Hip-happy Heroes Part 6: The Futuristic Finale!

Hip-Happy Heroes comes to its inevitable conclusion with the tale of the proudest fatty of all: the indomitable Bouncing Boy!

Bouncing Boy, aka Chuck Taine, is a special case, as he didn't just become fat, he started out fat and got fatter. In fact, Chuck was one of maybe ten fat guys left in the far-off and evidently calorie-conscious world of the Thirtieth Century, and possibly the only one who wasn't a decadent crime-boss or corrupt politician. No, Chuck was a simple delivery boy in a blue suit:


Even the moost brilliant scientist has a fatal flaw, however, and this one's was his extreme frugality. More specifically, his tendency to put top-secret formulae into old pop bottles instead of investing in proper transport containers.

He probably should have spent a bit more money on his delivery guy, too, instead of hiring Chuck. See, Chuck is the stereotypical fat guy, which means that a) he has no self-control, and therefore is unable  to resist stopping off at the robot fights on his way to deliver the fluid.

b) He can't go fifteen minutes without a snack of some kind, so he buys himself a pop from a vendor.


And c) he's just a bit stupid. So not only does Chuck pick up the wrong bottle, he, like Jimmy Olsen before him, manages to drain the whole foul-tasting thing before he realizes that he's probably just poisoned himself.


 Happily, this all takes place in an origin story, so not only does Chuck gain the power to turn into an even fatter guy and bounce around instead of staying the same size and dying, but he isn't fined and/or jailed for destroying an important scientific discovery. Presumably he was fired, but that just paved the way for him to join the legion of Super-Heroes and eventually marry a girl who could split into two. So... good job on the gluttony, Chuck.

Of course, the saga of Bouncing Boy doesn't end there. As is the fate of most extremely silly characters, ol' Chuck was somewhat... despised by a fair number of people. And so, the Matter-Shrinking Projector was deployed.

Suddenly, Bouncing Boy was no longer a fat guy who could swell up like a balloon, he was just a skinny guy with a bad haircut. As was always the case in such situations, he was immediately (mostly) booted from the Legion and started devoting all of his time to picking up chicks.

"There we go." said the writers, dusting their hands, "No more fat guy troubles for us." But! The show was not yet over. I'm not sure if Bouncing Boy fans started voicing their displeasure or if a fat guy in the Legion was just right somehow, but the idea wouldn't go away.


The forces of irony must have had a hand in making Superboy the second Legion fatty, considering his terrible behavior when introduced to Iresa: during the terrible reign of Dynamo Boy he was given a two-panel dose of Bouncing Boy's power before being summarily booted from the clubhouse.I don't think that he learned anything from it, but it sure was fun to watch.


Not long after, the entire Legion was imprisoned by arch-fiend Nardo, and the intrepid Matter-Eater Lad attempted to eat his way to freedom. Captured and due to be executed, he was saved by Superboy, but the strange interaction of ray-gun and Kryptonian youth caused a curious change in the lad from Bismoll:

Yes, the curse of Bouncing Boy had struck again! Now the boy who was dinstinguished by his constant eating was morbidly obese! Oh, the humour!

Finally, though, during the Legion's struggle with the villain Evillo (the man so determined to get his point across that he dressed like the Devil) the universe righted itself:

Evillo's chief scientist, a man with a lot of issues to work through, acted as a deus ex machina to fix all of the Legion's physical defects: one-armedness, excessive fat, fat deficit, etc. Finally all was right with the world. Worlds. Galaxy-wide planetary federation.

So for those of you keeping track, Bouncing Boy started out fat, got fatter through the effects of something that should have killed him, got skinny through the influence of something that probably shouldn't have done what it did, briefly got fat again (not pictured) thanks to some crazy ray and was finally restored to his old self for good by a semi-insane scientist with an upside-down face. What fun!

Now and forever, friends, HIP-HAPPY MEANS PLUMP!





