Tuesday, February 9, 2010

And You Can't Stop Us, Super-Dads! Tuesday!

For those of you who don't regularly read comics, continuity is a very big deal among hardcore fans. We're like Trekkies in that a character or event is not to conflict in any way with anything that has happened in the 70 years that Marvel and DC have been publishing comics. As you might expect, that's asking a lot from a writer.

For that reason, I salute Bob Haney, the man who didn't care about continuity and didn't care if you liked it or not.

Bob Haney wrote some Brave and the Bold stories, the magnitude of awesomeness I'll share at a later date. But he also wrote some World's Finest stories that also, in a very unapologetic fashion, made no sense.

For starters, he gave Batman and Superman children:

These stories weren't heavily touted as "imaginary" stories, but they obviously had no place in mainstream DC canon. Haney himself said that they were "real" (meaning "part of the DC Universe, just set in the future") but I think he must have been heavily patronized by the editors at brainstorming sessions. Sure, Bob! These stories will fit right in! Don't get all disgruntled or anything!

He cared not one whit for your preconceived notions of history, nor what kind of problems he might be creating for future writers. If he had an idea, he went with it, and that was that.

These days, there would be entire web sites demanding that he be publicly caned.

The "Super Sons" were not a particular triumph. We never saw who their mothers were. We were only told that Superman Jr.'s mother was an Earth-woman, so he only had half of his father's powers. Because, you know, that's how that would work out in real life. That meant that Superman Jr. could be bruised by bullets, stunned by bombs, and frozen by rednecks:

Are you sure you haven't seen our missing sons? Because it seems like you have them propped up right beside you. Frankly, I'm a little surprised you answered the door.

So, for extending your middle finger in the face of fanboys everywhere in the name of story-telling (for better or worse), we salute thee, Bob Haney!

Which, for no reason, leads me to digress and talk about Young Allies #5:

Okay, you see how closely everyone is being held together by the net? What's the last thing you'd want the kid who can spontaneously burst into flames to do?

You got it:

And yet, for some reason, all of his team-mates are impervious to the flames. There should be some tragic consequences to this, but as is often the case in any story involving a Human Torch over the decades, there is no collateral damage to someone bursting into flame. It's like when you play a video game and you can't accidentally hurt your allies. It kind of hurts the realism factor, but it's durn, durn convenient!

And then a lion shows up:

And a police officer says something in an unrelated story from the same issue that I find seriously creepy:

But, back to Bob Haney. We salute the man who wrote things like this:

I don't know what the "Octopus of Despair" is, but if I ever find a picture of one, guess what site has a new mascot?

See you tomorrow!


Murfyn said...

In his defense, the frozen guys don't look like the pictures; especially Batman Jr., he has that mask on.

Anonymous said...

Well, I remember that Red Dwarf had a 'despair squid' in one episode. Close enough?

Anonymous said...

Colin Baker called, he wants his pants back!

E. Bernhard Warg

Anonymous said...

The "Super Sons" are so much cheesy 70s fun. They "rap" about thei fathers being "squares."

Anonymous said...

"We're gonna run our own lives by wearing costumes just like yours!"

Erich said...

Regarding Toro and the net: I remember a reprint of a Golden Age Human Torch story where the bad guys managed to capture the Torch and Toro, then tied each of them back-to-back with an innocent hostage. A pretty clever way of dealing with them, as they couldn't flame-on without burning the hostage. However, it turned out that the Torch had such control of his power that he could ignite only his front half...which he did by shouting "Half-Flame-On!" (Of course.)

Captain Infinity said...

I think the Octopus of Despair is the antithesis of the Bluebird of Happiness.