Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Trust me, it actually works out for you guys.

Of the many nuclear-powered superheroes who gained their atomic abilities from being absolutely demolished in a nuclear accident and then rebuilding themselves atom-by-atom by sheer force of will, Nukla is probably the only one who came back in ill-fitting footie pajamas. Captain Atom, Doctor Solar and Dr.Manhattan all had the foresight to outfit themselves in sleek, futuristic and sometimes shiny metal outfits, but Nukla honestly looks like he’s slept five nights in that thing.

It turns out that his outfit is actually his flight suit, as Nukla – originally Matthew Gibbs, USAF spyplane pilot – gained his powers from being blasted out of the sky over China in his U2, possibly in the name of love. Because he was shot down, I can’t be sure if he ever found what he was looking for, but then again other songs from the band U2. In any case, Gibbs is obliterated by a secret Chinese super-weapon, but is nonetheless able to reconstitute himself and his plane, which is sort of adorable – it’s like his pet, that plane, he doesn’t go anywhere without it. They’re inseparable, it’s gonna be heartbreaking when they have to put the thing down after it gets distemper.

Nukla also spends a lot of time failing to complete a thought.

Being able to reconstitute himself after the nuclear incident, Gibbs – codenamed Nukla – also develops the powers of destroying things with energy blasts from his fingers, the ability to travel at pretty much light-speed (in his plane anyway, which is now a super-plane) and the power to disappear at will. He’s described, in brief, as no longer being subject to physical laws, which I think means he’s allowed to use the HOV lane when driving alone, no penalty.

If characters like Nukla weren’t firmly set in the realm of fiction, all of our fears about nuclear Armageddon would have been completely pointless, you know? We never would have dropped another bomb after Hiroshima, for that matter. We would’ve been BEGGING for the bomb to drop. Hell, I want to travel at light speeds, I want a pet spyplane, I want to sit buck-ass naked on Mars and moan about watches.

" leave, seeya suckers!"
The fourth and final issue of Nukla’s run – set in the distant year of 2,000 AD – puts this challenge to the test as it pits Gibbs against a moon-based nuclear tyrant named Tiro, because I guess that’s pretty much how nomenclature works in the dawning days of the 21st century; a tyrant named Tiro, a nuclear man named Nukla, here’s a corner beat cop named Corbeaco, and I call my dog Doggo.

Intent on conquering the world and armed with lunar nukes, Tiro is backed up with an additional secret weapon – an “ice gun” which fires “ice spicules”, which I thought was made up and is a word I had to look up but which is actually a thing, so congratulations comics! You got everything else wrong but got one right, way to go! The “spicules” serve a dual purpose – besides containing drugs which mellow out Nukla’s harsh, they’re the perfect murder weapon! Next he’s gonna build a cannon that fires frozen pork chops and feed the evidence to the cops!

For a nuclear-powered hero who allegedly no longer obeys physical laws, Nukla sure spends a lot of time knocked on his ass. He’s down so often, in fact, that Tiro is able to successfully fire two nukes directly at the Earth, right at a pair of major cities! Everything we know about modern nuclear weapons implies that that’s it for the Earth, but we manage to shake it off long enough for Nukla to fly quickly and disappear in a manner sufficient to defeat Tiro’s forces. I mean, defeat them shy of him launching two nuclear attacks on the Earth, I guess. Considering that probably a solid 20% of the folks atomized in the blast are going to reconstitute themselves into walking atomic superheroes, we might consider the ending a net gain.

The end.


Michael Hoskin said...

Russian farmhouses have the best weathervanes.

John said...

"...but then again other songs from the band U2." Love it.

Also, what the? The bad guy succeeds in nuking earth? Is this like David Lynch ending Twin Peaks on a downer because he didn't like having his TV series cancelled?

cup king said...

Is it just me or does that look like a giant red penis on the front of his costume?

Of course you can see similar patterns on most super hero costumes. You just have to look hard enough.

cup king said...

Do you think his plane got shot down on......wait for it.....Veteran' Da....No, not then, on....New Year's Day?

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