Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Superman Screws With Jimmy Some More

Being Superman's Pal must have been every kid's dream.  After all, he's Superman!  What's not to love?  However, this is the 50's/60's Superman in this story, meaning he's a dick for little or no reason.  Let's expand in Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #13: "Jimmy Olsen's Super-Illusions!"
I'm happy that the house is for rent--at least Superman's not torturing a family inside.  If he was, though, they'd come up with some hair-brained solution.  But why is Superman doing this to Jimmy?  Is it because of some reason that has an easily-fixed solution but Supes decides to do it the hard way?  Of course.

As for the eggs, Jimmy must be trying to recuperate from the horse incident.
To no one's surprise (whether or not you've read the splash panel), it's Superman who's behind all of this.  How he knew that Jimmy would notice the unbent bar out of all of his trophies is beyond me.
Then, somehow, despite Metropolis being, well, a metropolis, only Jimmy seems to notice the UPSIDE-DOWN HOUSE.
I know that Superman is supposed to set a good example for kids (especially after the Comic Book Code was put into order), but wouldn't it be easier to just lie?  Just this once?  He's got a good reason, after all (as we find out later), but this isn't teaching kids not to lie--it's teaching them to find loopholes.  Superman should change his name to Superlawyer.
Why indeed, Superman?  Why?  It's because it's fun, isn't it?
There it is, folks!  Supes is deliberately making Jimmy think he's crazy to avoid letting his secret identity get out, yet again.  As everyone has said before, this whole identity stuff is harder than it's worth.  After all, if he has to spend a whole day playing pranks on Jimmy to keep it a secret, why bother anymore?

Now that I think about it, Clark Kent's job is the real problem.  Sure, being a reporter gives him an advantage to helping people, because the news is always flying right into his lap, but on the other hand, he works with the most inquisitive people in the world, people who would give their lives to knowing who he really was.

It's also ambiguous as to whether or not they'd be willing to sell him out.  Here, Jimmy waits until they're out of earshot, but in other comics, he'd totally do it in front of everyone.  Ditto on Lois.

Also, I love Jimmy's line about "lame excuses" that he's clearly used to getting.  Hee hee, how's Supes gonna get out of this one?
Yep, Jimmy's resorting to blackmail!  Admittedly, it's not much in the line of blackmail, as all he's asking for is a free ride, but we all know how these things can escalate.  Also, does anyone find Jimmy's "beginning to end" line a tad bit sexual?  Something about it rubs me the wrong way.

So Superman spins Jimmy around and lets his vomit rain down on poor people below just to save his identity.  And because a super-being needs to get his kicks, too.
Wait a second, couldn't he just have swapped the film BEFORE any of this happened?  Why go through all this super-illusion shit in the first place?  For that matter, why not just run at super-speed and smash the camera?  It's just that easy.  I know that Superman needs to use his brain as well as brawn, but sometimes brute force really is the answer.

Then Jimmy laughs in Clark's face at the idea of him being strong.  Perhaps Jimmy is the real dick.  That's an M Night Shyamalan twist for ya.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Furry Confusion: Bugs Goes to School

The Disney gang aren't the only ones who cause confusion.  Over at Warner Bros, things are just as strange! Take this untitled Bugs Bunny story from Dell's Bugs Bunny Comics #33...

Bugs Bunny is already a bit of an oddity.  He lives in a hole, but it's fully furnished and he acts like a human.  So why is it that Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam are out to murder him?  Why is "Rabbit Season" legal?
While I sympathize a bit with Elmer, this brings up some interesting questions--if Bugs should go to school, does that mean that all rabbits have to?  If not, it would mean that Elmer was abusing his authority (which, let's face it, he totally is).  Also, if Bugs must behave like a human and get a degree, does that mean he is free from rules that are restricted to rabbits?  If a hunter shot him, would it be murder, or is he still repressed in that sense?
I don't understand what Elmer wants from Bugs, honestly.  I mean, he got him to the campus, but he still chases him.  Some people are never satisfied.  Also, "Cookycutter."  That's cute.
This only raises further questions.  Elmer wants Bugs to be educated, yet an educated rabbit is treated as an oddity and Bugs is imprisoned.  It's like a self-fulfilling prophecy or something.
So rabbits must go to school, but they can also be held prisoner and experimented on?  Unless the other rabbits are volunteered, Bugs just got screwed over by Elmer.  I still sympathize more with Mr. Fudd, though, after all the crap that Bugs puts him through.  Yes, Elmer usually starts the conflict, but when Bugs ends it, he really ends it.
Bugs impresses them with his skills, but he's clearly unchanged.  Does this mean that Bugs is actually a genius, or the men are just idiots?  I'd say both.  There's not much to say about the last few pages...
I like how Elmer realizes that he's really messed up by chasing Bugs to the campus.  I also think Bugs is adorable in the last panel.

So what have we learned?  Rabbits must go to school, but only to be experimented on and deprived of any sort of rights.  After all, the Constitution never said anything about rabbits, right?

Also, don't fuck with Bugs, because it's just gonna bite you in the ass.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Oh My...

