Thursday 27 December 2012

Holy Onomatopoeia, Gnat-man!

Welcome to Part 6 of Spidey-Man Vs Gnatman and Rotten!

Have you ever heard the expression "Don't poke the hole as you will make it bigger" - in reference to highlighting apparent continuity mistakes in a obviously completely surreal fantasy environment…

For example "How did Indiana Jones survive his ride on a submarine in Raiders of the Lost Ark.."

Well obviously I am completely unfamiliar with this expression which is why I am currently residing in the…

And is why despite jumping the shark last week and thus meaning a decline in quality hence forward I still carry on my journey..

Starting where we left off last week

Gnatman has (presumably) found that he just so-happened to have some Spidey-man repellant gnat spray….

and Rotten seems to employing a dart gun or a pea shooter…

Thus finally provoking an actual fight between all three "masked adventures"

But as was very very well known to anyone who watched the Batman Tv show and as shown here, you don't get to see any actual violence as such

Just some very large onomatopoeia, in this case ZONK! WAP! and BIFF! (No, not the guy from the Back to the Future Movies)

"Hey, Butt-head I don't belong here.."

What did I mean by very well known… ? Well, let's see

In the opening credits of every single Batman Tv show, we get to see a SOCK!

(Not the things your wear on your feet),

(Not the weekly British comic published by Odhams Press (which featured Spider-man))

And then we get a ZOK!

(which most assuredly is not what would be the equivalent of SOK! in the comic "The Zaucer of Zilk")

We have a brief break before we get a whole deluge of onomatopoeia with a POW!, BIF!(with one F?), BAM, SOK(without the C) and a BLAP!

A WHAP! (which almost seems to be legitimate - "Whap. The act of smacking someone over the head, using the back of the hand in a fast motion")

Another BIFF!

(This one most definitely not the evil older Biff from an alternate future caused by - well it's too long to explain here, just go see the movie already and just for fun there's a shark jumping moment in the same movie as well)

"I already told you I don't belong here, what are you, stupid or something"

And finally OOOOF! which is probably how you feel right now

But just in case you was a glutton for punishment (as all of Batman's villains apparently are) here it is in all its glory

And here is an actual "fight"

In features a POW!! a BOFF!! a KAPOW! (copyright Mark Millar…) A Z-ZWAP(??!!) a WHACK! a THWACK! and finally a BONK! thanks to Aunt Harriet herself (pun definitely not intended)

And yes there's still more sounds in the form of some music with an actual song called Biff Bang Pow

Yes this must be the domain of Kevin Smith's Onomatopoeia

Oh and back in the comic strip Rotten is holding his "Working Papers", these are Documents required for a minor to get a job in certain states within the United States. Such papers usually require the employer, parent/guardian, school, and a physician to agree to the terms of work laid out by the employer.

So to quote from The Dark Knight Returns "add child endangerment to the list"


The smoke clears Gnatman is black and blue, is missing teeth and Rotten is on the floor and so are some of the Onomatopoeia.

In the next panel Spidey-man is hanging upside down from a clothes line (which also holds what looks like a captain america pair of long johns) and Spidey-man says those immortal words "SMILE YOU'RE ON CANDID CAMERA"…

Which is another multi - meta reference to :-

A very popular tv show in which unsuspecting members of the public was confronted with unusual situations while being filmed by hidden cameras and after the joke was done they would be told "Smile, you're on Candid Camera."

The fact that using the catchphrase is in of itself a joke about a joke about a joke as the entire strip is not actually happening in real Marvel or DC continuity and thus is or could be seen to be seen as a prank

That spider-man always had a camera hidden away taking photos of all his fights with villains and as Peter Parker he would sell the same pictures to JJJ at The Daily Bagle… I mean Bugle

Very old methods of photography as we see Spidey-man holding a birdie and even say "watch the birdie" (which was used to stop someone being distracted from the flash) as if he was using a very old type of camera

And finally we get our "submarine survival" moment as Gnat man simply states that Spidey-man's web is not attached to anything - and the fall defeats Spidey-man.

This pushes the whole entire strip into yet another dimension of surreality as almost none of which has proceeded so far has made much sense, so to have Spidey-man defeated by Gnat man picking a hole in the plot is simply sublime!

