Shadow Thief shows that hard work and complete lunacy pay off.

We all know and love Shadow Thief, the shadow-based DC villain who used to annoy Hawkman and Hawkgirl on a regular basis.

But did you know that Shadow Thief's origin is completely stupid and hilarious?

Grab some popcorn and take a seat.

Shadow Thief, or Carl Sands, first appeared in The Brave and the Bold #36, which was among the many awesome comics collected in Showcase Presents Hawkman vol.1. Like all good villains, Shadow Thief likes to pass the time by remembering his own origin story.

"If only I were a shadow..." For most people this would be a fleeting, whimsical thought that one would be sort of embarassed about. But not this guy. He turns it into a mission.

He read up on shadow facts and legends. And then built something that he could have seen at (or, hell, stolen from) any children's science museum. But wait for this:

"I've got to do more research!" That is so crazy. That's like "Dammit! This quarter didn't really materialize in my ear! I must work harder! I must find a way!"

His relentless practice of children's science experiments and magic tricks is interrupted by one of the countless aliens who visited America during the 1960s.

My favourite thing about those panels is that somewhere in the short time that Carl met and rescued the alien, he managed to talk about how much he loves shadows.

Dude, you can have, presumably, any wish granted by this alien, and you still are sticking with the shadow thing? Aren't there better abilities than being able to control shadows?

Alright, actually, that is pretty cool.

You know who were probably really surprised are all the sensible people who were like "Seriously, Carl, enough with the shadows! It's never going to happen! Get a job!" Or his mom. "What would you like for your birthday this year, Carl? And DON'T say another flashlight!"

Once again a human triumphs over science and possibility and uses it to rob museums and banks. I salute you, Shadow Thief.

Review of the (Best Ever)s, By Johnathan

Time to get back to my roots: making fun of out-of context comic book panels. Because I obsessively seek structure, today's theme is gonna be "Best (something) Ever." Here goes:

Best Alien Race Ever:

These guys:
They're from Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes No. 202 and I think that they were trying to make the Earth all polluted to that it'd be fit for them to take over or something. Whatever. Their lame plots do not interest me. What makes them great is that they look like crazy blue-haired space-hippies. They've got pink-and-white jumpsuits and little fangs! Plus, they have that mustache thing (which Blockade Boy assures me is called "friendly muttonchops") and Mega Man boots! They're absurdly muscular, so it kind of looks like they'd be good in a fight - but how can anyone that looks like that be good in a fight? They look like Hanna-Barbara characters, man.

That these guys could struggle past their sheer ridiculousness and advance their culture to the point that they could attempt genocide is nothing short of miraculous. Kudos to you, you cosmic dipwads.


Best Advice Ever:

Advice for a villain, that is. This here's another Legion panel, from Adventure Comics No. 325. The Legion visited Khann, the criminal's planet, looking to arrest this brain:

Good old Atro - always dispensing helpful advice. Of course, though there might be no witnesses left after you blow up the planet, there is going to be one clue: the recently-blown-up planet! I mean come on, Atro! You think that nobody's going to be interested in finding out who blew up a planet? Hmm?


Yeah, whatever, Atro. Nuts to you. NOT APPROVED.

That other guy though, the one laughing, "Billions will die! So what, eh? Ha, ha!" definitely wins a JOHN APPROVED for Best Sociopath in a Cameo Role Ever.

Best Hand Signals Ever:

Way back in the day, Shade, The Changing Man No. 6 featured this panel:
Now I know that these two were coordinating an escape attempt via sign language and facial expression, but I can't help but interpret their conversation thusly:

He: "Hey, baby - you wanna rock out?"

She: "Word."

Steve Ditko, man. Guy was ahead of his time. JOHN APPROVED.

Best Use of a Super-Computer Ever:

Adventure Comics No. 342 gave us this look at how the Legion of Super-Heroes spends their free time:

Dancing, games, hedonism! "We're having the big computer decide who'd have the most fun kissing whom."? Man, that's kind of messed up. I mean fine, you're all teenagers, but you hang out together all the time - this kind of thing can only escalate. The next time Star Boy walks by they're going to be all, "We're having the big computer assign us random sexual partners for the night."
"Come join in the fun! The big computer's teaching us about daisy chains!"
"We're all going to make love to the big computer!"


Best Background Character (Lederhosen-Clad) Ever:

From What If No.22, which was about Dr. Doom not being evil or something:

Those are the characters in the background at Dr. Doom's wedding, where everyone's happy because their country's not ruled by an evil megalomaniac. These are some pretty great Latverians, but that little kid in front is the best. Let's take a closer look:

You sure won't, kid. You sure won't.