Hey, kiddies!  We've got a real fun comic for you today!  It's from 1963's Jimmy Olsen #66, "Jimmy Olsen's Last Stand!"

Wait a second...
Oh.  Oh my.  There's so much wrong with this that I...I'm just not gonna touch this one.

On the other hand, you know what?  This was 1963.  We were a different people back then.  It's a product of its time and maybe it would be good to take another peek to see it in its true historical context.  It couldn't hurt, could it?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Furry Confusion: "No Sale"

At first, this story seems pretty innocent--Brer Fox and Brer Bear (remember, those guys from the movie that Disney likes to pretend never happened) are chasing Bambi around and Chip 'n Dale trick them.  Easy stuff.  But in a mere six pages, this comic manages to raise lots more questions than I'm sure the writers intended it to.  Time to over-analyze "No Sale"!

First off, we are challenged with the old Pluto vs. Goofy question:  Why are Brer Fox and Brer Bear allowed to wear clothes and walk around on two legs, while Chip 'n Dale and Bambi are naked and Bambi must walk on four?  And who owns this pet shop?
Apparently, Brer Fox and Brer Bear need money.  Understandable, yet in Song of the South, they would rather eat Brer Rabbit than sell him to a pet shop.  This could be because Brer Rabbit is abnormally large (unlike the two cute and cuddly chipmunks) or because they have such a grudge against Brer Rabbit that they would rather see him dead than sold.  Still, instead of selling Bambi, they could have eaten him or Chip 'n Dale.  Was that considered too dark for a Disney comic?  Other comics at the time (Looney Tunes, for example) weren't afraid to have Elmer trying to blast Bugs's head off, so I'm not sure.

As you can see, Brer Fox and Brer Bear are more human than animal (they wear clothes, speak English, live in houses, use money, etc.), yet Brer Bear can apparently be captured by hunters.  Keep reading, it gets worse.



If the zoo wasn't bad enough, even the humanlike Brer Bear us apparently fair game for murder.  Clearly, these furry creatures are an oppressed species if this sort of thing can happen.

Perhaps not.  Perhaps Brer Bear is merely gullible (he's not that bright, after all), but he still seems pretty traumatized by the whole thing.  I'm not saying he doesn't deserve it, but it is quite disturbing to picture the poor guy as A RUG.
Also, there's a problem with who can talk to who.  In most cartoons, animals can all communicate with each other, regardless of species.  But does this mean that they can speak to humans as well?  We know Brer Rabbit can, and Chip 'n Dale can communicate just fine with Donald Duck, who can talk to humans.  Later in the comic, Bambi can communicate with Brer Fox.  By the transitive property, does that mean that Bambi can communicate with humans?  Somehow, that makes Man killing Banbi's mother even worse.  And once again, where does Pluto fit in?
Somehow, I can't picture Bambi, King of the Forest, saying "EEEK!"

Pardon me, "E-E-EEK!"
And thus ends the disturbing comic.  Now Brer Fox is going to the zoo! Yay?

For one thing, does the zoo allow animals to turn over their own kind?  What if they capture Brer Bear as well?  Does this count as kidnapping?  How many laws are being broken at these zoos?  Does this mean that humans are the reining authority in this world?  What will happen to Brer Fox?  Will he be stripped of this clothes, forced to walk on all fours, and put down if he does not comply?

All that from six freaking pages.  Yeesh.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Boy Named Charlie Brown - Part Two

Poor Charlie Brown feels that he is nothing but a failure.  Nothing seems to go right for him.  He's lost 99 ballgames in a row, and his ship even sinks in the bathtub.  We've all felt this way, but Charlie probably feels it the hardest.  There's a sweet little scene where he talks to Linus about his problems.

Linus: Winning isn't everything.
Charlie Brown: But losing isn't anything.

The two play tic-tac-toe, and Linus accidentally beats Charlie Brown, making the kid feel even worse about himself.  That's when Snoopy shows up.  Let me say something about Snoopy first.

Snoopy is an asshole.
Don't let the picture fool you.  Don't let Snoopy: The Musical with its sweet songs fool you.  Don't let his relationship with Woodstock fool you.  Snoopy is an asshole.

He has no respect for Charlie Brown or anyone else for that matter.  Although he and Chuck have had a few sweet moments together, Snoopy is a selfish little dog who pretty much only cares about himself.  He doesn't even know Charlie Brown's name--he just refers to him as "that round-headed kid who feeds me."  Just watch Snoopy Come Home.  Yes, there are some sweet and sad moments, but at the end of the day, he's still an asshole.

Don't get me wrong, I like Snoopy a lot.  He's cute and funny, but that doesn't make him any less of an asshole.  I normally wouldn't go on this kind of rant, but I'm sick of all the cutesy Snoopy merchandise and advertising campaigns.  Stop making him seem so sweet!  Read the comic!  He's an asshole!  Embrace it!  I'm pretty sure that's what Mr. Schultz (whom I mean no offense to) intended.  It's just the final straw for Charlie Brown.  Even his dog doesn't respect him.

Charlie Brown makes Snoopy some dinner anyway (cause he's a nice guy despite everything), and Snoopy devours it, then goes to sleep.

That's when the nightmares begin...