We are left not too sure if it is just the fall or also the fact that the large old style camera and  massive bottle of aspirin falling onto Spidey-man which causes him to hobble away into the night on crutches

In the bin in the same panel we can  just about see "Nobody" from one of the other strips in the same issue of Not Brand Echh / Marvel Madhouse "The Blunder Agents" which is a parody of the legendary  Wally Wood T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents

with "Nobody" parodying "No-Man", see how there's a whole bunch of nobodies in the bin here...

Anyway having defeated Spidey-man Gnat man's reward is a No-Prize!

The stoy sort of goes like this - Way back in the day Stan Lee had the notion that competition might not be such a good thing as there is winners and losers and no-one likes loosing. Stan's solution to this problem was to not have either by not having any prizes - no prizes in fact

The next stage was to send a sealed envelope containing nothing (as seen above) and used to be given away typically to anyone who could not only spot a continuity mistake but also explain how it could have happened in a plausible way

The problem was the empty envelope became an item that people wanted and actually became a prize in and of itself!

No, I am not mentioning Alanis Morissette again we have had enough of that already

NEXT WEEK: We conclude our journey into Gnat-man and Rotten with a foray into media over saturation, over use of product placement and a guest appearance by one John Romita Sr and of course a whole lot more!

Thursday 20 December 2012

I Jumped the shark and I liked it!

Welcome to Part 5 of Spidey-Man Vs Gnatman and Rotten!

Hey you know what - I am Bat Crazy

Crazy enough to be staying inside the…

But how crazy is the Bat - sorry Gnat… Let's see…

"Foswell lives!" claims the graffiti on the wall in the second panel

This is a multi layered reference (my favourite kind, as if you couldn't guess) to :-

A) The infamous "Killroy was here" graffiti (of which "Killroy lives" was a variation)

So yes a piece of graffiti used to comment on a piece of graffiti

B) A reference to Frederick Foswell aka "Big Man"

Who just died in Amazing Spider-Man #52, September 1967 


This looks rather like Doc Ock! - remember a few pages back, old JJJ was wearing a night shirt with "bring back Doc Ock" on it?

At the time of publication of this comic, Doc Ock was indeed absent until Amazing Spider-Man #53, October 1967 

Well what we have in the Spidey-man strip is a unnamed "mad scientist" who Spidey-man himself says is Aunt May's boyfriend

This is of course a direct reference to rather notorious storyline which started in Amazing Spider-Man #54, November 1967  

Where over the course of many issues Aunt May befriends and "falls in love" with Otto Octavius to the extent that they nearly get married (I kid not)
in Amazing Spider-Man #131, April 1974

Again Marie Severin must be physic or she knew about this entire storyline before it ever saw print …!


And yes - here we go "Have a whiff of my famous Gnat Gas!!"

Marie wouldn't mean THESE famous "Gnat" gas(es)…

Of COURSE she does!

This can only be a direct reference to possibly the most insanely surreal sequence in a super hero movie ever!

The Super hero movie in question Being 20th Century Fox's 1966 "Batman"

Which in honesty is a slightly bigger budget extended tv episode! (and all the better for being so)

The insanely surreal sequence in question is of course the part pretty close to the beginning of the movie

Where Batman is in the water on a rope ladder attached to bat-copter which Robin (Burt Ward that is, not me) when a hyper real and obviously very deadly shark jumps out of the water biting Batman on the leg and holds on while Batman is lifted out of the water by Burt ward

Batman tries to punch the shark as if that's going to make any real difference eventually giving up and asking Burt Ward to hand him the shark repellent bat spray

And we cut to a picture (like the one above) where we see that Batman somehow has prepared a entire array of bat sprays for all kinds of ocean going creatures presumably completely by utter coincidence and has also put them inside the bat-copter for easy use (don't ask what would happen if Batman was being attacked by a eagle or some such)

Of course that is not enough as Burt Ward climbs down the rope ladder and hangs upside down to hand batman the shark repellent bat spray all the time while no-one is flying the bat-copter

Having got the shark repellent bat spray it only takes 2 sprays by Batman and the shark lets go, of course there is no blood or apparent injury to Batman, but reality seem to be the least of our concerns as when the shark hits the water, it explodes!

Here it is in full graphic detail, not for the fient of heart

So Batman didn't jump the shark, the shark jumped Batman!

But nothing like that ever happened to Spidey, right?!

Wrong! witness this cover of Super spider Stories 16  by none other than John Romita Sr

But, I hear you say, there was no actual shark story inside!

Well apart from that being a literal shark jump.. there is also this little gem from what is fast becoming my favourite comic of all time

Which appears to combine the stories of a certain former George Lucas property with a movie directed by Steven Spielberg, just look at this page...

