Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Mr. Moth Week #5: And it opened up my eyes, I saw The Sign.

We last left Det. John Jones at the unveiling of the statue of Atlas Phosphoratus Mundigerens.  

"I sure hope this attracts Mr. Moth! Otherwise I may actually have to go martian-manhunting him."

Like his fellow lazy-ass crimefighter, Green Armchair, J'onn hates to manhunt and prefers his prey delivered.  Unlike his Star City counterpart, who is an idle millionaire, however, J'onn is an actual police detective who spends all day wandering around, making his indolence nearly incomprehensible.

Fortunately, making his own wishes come true is one of J'onn's lesser-used powers, so, sure enough, soon Mr. Moth casts his terrifying shadow upon the assembled flock of Apexians.

Since it has no base and isn't bolted to the ground, clearly THAT is one exquisitely balanced statue. AND it glows in the dark; no wonder Mr. Moth wants it so much.

You know, with a helicopter and a grappling hook, you can bring much steal anything that's outside, with no one to stop you but the FAA regulation process, which you can easily out-fly.  Josh, gas up the Cobra; I know what we're doing this weekend.

J'onn's all prepped to go Martian, then go invisible, and then...well, it's not clear at all how J'onn would stop Mr. Moth, since he wasn't able to last time in nearly identical circumstances.  But then again, it's never clear how J'onn is going to do ANYTHING.  Spinning and some highly doubtful control of airflow would be involved, I'm sure.

Besides, Mr. Moth knows J'onn's weakness-- concern for the conveniently pre-assembled and easily endangered flocks of Apexians-- and acts accordingly. The ominous Mothcopter is equipped with gunnage and tracer bullets, the kind of ammo you can use to start fires! OH NO! Fire is J'onn's weakness!!!

"I read how you come from the green skins and done fought the white skins and did a powerful lot for the orange skins. But I got one question, Mr. Martian Manhunter; how come you never helped us purple skins...?"

Hm. Okay.  Or, I guess, you can use them to topple that sign onto the flocked Apexians, paralyzed purple with fear!

If JJ can't use his Martian powers while he is invisible...how does he turn visible again?
Also, can J'onn create an ice cream cone with his mind that's so large that even he can't lick it?

Hm. Okay.  Or, since the purple crowd has magically disappeared like a Tudor barn, the sign could fall upon a loaded bus.  One that just happened to have stalled right under it.  Just after you fired on the sign.  You're a lucky guy, Mr. Moth.

Oh, sure. A busload of WHITE people.  Purple lives matter, J'onn.

"How WILL I ever be able to catch him?!"  I dunno, 'Manhunter'; maybe you should hire a detective.

Oh. OR you could just wait for yet another opportunity for Mr. Moth to steal a valuable, newly unveiled installation with a skyhook...

How rich are comic book cities like Apex?  Rich enough to have gold solar system models for the sake of pure ostentation.


CobraMisfit said...

*is VERY tempted to gas up the Cobra*

Aaaaaaand now I want the Moth Copter. Not only can it lift ridiculously heavy objects without having to worry about aerodynamics or gravity, its cannon is also more accurate than smart bomb in today's arsenal. As a cherry on top, it's painted a gorgeous shade of Apex Camo-Yellow which will match my Crowd Flocking Orange fedora nicely.

John said...

So...I've been waiting since the start, here: While grabbing a statue by the elbow is convenient for carrying, is the globe just a helium--sorry, hydrogen--balloon? Because I'm fairly sure the next panel should be flockers cowering in fear as the soon-to-be-flaming (now that it's exposed to oxygen and light) stone ball flops toward them to set the dias on fire where the Martian Manhunter can't save them except by molding a nearby street lamp (via spinning) into a super-powerful spring that will launch him to the Moon, whereupon he can use his Martian breath to smother the fire with Moon-meteors.

And now it's even stranger that J'Onn set this whole shindig up without a plan. I mean, wasn't this his entire idea?

As to the purple people, the perspective in the panels leads me to believe that they were standing on top of the bus, but skedaddled when their ride stalled directly in the path of the stupidest billboard in history being cut down and ran for the relative safety of the sidewalk. Their heads, after all, were originally nearly up to the top of the windows, whereas the bus only stands about a person's height shy of that, with the local flock standing even lower in the second panel. They're used to saving themselves and being presumed responsible for any trouble that might occur by the police of a given major fictional city.

