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April 13, 2004

Comments

David Van Domelen

Cyberfrog.

And my review of it at the time was positively glowing by comparison to some other reviews it garnered.

Shane

NFL Superpro

Marc

Ooh, good one. Especially when you take into account this cover.

Which may well be the single stupidest image in the history of art. You know, fighting giant chainsaw- and nunchaku-wielding kachina dolls is one thing, but why is it IN A HOCKEY RINK?

C'mon, folks! This is the kind of crap I'm looking for! US1, I'm looking in your direction!

Pete

I think the entire New Universe line deserves a mention, but especially Kickers, Inc. A bunch of football players get superpowers and, of course, become a team of troublershooters and adventurers. Because, you know, being football players qualifies them for that.

"The monster is attacking the town! What do we do?"
"Have we tried tackling it?"
"Of course! Didn't work!"
"Uh...can we try for a field goal?"
"No."
"Punt?"
"Forget it."
"Throw a Hail Mary pass?"
"Shut up. Just shut up."

ezrael

Anything by Michael Fleischer, especially Ironjaw and Hex. For Ironjaw, see http://ape-law.com/GAF/Page14/ and hell, while your at it. browse the archives. And also, Tod Holton, Super Green Beret. Complete issue can be found at http://www.geocities.com/thoughtviper/holton/th.html and my God was it horrible. To repeat my own synopsis:

Basically, to break the story down, Tod Holton was a typical all american boy whose uncle came back from Vietnam with a story of pig wrestling, ancient lamas, magical hats and the like. Rather than blame the whole thing on bad weed, he handed Tod his Green Beret, which magically bestowed on Tod the power to do any-fucking-thing he could think of. Tod used this amazing power to harass the viet cong, befuddle GI's, and make racist jokes while snapping the necks of incredibly badly drawn and colored Vietnamese who crossed his path. This thing rivaled the war comics of WWII, except that it came out in 1967.

I don't care what side of the political spectrum you're on, the idea of a twelve year old who dons a magic hat so he can use his omnipotent superhuman abilities to kill individual enemy soldiers with his bare hands has got to creep you out at least a little. Super Green Beret displays in this comic the ability to transform a forest of stumps into stone, to make grenades into edible fruit, to catch bullets in mid-air as they are being fired from a machine gun and recreate them as usable ammunition for the American soldiers to fire...it's implied he can summon apes into existance at will by the splash page ("GI's ambushed by the enemy! This calls for MAGIC MONKEYS to appear!" I think Patton said that first...) and yet, instead of say wishing that the entire enemy force would surrender or be transformed into mud or be whisked off to a series of magical caves in the Sahara desert minus their guns, he just kills a few in as degrading a manner as he can think of, then teleports home and takes off his hat, resuming his life as a teenager. I'm not sure if I'm more disturbed by his unusual and deficient imagination, his inability to show even the slightest emotion other than happiness as he cracks necks like celery, or his red sweater. Let's just hope no one decides to revise the series with Super Green Beret descending into Baghdad to drink Pepsi from the skulls of their infants while summoning hordes of Russian Circus Bears to maul and kill from the backs of their unicycles.

Definitely a high water mark for the industry, that one.

Jess Nevins

I see your NFL Superpro (which I would have mentioned myself had I not been beaten to it) and raise you a Street Poet Ray.

Greg Morrow

Skateman. But this territory has been amply covered before by many. E.g., head on over to Gone & Forgotten.

Marc

That's true. I love a good New Universe zinger as much as anybody, and it's always worth taking time out of your busy day to think "Michael Fleisher sucks" (*and will now sue me), but I don't think we've mentioned anything that Gone and Forgotten or Oddball Comics or a million other ironic comics fans haven't already covered.

I was hoping we'd get the truly lowest of the low, the comics that go beyond mere lack of original ideas or competent execution or even half-assed execution, the comics that push boldly into the frontiers of the offensively stupid and the downright offensive. The American Powers that actually saw the light of day. The comics in Satan's library.

I have one good contender, but I'm interested to hear what other folks have to say, and if you can come up with a comic that fits my stringent new not-just-goofiness-like-the-Green-Team criterion I'll even build a post around it.

Let's scrape the real bottom of the barrel, people! Not the 80s mistakes that it's so trendy to make fun of! Not the charmingly loopy Bob Haneys of yore! Not even Dave Sim! Let's find the comics so abysmal you can't even laugh at them... the absolute lowest achievements of the medium.

And I've got a doozy, so you'll have to work hard to impress me.

David Fiore

Marc,

Iy you're looking to bring that conference to its knees, MacFarlane's Spider-Man could do that job for ya without working up a sweat... We all know how bad it is, and I, for one, was not laughing, back in 1990... aside from that, well, The Nth Man can turn stomachs with the best of 'em... but that's just another of many eighties mistakes...

I still say that Big Jim's P.A.C.K. (Professional Agents & Crime Killers!) would easily have claimed these laurels, if anyone had actually bothered to indulge us with a toy tie-in, back in the seventies

I must confess that, at this moment, I'm far more interested in discovering what bit of rancid pulp you've got squirreled away than coming up with any more drek of my own.

