Wednesday, March 26, 2014

GONE & FORGOTTEN REVISITED: CLASH OF TITANS - THE JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA VERSUS HAUNTED PANTS

I don't understand how "Battle Against the Bodiless Uniforms" doesn't just mean the same thing as "Laundry Day."

Back in Justice League of America (vol 1) #35, the League had the honor of getting to fight not only against their own recently worn leggings and panty liners, but also the recently worn and left-to-hang-around-without-getting-washed boxers of their greatest enemies (well, some of their enemies, anyway. “Greatest” is a particularly loaded term).

Meet Abnerdaddle, Gussie and Fart,
the pink pashas of mayhem.
Technically, their prominent enemies in this tale - the ones with agency - were a trio of demonic, acromegalic albino monster brothers from the dawn of time, the sinister and gibberish-monikered Abnegazar, Rath and Gast, whom the League had earlier battled in Justice League of America #10.

To be honest, I always liked these guys (even though their heyday was well before my time). They had an ominous, unlikely origin, they were primordial evils, and they looked like someone took a Spirograph to a handful of skinned chihuahuas on PCP. They had an air of amoral menace which a lot of super-villains of the Silver Age lacked, but then again in this issue they’re going to make Batman fight his own socks, so maybe I’m projecting.

In this case, Akhenaton, Kunta Kinte and Gah-Boogie-Boogie have hatched the kind of Byzantine plan which makes you wonder why people get into evil sorcery in the first place, inasmuch as it seems like a whole lot of fuckin’ trouble. Having been entombed in impenetrable energy cocoons by Green Lantern and buried in three remote spots around the Earth, the three big-headed brothers enact some sort of goddamn improbable backup plan wherein they summon the spare uniforms of the Justice Leaguers to their aid.

Evidently, Gateface, Woodentooth and Ginalollabrigida had the foresight – during their earlier battle with the JLA – to imbue the heroes’ uniforms with magical energy, just in case they’d ever need Wonder Woman’s support garments to do their bidding (wait, actually, as I say it out loud, it no longer seems so crazy).

The satanic siblings then mentally command the bewitched wardrobe to all rub up on a series of magical items held in the JLA’s trophy room (the Red Jar of Calythos, the Green Bell of Uthool, and the Silver Wheel of Nyorlath and I know it sounds like I’m just making up nonsense words but I swear I ain’t) and, having done so, find the hidden prisons of the beelzebubbic brothers and rub off a little magic onto them so they boys can bust out.

Oh for god's sake, just ball it up
into a wad and huck it in the hamper.
BUT, the suits apparently forgot to frot sufficiently against the magic miscellanea, requiring the disabled demons to send them BACK out into the world, this time with the mystical mission of passing more magic into the disembodied duds of several JLA villains (The Pied Piper, Killer Moth, Dr.Polaris, and then Dagon and The Mask, or as I like to call ‘em, The Heavy Hitters Squad), which then take on the appearance of the actual villains.

So, the empty-villain-suits (made to look like they are full of actual villains) get into a knock-down, drag-out with the League, during which they take extra pains to tear up and muss the costumes that the heroes happen to have on at the time. The heroes take the villain-costumes to jail, and then change into their spare costumes, which – oh heavens no! – happen to be the uniforms which Abernathy, Godzooky and Petulaclark had earlier imbued with some particularly sad-ass ineffective magic.

But wait, their devious plan proceeds unabated! The magically enchanted (evil) socks and (villainous) codpieces and the (frilly lavender) panties (that Killer Moth wears and he hopes no one ever finds out about because he’d be the laughing stock of Gotham, but damn it, they make him feel confident and sure of himself, just like a beautiful lady, and what’s so wrong about that?) escape from jail, which is okay because I’m pretty sure you can’t prosecute a sweater vest. Except in Texas. In Texas, you can execute a sweater vest.

Goddamnit, you people.

Engaged in another knuckle-duster with their enemies’ assorted banana-hammocks and over-the-shoulder boulder holders, the Leaguers wear themselves out subduing the laundry (over eight action-packed pages of folding action like you’ve never seen).

The Justice League is a buncha goddamn complainers is what.

It turns out that this – this, my friends – this is the pivotal part of the sinister plan of Aunt Ethel, George Wendt and Ernesto, evil demon brothers from the beginning of time! Because now that the Justice League is exhausted, the (weak ass) magic in their spare uniforms takes them over and brings them to the locations of the brothers’ individual prisons, whereupon the heroes are forced to collect the earlier-mentioned enchanted errata (the Blue Bell of Blah-blah, the White Wheel of Whupsie-Daisy, the J … J … the Jar of Bluhbluhbluh, I don’t even remember) and use their (exhausted) powers to free the evil trio.

SOME PLAN.

You know what my big evil super sinister escape plan is? It’s a gun. I shoot it at the first guy who tries to put me in an impenetrable energy prison. Who knows if it’ll work, it’s worth a try, at least it won’t be as stupid or ineffectual as what Abevigoda, Rizzumrazzum and Googledotcom tried to pull off.

You super-heroes are slobs. Next issue, Green Arrow shows up in sweats and a t-shirt with holes in the collar.

Speaking of which, you might be wondering if their plan did indeed work … and it did indeed work, indeed! Not only did they trick the Justice League into freeing them, but they imprisoned the Leaguers themselves, and then – only five panels away from total victory – vanished into the ether. Why and wherefore? Let’s let the Justice League explain for themselves.

Goddamnit, you assholes.



6 comments:

MAE said...

And the only thing I learned from this story is that I still hate Snapper.

BillyWitchDoctor said...

Hey, Snapper's knocking boots with a supervillainess. And a furry one to boot. And yet he's still on the good guys' side. That takes...well, I don't know what. But something.

Al Bruno III said...

Once again you cracked me up.

Thanks.

PS: I wonder how the Justice League Detroit would have done against the menace of the haunted uniforms...

Scott said...

Sheesh. As much of a DCU fan as I am, I'm surprised some of this stuff actually got published. Did no one notice how goddamn dumb this was, especially with Marvel's output at the time?

You Have Lost The Game said...

I thought DC died quite recently but apparently it has in fact been some kind of mint-scented zombie necrophiliac wet dream since about 1960-whateverthefuck.

Interesting.

Also that JLA story is complete pants.

neofishboy said...

Regarding that whole trope common in the Silver Age (and which lives on in the Spider-Man newspaper strip) of constantly having your hero forget his/her powers and generally act like a dullard in order to make the latest punk-ass threat credible ...

I mean ... why? Even as a little kid I found myself reacting to that stuff with a six-year-old's equivalent of "Oh for fuck's sake!" (That Flash panel is particularly egregious). It just diluted the character and made me less likely to want to follow him/her (... okay, him.)

Granted, in proper hands the snark value of this behavior has greatly enriched my life many years later so I've really got no call to complain.

Thoroughly loving the update frequency, by the way.

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