Thursday, January 16, 2014


Marvel produced a lot of also-ran superheroes in the 1970s who’d eventually go on to middling success here and there (little-known do-gooders such as The Punisher, Wolverine, Ghost Rider; I think they’ve been in a cartoon once or twice)  as part of their second-wave of post-Silver Age spandex Samaritans. Some of them never had a real chance, such as Brock Jones - the man whose name sounds like a can of dogfood trying to anonymously check into a hotel - aka The Torpedo!

Kind of unfortunate that your suit is nuclear-powered, then.

The original superheroic Torpedo snuffed it in his first outing, leaving Brock to adopt the mantle of The Flying Man With Fans On His Hands, a task he undertook with immense courage and dedication for something like six appearances before he ate it. Adding insult to injury, Jones bought the farm in an issue of ROM Spaceknight which is a pretty far cry from snagging a whole issue of the Marvel Graphic Novel for yourself with a cover swiped from Michelangelo’s La Pieta.  At least he got to keep the incredibly stupid hat.

In the interim, The Torpedo headlined a pair of Marvel Premieres, issues which tested the limits of Gaspar Saladino’s ability to letter the sound effect made when someone’s atomic wrist-turbines buffet against a rocket man’s helmet. To date, Brock’s most heroic feat was saving New York from a runaway nuclear power station in the middle of meltdown smack in mid-city, and the danger-meter of which also bore an odometer.

The Torpedo was later succeeded by a pair of plucky kids who discovered his costume and took to the skies under the name Turbo, proving that you actually could make The Torpedo’s superhero nom de guerre sound more like a shady brand of prophylactic.

How many miles do you think this nuclear plant has on it?

No comments:

Popular Posts