Monday, March 24, 2014

Getting Down Underground: Captain America 174


Captain America #174 (June 1974)(cover by Gil Kane)
"It's Always Darkest!"
Script: Steve Englehart
Art: Sal Buscema and Vince Colletta

Karen: This issue picks up directly from the last one. Cap and Falc, in their disguises as average Joes Roger and Willie, have passed their initiation into the Secret Empire and are brought into the hidden underground headquarters located somewhere in the southwestern desert  of the U.S. Cap thinks back about how they wound up there and gives the reader a flashback to catch up on the story. When he thinks about how he was smeared in the media by his enemies, he realizes he should have known better, as he's seen this technique used before -"The Big Lie." Englehart is referring to the Nazi propaganda method, that if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. Of course the Nazis aren't the only group that have employed that tool, and Cap goes on to mentally note that he'd thought at one time that only totalitarian governments did things like that, but now he'd seen it happen in America. Obviously a not-very-subtle dig at the Nixon administration.

Doug: Right from the top, as an artistic conceit, did you think it necessary to have the floating heads above "Roger and Willie" while in the elevator? Secondly, and I wondered this last issue -- where did Sam get that 'stache so quickly? Glue-on? OK, end of quibbling... after one more general observation. It's difficult to imagine that the National Geological Survey would be clueless concerning the cornucopia of underground headquarters and bases as dug and improved by groups such as the Secret Empire, AIM, Hydra, etc. Shoot -- even the Mole Man!

Doug:  I generally enjoy the plot recaps that contain new art, even if in this case we did lose a page and a half of new story material. I've criticized new comics with the one-pager at the beginning because I feel it robs the reader of a story page (but not as much as all of the splash pages on the interiors). This older method is more fun and I would say that it should have been more inviting to a new reader than just a couple of paragraphs of text.

Doug: If you'll indulge me, I'll put in a plug for the online propaganda exhibit on the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's website. I've taught from it for years, and have seen (multiple times) both the large exhibit that was at the Museum, as well as the traveling exhibit that has just recently hit the road to tour the nation. I would say that the sections on "Defining the Enemy" and "Deceiving the Public" would tie into the techniques of Quentin Harderman and the Secret Empire in this story. The line that Moonstone was the "new defender of our heritage" in particular smacks of Nazi racial ideology.

Karen: Cap finishes his recap by recalling how he teamed up with Professor X and his two remaining X-Men, Cyclops and Marvel Girl. It seems the Secret Empire is also capturing mutants for some unknown reason. So it made sense for the five of them to join forces. But they needed to infiltrate the group, and only Cap and Falc could do that, by stealing an electron gyro (whatever that is) from the Brand Corporation. With that accomplished, the hooded Agent 13 brought them to the hidden lair and into the presence of Number 1, a hooded and robed figure who sits upon a throne. Oddly enough, when Agent 13 greets his leader, he salutes him and yells, "Salaam!" This is an Arabic word, and I've always wondered why Englehart had them use this term to greet one another. Was he just trying to throw readers off? It seemed very peculiar. Or did it imply some sort of ancient origin for the organization? Yet another mystery, I suppose.

Doug: And that salute, with arm raised and straight... "Salaam" means "peace", but the word also refers simply to the greeting itself. I agree with you that it is puzzling as to Englehart's intentions here.

Karen: Number One is informed that the two new recruits have stolen the electron gyro and he declares that soon the Secret Empire will conquer America. He says the nation is reeling from Cap's fall from grace, and also from the Watergate scandal. "If only we'd known that was coming! How much simpler it has made our work," he says. Hmm... considering who Number One is supposed to be, doesn't it seem odd that he wouldn't know Watergate was going to break in the press? I don't want to give anything away yet, but I thought this was a peculiar comment. He goes on to say the public is all set to glom on to a new hero, their own Moonstone, and that he has a very particular role still to play. But then he cuts himself short, saying the two new men should be shown to their quarters.

