Saturday, April 30, 2016

Hey, Kids! It's a Post With SEX Stuff!

Hi there! Welcome to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, a blog that just wants to cuddle lost in an internet of wild carnal perversions. I'm Dave-El and I'm wise enough to know what a woman wants but old enough to realize its just too much more trouble than it's worth. 

So today is one of those days where I raid my account on Twitter (which can be found here: ) for any Tweets that I can shape into something resembling a blog post. 

If I see a hashtag trending, I try to jump on to come up with a half dozen or so Tweets on the subject du jour. For example, a few weeks ago, this hashtag was trending on Twitter: 


But for that one, I could only come up with one solitary Tweet and here it is. 

"Toys That Spin Are Fun"

Get it? TOP story? Toy that spins? Spins? Like a TOP? 

Yeah? 

No? 

Geez! 

Anyway, another hashtag was trending where I was able to make about 10 contributions. 

Of course I was. It was about sex.  

Of course, I had to wait about 15 minutes between Tweets. 

HEY-OH!!!

I was a bit reluctant to use that material here. I am aware that I have an audience of young people who are impressionable and as a universally acknowledged grown up person of considerable wisdom, I have a trust, a sacred responsibility to guide these young people with care and discretion. 

So taking my responsibility towards my young readers seriously, I am endeavoring to use this forum to have a frank and enlightening dialogue on the very important subject of sex education. 

So...sex. 

Yep, sex. 

Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sexity sex sex. Sex. 

OK, I should start teaching stuff! 

So here we go. Using a trending hashtag on Twitter as our launching pad, here are some perfectly relevant and helpful sex education facts on the subject of...


  1. "GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!"
  2. "Do over! DO OVER!!" 
  3. "I approve this message!" 
  4. "Great Krypton!" 
  5. I can't BELIEVE this is NOT BUTTER!"
  6. "OH MY GOD! THIS IS SUCH A MODERATELY PLEASING SENSATION!!!" 
  7. "FIRE IN THE HOLE!!" 
  8. "Oh, that's a wicked googily!"
  9. "Hands in the air! HANDS IN THE AIR! WHEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!" 
  10. "Wonder Twin Powers....ACTIVATE!" 

Well, kids, I hope you've learned a lot that will help you make smart decisions when it comes to sex. If you can't trust a weird old dude with a strange blog about random stuff pulling sex tips from Twitter, who can you trust? 

I think I've done enough damage around here today. I'll be back tomorrow with a new post, the debut of a new Doctor Who fan fiction. 

Until next time, remember to be good to one another. And I mean that in a good, kind and supportive way, not in any sex way, OK? That's just weird! 

Friday, April 29, 2016

This Campaign, This Damn Pain IV: The Voyage Home


Hi there! Welcome to I’m So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, the little blog that’s gonna break up the big internets. I’ve Dave-El and I’m leading a revolution in favor of apathy.


One of my favorite topics on this blog is politics and what with the ongoing apocalyptic clusterfuck known as the 2016 US Presidential Campaign, there’s been a lot to talk about and more to the point to make fun of. A lot of that comes courtesy of the Republicans which is pretty understandable when you’re top vote getter is a narcissistic Oompa Loompa with hair that resembles a tufala tree from Dr. Seuss. And his remaining competitors are a petulant baby in a lumpy man suit and a generic white dude from a 1970s Sears catalog.


But what, pray tell, is going on the other side of the midway in this election year circus? What are the Democrats up to?





Well, the Democrats are doing pretty much they always do: snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.


Let’s chat about Sen. Bernie Sanders for a moment. Ah, God bless Bernie with his one rumpled suit, his mad scientist hair and his “I really don’t give a shit what you think” persona. He brought a level of excitement to the Democratic race when Hillary Clinton’s only challengers were… some other guys. I don’t care enough now to look up their names which is more than I cared then when they were actually running. Bernie was a wild card that energized voters, particularly young people who are particularly tired of usual cast of cookie cutter candidates who promised nothing of value and delivered even less. Bernie Sanders really took off when Saturday Night Live got Larry David to portray the senator in debate sketches.


