Bongo Super Heroes #7 (Radioactive Man vol 2 #7)
Bongo Comics (June 2003)
LETTERER: Karen Bates (except for final story)
EDITOR: Bill Morrison
Like last week’s Radioactive Man comic, this is a series of shorter reprinted stories. However these tales focus on the Superior Squad, with Radioactive Man, Fallout Boy, and even Radio Man making only short cameos.
The Superior Squad: “Risky Be The Rumpus Room”
WRITER: Jesse McCann | PENCILER: Abel Laxamana | INKER: Bob Smith | Colorist: Rick Reese
In the only one not playing reprint, Radioactive Man and Fallout Boy are called to action, leaving the rest of the Squadron left out. (ROLL CALL: Weasel Woman, Purple Badge Of Courage (the military didn’t like him going by Purple Heart), Plasmo, Lure Lass, Bug Boy, and Captain Squid.) Bug Boy shows them to his “rumpus room” a holographic chamber where they can practice and hone their skills. However, their new butler is secretly Brain-O in disguise, who turns the rumpus room into a death trap until the heroes can figure a way out and stop him. It’s a funny story.
The Secret Origin Of Bug Boy (My Date With Bug Boy #7, June, 1957)
WRITER/ARTIST: Ty Templeton | COLORIST: Art Villanueva
That’s really the comic title they went with? My Date With Bug Boy? Really? Anyway, Bug Boy tells a couple of mosquitoes his origin and surprisingly it does make more sense in context. Bug Boy was actually from another planet, accidentally sending his planet to another dimension while trying to get something for a school science project. We learn that he was actually one of the less intelligent of his species. It’s an okay story and a different take on the “last surviving alien” origin.
A Shrimp In Time Pays Fine (All Squid Comics #15, December, 1942)
WRITER: Chris Yambar | PENCILER: Mike DeCarlo | INKER: Ken Wheaton | COLORIST: Art Villaneuva
While his land-lubbing comrades (this is where Radio Man takes the place of Radioactive Man), Captain Squid goes searching for submarines. Instead he comes across sentient brine shrimp. Too bad that’s Captain Squid’s favorite food since he’s part squid. (I’m not sure I want to know THAT origin.) This is okay with their mom since they all drive her crazy but she lays a lot of eggs a day. To help the beleaguered giant mother shrimp (she’s human-sized) and based on a off-hand comment by mama, Squid sells them the people on land. Yes, this is the origin of…sea monkeys! This however lacks superhero stuff and just didn’t work for me. I’m sure someone else found it funny though. It’s a taste issue. I should rephrase.
Plasmo The Mystic: The Grotesque Garage Sale Of Gargamash! (Tales To Befuddle #64, March, 1962)
WRITER: Chuck Dixon | ARTIST: Hilary Barta | COLORIST: Nathan Kane | LETTERER: Chris Ungar
I’m surprised to see Chuck Dixon’s name on this one because I found it to be the weakest story in the issue. Plasmo ramps up the Doctor Strange parody when he and his arch nemesis Lebaron Fordor fight over a curse turkey baster at the garage sale of Plamso’s neighbor. There are a few good gags, like the kid riding his bike through that weird dimension Dr. Strange always walks around in to fight Dormamuu (and he has a parody as well), the long-running Radioactive Man gag about a character flashing back to a previous event in real time, but overall it just didn’t work for me. Again, maybe it’s my preferences because I was never into Dr. Strange in the first place.
Overall, the first two stories are decent but this isn’t really a must-own unless you just want the complete Radioactive Man run, which come to think of it I happen to. I do have one more comic from that series before getting into the Simpsons Super Special appearances and it should actually make a nice bridge. You’ll see what I mean next week.