What would the British child of 1971 want to find under the Christmas tree more than anything else? Why, a hardback annual full of bargain-basement superhero comics, that's what! Let's check out the British take on the superhero idiom and see if it's as influential as their reinvention of rock music. Will it lead to new heights of artistic excellence? Hint: the name of this website is STUPID COMICS.
Let's start with a technically competent illustration of a muscular guy in tights gesturing dramatically with a kind of resigned, disgusted expression on his face. Glad superheroing is so fulfilling for you, "Magno".
The Brit superhero idiom is that normal, everyday people are visited by otherworldly apparitions and given fantastical powers and colorful suits and fairly silly names. More or less identical to the American versions, except slightly stodgier, more apt to take tea breaks, and taxed out the ying-yang.
"Aquavenger". Avenging water wherever it is in need of avenging! Ordering around old sea captains! How did he get these fantastic powers?
Looks like Charlton Heston as Moses just handed him some Shazam style superpowers while displaying gang signs. Word up Moses, East Coast homeys betta raise they weight!
Occasionally "Pow!" breaks it up with a story about a supercriminal from the future.
That's right, future, just use the past as a dumping ground for all your scum. It's like a time-travelling Mariel Boatlift!
In typical super-villian fashion, Mr. Tomorrow scripts, produces, shoots, stars in, edits, develops, and releases a feature film to explain to the world that they are powerless against him. But surely this jack of all trades must have SOME weakness!
Okay, that's your plan... wait for him to go to sleep. How can we make him sleepy? I have an idea, give him a copy of the "Pow!" annual from 1971!
Here in this exciting scene of future crime and villiany, we see the evil Mister Tomorrow buying No-Doz. Look at his evil hands as they commit the heinous act of paying! So evil! Okay, so he bought them without a prescription. That's technically evil, I suppose.
Remember kids, the more meth you take, the sleepier you get! And if you stay up too long you go mad! So, go to sleep! That is, if you're still awake after reading this "Pow!" annual.
Guy who works at power plant goofs up and instead of being incinerated, is charged with fantastical super powers. Happens all the time! Where I work, I don't get paper cuts, I gain all the awesome powers of paper and paper-related products! Anyway, Electrical Guy is offered a job at Super Security, a super-hero equipped night watchman company with an interesting roster of employees helpfully displayed on the wall.
I would totally read a comic book "Iron Dog". You don't want to get in the way of "Mr. Whiz", especially when he's in a hurry to take a whiz. YES I MADE THE "WHIZ" JOKE! ALL RIGHT!! And "Mini-Man" - his super power is to reassure other men of their comparative length and girth and make them feel better about their own masculinity. without drugs or surgery!
"Flame Man" is gay. There, I said it.
Meanwhile the Great Dynamo creates living beings out of solid electricity and rides around in a giant super powerful wheel vehicle capable of smashing through walls. He uses this awesome genius to steal things. No, don't market these inventions to the world and become a billionaire - just steal some rocks. That's where the real money is, rocks!
Luckily Electro - not the Marvel super villian, but the British super hero with pretty much the same identical powers - has mastered the American superhero skills of property damage and making funny little quips while fighting crime.
And with a final use of his electric powers Electro captures the Great Dynamo in a bathtub and carts him off to jail. Though I wouldn't feel too bad for the Great Dynamo, he's going to the Surf City jail where there are two girls for every boy. POW!
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