Comic Book Quickies 4
January 26, 2015
Once again proving that mass-produced products solve ALL the world's problems!
Linkara: Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. Today, it's time for another edition of (throws out arms excitedly) "COMIC BOOK QUICKIES"!
("Comic Book Quickies" title is shown)
Linkara (v/o): In case you're new around here...
(A montage of short comics, many of them based on advertising, are shown)
Linkara (v/o): ..."Comic Book Quickies" is where I look at material that's too short or outside my realm of expertise for a normal review, but it's still something I want to spotlight. Usually, this takes the form of advertisements for junk food with a cream filling of some variety, or supervillains stealing cakes.
Linkara: And that's terrible. So let's dig into some quick comic book-related material (smiles maniacally) and see where the madness takes us!
(AT4W title sequence plays, followed by the title card, which has "Love the One You're With" by Stephen Stills playing in the background; cut to a title for a Hostess-sponsored Spider-Man comic: "Spider-Man Meets the Home Wrecker")
Linkara (v/o): Naturally, let's start things off with our favorite subject in the world: Hostess Fruit Pies. (reads title dramatically) "SPIDER-MAN MEETS THE HOME WRECKER"!
Linkara: AKA Joe Quesada.
Linkara (v/o): Spidey is battling... uh... a construction worker. Yeah.
Spider-Man: The Home Wrecker is on the ball again... If I don't do something fast, I'll be in no shape for that architecture class tomorrow.
Linkara: (as Spider-Man) Screw the building and the people inside; I'm more concerned about my schooling on a subject I won't even major in!
Home Wrecker: I love to see that big black ball take its toll of walls...
Linkara: (confused) I'm pretty sure that statement can also be found in Cards Against Humanity.
Linkara (v/o): Also, seriously? This guy is just a construction worker? Spidey has this amazing rogues gallery, so naturally, your first instinct for a villain to use was... a regular guy wearing a shirt that matched his skin tone.
Linkara: Or perhaps he's actually naked, and this is his way of honoring Miley Cyrus.
Linkara (v/o): The presence of this guy just further confuses me. If they were going for a construction theme...
(Cut to a shot of a comic story featuring Killdozer)
Linkara (v/o): ...why not just use Killdozer? It's technically in the Marvel Universe, too.
(Cut back to the Spider-Man comic)
Linkara (v/o): Anyway, the Home Wrecker swings his big black ball at another wall, almost hitting Spidey. I'm just wondering how this guy got his crane all the way here without being stopped along the way. Cranes are not exactly known for being all that speedy.
Spider-Man: I've got to get Home Wrecker's hands off these controls!
Linkara: (making "finger quotes" in confusion) "These controls"? What are you talking about? You're not holding any controller. (becomes uncomfortable) Or... do you have a controller in your pants that Home Wrecker is after? That is weird, sir! (holds up a Game Boy) I just keep a Game Boy in my pants!
Spider-Man: (tossing some Hostess Fruit Pies at Home Wrecker) He'll need both hands to catch these apple and cherry Hostess Fruit Pies.
Linkara (v/o): Oh, he had Fruit Pies in his pants. Makes sense. Or were those in the wall? Actually, here's another question: check out the angle on the throw. His arm swings in an arc from up high, down, and up again from side to side, but the Fruit Pies arc from down to up away from him. See, Spidey, this is why you should drop the architecture classes and go into sports.
Linkara: (as Spider-Man) Only a science major can throw a curve ball like that!
Linkara (v/o): Naturally, this plan works, and the Home Wrecker now is holding the Fruit Pies, keeping his hands off the controls. And so, it ends with the Home Wrecker covered in tires for maximum comedic effect... except for his hands, since Spidey knows that this guy needs to feed his addiction to the Fruit Pies now. Also, I just realized, why couldn't you use your webbing on him?
Spider-Man: Another bad guy all wrapped up. Now to get home to do my homework.
Linkara: (as Spider-Man) Aunt May has been really worried about me lately. She looked absolutely terrified when I mentioned I was going to get a summer job at a resort in the Hamptons.