 Doug: I think the Watergate comment is only odd given our hindsight of this storyline and its culminating. But, knowing that, it does seem strange. His cutting short of his own megalomaniacal soliloquy seems typical of totalitarian blowhards, doesn't it?

Karen: Once inside their room (that's right, they have to share a room), Cap and Falc discover they are locked in. Suddenly Falcon tells Cap to put on his costume -they have to get out of there! Cap  tears the cover off a large vent and they crawl out, but he's perplexed by his partner's urging. Falcon says he just has a hunch. Cap turns around and looks back to see lasers criss-crossing the room they were just in. They would have been cut to pieces if they had stayed! A couple of men and Linda Donaldson (remember her?) burst into the room, expecting to find corpses, but instead are shocked to find it empty. One pulls off his hood to reveal Mr. Black, the man at the Brand factory who had read Cap's note last issue and "let" him go. So much for being a nice guy.They discover the air vent that the two heroes used to escape, and sound the alarm.

Doug: OK, I'm going to jump back on the "rubber mask" soapbox here (I only teased that I was done quibbling above) -- you know, how we've complained over the years about the use of rubber masks, even over Doc Doom's faceplate or the Beast's furry face? I want to rail against being asked to suspend my disbelief that the Angel could actually conceal his wings by using a harness and then putting on normal clothing, or in the immediate case that Captain America could conceal his shield by wearing it on his back and under a regular shirt as he must have done here. No. Way. Just look at the image in the center of story page five -- see how the shield hangs out over his lats and delts? But it certainly does serve as a plot point in this portion of the story. Oh, and my question about "Willie's" mustache got answered, too.

Doug: RE- Mr. Black -- nope, I'd not have recognized that dude. In fact, flipping back a few pages in the trade paperback, he really bears no resemblance to the guy at the Brand Corporation factory in the previous issue. Nice that he showed up to see Cap and Falc meet their demise, though -- swell guy.

Karen: Cap hears the alarm go off and begins to feel the net tighten around them. He realizes that Number One was mocking them by telling them his plan; he knew who they were the whole time! Meanwhile, outside and on the desert above, Professor X strives to help by mentally examining the enemies within. In fact it was he who read Mr. Black's mind and ascertained the plot against our two heroes.

Doug: I have a question here about Professor X's powers. I am certain in the pages of the X-Men we've seen him use a variation of Dr. Strange's astral projection. It seems that it might have come in handy in these scenes. Did you find it odd that Xavier had his mental shields down such that Jean could read his mind?

Karen: It seems like there were some missed opportunities with Professor X, and perhaps the X-Men in general. Inside the base, Cap and Falc run into a robot guard and try to disable it before it makes too much noise and brings others down on them. Cap is showing some signs of frustration -he's still annoyed about having to fight SHIELD before, and now this big metal menace -but he's not giving up. Falcon manages to maneuver around the thing and spot a circuit panel on its back. The star-spangled Avenger then destroys it with his shield, putting the robot out of order. Once past that danger, Falcon says he has another hunch, and he opens a metal door -only to find the X-Men behind it! Of course, it turns out that Professor X was behind Falcon's "hunches." The Professor says that the Falcon's reception of his telepathic messages marks him as a man with a "paranormal mind." Does that make me a mutant? Falcon asks. The Professor says possibly but they don't have time to discuss that right now. Professor X knows where the missing mutants are!

Doug: Which robot did you like better -- Gil Kane's on the cover or Sal and Vinnie's on the interior? At first glance, I thought the red one on the inside looked like a bloated Crimson Dynamo. But I didn't think Kane's looked enough like a robot -- it looked like it was wearing leather boots. I'm sure you noticed that Falc attained wind currents simply by jumping in this scene. Had the days of pushing off of lamp posts and being lifted by "Marvel Mama" left him? We can only hope.

Karen: Honestly, I thought both bots looked pretty lame! Perhaps Sal's was a little better, although 'bloated Crimson Dynamo' is an unfortunately apt description! And yes, Falcon seemed to be able to fly in that small space...whatever....

