Okay, you'll remember that, back in 1984, having been abandoned by all the recognizable heroes of the JLA, the foursome of Aquaman, Zatanna ("!daeh ym no raeppa tah edepitnec deR"), Ralph Dibny the Esophagated Man, and J'onn J'onnz the Martian Enabler have just picked up straycat cum supermodel Vixen, then agreed to shack up together in an abandoned Detroit factory hiding a SHIELD-style hi-tech underground facility offered them by an aging nutjob Captain America ripoff named "Commander Steel" as payoff for letting his braindead cyborg grandson Hank into the League. Part of the package was the man, the legend, Dale Gunn, Hank's surrogate father.
Dale Gunn is basically Uncle Phil from "Fresh Prince" only ten years older, under a much stricter diet, and wearing a high-tech neo-egyptian aerobics outfit from the Alexander Luthor Man of The Future Collection.
One glance and you know immediately that Dale Gunn smells like a mixture of malt-soaked sweat, Aqua Velva, Old Spice body powder, Brut, and Havoline® Super Premium High Performance SAE 20W-50.
And tobacco. Not that he uses tobacco. He just smells like it naturally.
Let's stop for a moment and take a look at the male cast of our superpowered Real World: Detroit, shall we?
- Lonely blond hunky lifeguard Aquaman, estranged from his wife, and far from the closest octopus. With his telepathy, he makes you want to obey.
- J'onn J'onnz, who can assume any form or appearance you want, and who'll have sex with a passing space octopus if it winks at him. With his telepathy, he knows what it feels like for an octopus.
- 18 year old 6'2" slab of man-machine and probable virgin Steel, who behind his skin is all hard mechanical pistons of limitless energy and is very anxious to have his mettle tested (a.k.a. "The Human Sex Toy").
- Vibe, a short but sinewy 19 year old Puerto Rican breakdancer and street thug who can emit powerful vibrations from any and every part of his body (a.k.a. "El Juguete Humano del Sexo").
- The Elongated Man, who is not named that without reason, and who could simultaneously entertain you and ten friends in one room while watching a movie with his wife in another (a.k.a. "The World Famous Human Sex Toy").
- And Dale Gunn, a grouchy smelly old mechanic.
So what happens?Oh. Well. Of course. Must be the smell.
From this, I can only conclude that writer Gerry Conway simply has never met any women. At all. Perhaps he was raised by Trappist monks.
Actually, my other theory is that with Dale Gunn, Conway is reinventing Jimmy Olsen for the 1980s.
Jimmy Olsen was the avatar of the reader of his day. Geeky Jimmy Olsen says, "Come to the DC Universe where an ill-dressed underage nerd just like you can have a high profile job without any credentials, be best friends with Superman, and have his own fan club of under-nerds!"
By the 1980s, the comic book audience has evolved, and Dale Gunn is their man. Grizzled Dale Gunn says, "Come to the DC Universe where bald smelly older guys with bad facial hair and no social life who live underground and work with machines just like you get hit on by seductive, half-dressed magical heiresses and man-hungry supermodel animal-women. Cookies included."
Oh, but surely I'm exaggerating, you say! Zatanna and Vixen are just, you know, teasing each other about being "dirty girls" and "doing it" with the custodian. Girls are like that, you say; you know, because you've seen Sex in the City and Desperate Housewives.
Have it your way...
Boy, nothing gets past Dale, does it? And see, I told you; cookies included.
"Night-thoughts", huh? Nice one, Zee, I'll have to use that when I'm on line at Studhunt.com.
Gee, Dale; is that a glass of milk in your lap or are you just happy to see me?
And, Zee, it's almost like you're desperately looking for a substitute father figure, as if -- oh yeah, that's right. I forgot... It's okay, Zee, we all have our issues.
Yow; Jungle Fever. She's Gotta Have It, indeed. And, I might add, it seems that This Gunn's For Hire.
But it's not like Zee's a tramp, you know. She waited until almost a full 24 hours after they met and she made sure he knows what her name is. Good girl, Zee. Zatara would be proud.
Okay. I take it back. She is a tramp. !flesruoy ylppa tnacirbul lanosreP
This, you know, is just the first issue of Justice League Detroit. And we haven't even gotten to Vibe...