Snoopy dreams he's the iconic WWI Flying Ace, presumably fighting the Red Baron.  While the scene only lasts a minute, it feels like an eternity, as we basically see only one image of Snoopy smeared in different colors and shaken around a bit.  The music is pretty great, but the whole thing just feels too long, despite its short length.  It's almost a relief to us when he gets shot down.

Well, not a relief to Snoopy, who barges into Charlie Brown's house and steals the kid's bed, prompting Chuck to wonder aloud why his dog couldn't be normal.

The next scene takes place at...oh no...


You'd really think he would have learned his lesson.  But no, much like the football of chaos, Charlie Brown never seems to understand that Lucy's psychiatrist booth will end up making him feel worse than before.  And that's exactly what happens.  Lucy painstakingly points out all of Chuck's faults, and then humiliates him with the football.  Finally, in one of the funniest scenes, she makes him watch it in instant replay, just because she can.  Oh, and she bills him for it, of course.

Kids are evil sometimes.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Jimmy Olsen Loves Him Some Jimmy Olsen

I'd like to thank the website Dorkswithoutfaces for their excellent review of Jimmy Olsen comics for pointing something out to me--Jimmy is a narcissist.  I mean, he's completely into himself.  Just look at this panel from "Jimmy Olsen's Forgotten Adventure."  Jimmy is disguised as an elevator operator (something before my time) and gets amnesia, making him think he's someone else.
That first panel probably bugs me the most.  Look at Jimmy's smug face on the poster.  Is he really famous enough to endorse something?  He's only a cub reporter (which is a pretty dumb term), and I guess he's also "Superman's Pal," but do you really want to advertise that?  In several stories, Jimmy gets kidnapped because he's Superman's Pal, which is another issue I have...

Why would crooks want to kidnap someone close to Superman?  It would just piss Superman off, and you do not want the strongest man in the world to be pissed at you.  Also, he's Superman!  He's a hero!  He'll save anyone who's in trouble--it doesn't matter if it's his "Pal" or not!  This is a huge logical flaw.

But back to the comic.  Not only have they gotten Jimmy to advertise the charity for whatever reason, but Amnesia!Jimmy just happens to see it and wish that he were Jimmy Olsen, too.  The guy is so narcissistic that he wants to be himself subconsciously!

There's also the part where he wishes he were Superman's Pal, but I can't blame him.  Every kid wants to hang out with Superman or Batman or something.  But then that brings up the strange aforementioned paradox of "villains want to kidnap you even if that would be a really stupid thing to do."

Jimmy, you're a goldmine of laughs.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Lois Has the Worst Friends Ever

I simply cannot get enough of the Silver Age.  Get used to comics, folks, you're going to be seeing a lot of them.  This next one is from 1959's Lois Lane #9: "The Most Hated Girl in Metropolis!"

While Lois has always had the suspicion that Clark Kent was really Superman, she didn't actively try to expose him that much...except in the Silver Age.  Here, she was all over the guy, trying to tear out his secret. But what would happen if she actually did find out (back then, at least)?  This story plays with the idea, and the results are not pretty, as you can guess from the title.
I love that Jimmy went so far as to get Lois flowers to screw with her.  And why is everyone so surprised at Lois?  She's always doing stuff like this!  The real reason to be pissed off the fact that she succeeded.  On the bright side, it would really help the Planet's circulation.
Holy fudge, Supes is pissed!  I would be too, I guess.  You'd think Lois should have done more than just file it away.  Why not destroy it?  Or at least hide it?  Plus, that whole "I'd die before I'd betray Superman" line is a load of bunk, as a few issues later (in a story that I'll probably recap at some point), she's ready to expose Superman in front of Perry and Jimmy yet again.  Plus, she was totally willing to blackmail Robin a few issues ago.  But never Superman.
I like how Superman is all "Well, duh! Of course you were right!"  As if he's acknowledging how dumb his disguise was.  Also, I noticed that in panel two, Lois apparently stammers in her mind.  I didn't know that was possible.
I know the comic is called Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane, but I don't really view her as a girlfriend.  More like a crazy stalker.  Oh, and a Raggedy Ann doll reminds Lois of Superman for some reason.
Lucy may seem nice, but don't be fooled.  As the Jimmy Olsen comic proves, she's a nasty little thing.

Yep, the whole thing was a charade, a farce, a setup!  Lois got punk'd!
So Lois was never in any real trouble to begin with!  She gets to be on TV at the cost of her own sanity!  All her friends had to do to surprise her was to make her cry and then scar her for life by making her think they all hated her!  That won't leave any lasting impression!  Seriously, guys, there had to have been a better way to do this.

Of course, Superman could have just found the missing man because it's the Right Thing To Do, but then he couldn't manipulate said man.
Yeah, Superman went there.  He used a man with amnesia to cover for himself.  Granted, he does help the man get his memory back, but it was a pretty low trick.  In the comic world, amnesia seems to be either very hard or very easy to shake off.  In one comic, Superman got Lois's memory back by just shaking her and saying his name, but other times, everyone has to play a role in some kind of grand delusion before snapping the person out.

Meanwhile, a terrifying clown offers you candy.