Doug: I wonder if Englehart had any intention of going somewhere with Xavier's comment about Sam's "paranormal mind"? All of the X-Men, and even an enemy here and there, had had Professor X in their heads at one point or another. Surely all of them don't possess some sort of specialness in the brains department. Anyway, I don't know that I'd have felt good or badly about it if Falc had received some sort of amped up mental abilities. But I don't think I'd have wanted to see him take control of the aviary world as Aquaman has the undersea creatures.

Karen: I think the "Is he or isn't he" a mutant angle was explored in Falcon's 4 issue mini-series in 1983, although a quick trip to Wikipedia says that Sam Wilson was revealed as a mutant, and this was later retconned. I think I prefer him as just a regular guy (and as Sam, not Snap, thank you).

Karen: We cut away to a talk show where the hulking Moonstone is the guest. The host and a female guest are falling all over themselves praising Moonstone, and slimy PR man Quentin Harderman stands in the wings, pleased with himself, thinking how the Secret Empire hired him to disgrace Captain America and make America love Moonstone, and he's done it, but there's more to come. That sounds ominous.

Doug: Do you remember back in the day when the talk show genre basically consisted of Mike Douglas, Johnny Carson, and maybe Tom Snyder? Those were simpler times!


Karen: Back in the Secret Empire's HQ, our heroes have come to a huge door. They open it up and are aghast to see (on a two-page spread no less) all the missing mutants. They are strapped to a large disc, with some sort of metal cap device on their heads. We see the Beast, Havok, Polaris, the Angel, and Iceman, and from the bad guy contingent, Mesmero, Unus, and Mastermind. The Blob is on a separate table. They are all wired to some giant machine, which the Professor says is draining their mental energy. Cap smashes the device and they free the captives, who all begin to recover. The Professor probes Angel's mind to find out what happened. So now we get to see Englehart play connect the dots, comic-wise. As you mentioned in an earlier review Doug, the writer does manage to bring a lot of different stories together. He explains how the Angel was attacked by Magneto in Avengers #111 for his energy-absorbing costume -and how he put on his old costume, which the Professor says Cyclops and Marvel Girl have also re-adopted. So at least Englehart did throw us a bone regarding why those two were not in their more recent uniforms. He went to look for the other X-Men and was then ambushed by the Secret Empire. The Prof peeks into the Beast's cranium and sees he was kidnapped right after his appearance in Incredible Hulk # 161. How's that for continuity?

Doug: Englehart's connecting of the dots was indeed welcome, as I'm sure any Marvel zombie not reading all of his mags must have felt somewhat on the outside looking in. But I had to question the move Cap made once Professor X told everyone that the machine was siphoning off mental energy. I don't know -- just whack that thing? What if all of the captives had ended up in a vegetative state? But how about the sheer power now amassed in this chamber, once all of the mutants are free? Wouldn't want to be the Secret Empire...

Karen: Right as these recaps end, Number One and his goons show up in full force. Cap wades right into them, glad to be fighting -he can finally cut loose. In fact, all of them are fighting mad, and they make quick work of the hooded hacks. Number One sees things going south and orders that they bring in the atomic annihilator. No, I'm serious. A goon comes forth with a big bazooka-like gun and blasts our five heroes, who collapse. Number One declares them all dead, and says that soon America will follow.

Doug: I loved the panel where Cap smiles while the butt-kicking is being administered. Not too many light moments for our hero in this arc. And doesn't this Donaldson babe have some clout in the Empire? That was one huge Liefeldian gun they used on the assembled heroes (and villains). But -- if all of those just freed were still groggy, don't you think Number One would have wanted to take them back as prisoners so he could fix that siphoning doohickey? And what was the purpose of that -- to power the atomic annihilator? 

Doug: There have been many memorable stories with lots of "dead" heroes in the last panel -- Avengers #161 comes to mind. There is a sense of hopelessness when we think it could be over; but also that feeling of anticipation in terms of "now how are we going to get out of this pickle?" 

