Saturday, September 08, 2012

Octopus Week #5: The Octopus goes for some booty

Poor Ollie! It appears he's going to have to drag his butt off the sofa and go hunt for these eight-themed losers, the Octopus Gang.  Really, he's thinking, I've done the brainwork of deducing their crime pattern? MUST I go hunt them down, TOO?  Prowling; how tedious.

Sorry, Ollie; that's the way crimefighting works.  You can't find the crooks by just sitting your ass on the divan watching the television.

Unless, of course, you live in Star City.

Yes, the Octopus Gang, so careful to wear their Beagle Boys masks at their first, ill-fated ice show caper, have been emboldened by their recent wave of successful crimes (i.e., two of them) to such a degree that they decide to put a job in their street clothes on live television.

"Oh boy-- I'm on TV! I'll be able to watch this on DCUTube everyday for the rest of life in prison!"

Even Ollie can't pretend he doesn't know the Octopus is robbing the gameshow; I mean, the Kid in the Red Pajamas was standing right there when they came on the TV. Sigh!  Better get to the Arrowcar and down to the studio.

"H-how'd he know we'd be here?"  He didn't. He saw you on television.  Dumb-ass.  
You were born in Star City, weren't you?

FINALLY! We get to the EPIC battle between Ollie and the Octopus Gang!

Oh.  Or just that.  More like the Octopussy Gang, if you ask me.  The rest of the gang is captured between panels, I guess, since this is the next scene:


Friday, September 07, 2012

Octopus Week #4: "R" is for... Regatta!

So, under the nearly mindless direction of the octopus....

Oops; I meant this one:

... the Octopus Gang plots to rob a bullion-laden salvage ship.

Hey, when you're wearing a tentacle hat, you have to hire whatever help you can.

How the heck do villains find stuff like this out?!  Must subscribe to the Twitter feed of every two-bit treasure hunter in America.  "Boss!  Old Man Simons just found a fifty-cent piece with a metal detector down at Starfish Beach!" "Forget it, boys; we're after bigger game: SILVER DOLLARS."

So, the plot is to get on board by disguising themselves as a college crew team participating in a regatta, and fake an emergency so the salvagers can "rescue" them.

Hey, wait a minute... .  A crew team manned by guys who are clearly beyond college years gets picked up by a boatful of rope-wielding sailors who've been out at sea for weeks on end and... OMG I TOTALLY RENTED THIS MOVIE!

It was called "STROKE!", I think.

"Those were guns in your shorts?! DAMN!  That's disappointing on several levels."

Unfortunately for the Octopus Gang, the salvage ship happens to have the only telegraph operator who doesn't know the phrase "SOS".

Pictured: Twitter 1.0

Fortunately for the Octopus Gang, the "help" he manages to summon is...

...Green Arrow and that Kid in the Yellow Hat.

Continuing their tradition of fantastic getaways (An eight ball!  A Studebaker!), the Octopus Gang skin-dives their way to safety.

"omg even got the loot this time screw you dent #2facesucks"

By the way, add that to the 1001 Ways to Defeat Green Arrow: skindiving. 

 I find his logic unfathomable.

See, now this is where Green Arrow, even I must confess, shows that he is a true superhero.  Even though he's a loser, with an unworkable schtick in a ridiculous outfit in the city with the lowest IQ in the DCU, Green Arrow has the one power that distinguishes real superheroes from run-of-the-mill crimefighters and police:

he thinks like a supervillain. Because no one is his right mind would be able to discern this imbecilic pattern from among the myriad details in any series of robberies.  In this way, I am forced to concede, Green Arrow is in Batman's league.

In fact, Green Arrow's so good at it, once he's figured out the pattern, all the fun is gone out of the chase, and he longer even feels the need to pry his butt off the sofa.

Um... Ollie?  Take a hint: Batman and Robin do not wander around the living rooms of Wayne Manor in costume, with the curtains open.

"Oh, yes, Henry VIII; it's also so... so obvious now.  Yawn."  Yeah, at this point, if the Octopus Gang wants to grab Ollie's attention with their tentacles of crime, they are pretty much going to have to reach right into his living room... .

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Octopus Week #3: What's the Difference?

When we last left Al Michaels, now known (at least to himself) as The Octopus, leader of the not-particularly-dreaded Octopus Gang, he had let his pet Octavus choose their next crime by means of the famous Octo-Alphabet Board.

"What's the difference?" is pretty much the motto of the Green Arrow Creative Team.

An eight-themed crime?  At an ice rink?  

Why, I can't figure that at all!  I simply can't see any possible connection that would link ice skating with eights.  Can you, kids at home?

In case you didn't know it, ice shows are just oozing with Fabulous Gems (tm).

The list of Star City celebrities includes: 
that Couple Batman Rescued from a Mugger When They Visited Gotham City, 
the Sailor Who Saw Aquaman Once from a Distance, 
Kay Daye's second cousin, and 
that trampy gal who once slept with Basil Karlo.

A figure... EIGHT?! Oh my god, everyone, look out...!


Okay, now I've seen everything.  Apparently, the Octopus's "preparations" involved inventing, in one afternoon, remote-controlled micro-heat coils, complete with power source, strong enough to melt ice that's thick enough to have an ice show on, and then somehow building them into the skates of the one skater you have somehow identified as the one who's going to skate a figure eight that night.  

Michaels! Ditch the half-assed thematic criminal career and send an application in to DARPA.  Do you have any idea how much damage we could do with that kind of techno-tactical talent during our next war with Norway?  I bet they'd even let you wear your costume; that's what warrant commissions  are for.

