They say the golden age of comics is 12, but I find that for our purposes, that magic age is in the late teens and early twenties, when youth, flush with disposable income, drawing skills honed by years of classroom boredom, and posessed of a generous supply of comics from which to swipe, gets the irrepressible urge to jump into the lucrative, star-studded world of comic books as soon as possible. If that golden age happens to coincide with a boom in black and white independently published comics, so much the better! This means that standards of quality are pretty much nonexistent and darn near anything that would lie still long enough to have two staples jammed through it and a "first issue collector's item!!" blurb stamped on the cover was going to get sold.
I can see by the amusement on your face that this proposition does not convince you, that you are dubious of both my premise and my conclusions. Well, here's proof.
There's a lot going on here so let's just get right into it. We have two fists and eight high-tech knuckles, we have teeth bared in a rictus-clench of fury, we have eyes that seem to be doing their own thing up there, you go eyes, we have three exciting colors on the cover that don't ever seem to work together, topped with a Letraset logo that promises us monster mashing and Peter risking. And I think... somehow I get the sneaking suspicion that the artist really, really likes Jack Kirby. But I might be wrong. Let's see.
The time is now! Enter, if you will, the regal splendor of Peter Omega Nebula Risk Galaxy Deathmeg The Destroyer Monster Omeganite Ozone Extractors Masher! But first you might want to squeeze off a proton shell or two, this might take a while.
See here's the thing. In the 1970s Jack Kirby - you know, the guy who invented American comics as we know them, I'll wait while you look him up - Jack Kirby was taking a victory lap from decades of success, and was pretty much writing and drawing whatever the hell he wanted, which led to unconventional titles like his Fourth World comics for DC, Marvel's Devil Dinosaur & Machine Man, that era's Captain America run, and independent titles like Captain Victory, comics that let Kirby's imagination run wild in giddy, spaced-out fashion. And if you're Jack Kirby, a genius with decades of amazing craft under your belt, you can make this kind of thing work. If you are NOT Jack Kirby, then, why, this kind of thing might just turn out sort of stupid.
No! No sir! These aren't Darkseid's (copyright DC comics) "Para-Demons", but Deathmeg's "Megabeasts." Completely different! You'd better ignite your ROTA-JETS and reposition your attitude, young man!
Sometimes it takes an omni-nova blast (combining the amazing powers of BOTH the Dodge Omni AND the Chevy Nova!) to burst with the fury of 1,000 suns and destroy the mega-beast.
Here on page 3 we learn that this entire battle has been taking place in outer space. Which, for the purposes of "Peter Risk Monster Masher", is a blank white void. That's a good thing because something just exploded with the force of 1,000 suns, and that's not healthy for children, or other living things, or entire nearby solar systems.
His thoughts can pass through the "omega bandon", he has "lifts" in his boots, and his legs are weary from all the work that they've been doing out in space, because if there's one thing we know about space travel, it's hard on the legs.
What will he find on this new planet? Will there be peace at last for the Monster Masher? What mysteries await us?
Well, we now know one thing about this new planet; boob jobs. I mean, clone troopers! Deathmeg's hordes of clone troopers attacking our peaceful boobs. I mean planets!
Here in the Omega Galaxy we don't call them "ninja stars", we call them "Omegastars", and they aren't thrown by "hyperactive 13-year olds", but by "royal sprayers".
You know grinding your teeth is indicative of many psychological problems and can cause real and permanent damage to your teeth. Peter Risk might want to think about a mouth guard at some point when he's not ejecting thermo-pellets or squeezing off proton shells.
when your guns are silenced that means it's time to "swipe from Jack Kirby" - or as they say in the Omega galaxy, "unleash the Nephilim."
Actually I wanna say that first panel up there on the left is more of a Paul Smith swiping Kirby swipe, but who's counting?
Aw man, the Nephilim is gonna get permanent residency in Gehenna? That's, like, usually a two year wait and a LOT of red tape! AND you gotta have a sponsor!
"Must create a diversion by aping this Captain America pose!"
TUGSTAINIUM. For all your tugging and staining needs. This message brought to you by the National Tugstainium Council.
A handy lecture on the nature of physical matter delivered by a character drawn in a fashion that breaks all those laws of physical matter. If you don't think that's comic book irony genius, then you don't know tugstaininum when you see it!
With a mighty KLACK and a two-page spread, the Monster Masher hits a monster with his fist. I guess that counts as mashing.
You're saying the greatest of all monster mashers was a cretin? Why you... Oh, CRETAN. Oh. Okay.
Just want to point this out. "Clonetroppers". That's a thing they did there, they spelled it "clonetroppers". Just wanted to point that out.
Hey, if you were tired of panels of crudely drawn super champions with flat skulls and gigantic meaty thighs, well, here's a panel of an island and another panel of what appears to be an aluminum HVAC duct, or some kind of really grim Easy Bake Oven. And if you get into trouble, be sure to send a distress signal out on the Masher Distress Frequency, which is a thing that exists, apparently. I'm not sure if you use it if you're menaced by mashers, or if you yourself are a masher and are in distress, or if you're in distress that only a masher can aid you with. It's unclear.
Indeed, merriment is planned, here in this fortress city made of pure omeganite! As it has been written, in dialog that features an annoying, disconnected 'w'!
So I get it, Lady Bazooms here wants to thank Peter Risk Monster Masher for mashing monsters, and she does it by handing him the keys to Cretan's Parasite Fighter which can fight pinworms, tapeworms, roundworms, even blastocystis hominis, all kinds of parasites... what I don't get is how they have to crawl through an air duct, as if this wasn't Lady Breastitude's own castle. It's your own castle, lady, use the damn doors.
Well, they ran out of pages but they still have lots more story so they'll just cram it in as text on the last two pages. Let's take the parasite fighter and blast off towards the distress signal as Fez the Clonetropper Commander calls Megalito and requests an accursed Ozone Extractor to do some ozone extractin'! Don't risk mashing your Peter - be there for the next issue of PETER RISK MONSTER MASHER! (yes, there was an issue #2. If you see it anywhere, grab it for us!)
And as the Parasite Fighter zooms towards its destiny with the Ozone Extractor, we take our leave of the grimaced face and the mighty thighs and the perfectly spherical boobs of the world of the Monster Masher. It's this kind of fevered, swipe-tastic energy that made the black-and-white-boom era of comics so much stupid fun, and our only regret is thinking of the retailers who filled their racks with non-returnable first editions of this junk. Without their sacrifice we may never have known of the world of the Omega Nebula Galaxy and the universe-threatening evil of Deathmeg and his Megabeasts, who... OH MY GOD LOOK OUT THERE'S ONE NOW, ALL PURPLE AND YELLOW
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