Karen: Well, this one was wall-to-wall action. It was melodramatic, yes, but fun. I couldn't help but feel like Englehart had even more he wanted to say here, but was constrained by either time or editorial fiat. I do think that the issues that came after this, when Cap gave up his Captain America identity, are in some ways meatier. But this was a solid effort here. Once again it seemed the art was a little rough. But I'm looking forward to next issue and the big finale.

Doug: In spite of all of my nitpicking, it was a fun issue. Again, if we look at it through the eyes of a child, this would have been some serious slam-bang fun. I think part of my problem is that I'm reading these issues only several days apart, rather than each month; the warts tend to show a bit more with that temporal framework. But some of the inconsistencies do bother me -- while I love that it seems like Falc can now fly without some silly starting points, that it's just glossed over seems careless. I've liked the inclusion of the X-Men, although I'm not sure even as we're about done with them that they aren't square peg/round hole as far as team-up candidates for Cap and Falc. But you can't say that they don't add to the general pell mell nature of this tale and its pacing. So overall, this remains an oddly satisfying yarn with its build-up and now coming pay-off. Scope and scale, scope and scale... two of the hallmarks of a classic. This storyline has it.


25 comments:

david_b said...

Great review, folks. Here's where the pace is stepped up for a multi-battle/confrontation epic, worthy of some Silver FF tale against Doctor Doom or what have you..

Doug, I found nothing wrong with the floating heads, as we all know, there was a lot of that going on during these years, and it was a somewhat heavy-handed reminder to new readers that YES, these guys are Cap and Falc.

I still cringe about the 'hiding the shield' explanations when Cap's in civvies. Painfully true obviously, but sometimes just a tad too convenient, and there's NO 'story device' to adequately describe just how it's on his back when wearing loose clothes. Readers just gave up asking the Bullpen and decided to accept it, I guess.

I don't have the page in front of me, but one of the all-time favorite life-quotes is in this book. Specifically when Falc and Cap are pressed up against the wall after the alarm is sounded, and Falc thinks something like, "I can't believe Cap..!! When all the odds are against and the chips are down, he never gives up!" I have always carried that with me my entire life, and I have Mr. Englehart to thank for that.

This issue is also key for me because for 10some years, I never had ish 175, so it was just this issue, then 176. So this was kinda the 'last chapter' of the actual saga for most of my teen years.

A somewhat generic cover, an improvement over 173's cover. Overall, a great battle issue.

david_b said...

Whaaat..., no love for even the 'Atomic Annihilator' today..?

Doug said...

It's a point Karen and I have never reconciled. A post that takes us four hours to produce elicits far less love from our readers than does some question we cobble together in 30 seconds. Those go for 40+ comments sometimes.

Just.
Don't.
Get.
It.

Doug

Anonymous said...

Doug, my 2 cents on this phenomenon: I think it's just the nature of reading an in-depth review vs. being asked a pointed question. I think I can speak for the majority... nay, ALL of the BAB community and say that Karen's and your efforts are greatly appreciated. It's just that on a lengthy review of a multi-part epic all I can come with a lot of the time is "Wow!"

So...

Wow!

Thanks for a great review. And thanks again for the "reading list" (whose idea was that anyways?). I happen to have all of these issues and finally got around to finding them last week. I just finished reading through #175 a few days ago and am looking forward to your wrap-up.

Maybe I'll have something intelligent to say by then. But, don't count on it. ;-)

Tom

Anonymous said...

Man...some days it's really hard to prove you're not a robot.

Tom again

J.A. Morris said...

Another great review, thanks.

One thing I'll add, it was nice the way Englehart tied this to his Beast stories in Amazing Adventures. I haven't read those in years, but I remember the Beast dealt with the Secret Empire. The SE helped turn Johnny Horton in to the Griffin, one of my favorite B-level Marvel villains.