Not pictured below: hilarious falling through the floor by the skater.  "I thought you said you were going to scare the Ice Princess?" "She looked pretty scared to me!"

"Abruptly"?  How 'abruptly' can eight guys in suits and hats craw out of a hole in the ice?

Did you know that the ice at an ice show isn't on a floor?  It's a big sheet of ice hanging over, say, a tunnel or crawlspace or something?  You learn something new every day in Star City, folks.

Another thing I learned: the Celebrities of Star City are total morons who think armed men with hats are part of the show.  What do you think this is, "The Untouchables On Ice"?

"These Halloween costume Bizarro-hands will hide our fingerprints!"
"Haw! Yer a genius, boss!'

Unfortunately for the Octopus Gang, among the moronic Star City celebrities in attendance is Oliver Queen and His Pet Kid from the Reservation... AND their boomerang arrow.

I can just picture the GA Creative Team breakfast meeting in 1953 where they came up with this, all wearing their Mad Men outfits, holding cigarettes and martinis.
  • "So then GA shows up, but the gang has a head start and gets away."
  • "But then GA will look ineffectual!"
  • "Can't have a guy who fights crime with a bow and arrow look ineffectual."
  • "Amen."
  • "Alright, alright, but he can't capture them or the story's over six pages two soon."
  • "Not if you ask me." 
  • "We'd didn't, Murray, so shut up."
  • "Well, they get away but GA gets the loot."
  • "Yeah? How?"
  • " .... .... ...."
  • "*snap* Got it! Boomerang arrow! I'm a genius!"
  • "Dumbest damned--"
  • "Jesus Chri--"
  • "I can't draw that!'
  • "No, it's okay, we'll cover it with a word balloon."
  • "Look, boys, I got a hot number waiting for a nooner at the Hilton..."
  • "Boomerang arrow it is.  Breaktime!"

I'm just being silly, of course.  We all know that, even if "GA Creative Team" weren't an oxymoron, they certainly never had meetings.

"Damn! Can't stop to shoot Green Arrow and get the jewels back; 
gotta have these masks back to the Beagle Boys by ten o'clock!"

What's this, you ask, my criminal friend?  It's a total defiance of physics, let alone the very concept of "arrow", as in "straight as an arrow",  "the arrow of time", "I shot an arrow into the air", etc.  No wonder the crooks are surprised.


"They''ll never catch us in this 30-year-old Studebaker!  They're on foot!"
"Haw! Yer a genius, boss!"

"Gosh, GA! If only we had some way of piercing their tires from a distance!"
"Yes, Roy, it's a pity.  We'll work on coming up with something back at the Arrowcave, right after we're done perfecting the hoola-hoop arrow."

Well, they flopped in this round's robbery, but at least they put on a good show.  Hey, audience,  should the gang give up this no-profit life of crime and become improvisational comedians or performance artists? Or should they ...


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?!?!"

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Octopus Week #1: Behind the Eight Ball

Oh, it all starts simply enough: nine guys break out of jail after hitting a guard over the head.

Star City: where life is simpler.

When Ollie Queen and his Young Ward Roy Harper hear that a bunch of desperate criminals are coming out of prison, they do exactly what I would do:  start stripping and dash to the prison.
You're a man after my own heart, Ollie.  
Or the hearts of nine desperate and lonely prisoners.

Green Arrow discovers the breakout is the work of Al 'Slippery' Michaels "one of the biggest crooks I ever sent up." 

Note that this is in November 1953.  By 1953, Batman has defeated and captured the Joker, the Penguin, Two-Face, the Riddler, the Scarecrow, Clayface, Hugo Strange, Deadshot, Firefly, Killer Moth, the Mad Hatter, the Cavalier, Crazy Quilt, the Crime Doctor, and the Gorilla Boss of Gotham. 

During that time, one of Green Arrow's biggest collars was Slippery Michaels, some guy with an eight-ball in his sock. 

No wonder there's no 'Hall of Trophies' in the Arrowcave. 
"Will I ever have as many trophies as Batman does?"

But unprepossessing Mr. Michaels is on a slippery slope toward crazy Gotham-style supervillainy.   Why?  Because criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot, that's why.  You see, he made his little escape with his eight pals on August 8,  and, well, as he puts it:

Well, you can't fight fate!  So he decides then and there to do the logical thing.  He must be a creature of the eight, purple, terrible...a...a...

an octopus! That's it! He shall become an octopus!

If this were a Marvel character, he'd have already had at least three different Heroclix figures made of him, not including the "Hulktopus" version.

As hilarious as the 'tee-shirt with gym trunks over hosiery' look is, it's the hat that puts the Octopus's outfit beyond "pants-wettingly funny" into "pants-shittingly funny".  I shouldn't laugh, really; I sure it took his mother hours to make.

I wonder how Michaels'--er, the Octopus's new outfit will go over with his gang...

Monday, September 03, 2012

Octopus Week #0: Better Than Heroin

I left on a trip yesterday (the boys and I ...

are doing a concert tour in China; yes, really).  But while I'm behind the Great Firewall, I didn't want to leave you with nothing to read, so I wracked my brain for something to write about that would close off August (the eighth month) here at the Absorbascon.  I just couldn't get my arms around the problem; I felt like a real sucker.  

But then reader Dale lent me a hand by sending me a story that combines two of our favorite subjects here at the Absorbascon. Specifically:

The stupidity of Green Arrow...

  "Maybe I can do something with the boomerang arrow!" 
Like what, Ollie?  Hit yourself in the face?

... and sweet sweet octopus love, baby:

  You know, you'd think after a childhood spent like this, heroin would be rather a let-down.

Are you ready for....?

P.S. Trust me; you're not.