It’s time for my annual holiday, so as a great man with mascara across his eyes and wearing a red cockpiece once said “School’s out for Summer!” Remember how on the last day of the school you could bring in games? (Always high comedy when some kid would end the day bawling his eyes out because some expensive toy they’d bought ended up broke). Or watching movies (at 15 I remember watching Rambo 3 at school about a month before it even came out in the UK. Pretty sure there’s quite a few laws been broken right there).
Well in that tradition I’ve decided to fuck around with my last articles for a while as I bring to you my own list of the biggest wankers in comics.
“Herbie? Herbie? Who the fuck is Herbie?” is what a nation of kids were yelling at their TV screens in the late 70’s when a Fantastic Four cartoon appeared on our teatime telly in the UK. Unlike today Marvel cartoons were a rairety on television with a Spiderman cartoon featuring one of the catchiest themes in cartoons ever being the only chance we had to see superheroes in motion, so the Fantastic Four was something we were all getting excited for. Yet something seemed amiss when the opening credits began showing the origin of the FF while a certain Johnny Storm seemed to be missing for that fateful trip into space. In his place was a hovering, dated looking little robot..
Yes, the Human Torch had been retconned out of the new Cartoon to be replaced by “Herbie, the newsest member of the team”, a tagline that frankly made no sense whatsover.
Letter’s poured into the offices of ITV (probably) demanding to know where the Human Torch was and who the fuck this Herbie was, similar to the outcry when Buck Roger’s sidekick Twiki (now there’s a proper robot) has his voice changed during the incredibly lame second series. The people at ITV probably thought “fucked if we know”.
Urban myth has it that the Human Torch was left off the cartoon due to fears that impressionable kids would be inspired to set themselves on fire (apparently the Fantastic Four comic was a big hit with Tibetan monks during the Vietnam war).
The truth is that the Human Torch had been licensed to appear in a possible live action TV show and so the character could not be used. The show was never made, probably because the special effects would be too expensive at the time…and maybe because some dumb kids would set themselves on fire. Let’s face it we live in a world where kid’s Superman outfits have to come with a warning “does not enable flight”.
Neither Herbie or the cartoon were a hit, with only 12 episodes being made, during which the annoying little droid just kinda acted like a mechanical know it all and generally got on everyone’s nerves especially the Thing.
Incredibly Herbie joined the cast of the Fantastic Four comics but as a companion not an actual member. At least this time we got to see him killed off.
By the way I mentioned the 80’s Buck Roger’s In the 25th Century TV series. Anyone who remebers getting hot under the collar for Colonel Wilma Deering and Princess Ardala when they were kids needs to go on youtube and check at the bizarre and frankly blue movie like opening credits to the Theatrical Movie version of the pilot.
You’ll thank me for it.
Look it was always going to be tough following in the footsteps of the great Optimus Prime. However we could all trust the Matrix to find us a suitable kick ass replacement right? I mean Hotrod was a pretty cool character right? All hot headed and reckless. So hell, Rodimus Prime was going to be an awesome leader yeah?
Well as it happens the answer is no.
Because Rodimus Prime turned out to be one of the most dislikeable Transformers ever. For a start a fighter this guy was not. I mean Optimus had a whole hippy peace and love philosophy towards life, but he’d spread some shit when things got tough. Rodimus seemed to prefer to run away or order Ultra Magnus to do his fighting for him. On those occasions when he was forced to actually have a fight himself he normally got his ass handed to him. Let’s see Sam Bush make an awesome song out of that guy.
He wasn’t the most inspiring leader either. He was always racked with self doubt and was often indecisive which one time prompted Grimlock to lose his rag and totally go to town on him during a crisis meeting, even bullying him into a course of action.
Listen let’s just accept that the Matrix just had to settle for whoever was around during their darkest hour. We should have had Griminus Prime Goddamit.
Now I know not all superheroes should be likeable, there should be all different personalities and we need opportunity for conflict. I get that. But frankly any guy who lays a hand on his wife automatically makes it into shithead status as far as I’m concerned. Which is what Hank Pym did to the Wasp during his emotionally turmoil time as Yellowjacket.