Super-Human Detritus of the 30th Century: Review of Absorbancy Boy, By Johnathan

Due to file corruption, you will never get to read the totally neato review that I wrote yesterday. Instead, a totally neato review that I'm writing today!

So: Absorbancy Boy, the villain of the hour over in Action Comics right now. Who'd have thought? Definitely not me or I'd have reviewed him by now, instead of spelling his name wrong while writing about Infectious Lass.

Here's our first look at the future Earth Man, fresh from a character-building dose of soul-crushing disappointment:

I have to say: I kind of like that costume, even if it looks a bit like something an evil version of Animal Man would wear (alternate versions of that comment: like something that Earth-3 Animal Man would wear; even though it makes him look like Anne Rice's Animal Man).

I kind of like him looking grumpy over top of that explanatory caption - it's as if he got a job as a continuity editor, like Affable Al and friends back in the day, but he wasn't really very happy about it. Curmudgeonly Kirt?

Putting aside the fact that I know that the guy turned out to be a complete ass and later a super-villain, at this point in the tale my sympathies are with A-Boy. As I understand it, having his power (absorbing and utilizing residual superhuman energies) on hand would allow the Legion to basically double up on any power that they need, as well as having someone on hand who could use a super-powered enemy's abilities agin 'em. Too limited, Legion? Sounds like a pretty good deal to me, actually.

My personal theory is that Absorbancy Boy was pre-rejected based on his name. After years of crazy applicants the Legionnaires were probably terrified that some guy in a bright yellow costume was going to come trundling in towing a big tub of water, which he would then proceed to empty using the super-porous tissues of his ass cheeks. If he'd only named himself after his most impressive features, then Muttonchop Lad or perhaps Sideburn Squire would be running around with the Legion to this day.

Meanwhile (and this is relevant to the review) Tyroc is being inducted into the Legion, but before he can even begin to enjoy the state-of-the-art Dungeons and Dragons arcade, the building is attacked by Zoraz, an "old foe" of the superteens who lurks in the ductwork and craves revenge for something or other. Supposedly, he has managed to steal the Legionnaires' genetic information from their central storage area (though I wouldn't think that it would be hard to collect genetic material in a building full of teenagers. From all of the laundry that they'd leave everywhere, I mean). From this he has worked out exactly how to counter each Legionnaire's powers, information that he seems a bit too eager to use, honestly. Causing Star Boy to make himself heavy enough to sink into the floor is one thing, but taking out Dream Girl by beaming nightmares into her skull? That seems like overkill, really. Don't get me wrong, Dream Girl's a great Legionnaire, just not one renowned for her incredible combat skills. A good sock to the jaw would probably be as effective as any three green faces that you could cause her to think about.

Anyway, Zoraz is eventually revealed to be a fake villain designed as a final test for incoming recruits. Tyroc actually seems pretty ticked off when he learns this, which is understandable given the number of hoops that he had to jump through in order to get in, while schmucks like Matter-Eater Lad and Dynamo-Boy just walked in off of the street.

Here's Zoraz's poorly-clad backside:

And the front:

But wait! That's not Sun Boy at all, it's Kid Cheek-Pelt! Our old friend from the first three panels has come back to prove himself worthy of the Legion. Heck, it worked for Wildfire - maybe it'll do all right by Absorbancy Boy.

Although a good first step in proving your worth, Absorbancy Boy, would have been keeping mum about how you've been hiding in the very first place that someone searching for Zoraz would have looked. I mean, jeez.

Oops. I was with you up to this point man, but really: beating up the guy who got into the Legion instead of you is not the way to get into the group. Just ask Phantom Lad - the last I heard he was working as an "Uncle Ghosty the Clown" mascot at one of a galaxy-wide chain of Bgtzl Fried Kangobronc restaurants.

Someone really should take that second panel out of context someday.

Fight scene!

