Thursday, June 29, 2017


The way the problem was phrased seems to imply the solution.

Finally, a prog rock superhero I can truly get behind! If Disco, Boy Detective, is at all available, these two have a battle for the ages coming up.

Doctor Synthe (The Miracle Man from Mo) actually passes for a prog rock character pretty easily, minus ab-baring spandex control top, hippie hair and six-inch demon heels. What he does have going for him is that he's a supremely powerful entity from the planet Mo who originally incarnates as a mass of undulating energy before choosing an unassuming mortal frame. Once there, he uses tremendous powers of transmutation to effect great social changes and acts of large-scale crimebusting, bringing food, wealth and safety to the people of the Earth. If there were only an evil government that wanted to outlaw rock, then we'd have a critically-celebrated concept album all wrapped up.

"Betty, you're fat!"
The then-nameless and -formless Synthe crash lands on Earth, specifically on the boat of luckless Long Island native Ray Ro(d)gers (he's the copyright-free Roy Rogers, I like to assume). Why's Ray so luckless? Well, for one thing, a fucking crazy alien crashes on his boat and destroys it. Also, his girlfriend Betty has some sort of degenerative lung condition and will soon die if Ray can't collect the money to pay for her procedures. Luckily, he can always sell that old boat of his .... oh, right.

Synthe makes up for smashing Ray's only material asset in the world by, first off, adopting a less-terrifying corporeal form, saving Betty from suicide, and then basically giving the world everything it ever needed forever. He makes gold on a whim, showers Ray and Betty with material gifts, and drives around invisibly to give money to hungry, poor mothers and to shove around price-gouging shopkeepers.

Sure, it sounds like a regular party planet.
The entirety of Doctor Synthe's three issue run in Stars&Stripes (the comic book, that is, not the military newspaper of the same name) is spent with his exhibiting new and greater powers and solving social issues with the abundance of material goods and services. While crime is also part of his major focus -- he lures and imprisons literally thousands of the city's top criminals in one swoop, turns into a giant to destroy an invading fleet of bombers, and spends his downtime in Europe blowing the holy hell out of German dogfighters -- mostly he observes the impracticality of greed and enforced scarcity in America's disproportionately wealthy modern society.

I'd be pretty confident in suggesting that Synthe is one of the relatively few Socialist superheroes of the Golden Age of Comics, except it pays to remember that he's a matter-transmuting superman who can turn himself into a giant, brick off Central Park in an eyeblink, and generally eat fire and shit ice from the git-go. Symbolism cracks a little when literal God is pretty much in the house.

1 comment:

Johnie Long Torso said...

I totally understand a god-like socialist miracle man wanting to be anywhere else but f@cking Missouri.

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