An Amazing Rocket Racer-Adjacent News Item

Somehow, the broken remnants of capitalism and copyright laws have led to an announcement that I could not ever have anticipated. The Hypno-Hustler could become the star of a movie.

This is fascinating to me. I’m aware that Sony is limited in which Spider-Man characters they can use to make movies, but I feel like they’re scraping the bottom of a barrel when there’s still lots of other stuff in the barrel they could be using. Spider-Man has a thousand villains and fellow heroes that I would have predicted could be chosen before Antoine. Heck, realistically, I would have thought Rocket Racer had a better chance and I didn’t really think he had a chance at all. And somehow the Hypno-Hustler gets it.

Don’t get me wrong, I would have thought I was among the biggest fans in existence of Rocket Racer’s friend with the guitar, but it turns out that someone out there is clearly a bigger one (or at least they are a similarly-sized fan with more ability to do something about it). And it feels like good news to me because clearly the only way this could happen is if someone actually cares about Antoine.

A movie like this could actually turn a joke of a character into a rounded out human. I’ve always thought that making Antoine into a three-dimensional being that audiences cared about would be one of the earliest writing challenges I would tackle given the chance, and now someone is probably gonna beat me to it. I’m thrilled, but admittedly jealous.

There are multiple ways this can go wrong:

  • It’s possible that the movie could fail so hard that the character is seen as unworkable. This is the one I fear the least, because the character is already considered bad and I don’t think anything they could do would make that worse. I’d actually be more worried about this for a Rocket Racer movie, where I feel like the character actually has a little bit to lose. Antoine has nothing to lose, and the fact the creators must care about him makes me think this isn’t going to happen.
  • It’s possible this could only be Antoine as I like him in name only. Heck, they might call him “Hypno-Hustler” and not even keep the Antoine Delsoin identity. Just rebuild him entirely from scratch. Look at how the Prowler seen in Miles Morales stories is not the Prowler from the comics that I liked (though the other Prowler is admittedly pretty cool in Spiderverse). But even so, the article above mentions that the musical aspect of the character is important to the project, so even if you call him Buddy Thrummer or something other than Antoin Delsoin, you’re going to have a music-based hypnotist who presumably does crime, it’s going to be closer than I ever would have expected.
  • It’s also possible that the movie could become too successful and that would ruin the character for me. If the Hustler becomes a hot new property, and starts showing up in every Marvel comic every month and he pals around with all the superheroes and does the same quips they all do, he would lose the characterization I like. One problem I have with the Marvel stuff is how small their universe feels these days. I remember after the success of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie I saw comics about the Guardians hanging around Earth so they could team up with all the heroes there. I hated that. The Guardians are supposed to out in their own cosmic corner of the Marvel Universe, but they had to hang out with Captain America and Deadpool, so their specialness was thrown away to make them a cog in the machine. If Antoine suddenly becomes one of the “important” characters, I’d lose interest him as one of the loser. I always choose the losers over the big important people. But this I also don’t fear too greatly, because my mind just can’t comprehend a world in which the Hypno-Hustler becomes important.
  • The movie might not actually come to pass. This one seems like the most likely possibility. I do believe that they are honestly working on this thing with intent for it to come out, but many things can happen that would stop it. Another pandemic? Character rights shifting to another company? Economic collapse? Any of these options or more could stop this movie in its tracks. And even then, we’d just be back where we started with the character.

So even with the bad outcomes, there is nothing TOO bad. I have no reason but to be excited for this movie. So let’s all be excited for the Hypno-Hustler.

Rocket Racer and Hypno-Hustler = Best Supervillain Friends

If you had to ask me “Which superhero or villain is the closest friend to Rocket Racer?” I’d obviously have to reply the Prowler. They’ve been friends in a bunch of comics. But Bob’s relationship with Prowler is a topic for some other post. Today I’m talking about the best friend Rocket Racer has that we’ve barely been shown: Antoine Delsoin, the Hypno-Hustler!

Bob and Antoine first appeared together in a story that is likely the worst story in Rocket Racer’s limited history of appearances. But I won’t hold that against the relationship between the two characters.

When we first see Bob and Antoine as a pair, they are in prison together, and join a “crew” assembled by the criminal known as Tombstone (also, Big Ben is there, but we don’t need to worry about him now). We’re not told if this is the first time Bob and Antoine have met, but they don’t seem to get along well. I posit maybe they knew each other and even worked together, got caught, and blame each other. That would certainly cause some tension between them.

That story came and went until, suddenly, fourteen years later, another comic depicted the two together. This time, it was just a single panel (but a better comic). Bob and Antoine, both out of prison at this point, were just talking about developments in the superhero/villain community. We have no way to know if this was their first time catching up since prison, or if they’ve stayed in touch all along.

But what I do know is that Bob and Antoine make a good pair of friends. Antoine, like Bob, is a low-level supercrook who is pretty ridiculous on the surface and is routinely mocked for it. The main difference between them is that Antoine is never embarrassed by it. In his way, Antoine has a lot more self-respect than Bob. He’s more socially active, he is comfortable being himself, and unlike Bob, Antoine definitely fucks.

They’re a great contrasting pair. I’d like to see their relationship continue to shine in what few appearances these chumps get. Heck, make ’em roommates, sharing a supervillain lair because neither makes enough to afford one on their own.

I mean, why not?