Tuesday, June 30, 2020

If I ever perfect time travel...

my first priority will be to travel back in time to prevent Roy Thomas from writing this panel:

My second priority will be: all the OTHER panels he has written.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Got milk, Ty Templeton?

Artist Ty Templeton, I am calling you out.

No butler in the world would serve a drink so that his bare hands have touched every possible place a diner could drink from.

No WAITER would do that.

Alfred certainly wouldn't. 

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Tom Kalmaku Pops

Eskimo Pies are being rebranded. I wish it would have happened much sooner. At least, sooner than THIS:

How about I call you ****head, then?  And then you just shut your non-eskimo-pie-hole?

As you can tell by the (non-Gil Kane) art, this is actually a later depiction of their original meeting. We don't actually see them meet in Silver Age Green Lantern issues; "Pieface" is simply introduced as a pre-existing character in Hal's life.

And eager to get out of it, 'natch.

Even as a child I knew this made Hal look like an idiot and was at least vaguely insulting to Poor Tom Kalmaku.  Not even "Eskimo is not a respectful word" insulting; just plain old "my name is Tom, why did you give me stupid nickname just because you are my boss and can get away with it?"

"But enough about me, Hal. How's that truck-driving gig going, huh? What does your banker call you, other than 'delinquent'...?"

Imagine Bruce Wayne calling Alfred "crumpet-face" and I think you'll get the point.

Now, I know that Hal is an Air Force pilot type, and they give one another (often achingly) stupid codenames based on the flimsiest of associations: "Oh, you're from Tennessee? We'll call you... Tuxedo!"  

"Get... me... out of here!"

This goofy practice (which I somehow blame Jack Kirby for) is almost a point of perverse pride.

But Hal, in the Silver Age, isn't in the Air Force. And, more important, neither is Tom.  So, it's just Hal being a ****. Geoff Johns, naturally, fixed all this because "Fixing All This" is what Geoff Johns does (especially for Hal Jordan, who has a lot of This to be Fixed).  He had Hal call Tom "Pieface" only because he heard other pilots call him that and when he finds out Tom hates it, he makes the other pilots stop.

Goeff Johns has a soft spot for Hal; his head.

It's a good fix. Doesn't actually make me forget the YEARS of Hal calling Tom "Pieface".  Or the writers making Tom say "Jumping fishhooks!" five times in every story.  Or the fact that "Pieface" has nothing to do with 'Eskimo pies' but is a derogatory term for someone a round face and "pie-slit" eyes, as one might call an Inuit person.  

But it's still a good fix.

Red Devils of Gayland: Fearsome Foursome

Telling you the story of the Red Devils of Gayland was merely the background to making clear the level of desperation in seeking Green Arrow foes to make custom Heroclix figures of that would drive me to create:

The Red Devils of Gayland

They are based on the Ninja dial from the Batman: The Animated Series Heroclix set (a figure I probably wouldn't use much, if at all; not a ninja fan). It's an easy fit with sneaky acrobats.

A similarly easy fit was the sculpt: Daredevil, of course:

Plenty of those to go around.

This foursome of Red Devils probably aren't enough to go up against a Green Arrow team by themselves, but they are a perfect 100 point plus-up to a team built around a more serious threat. Like... um.... the Octopus?  Sure; the Octopus.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Red Devils in Gayland: Wow

When last we left Gayland, the Red Devils, having rendered our brave bowmen unconscious, load them into the human-cannon as human cannonballs to launch them at... well, see for yourself.

Don't THOSE sound like fun attractions.

So.  Star City has an amusement park named Gayland. Which features a "House of Swords" topped with upraised spikes with an adjacent crocodile pen. Star City must have an unusually large Cenobite population is all I can figure. 

"Gayland: We Have Such Sights To Show You!"

Jeez, and I thought Star Citizens were just stupid; apparently they are freaky as heck. Which reminds me, Ollie is fulfilling his greatest fantasy:

BACK to his senses...?!
being shot like an arrow.  

For most heroes, suddenly waking up to find yourself being fired from a cannon would be disorienting. But Green Arrow is promethean in his foresight: "Surely, at some point I'll be knocked unconscious and hurled into the sky simply as the natural result of my own incompetence and foolhardy bravado, so I'm going to practice that by putting a CATAPULT in my car and shooting myself into oblivion as often as logistically possible."  