Bernie is loud and brash and unfiltered. In a way, he’s the Democrat Party’s version of Donald Trump. But just like Trump, Sanders has a lot of big idea but with little details how to make them a reality. He’s going to break up the big banks. OK, how? Free college for everyone sounds great it’s still gotta be paid for. How? People love the big ideas so much, they’re not asking the important questions about how to get these ideas done.


And like Donald, Bernie also doesn’t seem to know when to shut up. Early on, Bernie was the progressive goad to Hillary’s left and that actually served a valuable function for the Democratic campaign. As Clinton follows a more centrist perspective with an eye towards the general election, Sanders gives voice to the more liberal positions of the Democratic party and forces Clinton to address those points. However, as Sanders has won several primaries and caucuses, perhaps more than anyone had anticipated, Sanders has been more heated and hostile towards Clinton. It’s like Sanders is becoming more obsessed with beating Clinton than just making sure the issues that are important to him and his supporters are heard. For a candidate who made a big deal about talking about the issues and only the issues, he’s made some harsh comments about Clinton’s character and competence. Bernie is making this race personal.

Wednesday, the Sanders campaign announced several layoffs of campaign staff. In the wake of the last two weeks of losses, it doesn't bode well for Bernie. His campaign manager said it was a reasonable step to take as the campaign was staffed to cover 50 states and there are only 10 left. But cutting staff at this stage does not suggest a positive outlook for a post-primary, general election effort.

Bernie Sanders entered into the hearts and minds of Americans as the cranky curmudgeon standing solitary against the forces of big business and big money that he sees destroying America. But now he seems less endearingly cranky and more brutally bitter. It’s not an endearing trait at all. And it does nothing but hurt Bernie’s rep with his followers and fractures any sort of unity the party will need to get behind the eventual Democratic nominee. 


Which will be Hillary Clinton but damn, she’s not exactly in the driver’s seat in the march to the Democratic convention this summer. For a person who professes to not be a polished politician like her husband, Hillary Clinton contorts herself like a pretzel to fit the needs of the moment, just like a politician. She will, for example, effect a Southern accent when she goes down south. She will cop to carrying hot sauce in her purse when she appears on a black radio station program. She will answer a question with a paragraph when a single word will do. She’s native New Yorker, at least ever since she and Bill bought a home back in 2000 when she decided that being a Senator from New York would be cool. She’s also a good ol’ Arkansas girl because her husband was Governor there. Hillary Clinton is whoever she needs to be. No wonder she has trouble getting people to trust her. Seriously, her unfavorable ratings are second only to Donald Trump. If she does wind up facing Trump in the general election, the choice will come down to whoever we fucking can’t stand the least.


And the thing is, I think it’s a shame, really, that Hillary Clinton cannot seem to get control of her image, her standing with the American people any better than she has. The Onion had an amusing headline about Clinton that kind of sums her problem: Clinton, Female US Senator and Secretary of State, Told She Needs To Be More Inspiring To Women. On paper, Hillary Clinton should be amazing. Hell, even Marco Rubio acknowledged her record in public service during a Republican debate. (Yeah, he got booed for saying a nice thing about Hillary and Marco isn’t running for President anymore.) In practice, Hillary seems to be at a disadvantage. Maybe she isn’t the polished campaigner. Maybe she’s trying too hard to be too many things to too many people. Maybe she’s straddling too many fences to please too wide an audience.


None of the points made in the last two paragraphs are unique to Hillary Clinton. Lots of other politicians have tried to act down home in the country and slick in the city. Of course, almost all of those politicians were male. Is that the problem here? Is Hillary Clinton being held to a different, even higher standard, because she is a woman? If so, then America needs to grow up and accept that a woman can be as shallow a suck up prick as any male politician.