Granted the fall of Hank Pym was a pretty edgy storyline at the time (I think it far more powerful than the often lauded Demon in a Bottle saga) but I still hate the guy. After all Joffrey helped make Game of Thrones awesome but I still wanted to strangle the little shit.
Seriously Hank Pym has always been a whiny character, with all that emotional baggage and self esteem issues causing him to switc from one lame persona to the next (remember the time where he had a sickly sweet flying robot car?) Even calling himself The Wasp when it was thought she’d died during Secret Invasion, which is just damn creepy.
The thing is, with all his backstory I think Pym could make a decent villain, maybe his issues one day tipping him over the edge and forming his own Masters of Evil. This was something that was realised in The Ultimates which made him even more of a dick and when Pym beat on the Wasp this time it did not go unpunished. Because Captain America beat the shit out of him in one of the greatest beatdowns ever, rivaling the scene in Godfather where Sonny kicks the crap out of his brother in law for bruising up his sister. Seriously that comic is worth reading just for that scene alone.
You can grow in size all you want Pym, but you’ll always be a little man at heart.
Nuclear Man on this list may be a little unfair, because in truth I’m just using him as an excuse to rag on one of the worst films of all time Superman IV the quest for Peace.
This was a watershed moment in my love of movies, as this was the first time I saw a film that I realised was absolutely garbage. See I loved the Superman films as a kid, I’d seen the trailer which was awesome with Superman seemingly trying to balance preventing Nuclear Armageddon with battling a new foe just as powerful as him.
I knew shit about films at that age, but from the opening moments with those cheap looking opening credits and a feeble rescue in space scene that looked awfully like a studio, I knew something just wasn’t right. You see the makers of the first three movies had sold the franchise to Canon films who were trying to do the film on the cheap and boy did it show, with effects so bad they were laughable, I mean how many times was the same shot of Superman flying get used?
Oh and the awful comedy. At least in Superman III we had Richard Pryor. Here we have a long scene involving the hilarity of a double date situation where both Superman and Clark Kent are invited and have to keep switching from one to the other. It’s just awful and by the way Margot Kiddor was looking really ropey as Lois Lane by now.
You know what? If I was professional I’d watch Superman IV again for this piece, but I just can’t. Especially when there is an “Honest Movie Trailer” for it on Youtube. So go seek that out instead.
The film has provided us with one of the greatest DVD commentaries of all times where the director Sidney Furie just pretty much offers one long apology. And believe it or not it could have been even worse, as a subplot was left on the cutting room floor that would have seen an original Nuclear Man created who turned out to be…how can I say this in politically correct manner? Let’s say he’s a bit special. The footage exists and is even more horrible than the stuff that made it onto the screen.
My mum actually once described Nuclear Man as dishy, seriously.
The Four Wankers dressed as Ghostbusters at Sheffield Comic Con
I’m a big fan of conventions. I absolutely adore the fact that people decide they’re going to dress up as characters from comics and video games for the day and don’t give a damn what other people think. To me It’s a form of counter culture and to all those “cool” people who say “get a life” or “look at them saddos” whenever I’ve been to cons I see nothing but happy, positive people enjoying their day. But I digress.
Last year the first comic con came to Sheffield where I live and to commerate this occasion me and some friends decided to make costumes and go. As it happens I was the only one of the group that bothered to dress up, but anyway I decided to go as Peter Venkman of the Ghostbusters (the reason for this choice will soon become clear). So the bank holiday before the Con I raided my attic for any discarded electrical appliances I could find and built myself a backpack along with the ghost catcher thingy, painted a water gun black and finished the whole thing off with some safety stickers and voila I was a Ghostbuster.
