The Top 15 WTF Moments in Bad Comics
November 17, 2008
15 Moments that made us all go “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?!”
(We see Linkara sitting on his futon)
Linkara: You know, I once wrote in description of comic book fans, "Our lot love the lavishing ludicrous." And to a degree, it's true. Comic book fans love the idea that a man who would travel around the world, become ninja, a detective and a dark knight, the come home and dress up like a bat so he can scare criminals. But sometimes, ludicrously obscure things happen in comics that just defy any form of logic or expectation. And as a result, it just comes off making the reader wondered "What the hell just happened?" And it's even worse when it happens in a bad comic, since then we left to wonder what the creators are thinking of when they did it. As such, here's the Top 15 WTF Moments in Bad Comics.
Linkara (VO): Number 15: "Alien Plants". (starts showing pages from Batman #147) This is from my last video but I'm still in shock over this. The alien comes to earth supposedly to study if his plants will grow in our atmosphere, gets amnesia from a the whack of the head, and gangsters steal his plants to use for crime.
Linkara: (He thinks for a moment) Oh well, that makes sense.
Linkara (VO): It's just so utterly ridiculous. When I saw first that page, the alien coming out of the farmhouse, my jaw just dropped to the floor. I mean, what were they thinking?
Linkara: (as creator/writer) Only, here's how I see it. Gangster use plants, they stole from aliens, to rob from jewelry stores.
Linkara: (as editor) Let's green-light this, you wonderful man!
Linkara (VO): Alien Plants. Reminding us of a simpler time on comics.
Linkara (VO): Number 14: "The Batmobile drives through a car and splits it in half". This ones kinda hard to explain, unless you're looking closely at it. In the very first issue of All-Star Batman and Robin, the Batmobile suddenly drives through a parked cop car. I won't bore you with the details of why it's doing this, but look at that. (shows that panel that is drawn with red lines). The Bat-mobile drives straight through it, slicing it in half. No dents, no indication that there's a knife or something on front of the Bat-mobile. It just ran into it and slices it in half. Jim Lee's a great artist, but what the heck is going on there? Where does he get those wonderful toys?
Linkara (VO): Number 13: "Nightblade cutting his own hand off." Another mysterious slicing incident. In Blood Pack #1, the team is created to be part of a “superhero reality TV show,” before reality TV had really taken off. In this scene, a director is explaining the Nightblade that TV (as the director) “is a visual medium and therefore, your entrance needs more pizzaz.” And so, Nightblade cuts his own hand off.
Linkara: (His face is in a shocked expression; with open mouth and blinking eyes)
Linkara (VO): Yeeeaaah. Still, he can regenerate his limbs, so it’s not that big of a deal. But still, what the hell did he do that for? Nightblade, he fights crime by dismembering himself.
Linkara (VO): Number 12: “Black Canary is an Irish ninja.” Yeah, another one from All-Star Batman and Robin. Among many of the bizarre choices Frank Miller made with the series, one of the oddest was Black Canary as an Irish woman and who was apparently a woman. Because when you think the Irish, you think ninjas.
(Plays clip from Dead Alive/Braindead)
"Father McGruder: I kick ass for the Lord!”
Linkara (VO): So ignoring the sexist character portrayal of her motivations for why she decided to suddenly go crazy with the ninja and all, it’s just a bizarre moment. I mean, yes, Black Canary is a righteous ass-kicker, but why is she Irish, working behind a bar.
Linkara: (yelling) And why is Black Canary in a book called All-Star Batman and Robin?
Linkara (VO): Irish Ninja Black Canary, kicking us in the love chunks each time we see her?
Linkara (VO): Number 11: “Any moment from Countdown to Final Crisis.” It’s hard to single out any one moment from Countdown as so far reaching in ridiculous as they’re so many out there. Eventually, I’ll make a top 15 list of the worst moments of Countdown, but for now, there’s just too much competition. For those of you unaware of one of the worst, and yet fairly recent, flops in comic history, Countdown to Final Crisis was a weekly series that followed up on the far more successful, and far more entertaining, 52. The series was meet to lead into the event book Final Crisis and set up the major plot points, but instead ended up meandering for 51 issues, to the point where even the characters were asking when it was going to be over. There are far too many bizarre moments and mischaracterizations, from rat-men attacking to Jason Todd suddenly shooting Donna Troy, Donna Troy picking up a machine gun or “Superman-boy Asshole-Prime” blowing up a few worlds while screaming, (as Superboy-Prime) “You’re ruining everything.” Countdown, it’s all one big WTF.