I think I’ve done enough damage around here today. I’ll be back with another new post tomorrow. Until then, remember to be good to one another.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Ted Cruz Is A Lying Fuck Bastard - Part 13

“I would define that ticket to the American people in this way: mean and meaner." 
---Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) on Ted Cruz's announcing Carly Fiorina as his running mate.  

____________________________________


Hi there! Dave-El here and welcome to another damn post here on I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You.

As is my want on Thursdays, I devote space on this blog to this topic: 





OK, so get a load of this shit: Ted Cruz, running far behind Donald Trump in delegates, disliked by even more people than dislike Trump, coming off big losses over the last two weeks...

Announces his Vice Presidential running mate like he's got the nomination in the bag and everybody is waiting for this awesome, amazing news. 

God, you think Donald Trump is in love with his own self importance but get a load of this guy. 

And he chooses Carly Fiorina. Which is like the closest thing we can get to a female version of Ted Cruz. Cruz is so impressed with his own smug self righteousness, he found a running mate who is basically him in a dress. 

Of course Ted is preening in the press as if he just rode into fuckin' Jerusalem in time for Passover when all of this has the desperate stench of somebody trying to reverse the downward narrative of his campaign.  

Ol' Lyin' Ted did not have a good day on Tuesday during the five primaries held that day. Tangerine nightmare Donald Trump romped and stomped his way to a 5 state victory sweep leaving both Ted and that other guy...er, Jeff Kesetch? Jim Kosock? Wait! John Kasich! Yeah, that guy....battered and beaten in the dust.

Oh, speaking of Ted and....Joe? Janet? JOHN! Right, John!.... they came up with a big plan to join forces to take down the Trumpinator by agreeing to stay out of each other's way. Ted Cruz would not bug John Kasich in Oregon and New Mexico while Kasich would not challenge Cruz in Indiana.*

*See the end of today's post for a bit of a misstep Cruz made in Indiana already.

One thing that was funny about this team up of not-titans was that Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers AND Samantha Bee all compared Ted and John to the infamous Wonder Twins from the old Super Friends cartoon. Jayna could turn into any kind of animal and Zan could turn into (and I'm not making this up) any form of liquid. 

"Wonder Twin powers ACTIVATE!"
"Form of....an IGUANA!"
"Form of....FAT GUY SWEAT!" 

Yes, the Wonder Twins were lame. And now you get the joke.


And the team up seemed to fracture right out of the gate when John Kasich pointedly refused to tell any of his 14 potential voters in Indiana to vote for Ted Cruz. Just couldn't bring himself to do it.


Man, nobody likes that lying fuck bastard, do they?

By the way, betcha by golly wow that John had NO idea that Ted was gonna pull this announcing a vice president nominee thing with Carly Fiorina

As I've mentioned before on this blog and in this recurring featuring which, in case you've forgotten is called....



....it's not so much the lying that gets this blogger in a tizzy over the Texas Senator turned Presidential Candidate. No, it's mostly the "fuck bastard" part of the equation. And Ted's main contribution to the "fuck bastard" is his hypocrisy.  

Ted Cruz presents himself as an earnest, moral person looking out for what's best for America, yet he espouses views and positions that promote fear and hate while denigrating whole segments of society that don't agree with him and his view of what an American should be. 

To make the case for Ted Cruz's rampant hypocrisy, I'm going to turn the bulk of today's post over to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D - MA) who posted this on her Twitter account.  



Yesterday  sent a campaign email whining about the “significant sacrifice” he’s made to run for President.


Here is some of the text that Sen. Warren references in her Tweet.






























Poor, poor Teddy, having to put up with so much while running for President. Well, Sen. Warren was having none of this shit and let ol' Ted have it.

Apr 19
. whined about facing constant attacks, nonexistent family time, limited health and sleep, and no personal time.

Apr 19 Are you kidding me, ? We’re supposed to pity you because trying to be the leader of the free world is hard?! 2 words: Boo hoo.


