Thursday, September 03, 2015

Mr Moth Week #3: Coal-Oriented!

When we last left Apex City, Officers Toody and Muldoon, blinded by Mr. Moth's super-spotlight, were careening their squad card into a flock of gawking Apexians.

If only J'onn would share with the world his marvelous Martian technology of 'brakes".

Naturally, nothing can be done, and scores of people die.  Ha, no; this is where the Martian Manhunter lives, after all. As mentioned in previous posts, he never has anything to do and is always wandering around, waiting to be imperiled by a garbage-can fire.  In fact, here he comes now...

In what world do detectives have 'routine rounds'?  

At this point I feel it important to emphasize: J'onn is an alien.  VERY alien.  J'onn does not see the world as you and I do, at all.  If J'onn sees a discarded light bulb or a used paper cup lying on the ground between him and a trash can, he does not think, "I shall pick this trash up and place it in the bin."

No. What J'onn thinks is: "A piece of trash! Lying on the ground in front of me, near that trashbin!  Hm... If I oscillate my hand quickly enough, it can create a vortex that will lift the debris up...up...and into the trashbin! And any bystanders gawking around this area will attribute it to a lucky gust of wind!"

Because J'onn is WEIRD. I shudder to think what his house looks like.  He probably uses Martian-vision to make toast, then uses the unplugged toaster to butter it.  Wouldn't want to risk the bread catching on fire, now, would you?

A...a coal truck? What th--?!

Skipping the obligatory "change into Martian Manhunter" scene, here.

Obviously this must take MUCH less time than, say, just grabbing the car.

Once again, crazed alien disco queen J'onn J'onzz decides that spinning is the thing to do.  Even I'm non-plussed.  Even for J'onn this plan is absurd.  

The first rule of being a Martian is:
"All problems that can be solved by spinning
must be solved by spinning."

As a reminder: apparently, Apex City squad cars' brakes do not function if you can't see where you are going. 

I challenge you to come up with a more ridiculous way for J'onn to save the crowd from the squad car.  You can think about it all day, and you will fail.  Because YOU are not a Martian.  

You know, I think I have figured it out: there is some sort of Martian version of the Prime Directive that J'onn is trying desperately to uphold. He can't DIRECTLY interfere in anything, but if he sets up the right dominos, he can indirectly create the outcome he desires, and advert a war in the Gamma Quadrant.

Later, at police headquarters, Detective John Jones shows once again why the department would be lost without him:

"Good god, Holmes; it's so simple once you've explained it!"

"ORLY?," thinks Captain Harding. "That's a GREAT idea, Jones. And here I was, wondering whether I should ask him out on a date.  If you weren't the ONLY detective on the entire force, I would fire you so fast it would make your head spin.  But you'd probably like that..."


tad said...

This propensity to solve petty problems in the most ridiculous possible superpower is apparently common to aliens, since Superman does it all the time, going to hideous, bizarre lengths to cover up his secret identity, often convincing Lois Lane or Lana Lang that they've lost their minds.

This, by the way, is what drove me into the arms of Marvel as a young child. It frustrated me so immensely. Now, of course, it's one of my favorite things about old DC comics.

tad said...

"superpowerED WAY" is what that should have read.

If only I could use my super-alien powers to go back in time and arrange for a flock of flaming geese to fly past my window just at that moment, spelling out in formation the correct thing I wanted to type in the seconds before they fell blazing to the ground. Then I wouldn't have an embarrassing mistake in my comment.

cybrid said...

"In what world do detectives have 'routine rounds'?"

Well, patrol officers do. I'm not sure but J'onn MIGHT have started out walking a beat like any other cop. Maybe after he made detective, no one thought to tell him to stop.

John said...

"Making his routine rounds" is probably Apshai slang for donut runs.

But I don't know why he'd waste time with coal dust when he could drill (by spinning, don't panic) to Apex's bedrock and cause an earthquake that would level all the buildings on that city block, causing the crowd to scatter and knocking over the spotlight, while at least potentially delaying Mr. Moth long enough to be captured for stealing "precious objects that relate to light" a stone statue of a mountain god. Oh, and there'll even be more tiny new skyscrapers to flock to. Crap, it's like J'Onn is trying to make more work for himself.