Linkara (VO): Number 10: “Jason Todd becomes a mutated blob.” (starts showing pages from Nightwing #122) Bruce Jones probably deserves a little slack for his poor run on Nightwing. The original editorial dictate was that Dick Grayson was going to die in Infinite Crisis, and that Jason Todd was going to become Nightwing. However, this plan was scrapped at the last minute and Bruce Jones was forced to rewrite his story, leading to an bizarre tale that has been universally derided; but even that slack doesn’t forgive this WTF moment. A metahuman blob swallows Jason Todd, the second person to bear the name Robin, and somehow this ends ups mutating his body so he can become a person swallowing blob too.
Linkara: This is the reason why alcohol was invented.
Linkara (VO): Jason Todd is the Blob! A Film by John Carpenter.
Linkara (VO): Number 9: “The Goddamn Batman.” If you haven’t heard of this one yet, what kind of a comic reader are you? Frank Miller’s deservedly panned All-Star Batman and Robin is rich in unintentional insanity… at least when it started. Nowadays, he’s apparently decided that it’s satire, even though originally it was never marked as such. It’s most enduring phenomenon shall always from issue #2, where Batman in name only utters the immortal words (as Batman) “What, are you dense? Are you retarded or something? I’m the goddamn Batman.” It doesn’t even sound like anything Batman would ever say. It sounds like something Dave Chappelle would’ve made up. (as Dave Chappelle) “I’m the goddamn Batman, bitch.” The Goddamn Batman. Not Batman, but a poorly written, shocking imitation.
Linkara (VO): Number 8: “Jack, the clone of Spider-Man.” (starts showing pages from Spider-Man #56) Was this character in any way necessary? What was the thought process that went into him? “Hey, we need a character to provide exposition, so why don’t we make him a clone of Peter Parker, except small and annoying?” “Dar, that’s a brilliant idea! This will be the most celebrated saga in Spider-Man history!” Okay, admittedly, I know the real creators weren't like that, but I just don’t get it. Why did we need some short clone of Peter Parker who dresses up like the Jackal? What’s the point? What is the frickin’ POINT? And why the hell did leap onto Ben Riley’s head and start humping it? I mean, WHY? Jack, hopefully suffering from clone degeneration in comic book hell.
Linkara (VO): Number 7: “Bat-Baby’s Physics.” (starts showing pages form Batman #147) Now being a comic book fan, I’m no stranger to something as ridiculous as a machine that turns adults into children. And while I don’t really see the appeal of adult superheroes being turned into children, there obviously was a market for it back in the Silver Age. My problem is when the physics of it all get so frickin’ stupid! When Batman becomes Bat-Baby, he retains the strength of his adult form! And even I can see this happening with magic, but was due to a device built by the mad scientist Garth. Yeah seriously, a mad scientist named Garth. It was technology that did it! How the hell do you have someone regress to the body of a 4-year old, but somehow have the upper body strength of a 30-year old. Bat-Baby, he makes science cry.
Linkara (VO): Number 6: “US-1’s silver dollar remote control.” Here’s an obscure one that I doubt anyone will recognize. US-1 was a Marvel comic about a truck driver who drove around in a souped-up semi, aptly titled US-1. It was full of poor writing and the premise was ridiculous. The main character, Ulysses Solomon Archer (No, I’m seriously not making that up. That is seriously the character’s name.) was injured after a mysterious villain drove him and his brother off the road. He somehow afforded a complex brain surgery that replaced part of his skull with a new metal. After learning that this metal allowed to hear CB radio transmissions, he decided to use this to hunt down his brother’s killer. And so, he upgrades his rig into a technology advanced super-rig, with radars, and weapons, and the like. But the most padonlly (?) ridiculous part of is is that a remote control he has for the truck… that’s inside of a silver dollar!
Linkara: And next, he’ll teach how to put a TV remote inside of a quarter. Or how ‘bout a gun inside of a nickel.
Linkara (VO): For God’s sake, this was written in the early ‘80s. Apple had just released the Lisa computer. This was the extent of computer technology. Yet this loser can build a remote control for his truck and fit it inside a silver dollar?!? The silver dollar remote control, not even James Bond films get that silly.
