Super Sunday: Justice-Woman and Metalfist

Usually on my Super Sunday post I try to create some superhero that would fill some hole I see in our action heroes of the day, or I just make something up on the spot, probably based around a terrible name. Well this month I am doing something different: Last year, before the Super Sunday even began, I brought you a story about Justice-Man, a hero I made up back in Junior High times. Well the thing is that Justice-Man had a large supporting cast, and have been stuck in my notes for more than a decade. This month we’re going to have four Super Sundays dedicated to the friends of Justice-Man. (Some of them, however, may fill holes in society’s current crop of action heroes of the day, and we’re almost guaranteed some terrible names.)

Justice-Woman

Kimberly Mills was the only daughter of a former superhero, but before she was old enough to realize that, her father adopted a troubled teenage boy. The boy had been born and created to be an assassin and had only recently been freed from the organization that treated him as a weapon. While there was some concern about young Kim being in such close proximity to a former killer, but it turned out that she was a humanizing influence on Alex. They became very close. Eventually Alex Mills would grow up to be the superhero Justice-Man and Kim, who inherited her father’s super-speed powers, became Justice-Girl, hoping to be a sidekick to her brother. While Alex wanted to keep Kim out of danger, her ability to come along and help him out before he even sees her meant that she was hard to stop. Eventually, though, Kim had to leave for university. Her super-speed meant that she could still go to Toronto to visit her brother on occasion, but eventually she decided that it would be easier to just do crimefighting on her own. That continues to this day when, as Justice-Woman, she is one of the world’s foremost superheroes working as the leader of her own superhero team.

So anyway, I wanted to say that Justice-Woman was something of a change of pace from most girl versions of more well-known superheroes. She has her own set of powers, her own career, and doesn’t exist just to work alongside her brother. I wanted to say that, but when I consulted my notes, it turned out that I didn’t even have a first name written down for her. I guess that I can excuse young me for ignoring Justice-Woman’s development, I was obsessed with Justice-Man and not really trying to use him for social commentary, but I have to say I could do a better job of telling stories for her today than I did then.

Metalfist

Hugh Duval has a big suit of armor that gives him superhuman strength and the ability to shoot energy burst from his eye-slot. He uses this to fight crime alongside Justice-Man.

Metalfist is an oddity. I’ve drawn him into pretty much every sketch I ever did of Justice-Man’s friends, he exists on every list I made of that group. I have no information about the guy. If I ever did have an idea about who this guy was beyond being a friend of J-Man, I apparently didn’t write it down. To tell the truth, I feel like maybe I just drew him into my crowd scenes becaus he was easy to draw. And considering that his suit of armor there is, apparently, covering him entirely in metal, I have no idea why his fists are the part he has decided to name himself after.

Super Sunday: Rhinoceros Woman and Rabbit

Two superheroes this week! I created this duo as a duo, so they’re a duo. One is superhumanly strong and tough, the other quick and agile. One can punch through a bus, the other can jump over a bus. They fight crime. They are:

Rhinoceros Woman and Rabbit.

We’re not even a month into this thing and I’m already presenting my second rabbit-themed character. What does that say about me?

I have mentioned in the past that I made a comic about a guy called Zappo back in elementary school. What I haven’t brought up yet is that on the inside cover of that comic I, emulating what I saw in real comics, created an advertisement for another comic. That advertisement was for the adventures of Rhinoceros Woman and Rabbit. That makes these two among the very earliest superheroes I ever created. Still, this is probably the first time that I’ve drawn them since. I don’t have that Zappo comic any more, which is a shame, but I still have a pretty good memory of how these characters looked. Rhinoceros Woman, with her shoulder pads and horns, and Rabbit’s weird sunglasses/angular ear-like-things are exactly the mental image that’s been in my head for about two decades. Rabbit is pretty ridiculous, I admit, but I’m pretty proud of the fact that Rhinoceros Woman, probably the first female superhero I ever dreamed up, is not the standard “Hot Woman” that 99.99% of female superheroes are.

