Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Death Traps

Note to future villains; this is a bad death trap.

Note the pathetic attempt to spiff it up with the "Naughty Dentist" outfit from Dream Dresser and a fancy name like "The Death Machine". We can't hear it, but I'm sure there's some off-screen hunchbacked assistant blowing a 'ta-da' on a kazoo while Doctor Naughty, DDS, makes his presentation. It's still a crappy death trap that's mostly just a pail of water. Rusty, I'll bet. Jeez, Doc; couldn't you afford the Acid Rinse-and-Spit machine? My evil dentist has one.

This? Now this is a death trap, people:

Labelled activation buttons. Gloved hands. Ascots. A cigarette holder (it's off panel, really, I swear). Maniacal triumphant laughter.

And showy fatal stuff. Lots and lots of it.

THAT is a death trap. Or a guest room for your mother-in-law.


Bully said...

I don't know how this story worked out, but I'm betting not well for this villain whom I've never seen before or since. ("The Arch"? "Butt-Chin"?) Let's face it: gas mixed with flame? Robots mixed with water? This thing has boomerang hoist-on-your-own-petard written all over it. I bet Batman and Robin didn't even appear in this story: it's 17 pages of The Yellow Ascot planning and designing his ultimate death trap, firing it up in a test run, and having it blow up in his face. And I bet The Evil Dad of Future Talk Show Host David Letterman spent years and millions on that death trap, too.

Scipio said...

Actually, this IS a Batman villain (of course).

I would love to pit the Yellow Ascot against Green Lantern.

He sets up this enormous byzantine deathtrap, which Hal escapes casually using a previously unseen power of his ring, but after deliving the Ascot to the cops, knocks himself unconscious hitting his head on the roof while getting into a Yellow Cab.

JP said...

I'll bet this story was written by Bill Finger. Best ultimately-futile death traps ever!

Jeremy Rizza said...

I'm just trying to figure out how he fit all that machinery into my college dorm room.

Ragnell said...

The Yellow Ascot? Sounds like he could only have been effective as a Green Lantern villain.

Hey, has Hal ever hit himself on the head getting into a cab before?

Anonymous said...

Where's the incredibly lame Dentist villain from? By the art, I'd guess it's Golden Age. But there's no way he's a Starman villain. Not nearly enough DRAMA!

Anonymous said...

The Anti-Dentist may well be a villain designed to highlight anti-drama. He's the root cause of the Crisis, simply because he appeared in an undramatic form in a panel of Starman. Thanks a lot for the Anti-Matter, jackass evil dentist!

naladahc said...

I find it odd that the death-causing agents are all basically "earth, air, fire, and water".

I'm wondering if The Yellow Ascot is an Aristotelian or Empedoclean in exact belief.

Bondwalker said...

I knew there was something fishy about my dentist. I think she actually HAS a Death Machine! Oh, cruel destiny! My days are numbered..

Scipio said...

"The Empedoclean" is what he was called in the Golden Age (and what Morrison will call him when he does the Seven Paladins of Nastiness series); in the Silver Age they changed him to "the Yellow Ascot".

Michael said...

So was I the only comic fanboy on the planet who did NOT know that the powers of the Fantastic Four were also based on the Empedoclean elements? You've got Mr. Fantastic (water), Human Torch (fire), Invisible Girl (air), and Thing (earth). Someone pointed this out to me only about a year ago, something I never saw before in my nearly 30 years of reading comics.

The Yellow Ascot would probably represent Fire (he looks like a flamer).

Word verification: hpzil, which is the chemical that the Anti-Dentist used for his Death Machine.

Harvey Jerkwater said...

See, now I'm all curious about the simpler deathtrap of the Evil Dentist. A wastebasket...with a cup suspended a foot above it...

How the hell would it kill you?

Is it diabolical in its simplicity?

Is it far more arcane than it looks?

Is it just plain stupid?

The spartan setup intrigues me. It looks like an "office basketball" setup. "If you do not throw the wadded paper through the hoop and into the trash can...YOU WILL DIE! MUH-HA-HA-HAAAA!"

Scipio said...

"How the hell would it kill you?
Is it diabolical in its simplicity?"

The same way it's been killing prisoners for decades, Harvey...

the bucket of water catches the cup when it falls, along with its contents:

a cyanide tablet.

C'mon, haven't any of you people ever been executed before?

Harvey Jerkwater said...

Yeah, I recognized the setup as the cyanide tablet dealy. I was hoping that somehow the Evil Dentist was more creative. Pity.

"When this breath mint reaches the sodium perchlorate solution, it will create a gas that will transform your pancreas into orange marmalade! MUH-HA-HA-HAAA!"

Le sigh.

And yes, I've been executed before. I don't like to talk about it. It's between me and the State of Texas. And the state of Oklahoma. And the state of Illinois, twice.

For the record, death itches.

Anonymous said...

OK, Starman, now you can spit.

HA! You have spit into my DEATH MACHINE!


naladahc said...

I wish his episodes had been completed for the 60s Batman TV show before it was cancelled.

Charles Nelson Reilly would have made an great Yellow Ascot.

Anonymous said...

I thought I recognized that evil dentist and his adorable death trap! It's from Whiz Comics # 2 (which is actually the first issue), the same comic that featured the first appearance of Captain Marvel.

The Anti-Dentist goes by the name of ... Dr. James Kirk! (I kid you not!) and his death trap is being used against ... Scoop Smith, who is described as a "crack newshawk." (He will write news for crack?)

Scoop is a reporter for a newspaper known only as "The News." His sidekick is his cameraman, Blimp Black.

So the Anti-Dentist's death trap didn't need to be TOO elaborate. Heck, The Yellow Ascot would have made mincemeat of Scoop Smith and Blimp Black.

(I wonder if "The News" pays Scoop in crack?

Anonymous said...

I was just reading these with nothing else to add to the buckett, but I felt that the verification word "qkohhr" went well with hoosier x's comments.

Anonymous said...

The mad doctor in that story was named Doctor Death, aka James Kirk (!) who worked out of Elm Street (!).

see page 511 of Zodiac Unmasked by Graysmith.