Radioactive Man #575 (vol. 2 #5)
Bongo Comics (January,
“Don’t Look Now But It’s—>1984/Eighty-Sixed In 84/It’s 1984…Do You Know Where Your Secret Identity is?”
I wonder what year this comic takes place in? By the way, was this AU Bongo supposed to be behind the times or something because in the 1980s Star Comics was the only one who still did that, and that’s because so many of their titles had three short stories rather than the few with one long story.
WRITER: Batton Lash
PENCILER: Mike DeCarlo
INKER: Bob Smith
COLORISTS: Art Villaneuva & Rick Reese
LETTERER: Karen Bates
EDITOR: Bill Morrison
(I had to look this up because they couldn’t be bothered to do a proper credit page. They had three chances! Sometimes I just get annoyed with this.)
Dr. Bentley thinks he’s found a solution to the shrapnel in Radioactive Man’s head that prevents Claude from going around without a hat by slightly shunting it to another dimension. Instead he splits the two identities into their own person (and Claude still has that shrapnel). Radioactive Man has a huge ego and decides to take over Zenith City. Claude was going to stop him until Gloria’s rival, gossip reporter Gretchen Grille, convinces him that the city actually doesn’t mind. (They’re only slightly smarter than the regular Radioactive Man after all.) The pressure of being a dictator gets to be too much for the hero while the playboy misses his old life. This revelation causes the two to re-merge just in time to save the city from Howard’s Comet. Radioactive Man advocates his throne and the city goes back to whatever passes for normal. While all this was happening Fallout Boy, who is being talked by his publicist, Libby Biaz, to not get involved, fails to infiltrate the Bang Gang motorcycle gang, which Radioactive Man had recruited as his “security” and are later talked into going straight by Fallout Boy and Biaz.
What they got right: By now you all know my favorite Superman story is the one where he and Clark are separated. This is kind of like that but while it isn’t as fascinating (I’ll get to that), it’s still fun to see what Radioactive Man is like without Claude’s humanity and Claude is like without Radioactive Man’s hero side. (He was just what he pretends to be until the accident that gave him is powers.) It’s also good to see Fallout Boy got his powers back.
What they got wrong: But it’s too bad he’ll pulling a Dick Grayson and on the outs with Batman…I mean Bartman…I mean Radioactive Man. the story really doesn’t explore the separated lives in the same way the Superman/Clark Kent split did, instead focusing on Radioactive Man trying to rule Zenith City, and it doesn’t really do more than set that up and let exposition come into play.
Recommendation: It’s still a fun parody that’s worth looking into.