Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Who is Blockade Boy?

I'm glad you asked. Blockade Boy is an alien superhero who showed up as a minor character in Adventure Comics #344 (May, 1966) in the Legion of Superheroes story, "The Super-Stalag of Space!" He was promptly killed off in the very next issue. His super-power was the ability to transform himself into a steel barrier -- except that his head stuck out of the front of it, which made him look like a hunting trophy, or perhaps an oversized refrigerator magnet. Other than that, he was kind of boring. His costume, such as it was, consisted mainly of a yellow t-shirt and brown trousers. Oh, sure, there were a few concessions to superhero fashion, such as his insanely wide belt (six inches, at least), the stubby brown boots, into which the cuffs of his trousers were haphazardly stuffed, and of course the bad-ass wrist guards, a la Ultra Boy or the Golden Age Atom. He had a crewcut, and he wasn't terribly handsome, either. He was lantern-jawed, his eyes were kind of beady and a bit too close together, and his nose was a knobby lump. He died saving Matter-Eater Lad, who was equally lame but much more popular with comics readers because he had an actual personality.

Blockade Boy is also a thirty-five-year-old Kansas man with more comic books than sense. He's not physically imposing, although he does own a Bowflex and is working hard to lose weight. He cannot turn into a steel barrier with a human head protruding from it. He is, he flatters himself, somewhat wittier than his comic book namesake. Not that this would take much.

So, why choose "Blockade Boy" for an alias? Simple. I have a soft spot in my heart (and head) for hapless proletarian characters like Blockade Boy. And I just like the name. It has a certain clunky charm. It's also one of the few comic book superhero names that hasn't been appropriated by very many internet comic book geeks, if any at all. Because it's dumb!

Blockade Boy, the blog, will focus mainly on pop culture claptrap, like comics and movies. There may be some swearing.

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