Monday, April 16, 2007

Rescue Me Bonus: the Annihilator

Here's a costume redesign that doesn't fit into one of my regular categories: 1960's Superman villain, the Annihilator. One of my many cultured and tasteful commenters* suggested I tackle this joker's apparel, mainly because his nose pokes through his mask! I'd forgotten all about him until last week. That's when a laser-guided demolition crew disintegrated a museum to make way for a new Bismoll MacMattercuddy's family restaurant (try the copper-plated breakfast burrito!) and discovered an ancient comic book shoppe underneath! It turns out the whole thing had been engulfed in lava while the inhabitants were in the middle of a HeroClix tourney. Thank goodness mylar and cardboard proved to be the perfect protection against surging, molten death. Size XXXL Vampirella t-shirts? Not so much. All that was left of the humans in that crowded death-box was some Pompei-style rock statues studded with candybar wrappers and the occasional ingrown beard hair. Long story short, the development company claimed the store's merchandise through some arcane landlocked salvage law and auctioned the whole deal off, cheap! I snagged a ton of them, including a copy of Action Comics #356 (November 1967). It was perfectly legible once I chisled the rock off of it.

*I'm embarrassed and chagrined to admit that I can't remember who precisely. I even spent a couple of hours last night poring over my older costume redesign posts looking for the exact comment. I couldn't locate it, but I got many a hearty, booming, basso profundo chuckle from reading my own writing. Good heavens, but I'm clever! Er, anyway... maybe the person I'm thinking of sent me an e-mail instead. I dunno.


The Annihilator's power is cool enough. He's like an evil Human Bomb, powered by chemicals somehow left on the Earth by the Kryptonians (the Kree of the DC Universe... just dropping their untold scads of power-inducing crap all over planet Earth, like it's their own personal landfill). But that costume--! The main part of it is ugly, but in a completely boring way -- just like most characters that show up in your typical Superman story. But then... there's the mask. It does indeed have his nose sticking through it, all naked and nude and uncovered, with a frankly insoucient attitude reminiscent of Berlin in the 1920's. But wait! That's not the best part! The real beauty of the mask is that it covers up his upper lip... because the Annihilator's civilian identity, "Nobel Prize-winning biochemist" Karl Keller, has a handlebar mustache!


See? And he's not even drawn by Herb Trimpe! Honestly, I think the Annihilator could have had a much more illustrious career if only he'd dressed better! So here's what I'd do:


See, Annihilator? That's how you can enjoy both a supervillainous secret identity and a handlebar mustache while not getting laughed at! Well, at least they won't laugh at you in your villain costume, anyhow. I make no guarantees for how you dress in the privacy of your own lab. Because his powers are Kryptonian-based, I made his costume a riff on Superman's. That's why it's primarily red-and-blue, only darker, natch, 'cause he's a baddie. Instead of a cape, the red is supplied by the accessories, like the nifty shoulderpads. The Anime-style hair has one extra-long lock as a tribute to Superman's famous (and equally ridiculous) "spit curl." Except it's sticking straight up in the air and it's all spiky, to impart menace. No, for reals. Plus, he can just slick it back down while he's out of costume. The Annihilator's logo is an inverted Superman shield (evil!) with the alchemical symbol for the planet Pluto inside it, symbolizing upheaval and violent change. And sure, it looks like the intergalactic sign for a well-hung gentleman who's doing the splits, but so what? I checked out 21st Century industrial explosion symbols online but it turns out they're not designed very well at all. I could have done better, but none of you vacuous cavemen bothered to ask me while I was living in your idiotic time period. Feh. Your loss!

Tomorrow (you heard me): the Son of the Annihilator! Plus, Weight Wizard news.

Next week: Moral Reversal Challenge: Starfire and Psimon!

Previous "Rescue Me" challenges:


Zundian said...

Amazing job.

I'm torn between wanting red trim on top of the mask to suggest the much adored handlebar mustache and thinking it may ruin the entire look to do that.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for including links to past "Rescue Me"s!

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

Awesome. He went from some giant balloon-chested dork to someone who kicks butts abd takes names.

Sleestak said...

Yeah i sent that in to you a ways back. Good job!

Anonymous said...

I am so looking forward to seeing the improved Son of the Annihilator. Wasn't he just a motorcycle hood in a leather jacket and cap? I remember reading his story in 67 and thinking even then that the Wild Ones persona was even more outdated than the DC versions of hippies then rampant in various comics.

Jeremy Rizza said...

Zundian: Yup, that would be kind of a giveaway. And didn't one of the El Diablo's have that mask?

Tyler: You're welcome! I'll be (slowly) working to make this site more user-friendly.

Jon: Indeed! It's like I've been saying: a lot of so-called "lame" disposable characters have potential... they just need to dress better!

Sleestak: Thanks for the idea!

Michael: You're correct! And you hit on a lot of the points I made in my (just published) Son of Annihilator post. Honestly, DC, what the hell?!

Anonymous said...

No wonder so few superheroes have mustaches. It makes the mask thing kinda tough. When I was growing up, all of the Westerns on TV taught me that I could disguise myself just by pulling a kerchief over the lower half of my face, while my comics were teaching me that the top half of the face is what is important to cover.