Not bad, A-Boy. You've definitely got some serious chops. If only you'd gone about this in a more reasonable and thought-out manner instead of stomping in and being a total dick. Talk about things instead of hitting Superboy and maybe people will listen to you.

Battle of the spread-legged joes! This is where Tyroc really underlines just how great, if pantsless, he is:

Two-panel takedown! BONK! indeed, mister Tyroc. You truly have demonstrated that you are worthy to wear those extreme collars. You know, Tyroc himself has fairly impressive facial hair - had this little scrap lasted longer it could've been classed as a Heavyweight Muttonchop Rumble. Tickets could've been sold! I'm sorry. That was terrible but, hey, it's past my bedtime. Things are only going to go downhill from here.

Absorbancy Boy, though your muttonchops are JOHN APPROVED, you yourself are a total oaf. The best thing that can be said about you is that you are an efficient way for the muttonchops to get from place to place and spread the joy that is their gift to the world. For your thoughtless violence and for eventually becoming a full-fledged xenophobic semi-tyrannical super-villain you are


Review of Super-Human Detritus of the 30th Century, Part 4a, by Johnathan

It occurs to me that the JOHN APPROVED on that last post was directed at the Legion of Super-Villains. I should probably weigh in on Dynamo-Boy, for my own peace of mind if nothing else.

So: Dynamo-Boy. Well, he totally schooled the Legion, but was in turn schooled by the other Legion (one of the other Legions, at least - I can count five without even trying), so no points there.

Plus he's ugly, has a bad costume and suffers from a bad case of 'committing crimes using technology which, if sold, would net one enough money never to have to worry about anything ever again." But... I like this kid. He's got chutzpah.


Now quiet. It's time to watch Dynamo-Boy's despair!

Review of Super-Human Detritus of the 30th Century, Part 4, by Johnathan

This time around, we're taking a look at Dynamo-Boy, a greasy little elf who manages to highlight many of the Legion's delightful absurdities in his two issues of fame (Adventure 330 and 331, for the curious). Dynamo-Boy's not the first villain to join the Legion, but he is a personal favourite of mine. Let's take a look at the little scamp, shall we?

That's him looking all cunning (and greasy) up front. This is a great frontspiece for this issue - Mon-El is getting kicked out on a technicality and can't get anyone to believe that he was framed. Meanwhile Dynamo-Boy couldn't look more triumphantly villainous if he was cackling and touching himself. It's a terrific illustration of how thoroughly oblivious the Legion is to his shenanigans and machinations.

So Dynamo Boy is actually Vorm, a youngster from a planet full of criminals. He's a go-getter and no mistake. Just look at him volunteer! (Ridiculous Legion Thing No. 1: The tendency of bad guys in the old days to refer to the Legion as a 'club'. Always makes me picture the Fatal Five battling a local chapter of the 4H)

Vorm and Pargg are given some pretty nice belts. This is where Vorm really distinguishes himself for the first time. By wearing an orange tunic that could only really look less than ridiculous with a belt, yet leaving his belt at home, Vorm puts on his super-belt and *boom!* he looks like a million bucks! At this point the crowd is totally on his side, despite Pargg's good looks and pirate hat.

Oops! It's a fight to the death! Vorm's still ahead - his banter is much more ominous than Pargg's.

Again, Vorm comes out on top. Not only does Pargg slip up and call the Legion of Super-Heroes the "Super-Legion", but Vorm drops a Jimmy Olsen reference! Since Elastic Lad had at this point been active in the Thirtieth Century for about, say, an hour, this is a clear indication that Vorm has Done His Homework. Were this a battle for dominance of the local comic bookshop, Pargg would be dead of shame by now.

But instead of shame, he dies of Atom-Blast Vision. Take note: Vorm has kicked ass thoroughly enough that he has had time to think up names for his powers before using them. The guy shouting "Bye-bye Pargg... we hate losers!" is, by the way, one of my favourite background characters of all time.

