Sunday, September 30, 2007

Heat-Ray Meets The Demolisher

In my previous post, I mentioned the epic meeting of my two heroes, Heat-Ray and the Demolisher. Well, here it is.

Apparently, by the time this issue "hit the stands", Noble Comics had fallen on hard times and was snapped up by M.W. Comics. M.W. looks to have been a low-budget, fly-by-night operation, resorting to shady tactics like tracing cover art from other publications. (Put that in your Swipe File and smoke it, Rich Johnston.) M.W. artists were also of questionable quality. Check out the Demolisher on the cover. His foot projects in front of the "Crusher's" leg. Either M.W.'s cover artist was drinking heavily or the Crusher was 40 feet tall. And Heat-Ray is depicted as if the power of flight does not extend to his extremities. They dangle from his torso like those wasps that used to buzz from one end of the house to the other during the summertime when I was a kid.

The writers were not immune to the decline in professionalism, either. One merely needs to read the story's title, "Cometh of the Crusher" to know we're in trouble.

Our story opens as the Crusher leans against a lamppost, really just minding his own business when the two heroes show up and decide to kick his ass for no apparent reason. Maybe they're curious how one earns the name "Crusher." Or maybe they just don't like his purple tights. Who knows? Lucky for the Crusher, he gives as good as he gets, giving Demolisher a one-two combination while exclaiming, "Take that...and that!" Having gained the upper hand, Crusher slips away into the night. We're then treated to a two-panel interlude, introducing us to a pre-AUSTIN POWERS Dr. Evil. We know Dr. Evil is a badass because he kicks some poor unnamed guy out of his office before laughing maniacally. Scared yet? You should be.

Back to the action, Demolisher and Heat-Ray, while pursuing the poor Crusher, have a net thrown over them by...somebody. No sooner does Heat-Ray rip the net apart than the duo find themselves caught in a cliffhanger...namely, the ol' slowly-compressing wall-vice. Up next...THE SMASHER!



Chris Gardner said...

Just the other day somebody threw a gosh-damned net over ME and... I never saw who... actually it wasn't a net at all, it was a 20 foot long pair of PURPLE TIGHTS! sorry, I've been up too long.

todd said...

i can't think of a better cover to swipe--that marvel team-up 56 rocks harder than the magikist!!! (loves me the marvel team ups!) nice too that you were taking the time to come up with new and (i'm sure to you at the time...) original names for our heroes' antagonists--crusher and smasher! woo hoo!
what about updates on these two...?

talk to ya soon!

Leaf said...

I'd like to believe that the M.W. cover artist was drinking heavily and the Crusher is over 40 feet tall 'cuz that's like peanut butter and chocolate mixed together—creamy creative goodness puttin' shame in Liefeld's game.

The Smasher, eh? I bet he has oxen-like strength like an ox.

Anonymous said...

LMAO - You keep writing, I keep laughing.
I may never go to therapy again.

Adam Hutch said...

I find myself swinging by just to see if you've posted anymore of these. Keep em coming.

Heywood Jablomie said...

Haha I love this stuff. Your reflections are the best on these. I'm thinking though that there might have been a little been more going on than just drinking at the M.W. offices. haha

Rich Faber said...


If you ever decide to quit the art biz, I think you'd have a decent career as a writer. This stuff is gold! Your "reviews" crack me up!


Matt Wieringo said...

I think the art biz is a foregone conclusion, Rich. Still holding out hope for the writing part but I'm not getting any younger.

Rich Faber said...

Maybe, Matt, but nobody can see the gray hairs onscreen, or in print! ;-)


Chris Gardner said...

I agree with Rich, age is absolutely nothing. It's amazing just how many artists and writers really get into the meat of their careers (or start a career) later in life, for just one example, look at Al Hirschfeld, one of my idols, he did amazing work until the day he died and he just missed 100 by a hair.

Matt Wieringo said...

The thing keeping me writing and drawing my own stuff these last couple of years (other than Leaf's encouragement) is the fact that Darwyn Cooke didn't even get really started until he was in his 40s. But, then, he's DARWYN COOKE!!!

Brian said...

But he wasn't DARWIN COOKE until his 40's, before that he was Darwin Cooke.

Hang in there and don't give up on the dream.

rhombus said...

Gotta agree with the others, hilarious stuff, Matt!