Linkara (VO): Number 5: “Brick’s spontaneous combustion in Doom’s IV #2.” Yeah, this is another one I commented on recently, but it deserves a second look. In one panel, Brick is just standing in a weird position over his kids. Then in the next panel, he explodes. No explanation is offered beyond him being clumsy. Clumsy about what though? Did he trip? If his body touches something, does he just fall apart? Is his blood nitroglycerin and if he doesn’t walk around like a fashion model, his body just ka-blooms? Brick’s spontaneous combustion, few times have there ever been such a failure in sequential storytelling.
Linkara (VO): Number 4: “Stan Lee’s cameo in Nightcat #1.” Yeah, Stan Lee who wrote this boring little comic about a singer called Nightcat, who got such awesome cat powers like… climbing walls, and driving in a stupid looking car, and wearing electrical tape on her arms. Yeah… she’s real cat-like. But the most shocking thing in this comic is that Stan Lee writes himself into the comic, offering to write a comic about her!
Linkara: What kind of weird-ass, Grant Morrison’s Animal Man, deconstruction, metafiction, postmodern bullcrap is this?
Linkara (VO): It doesn’t even contribute anything to the story. It’s just this bizarre four-panel interlude, where Stan Lee writes himself in and tells her he wants to make a comic out of her.
Linkara: (hits himself with his hat with every sentence) What. Was. The. Freaking. Point?!?
Linkara (VO): Stan Lee, co-creator of Spider-Man and full creator of Stan Lee.
Linkara (VO): Number 3: “Diehard’s crotch attack.” Where would horrible comics be without Rob Liefeld? The man inspired an entire generation of terrible artwork and even more terrible writing. On the subject of his artwork though, one panel in particular has continue to capture my imagination and just wonder what the hell was he thinking ever since I saw in my very first text recap of Youngblood #1. The robotic character known as Diehard (With a Vengeance) suddenly flies into some random huge Liefeld villain known as Strongarm, and he does so with his crotch. I mean, look at it! I’m sure the implication was that he hit him with his arms, but his arms look like he folded them back, his legs look equally look out of the way of the hit, and his crotch has been detailed so that it’s bulging out. In addition, the arc from Strongarm’s mouth points towards the crotch’s location. Live Free or Diehard’s crotch. It’s a simple choice.
Linkara: The Alchemy Machine in Sultry Teenage Super-Foxes #1 that turns dog poop into gold.
Linkara (VO): An alchemy machine that turns dog poop into gold. Folks, that just says it all. By the way, in case you’re wondering, the government decides not to fund such a machine because it’s “too theorectical.”
Linkara: They turned dog poop into gold!
Linkara (VO): And the number 1 bad comic WTF moment is “Snowflame.”
Linkara: (holds up comic and points to him) Just Snowflame. From New Guardians #2, Snowflame is, depending on how you look at it, either the worst villain ever created or the awesomest villain ever created.
Linkara (VO): Snowflame is the man powered by cocaine. Seriously, his entire shtick is that he snorts cocaine and it gives him powers. What’s even better is that the cocaine created some of the coolest lines ever uttered in a comic book?
Linkara (VO): (as Snowflame) I am Snowflame. Every cell of my body burns with white-hot ecstasy. Cocaine is my god, and I am the human instrument of its will. You see before you a man on fire! A man who craves every excuse to burn brighter! Any excuse! I burn with thought… accelerated thought generated by my fantastically heightened mental senses! I feel no pain, although I relish your feeble attempts to inflict it!
Linkara: (as Snowflame) Snowflame feels no pain!
Linkara (VO): Snowflame is the head priest of the church of cocaine! No, I take it back, Snowflame is a true god! He is, quite literally, the crackiest character in all of bad comics, and likewise, his appearance sparks the most WTFs out of anything I’ve ever seen. What the hell were they thinking when they invented this guy? Sadly, Snowflame passed in the very same issue he debuted, but not to drug overdose, oh no. He was killed in battle, having been blown in a shack containing gunpowder and dynamite that someone had for some reason right next to his pool. It made sense at the time, because he was high. I salute you, Snowflame! You were just one big, crack-snorting WTF.
(Credits play to the tune of “What the F--- Was That?” from the Evil Dead Musical)