Friday, July 14, 2017

The Comic That Ended the Silver Age #2: Gettin' Doughy

Today continues our lesson on "Snapper Carr -- Super-Traitor!" (JLA #77 (1969)).

"It's Old Man Withers, the caretaker!"



It begins as all truly great and enjoyable stories do: with Snapper Carr getting the crap beat out of him.

Any resemblance to the current sociopolitical environment is entirely intentional, by the way.

If Snapper were better educated, he simply would have exclaimed "V!"


Fortunately (?), someone comes to his rescue with the ominous/cheery line "There's no need for violence... at least not yet!"

Yes, this is an obvious set-up so that Snapper would see this guy as his savior. But Snapper's too dumb to see that.


Okay, BRACE yourself for the meteor-impact of subtlety that is the writing of Denny O'Neil. 

No, really; brace yourself.  because I guarantee you are not ready.  

Ready...? (You're not, by the way).

Here it comes...


KA-LOOOTA!!!

I've met him, and one cannot help but love Denny O'Neil personally. He's a good and very intelligent man, with a strong conscience, who longed to bring relevant social discourse to a genre known mostly for people in capes hitting one another.  However, he writes with all the subtlety of Hulk throwing Thor's hammer at a rusty typewriter.

Only in comics can one become (somehow) famous for being average. Only in comics can one be 'most normal".  Only in comics can one do so while wearing a bright green suit.

So there is apparently an off-panel heart-to-heart between Snapper and *snort* "John Dough" in which JD completely convinces Snapper to come over to the dark side.  It happens pretty damned quickly because the next time we see them they are still wearing the same clothes.

Bruce, Ray; get off your asses and invent the cell phone already. Cheez.


The JLA only has three smart people in it, and Snapper just took out two of them at once.

Really, Denny? You felt the need to have a genius professor of nuclear physics say 'kinda'?

Key here is that Dough makes SNAPPER do the deed.  This is very cult/gang leader; make the newbie prove himself and his loyalty by doing some culpable act himself while you stand there to apply pressure.

You were always a weak fool, Snapper.
Saying yes to anyone in authority, anyone with a badge,
just like your parents taught you.
Say, do you even HAVE parents, Snapper?

Any resemblance to the current sociopolitical environment is entirely intentional.


Dough lets Atom lie there, but kidnaps Batman and puts him unguarded in a death-trap while he goes away to do something else, because comics.

Jeez, Denny, what kind of corny joker calls something "Operation: Average"?
PUT DOWN THE MJOLNIR AND STEP AWAY.

But what else is Dough up to?  Superman knows because he's the one who still reads newspapers:

HA! A superficially populist politician who plays on the fears and insecurities of the voters afraid of people who are different and of finding themselves in a world where they no longer matter as much as they used, by promising to return them to an earlier, simpler time?
Oh, Denny you and your crazy concepts!

I just LOVE that Hal's staring at his hands.
"These, for example, are not normal; my GOD my hands are beautiful!"

Then Green Arrow -- holy cow I can't believe I'm saying this -- GREEN ARROW calls this out as total BS and is RIGHT.

I... I agree with Green Arrow completely.
Because Green Arrow is right.
Now I need a drink and nap.


Why did Dough duck out on the Batman death-trap? Because he's preparing for a debate against superheroes at a big public rally that evening. How do we know? 

Because Batman shows up to tell us!

What's THIS? The Caped Crusader...OUT of the death-trap? And protecting our villain...?!


What does this mean? Tune in tomorrow, same Dough-Time, same Dough-Channel.






10 comments:

Anonymous said...

"HA! A superficially populist politician who plays on the fears and insecurities of the voters afraid of people who are different and of finding themselves in a world where they no longer matter as much as they used, by promising to return them to an earlier, simpler time?
Oh, Denny you and your crazy concepts!"

White People Ghost Dance.

Neil said...

A name like "John Dough" requires the following conversation:

Person #1: ...as in "John Doe"?
J.D.: Ha, ha, never thought of it that way. Why that'd be ridiculous. No, it's "Dough," as in what you use to make bread. "John Doe!" Why, I never!

Also, I love how a rally for normalcy is at "Golden Stadium." Oh, White Privilege, you never fail to disappoint.

Lastly, I can't figure out which artist would be more likely to perform at Golden Stadium, Kanye West because of his ego, or R. Kelly, because, well, the obvious, really.

Scipio said...

Anon: doh't tell the Bureau of White People Affairs!

Scipio said...

as in "John Doe"?

Comics where the writer acts as if the character are reading each others word balloons rather than hearing speech REALLY bother me.

Neil said...

Which was kind of my point. Having his name spelled "Dough" only works when you see it printed, as in the newspaper. Most people would hear the name and think "Doe." I'm not quite sure why Denny O'Neill didn't just go with "Doe" and make it easier on everyone.

In either case, I'll amend it,

Person 1: ...as in what they call unidentified people, you know, "John Doe"?

tad said...

I'm on the edge of my seat. Why, Batman, why? He always had a libertarian edge, but surely not this!

"Yes, as a billionaire who dresses up like a bat and rides around in a themed roadster with a teenage acrobat in panties so we can punch criminals, I have seen the light. I'm AVERAGE!"

I suspect it's hypno-germs.

SallyP said...

This is just fantastic. Especially since it has Snapper Carr getting pummeled. God...I just can't stand Snapper Carr.

And don't hate Hal for being entranced by his beautiful hands.

Harley Liebenson said...

As I bought that comic way back when, I know too much....

Anonymous said...

Can I talk about that cover for a second? I'm impressed with the composition and how they manage to fit everyone in, all standing like weirdos.

Scipio said...

one of the nice compositional touches is that the Atom is intentionally positioned at the visual overlap of Batman and Flash's legs so that you know that he's SMALL not FAR AWAY.