Groin Injury Saturday: A Breeze Caresses Not Unlike A Probe

In New Thunderbolts #16 (2005 Series) the Radioactive Man squares off against Hyperion with horrifying results. This dust-em-up fight scene is a fun couple of panels that evoked in me warm Silver Age-y feelings of DC and fond memories of reading old comics that featured the Kryptonite Man/Kid fighting Superman/Boy.

Ummm..what? That’s very Haiku-ish.

The similarity, at least in spirit, of this fight scene to DC’s Silver Age tales could be intentional on the part of the creative team. The Squadron Supreme/Sinister is an homage to all the classic DC characters of the JLA, created in Marvel titles back when cross-overs and cooperation between Marvel and DC were unthinkable (Much like the business environment of today. Thanks, Joe!).

The old Avengers vs. Squadron stories were good nudge-nudge-wink-winks for the fans (like me) who desperately wanted to see a story that featured the Avengers and the JLA but would have had to wait a few decades for it to actually happen in reality.

This attack on the reproductive organs made me wince a bit to read it. The Radioactive Man determines what frequency of radiation would render Hyperion powerless and gives him a good zap, removing the Squadron’s strongest member from the field. One might think that Bats-homage character the Nighthawk is the member to be feared above the magicians and muscle-heads, the one to watch. Like his counterpart the Batman, the Nighthawk should be a force to be reckoned with in a fight due to his brilliant pre-planning. One couldn’t be more wrong. In this story Nighthawk is a dead-on copy of the Darknight Detective, as he is taking a page from the Batman Crime Stoppers’ Textbook by just hanging back and observing from a safe distance, waiting for the danger to pass.

What caused a cringe from me was that the Radioactive Man didn’t just zap Hyperion. No, that was not good enough. Instead of just pointing and shooting the RM grabs a big handful of Hyper-Package and gives Skippy the whipping to end all whippings. This date did not have a happy ending.

Hyperion is all but invulnerable but I understand the soul-rending GYYYAAAAGH! He got lit up from inside out via a billion rads surging through his Hyper-Testes. He got hurt so bad even his word balloon is radioactive! In that one inarticulate word Hyperion screamed as he watched all his futures end. No more wild get-away weekends with Power Princess in the Doctor Prism Inn, no Hyper-Children flying around being zany and giving away secret identities to the townies and worst of all…definitely no more urinating from a standing position.

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Batman: COWARD!

Superheroes just standing around not doing their jobs during an emergency is nothing new to comics. Green Lantern did it during an attack on that stupidly-named city Nightwing lives in. Spider-Man and the Hulk twiddled their thumbs while loved ones who took action were being crushed to death. The Avengers and Daredevil do it all the time (I don’t blame them, really though. I guess it’s hard to get moving into action after 15 pages of thoughtful introspection).

So it should come as no surprise that Batman also did it in World’s Finest #243 (Feb-Mar 1977).

In that issue the dynamic duo is investigating an alien incursion and of course, Monkey-Wrench Boy screws up. While an impetuous Robin gets mercilessly tortured by the invaders, Batman hides behind a big rock. Eventually the aliens get bored of watching Robin sizzle so they kidnap and take him to deep space, probably to make sure they have privacy for a good probing. You know how much aliens like them some probing.

It’s only after the scene is once again free of danger that the Darknight Detective springs into action by impotently shaking his fist at the departing spacecraft. Good plan!

Later on, a disgusted Superman takes all of about 8 seconds to save everyone…as usual.

DC Comics predicts the future of sex! Again.

We already know that DC Comics can solve the riddles of the ancient past, but who knew they could predict the future as well? The answer to that resides via William Moulton Marston and his creation Wonder Woman. Marston predicted the future by introducing to the unsuspecting world lesbian internet webcam cybersex some six decades before it would become a technological reality.

Many columnists of the “Zap! Pow!” variety like to point out the amazing prescience of Science Fiction and by extension, comic book writers on their uncanny ability to describe things to come. Their actual accuracy is something of a fallacy. For every Verne that predicted space travel by rocket there were hundreds of authors who described a trip to the moon by tying birds and balloons to the masts of ships. Not to mention nearly every writer ever completely missed the impact computers would have on world wide society. Not Marston! An inventor in his own right (who cursed the planet with the junk-science creation the Lie Detector), Marston obviously knew that all marketable inventions will inevitably and very quickly be used for pornography.

Furthermore, take a look at the outfit Diana Prince is wearing. She is wearing her glasses while in full Wonder Woman costume. She resembles more a bored housewife spicing things up than a super-hero*.

This very scene is probably being coincidentally re-enacted in the bedrooms and home offices the world over even as you read this.

– Originally published in the subtext goldmine Sensation Comics v1 #19 (June 1943). Reprinted in Four Star Spectacular#4 (Sept-Oct 1976) & Wonder Woman Archives vol. 3 (June 2002).

*In my book, that is the definition of a super-hero.

