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Friday, December 22, 2006

Stopped short never to go again

I love Sadly, No! If you haven't checked out Sadly, No!, you're missing a pretty good poli-blog. The boys there can get awfully mean spirited and juvenile at times (as here, where the Sadly, No! team and their crew of regular ass kissers all decide to gang up and punch the living shit out of some poor, literally brain damaged right wing nutjob) and alas, the level of sycophancy in their comment threads is about the standard you find at any site that gets a great many hits... but, still, their stuff is generally quite funny, and they have three or four rotating contributors, so there's usually something new up pretty often... a condition one will not find obtaining at other, similar poli blogs like The Poor Man or Whiskey Bar, where the content level is high, but you can occasionally have a couple of birthdays waiting for a new post.

Sadly No! is, as mentioned, a popular site and it gets a lot of hits, and generally, the comment threads there run into double digits pretty quickly. Today, however, I happened to be over there, and saw a post that began as follows:

We missed the big Eschaton switcheroo today, when Blogspot exploded, sending our own Earth Prime Atrios briefly to Earth II, before everything settled back to normal again. Earth II is properly the demesne of the Golden Age Atrios, who had a green costume and a teenage sidekick named Cracky, and fought gangsters and Japanese saboteurs instead of Republicans and clueless media figures. In the ’60s and ’70s the character became grittier and more complex, and I think the origin story changed, and I’m not sure what I’m talking about, honestly.

The rest of the post is all about how people should contribute money to an entirely different blogger (Digby) and has nothing at all to do with the cool, if totally geeked out, first paragraph. In fact, the entire first paragraph is pretty much nothing but an extended, utterly nerdy non sequitur.

However, I like non sequiturs and I'm always up for some geeky fun, and the comment threads hadn't gotten out of hand at that point, so, in between calls from people who hate me and want me dead, I laboriously typed up and then posted the following:

December 22, 2006 at 17:39
Handsome said,

I remember the Golden Age Atrios! From his very first appearance as a back up in MORE POLITICAL COMICS #71 (August-December 1942) he was obviously a memorable character, even if all he really did in that four page short was hector supporters of the New Deal to get out and unionize, and land a single right cross on the jaw of some goddam Bundist pretending to be Santa Claus.

After that he appeared infrequently, but with increasing page counts to his stories, until he finally took over MPC as the lead in #83, in a story called, as best I can remember “Lest Auld Stupid Harding Era Economic Policies Be Re-Enacted”, a rousing romp in which he kicked the living crap out of a bunch of war profiteers who were scheming to overthrow FDR and replace him with a Corporate Fiduciary Board led by ‘Colonel’ Henry Ford (don’t ask).

Atrios continued to headline MORE POLITICAL COMICS through WWII. Afterwards, though, he was specifically targeted by the dreaded Dr. Wertham (it seems Wertham detected some subversive and/or deviant subtext in Atrios’ ongoing relationship with Cracky, perhaps having to do with the fact that Atrios and Cracky were notoriously the only Golden Age heroes who sported prominent codpieces as part of their costumes) and both the title and the character fell victim to the general superhero implosion that occurred in 1947.

I don’t believe we saw the Golden Age Atrios again until that seminal story in CONGRESSIONAL SUBCOMMITTEE CAPERS #17 (Sept-Oct 1954) when the Silver Age Atrios accidentally triggered The Red Menace’s cross-dimensional bicycle and wound up on the then-unchristened Earth-2, where he met his childhood comic book hero, the Golden Age Atrios, whose fictional adventures had inspired the Silver Age Atrios’ costume and choice of superhero name! That classic romp eventually ended up with the creation of Earth-2 and the revival of the Grassroots Activist Society of America, the very first super-pundit team ever, whose adventures are still going strong today, even after the Eternal Crisis of Confidence consolidated every multiple timeline into one, ending up with eighteen different version of Atrios, and half a dozen jaded, alcoholic or drug addicted Cracky’s, existing side by side.

I do have to correct one thing, though — the Golden Age Atrios never fought Japanese saboteurs. That was the Modern Age Atrios, who administered street justice to the Japanese subway bombers “from the barrels of his roaring twin .45s”, to quote Jim Lee’s perhaps somewhat over the top captions in POLITICAL ACTION featuring ATRIOS! #23. Lee was trying very hard to write the story in a Golden Age style, though, and that may be where the confusion comes in.

Hilarious stuff! Yet so generally hated and feared am I at Sadly, No! ever since my shameless orgy of blog whoring of a week or so ago, that... well... in the several hours since I've posted that comment, the comment thread it's in has grown by all of one additional entry.

It's amazing. I apparently have the power to kill otherwise popular comment threads using only my wit.

Mine is the superior intellect, indeed.

Of course, this is my fault entirely. I've posted several times in the Sadly, No! comment threads since "Handsome" was apparently put on permanent iggy, under various of my better known webnomens. It's obvious that anything "Handsome" posts will be ignored, and in fact, I'd planned to put "Highlander" on that comment, and then I got rushed because of where I was posting from, and forgot to do it. So, you know... mea culpa, and all that. Had I posted as "Highlander", or someone else, no doubt the comment thread would have continued to grow and prosper, and someone might have even commented on my comment itself.

As it is, though, I've carelessly destroyed something that could have been beautiful.

With great power comes great responsibility.

Sometimes, though... I forget.


At 4:26 PM , Blogger AaA said...

I wouldn't worry too much. Has it occurred to you that the 'non-sequitir' paragraph was aught but a snare to catch you with? That perhaps, even now, on some under-blog, they are yukking it up with glee over your extrapolative masterpiece, while keeping you cruelly frustrated out of sheer perverseness?

Now me, I like MCP#176, where (and I'll admit, this was kind of a stretch on my part, and so far no one has agreed with me) they hint that John Hinkley Jr. was just a patsy, and Silver Age Atrios was the real shooter. Notice the one long shadow in the 5th panel on page 17 (art pages, don't include ad pages), the panel where the Pres is totally obscured by Secret Service agents all looking out with guns drawn?

Yeah, well, that shadow is Atrios'. I'm sure of it.

At 4:51 PM , Blogger Highlander said...

an intriguing theory, but I have to point out that the sequence you're thinking of was not from MORE POLITICAL COMICS #176, which featured Atrios in a lead story titled "We Must Foil The Anti-Lewdness Act -- or DIE!!!", with an 8 page back up featuring The Poor Man called "Fuck You, Conservative Retards!"

The only story resembling the one you describe didn't actually feature Atrios. It was in BI-CAMERAL TEAM UP #217, featuring Daily Kos teamed up with Billmon, investigating the JFK Assassination. But there they went up against a clone of Lee Harvey Oswald, who happened to have stumbled across the Odin Luger, and who was employing it in a poorly conceived scheme to assassinate then Vice President Dan Quayle.

I suppose I could have missed the issue you're actually talking about, but, well, I am renowned as a Silver Age Super Pundit scholar, so I doubt it.

At 10:28 PM , Blogger AaA said...

Pffft, I'll just take your word for it. No way I'm up to the task of taking you to task on this stuff.

Oh, and have you met Kieth Olbermann? He's my new hero.


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