Presenting a "Classic" Again With the Comics post from 6/29/06:
UNEARTHLY SPECTACULARS #2 (Harvey Comics, 1966) is one of the crazy-ape bonkers-est comics I own, but I mean that in a good way. With the success of the BATMAN TV show, the rise of Marvel Comics, and a general superhero boom, Harvey and other niche publishers were eager to cash in on the trend. They hired Captain America co-creator Joe Simon to edit and produce the Harvey Giant Size Thrillers line, double-sized comics priced at a then-steep .25 cents, featuring such new super characters as JIGSAW, MAGICMASTER, MIRACLES, INC, JACK Q FROST, SPYMAN and more.
This wasn’t the first time a raft of forgettable, poorly conceived superheroes was pushed onto an already glutted marketplace, and it wasn’t the last. Predictably, the Harvey Giant Size Thrillers only lasted a few issues each.They actually had some good talent, but only sporadically. UNEARTHLY SPECTACULARS #2, for example, had Wally Wood, Gil Kane, and Mike Sekowsky. Whereas numbers 1 and 3? Well, few of the unidentified artists are…um…good. At all.
Anyway, US#2 had my absolute favorite of all these features: TIGER BOY.
And I’m reprinting it here for YOU.
Meet young Master Paul Canfield. Bon-vivant man about town, strutting his stuff in The World’s Ugliest Plaid Jacket! He’s minding his own business, hating all mankind, when he comes upon a couple of thugs doing donuts in front of the library while throwing money out the window and shooting at two airline pilots.
I know the first thing I’d do if I were in that situation: TURN INTO A TIGER.
By the way, he really hates us all. You can tell by the way he shrilly denounces the human race 267 times in this 5-page story.
In a split second (that takes up 10% of the story), Paul Canfield turns into TIGER BOY: The Boy Who Hates Us All!
In panel three, we get too close a look at TB’s bootay, and a thug threatens him with a taste of "good ol’ SPITTIN’ SPARKY"…let’s just move on, shall we?
Wait, what!?! He can turn into a robot too? The HELL? Tiger boy turns out to be full of surprises:
Next, Steelman turns into a stretchy guy named RUBBERMAN. Because, well, apparently a tiger-headed boy who turns into a robot wasn't convoluted enough.
Angrily denouncing the human race, this is where the Rubberman hits the road.
Finally,we see he transforms back into Paul Canfield where he runs into Barry Allen, who demands his jacket back.
“Hi mom! Hi da…AAAaaaaaaAAAAAHHHhhhhhhhHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
The Canfields are Kickin’ it Venutian Style, until Snotnose comes barging in and sucks all the fun outta the room, so they shift back to their human forms. Paul’s manic now, so he puts on a jolly gymnastics show to celebrate ruining their fun.
At this point, it becomes apparent that this story lacks focus.
This story is exhausting. It's like they had 12 new books they wanted to start, but ended up combining them into.....one five-page feature. And they didn't cut anything.
It seems the family was exiled from Jupiter (Weren't they just in their Venutian forms?), then their spaceship crashed, and they lost their powers, so they were powerless to stop his sister when she wandered off and was “Found by somebody who has raised her as their own…”
(If by: “Found by somebody who has raised her as their own..” you mean: “Found by somebody who saw a GIANT F$#*ING BUG Skittering towards them and smashed it’s head in with a shovel...”)
I can honestly say that Tiger Boy is the VERY BEST plaid-jacket-wearing, humanity-hating, crime fighting, tiger-bodied, robotic, stretchable, alien-in disguise, explosive-sister-seeking, teenage hero of ALL TIME!
"The Boy Who Hates Us All"
Originally printed in Unearthly Spectaculars #2, Dec 1966
Art: Gil Kane