Know whose health is limited? Workers w/ no paid leave who can't stay home when sick or caring for kids.  won't support it.

Know whose sleep is limited? Working parents who stay up worrying about getting kids thru college w/o big debt.  blocked .

Know who gets no personal time? People who work 2 min wage jobs to support their families.  opposes giving them a raise.

Know who gets no family time, ? Moms w/ unfair schedules who drop kids at daycare & find their hrs cancelled.  won't help.

Know who’s facing "constant attacks," ? Hardworking American immigrants, Muslims, LGBT folks, women. Your constant attacks.

And ? Working people work more, get paid less, can't save, get mistreated, struggle with illness & family - but they don't whine.

They don't throw tantrums or try to shut down their workplace because they don't get their way - & then turn around & demand promotions.

You chose to run for President, . You chose to make your “sacrifices.” Working people don't have a choice.

Hey : Maybe you should spend less time complaining about your "significant sacrifices" - & more time doing something about theirs.

Well said, Senator. Well said indeed. I'm not sure I can add much more to that.

Well, except this:

TED CRUZ IS A LYING FUCK BASTARD!

Oh, one more thing: Ted Cruz may not know what a basketball hoop is.


During a rally Tuesday night in Indiana at a gym where "Hoosiers" was filmed, Cruz attempted to recreate a famous scene by having an aide measure the height of the basket. But Cruz referred to the hoop as a "basketball ring."

A basketball ring?

Sigh. 



Thank you for your time and attention for today's post. Until next time, remember to be good to one another. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Supergirl: Rest Stop or Journey's End?

Wow! Two blog posts in one day? 

Yeah, I know. Try to contain your excitement. 

Since today is Wednesday which is, according to the Holy scriptures, New Comic Book Day, I like to do comic book themed posts. And in addition to the regular Oddball Super Heroes feature I tend to run in this place, I thought I would also take a moment or three to share some thoughts on Supergirl. 

The CBS TV series had its season finale a week and a half ago. My family sat down this past weekend to catch up on that and the previous week's episode which brought a denouement to a seaon's worth of plots, more or less. 

The first of those two episodes dealt with the Kryptonian thingy of evil called Myriad which is basically a mass mind control whatchamacallit that Non has unleashed against the good citizens of National City. And apparently that also includes the hard working folks at the DEO who are about to open up all the cells on their alien detainees.  

Supergirl shuts down the alien power princess known as Maxima (from the planet Nissan?) and stops the DEO from releasing more aliens but only after taking a Kryptonite bullet in the arm. (Which Supergirl digs out with her own fingers. Bad ass moment!)  

At Catco, Supergirl finds James, Winn...well, hell, everybody all lobotomized and working for the Kryptonian man, tapping away furiously on their computers in Kryptonian code. (And yes, that's the plot of Doctor Who's School Reunion episode. Don't worry, I've got another Doctor Who plot comparison coming up shortly.) 

Not under control of Myriad is Cat Grant because she such a hard ass bitch and nobody's gonna control her....oh, she's got anti-mind control earrings that Max Lord gave her and yes, that bastard shows up too with his own mind control resisting tech. 

Oh, by the way, things are so bad that Superman is coming to help. Except as soon as he flies over the city...zap! He's mind controlled too! Max thinks Superman has been living on Earth too long so he's under Myriad's thrall.  

Also showing up is Non who uses Myriad to make James, Winn and Kelly to jump off the top of the building. Hey, who's Kelly? Well, Supergirl is fast but only has two arms so let's answer that with "dead"

Supergirl is so pissed off about this she's willing to go along with Max's plan to blow up the Kryptonians with a Kryptonite bomb which will also kill 1/8 of National City's non-Krypotonian population. But Cat Grant convinces Supergirl to look for a different way. 

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the script, Hank Henshaw, aka J'onn J'onzz, Manhunter from Mars, has gotten his ass kicked by Indigo who snatches Alex Danvers and takes her to Non where they come up with a really evil idea. 

