Truth. Justice. Minesweeper.

Friday, December 24, 2004

First I want to wish the best of the season to all of you who pay me the ridiculously lavish compliment of regularly visiting this page and reading my stuff. I appreciate it.

Next is the answers to the 'obscure superhero' quiz I put up a month or so ago. There wasn't a huge response, but I thought some of you might be curious about it anyway. The quiz, for those who have forgotten, was to identify the source material for twenty obscure superheroes:

1. Alien Orphan - a member of the superhero group The Specials, in the movie of the same name.

2. Antibody - a member of the superhero group DP7, in the Marvel comic of the same name. This was one of the 'New Universe' comics they had in the late '80s.

3. Ashtray Boy - minor character in Rod Filbrandt's alternative comic strip Dry Shave.

4. Brown Hornet - superhero from the later seasons of Bill Cosby's Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids cartoon of the '70s.

5. Captain California - character in the somewhat lame animated/live action kids show The Kid Super Power Hour. It was basically the characters from 'Archie' turned into superheroes who attended 'Hero High'. Captain Cal was the male lead.

6. Captain Kipple - character from the excellent British superhero short-story anthology Temps and its sequel Euro-Temps, edited by Alex Stewart and Neil Gaiman. Her power is that antique garbage continually materializes all around her; she has only limited control over this.

7. Citizen Mercury - one of the superheroes immortalized in the likewise excellent short-story anthology Superheroes. Citizen Mercury is in the Denny O'Neil story; he's a guy on a fast bike.

8. Exo-Man - from the '70s TV-movie of the same name, he's a paralyzed guy who's figured out a way to make metal that responds to mental commands, and uses this to make a supersuit so he can fight the crooks who paralyzed him. Not a bad idea (it was later used in 'MANTIS', starring the guy from Cagney and Lacey) but the supersuit looked pretty useless; if you pushed the guy over he'd be helpless.

9. Gazer-Beam - minor character in The Incredibles, which I claim to be the greatest superhero movie of all time.

10. Lady X - superheroine in the TV-movie Lady X, also known as Model By Day. Starring Famke Janssen, who has of course gone on to portray a much more famous superheroine.

11. Laser Lady - superhero from the Disney movie Condorman, which I always kind of liked.

12. Luna Moth - superhero created by the main characters in the award-winning novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.

13. Ms. Place - one of the Superheroes for Social Justice in Jim Munroe's wonderful novel Flyboy Action Figure Comes With Gas Mask. Has the power to make objects disappear.

14. Poodle Girl - one of the superheroes in the crowd at the Comet Club in the 'The Tick vs. The Tick' episode of The Tick (animated series). She's got a giant bazooka filled with poodles.

15. Sockhead - April's make-believe superhero identity in the comic strip For Better or For Worse. Basically just April with a sock tied around her head.

16. Stretch Dude - In one of the 'Treehouse of Horror' episodes of The Simpsons, Bart and Lisa get super-powers. Bart is Stretch Dude and Lisa is Clobber Girl.

17. Superteen - Betty Cooper's super identity in those Archie comics in which everybody except Veronica is secretly a superhero. Betty is Superteen, Jughead is Captain Hero, Archie is Captain Pureheart and Reggie is Evilheart.

18. Superweasel - Riverton, Indiana's environmental superhero in the kids book Alvin Fernald, Superweasel, by Clifford B. Hicks. Recommended.

19. Voice-Over - One of the operatives of the Hero Hotline, in the DC comic book of the same name. He's got the power of super-ventriloquism, and is accompanied by a sidekick, Fred, who is either an effect of V/O's ventriloquism or is permanently invisible and intangible.

20. Whippersnapper - Remember the Hardy Boys books? In about 1980, they stopped making new ones in those blue hardbacks, and started putting the new ones in trade paperback instead. In the second or third one of these (it may have had 'Werewolf' in the title), Frank and Joe go to a superhero-themed costume party, and Joe goes as 'the Whippersnapper', who seems to be a guy with a whip. All of the superheroes in this were invented just for the story, of course. Frank went as 'Silver Star'. I would have been seriously impressed if anyone had gotten this one.
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