Hey, wait. Didn't Earth-1 have an asteroid belt or does Apex just have the worst planetarium in the world? Because the depicted solar system appears to have a planet slightly smaller than Earth between Mars and Jupiter, presumably the hypothetical Phaeton. The model probably also has Nibiru poised to destroy everyone. History books probably also teach Phantom Time...

Scipio said...

"molding a nearby street lamp (via spinning) into a super-powerful spring that will launch him to the Moon, whereupon he can use his Martian breath to smother the fire with Moon-meteors."

Oooo; smart plan. you must be a Martian!

SallyP said...

Well, if he waits long enough, Mr. Moth will have stolen all the cool stuff and then just... stop maybe? No muss no fuss.

Unknown said...

It seems like each of Mr. Moth's distractions would buy him five seconds, tops. I don't see how this is enough time for a helicopter to get away from the Martian Manhunter, and I really don't see how this prevents the police from observing where his helicopter is going. Mr. Moth's even making it easy for them, he exclusively steals colossal objects that shimmer with dazzling light, and carries them through the air directly to his hideout.

Andrew said...

One's of J'onn's powers is spontaneous haiku:

Yes, but in doing
so, I had to let Mr.
Moth escape again!

Hmm, even the narrator is getting in on the act:

J'onn J'onzz cannot use
his Martian powers while he
is invisible!

Like all good narrators, he enunciates clearly, such that 'powers' uses two syllables. Because's he's classy that way.

Bryan L said...

Cola must taste awful in Apex City. Both the models on that sign are seriously gritting their teeth around those straws.

cybrid said...

I vaguely remember reading in an Encyclopedia Brown story that a truly accurate scaled model of the solar system wouldn't fit on Earth because even on the scale of using a marble to represent a planet, the scaled distance between planets would be thousands of miles. Of course, the article doesn't say that Apex City's model is TO SCALE so I guess that's not all that relevant anyway.

tad said...

I can't be bothered to look it up, but do ALL J'onn's superhuman abilities cease when he's invisible? Is he no longer invulnerable to everything except a Bic lighter? Can he no longer fly? How weak is he, exactly -- like a human his size, or even weaker?

Presumably if you can be run over by a bus while you're invisible and that will kill you, invisibility is not a great power for a superhero to have. Especially one who spends as much time wandering across streets as J'onn J'onzz.

John said...

Scipio, that's...not the first time it's been suggested I'm from another planet. Probably the most polite time, however. Still, it's good to have contingencies in case diases burst into flames after phosphorous-coated stone balls fall on them. Because that's totally a thing that happens.

Bryan, right? It's like they're trying to scare people away from drinking brandless soda. And what the [expletives deleted] is that thing at the middle-bottom!?

Unknown said...

Also, can J'onn create an ice cream cone with his mind that's so large that even he can't lick it?

I answer that the same way I answer the classic riddle upon which it is based: why would he want to??

Bryan L said...

John, I think that's a hand. I surmise it's someone trying frantically to signal the models to spit that crap out. I'm assuming they had to use that particular shot because they couldn't persuade anyone to swill the foul concoction long enough to take a second picture. That's just guesswork on my part, though.

cybrid said...

(why does this page care whether or not I'm a robot, anyway?)

>>>Also, can J'onn create an ice cream cone with his mind that's so large that even he can't lick it?

Of course. And then he'd lick it, anyway.

It occurred to me that Apex City is pretty much what Gotham City USED to be before the latter got all dank and bleak and corrupt and there's the explanation right there, the wacky giant prop industry relocated to Apex from Gotham, undercutting Gotham's entire economic infrastructure, and it was all downhill from there.

John said...

I don't know, Bryan. An Apex director would have a hand with a detailed fraternity ring and name-brand watch, not to mention fingers, whereas that looks more like a flipper. Unless their director is a seal, which isn't something we've seen, but admittedly wouldn't be stranger than anything else we've seen. But yeah, the whole scene gives a less than pleased impression. Maybe they're advertising OpenCola. It looks pretty vile and Open Source projects are pretty notorious for crappy design work...

Cybrid, I like the premise! They probably prefer a customer base where they actually appreciate the props as props, rather than Gothamoes who just dump their masterworks on the roof as advertising and nobody ever flocks to see them.

And the robot thing seems to keep out a lot of spam. Quite a bit slips through on old questions that I've noticed. But of course, the real reason is that we're training Google's servers to recognize food in pictures without their needing to spend more money...