Sure enough, Ollie's mithridatean preparations have paid off so that he can not only calmly consider his circumstances with wonder, but take a moment to appreciate his surroundings (because, after all, he does this every day):

"If only I had my camera-arrow!"

Yes: "wow", indeed, Ollie.  In Golden Age tradition, Ollies uses one danger to defeat another:
Well, THAT'S convenient.

BTW, extra points to any commenter who can explain what on earth a "House of Swords" is and what OTHER purpose it might serve at Gayland than allowing Ollie at this very moment to free his hands so that he can do this:

Pretty sure Speedy is sleeping through all this.
The really impressive part is that he managed to get ALL the arrows to land at a 90 degree angle.
Having escaped The Death Trap, genre-savvy Ollie knows it's time to start wrapping things up. He and the Nervy Kid quickly find and capture the Red Devils who had previously proven insuperable:

"Say it ain't so, Circus Joe!"

Yes; "wow", indeed, Circus Joe.  Anyway, Ollie decides to impersonate one of the Red Devils (since it worked so well last time).

"You sound MUCH taller than Circus Joe."
Naturally, one of the supposed potential Victims was the mastermind, because, well, it's a Golden Age story and that's always what happens.

Star City has several outlets that sell matching fedora/briefcase sets.

In the end, it turns out to be a Scooby-Doo real estate plot (which is why we started this series with Scooby-Doo's crossover with Green Arrow, ha hah!).

Officer Right looks askance at his partner's brown-nosing me-tooism. 
"Really, Lefty? Why don't you say "AND HOW!" to top it all off?"

And finally, as always, Ollie and his roommate add an item to their Armoire of Trophies. 

 TOMORROW: Red Devils made REAL

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Red Devils in Gayland: A Stitch in Time!

We pick up the adventure in Gayland with Alphabetically Next Victim Faber plummet to a certain death by faulty parachute.  Why the bad guys would bother to give Faber any parachute at all, rather than just, you know, rolling him off a tower, I can't imagine. Unless they are just trying to make things easy for Green Arrow, but who then saves Faber with one of the most idiotic arrow-stunts I've ever seen:

"Arrow... stitch?"  REALLY, now.

Well, there's little point in trying to make fun of THAT.

The Archers and Faber head to see Sloan, the Victim whose voiced was faked to lure Faber to his gravity-based doom.  But not before Ollie leaves a note taunting the Devils:

There's no point to it.
Other than "Green Arrow's a ****."

The super-shaftsmen go back out in the wilds of Gayland hoping to be attacked by the Devils.

What horned devils WOULDN'T want to keep their date with two super-shaftsmen?

Who's the Green Arrow **** who's a sex machine to all he tricks? SUPER-SHAFT! You're damned right.


This is not as bad as the ketchup bottle incident, of course.
But still.
"Just relax," Ollie says. "Just let yourself go."

The Red Devils lead the Archers on a merry chase to and through the Funhouse...

"Funhouse"? Is that what the kids call it nowadays?

where the bowmen pretend to be overwhelmed by one of those tilt-a-way floors. You know, the kind you regularly navigated while laughing as ten years old.  All this is, um, part of a plan by Ollie to disguise himself as one of them?

Clearly, the writers are just making it up as it happens, much like Ollie.

Fortunately, Ollie (and the writers) realize they need the Boy Backup to hang back and wait until Ollie screws things up. Which is immediately.

Ollie failed to notice that he's a header taller than the guy he's replacing.
Have I mentioned recently that Green Arrow is not a detective?

Speedy is there to save Ollie's sorry butt, but even his assistance is insufficient.

"We've got a date with a cannon." I'm so sure.

I draw your attention to the Devil's lame William Tell joke.  Sure, Golden Age characters quip stupidly and improbably while fighting.  But this joke comes up on top of others in this story I haven't highlighted: the Wadsworth Poem, Robin Hood, (h)arrowing, William Tell, "getting the point".  These references aren't just in this story, they are in EVERY Green Arrow story in the Golden Age.  

Writers are, famously, supposed to write comic book stories as if "every comic is someone's first", but Green Arrow writers write every story as if it were someone's LAST.  "Well, it's not like anyone reading this will ever read ANOTHER Green Arrow story after this one, so we better put ALL the archery jokes in here. Every time."  And if you think that sounds normal, just imagine someone calling Batman "you flying rodent!" in EVERY SINGLE Batman story.