And we pick back up with Supergirl being called out by Myriad controlled Alex all Transformered up in a green glowing battle suit complete with Kryptonite sword. And it is on.  





Which leads us into the next episode where green glowing mind controlled Alex is about to kill Supergirl until Hank shows up with Eliza Danvers, the girls' mother, who uses the power of hope to stop Alex from killing Supergirl. 

Really. 

Oh, but we're not done with that.

The big plan that does not involve a big bomb is to send a TV signal with a message from Supergirl reminding everyone not to give up hope. And the camera closes in on her chest which is where the big red "S" is, you pervert! 

And it works. Really! Everyone's free of the mind control. 

And yes, that's how the Master got beat in Last of the Time Lords in Doctor Who Series 3.  Everybody thought "Doctor" at one time and voila, stuff happens. 

Anyway, everybody's fine now. Except for Superman who's still knocked out at the DEO.  Well, his boots are. (Seriously, all we see are his boots.)  

Well, this really pisses of Non who cranks Myriad up to 11 and says to hell with mind control, let's go with brain exploding! So Max Lord does computer stuff to find out where Myriad is but warns Supergirl the odds are not in her favor. Thinking this next mission will be her last, Supergirl gets her Kara Danvers on to go tell everyone (even Cat!) that she loves them. Well, except James. She breaks up with James. Can't have the poor bastard moping around for the girlfriend he almost but did not quite have. 

After she sucks Hanks' brains out of his head...er, kisses him on the forehead, Supergirl is ready to go do whatever to save Earth cause everybody's coming down with a serious migraine and it's got "brain gonna explode" written all over it. 




Supergirl with an almost back to fighting strength Martian Manhunter along for back up takes on Non and Indigo. (Where are the other Kryptonians? In sleep pods. Why? Because, er, plot?) J'onn rips Indigo in half and Supergirl fries Non an extra crispy. But Myriad is still about to blow up everyone's skulls so Supergirl lifts the whole big hulking mass that is Fort R'ozz and flies it into space where Myriad cannot do so much the exploding of skulls. Now, for some reason this puts Supergirl's life in jeopardy because... apparently, now we're going to invoke science. Thankfully, Alex learns how to pilot Kara's Krpytonian space pod in 3 seconds and saves the day. 

Back on Earth, Clark Kent gives Kara Danvers a thumbs up text while Cat Grant gives Kara a promotion to do... whatever. (Literally. Cat leaves it up to Kara to figure that out. How can I get THAT job?) 

And all the gang is gathered at Kara's apartment where James and Kara are all good, okay, and everyone's ready to sit down to dinner when suddenly, an object streaks across the sky. 

Supergirl and J'onn go to investigate and it turns out to be a Kryptonian space pod. And inside the pod is....

And we go to commercial. And that end's Supergirl's first season. 

You might judge from some of the snarkiness above that I regarded the last two episodes of Supergirl as a bit of a hot mess. And yes, you would be right about that. But a few things to consider: 

These episodes were still true to its core principles as established at the beginning of the series. The importance of family, faith and hope, the value of inspiration and the strength that comes from working together. The title of episode two, Stronger Together, is invoked in the season finale. 

Most everyone was true to their character development. The Supergirl who flies Fort R'ozz into space in episode 20 is not the same person who saved that airplane from crashing in episode 1. Kara has grown over the course of this season in an arc of progression that wasn't always smooth or easy. And right behind Supergirl in term of character development is Cat Grant. Here was someone who could've remained a cartoon version of the evil boss from The Devil Wears Prada and while she still had that persona on the outside, we got to know more about what was going on underneath that exterior. 

To that end, a lot of credit goes to Melissa Benoist and Calista Flockhart for bringing depth to characters who could've been relegated to being flat and boring.   

