Friday, April 12, 2013


As I mentioned in February...

Wizkids has announced that they will be making a Heroclix set of the 1960s live action Batman television show.  
My fear for the set, however, is that the villain's cannon fodder--the goons and molls--will get short shrift.  Sure, our attention and memories focus on the colorful principals, but we mustn't forget the essential ingredient of criminal tofu provided by the villain's gangmembers.  Without them, there would have been no POW!-laden bat-fights, no betrayals by "traitorous wenches", no kidnapped jurors, millionaires, or beauty contestants.
Besides... who says they were colorless?  Sure, they paled a bit in comparison to the lurid technicolor portrayals by the principal actors, but they have flavor and interest all their own.
Surely you remember....
The mimic Cornell, played by swoon-worthy Paul Mantee (to whom Adam West himself played second fiddle in the classic film Robinson Crusoe on Mars?).

Wow, Paul. Nice...pants.

Creepy Sid Haig as King Tut's Royal Apothecary.

If anyone would make zombie bugs, it would be Sid Haig.

The uniquely disturbed voice of foolish art-mad heiress Baby Jane Towser.

Even the Joker is mortified by Baby Jane's paint-peeling vowel sounds.

The inimitable Harvey Lembeck as Eagle-Eye?

Give 'im da finger!

Naive cheerleader Suzie from Woodrow Roosevelt High?

"Poor... DELUDED creature."

Lawrence Montaigne as the robotic, inaptly named Mr. Glee?

Those do NOT look like people named "Joker" and "Mr. Glee".

Lesley Gore as the lyrical Pussycat?

Nope; too easy to make a Leslie Gore / "Pussycat" joke.   Besides, we love Leslie Gore.

I'm sure none of these folks, or their less interesting colleagues, will be represented in the announced Heroclix set.  I can't do them all justice, but I can help a little by creating generic tokens to represent the molls and goons of the show.

The Moll is identical to the Amadeus Cho token in the Marvel "Mutans & Monsters" set (muB005, to be precise).  A perfectly vulnerable "ordinary person" dial except a special power, which allows you to give her a power action to use Outwit.

This might seem like overkill; a Moll with the powerful Outwit ability (the ability to 'shut off' one of the powers on an opposing figure's dial)?  But in the show, molls weren't just eye-candy; often they used to stymie the Dynamic Duo somehow.  They passed themselves off as innocent citizens, or provided a distraction, or served as hostages, or bopped you over the head with a vase when you weren't looking.  They aren't the major players in the battle, but they are often the pawns used to frustrate an attack.  As such, having to give them a power action to use Outwit (which is usually a free action) is a fairly good representation of that role.

Points for you if you can recognize which moll this is!

For the goons, I looked outside of the box a bit and based them on the Orc token from the Lord of Rings version of Heroclix.   

Ugh.  These guys are nowhere near as cute as Paul Mantee.

But then again... who is?

These guys are a bargain.  For just ten points, they have Flurry (the ability to make two attacks on an adjacent figure in one turn, rather than just one attack) and Combat Reflexes (an extra two points of Defense against attacks from adjacent opponents).  But the real kicker is their special "Swarm" power ("When stacked give Orcs a power action and as a free action you may unstack any number of Orcs tokens and move each up to (S) squares.")

Um...okay; maybe this guy is.  
In fact, if I had to choose between this guy and prime Paul Mantee...
 I wouldn't.

Translating from the rules jargon, that allows you to stack up to 8 of them on one square, move them as if they are one character, and then, when you're ready to use them to attack, they can all fan out and move up to surround an opponent (although, of course, they can only attack one at time).  Which, come to think of it, is almost exactly how the goons in the show used to behave. 


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Rocky Grimes Week #7: Stone Cold

When last we left Bullwinkle and Rocky, er, I mean, Batman and Robin, Grimes had put them each into a stone-themed traps.

Robin has focus issues.

There are many ways one can imagine the modern day Batman escaping such a predicament (breaking the chair not least among them).  But this is the Golden Age Batman, where everything is about THEME and IRONY.  If you get put into a theme-trap, you darned well better use a theme-escape or you'll be laughed out of the Club of Heroes. "Hey, Batman," Hourman would shout across the dining room, "how'dja get out of that trap last week?  Oh, wait, don't tell me; sonic screwdriver, emmairight?  Just like the last four times. Haw haw!"  Hourman was always a jerk. Which is why Batman invented Miraclodisulfiram.  But that's another story.

Anyway, Batman cleverly uses a grindSTONE to escape his bonds and then goes to rescue Robin, where, rather than just jump in the water and cut him loose, he lets Robin drown for a while, while he comes up with some ridiculous rock-and-pulley system to haul him out of the water.  That way he's using a STONE to rescue Robin from the STONE trap, because THEME and IRONY.

Then they haul ass to the petrified forest out west where Parks (a nicely fitting name) is about to get beaten to death by a petrified log, courtesy of Rocky Grimes, who is DESPERATE that you should get the joke.

Rocky, take a tip from the Joker; if you have to explain the joke, just don't.

"Ugh, of course, he's running. *eyeroll*  Now I'll never make it home in time to listen to 'Chess Hour' on the radio.  God, I hate crooks."
Rocky flees, and Batman engages him on stone bridge over a yawning cavern; one wonders where this is headed. Hint: things aren't looking up for Rocky.

Sigh. Rocky, real villains do not say,
"Okay, pal, I'm gonna beat your face in for you."
I think I give up on you, you're never going to go very far. 
At least, not UP.

Rocky appears on the verge of triumph (don't they always?) until Mother Nature, who in the Golden Age had little patience for those with false pretentions to villainy, decides to indulge in some playful irony of her own:


Hailstones lead to headstone.  A thematic, ironical death for a thematic, ironical life.  Requiescat sub saxo, Rocky Grimes!

As Rocky Grimes Week draws to a close, let's review what we've learned from it all:

  • There's not really any theme or irony to your life; you're just imposing that on it in a vain search for meaning.
  • Commission Gordon is fat sissy stalker who knows everything about you.
  • Christopher Lowell was right: uplighting is the key to atmosphere.
  • Do not shout your own full name out loud while committing murder on a public street.
  • Revenge is a dish best not served at all.
  • One man with a machine gun could kill everyone at Gotham City Police Headquarters.
  • It takes a week or so to write about a Golden Age story, because that's how long it takes to read them.
  • Real villains can talk as grandly as they plan.
  • If someone in your gang threatens to squeal on you all, just shoot him; that's what the Penguin would do.
  • There will never by a League of Ironically Themed Villains because they all die at the end of their stories.