Friday, March 23, 2007

Bonus Post: My New Swim Trunks are No Merry Marvel

Next week's post will be on Tuesday instead of Monday, so I'm giving you all an extra, early post this week. After all, it's the polite thing to do.


Don't you just hate it when this sort of thing happens?

Still confused? It's a long story, but here goes. Remember when I said Weight Wizard had faked his death again? Well, I tracked him down to the space spa on the light side of the moon, where he'd finagled a job operating the cellular trim ray. His name tag said "Lorenzo LaFontaine" but I could tell it was him, even behind the eyepatch and the cheesy fake mustache. Well, the first thing I did was to rip that mustache right off his face, and that's when I saw that it wasn't fake, and after he stopped screaming and we got most of the blood sopped up, I hustled his sorry ass out of there and we had a man-on-top-of-man talk. Weight Wizard confessed that he'd faked his death this time not because he had fallen out of love with me, but because he'd developed a hopeless shopping addiction and he was up to his eyeballs in debt. (I'd wondered how he'd been able to afford all the crap he was always hauling back to our swing-a-delic pad, like the fossilized brain-globe and the radio-controlled saucer made of real spectrium and the kangobronc-skin pants and the android replica of Noel Coward. Turns out he couldn't!)

Since the sweet l'il degenerate couldn't help himself, I forcibly enrolled him into a five-step program. I suppose I should explain here that the decisive disproval of the existance of God back in 2737 (Haw! Eat it, Immanuel Kant! Also, I suppose I should have prefaced this with a "spoiler alert.") knocked seven steps out of most addiction-recovery programs. It's a real time-saver! The only downside is that when you die, you're swallowed by a black nothingness. I hope you're all okay with that. Aaannyway, on one of my conjugal visits to the treatment center, Weight Wizard gave me these really cool-looking swimtrunks he'd made for me in metal shop. They're based on a costume I had designed for Lightning Lad (but which he was too chickenshit to wear) and they had this nifty gold-plated codpiece deal. They were pretty snazzy, and they fit like a glove.

So I decided to show off my new togs down at ritzy California Island (located some ways off the coast of Nevada) and I don't mind telling you I was getting a lot of envious looks! Sure, I had to wear a shirt because I'm prohibited by Presidential decree from entering the water with a bare torso -- all the back hair I shed when I swim forms this Sargasso-Sea-like mass and it traps dolphins and sea turtles, not to mention the occasional Olympic swimmer -- but I still cut a fine figure if I do say so myself. I was having a space whale of a time flirting with this brutally handsome lifeguard when suddenly, out of a clear blue sky, a ginormous lightning bolt zapped me right in the crotch! YEEOW!!! Not only did it sting like a mo-fo, but it seared my junk clean off!

You heard me.

Luckily, like all the men of my home planet of Amadus, testosterone is generated by pretty much every cell of my body. So I'm as manly and hairy as ever. More so, actually, since my body's overcompensating for the loss of my "stuff." Anyhow, at the hospital they fitted me with a hydraulic prosthesis. It's cutting-edge technology, studded with vacuum tubes, and you can program its action with a punch card, and to get it started you just pull a little lever on the side, like on a slot machine. Oh, and I can't forget to replenish the oil reservoir every three hours or so, or else it starts smoking like a son of a bitch. Still, I'm a little bummed about having a robotic dingus. I mean, first my pinky toe and now this! Sizzling comets, at this rate I'll wind up looking like Tharok before I'm thirty!

Now, where was I--? Ah, yes. My hospital visit. While the brawny physician's assistant was spending a suspiciously long amount of time adjusting my prosthesis, the doctor held up a still-smoldering scrap of metal from the trunks' codpiece and said, "Why in space would a smart young man like you go to the beach with duralim swim trunks?"

I believe my exact reply was something along the lines of "You have got to f***ing kidding me."

I don't know why Weight Wizard acts out like this. It's like he wants me to be filled with rage. Or maybe he's still harboring some resentment about my putting him in that program, or maybe he's bitter because he'll never be able to grow another mustache, ever, ever again. Yeah, probably that last thing. Well, the two of us are going to have another "talk" when I see him again -- a good, long, painful, debilitating "talk." (I'll let you all know if there's anything left of him.)

Next Tuesday: Gender Reassignment Challenge: Mantis!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Moral Realignment Challenge: Wonder Girl and Mammoth

The Moral Realignment Challenge has me imagining how good characters might look if they were evil and vice-versa. Right now I'm working with the Teen Titans and the Fearful Five. This time around it's Wonder Girl's and Mammoth's turns.

So here's another glimpse into the topsy-turvy world of Earth-AAA, where the valiant Fearless Five is locked in a never-ending struggle against the perfidious Teen Tyrants!

From previews of DC comics shipping November 8, 2005, on the "Newsapalooza" website:

The Wonder Girl Loves Mammoth Sadie Hawkins Day Special #1

Written by Bob Kane, Bob Haney, Marv Wolfman, Mike Barr and John Ostrnader.
Art by Dick Sprang, Win Mortimer, Nick Cardy, George Perez, Romeo Tanghal and Jim Aparo, Luke McDonnell and Karl Kesel.
Cover by John Romita Sr.

From the DC archives comes this collection of stories featuring everyone's favorite Fiver and the Tyrant who loves him! Features their first meeting in the now-classic "The Amazon Outlaws of Paradise Ranch!" from Blockbuster #97 (1956). Plus many important turning points in their lengthy (if one-sided) relationship, including "The Day Mammoth Betrayed Blockbuster" from Explosive Comics #325 (1964), "The Way-Out Wedding Crimes of Wonder Girl" from Fearless Five #16 (1968), the two-part "Love Hunt" from New Fearless Five #37 and Blockbuster & the Insiders #5 (1983) and "Tender Trap" from Homicide Squad #32 (1989).

On sale November 8 * 120 pg, FC, $7.99 US

Good Mammoth looks younger and handsomer than his villainous counterpart. An elephantine gray replaces the black in his color scheme, and the vaguely S&M straps and studs are gone. After all, what right-minded individual would put a superhero in a gimp suit, Mister Bendis? I designed a stylized "M" symbol for him that looks like a mammoth's head, and put tusk-like curlicues on his mask. His great shock of strawberry blonde hair is meant to evoke the fur atop a mammoth's head, and I think it just begs to be tousled. The long gray boots and gloves are remeniscent of an elephant's legs. He's relatively hairless because that's just how it was done in those days. And yes, good Mammoth is indeed the kid sidekick to a good version of the old Batman villain, Blockbuster. Also? Mammoth and Wonder Girl = Moose and Big Ethel from Archie Comics.

I gave Evil Wonder Girl a cowgirl theme for a couple of reasons. For one, I wanted to avoid the Greek-armored, militaristic bad-ass cliche. For another, I just thought it would be fun. And finally, the lasso suggested it. Since she's bad, I replaced the white-starred blue in her original costume with plain old black. And her "W" symbol is meant to suggest a cattle brand. Not that I pulled it off at all, but I tried to make the evil Wonder Girl beefier than the good one -- not because sturdier, curvier gals are evil, but because I thought it would make her a better physical counterpart for the cartoonishly muscular Mammoth (and all his oversized... appendages.)