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Who Wants to be a Superhero 2, Episode 6: FrankenStanby Mike DeGeorge -- 09/04/2007
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I know I mentioned a few weeks ago that I would try to track down a copy of Feedback’s comic and review it. I found a copy and flipped through it last weekend. The art is fine, even great. However, the dialogue was so incredibly bad that I can’t believe a professional writer could put this stuff out. Of course, you know the writer in question is Stan Lee.
Now, Stan Lee is a legend. Whether he deserves to be or not depends on how you feel about Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby’s point of view. Whatever Stan has done in the past, reading the Just Imagine series and watching about two minutes of Striperella makes me want to beg Stan to please, stop before he embarrasses himself further.
Previously on Who Wants to Have a Crappy Comic Written About Them, the heroes faced their fears in the Tunnel of Fright and then went out to dinner, where Defuser gave weapons to kids. Whip-Snap was sent home because it’s so much better to be a bully and a poor role model than be weak and try to overcome your faults.
Can you tell the bloom has come off this particular rose for me?
After the elimination, Defuser tells the others he thought it would be him going home. Parthenon says that makes three of us. Defuser will feel relief that he’s still there more than he will miss Whip-Snap. Personally, if I were to choose someone to take into a fight, I’d choose Whip-Snap in a heartbeat. Anyway, Hygena says it’s a huge responsibility being the last girl in the house. Oh, how I want to make a Parthenon joke, but I can’t do it.
The next morning, Stan pops up on the StanScreen and tells them that evil is everywhere and they can never be too careful. So he will be transmitting information in code. He plans to make the first code very elementary – so much so that a 4th grader can crack it. He sends them to a particular address (nice code, there!) and says he has a group of people for them to meet with. Fourth graders, perhaps?!
Indeed, it is an elementary school, and they walk in to the (completely uncoached) cheers of the kids. I remember when my fourth grade class got a visit from Woodsy Owl, we laughed so hard at the poor guy he left before he took two steps into the room. Hygena – with a huge grin - says that the class was much more excited to see them than we were to see ol’ Woodsy.
The heroes demonstrate their powers, with neat special effects. Hygena’s powers don’t seem to go over well. After Defuser demonstrates his taser-gloves, Hyper-Strike goes to shake his hand, only to comically find that Defuser forgot to turn them off. Funny stuff. Even funnier is that parts of the background of the school are blurred out. That’s just silly. Is Crayola really that litigious?
Suddenly, a projector turns on by itself and broadcasts a picture of Stan on the board. Most schools can barely get those things to work, and Stan’s got a remote one? Sheesh. The teacher, Mr. Morita (insert “wax on, wax off” joke here) hands them envelopes with fifteen coded questions. The correct multiple choice answers will give the letters in the coded message. They are to break up into teams, each hero with a group of students, and decode the message in five minutes.
To absolutely no one’s surprise, Defuser is the first to commandeer a team by force. Hyper Strike puts his team at ease by telling them he used to get picked on for his funny last name – Stork. Ah, geez, you know Stan is going to nail him on that one. Parthenon seems to want to do the work himself, just running through it. He thinks he’s smarter than a fourth grader. Hygena thinks the opposite. She feels she could answer everything, but that’s not what she feels the challenge was about. Hyper Strike is going the other way, using the kids to answer the questions because he’s not good at science. It looks like he’s got his group’s attention the most.
Defuser compliments the kids, thinking he probably wouldn’t have done well on his own. Parthenon finishes the quiz first, of course, and puts his answers on the overhead. Hyper Strike is next and figures out that each hero only has a part of the message. Defuser is done, but Hygena seems to be going slow, partially because she is giving the kids such a large part. She says she’s nervous because she’s been asked to improve her time in the past. Hygena completes her quiz, but some of her answers are wrong. She goes back to the group and finishes with time to spare.
The message tells them to report to the intersection of South Second and East Twin Ave. Either this is a bad Two-Face episode, or we’re about to meet the clone. As the class reads the message, a tiny video camera pops out of a globe and sees the whole thing. Somewhere, Dr. Dark is looking at his henchman and scoffing, “You said it was foolish of me to install these in every classroom in the city! HAH!”
They get to the intersection and… nothing. Not a sausage. Stan tries to contact them, but Dr. Dark (through an intricate network of cameras) jams their comm devices and calls Evil Stan into action.
You know, if Dr. Dark has enough money and power to lay these elaborate traps and have this high tech surveillance, not to mention create an evil twin from DNA off an old pencil for crying out loud, why does he need to go after these guys? It’s like pulling the wings off a butterfly.
Evil Stan (All I can think of is "an Evil Vet?") appears on the communicators, wearing a different colored shirt and speaking in a different style. He tells them they should go ahead and do some good deeds while they’re out there. Parthenon notices that Stan sounds funny but blows it off. These people never learn, do they? Dr. Dark says he’s about to make a fools of them. I say they can do that just fine on their own.
Stan tells them to yell out their names and catchphrases. Then has them borrow articles of clothing from various people. Hyper Strike searches a woman’s bag. Defuser has a man with a piano create a theme song. Hygena dances and sings. In the funniest part of this segment, Dr. Dark tells Evil Stan never to have them sing again.
Phase Two is more embarrassment that I can’t believe the heroes carry out. As Defuser is asking for help for his “superhero wedgie,” he forms the theory that perhaps Dr. Dark is actually giving the commands. They’re in a tough spot, though. What are they supposed to do, refuse? Hygena doesn’t think anything of it, because she trusts Stan. Parthenon takes particular joy in acting out, including taking a cane from a girl, dancing with it, and leaving it on the other side of the street.1 2 Next-->
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