Tropos: Censor sweep

I just want to point out before you start clicking that I’m about 99% against censorship of any kind. That one per cent is there because of the truism that you don’t shout fire in a movie theatre.

NCAC

Hulk smash censorship!


China’s cute, intimidating Internet Police Chacha and Jingjing. Hentai versions should be along any day now.

Talk to the hand

State-level Montgomery Homeland Security Officers reassigned after library incident.

MAGIC: The Book Burning

American Library Association’s Banned Books List

Where are the butts?


Where is the respect?

Artist Kelly Howlett respectfully censors self for family audience at WizardWorld. That’s a family environment, so can’t disagree with her decision about it. Plus, since it’s her art she can do whatever she wants with it. See her journal entries about “Wonder Woman” and “Supergirl“.



The 3 R’s. Reading, Writing and Springsteen.

Bob Hope’s censorship card from May, 1933.

“Act needs a lot of watching”
As with network television today, vaudeville promoted itself as family entertainment, but its shows often stretched the limits of common propriety. This report from a Boston stage censor outlines some of the questionable material in Bob Hope’s 1933 act and preserves some of the jokes the act included. The pre-printed form catalogs common offenses found in variety acts.

Morris Taylor’s WWII experiences in the Pacific and his Theater Censor slip.


Gotta love the irony. At least the Dixie Chicks had the class to not say “I told you so.”

Citizen’s are concerned. This is the same reason I don’t own a copy of Catcher In The Rye. I have this nightmare of my brakes going out on my car, causing me to slam into a schoolbus of disabled and underprivileged kids which explodes and when the police check my apartment they find a copy of it on my kitchen table.

Edible book burning art by Daria Flores


This Modern World on censorship.

Gum & The Mother of Modern Censorship.
Nifty covert symbolism on the cover.

The now infamous Google comparisons of search results for Tiananmen Square: Google Standard & Google China

You can’t be serious…Elfquest?

Some handy Book Burning Tips from the Landover Baptist Church. You really should pay attention. I know I should’ve during my last bonfire.

Anti-Censorship website in Chinese. It really doesn’t take a genius to figure out why the People’s Government is so terrified of the unrestricted internet.

Zombie Herman Melville

Temple of Artemis and Book Burning at Ephesus



Common sense censorship: Censor 1940, passed No 3, on QSL card to Canal Zone,24FE

A few of the books regularly attacked by self-appointed morality police. Why? Realistic portrayals of life and sexuality.

For decades, various iconoclasts attempted removal from libraries and suppression of the C.S. Lewis books, The Chronicles of Narnia, because they felt the series too closely resembled and was disrespectful another fictional character. Having lost that battle to the forces of reality, the fundamentalists now wholly embrace the books as reinforcement of their beliefs. Desperate for anything to hang onto in order to advance their goals, maybe co-opting the big motion picture publicity machine has something to do with it.

Hey, Kids! No comics!

How Gene Rodenberry got around television censors to give America the first interracial kiss on TV.

Tigra’s public humiliation

Jim Shooter, a man not known in comics for his sensitivity to gender issues, uses Tigra to make a point about harassment in Avengers v1 #215 (Jan 1982).

When Tigra goes to a bank to cash her Avengers stipend check she goes clad in her costume-bikini. She’s attractive (for a furry) and flirtatious. Artist Alan Weiss portrays her perfectly, showing her to be the type who when showing identification, will strike the same pose as her photo. A nice touch of personality and characterization. Apparently all this is too much for another patron as he gropes Tigra aggressively (much to the glee of other customers). When I initially read this back in 1982 I agreed with other readers that Mr. Idjit didn’t just feel her backside, but shoved a hand down into her briefs. Understandably, Tigra reacts in scary fashion with her claws. Fortunately for the molester she only put the fear of emasculation into Mr. Groper by slashing his briefcase instead of ripping his face off.

In what is a typical scene for the media of the era, Tigra is treated like the one who did something wrong. As the bank guard says, “Look at the way you’re dressed! You’re asking for it!”

Nice.

It’s a little disappointing that Tigra flees the scene instead of standing firm and making all the other jerks leave in her stead, but I guess baby-steps are all a reader could expect. After all, she had to go to a singles’ bar that night and then fight the Molecule Man the next day and the Avengers had to do it in 18 pages. It is obvious that Tigra has nothing against sex in general. She’s a healthy, well-adjusted lady. She does however, make it clear in this scene that she isn’t a toy and that she reserves the right to be one half of the equation when it comes to choosing partners.

That’s just Neat-o. Wonder if any fanboys learned anything. Probably not, since they grew up to be the ones producing, writing and drawing comics today. We know how that’s going, right? I believe S.S.D.D. is the term.

Marvel (and other comic companies) often inserted what some would call socially responsible messages into their stories. These were probably prompted in part by the Comics Code, but some must have come from the heart. There were a lot of hippies writing comics in those days. Or maybe some organization ordered Marvel to do it as a public service announcement or something, like those stupid morality sequences at the end of those He-Man cartoons.