Daredevil versus Vapora – Rumble in the Jungle with the Fume of Doom!
Going all the way back to the practically prehistoric year of 1996, we join scipter Mindy Newell, artists Mike Harris and Don Judson, super-hero Daredevil and football fields worth of burning children for a PSA comic brought to us by the caring individuals at the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association feat.the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is a collaboration on par with Sadistik feat. Tech-N9ne and Sticky Fingas. Possibly it also heavily samples “Think About It” for all I know or care.
|"Oh shit, we got Smurfs!"|
It turns out that Murdock’s super-senses allow him to perceive a fast-talking, fang-toothed wispy ne-er-do-well, dubbed in a moment of tongue-tied verbal ejaculation by the legal eagle as “some sort of … Vapora.” You know what he means, something like a Vapora, but not exactly a Vapora. Vapora-ish. Did the radioactive canister which blinded him also make him incredibly bad at creating super-villain names?
Vapora – a.k.a. The Fume of Doom, which isn’t a nickname anyone should be particularly proud of – turns out to be one of those “embodiment of evil” types of creatures who tends to pop up in PSA comics. However, she’s not the personification of anything like fear, bigotry, depression or teen smoking – she embodies “insufficient ventilation.” Yes, Vapora is the evil spirit who hangs around when safety-unconscious individuals do things like use gasoline to pull up kitchen tiles, clean off dirtbikes, or rub chewing gum off the carpet right next to the baby’s crib with a gas-soaked rag and then light a cigarette. As I think about it, maybe she’s actually the physical embodiment of the Darwin Awards.
|"I have a name, Daredevil. It's Henry."|
An unintended side effect of this book is that I actually learned a lot about the many useful ways gasoline can make your life better. Why, I have gum on MY carpet! I have a rad but filthy dirtbike! I have children for whose welfare I don’t particular care! Can I buy this stuff by the barrel? Consider me gasoline’s number one fan.
The majority of Daredevil’s time is actually spent defending his landlord client from the charges of Third Degree Negligent Burnination. He actually only gets one shot at the motormouthed, be-muumuued spirit of sudden immolation, and that ends in what I think we can fairly call a draw. Saving a little girl from being completely immolated by a gasoline fire, Daredevil still doesn’t get there in time to save the girl’s hand, now a blackened, charred stump. Frankly, this particular nemesis should've probably gone to a hero with more ventilation-based powers, like Storm, or Torpedo, or Wolverine with a box fan.
On the back cover of the book, along with an illustration of Daredevil playing “Keep-Away” from Vapora with a urinal cake, the Fume of Doom herself spouts off official trivia from her upcoming autobiography. “I can travel from room to room, finding an ignition source,” she says, “I'm heavier than air and travel along the ground. I love to leak out into a closed room.” Hey, lady, so do I, but you don't see me bragging about it.
|"My first is in 'windmill' but not in 'mirror' ... "|