Thursday, May 17, 2012

Highly Unthreatening Gangster Names

Nowadays self-professed "gangstas" name themselves with bizarrely infantile epithets that make them sound like hookers, rather than bad-asses, names like "Little Pony". 

Back in Batman's early days, he fought REAL gangsters.  They weren't tattooed striplings with their pants hanging off their butts like ten-dollar rent-boys at last call.  They were men.  Ugly ugly men in ugly ugly suits.  With ugly ugly names like "Shovel", "Knuckles", and "Machine Gun". 

They had their own rules about coming up with your gangster name,  but even that system wasn't foolproof.  Some of Batman's early gangster foes just didn't take the whole self-naming process seriously enough, and their careers suffered correspondingly.  Here, then, are a few of the



Look, "Chick" is a fine moniker if you're a cartoonist, or jazz musician, or a baseball player.  But face it, "Chick Miller" is not a name that's going to send a shock of fear throughout the denizens of the underworld.   Heck, it wouldn't scare the denizens of my mother's Zumba class.  And once word gets around that Chick does the Wiggly Dance at his cell door like a go-go girl suspended above a '60s dance floor, his criminal career is pretty much finito (along with his future as a potential scoutmaster). 


"So, guys, who should we trust with location of the swag while we're waiting for the heat to cool off?  Weasel?  Weasel it is then!"  Remember mothers, when you name your son "Weasel" you've pretty much doomed him to eventual hit-and-run by a big black sedan with no license plates.


That's MISTER Fink to you.  "Join me and my boys," Hal offers; "be part o' the Fink Gang!"    M'yeah, no, I'll pass on that, Hal.  When your name is Fink you are NOT going to be a successful gangster, even if your minions get over the subliminal "This guy will rat me out to the cops in the blink of eye" feeling that the name Fink would surely generate.  The above panel is a perfect example: Hal Fink fails to kill Batman and Robin because he's too stupid or sloppy to remember to turn off the water spigots when he washes his hands.

Really, when your name is "Fink" there are quite a lot of professions -- like politics or the military -- that probably aren't in the cards.  Fortunately, there's always education and the law.


"Hm.  I'm afraid my natural effeteness renders my appearance inapposite for my chosen career as a criminal capo.  Sometimes I wonder whether I should have invested in Charles Altas's system of Dynamic Tension rather than the Franklin Pangborn Program of Coded Fastidiousness. Perhaps I should adopt a compensatory sobriquet to imbue my person with a frisson of menace?  But what--?!" 

Suddenly, a baguette flies through the window.

"That's it!  I shall become... FRENCHY BLAKE!"

Oh, and in case you haven't guessed, that's actually Batman behind that door, and in the  next few panels he slaps Frenchy around like the bitch he is, then dangles him out the window upside down with a silken cord wearing a sign that says, "I AM BATMAN'S HO!"  Golden Age comics were stern reading, folks.

As titter-worthy as Chick, Weasel, Fink, and Frenchy are, the one that wins the prize hands down for Least Threatening Gangster Name is surely...


Sad part is, there is at least one of you reading this right now who just said, "OMG, THAT'S MY NEW DRAG NAME!" 


Gus Casals said...

Glitter Gleason: Mariah Inpersonator

Dougie said...

"I have exactly what you're looking for...THE DANSE APACHE OF NICK FURY!"
Now we know where the baguette came from.

Bryan L said...

Who walks away and leaves TWO faucets running? Not one, TWO. And not dripping, or trickling -- those suckers are wide open. And he apparently left the drain plug in, too. Hal's lack of attention to detail is astonishing.

Chad Walters said...

Off topic, but I'm sure you'll be glad to learn that DC Nation will be airing a Vibe short on Saturday:

Hoosier X said...

I just today got a copy of Detective #630 and I gotta ask ... What do you think of Two-Tone?

Scipio said...


Scipio said...

Well, I just read the SYNOPSIS for Detective #630 and it gave me a headache, so I'm going to lie down now.