Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Octopus Week #2: Octo-Improv Comedy

Al 'Slippery' Michaels' decision to heed the omens and re-style himself as the 8-themed villain 'The Octopus' is an ingenious move, one that will surely inspire excitement and loyalty in his men.

 You can tell criminals don't go to a lot of costume balls.  I mean, who wears purple hose, a tee shirt with an octopus transfer, and a tentacle hat to a costume ball?  Lady Gaga? 

Or perhaps just derision.  Note the guy on the right of panel, who's about two seconds away from bolting toward the door: "Jeez, If I wanted to deal with this kind of crap I woulda stayed in Gotham!"

Okay, so the boss wants to dress funny around the house.  No harm in that, particularly when we fight a guy dressed like Robin Hood.  I mean, it's not like he's really going to overboard with the--


I've made fun of how obviously low-rent Al Michaels is, but I must confess I'm starting to be impressed.  Just a few days out of prison and he's already:

(1) experienced a transformative enlightenment into thematic supervillainy;
(2) had his mom sew up one of the most, um, memorable costumes in comic book history;
(3)  installed an enormous salt water aquarium sunken into his living room floor (which is NOT easy, let me tell you); and
(4) purchased a giant octopus.

Do you know what it costs to buy a live giant octopus?  Do you know how hard they are to find and have delivered?  I spent the better part of yesterday trying to figure that out, and neither Google Shopping or eBay could help.  And Michaels is pre-internet.  Really, it's quite impressive.

Well, so, the boss has gone a little... eccentric.  I mean, it's not like he's really going to let that influence his criminal decision making.

Um. Um. Um.  What?

Okay, yeah, that's what I thought you said.  

Michaels, I mean, "The Octopus" has gone fully around the bend and is running his gang by celaphodic divination like some sort of criminal improv show. "Hello, everyone! I'm your host Al 'Slippery' Michaels, and welcome to WHO'S CRIME IS IT, ANYWAY? ! Let's take a look at the octo-alphabet board, shall we...?"  Cluemaster must be SO jealous right now.

 So, how does this M.O. work in practice?

"Hey, boss; Harvey Dent just tweeted about you.  
He says 'michaels wtf you sicko get therapy now not l8ter ha ha #arkhamwannabes'.  
You want I should write him back...?"

What's the difference, indeed?  I think the most charming thing about the Octo-Alphabet Board Game is its arbitrary nature. Unless Michaels really is the greatest criminal improv genius of all time, you know damned well he's already got the Ice Show gig pre-planned.  Like a good gameshow host ready to segue from any contestant small talk into the next round, Michaels has probably already figured out a way to interpret any letter chosen as representing the crime he wants to pull.  "X? Of course! There is an... Xcellent ice show at the arena tonight! Thank you, Octavus!"  "Boss, there's actually a xylophone concert tonight at the--" "I said THANK YOU OCTAVUS; now let's go!"

Try not to think about the fact that the naive assumption underlying the Octo-Alphabet Board Game is that Octavus will ONLY TOUCH ONE LETTER.  Octavus has eight tentacles; that is, after all, the very point of having him.  I'd love to see Michaels' face if Octavus went full-bore at the board with each tentacle.  "AFGHRSTU?  Uh... there's a ... an Afghan restaurant on U Street that---oh, fudge it, we're robbing the damned Ice Show, okay?!?!"


SallyP said...

Boy howdy, when this guy gets obsessed, he certainly gets OBSESSED! I hadn't previously considered the difficulties involved in obtaining a giant octopus, but I'm sure they are many.

I do love how his poor minions seem to think that he's gone round the bend...but not to the point of actually just leaving.

Hoosier X said...

How could they leave, SallyP? When they've been bound so tightly and inexorably by the Tentacles of Fate?

Eight men, who escaped prison on August 8, led by a man with an 88 IQ.

No man can just step out of his own story.

Nathan Hall said...

This had me laughing for a solid eight minutes.

Dave said...

I think Octavius is an ancestor of Paul.

TotalToyz said...

Lady Gaga would only wear that outfit if it were made out of meat.

r duncan said...

I'm going to pretend that Octavius is really Topo under cover.

Dean said...

Octopusses have crazy prediction skills- remember Paul the psychic octopus, picking all of those World Cup soccer matches? There may be method to Michaels' madness...

But my favorite octopus-themed supervillain is and will remain Octoboss from Invincible.

ronald said...

Points for having no gratuitous slam on Marvel this time around. Seriously, I appreciate that.

>>>I hadn't previously considered the difficulties involved in obtaining a giant octopus, but I'm sure they are many

Hey, if anything, Star City is probably even nuttier than Gotham.

Steve Mitchell said...

For the run-up to Final Crisis, Grant Morrison should have brought the Octopus back from Limbo of Lost Supervillains and had him kill Green Arrow.

But I'm getting the Octo-Vibe. . .I was born on the 4th, and I wear glasses, making me a 4-Eyes, and I have 4 cats, so if I can just teach my kitties to pick out crimes using a Scrabble set. . .