It may very well be that Herbert George Wells himself was the first to use the concept of stopping time as the basis for fiction, as he did in his 1901 short story "The New Accelerator." And as we all know, this idea reached its ultimate form with the 1987 Rush single "Time Stand Still." But over the years, talented yarn-spinners and desperate hacks alike have grabbed this topic with both hands and wrung so many little dramas out of it until surely, no one, not even the laziest, most deadline-pressed comic book writer, would take a shot at using it one more time. Right?
Of course they would, because if they didn't, well we wouldn't have anything to make fun of. And there's a lot to make fun of here, from Mad Professor Burr's crazy vacuum-tube-powered photocopier to how it's blasting him right in his cheap suit with "electrolytic rays," which, if you have a problem with unwanted hair, might actually be beneficial.
Listen buddy, that cat hasn't moved since you brought her back from the taxidermist.
His BZZZZ RRRRR machine has stopped time in the entire world! That's quite a conclusion to draw from one look out the window - maybe this is some kind of flash mob human statue thing that he didn't get the notice for, or maybe it's all an elaborate prank? Didja exhaust those hypotheses, huh, didja?
Everything in the world, nay, the universe, is completely motionless, which means we've reached minus 459.67 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 273.15 degrees Celsius), the temperature at which atoms cease all movement! And baby... that's cold. Now that he's able to percieve and interact with this phenomenon, our science genius immediately thinks not of research or of experimentation, but of doin' some crimes. Some TIME crimes!
You've stopped time and the riches of the entire world are yours for the taking, and you're swiping Granny's $19.95 fake pearl necklace? Priorities, man!
Having smashed the laws of physics and achieved Godhood, you can finally go into that jewelery store and take ALL the necklaces you EVER wanted to take home and model in front of the mirror while asking yourself who's a pretty lady, YOU are a pretty lady. All you had to do was stop time.
This comic book story is very committed to making absolutely certain we know this guy really, really wants some necklaces.
Oh, and after living out his wildest jewelry fantasies, he remembers banks exist and they have cash in them. Props for his restraint in limiting himself to that modest little briefcase.
And once back in your laboratory, it's time to prance and skip about! Wheeee!
Aw come on, don't start time back up, give us five more minutes. We could all use the rest, honestly.
It never fails, every time I start dreaming about what I'm going to do with my ill-gotten gains, the Ironic Comeuppance Squad is knocking at the door to deliver that twist ending. Can't I enjoy my mansion and yacht and necklace fantasies in peace?
You see, even though time stood still, they all were able to watch him commit those thefts because the light striking their eyeballs, sending signals to their brains and impressing the images upon their memories somehow didn't take any time, and the victime were all able to gather together, figure out where he'd gone, contact law enforcement, and all get up to his laboratory in the time it took him to recite a paragraph of dialogue because THAT ISN'T HOW IT WORKS. THAT'S NOT HOW ANY OF THIS WORKS.
I'm going to stand by my "elaborate prank" theory; he never stopped time, and everybody was just pretending he did, and right after that last panel everybody shares a big laugh. That makes about as much sense as anything else.
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