Friday, April 20, 2007

You're the One For Me, Fatty.


Let's hear it for Bouncing Boy, who got his powers the best way possible: while fucking off at work. In fact, I humbly submit that Bouncing Boy has the best origin in all comics. Why? As you’re about to see, few heroes owe their powers to such a heady combination of laziness and stupidity. This is from “The Secret Origin of Bouncing Boy” reprinted in Showcase Presents: Legion of Super-Heroes Volume 1, a mere 3 pages out of 549 fat-packed with silver-age lunacy.

Back before the internet, people had to actually leave work to spend the day slacking. I’m sure the writer couldn’t have anticipated March Madness, Soduku, blogs, message boards, and MySpace, so he had to dream up the Robot Gladiator Tournament as a temptation for slack-ass errand boy Chuck Taine. See, like many American workers, Chuck interprets “at once” to mean “whenever you get around to it” and hey, all that walking wears a fat boy out.

SAVAGE-EXCITING-YET HARMLESS…I think I’ve found my new motto. Notice that in the 30th century, they’ve abandoned those old fashioned electric signs and moved forward to a sleek, futuristic, “hand-lettered sign painted on a bed sheet and stapled to the side of the building” approach. We then get the obligatory detailed explanation of the tournaments, and it comes off like a Yakov Smirnoff routine: “In future, people go to arena to watch workers in cubicle!” What a thrill, indeed! It’s stuff like this that makes me think maybe the Legion’s future is post-Idiocracy.

You’ve seen the laziness, now here’s the stupidity. Mister "famed scientist", if you send an obvious idiot out with an uncapped bottle of God-knows-what, of course he’s gonna drink it! Instead of yet another visit with mister stomach pump, Chuck becomes Bouncing Boy, the human balloon. Chuck definitely picked the right day to wear his Thanksgiving pants. “He’s lucky he’s wearing clothes made of stretchable fiber!” Buddy, we’re all lucky he’s wearing clothes made of stretchable fiber. Not satisfied with utterly failing his job, Chuck fucks up the tournament as well, earning the hatred and scorn of all present.

As an unrelated aside, you’ve gotta love all the (CHOKE)-ing and (CHUCKLE)-ing going on in all these Weisinger era stories. Bouncing Boy (CHOKE)s about 18 times in this story alone. Chuck gets checked out at the hospital and finds he can now expand at will. So can I, but no one's calling me a hero. Since he’s completely forgotten about the scientist, the formula, his job, and the Science Council at this point, he tries to sign up with the Legion of Super-Heroes, who of course, reject him. The rest of the story goes on to show him screwing up a few more times before the law of averages kicks in, he actually does something right, and gains the team’s acceptance.

Bouncing Boy went on to a relatively distinguished career in the Legion and a beautiful wife who can split into three equally hot babes. Who says laziness and stupidity don’t pay off?


coco67 said...


Brian Hughes said...

(chuckle) Hey, you're part to blame for this. It's basically a transcript of every conversation we've ever had about Bouncing Boy. Sadly, there were many.

SallyP said...

Well, I have to say that I am amazed. I didn't think that it was possible to anybody to be even stupider than Snapper Carr, but Bouncing Boy has managed that handy little spades!


Captain Infinity said...

Fat, lazy, and stupid. So Bouncing Boy is basically the future super-powered version of Homer Simpson?


Anonymous said...

Only even more successful.
And less likely to be injured or killed.

Robert Ullman said...

What a great post. I remember reading this story in an Adventure Comics digest when I was a kid and thinking the same thing.

And now he's married to her? Whatta world.