Thursday, March 6, 2014

TRULY GONE AND FORGOTTEN : YANK AND DOODLE

This happen next season on Downton Abbey. Spoilers.

Among the roster of patriotic avengers who've adorned comics since the inception of the super-hero, surely there have never been two more obnoxious dicks than Yank and Doodle, the chest-bumping bro-hams of the spandex circle. Their modern-day equivalents would almost certainly use homophobic slurs over Xbox Live and reek of Axe.

The wartime teenaged duo was, when unmasked, the wealthy and athletic twins Rick and Dick Walters – yes, Rick and Dick, I do not know how that works since they’re both short for “Richard”. Perhaps they’re Rickard and Richard, or Ricardo and Richard, or Dichard and Richard, or Richard 1 and Richard 2, or some other indicator of remarkably lazy parentage. Here’s another; while other superheroes hid their alter-ego’s derring-do behind acts of timidity, meek manners and physical awkwardness, such was not a reality for young athletes Rick and Dick – so they hid behind a disguise of being horrible entitled jackasses.

Our heroes.
When not shoving around youngsters at summer camp, the unaccountably wealthy jagoffs were busy tormenting their butler and his innocent son. In this typical adventure, for instance, Rick and Dick (who am I kidding, they’re both dicks) unleash abuse both verbal and physical in nature upon their aged butler, secure in the knowledge that he’s bound by threat of reprisal to accept their beating, mockery an belittling willingly, if begrudgingly. But wait, they've abused the butler so badly that he’s sent his own son away, because they've also been abusing him! Then they put on costumes and fight “bad guys”, which by all rights should be a mirror.

Yank and Doodle were most likely emotionally stunted owing to the trauma of losing their mother in childbirth, and emboldened by the fact that they somehow developed unbeatable super-strength when in one another’s presence. Keep in mind that they never restricted the use of their super-strength to their costumed identities – they happily used it to bolster their own athletic careers. Born on third and swearing they hit a triple, it’s Yank and Doodle!

A fine cherry on top of their loathsome sundae, Yank and Doodle also have the honor of inadvertently naming the once-and-only assemblage of Prize Comics heroes. In Prize Comics #24, Yank and Doodle joined sub-zero superhero Doctor Frost, nighttime avenger Black Owl, comedic characters The General and The Corporal and mystic Green Lama in battling the Frankenstein Monster, a menace (up to that point) who’d had his own feature in the book for some time. Having defeated the monsters, Doodle dubs the group “I guess we’re just … an invincible bunch of guys!” It looks terrific on the letterhead.

They weren't.


6 comments:

thanoseid said...

Wow, these two chose names that even The Whizzer can laugh at.

Calamity Jon said...

I like to think of them as "Jerk and Fiddle"

BillyWitchDoctor said...

Wow, I know these clowns from pursuing Dick (no relation) Briefer's Frankenstein, but didn't realize what utter pricks Rick and Dick were. Their only charm point is that with the crummy design and simple-letter insignias, their costumes actually looks home-made.

Their father's story is a bit funnier. The Black Owl was a separate feature for a long time until Prize Comics needed to trim some pages and realized a tired Batman knockoff wasn't cutting it. (I think the rest of the Invincible Bunch of Guys had already been axed by this point.) But someone got the idea that maybe a tired Batman knockoff with two Robins might stay afloat--so the original Owl spent a couple of weeks training Yank and Doodle's old man to be his replacement after he had signed up to fight the Germans.

This happened without either man knowing Rick and Dick were Yank and Doodle, setting up a preposterous sitcom situation in which the kids and Daddy would split up when a crime occurred, only to team up in their costumed personas, then part ways to reunite in their civvies none the wiser hyuk yuk.

Yeah, that malarky couldn't stand up for long, so eventually they found out each other's identities with absolutely no repercussions. Then Daddy took an arrow to the kn--I mean, a bullet to the leg, and retired from adventuring while Yank and Doodle returned to solo duty for their few remaining outings.

Calamity Jon said...

Wa-a-a-all, I'll just draw a line through that upcoming Black Owl article ...

neofishboy said...

"A skilled figure painter, James would frequently begin his day with a little yank and doodle."

BillyWitchDoctor said...

VERY LATE CORRECTION to my previous post: My bad! Upon review, in one of those preposterous comic-book co-inky-dinks, the kids' father figured out they were Yank & Doodle only a few hours before the original Black Owl approached him to become the new Black Owl.

Pops kept quiet about it because he was seethingly butthurt that they never confided their secret identities to him.

Dedication to the cause: Original Black Owl was clean-shaven, while Black Owl II had a mustache. What to do? (Because that was the only distinguishing trait between the two men, and because EVERYONE in Mippyville or wherever knew that Black Owl didn't have no dang ol' mustache.) Black Owl II shaved off his beloved 'stache, then applied a fake one that he apparently had standing by just in case because people would "get suspicious" if he just upped and shaved it off one day.

Comics.

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