In any case, we went extinct when the Kryptonian humans taught us the game of poker. I guess they could see right through us. We gambled into bankruptcy and then had to hock our screens for cash. Many of us died impoverished, a Sony black-and-white 7" portable TV strapped to our foreheads with duct tape...
Great Day, it's the bookend boy team from First issue Special, the Green Team! They're a foursome of Richie Rich wannabes and ... oh yeah, they suck!
The book opens with Abdul Smith, a poor black shoeshine boy who desperately wants to join a club (considering the shabby treatment he receives from Whitey in this book, may I suggest the Black Panthers? How about the Nation of Islam?). Anyway, for some reason he wants to join the Green Team (among others), but falls somewhat short of their patently exclusivist "million-dollar gross worth" limitation. In fact, Abdul's only got thirty-two bucks, and an apparent brain injury that forces him into this neurotic obsession with joining some damn group.
Luckily, stupid comic book coincidence jumps to his rescue; depositing his weeks' earnings (five whole bucks! He should show that to the Fast Willie Jackson gang!), a creepy bank teller accidentally enters the deposit as $500,00.00 (happens to me all the time. You?). Shining shoes at the tock
Exchange, Abdul shows a broker his checkbook, and soon finds himself the owner of some fast-rising Aerospace stock, earning him enough money to meet the Green Team's million-dollar height requirement even after the bank corrected the mistake (for which they probably fined Abdul's checking account twenty bucks, too). So, Abdul brings his million-dollar bankbook along to join the Team, only they kick him out for being black.
No no, I kid, he gets in for some reason, and then is promptly shoved to the backdrop of every discussion, action scene and plot point (even crammed in the corner of the cover, as if a last minute addition). Once his little human interest story is done, Abdul becomes persona non-grata in the Team. I can only imagine that the mere addition of Abdul to the team was a concession of the part of the writer to editorial concerns for ethnic representation.
I don't even know why Abdul would want to have anything to do with the Green Team anyway, considering how poorly the other team members treat him during the course of the book.
The other members consist of The Commodore (Shipping Tycoon), a femmy little twerp in a yachting uniform, and J.P.Houston (Oil Magnate), a gangly cowboy-regalia-bedecked Texan with an obnoxiously feathered hairdo. These two are pretty much the stars of the book, as they get the choice lines and the prime roles in the adventure. Or maybe it just seems that way compared to how Abdul gets shoved to the back of every scene and how one-dimensional the last team member is played...
He's Cecil Sunbeam, the Starmaker, and he's GAY GAY GAY! Or at least, really annoying and effeminate and flamboyant ... Like Elton John, Paul Lynde or Rip Taylor, so you see my reasoning. Sunbeam is a Hollywood producer/director for the "Now" Generation ... which is, these days, the "Then" Generation. We initially catch up with him diving two-fisted
into his remake of "Merchant of Venice," showing his street-gang cast first-hand how to throw down during a rumble (all the while under the approving leer of his disturbingly criminal-looking adult assistant). I've heard Oliver Stone does the same thing.
Halfway through the book, the cast established, the adventure beings. Well, actually, the adventure
was foreshadowed on the splash panel with the words of Missy, the Green Team's secretary, announcing "Professor Dinkle is here with a model of his GREAT AMERICAN PLEASURE MACHINE." Fuck! That really disturbs me. Any guy named "Dinkle" with a "Pleasure Machine," well, I don't need to see that shit.
Not that it matters much anyway, Dinkle reappears a little later demoted from Professor to "Mister," and no longer bearing his Great American Pleasure
machine but rather a scale model of a proposed North Pole colony built with insulating french fries .... I kid not ... Instead, Professor APPLE appears out of nowhere with the Great American Pleasure machine, but then again that doesn't matter much either because Professor Apple completely disappears after introducing the damn thing and then never reappears.
During the construction, Broadway producer David D.Merritt gathers together an evil marching band to destroy the G.A.P., as it'll drive all entertainers out of business what with its ability to deliver pleasure. Next, they go after the high-class hookers!
This threat prompts the boys to dress up in their Action Andrew Jackson gear, fancy little green Dickies with four combination-locked pockets used to carry CASH MONEY! Like these guys never heard of a gold card ... Each member carries about a quarter million dollars on them at all times, and then use them for such daring and innovative escape-plans as ... throwing it all on a roof and then running away! (this is true). I think this is their secret plan to immediately divest Abdul of his million-dollars so they can kick him out and get back to telling jokes like "What would you call the Flintstones if they were black?" "Haw haw, good one Cecil!"
They're also armed with a completely unimaginative set of accessories, including the keys to the locks which protect their various fortunes, and a tickertape watch which reads out news flashes for each of them. I get that on CNN.com, myself.
I'm glad this thing ended. Pretty much the only adventure I'd wanna see the Green Team participate in ever again would be a story where the Dingbats
of Danger Street kill them with shivs.
During the course of the story, they actually advertised themselves with massive billboards reading:"WANTED - Adventurous boys to join the GREEN TEAM" and then by way of small print, "Must Have A Million Dollars" all of which sounds suspiciously like a really transparent NAMBLA scheme. "Clean-Limbed boys wanted for big, exciting adventure. Must have million dollars, be willing to travel to Thailand. Orphans with no kin preferred."
Oh, here's some more text from other billboards scattered throughout the issue ... "Boy Millionaires seek ACTION!" ... "One Million Dollars (or more) Available for thrilling ACTION projects requiring participation of adventurous boys" and finally, my personal favorite, "MONEY for THRILLS! ... We Pay for Play!"
There's a poorly-thought-out text piece in the back
which explores the backstory of the Green Team, and which doesn't clarify a single thing about the characters or their motivation. Supposedly, the Green Team was founded by P.T.Green, formerly a poor boy from New York's lower east side who, as an adult, made it big and rich. Upon amassing his fortune, the adult Green thinks back on the hard life he and his pals had in the mean streets, rumbling with other kid gangs to protect their turf. He decides he wants to form a gang of his own to make up for the hardships he endured, so he inexplicably founds a gentleman's social club.
Disappointed with the turnout of rich, old white guys (he was expecting what, precisely, from a Millionaire's Club? Street Fights? The Jets and Sharks?), he founds ANOTHER group, this time an adventurer's group for millionaire teenagers. Fucking what? Millionaire teenagers already HAVE their own groups. They're called "Kennedys." Why Green, in his nostalgic pique, didn't provide some sort of funds for underprivileged kids living in the same slums where he grew up, but instead created an organization for kids who already had every advantage possible is totally beyond me. I can't tell if Simon was going for social commentary again, or if he's just an idiot.