Thursday, April 6, 2017


That galoot is crazy! Thanks for the warning!

It's been a few years since I covered the alternatively very excellent and very absurd superhero content from Hillman Periodical's Clue Comics, a line which brought us The Boy King, Nightmare and Sleepy, Microface, Zippo, The Iron Lady (a.k.a. The Muff) and the nearly psychotic Boy Rangers.

What I left out of that original run was Stupid Manny, which appeared at first glance to be a broad and single-note satire of the superhero genre and, as the name clumsily implies, of Superman himself. The early Tony DiPreta art doesn't make it all that much of a joy to behold, and the conceit had been tackled a half-dozen times already. Still, while it ranks low among the Clue Comics luminaries, it really ain't half bad.

Stupid Manny is, as the name implies, a fucking moron who makes life difficult for everyone else all the time. We've all got one of those in our social circle. In mine, it's usually me. For Manny, it's him, in a community of hayseeds and cartoon hicks, all of whom have grown familiar with (A) Manny's immense and relentless appetite, (B) his tremendous and awkward strength, and (C) that he's a dimwit.

Manny's parade of wrecking other people's hard work sees a few ladders knocked over, walls destroyed and plates of food decimated. And that's before he gets super-powers. Residing in this hog waller of a town is Professor Bruno McNasty, inventor of what is effectively a solar-powered antigravity machine. When Manny stupidly turns it on himself, it grants him tremendous super-powers, although it does little for his intellect.

Professor Bruno promptly does the series a service and fucks off, leaving Manny to stumble upon more than a few Nazi plots in his hometown. Wearing long unerwear with his name on the front and a bright yellow venetian blind as a cape, he eventually even makes it over to Nazi Germany where, among other things, he basically eats all of the food in Germany and leaves the people to starve. Starving Germans is kind of how we got a second world war, Manny, you're helping nothing.

Manny also makes it to the eleventh issue of Clue before popping up in a western title a few years down the road. This is okay, because once Manny gave up on the Nazis (starved them all to death, I suppose), he found himself in a lot of cow-related adventures. Now that's a career arc.

Looks like an anti-masturbation device.

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