Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Jigsaw Puzzled (Part 1)

Collecting comics can be a real pain in the ass. They're bulky, heavy by the hundreds, and they have to be sorted and filed eventually, which is a logistical nightmare. A situation that is not fucking helped when publishers do shit like plaster “Big Hero Adventures” across the top of their actually-titled-per-the-indicia Jigsaw #1 comic book. All of which I mention only because my treasured copy of Jigsaw #1 long filed under “Big Hero” at some point has been found at long last, and mocking its awfulness is GO.

And good lord, is it awful.

The story begins with hero astronaut Gary Jason on an ill-defined mission to, I guess, look around? In space? Whatever he’s doing, he’s got him some telescopes, and they’re a-probin’. His mission is about to take a turn for the worse as he experiences “A Nightmare in Space”:

The raptures of space? That sounds either sexy or churchy, but it is neither; it just (literally) sucks. Somehow, despite his flight path leading past and beyond the cone, Col. Jason gets caught in the vortex and horribly maimed by whirling debris:

Damn. You know that’s comin’ out of his paycheck. Alls I know is you’ve got to be one piss-poor driver to wrap your ride around a tree in outer space. Meh, it’ll buff out.

Soon, Gary, debris, rocks, and a bear are drawn via vacuum power into the moon itself! It seems that goofy looking space robots have been screwing around with the Earth, picking up specimens. We’ll politely decline to mention that among the “specimens” are several big-screen TVs, a pimped out Caddy, mind-boggling amounts of porn, and tons of fine, fine Columbian blow.

I need to know what happened to that bear, by the way. We never see him again, but I like to think that if this series had been a hit, Jigsaw would have had an ursine crime-fighting companion in time. This book could have used any help it could get, especially Jigsaw Bear!

So the aliens decide they’d better put the shredded Earthman back together. It wasn’t enough to mutilate the poor guy, but our poor man’s Crow T. Robot has no qualms about digging around in his brain a bit, too:

Looks like our beaky metal chum is about to get even more of that porn he so desperately craves, doesn’t it?

Okay, now here’s the part that just pisses me off. So these robot/alien whatevers have created a hidden base on the moon, right? They’re sucking up trees, rocks, and who-knows-what other goodies from Earth, right? But, Oh! They’re friendly. Really, Goofus McCrapbot himself sez so!

At about this point, I’d be more “content” asking this freak some seriously pointed questions about who they are, why I was torn apart, what are these weirdoes up to, and, oh yeah, who is gonna be the first to get his shiny metal ass kicked?!?

But our bland, gullible astronaut, seems content to take Si-Krell at his word. National Securi-what now? Col. Jason then learns that the operation didn’t go completely as planned:

Yeah, you may want to hold off on the effusive thanks, dude. This is, after all, the alien freak who set up a base on your moon, destroyed your space capsule, mangled your body, then did a Tijuana patch job on ya.

I’m pretty sure he scrambled your brain, too:

I love this panel: I’m lucky to be alive… I guess…” No thanks to bedpan face, there!

“Hey, dude, I don’t know nothin’ about human phys…fizzy…body stuff? So you’re packed full of bungee cords instead, m’kay?”

A rattling bag of broken bits held together with rubber bands and duct tape, Col. Jason has become a Jigsaw Man. Si-Krell, the patronizing bucket of bolts sends him packing back to Earth, where moping and alienation is imminent:

Chapter one covered that old reliable standby of an origin story; “Earthman reassembled by aliens who don’t know human biology, so they put him back together wrong, but he gets powers instead of just being crippled for life which is probably what would actually happen.”

That happens a lot in comics.

What next? Well, I’ve got a lot more to say about chapters 2 and 3, so its only fitting that the jacked-up journey of Jigsaw should be “pieced together” over more than one article! Come back soon for part, er, piece two of the Jigsaw puzzle!


Anonymous said...

You have to love that Tallarico artwork. Jigsaw was pretty bad, even though it supposedly was written by Jim Steranko.

Allen Smith

byrneward said...

So a moon-mile would be, what? A sixth of an Earth-mile or...?

And wouldn't Jigsaw be more like "Man of a Thousand Pieces" ?

It's clear they just did not care.