Friday, June 12, 2015


You know what they always say - "Dog Bites Man" isn't news, "Tiny Man Fights Evil Empty Suit of Clothes" is news - and that's what makes one-time Doll Man foe "The Dress Suit" a banner headline!

Despite Doll Man's diminutive size, he packed an impressively large (and colorful) rogues gallery. Still, few possessed the decapitated elan of The Dress Suit, a seemingly self-motivated collection of dapper togs with murder on its mind!

Debuting in Doll Man vol.1 no.8 (Summer 1946), the Dress Suit is first spied through an upper-story window by Doll Man's apparenly super-nosy fiancee Martha while she makes her way back to the apartment she apparently shares with her father and Doll Man's civilian identity Darrel Dane, at least to judge by the number of stories which take place exclusively in the residence. Weird set up, but who am I to judge the living arrangements of the Golden Age's own Jack, Chrissy and Janet.

I was thinking he looked quite dapper, actually.

Rushing to alert her paramour and papa, arms laden with groceries, Martha tells an unbelievable tale of an elegant dinner dress murdering a man. Surely we all know that most murders are committed by overalls and peaked caps, but it turns out Martha's right after all - a tuxedo is straight-up murdering dudes!

It doesn't take long for Doll Man and the police (coming this Thursday to the Buffalo Conention Center, call Ticketmaster for tickets) to suss out the animated glad-rags' intended victims, if nothing else - the surviving partners of the law firm of Dagnam, Tate, Weamer and Sordin, recently broken off from Dewey, Cheatem and Howe and Sterling Cooper Price.

"The last three times I tried this, I just nailed the
guy right in the balls."
In fact, it seems that The Dress Suit himself may be the vengeful ghost of Weamer himself, seeking revenge om his partners for sending him up the river! Naturally, that's not the case - a ghost come to life and murdering people, ridiculous! No, much more realistically, the Dress Suit is a remote control android operated by one of the partnrs, Sordin, intent on killing his remaining partners in order to obliterate the rare chance that they might let some secret of the crime slip to the authorities. Sure, a byzantine murder plan seems like the best way around this.

Despite the impressive visual of a tiny man fighting a suit, the most memorable exchange in the book occurs when Doll Man shows up at Sordin's front door, and is promptly invited in. An entire book of etiquette could be written about how to be a proper host when your guest is a six-inch man in leotards and a cape. I'm assuming it's polite to offer a drink of rainwater from the bell of a tulip and tiny sandwiches. I mean, really tiny sandwiches...

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