Okay, so having killed off Pargg, Vorm heads to Earth and suckers Star Boy into inviting him to the ever-popular Legion tryouts. He tells the above tale to explain his powers, which I guess is good enough that the Legion never thinks to question why he's constantly pushing buttons on his giant mechanical belt.

This brings us to Ridiculous Legion Thing No. 2, Tryouts. Even though I love them, I gotta admit:

Eye-ful Ethel is just silly. (Review-Within-A-Review: Silly, but kind of hot. JOHN APPROVED)

Also Appearing: The Mess! (Review-Within-A-Review: I like The Mess because he kind of looks like Alfred E. Neuman. I hope that Cosmic Boy hired him as Legion janitor or something afterward. JOHN APPROVED)

Dynamo-Boy gets into the Super-Legion Club by showing that it's okay to blast old men with radiation. Old men wearing long-sleeved leotards and vests with flared shoulders, that is. Also: why does this man have a crutch? Shouldn't 30th century technology have solved all crutch-worthy ailments by now? Or at the very least developed the Rocket- or perhaps Robo-Crutch?

There follows a period of time where Dynamo-Boy is a member of the Legion and is devoting all of his time to having everyone else kicked out. I have no images of this, but rest assured, it all happened due to Ridiculous Legion Thing No. 3: Bylaws. The Legion charter's full of all kinds of ridiculous rules, and every time someone runs afoul of them and gets kicked out for getting married or failing to salute the Legion flag everyone acts helpless, like it's the US Constitution, rather than a set of rules laid out by three 14-year olds on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

In any case, Dynamo-Boy is eventually the last person in the Legion, and so, in a rare treat, Legion tryouts are held two issues in a row:

First up is Golden Boy, who both crashes and burns. (Review-Within-A-Review: Though Golden Boy does have Economy Destabilizing Action, I like his snappy outfit. Plus, he's so sure that he's going to get in. I can't help but say: JOHN APPROVED)

Next up: Polecat, another reject. (Review-Within-A-Review: While Polecat does share Golden Boy's optimistic outlook, and while I am pretty fond of the expressions that all of the wannabe heroes in the second panel are making [Especially Dynamo-Boy, who's not so much holding his nose as gently caressing it] I'm filled with maddening question marks over the reasons behind giving the guy stinky horns. Was the thought of excessive body odour considered risque by the Comics Code Authority? Are the horns meant to be the literal 'poles' of the Polecat? So perplexed! So NOT APPROVED)

Animal Lad turns someone into a bear! Luckily, the concept of suing over 'mental anguish' was abolished in the 2500s, or he'd be... uh... Frying Up Animals Lad... At McDonalds. Because He's Poor. Because Of The Lawsuit. (Review-Within-A-Review: I don't think that Vorn's thought this through enough. Animal Lad's lame. NOT APPROVED)

Lame but upright, apparently, so he's out the door! That's okay, though, because once he's gone it's time for the best of the bunch:

The Tusker! Observe his fangs closely:

Comic gold! (Review-Within-A-Review: The Tusker is great. Not just because of his ferocious assault on that tree or how much it impressed all of the losers that were hanging around the woods that day, and not just due to the fact that he got stuck and ruined the tryouts for everyone, but because of this:

The Tusker can dance. JOHN APPROVED)

So Dynamo-Boy's out of luck re: recruiting new Legionnaires. Out of luck, that is, until he finds and inducts the perfect underlings:

The Legion of Super Villains! Oh boy! This oughta be good!

And it is! The poor Legion of Substitute Heroes get the tar whomped out of them, which is fine. But then:

Betrayal! In an impossible-to-anticipate occurrence, the Legion of Super Villains screw someone over! Really, Dynamo-Boy, you greasy little elf-monkey, did you not see that coming? If nothing else, your belt should have had an Irony-Sensor on it somewhere, ticking away like mad. Ah, well. How bad can it be?

Oh... bad.

"Ha, ha! The Timescope screen reveals Dynamo-Boy's despair!" Now that's villainy.