Thursday, October 20, 2011


Simpsons Comics (and Bongo Comics in general) have been reliably Very Good comics for years now; consistently well produced all-ages fare with occasional flashes of excellence. Issue #183, out yesterday was simply brilliant. Comic Book Guy overindulges on sugar and honey-laced mead at a Ren Faire and passes out in the Fortune Teller's tent while reading an Archie comic, leading to a bizarre future-dream in which "Everything's Bartchie" in Springfield!

Written by Ian Boothby and drawn by Stan Goldberg (a man who knows a little something about Archie), Simpsons Comics #183, from Bongo Comics is a must have if you have any fondness at all for Archie, the Simpsons or mash-ups.

BONUS: An all-too-fleeting glimpse of Principal Skinnerbee:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Legion of Subpar Villains: Doctor Doom, D.D.S.

Open wide and say AHH! From the Sensational She Hulk #18 (1990) comes today's loser super villain... DOCTOR DOOM's fifth cousin, Dr. Bob Doom, D.D.S.

I face a bit of a dilemma here, as I wonder if I should include subpar villains in this feature that were actually created to be goofy and ineffectual. Dr. Doom, D.D.S. was created by Steve Gerber, a satirist, for a "funny" comic, albeit one set in the "serious" Marvel Universe, so is it really fair for me to include him in my gallery of lame-os? Upon reflection, and since it makes my job much easier, I have concluded that yes, such characters are fair game.

She Hulk learned of the other Doctor Doom through a mutual client who got more than he bargained for from his last filling. A tiny implant in his molar was receiving radio broadcasts, and he decided to sue:

When she goes to inform the doctor of the malpractice claim, he doesn't take it too well. Cancelling all of his appointments for the day, he heads home for a nice, relaxing super villain rant:

Where most writers would have been content to deliver an evil dentist, Steve Gerber went that extra mile to gift us with an evil dentist who is also Doctor Doom's fifth cousin, and who has a severe case of super villain envy. Doctor (Bob) Doom goes on to explain that he's been placing implants into his wealthy patients mouths so that he can brainwash them and swindle them out of their fortunes. 

She Hulk figured out his scheme, of course, and beat him easily. Thus, Bob Doom D.D.S. was sent to prison, and never appeared in a Marvel comic again. Let's face it, he's a continuity annoyance, and Marvel would probably prefer to forget he ever existed. And you would have forgotten, if it weren't for the Legion of Subpar Villains. You're welcome.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Legion of Subpar Villains: Fire-Proof, But By No Means Fail-Safe

America: Land of opportunity, innovation, and sometimes, great stupidity. At some point in the late 19th century, we decided that Asbestos was the new wonder material that was going to insulate our homes, schools, and federal buildings, and generally make life a beautiful living dream. Later, it was discovered that asbestos was super-toxic to humans over the long term if handled or inhaled. WHOOPS! Since then, a multi-million dollar industry has been built up around removing and containing the asbestos that was installed in the first place.

So how big of a loser do you have to be to give yourself a terminal illness dressing up in a toxic gimp suit made of asbestos in order to fail at robbing banks? Just ask the ASBESTOS MAN, a one shot punching bag who debuted in Strange Tales #111 (Aug 1963). Like so many other enterprising, disgruntled comic book scientists, Orson Kasloff decided that work is for chumps, and he'd be better off using his universal solvent to rob banks. But with no criminal skills, how was he to gather a criminal gang? Clearly, the only answer was to pick a fight with the Human Torch, defeat the whippersnapper, and wait for the goons to come to him. I never said it was a good plan. These days, he's dying of Mesothelioma, courtesy of his poorly self-designed asbestos clothing sending millions of jolly, microscopic fibrous visitors to his lungs, long after those many years ago when that punk ass Human Torch beat him so very, very easily. Now it's a race between the chrysotile fibers strangling his lungs and the fibers burrowing under his skin as to which horrific form of cancer takes him first; skin or lung, if not both. Such are the horrors and consequences of unsafe asbestos handling.

This goof-ball is especially amusing when you consider the sliding timeline of the Marvel Universe. He probably went on his little crime spree about eight years ago, Marvel time. Ironically, he probably had an e-mail reminding him that it was time to take his annual asbestos awareness training waiting for him in his e-mail at work.

Most recently, Asbestos Man made a reappearance in Fear Itself: The Home Front #6, where the Terminally-ill Terror attempted a comeback before being confronted and talked down by the Great Lakes Avengers, none of whom would actually touch him. He still made it into their top 5 rogues gallery, though. Because they, too, are sub-par.