Thursday, May 15, 2014


Tiger-BoyThis profoundly unusual superhero pops up in the pages of Harvey Comics’ Unearthly Spectaculars, by which I assume they mean Cirque De Soleil on the moon. Ostensibly a horror and sci-fi anthology title, the debut issue – which simultaneously introduces us to Paul Canfield, aka “The Tiger Boy from Twilight” (I don’t remember a Tiger Boy in Twilight, was he Teen Wolf’s cousin or something? Or maybe he was that Richie Rich-lookin’ vampire’s best friend from monster camp) in what was obviously intended as a standalone shock-tastic tale in the EC vein, but was clearly rejiggered at the last second to create a marketable superhero out of it. It failed to do so, I feel I should add.

Uh-oh, he just became everyone on the internet.
A physical marvel and musical prodigy from an early age, Paul Canfield also masters finance, politics, Boggle, pick-up techniques and craft brewery from a surprisingly early age - all of humanity’s most sought-after skills, seemingly inborn in his mind, much to the bafflement of the scientists who study him and even his own parents (which will turn out to be  super-dumb, stay tuned).

Paul’s unusual abilities grow exponentially until he’s not only able to leap tall buildings and bust out refined concertos with only his dick and a harmonica, but soon he finds himself teleporting all around the planet. Eventually he even makes it off world and discovers that his body immediately adapts to survive the environment. Of course, it’s when a teenager first discovers the secrets to “fitting in” that the trouble begins, and pretty soon Paul is turning gardens into gold and levitating chimneys and shoplifting gum and all sorts of typical teen rebellion.

See, I told you he became the internet.
It’s when Paul transforms himself into a winged tiger that his parents step in, apparently deciding that “furry” is where they draw the line, revealing that they too have Paul’s amazing powers because they’re all from outer space. That’s got to be a difficult conversation, but for space immigrants it’s just their equivalent of “the talk”. “When a glorpzon and a space snazzow fall in love, the glorpzon extends his ovipositor and deposits glank-gonks into the snazzow’s clum-gulley, and in fifteen space-varms a litter of mewling, violet-skinned gharps  emerges from their mother’s nutrient sack and devour her whole.”

This talking-to results in Paul settling his fucking omnipotent space ass down and getting busy mowing the lawn, apparently happy to be a normal human boy again because he’s realized he truly loves the Earth and everyone on it. This lasts for one panel.

When Paul returns in Unearthly Spectaculars’ second issue (as the facetiously titled “Tiger Boy and Co”, enjoyably illustrated by Gil Kane), he’s now raging with a simmering hatred of all humanity. Witnessing a crime, he launches himself into action as Tiger Boy, and then a bullet-chewing Steelman and lastly a flexible Rubberman, in what conceivably could have been a fetching take on the Dial H For Hero model.

His newfound superheroic identity/identities giving him the focus to overcome his raging hatred of all humanity, Tigerboy (and Co) is immediately thereafter derailed by his noodling, meddling parents. Apparently Tigerboy has a Tiger sister and if they ever meet, he’ll blow up. Enh.

Not that it matters, of course, because by the second issue of the title on which he once held the coveted cover spot, he’d been shunted to the side by even more absurd but more enjoyable Harvey Thriller heroes like Jack Q Frost, Pirana and Clawfang the Barbarian, and eventually Tiger Boy would cede the whole venture to Wally Wood’s far superior Miracles Inc.

It's called "Cancellation"


Pete James (UWE) said...

All those powers and he can't magic himself up a decent tailor. To be honest, I'd spend all my time trying to shape-shift if I were dressed like that.

Pete James (UWE) said...

All those powers and he can't magic himself up a decent tailor. To be honest, I'd spend all my time trying to shape-shift if I were dressed like that.

BillyWitchDoctor said...

"Mom! Dad! Why don't you use YOUR powers for anything?"
"...Oh my God, I found people I hate worse than Earthlings."

Pete James (UWE) said...

I'm surprised that they went with the common as muck human headed tiger superhero trope. Marvel alone have Captain Tigro, Boy Head-Tiger Body Boy and the ever popular yet strangely repetitive Hey!-I-Can-Lick-My-Own-Crotch! Lad.

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