I'm less worried about the patrol car's brakes, though, than the rationale behind using the car in the first place to only cross the street with a flock very obviously in the way and facing away from the car. The crowd was going to be there with or without working brakes and they don't seem to have had a plan to clear the way other than mowing down flocking Apshai. Sorry, some of them are facing the right way where we're close enough to see their horrified faces, which I'm guessing means that there's already a few sticking to the tires, since at least two of them are looking down. In fact, Ronald Reagan looks like he might be going down as we watch! Is the blindness because they can no longer aim for the colored fedoras?

Wait. That guy, in the background, way behind Ronnie. Is he waving to us or is...oh, Great Mars, is he motioning to people to get out of the way of the oncoming vehicle instead of gawking? It's like he doesn't even expect a cloud of coal dust to protect everybody. Does he not see the coal truck sitting there (notably with a driver who has decided not to plow through the crowd), plain as day!? What a rube.

Anonymous said...

Can I just say this? If Abin Sur's ship had been flying over Apex City, this coal trick would have saved him too, and Abin Sur would still be alive and Hal would still be sitting in his Scooty-Puff Jr plane simulator.

... or did that stream of coal dust perhaps reflect the light into space, and that's what blinded Abin Sur?

Either way, Abin Sur should have worn a pair of Ray-Bans. Just imagine how cool he'd look patrolling Sector 2814. I'd totally pick Samuel L Jackson to play him in the movie.

Scipio said...

"arrange for a flock of flaming geese "

Oh, Tad, why must you do everything the hard way?

Just inscribe a microscopic message to yourself on a piece of change in your pocket and throw it back to your previous self through the time-stream, where no one will think it odd when you pick up a lost quarter.

Make sure to sign it, though.

Bryan L said...

I don't get J'onn's urgency when he tells Ernest Borgnine that Mr. Moth "must be stopped without delay." He's a thief, not the Joker. Guess J'onn's worried about job security.

And why does Ernest wear a blue shirt that's the exact same shade as his police uniform?

John said...

That appears to be the uniform, Bryan. Muldoon and Exposition are wearing exactly the same color scheme. You can see it in yesterday's "special device" panel, beautifully composed opposite a random face in a purple fedora. I'd suggest that it (along with the ubiquitous solid-black neckties) is so they can sneak around in the dark like Batman, but the kelly green squad cars with the white roofs would seem to speak against that.

Looking at the images side-by-side, does Exposition outrank Borgnine? He seems to have more hematite braids on his cuff. Or maybe the Apex PD counts down to Police Colonel.

Hey, I'm clearly now spending too much time looking at these panels, but...uhm, did J'Onn take his pants off to spin? Again, not judging, we all have our hobbies.

Steve Mitchell said...

John Jones could have just become invisible and raced over to grab the back of the police car before it smashed into the crowd of flockers. Considering that in the panel shown, the car was no more than 20 feet from impact, he would have to be faster than the Flash to (a) transform into his Martian persona; (b) fly over to the conveniently situated coal truck; (c) do his spinning routine to turn the coal into coal dust; and (d) direct a stream of that coal-dust to block Mr. Moth's light beam in time to allow the driver to regain his vision and swerve away from the crowd.

It's astonishing to think that people actually got paid to write this stuff. And even more astonishing to think that some of us paid money to read it!

Unknown said...

How can Mr. Moth's hideout be a secret, when he flew there from the crime scene in a helicopter? And how is Mr. Moth's plan helped or harmed by him causing the police to crash into some civilians, as they drive slightly closer to the entrance of a building so they can run inside and ride the elevator to the rooftop where Mr. Moth used to be? Now that I think about it, one could make a strong case that the police are doing literally nothing to stop Mr. Moth.

Steve Mitchell said...

Just imagine the utter helplessness of the Apex City police if Captain Cold or the Invisible Destroyer hit town!

Slaughter said...

Why he must be stopped without delay? What will happen if he ins't stopped? Can someone at least finish his donut?

Hoosier X said...

I haven't read any Martian Manhunter for a while so I'd forgotten how TOTALLY AWESOME Captain Harding is.

Every once in a while you see him in a pose where he's not sitting at his desk and you don't recognize him at first.

I read his dialogue with the voice of Chris Christie in my head.

Scipio said...

"J'onn MIGHT have started out walking a beat like any other cop."
He MIGHT have.
But we know he didn't; the final panel of his first story is him being hired off the street as a DETECTIVE by the Apex City PD. Where that sort of thing happens.