But what does the future hold for Supergirl. As I write this, there has been no formal word as to the series renewal by CBS. On one hand, the ratings have not been that bad but they haven't been amazing either. After its spectacular debut last fall, the show has experienced a precipitous decline in viewers and has come in behind DC Comics' other show at the same time, Gotham over on Fox.  And for a costly show depending on special effects, the numbers have to be more than just OK.  

Still, Supergirl represents a lot of positives for CBS. It's a toehold in the seemingly unstoppable flood of super hero derived entertainment. It's a show with a strong appeal to young females. Its a very uplifting show with positive values.

The producers began seeding potential storylines for Season 2 with the revelation that Jeremiah Danvers might still be alive and the mysterious organization known as Cadmus. And that cliffhanger tag on the end of the season finale? The people behind Supergirl would seem to feel confident about renewal. 

That being said, I would look for some changes going into Season 2 starting with a trimmed cast to save on the budget. I would expect that the actors playing Winn, James or Alex might want to update their resumes. Or Calista Flockhart and Dorian Harewood who provided such outstanding work are probably higher ticket actors whose ouster would free up some space in the budget.  

Budget cuts would become even more necessary if the CW has to save the show from limbo if CBS does not renew it.  

Overall, I've enjoyed this season of Supergirl and I sincerely hope they get a chance to keep showing us more of what this young woman is capable of. 

Another post coming up tomorrow. Politics, probably. Sorry. 

Until then, remember to be good to one another.  

Oddball Super Heroes: Simon Says...Show Me the Money!


Hi there! Welcome to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, an Ant Man blog in an Iron Man internet. I'm Dave-El and I'm caught in a Civil War between my inner child and my arrested adolescent.

Hey, guys! We're two (count' em, TWO!) weeks out from the premiere of Captain America: Civil War. In tribute to the co-creator of Captain America and to help me not have to come up with an original topic every Wednesday for this blog, I'm looking back over some really oddball creations Joe Simon provided for DC Comics.


As we noted here and here, Joe's off-kilter creations for DC did not last long. Brother Power the Geek only made it for 2 issues while Prez: First Teen President lasted for 4 issues. Today we take a look at two features from Joe Simon that only lasted ONE single issue each.


In the mid-1970's, DC launched a series called 1st Issue Special. Each issue served as a launching pad for some new or revived character that would presumably lead into a new series. Out of 13 issues, only 2 lead to ongoing series, Mike Grell's Warlord and Gerry Conway's revival of New Gods. For everyone else, the series should've been called Only Issue Special

First Issue Special#2 saw the debut of a new feature from Joe Simon. It was in the spirit of the Boy Commandos that Joe created for DC with Jack Kirby back in the 1940s after Joe and Jack left Captain America. This new team of boy adventurers, developed with Prez artist Jerry Grandinetti was Green Team: Boy Millionaires.    




The Green Team was a group of boys who were bitten by radioactive ten dollar bills and imbued with the powers of legal tender and the ability to make it rain in strip clubs.

OK, not that. Nope, the Green Team was a group of boys who... had a million dollars. Yep, boy millionaires with a yen for adventure and cash to burn to make those adventures happen. It's like a boy Donald Trump and his equally rich and pampered pals. 

The only prerequisite for joining the Green Team is one million dollars. The boys paid fortunes to anyone who could offer them a worthy adventure.

So who were the boy millionaires of the Green Team? 

  • Commodore Murphy - a boy shipping magnate.
  • J.P. Huston - a boy Texan oil tycoon
  • Cecil Sunbeam - a boy Hollywood film director known as "The Starmaker".
  • Abdul Smith - an African-American shoeshine boy who received half a million due to a bug in his bank's computer. He shrewdly multiplied that stake, returned it to the bank, and had a million dollars left.



The first thing our gang of rich kids do is fund something called the Great American Pleasure Machine. Now, if you're thinking what I think you're thinking, I must remind you this was in a newsstand comic book with a Comics Code Authority seal on the cover and you should be ashamed of what you're thinking right now. ASHAMED, I say! 


