills, a resident of Chicago whose business greatly affected when RVK destroys the LaSalle Nuclear Power Station. A confessed disliker of “stagnation,” he was particularly distressed by the lack of productivity that came along with no electricity.
He suffered other hardships during the blackout, including witnessing as a band of teenagers drove through on a golf cart and knocked over the trash can in his front yard. Other various acts of mayhem left his normally pristine front lawn in a state of disrepair.
In his first appearance in “Paper Airplanes,” the reader can gather that he has a longstanding friendship with his mailman Lou, who is happy to stop and chat with Frank for a while before continuing his mail route through the semilawless streets of blackout Chicago. They discuss the news and the current state of affairs, as well as the fact that Frank is happy to have recently passed a kidney stone which he claims was the size of a corn-nut.
After Lou, departs, Frank sits down to open the letter he has received and is overjoyed to find that its from his son, Frank Jr. who has been deployed to Rosepetal for guard duty, a snoozer of a job as Jr. puts it. Jr. also reveals the information that his wife Janie is pregnant and Frank and his wife are ecstatic at the prospect of being grandparents. The power then returns. Frank cheerfully asks his wife to bring him his pants before he shaves.
The next scene features a clean-shaven Frank and his associate discussing the hardships and stagnation of the last few days before Frank receives a call from “Alfonso,” from the East Branch. For reason’s undisclosed, Frank is extremely nervous about talking to Alfonso. As the issue closes, he reluctantly accepts the call.