Friday, January 07, 2011

Attack of Jean Loring's Brain, Part II

Hey, Ray! Remind us why the planet is about to be destroyed? What's the problem again...?

Thanks, Ray!

So, the Crazy-Evil in Jean Loring's brain is now armed with the ability to destroy entire planets. Which it starts to do pretty much immediately.

In case you don't recognize it, that's Captain Comet's butt. There are so many natural disasters, the situation is so bad that the entire JLA is busy handling it. And by "it" I mean "the situation" not Captain Comet's butt.

As a result the only otherwise unoccupied hero is Captain Comet. Does THAT tell you how bad it is when Jean Loring attacks? That the only person left to rely on is Captain Frickin' Comet?

We'll skip -- mostly -- right over the part where some of our heroes try to deal with some of the disasters. In short, Aquaman gets his ass handed to him by a tornado.
Aquaman is, apparently, not smart enough to simply go underwater when a tornado at sea is headed his way.
And neither, apparently, are whales. Or giant pink clams.
Can't really blame the clams, though.
Giant pink clams in NYC harbor... who knew?!

I said, MEANWHILE, while Aquaman is doing an interpretative dance in front of the Statue of Liberty...
"I call this dance
The Time I Got My Ass Kicked by a Tornado in front of the State of Liberty!"

... the Atom is beating the crap out of a little girl.

Attaboy, Atom! Prof. Palmer just hates truants.

Oh, and the Atom also runs a tanker train full of oil into an earthquake caused by Jean Loring's brain.

That might have been easier, Ray,
if you hadn't insisted on remaining at six inches while doing it.

Meanwhi--I mean-- Anyway, Captain Comet is jealous. Aquaman is doing the aquadance in midair above Liberty Island and the Atom is indulging in catastrophic explosions and child abuse. They have ALL the fun! So Captain Comet decides the best way to be useful while Jean Loring's brain orgiastically destroys the planet is to ponder the works of Thomas Aquinas while a Japanese village is incinerated by a lava flow.

Such thinking is impossible for anyone but the King of Dorks.

With Jean Loring and her crazy-evil brain destroying the world, Ray does the only sensible thing a rational scientist would do under such circumstances...

throws himself at Italian science-babe Enrichetta Negrini in a crazed eruption of long-smoldering desire.
"Can you handle all six inches of me, baby?"

And what does

think of all this?

Oh. Yeah. Right. I forgot.
Not much.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Attack of Jean Loring's Brain, Part I


in 1977, the Earth is under attack from the greatest threat the DCU has ever known:


Don't you wish you could talk that way?
Particularly during times of planet-wide distress?
Oh, and if "Jean Loring and the Orgy of Destruction"
is not the name of someone's band, it should be.

For those of you just tuning into the Absorbascon, you need to know that the girlfriends of DC's iconic heroes in days of yore were not cookie cutter copies of one another. They were not all smilingly supportive confections of sugar & spice & everything nice. They were formidable characters in their own right, with personalities all their own, as we've previously elaborated upon.

It makes an odd sort of sense that extraordinary heroes would seek out extraordinary partners. Any one of these heroes could have opted for a gushing giggling groupie, but... none of them did. Except of course for Ralph Dibny, who was an egotistical, self-centered weasel. Real heroes enjoy a nearly insuperable challenge, and the girlfriends of the Golden and Silver Ages were certainly... challenging.

When introduced in the first Silver Age Atom story, Jean Loring was obviously supposed to be a break from the traditional "Must Get a Man!' mode of portraying women. The opening schtick was that Ray had asked Jean to marry him some 20 times. But she kept saying no because she wanted to focus on establishing her career as a lawyer. Jean was focused, independent, and driven.

But over time "focused, independent, and driven" became "unfocused, incoherent, and driven crazy." I guess it was just too hard for writers of that era to portray a stable career woman. It became easier -- or more fun? --to pick a simpler, single way to characterize her: as BAT-SHIT CRAZY.

Poor Jean. Always caught
attacking innocent people in hotel lobbies in a fit of paranoia. Or threatening to rip a stranger's face off. Or ruling as a demented queen of an alien microscopic world. Or stepping on her friend's brain. Or terrorizing South America. Or being dragged off to Arkham in a straightjacket. Or becoming Eclipso.

Sad, perhaps... but very amusing.

Anyway, as mentioned in the panel above, the Crazy-Evil that resides in Jean Loring's brain possesses the power to destroy the Earth. I mean, even more than usual.

It was kind of T.O. Morrow's fault (you know, the futurist inventor who created the universe's most tedious weapon, the Red Tornado, and who regularly took on the entire Justice League). He got it in his head to take revenge on the JLA by kidnapping...

wait for it...

Iris West and Jean Loring.

Now, usually, I think of T.O. Morrow as one of the smartest villains in town, but anyone who's idea of a plan involves kidnapping the Meanest Woman Alive and the Craziest Woman in the DCU is none too bright. That sounds more like a JLA plan to take revenge on T.O. Morrow than vice versa.

Sure, T.O., maybe you've kicked the entire JLA's butts a couple times. But, really, taking on the JLA is one thing, but... taking on Iris West and Jean Loring? At the same time?! Are you freaking NUTS or what?!?!? Jean Loring will rip off your face and destroy your planet in an orgy of destruction while Iris West demeans you, undermines your manhood, and eats your dog. And if you don't believe that last part, then maybe you can explain what happened to the dog that appears in her apartment for one panel of the new Flash #1 and hasn't been heard of since.

Anyway, he carted them off to some alien world (like ya do), but the planet turned out to be sentient. And how did we learn this?

Because the planet was terrified of Jean Loring.

Being terrified of Jean Loring is one of the basic characteristics of all sentient life.

Yes, Jean Loring was SO crazy that the living planet was afraid she would drive it insane. So it sacrificed a huge amount of its, um, world-energy, I guess, by transferring it to Jean so she would teleport to ANYWHERE else.

Ladies and gentlemen, Jean Loring, Threat to Sanity!

More in our next installment.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The Attack of Jean Loring's Brain

Well, while you were lolling about in a post-New Year's Eve stupor, I was hard at work for you, scouring seedy comic stores along the waterfront, risking capture by the United Underworld, all for some Bronze Age lunacy to lampoon... for YOU.

And, there, right near Ye Olde Benbow Tavern, after dodging some nuns and a Salvation Army Band, I found it:

Oh, yes.... there will be lunacy.

You've probably never heard of it, and are even less likely to have read it (unless you're Damian Maffei). It contains...

But you can just call it the same thing I call it during...


here at the Absorbascon!

Stay tuned.