Maybe the "Watergate" references were forced by editors, or it was just #1 hiding his identity. Or "the stainless one" could've been making it up as he went along, Harderman/Haldeman notwithstanding.

And thanks for reminding us that a story can be great even if it contains devices with names like "Atomic Annihilator"!

mr. oyola said...

It is also harder to comment on comics I have not read unless something particular strikes me as weird or cool or bad, or if I have a particular relation or memory to it as apocrypha like Kree-Skrull War or something.

I think Tom may be right (not about how hard it is sometimes to prove you are not a robot, though that is certainly true, too), and a pointed question helps. Maybe these reviews can end with 1 to 3 specific questions for readers, asking for a comparison, or how you'd handle something, or about the art, etc. . .

Anyway, I get almost no response to my blog posts (except for re-tweets and the like), so I feel you. . But let it be known, your work is appreciated and I may be wrong, but even w/o comments I am sure your traffic must be pretty good. About how many people visit BAB a day?

Karen said...

I want to thank you guys for jumping in here to help make Doug and I feel a little better about the lack of posts. Once again, you folks have shown you are the best comics community! We realize that not every post is going to be everyone's cup of tea. I think it's just that we get a little frustrated at times when we see this inverse relationship to the level of effort put into a post and the amount of comments it generates. But your explanations make a lot of sense. Thanks.

Osvaldo, I had been meaning to remark at some point that I had tried to leave a rather lengthy comment on your blog (regarding your Sympathy for the Devil post) and after I had written my response and filled out the little form and hit submit, it promptly gave me an error message saying it couldn't be posted! I don't know what went wrong, and frankly I had other things to do, so I didn't try again, but I wonder if anyone else has had issues leaving comments on your blog? I did enjoy reading your observations, by the way.

Anonymous said...

As I've stated before, I was never a big reader of Capt America but as I read through your (youse guys?) review of this story arc, it gets harder to remember why?

Jumping back quickly to the cover, was this one of those rare Gil Kane covers that lacked an up the nose angle? It is interesting that there are two different renditions of the robot. I'm assuming (and we all know what happens when we assume) that the artists had an outline that simply said Cap and Falc fight a robot.

I can understand the frustration with the rubber masks. It would explain Roger's brown hair and Willie's stache but, this being pre-internet and in the middle of the southwest, where do you get one? Then again, it was always a cool reveal in Mission Impossible when one of the characters would reach down and pull the mask off. Chaboni (?) is still using that trick in their yogurt commercials. Bob Sagat has his glasses on UNDER the rubber mask!?!

The re-introduction of the X-Men. Marvel girl has her old blue and yellow costume but keeps her GREEN mask? This has to be men with no sense of fashion or it was drawn one way but the colorist knew the character and colored the mask correctly?

But that's not my biggest problem with the story. Why did Prof X have to go down into the underground? It has been demonstrated not only in this story but in others that he can communicate telepathically as well as project his aura on the astral plane. For all intents, this was a rapid raid into a facility to rescue and recover captured comrades. There was no need for a guy in a wheelchair to be down there. And when you got into a pitched battle, you were going to have some of your resources tied to defending the Prof. david_b can do a better job explaining this than I but tying assets to a fixed spot that must be defended at any costs just spells disaster.

What I loved about the Atomic Annihilator - FOOM!!! Our heroes are felled by Friends Of Ol' Marvel??? I would think that anything atomic would have to go Kra-Kow or Ka-Toom or ZZZZZT at the least.

Just an aside, Avengers 161, another great Ultron story, the introduction of Jocasta and Hank going a bit crazier.

The Prowler (the fashionably late poster-er).

david_b said...

Karen, I just tried the same with Osvaldo's site, confusing. Not tracking what to do, would prefer a more easier format like this.., for commenting.

I have some wonderful insights on my enjoyment of 'Sympathy'..

Edo Bosnar said...

Sorry, man, I was mostly away from my computer all afternoon and evening (my time). Otherwise, need I even say that - as usual - I thoroughly enjoyed your review.

