Tuesday, August 23, 2016

It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's The Bouncer

I've just been looking through The League Of Regrettable Superheroes, a book that shows actual superhero comics that didn't quite make it.  Starting in the late 30s there was a craze for superheroes that hasn't abated yet, and as you'd expect there have been plenty of mistakes along the way.  Most of the characters receive a page of description, but to get a feeling for what's offered, you don't need much more than their names:

The Bouncer (doesn't kick you out of bars, he just bounces)


Doctor Hormone (at least he's got a degree)

Doll Man (if Ant-Man isn't wimpy enough for you)

The Eye (yep, just an eye)

Rainbow Boy

Brain Boy

The Straw Man (I guess he's easy to take down)

Zippo (not a lighter, but has wheels on his feet)


Captain Marvel (not the famous one--I bet they got each other's mail)

Dracula (the famous one--as a superhero)


Squirrel-Girl (I'll take Pow-Girl over this one any day)

Brother Voodoo (created in the era of Black Power)

Captain Tootsie (a huckster for Tootsie Rolls)

The Ferret

Killjoy (and his sidekick Buzzkill?)

Maggott (one of the less popular X-Men)

Prez (the first teen President)

Thunder Bunny


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would definitely call on the Ferret in times of need.

4:00 AM, August 23, 2016  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't know this, but they have "plugs" for those tails

4:16 AM, August 23, 2016  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

Iguess he's a parody, but I was always partial to "The Tick."

10:58 AM, August 23, 2016  
Anonymous Lawrence King said...

I'd never heard of the Bouncer (est. 1944), but the silly thing about him is that he's slender and muscular. Bouncing Boy (est. 1961), a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes in the 30th century, is round and roly poly! And look what he can do!

1:31 PM, August 24, 2016  
Blogger LAGuy said...

Think they're related?

12:32 AM, August 25, 2016  
Anonymous Lawrence King said...

I have no idea. Let me check.....

The Bouncer was published by Fox in 1944-45 and lasted only for five issues. Fox wasn't very important (their only original hero I've heard of was Blue Beetle). But Robert Kanigher, who created the Bouncer, moved to DC in 1945, and he was still there when Bouncing Boy was created in 1961. On the other hand, Kanigher didn't work on Legion of Super-Heroes at all. I suppose the question then becomes, did DC's writers hang out with each other and swap ideas, or did they each work independently for the company? I have the impression it was more often the latter -- but I'm not sure.

Off topic: Why does my ability to choose photos with street signs in them prove I'm not a robot? If I choose wrongly, doesn't that also prove I'm not a robot?

10:24 PM, August 25, 2016  
Anonymous Lawrence King said...

Kanigher's most bizarre creation -- maybe the most bizarre comic character ever -- was Wonder Woman's terrifying foe Egg Fu.

(Scroll down to the "I, THE BOMB!" heading.)

Asian stereotypes were ubiquitous in comics from 1937 to 1945 (even Dr. Seuss's political comics had them), but not in 1965. But the stereotype issue is secondary to the deep questions: Where did Egg Fu come from? Was he a baby egg once? Can he reproduce? Is his hat supposed to resemble the hole that gets punched on the top of a soft-boiled egg?

10:34 PM, August 25, 2016  
Blogger LAGuy said...

Pretty freaky. Some of it seems to be based on the joke of that era:

Q: How do you make Egg Foo Young?

A: You take a young egg and foo it.

12:15 AM, August 26, 2016  

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