Well, okay. Nobody demanded anything. One person asked nicely. I thought I’d show the humble beginnings of the Demolisher, the chowderhead I drew a couple of posts back. These are the comics I drew when I was seven. I think I was a little older when I drew the SKULL book. Not that the art improved much. (Though Mike did do the layout and lettering for the splash page for me.)
In this issue, we’re introduced to a Professor Brown who discovers a “cemicle” that will “win the war!” He’s gloating over this fact when his lab assistant (who is either Emannuel Lewis or standing in hole) clumsily bumps into him, causing him to drop his beaker, which explodes. Then the little coward runs off. Can’t get good help these days. When Brown wakes up, he discovers he has unspecified superpowers and so he naturally sews up a purty costume and starts swinging through the city on a rope. The audacity! Such flamboyant activity doesn’t go unnoticed and the Demolisher soon finds himself attacked (for no apparent reason) by the deadly Disruptor!
Now that we’re past that pesky set up business, we can get to the real action. This is an issue-long fight scene between the Demolisher and the Disruptor that ends, predictably, with a final-page cliffhanger and the sudden appearance of the motiveless Slasher! He’s out for revenge for...uh...something. I was laughing at the cover to this issue for a couple of reasons. First, the Demolisher is running away! He hasn’t quite gotten the hang of the whole hero thing. Second, his logic is impeccable. Check out his four-star reasoning if you dare. Also, in an amazing coincidence, the second (and final) issue of the series is also the second-BEST issue.
Poor Skull. Not only is he suffering from the epidemic “uncanniness” plaguing the Wieringo superfolk, he’s fed up with the superhero biz already...and it’s only just the cover of his first issue! That didn’t take long. He also never got an origin story. Not even the ever-present “lab accident.” He must have taken matters into his own hands and gone out and stolen the Punisher’s costume. Out of embarrassment, he added the full-face mask. In his premiere issue, Skull is attacked (in his civilian identity) by a mugger. Skull manages to quickly switch into his costume unseen (“Gimme just a minute...be right with you...”) and retaliate. Unfortunately, the mugger has a supervillain sidekick, the vile Criminal! Skull quickly dispatches the Criminal (by tossing him over his head) and accidentally kills the mugger with his wrist-mounted blaster (which he seems to have stolen from Marvel’s Firebrand character.) While running from the police, Skull ducks into an alley to take care of some urgent business, scratching out the word “crime fighter” on his superhero I.D. card. Reward posters are promptly posted. Then (I smell cliffhanger!) he’s attacked by the mysterious Tarantula-Man who’s wearing a reversed-color version of Spider-Man’s webbed togs. I can hear my clever thoughts now...”Heh heh heh...I’ll just switch the red and blue and nobody will ever know.”
It was fun reading through these books but it was enlightening to see how much more derivative and simplistic they were than I remembered. Jeez, we took ourselves so seriously when we were kids, didn’t we?