Couldn't resist that one, either.

TOMORROW: I Shot A Green Arrow Into The Air....

Monday, June 08, 2020

The Red Devils of Gayland: What Goes Wrong.

So, while Green Arrow, in pursuit of the Red Devils, insanely drives the behemoth Arrowcar up the roller coaster...

We never get to see the interesting parts, like how Ollie got the Arrowcar past the turnstiles or had to slowly back the Arrowcar (which isn't latched to the tracks) OFF the coaster.  Whenever Ollie does something too ridiculous, the artists just refuse to draw it (like the Boomerang Arrow)

... the Red Devils try to dispose of their only real threat: his sidekick.

Realizing that the boy's death upon impact would be gruesome, Ollie resolves to shoot him through the head before he hits the ground; "It's the only humane thing to do."

Purely by accident, Ollie's shot becomes a lifeline that allows Speedy to coast to the ground. Upside-down, face first into a tree. Beggars can't be choosers.

Okay, fine; BUTT first.

The Red Devils escape by acrobatting themselves down from the rollercoaster.

How four supremely physical acrobats were getting their ass-kicked by an adolescent with no circus aerialist training I'll never understand.  Heroes; always adopt a circus aerialist.

But Green Arrow has more important things to do than finding the people who just tried to kill his sidekick. 

"Just make sure you stay in the shadows, kid, we're only a few pages in and you're already making me look bad."

Why? Because Ollie has just discovered: THE ALPHABET.

Thought I was kidding, didn't you?

I think Ollie's foes, consciously or not, try to make things easy on him. They know -- LORD knows -- he's not detective.  So, rather than give him clues in the form of complex, multilayered puzzles and wordplay, they keep it simple with stuff like, say, killing their victims in alphabetical order.   Ollie gets graded on a curve.

Proving, again, that the Octopus is the perfect Green Arrow foe.

After singing the first verse of the Alphabet Song to determine the next victim, Ollie bursts in his windows and is highly disrespectful to his staff:


Ollie is crestfallen that he's too late because now he has to DRIVE back to Gayland, where there probably aren't any open windows for him to catapult through. How TEDIOUS.

"I was afraid of that. UGH. 
Now I have to walk down the stairs like a normal person.
Somehow, I blame you for this, Wing."

As they approach Gayland, the archers see Faber The Next Victim, about to be dropped from the parachute drop ... in a faulty parachute!

Ollie has REMARKABLY good eyesight. Even for a super-expert archer.

TOMORROW: Ollie and the boy meet the devilish foursome in the woods near the Fun House.

Sunday, June 07, 2020

Red Devils in Gayland: Speedy is Dope

As promised yesterday, Speedy, as usual, needlessly ejaculates Green Arrow from the Arrowcar with the catapult, hoping that Ollie either goes through an open window or remembered to update his will.

Green Arrow isn't Batman. He doesn't skulk in shadowy corners and sidle up behind you to spook you, he bursts into your open window in bright colors saying "HERE I AM!"
Batman and Green Arrow are like the Vega Brothers in Zorro, The Gay Blade (1981).

No joke: that's great Golden Art composition there, viewed from just over Ollie's left shoulder.

Naturally, Green Arrow is oblivious to the fact that's a guy in a devil costume lurking on the ledge preparing to shoot him. Fortunately, the Boy Backup is there to save his bacon, as usual.

Seriously: Golden Age artists really knew how to compose.
Those panels are brilliantly parallel AND opposing.
"That Nervy Kid." See? Ollie can't remember his name, either.

While Ollie ponders how to make the most dramatic entrance possible, That Nevry Kid finds the Red Devils and starts beating the snot out of them single-handedly.

Speedy is the best sidekick ever. He's DOPE.  So to speak.

Ollie makes his dramatic entrance, narrowly avoiding landing face-first on the hood of his comedically large yellow car:

"I'll park the Bananamobile under this tree, where no one will notice it."

The Red Devils retreat up the rollercoaster rather than get a growly lecture from Ollie about how they have failed this amusement park. So Ollie does, as usual, the least sensible thing imaginable. 

Gonna give you a second to imagine what it is.



Ollie, you DO know that the rollercoaster cars come BACK to where they started, right?

Green Arrow DRIVES the Arrowcar, America's largest personal conveyance, UP THE ROLLERCOASTER.

What could possibly go wrong?

TOMORROW: What goes wrong.