Bring it on!

Dave

Dave Intermittent

How about Civilian Justice? The poor man's version of American Power, with less nuance to detract from righteous American ass-whomping.

Granted, it only had one issue, but it was still pretty awful.

Dave

David Van Domelen

Dude...I owned a copy of Skateman at one point. It went with 2/3 of my comics in the Great Purge of 2000, but MAN it deserved to go long before that.

ezrael

http://www.revolting.com/1.2/chick/chick4.html

Jack Chick's Crusaders. It was a real size comic book: he published it for a decade.

Rick

Dude - nobody's mentioned US-1 yet?

http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/archerus.htm

Jess Nevins

Hmm. Negro Romance Comics? "I Am Curious (Black)?" Egg Fu's first appearance--hell, any of his appearances? Comics during WW2 could get pretty dire, esp. with the more jingoistic stuff...or could this be some of those *really* atrocious Japanese comics from the late thirties and early forties?

Kevin J. Maroney

I have to go with McFarlane's Spider-Man, because it's too easy to pick on things like H.O.M.O. Patrol or other small-press idiocies. Reagan's Raiders at least knew it was shameless and stupid; Spider-Man was pure, unfiltered awfulness in four colors.

Ken Lowery

I'm pretty much going to have to go with Chaos Comics. Anything that has to do with Evil Ernie is not only mind-numbingly stupid, but also kind of insulting on top of that. The sickest, most vile kind of power fantasies.

Pete

How about Ms. Mystic? On the one hand, you've got Neal Adams art. On the other hand, you've got Neal Adams writing. Four environmental scientists are joined in their quest to stop pollution by Ms. Mystic, a witch who works for Gaia. Or something. In the second issue, the scientists are turned into superheroes; Urth 4, I believe they were called. Put it this way; the villain in the first issue was named Foreman. He was an evil construction worker with a hard hat.

Now that I come to write this down, it sounds exactly like Captain Planet and the Planeteers, except that Captain Planet didn't get naked every time he visited Gaia.

Shane

Rob Leifelds Doom's IV.

David Fiore

Marc,

Re: the update, I hope you haven't gotten any flack (in Portuguese or otherwise!) over that announcement of mine--I was kidding, of course! (although I do agree that list-formation is a waste of time--outside of the blogosphere, that is...)

Dave

Kevin J. Maroney

Hmm. Rob Liefeld's Captain America now comes to mind. I don't think it was actually worse than Spider-Man, but it did inspire what might be my favorite negative review of all time, which can be found in its entirety here.

Let me say this: for a brief moment in time I thought that Liefeld's art was actually improving. All I can say is: "DEAR GOD!!! DID LEPROUS RATS EAT OUT MY BRAIN AND LEAVE THEIR SCAT IN ITS PLACE?!?!"
Juan

Has anyone mentioned Larry Hama's run in 'Generation X' yet? No? Ok, I'll mention it.
Larry Hama's run was obscenely bad; there is no other way to describe it. What came before him wasn't great or mostly good perhaps, but Larry managed to lower the bar enough that the bar probably ended up discovering a race of mole men near the core of the Earth. There was an issue where the Gen X kids fight an albino woman called Bianca and her seven space dwarves. The White Queen defeats her with a watermelon. There was an issue that teaches us that we should give our money to bullies (yes, that was the point of the story, explicitly stated in there). The editor probably died at some point and nobody noticed, because in one issue they mention they were under attack by one villain, and in the next issue a completely different villain was attacking them. Despite all this, the lowest point was the issue where they explain the origin story of Penance.

Ok, before Larry Hama, Penance was just a mutant girl from Rumania. Monet was two twin 9 year old girls who had the power to become an 18 year old telepatic flying brick. Emplate was Monet's brother who once kept Penance as his prisoner. All with me? Good, here is where things get messy. In the origin of Penance, Larry Hama explains that Monet wasn't the real Monet. The twin girls were just the real Monet's sisters, they just had the extremely convenient wonder twin power to become a girl who was just exactly like their sister. The real Monet was, in fact, Penance. Emplate captured his own sister and used powers he never showed before to turn her into another person for no practical reason. The twins then decided to use their extremely convenient power to pretend they were the real Monet, so their daddy wouldn't notice Monet dissappeared. Apparently their daddy can notice his oldest daughter is gone, but can't notice his youngest daughters are gone when the twins, as Monet, moved to the Xavier school and lived there for months and months. At the end of the issue, they transform Penance back to Monet, and she acts just like the fake Monet; she even remembers everything the fake one did as if nothing happened. In fact, the whole thing is never mentioned again. And Penance? She is the only character in the history of corporate owned superheroes that was erased from the face of the Earth by her own origin story.

Probably not as bad as Liefeild or Chuck Austen, but I think this deserves a dishonorable mention.

David Fiore

Larry Hama has a great deal to answer for, Juan... although I imagine he would be better off pleading the fifth, especially where Nth Man is concerned.

Dave

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