Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Frog Becomes Deaf

I have been reading a few of DC's old "Elseworlds" tales lately (to help me understand the new DC Heroclix set "Elseworlds").  Although they are certainly often imaginative, they often miss the mark.  Great concepts, executed...non-greatly. 

One such is The Blue, The Grey, and The Bat (1992), which I probably wouldn't have bought if I had noticed it was written by Elliot Maggin.  Elliot "S!" Maggin has much to answer for, writing-wise, such as crap like Magic Monday, Starwinds Howl, "The Headband Warriors of Krypton", and titling both "Costume, Costume, Who's Got the Costume?" and "Villain, Villain, Who's Got the Costume?".  Shudder.

On Earth-Prime, we have a name for that "invisible aura of radiation around Elliot Maggin" and his writing, but I'm too polite to specify it.

Still, I was determined to plow through The Blue, The Grey, and the Bat, a very complicated story of undercover agent Colonel Bruce Wayne on assignment from President Lincoln in the Old West.  

And then I reached this panel:

Which stopped me DEAD in my tracks.  

Why? Because I recognized the joke that Colonel Wayne is telling the punchline from.

Where did I recognize it from?  From the time the Joker told it in the only Elliot Maggin story I've ever enjoyed:  "Luthor, You're Driving Me Sane" (The Joker, 1977).

Now you know what the Joker looks like in an afro-wig; you're welcome.

Well played, Mr. Maggin.  An impressive (and gloriously gratuitous) call-back, some fifteen years later.

Unless, of course, it's just the only joke Elliot Maggin knows.


Anonymous said...

Agreed, neither option (callback or complete joke repertoire) is exactly flattering.

But the worst thing about that joke is, it screams of trying to sound witty and urbane. Nobody would actually tell that joke in that fashion, but that's about the only way to cram the punchline into a fractional context-free sentence, so why even use that particular joke? Why not "and the penguin says 'no it's just ice cream'" which you wouldn't have to torture into a word balloon?

Three jokes for you:

1) A grasshopper walks into a bar. The bartender says "hey we have a drink named after you!" and the grasshopper says "what, you have a drink called Steve?"

2) Batman walks into a bar. The bartender says "hey we have a drink named after you!" and Batman says "what, you have a drink called Bruce Wayne? ... oh shit."

3) A penguin is driving through Arizona when his engine starts smoking. He gets his car to a garage, and while the mechanic is taking a look, he visits an ice cream parlor. He orders a giant bowl of vanilla, and at first is content to eat it but finally can't help himself and dives in. Dripping with ice cream, he pays his bill and waddles back to the garage. The mechanic pops his head up from the car and says "looks like you blew a seal" and the penguin says "no it's just ice cream".

Scipio said...

My favorite is still, "But, warden...those aren't even my pants!"

Theron said...

Mine remains, "You're Thor? I can hardly pith!"

cybrid said...

Although everyone else has already moved on from here: I'm pretty sure you mean "Miracle Monday," not "Magic Monday." Just so's you'll know.