Thursday, January 5, 2017


Can you believe it? That's how he dresses when he doesn't go to the Opera.

Holyoke hero Beau Brummell takes the motif of the dashing playboy-by-day/strangely garbed crimefighter-by-night to its logical destination. He is a dashing playboy by day who undertakes a war on crime in the disguise of ... a dashing playboy by day.

The original Beau Brummell was, of course, the style icon of Regency England, and the progenitor of the Dandy look (and way of life). What the fictional, four-color Beau shares in common with his namesake is a snazzy suit of threads and, as it turns out, a name. He also has a bit of a glib tongue in his head, but it doesn't get much more of a workout than your usual crimefighting blabbermouth.

Fighting crime with the power of Fucking Right Off!
The crimefighting Beau Brummell makes two appearances, in the ominously-titled Atomic Bomb Comics and and a slightly less apocalyptic but still explicitly aggressive Triple Threat Comics, released between 1945 and 1946, and neither providing much of an origin. What we learn from his appearance in Triple Threat is that he doesn't really have a job to speak of, but he's otherwise loaded. "Beau Brummel leads a life of leisure, and that takes money" explains the introductory caption to his first adventure, "And where do you think he gets it?" Junk bonds, is my guess. Skimming. Maybe he's been raiding the employee trusts and leavin' em bone dry. I don't know, I pick up all of this stuff from the newspapers.

"Brummell owns stock in big companies, you see," the caption goes on condescendingly. We're not idiots, caption, just tell us the fucking story. Still, owning the stock in one of those companies gets Beau involved in upending a full-on Christmas assault against the Simbel's Department Store by a character you might call in hope "a super villain" but is mostly just an investor with a short temper and the unfortunate last name of "Gimmick."

How ironic. He, who fights crime with a thing that you smell,
is brought low by a thing that he smelled.
His "Gimmicks" to destroy Simbel's involves: A horde of angry Santa Clauses, a little cottage float for the Christmas Parade and also it has a cannon in it, and disguising his gang as mannequins and stealing a bunch of shit when the store's closed. Beau defeats one of these attempts by slyly filling one of the parade floats with tear gas and then pointing it at the open window of the cottage/tank. For god's sake, someone just call the cops.

He's involved in a slightly more complicated plot in his Atomic Bomb appearance, wherein an evil creep is abducting actresses and singers, then replacing them with untalented lookalikes so that the actresses and singers will pay a small fortune for their freedom and to save their reputations on the stage. Again, call the cops, Beau.

With his name so blatantly recalling the clothes-horse of years past, you'd probably expect Brummell to bear a small arsenal of weapons in his clothing. He has a gun, which is one way of hiding a weapon in your clothes, I guess. He also has a boutonniere on a spring which can knock you on your ass. Thaaaaa-aaat is pretty much it, except he fought off the fake Santas in the first story by using a fake Santa nose that shot out and poked people in the eye. Enh. If it's a choice, I'd go with the spring-loaded lapel garnish.  Beau could've gotten by calling himself The Bouttonniere, probably.

The power of Fucking Right Off triumphs again!
He also had a cane which -- and sit down, if you have a weak heart, it'll be quite a shock -- was also spring-loaded. One idea, bespoke suits -- it's Beau Brummell!


Mike N. said...

Doesn't Mademoiselle Merdvoix mean "Miss Shitvoice"

Peter Basch said...

It does! Hilarious...

Calamity Jon said...

Ho-leeeee Merd, nice spotting!

Eric said...

Really good catch, Mike N. That's funny.

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