(Cut to black with classical music playing, then fade in on the following text, read by Linkara...)
Linkara (v/o): And now... Excerpts from "The Super Dictionary" with That Guy With The Hat: "Sill".
(Cut to The Guy With the Hat, reading from the Super Dictionary)
That Guy With the Hat: "Atom is sitting on the sill. He is sitting on the piece of wood below the window. The window sills in this house were dirty. So Atom moved."
(Cut to a shot of a comic called "The Saga of Johnny West")
Linkara (v/o): And let's have ourselves another comic, but this one's... not about Fruit Pies: "THE SAGA OF JOHNNY WEST"!
Linkara: None can sit on a fence for hours at a time like Johnny West!
Narrator: Johnny West, wearing his Acme boots, keeps an eye out for kids in trouble.
Linkara: (as narrator) Unfortunately, he's looking at an empty field.
Linkara (v/o): The next day, he's walking by a school and spots a kid bullying another.
Bully: Scram kid, I'm borrowin' your horse!
Linkara: Well, at least that implies that he intends to return it.
Johnny: (thinking) Looks like a job for Johnny West...
Linkara: (as Johnny) It's a shame that I glued my hands to my hips.
Linkara (v/o): So I'm guessing this is Old West times since the kid needs to ride a horse to school. Man, that bully has a giant head. And he apparently makes tracks quickly when he spots Johnny West approaching.
Kid: Gee, Johnny West! I wish I could stand up to trouble like you do.
Linkara: (as this kid) And by ("finger quotes") "stand up to trouble", I mean you standing there and not doing anything.
Linkara (v/o): However, Johnny West has the answer...
Johnny: You can, by standin' proud in Acme Boots!
Linkara: (as Johnny) They have a certificate of authenticity from Wile E. Coyote himself!
Narrator: The next day, it's a different story...
Linkara (v/o): And indeed, the presence of these boots somehow frightens off the bully... I presume, anyway, since all we see is him walking away, so for all we know, he just didn't feel like bullying him right now. Or maybe he thinks Johnny West has his back and doesn't want to invoke his anger.
Another kid: Wow... How did you scare that big creep off?
First kid: Thanks, Johnny West...
Linkara: (narrator voice) Johnny West would go on to bring down many notorious outlaws by giving them mismatched loafers.
Linkara (v/o): And so, Johnny West walks off into the sunset.
Johnny: Acme wins again.
Linkara: (as Johnny) I made sure to grab thirty bucks from that kid while he was puttin' on the boots.
(Cut to black with classical music playing, then fade in on the following text, read by Linkara...)
Linkara (v/o): And now... Excerpts from "The Super Dictionary" with That Guy With The Hat: "Imagine".
(Cut to The Guy With the Hat, reading from the Super Dictionary)
That Guy With the Hat: "Lois Lane liked to imagine her wedding. She liked to make a picture of her wedding in her mind. She imagined that she married Superman." (rolls eyes)
(Cut to a shot of the comic "Trouble #1")
Linkara (v/o): Last week, I reviewed the first issue of "Trouble", an attempt at a modern romance comic. As was pointed out by many people, "If you want that, just look to manga." But the thing is that American romance comics actually have a very long history behind them. For whatever reason, they were popular.
(Cut to a shot of the cover for a comic entitled "All Romances")
Linkara (v/o): And if you've checked out my second DVD, you'll know I've reviewed one from the '50s. You'll be equally confused how the hell anything so utterly boring and nonsensical could be popular.
(Cut to a shot of the cover of another comic, this one entitled "Love Stories")
Linkara (v/o): But hey, there's room in the comics world for all genres, so let's try to meet things halfway in the '70s, shall we? What we have here is one of my random purchases for potential review: "DC Comics' 100-Page Super Spectacular of Love Stories".
Linkara: Ironically, DC has said fairly recently that they don't want any of their heroes in happy relationships, because they somehow sacrifice that by putting on a mask. Just like how any law enforcement agent is not allowed to ever get married and be happy. (smiles exaggeratedly)
Linkara (v/o): Now, obviously, I can't review every story for a quickies episode, but hey, most of these are relatively short, so let's take a look at the first story. (reads text) "How Do I Know When I'm Really in Love?"
