Thursday, September 10, 2015

Mr. Moth Week #7: Vibration is Martian-made!

We last left Mr. Moth and the Martian Manhunter in a tense stand-off at the lighthouse!

J'onn's GOT to figure out a way to stop Mr. Moth, because, well, five pages are already gone and there's less than one left to go.  Perhaps .... the vibrations caused by spinning?  As previously mentioned, the first principle of Martian problem solving is: any problem that can be solved by spinning MUST be solved by spinning.  To wit:

It's best not to think too hard about how J'onn is apparently spinning all the individual parts of his body separately.
it doesn't look pretty, I'll guarantee it.

You'd don't kneed to know WHAT problem you're facing, really, as long as you can solve that problem by spinning.

No, I will not explain it.  If you can't figure out how to use spinning to stop a charging lion, then, I'm sorry, you're just not enough of a Martian Manhunter to know.

All J'onn has to work with is ... those colored bulbs?

Observe: the counter-intuitive Martian mind at work!

Not a lot of room to spin inside a lighthouse, but....!

Really; it's a wonder J'onn is still single.

Vibration is Martian-made!

Oh, dear. When J'onn spins, or vibrates, OR snaps his fingers...well, H'ronmeer alone knows what might happen! BRACE YOURSELVES!

Superior Martian understanding of pneumatics and anemology is J'onn's REAL superpower.

Wait...what?  That's .... well,  I wouldn't have thought of that, J'onn.  It seems to have surprised the artist, too, since he didn't have the fortitude to try to DRAW the bulbs being magically unscrewed by the inscrutable suctioning winds created by J'onn's vibrating hand.

Mr. Moth.  Undone by riveting sources of light? THE IRONY!

It was nice of them to let him keep the mask.

Mr. Moth  had a good run while it lasted, I suppose, but -- unlike the Human Flame -- he never got a second go.  Which is too bad, they would have been a great pair, for obvious reasons.  The helmet, which I'm guessing now is just molded plastic, had no special anti-Martian abilities.  The most fascinating thing about the entire story is that, although moths' attraction to FLAMES (as sources of light) is their essential characteristic, there is not a single fire in the entire story.  Fire is common in Apex City...but only when you don't expect it.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Mr. Moth Week #6: Have Special Ray-Gun, Will Travel

You know, I think I owe Mr. Moth an apology.  I called Killer Moth his "more successful Gotham counterpart."  But objectively it's the other way around.  The only thing Killer Moth successfully stole in his first two stories was that stupid pre-Incan Moth idol, and the only reason he got away with that is because he was a DIRECTOR of the museum it was in.  That's like buying a merit badge.  Meanwhile, Mr. Moth has stolen two larger, more public targets, in full view of the city, while facing off against a godlike alien being whose full catalog of powers would contain more words than the story itself.   

And, I'll wager, he's about to steal a third.  Who's going to stop him? Det. Jones? Pfft.  The only way HE's going to find Mr. Moth is if he paints himself with phosphorous and gets stolen, and we all know that odds of THAT.

Such is Apex City's commitment to extraterrestrial research and its public appeal.

Actually, that just might slow down Mr. Moth long enough for J'onn to catch him.  After all, it's not like you can grab an entire model solar system from a planetarium with a skyhook.

The police? Yeah, maybe they'll send a detective to help you.
Call the FAA, you'll get a faster response.  

Unless you're Mr. Moth and you show up when it's being delivered.  Touche, Mr. Moth; who needs Monty Moran, any way?  

I'm sure the hat doesn't make that easier.

Well, he may not need The Getaway King, but Mr. Moth could use some better deliverymen.  Decent villains don't have to haul their own, um, hauls.  If only he were a scientist and could invent something to help do that, or had henchmen to assist.

Ooookay. You ....DO have henchmen. Henchmen whose sole purpose is to watch you do the heavy lifting and then open your Christmas presents for you.  And what's more... you have THE MARTIAN MANHUNTER!

You'll be forgiven if your first conclusion is that J'onn used some previously unmentioned martian power of "creating and then hatching from a big yellow cocoon".  

Mr. Moth did wind up stealing J'onn, who hid inside the sun, armed with multiple metaphors.    

Mr. Moth, a worthy foe, also knows how to wield a metaphor.  And a ray-gun.

Following the classic Golden Age tripartite formula for first-time villain encounters, J'onn:

  1. was taken by surprise at their first encounter (the Radium Clock);
  2. anticipated their second encounter, but was not prepared enough to capture the villain (the Atlas Statue);
  3. planned for their third encounter, allowing him the opportunity to capture the villain (the Golden Orrery). 

Or at least it would allow him to capture for the villain, were it not for Mr. Moth's holding a ray-gun on Aquaman's dad.

Can't take chances with lighthousekeepers, tricky blighters.  Best to use a ray-gun, one of your own devising, if possible.  I guess Mr. Moth is a scientist, after all.

Well, that's it.  All the stolen valuables -- the Atlas Statue, the Radium Clock, the Pier One stuff, the pretty pretty pony -- it's all in that henchman's briefcase, clearly.  Mr. Moth, whose brain is clearly quite large inside his tiny head, is going to make good his escape with his ray-gun and hostage.

Once again, there is nothing the Martian Manhunter can do, even with all his powers.

Or... IS THERE...?!M

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 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.