I’ve always been a fan of male-female friendships in fiction that ARE NOT given any kind of sexual tension. This is probably the rarest kind of relationship depicted in our society. I’ve bet we’ve seen more “innocent child/alien or robot” pairings than truly platonic male/female friendships in movies or on television. But these two are friends, partners in crimefighting, and nothing romantic. That said, at some point, probably well after elementary, I decided that Rabbit was probably gay. That helps to reinforce their just being friends, obviously, but it also defeats the significance of the platonic-ness of their relationship. What I want is more relationships between heterosexual man and woman who are nonetheless not in a Will They Won’t They plot. Still, there’ll be time for that in the future. For now, I’m also going to let Rabbit stand as the first gay superhero I created too.

I have never bothered to think up origins for these guys. If I ever need to, I will, but for now I’ve got a lot of room I could work with these characters. You’ll never know where to expect them to show up.

Venkman

I’ve been reacquainting myself with Ghostbusters lately and I feel I have to admit something: Peter Venkman is my least favorite Ghostbuster.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love all the Ghostbusters, so that means I even love Venkman. Do not doubt this. The thing is, I love the other Ghostbusters so much more. I can make a case for each of the other Ghostbusters to be my favorite*. Ray’s childlike sense of wonder and the enthusiasm and general goodness is immediately endearing. Egon’s unflappable, deadpan nature and near-robotic devotion to his science always makes me laugh. And Winston has got that pragmatic, level-headed everyman thing going that makes him more relatable to someone like me, who loves science but can’t really do it. All three, I love.

Peter though. He’s slimy (And not just post-meeting Slimer). Dana even compares him to a game show host in, what was not meant to be a flattering light. Now, obviously, I am aware that this is the point of the guy. This is what makes him amusing. And I am amused. Bill Murray did it brilliantly and you don’t need me to tell you it. But I don’t connect with the guy. This is all the worse considering that, really, Peter is the star of those movies. There’s an ensemble cast, but really Venkman is the lead. Of all the Ghostbusters, he’s the only one who has a real arc, the other four just dealing with the plot, Venkman’s relationship with Dana is the real meat. It does not hurt the movie, though. I watched Ghostbusters twice this month and it is basically a flawless movie as far as PDR is concerned.

*Note that I am talking Primary Four Ghostbusters here. I am fully aware of the many other Ghostbusters who have found various roles over the course of the expanded universe of cartoons and games. But they’re not what I’m discussing here. This is about the first four.

Speaking of the cartoons, one of my earliest memories is of a morning when I was in primary. I was getting ready to go to school and I was twirling a comb around in my hair trying to replicate the bizarre pompadour they gave Egon in the cartoon. I knew style when I saw it. Perhaps it was my failure to achieve that look that has left me so disillusioned with hairstyling.

Anyway, I guess I just had to get that out. Sometimes one must talk about Ghostbusters.

RIP, Bart

I’ve received word from my father that Bart has died. Bart is the cockatiel that has been our family pet since a time that none of us can remember. This is him:

Bart, on his cage.

We don’t know exactly how old the little guy was, but I expect he was near twenty, possibly just above it. Bart did not have a very exciting life, but that is okay, he hated excitement. Bart was ever terrified of everything around him. The poor guy did not like anything close and would hiss at anything that he didn’t know that got too near (and often things he did know, too). And if anything close to him moved too quickly, it was just straight up panic time! For a bird, he was not a flyer. He almost never ventured further than his own cage (walking on the outside of the cage was his idea of getting out). What did he like? He liked chewing on plastic, being sprayed with water, and chirping. He is my favorite cockatiel.

Thanks for being around, little guy.

Bug Thoughts

Assuming I remain capable of counting correctly, I am currently sporting nearly thirty mosquito bites on my person. I can’t remember having such a mosquito attack ever in my life. As far as my memory goes, most years I average only two or three bites all Summer. What the chunks is with this year?

Haiku!

What’s a ladybird?
That does not look like a bird.
The English are nuts.

Continuing my thoughts on insects, it does seem like when I was a child my experience with insects was more grasshoppers, ladybugs, and butterflies. Now it is more about moths, beg bugs, and fruit flies (thankfully not yet in the form of having bed bugs, but they do affect my life). This is probably simply explained by my moving from suburbs to city and switching from diurnal to nocturnal, but it still creates a sort of dividing wall between my youth and the now that I am finding interesting. I’m sure plenty of other such walls exist that I just haven’t given thoughts to yet.

Anyway, there are constants and they just happen to include my favorites, like ants and bees. Those guys are alright.