Anyway, the villain of the story uses the Great American Pleasure Machine (seriously, get your mind out of the gutter!) and it drives him insane. (I give up.)  


The Green Team wore matching jumpsuit uniforms with many, many, MANY pockets for to carry money in.  They had a chain of keys that would unlock many labs and money vaults all over the world.  The boys always had on hand at least a quarter-million dollars that they could use in a moment's notice to hire hookers...er, I mean, to go on adventures. With hookers.

Two issues of a regular Green Team series were prepped
but were not published. The two inventoried stories were belatedly printed in the first volume of Cancelled Comic Cavalcade (Fall 1978). Therein, the boys were pitted against giant lobsters and the Russian Navy as well as a villain called the Paperhanger who had special wallpaper that grew plants and trees and, for good measure, was a dead ringer for Adolf Hitler. 

In subsequent decades, the Green Team appeared in one panel of Animal Man #25 (July 1990) where the boys beg Animal Man to rescue them from limbo and offer sacks full of cash as a bribe.

The team also appears in a single page of Adventures of Superman #549 (Aug. 1997), written by Karl Kesel, in which the boys meet the Newsboy Legion and Dingbats of Danger Street, financing a youth center for the two street gangs.
Cecil Sunbeam and Abdul Smith appear in Ambush Bug: Year None #1 (Sept. 2008), written by Keith Giffen and Robert Loren Fleming. Ambush Bug is assigned to solve the murder of Jonni DC and the team provides clues as he investigates.


A new version of the team got a series at DC in 2013 called Green Team: Teen Trillionaires. It lasted 8 issues. 


_______________________________________


Joe Simon and Jerry Grandinetti gave it another go with another strange super team. Perhaps eyeing the growing success of Marvel's X-Men revival, Joe and Jerry gave us their own team of super heroes on the outside fringes of normal society, the Outsiders.   





Originally to be called the Freaks,[1] the Outsiders debuted in 1st Issue Special #10, (January 1976). This group consisted of:


  • Amazing Ronnie - green lumpy-headed, four-armed 
  • cyclops with acrobatic and combat skills.
  • Billy - little boy with a big steel head
  • Doc Scary - ghoul faced cyborg created by aliens, he is the leader of the Outsiders
  • Hairy Larry - a red haired half-man/half-car dwarf and the team's primary source of transportation. 
  • Lizard Johnny - a green lizard dude with regenerative powers, poisonous venom and (possibly) amphibious abilities.
  • Mighty Mary - Her head is that of a beautiful girl with long blonde hair. The rest of her is a super strong creature with orange scales with flippers for arms and legs. 


  • What else do we know about the Outsiders? 


    When arriving on the scene, they sing their own personalized introductory theme song. 





    And they talk directly to the readers to share their back story. Well, that was nice of them. 

    While the name "Outsiders" would be used by Batman's personal super hero team in the 1980s, this particular collection of Outsiders would never appear again except for a cameo in Superman#692 (November 2009) as detainees of Department 7734.


    ___________________________________


    Next week, Oddball Super Heroes completes its look at the strange creations of Joe Simon by revisiting Joe's last collaboration with his Captain America co-creator, Jack Kirby.


    Another new post online today and a new blog post is coming up tomorrow. Until next time, remember to be good to one another. 

    Tuesday, April 26, 2016

    Let It Be: Not Quite The Beatles



    Hi there! Welcome to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, the blog that asks how many holes does it take to fill the Albert Hall. I'm Dave-El and I answer that question with "It takes ONE hole but it's very large and has to be the right size."  

    This past Saturday, my wife Andrea and I went to see a performance of "Let It Be: A Celebration of the Music of the Beatles" at a local outdoor venue, the White Oak Amphitheatre. Our daughter elected not to join us because she's been having some really bad problems with her allergies and did not see the appeal of hanging around outdoors on a spring evening for 2+ hours. So she elected to hang out with her grandfather instead. 