I arrived at the Sheffield Arena, marvelling at the sight of Boba Fett and a group of Stormtroopers stood outside the pub across the road and watching the wonderful cavalcade of characters crossing the carpark seeing the first of many hot Harley Quinn outfits I would see that day. As I got out of my car a van just happened to roll up containing four other Ghostbusters. Now these guys were true enthusiasts. There’s costumes were exact replicas, down to the smallest detail as opposed to mine that was creatively put together with what ever I had lying around (I like to think mine was an interpretation as opposed to an attempt to replicate). They looked impressive, even if they were a little on the wrong side of overweight themselves.
Now I’m not the most social of people normally, but I was caught up in all the good vibes and friendliness all around me and in the spirit of nerdy comradely I smiled their way and gave them a friendly nod of the head. So did they respond in greeting at the coincidence of Ghostbusters parking so close together?
These fuckers remained stone faced, and stared at me with a look of contempt before marching off without any form of acknowledgement. In short they blanked me. Maybe they didn’t approve of my crude outfit or felt I was encroaching in on their turf. I don’t know. Well maybe I don’t have an exact replica Proto Gun but I have something that they can’t touch.
Because I’m told I resemble Bill Murray and you can’t replicate that. It’s an ongoing gag, with customers where I work remarking on it as does the host of the excellent Bourbon Room club in Las Vegas whenever I visit there.
As I did the rounds of the convention it was been remarked on constantly. I even ended up being asked to pose with people for photos (in truth anyone with a half decent costume was getting asked the same), with people commenting how I looked like the actual Venkman. As one excited young guy succinctly put it “Dude you look like Bill Murray, NO ONE looks like Bill Murray”.
So yeah that was my fifteen minutes right there.
I wonder how much a Death’s Head outfit would cost?
Jax Teller of Sons of Anarchy? The TV show that was a hit amongst fans of motorcycle gangs and prison rape? “But Dazza Sons of Anarchy is a TV show, how can he be included in a list of comic wankers? Wah, wah, wah, wah.”
First up don’t talk to me like that, I’ve thrown away more comics than you’ve read.
Second a Sons of Anarchy comic exists so I’m claiming his entry as legit.
Thirdly I have to include Jax Teller, because he’s worse than a wanker, I’d go so far to call him some thing that starts with a C, ends with a T and has UN in the middle.
I loved Sons of Anarchy, it was one of my favourite shows of all time. I even ignore the ridiculousness that a motorcycle gang would be able to go toe to toe with the IRA, Russain Mafia and Yakusa. Or the ludicrous amounts of murders in broad daylight they were able to get away with season to season. “So tell me did you get a good look at the killers?” “Yeah they were riding motorcycles and had these jackets on that said Sons of Anarchy of the back?” “Hmm well I’m stumped!”
I hated Jax Teller. When he wasn’t baring his admittedly preposterously well toned arse every single episode, he was normally trying to act as some great philosopher and using a romanticised notion of brotherhood to justify the generally thuggish behaviour of him and his buddies as they pretty much rob, kill and intimidate anyone who gets in their way.
My real hatred of Jax grew during the episode where he forcibly injected heroin into the arm of his former girlfriend who was a recovering addict. From that point on I wanted nothing but a brutal ending to the character, but sadly that wasn’t to be. Jax’s actions seemed to get everyone around him killed, whle Jax was able to go out on his own terms dying on his motorcycle as a free spirit with a smile on his smug face.
If I’d been writing the show it would have ended with Jax in prison, bent over his bunk as a long line made up of members from all the gangs he’d crossed waiting to take a turn with him. Let’s see how good his ass looks after it’s been heavily sodomised by members of the various street gangs as well as white supremacists, IRA, Russian Mafiosa, Triads, redneck militia and Marylin Manson.
And so that’s It from me for a while, I really would like to thank Fettman, Luro and Marvel2K for welcoming me to the site and giving me a showcase for my articles and allowing me on their podcast. I’ve had a blast and hope to continue doing so for some time to come.
So far now I’ll say so long, farewell, Auf wiedersehen, adieu and I’ll be back later in July. That’s if the guys don’t take the opportunity to move websites while I’m gone.