Linkara: Well, if any of you are fans of the Cinema Snob's videos, you know that the answer to that involves asking Ted Danson.
Linkara (v/o): We open on two people skiing.
Woman [revealed to be Mia]: (thinking) Oh, wow... It's him! It's Ed... Hmmm...He's everything I've ever wanted in a guy!
Linkara: (as Mia) Except, he doesn't have a mechanical arm, but nobody's perfect.
Mia: (narrating) My heart skipped a beat whenever Bill came near... I practically fell apart when Roger touched me... I could barely sleep just thinking about Ed... And when Teddy smiled at me I felt glad all over! Yes--I had all the symptoms of being in love!
Linkara: Well, I'm no doctor, but that actually sounds more like the symptoms of an anxiety disorder.
Mia: (narrating) Then why is it somehow the fatal blow of Cupid's arrow was always off course?
Linkara: (confused) "Fatal blow"? You wanted Cupid to murder you?!
Linkara (v/o): This is Mia, whose name I only learned on the fourth page, and she's not certain why she's having so much trouble with her relationships. She kisses that Ed guy, buuut...
Mia: (thinking) T-That kiss meant nothing...It happened again! What's the matter with me...? Why can't I fall in love? Why?
Linkara: (as Mia, looking up in thought) Well, I could be asexual, but... (shrugs) eh, that wouldn't conform to the standards of this era, so that can't be it.
Linkara (v/o): Mia talks to her friend Amy about this, trying to figure out why she's having so much trouble falling in love. Amy, not being a crazy person obsessed with finding romance, suggests that she's too hung up on this, that she's in love with the idea of being in love, rather than in any actual person.
Amy: Just because Cinderella found her Prince Charming doesn't mean that Prince Charming is the guy for every girl!
Linkara (v/o): Mia tries to justify her choices of boyfriends as only dating to her type, which is fair enough; you're attracted to what you're attracted to. But Amy says her problem is she can't acknowledge just happens and it can't be assumed just because they meet certain qualifications. And thus we begin recounting her romances in flashback. First up is Mark, a racing car driver.
Mark: Man... I really got into racing because I'd dig the speeds! Now it's my whole thing!
Linkara: Why do I have the feeling that "race car driver" is your entire character description?
Linkara (v/o): Naturally, that fell apart because... uh... he was too hung up on cars.
Mark: You gotta keep these babies in perfect tune-up! Don't worry, sugar, I'll be done in a sec!
Mia: (thinking) Oh! I can't stand him anymore!
Linkara: (as Mia) He's been tuning the same part of that engine for nine hours!
Linkara (v/o): Next up was Roger, a tennis player.
Roger: That's the game, Mia! I guess we're just lucky for each other!
Mia: (thinking) We were just made for each other!
Linkara: (as Mia) As you can tell, we've just had so many interesting things to say to each other.
Linkara (v/o): Unfortunately, it turns out the guy has a bit of an ego problem.
Mia: (thinking) Oh, no...He's doing it again! He's staring at his reflection!
Linkara: (thinking as he looks on nervously) Oh, my God, I think my reflection moved without me moving!
Linkara (v/o): So, yeah, relationship after relationship fell apart, and Mia is a bit jealous of Amy's romance with her own boyfriend. As she goes off on her own, she runs into a guy and knocks down all his research papers.
Guy: I've been doing research all day, and you go and mess up all my papers... How am I ever going to get this darn stuff in order?
Linkara: (as this guy) I definitively figured out how all the Final Fantasy games actually made sense in a single universe, and now it's all ruined!
Linkara (v/o): She helps him get his papers in order, and he soon apologizes for acting like a dick, even offering to buy her a soda.
Mia: (thinking) H-He's everything I can't stand in a guy...He's short... and dumpy and-- funny-looking! But I don't want to hurt his feelings!
Linkara: (as Mia) I don't want to hurt the feelings of the guy who was rude to me.
Mia: (thinking) H-He's nice! Funny...I like him! He's not my type... But wow! I like him!
