Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Mr. Moth Week 2: Three O'Flock!

Have you even wondered what people in Apex City do for fun in their spare time?  The answer is: they flock.  All the time.  There is, as I recall, no evidence that there is television in Apex City. Unlike Star City, where heroes can just sit and wait for criminals to expose themselves on live teevee, Apexians in need of distraction need to don their brightly colored suits and fedoras, tighten their black ties and wander the crater-pocked streets of the city for some action.

Thus, Apexians wile away the hours looking for things to gawk at collectively, like falling safes, planes, and meteors.  If construction is the native industry of Central City, than Apex City's is insurance.  Fortunately for the listless citizens of Apex, as this story begins, the ACE TIME COMPANY is opening its new building!




I'm trying to picture this happening in my own life.

Scipio: "Josh, you simply must drive into the city right away!"
Josh: "Oh? What's up? Statue unveiling? Public demonstration of a dangerous weapon?  Or is it time for the Running of The Meteors again...?"  
Scipio; "No, it's the opening of a new WATCH company!"
Josh: "Grabbing my orange fedora! I'm out the door, text me the address en route!"


In all fairness to the fine citizens of Apex, the Ace Time Company does have a snazzy GIANT LADIES WATCH on its roof.

Josh does look pretty good in that hat, though.

If you are wondering why anyone would paint a public commercial monument in a toxic, radioactive substance... good question.  This was still in the era where science was in it's "oo, what do THIS button do?" phase of pre-adolescence.  People liked radium because it made stuff glow.  


Stuff like, say, Henry Ross.

And people used to love to have watches that glow in the dark for the same reason you now use your cellphone to light up a dark room.  They are technological tiki torches.

Eventually, as the bodies mounted up, science figured out, "Hey, stuff isn't really supposed to GLOW. Glowing is almost always a sign that something it bad for you."


Sometimes VERY bad.


But like Mr. Moth we are all attracted to the power of light. Speaking of whom...


Apexians are a cowardly, superstitious lot.


WHAT do they see? Whose shadow drapes over them? What ULTIMATE HORROR could be freezing these folks' souls?  Darkseid? Gamora? The Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man?

No: the MOTHCOPTER:


If he can see Mr. Moth from there, Officer Exposition must have the keenest vision in all of Apex.  Plus x-ray eyes.
Maybe it's the radium

Yes, using a special device called a 'crane', the terrifying Mr. Moth is stealing a giant prop clock.  


That is a REALLY small building.

So Toody and Moldoon decide to drive their squad car about 50 feet at top speed in hopes of getting up to the roof and stopping a helicopter by hand.  What could possibly go wrong?

See? There's a downside to having sensitive eyes, Muldoon.

Thanks to Mr. Moth's super-spotlight, the squad car is careening toward a crowd of flocking Apexians!  And (apparently) the driver can't possibly put his foot on the break when he can't SEE!

HOW CAN  THE MARTIAN MANHUNTER POSSIBLY USE HIS MANY POWERS TO STOP THIS...?!?!?!

11 comments:

Joshua Roots said...

I'm a Fall, so orange is a great color on me for rampant flocking.

Also, now I want to move to Apex City.

John said...

I think Officer Exposition is probably OK. Figure that Mr. Moth's arm spans about a quarter of the rooftop, so it's maybe twenty-five feet across. It looks like the building is only about three times its square base, tops. Seeing through the moth-wing might be problematic, but the distance isn't much at all. (Sign that I might be looking at this too deeply: I have the Sea Stallion's Wikipedia entry open looking for length...)

But here's the big question: Is this a prop city on someone's rooftop or the actual city? Because all the skyscrapers are to the same scale, making them about the size of a residential house with no yard. Who works in places like that? And who puts a glowing clock on it expecting it to be a tourist attraction? I have to assume that this is the rooftop of Apex City City Construction, which has a model of Apex City on it, within which is a model of Ace Time Company's clock. And probably a model of Apex City City Construction down the model street, with a model of Apex City on the roof where pets flock...

Unrelated, cripes, the Apshai ("Apexian" is too unwieldy and the Apshai video games were semi-fun) are a dramatic lot, aren't they? They stand there like movie extras in one scene, then mug for the artist in cartoonish fear the moment any old moth-themed criminal steals their precious miniature-giant-clock with a helicopter-mounted crane like it's a big deal. I mean, there's Benny Bluesuit whose reflexes can only have been developed after getting crushed by one too many meteors, but check Shadow Fedora, gaping in panic right into the camera.

And is that Larry Tate from Bewitched behind Bluesuit...? I bet he thought he was getting away from the weirdness back home.

Scipio said...

" Because all the skyscrapers are to the same scale, making them about the size of a residential house with no yard. Who works in places like that?"

Washingtonians.

Scipio said...

"there's Benny Bluesuit"

Well, you tell he's a nervous nellie type. I mean... he's wearing a STRIPED tie, for pete's sake. NO one does that in Apex City.

John said...

This is true. I assume that his matte black tie collection must have been destroyed in a meteor strike and this is just a temporary clip-on until they come back in stock. Or they're all at the dry cleaner after ice cream cones just materialized in his closet, as will happen.

Or maybe the striped tie is attacking him, in a completely unrelated story, hence what seems to be a disproportionate response to a helicopter stealing a clock. It has devoured his actual tie and is crawling into his collar to do unspeakable things, which would also explain why the tie isn't long enough to reach his belt. (Honestly, the book I've always wanted to see from DC is stories of the normal folks who don't know from Darkseid, but need to deal with shifting continuity in their lives, super-science threatening their jobs, alien invasions that aren't big enough to warrant superhero intervention, and the tax ramifications of being resurrected.)

But now I'm more weirded out by the buildings. Even if there are real-world examples, the idea that Barry Allen can build bigger pillow forts in his den than an entire clock factory. Granted, you probably can't drive your police vehicle across the street (through a pedestrian flock) to the pillow fort being victimized.

Hey, I just noticed: The "special device" has already been used across town. Did none of the flocking witnesses bother to mention to the police, "oh, and the guy who did it was flying a helicopter with a crane on the nose"? Or was that too minor a crime for the police to bother checking out, when there was gussying up to do for the big (socially speaking) office building opening downtown?

Bryan L said...

Actually, the officers can relax, and make their leisurely way to the roof. Mr. Moth's "special device," when fully erect (heh), prevents the blades of his Moth copter from rotating. So he's trapped until his "special device" ... ummm ... loses its erection.

John said...

Either that or Mr. Moth hasn't figured it out, yet, and a blinding radioactive wall clock that has to weigh at least five or six pounds is going to get thrown into the crowd. Figure that, statistically, between the radiation and injured bystanders, that's going to create something like half a dozen lame supervillains. An ounce of prevention...

SallyP said...

Apexians sure do lead exciting lives! But seriously, thar copter is supposed to look like a Moth? On what planet?

r duncan said...

$10,000 worth of pure radium??

At today's prices that's about 1/10 of gram.

Chad Walters said...

"(Honestly, the book I've always wanted to see from DC is stories of the normal folks who don't know from Darkseid, but need to deal with shifting continuity in their lives, super-science threatening their jobs, alien invasions that aren't big enough to warrant superhero intervention, and the tax ramifications of being resurrected.)"

So...Astro City. You're looking for Astro City.

Dalle Robberts said...

Mr. Moth can have a moth-shaped helicopter designed and built, and he's reduced to stealing radium?