Thursday, November 20, 2014


Yeah, a good blowjob has that effect on a lot of guys.
Superman’s performed his fair share of weird duets in his lengthy career, not the least of which include pairing up with such varied entities as He-Man, the Quik Bunny, Muhammad Ali, Jerry Lewis, Aliens, the Terminator, Orson Welles and a shoe store mascot named “Tim.”

Also among Superman’s long list of other-corporate co-conspirators were Alec and Shanna, the RADIO SHACK WHIZ KIDS!

"It's gonna take about an hour to warm up, tho."
Technically, they were actually either the Tandy Computer Whiz Kids or the TRS-80 Computer Whiz Kids, since that was the brand they were shilling. Nonetheless, Radio Shack was the friendly corporate entity who provided the free promotional comics, published by the kind folks at Archie on those weekends when they weren’t letting the Spire Comics crew crash at the printing plant.

The Whiz Kids were the product of the fine folks at Tandy and an almost terminal lack of imagination, being as they were a pair of unremarkable middle-class school kids who utilized the awesome computing power of the TRS-80 (not an inexpensive purchase back in its debut, despite its informal nickname being “Trash-80”) to solve crime and keep off of drugs and possibly foil arms smugglers ‘n shit. Lots of bad stuff going down at Radio Shack, you don’t want to go there alone at night. Or ever, generally.

The Whiz Kids formally teamed up with Superman on three, free occasions, dragging Wonder Woman and Supergirl along on a couple of those adventures, the titles of which were: The Computers That Saved Metropolis, Victory By Computer and The Computer Masters of Metropolis. These books typically depicted Alec and Shanna using their youthful genius and the processing power of the TRS-80 to aid Superman is predicting and preventing disasters caused by big-league super villains like Major Disaster and Lex Luthor, or beating them outright! It’s hard to consider Luthor a threat once he’s defeated by two kids who still live on the suburban side of puberty. I guess he’s vulnerable to cassette drives and screen burns.

I personally cannot accept that Superman genuinely benefits from the assistance of a pair of pre-teen desk jockeys and their oversized graphing calculator-slash-paperweight. Even I can calculate square roots faster than a TRS-80, what’s Superman supposed to use it for, smashing Toyman over the head with it?

"No, kids, that's all right, I've only done this about a billion times."
The Whiz Kids also had their own run of solo comics, unsupported by superheroic help, which were titled:

The Whiz Kids: The Computer Trap
The Whiz Kids: The Computer That Said No To Drugs
The Whiz Kids: News By Computer Foils Kidnappers
The Whiz Kids: OK Computer
The Whiz Kids: The Answer To A Riddle
The Whiz Kids: Fit To Win
The Whiz Kids: A Deadly Choice
The Whiz Kids: Safeguarding the Environment
The Whiz Kids: The Order of the Phoenix
The Whiz Kids XXX: Not The Tandy Computer Whiz Kids

Wait a minute, one of the ones I didn't make up ... did they really have a book titled “A Deadly Choice?” How high are the fucking stakes of personal home computing? Also, it’s charming that any computer company would stump for environmental protection, especially at the book’s release in 1991, since your average disposed home computer leaks about five hundred gallons of weaponized rat cancer into the groundwater every hour, according to a book I made up.

Misandry is real!
Alec and Shanna also have an uncredited appearance, more or less, in the pages of an actual, factual Superman comic, the rights issues of which I bet have fucked up that issue’s chance of ever being reprinted. Superman vol.1 No.358 (April 1981, a little after the Whiz Kids’ initial outing with the Man of Steel) tells the tale of Clark Kent boring the tar out of Alec, Shanna and their classmates during a power outage, relating the story of the time Superman fought a guy who looked like a cross between a dandelion and a leather daddy.

Anyway, by the time the internet came around and computers were finally useful (porn), Alec and Shanna probably would have been all grown up. If we relaunched them today, Shanna would probably be a Glasshole advocating for Googleocracy and Alec’ll have a YouTube channel with more than 1500 hours rebutting Anita Sarkeesian - so let’s all thank the power of computing!


James W. Fry 3.0 said...

I want to thank you for posting this because it reminded me of just how much I liked Ross Andru's layouts. Honestly, that page of Supes diving for the plane as the Piss Kids feed him info---I could never have made that scenario as exciting as Andru did here. I miss that guy.

Calamity Jon said...

I get asked periodically who I'd consider my definitive Superman artist, and even though I idolize guys like Ordway, Swan, Shuster, Gibbons, Quitely, et al, the first name that always comes to mind is Andru, if just for his ubiquitousness

BillyWitchDoctor said...

Compare this to Jay Disbrow's horrible Captain Electron at your own risk.

neofishboy said...

I think I was in fifth grade when our classroom got a TRS 80. It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen (even though it was mostly filled with educational software). Ahhhh ... good times.

10 PRINT "Fuck ";
20 GOTO 10

Calamity Jon said...

If I can find a copy of Captain Electron, it'll end up here!

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