Linkara: "Settling: The Comic"! (singing) If you can't be with the one you love, honey, love the one you're with...
Narrator: Love would be such a simple thing if we could fall in love with the people of our dreams... But love isn't that simple...and we never know when that fabled arrow will take its aim and strike!
(Cut to a clip of The Elder Scrolls V)
Town guard: (offscreen) I took an arrow in the knee.
(Back to the comic again)
Narrator: One thing we do know... When it reaches its target, he's your type all right...
Linkara: (as narrator) And if he's not your type... (shrugs) well, you can change him.
(Cut to a shot of a Spider-Man comic entitled simply "The Rescue!")
Linkara (v/o): Let's end this episode with one final Hostess comic. Coincidentally, this one also features Spider-Man, but also some cowboy action again. This is (dramatically) Spider-Man in "The Rescue!"
Linkara: Now, this may seem like an overly-simple title, but just remember, these Fruit Pie comics brought us the Giant Flea Market-Eating Flea. It's entirely possible that nobody will be rescued at all.
Linkara (v/o): Spidey swings down and kicks a guy, a criminal who is helping another guy kidnap a child.
Spider-Man: Saturday night and I'm waltzing around with two guys! I can't be living right!
Linkara: I don't know, man. I know some people who would say you're taking it easy with that.
Linkara (v/o): The criminal tosses the kid over to Spidey, and for some reason, the kid is dressed up like a cowboy.
Cowboy Kid: I wanna go home! Right now!
Kidnapper: That wall-crawler will have to take care of the kid! Let's get out of here! Fast!
Linkara (v/o): I love how this random criminal tossed the kid so powerfully that he knocked Spidey on his ass with him. Well, Spidey has to distract the kid while he chases the criminals.
Linkara: (as Spider-Man) Here, kid, have some cowboy boots! (pretends to hold out some boots)
Linkara (v/o): No, of course, Spidey is carrying around something far more logical: Twinkies!
Cowboy Kid: Golden sponge cake! Creamed filling! Delicious!
Linkara: After this kidnapping attempt, the kid is gonna be in therapy for years. He'll never be able to look at a confectionery again.
Linkara (v/o): And naturally, he couldn't just tell the kid to stay here. No, no, the treat was necessary. But yeah, he webs up the car and swings the kid off to safety.
Spider-Man: Okay, cowboy, we're on our way home!
Linkara: (as Spider-Man) Now I'm kidnapping you, kid! You're my new child! (normal again) So, what have we learned today, hmm? That cowboy boots and Hostess products can intimidate criminals, but you'll only find your true love if you imagine dirty windowsills. There's something like that, I don't know. Next week, PSA Hell. (gets up and leaves)
(End credits roll)
Johnny West is like reverse Billy Jack – put ON boots to fight evil.
Maybe Mia could have found true love if she had some fruit pies on her? Or cowboy boots?
(Stinger: An old commercial for Hostess products; open on a boy sitting on the floor of his house reading a comic book)
Woman: (offscreen) Do your homework!
Boy: (looking up from comic) Oh, Mom!
(Cut to a girl walking toward the open front door; it is raining outside)
Mother: Wear your raincoat!
Girl: Oh, Mother!
(Cut to another boy reaching towards a kitchen shelf with Twinkies and Cupcakes on it)
Mother: Later, after we eat.
(Cut to the mother walking up toward the camera in the kitchen while the three children from earlier (the two boys and one girl) sit around the table)
Mother: (looking into camera) You want to be soft; you've got to be soft. There's a right time for snacks, and I say when. (picks up a tray full of Hostess products) Then I insist on Hostess, (the first boy is eating a Cupcake) because they're always so fresh: chocolatey Cupcakes, (the second boy is eating a Fruit Pie) tender Fruit Pies, (the girl is eating a Twinkie) golden Twinkie snack cakes with cream filling. Fresh wholesome Hostess meets my tough standards.
(Cut to a closeup of the Hostess products displayed, with the following tagline appearing above...)
Mother: So when I say yes– It's Hostess.