At last! We've suffered through SuperPro, and we deserve a treat! So, it's time for the Showcase run of the Inferior Five!
The first issue basically introduced us to the main characters, who were the inept offspring of the Freedom Brigade, a poorly-disguised spoof of the Justice League. The premise behind the title was that the five of them perhaps on their best days were as effective as a normal super-hero. Today's panels are from Showcase #63, the second appearance of the Five. Once they got the origin issue out of the way, they took advantage of the shamefully-legal defense of "It's just a joke!" to make fun of what was going on over at Marvel. Thusly:
See? They gave an indirect jab at the Hulk by comparing this lookalike to the Jolly Green Giant. That's actually pretty slick. Then again, Marvel did stuff like that to DC all the time in their own humor title, Not Brand Ecch.
The Five tread an odd line between parody and comedy. The Five themselves weren't really parodies of anything, but the jabs at Marvel were certainly there. Like in this panel, where Some-Character-that-Looks-A-Lot-Like-the-Hulk gets his clock cleaned by Merryman:
See? It wasn't highbrow humor, to be sure, but it certainly answered the question of "What would it look like if Woody Allen knocked out the Hulk?"
And, as was quickly becoming tradition in Showcase, there was a plea for readers to voice their support:
Yes, the guy looks like Napoleon Bonaparte. That was a deliberate plot device.
The Five had three Showcase appearances, one of which we simply must look at tomorrow, and a title of their own that lasted 10 issues of original material and 2 issues of reprints. They very rarely show up here and there, including an appearance this month alongside Batman and the Legion of Substitute Heroes in Brave and the Bold #35!
See you tomorrow!