And of course there is also the actual George Lucas / Steve Spielberg movie from which the expression "Nuke the fridge"came from, This itself being another variation of "jumping the shark"

But okay let's push the boat out (we are going to need a bigger one…) and say there has never been a shark jumping out of the water and attacking a helicopter in Marvel comics, right…!


This drawing by Gene Colan and Tom Palmer is straight from Marvel Super Special 6  aka the comic book adaptation of…

But in fairness the above scene did not exactly happen in the actual movie…

Which this time seriously is actually frightening and rather gruesome!

As you can see .. the helicopter was on the water to start off with so there was no actual shark jump

But I think we can safely say that so far a shark has never jumped a helicopter in real life...

Though there was a rather famous hoax!!

NEXT WEEK:- It's POW, ZAP time and we cover a TV show presented by Allen Funt, until then Have a Merry Christmas, Shark Fans!!!

Thursday 13 December 2012

Seven degrees of Bacon, no not Kevin

Welcome to Part 5 of Spidey-man Vs Gnatman and Rotten!

Someone recently suggested I am barking mad

Well I am mad enough to be staying inside the….

So let's not monkey around and get straight to it

So the contract for Gnatman and Rotten to fight Spidey-man has been signed in triplicate and it looks like bad news for "The Dyspeptic Duo" who immediately try and weasel out …

By suggesting no less than three alternatives two of which appear to be Anthropomorphic, "Superham" and "The Green Sparrow"

Of course having a character representing Anthropomorphism is hardly a new thing, even in this strip alone both Gnatman and Spidey-Man themselves are derivatives of living creatures and both will face their "inverted selves" in the shape of Man-bat and man-spider in thier non parody stories (well okay maybe there was no literal man-spider but spider man did have 8 appendages in one memorable story line)

but - The Green Sparrow actually exists (or existed)….

As a member of Just'a Lotta Animals (JLA?!) which is and I directly quote - "a comic-in-a-comic made by Roger Rodney Rabbit that spoofed classic Justice League stories. It turned out the (JLA) was real and natives of Earth-C Minus."

Who all first appeared in "Captain Carrot and his amazing zoo crew" issue 14

But what about "superham"?  

Well, no instead we had Super-Squirrel 

So is Marie Severin slipping? - after correctly predicting the exact parody name of a character yet to have even been invented she gets one wrong?!

Well I give her 50% - as of course we had Spider-Ham

Now spider-ham was published as part of the Star line of comics, comics especially aimed at younger readers and spider-ham is more or less the follow on from the comic version of Super Spidey Stories

Now back in the UK there was a comic that both reprinted comics from the star comic range AND from Super Spidey Stories…

Guess what it was called…


With each letter of SPIDEY in a different bright day-glo colour this comic couldn't have said "aimed at under 6s" any louder if it tried (not that stopped them putting The Ewoks on the cover...)

So Marie Severin predicted a comic literally just named SPIDEY as well!

And of course having mentioned spider-ham I just have to mention Spider-pig from The Simpsons movie...

Which of course was a direct parody on the infamous 1960s spiderman cartoon theme

And of course the 1906s spiderman cartoon is a ridiculously popular meme…! 

Talk about seven degrees of Bacon and no Kevin was not required


"Won't ol' Mort Wieniburger be proud of us" thinks Rotten…

Well of course this can only be a rotten reference to none other than Mort Weisinger 

The famous comic book editor best known for editing DC Comics' Superman during the mid-1950s to 1960s, in the Silver Age of comic books

But before we can agree if Mort would or would not be proud… The next caption adds "In Joke! If your name isn't Wienieburger, forget it"

Well okay, "Sly Stan" - but I don't think anyone is called Wienieburger so he must mean we should all forget it, particularly if we happen to be called or know of either "Flee Bailey" or "Melvin Belly" (see part 4, last week)


Spidey-man finds an "MMMS Button"

which we can see by the drawing alone features spider-man, but here's the whole badge…

The MMMS was of course "The Merry Marvel Marching Society"  Aka Marvels 1960s era fan club and featured all kinds of goodies like this…

and this

(seriously ALL of this stuff is real, I haven't made ANY of it up!!)

I will resist going meta about Spidey-man being a fan of his Marvel 616 universe counterparts… this time…

NEXT WEEK: It's the return of the obligatory shark jumping episode featuring a cameo from Doc Ock amongst many other things!