    Where she wound up mowing his back yard. So much for avoiding the outdoors. Well, she made $20 and he has better food at his house so it all works out. 

    Back to the show which features four musicians who perform as the Beatles. Well, sort of. I never heard them refer to themselves as the Beatles or as Paul, John, George and Ringo. As I write this up, I will use those names just to keep things straight.  

    The first act is divided over 4 sections. The first shows the Beatles in black suits and ties as they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and later at the Hollywood Bowl. A change of costume has the 4 lads done tan Nehru jackets of the type they wore at their Shea Stadium concert. Then it's time for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and the four guys are dressed in the day-glo colors of the marching band uniforms the Beatles sported for that album's cover. Finally, the boys take a more stripped down and unmatched attire as they emulate the Beatles during their famous impromptu rooftop concert in London just before their break up.  

    The second act takes the form of a concert that never was. Centered around John Lennon's 40th birthday in October 1980, the Beatles reunite for a special concert, a collection of classic Beatles tunes as well as the band running through solo works from their post-break up period.  

    The musicians sing and perform live. The guy performing as "Paul" captured Paul's exuberance and raw energy on numbers like Hey Jude and Live and Let Die. The men playing George and Ringo were really in sync with their real life counterparts, especially on My Sweet Lord and It Don't Come Easy. Musically, the dude playing as John was dead on but during onstage banter, he seemed to rely on that exaggerated affectation people employ to do a John Lennon impression. "John" did have a particularly good line; when introducing the first of their solo songs in the second half, "John" referred to them as some tunes they had done "since we left the Rolling Stones".  

    There are points in the show, particularly during the Sgt. Pepper's portion that the band was playing to a backing track. Or so I thought. Turns out there was a guy in the back working keyboards that I could not see from my position on the lawn. Paul later introduces him as Daniel Wise during the 2nd half of the show. 

    From Sgt. Pepper's and onward until the end, the Beatles did prefer to create music in the studio instead of performing in concerts. And given the complexity of the music that the Beatles were creating with their producer, George Martin, it's hard to imagine how they would've taken that show on the road. The Let It Be gang on stage in 2016 has a dude in the back with electronic keyboards to replicate all the sound effects. Back in the 1960s the Beatles would not have had that luxury, meaning either dragging around an orchestra or re-working the music for a more stripped down sound.  I was of two minds if Let It Be should've gone with more 
    verisimilitude by not relying on Daniel Wise but at the risk of not providing the instantly recognizable classics they were there to deliver.   

    The 2nd half of the show provides the cast a bit more freedom as they are presenting a show not taken from history but from imagination. Sadly the Beatles never did reunite while all four were alive. In fact, 1 month after John's 40th birthday, in November 1980, John was shot and killed outside of his brownstone apartment in New York City.  

    The fact of that knowledge could hang a pall over the proceedings being conceptualized on stage. It is a testament to the skill and energy of Let It Be that it does not. We forget the losses of history, of John's murder, of George's death from cancer nearly 20 years later. No, the audience is drawn deeply into an alternate universe where 4 men found friendship and camaraderie among them once more and got together to put on one hell of a show.  

    Andrea and I brought an oversized picnic blanket and rented a couple of lawn chairs. The blanket would come in handy later as it got quite cool after the sun went down. Still, despite the chill in the air, the venue was warm with the shared love of an awesome body of music, warm with the nostalgia of what was and what could've been. 

    As a full moon rose over a stand of pine trees at the edge of amphitheatre and an audience took to their feet to chant "la la la la la" to "Hey Jude", the Beatles lived again.   

    _____________________________________

    Tomorrow, not one but two (yes, TWO!) blog posts. Since it is Wednesday, they will be comic book themed. 

    Another installment of Oddball Super Heroes as we continue our look at the very strange creations Joe Simon came up with for DC Comics in the early 1970s. 

    And a wrap up look at Supergirl's first season as a CBS TV show. 

    Until then, remember to be good to one another. 

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