Tuesday, October 19, 2010

King for a Haikuesday

I just love it when DC refuses to let any old character go permanently unused.

Often, it'll be a simple cameo. Just when you're not looking, the Crispus Allen will roll over that brutally beaten street cop whose mutilated corpse they found in an alley in Gotham's Abandoned Warehouse District and it'll be none other than Percival Popp. He was asking for it, really.

For example, who can forget when those lovable, well-meaning Three Dim
wits, so fondly remembered as whimsical irritants to Jay Garrick in his light-hearted Golden Age adventures, were found hacked to death in the Flash Museum last year? Good times.

I call these "Cameos... of DOOM!" Remember how Terry Sloane died?

Sometimes rather than a Cameo...of DOOM! they'll get the "quilt-patched". DC will craft more substantial roles for them, hoping to weave the half-life of the Q Ratings into some new property. Often it some sort of Frankenstein project, a patchwork quilt of characters with visas from Limbo stretched out over some 'modernizing' framework. You know the kind of thing: Checkmate, Suicide Squad, Primal Force, Shadowpact, the New Guardians.

Other times, they get better treatment, usually as a supporting character in the cast of someone more iconic. For example, the Quality Comics character Quicksilver was repurposed as "Max Mercury" to augment the Flash supporting cast. Maggie Sawyer, a wonderful, criminally underused and undervalued character in the Superman books...

whom the writers stopped using.

Now she's got a second life in the Batman books-- as a wonderful, criminally underused and undervalued character whom the writers stopped using.

Don't worry; Maggie's a big girl and can take care of herself. She'll be back, once lesbians are in fashion again. Probably when the latest vampire craze fades out.

On such character is King Faraday. King Faraday was a secret agent character introduced in 1950. When superheroes faded from fashion (just like lesbians!) after World War II, comic book publishers diversified again into a wide variety of genres, such as espionage thrillers.

You probably know him from his role as the Martian Manhunter's handler in New Frontier (the book and the movie). But now he's palling around with the Crusaders-- who are themselves re-imagined old characters (specifically the old MLJ Comics heroes, including regular Absorbascon whipping boys, The Shield and the Hangman).

Characters like King Faraday are impressively resilient and make places for themselves with their ingenuity. As demonstrated by his ability to haiku under pressure---
Don't listen to him!
He's just trying to martyr
himself for his cause.

So casually composed; very impressive! Have you a haiku to reply, or other commentary on Faraday and his ilk?


Bryan L said...

Exclaim faster, King
Lest the cold winds of Limbo
Embrace you once more.

Scipio said...

Nicely done.

So what is it with my wacky font sizes? I don't know what's doing that..

SallyP said...

Man, I just suck at Haikus, but I do love King Faraday, so woohoo!

Anonymous said...

His name is a pun.
Spy dragged to a new genre.
So very DC.

- Mike Loughlin

LissBirds said...

Wacky font sizes = all caused by Jean Loring, or "that man."

Scipio said...

Good theory! She's using a size-changing belt on my fonts!