Anyway, concerning the robots: Kane's doesn't really look much like a robot, while I kind of like Sal's. He may be bloated, but he still looks pretty menacing.
And Doug, I totally agree with you about Cap's shield and the way he could wear it under his civvies and nobody noticed. Yeah, right - that was one of those things that really pushed the limits of my suspension of disbelief.
And I kind of like the floating heads on the opening splash page. It's a pretty effective visual...

Doug said...

I should apologize for being a schmuck earlier. I know our readers are out there every day -- and those of you who comment regularly are the best. I was just crying in my coffee earlier, nothing more nothing less. And I'm a hypocrite, because I don't ever leave as many comments on other's blogs as I should.

Osvaldo, it's hard to say how many readers we get daily. Google tracks page views, but we also use a site called the "Comic Blog Elite" which is supposed to track page views as well as unique users on a daily basis (so you might come by here and be counted as a unique user, but then come back three other times, which would up the page view count side of things). We had a spike when we ran that big Vision/Torch post a few weeks ago, but have returned back to "normal" lately. I'd say, if you believe the CBE, we average around 370 unique users during the week, less on the weekends. But really -- I have no idea.

Doug

Edo Bosnar said...

Oh, and just for the record, I've never had problems leaving comments on Osvaldo's blog...

Anonymous said...

Hot Pants Guy here...
I hit this page every morning like coffee. Sure, some topics interest me more than others. A Zany Haney or Avengers review makes my day. A music topic? Eh, not so much. More often than not a review will get me interested in something I never considered.
I also like when people disagree on creators. Who was that guy that liked Al Milgrom's?
Man, that's brave.

Anonymous said...

Al Milgrom's art.
I'm a huge Avengers fan. Those were tough years.

mr. oyola said...

Karen (and others), I am sorry if you've had any trouble commenting on my blog! I am not sure what to say/do about it - this is the first I have heard of any problems, but that doesn't mean there haven't been any. The "Sympathy for the Devil" post was a weird case, b/c I was linking to a post I made on another site where I am a contributing writer - Are you sure you tried to leave the comment on The Middle Spaces and not on the other site (Hooded Utilitarian)?

Regardless, as someone who comments on various blog frequently and have had more than one set of comments disappear into the ether, I have gotten into the habit of doing a CTRL+A and CTRL+C for my comments so I can repaste them easily if something goes wrong and I need to do the whole thing again. Kind of a pain in the tuchus, but part of price of participating on blogs I think.

Doug, around 300 a week? That is actually less than I imagined. I always try to do my part to spread the word about this place and I know I have at least one friend who is shy about commenting, but is a regular lurker, since he talks to me about topic. :)

I just signed up for Comic Blog Elite, but have not put the code on my site yet. I'll let you know how it goes. One of the things I love about Wordpress is that it gives great stats on views and unique hits and where traffic is coming from.

Fred W. Hill said...

That shield under Cap's civvies struck me as unrealistic too, Doug, but just one of those things we old style comics fans had to accept as there wasn't any good solution, unless Hank Pym gave his pal Steve a gadget to shrink the shield with Pym particles anytime he needed to hide it. (do I get a No Prize???)
This Secret Empire yarn is the sort of thing that was a fun, dramatic read for my 40 years younger self and which is still rather fun to pore over now, not just to laugh at some of the typical silliness but also to pick up on some things that would have gone way over my head when I first read the mags hot off the spinner racks at my favorite convenience store. I recall the coverage of Watergate seemed to go on forever, taking up so much time on all three networks (my 20-something nieces & nephews would be horrified at how deprived their fathers and I were back in the day, with only 3 tv channels to choose from even in a big town like Salt Lake City, where I lived when these comics were new, and no internet or cable!).
Assuming that Englehart intended Number One to be Nixon at the point when he wrote this, I suspect he figured he had to have him make some reference to Watergate but he couldn't figure out an apt way to do it under the circumstances. Of course, it would have been highly amusing if Number One turned out to really be Nixon's former Number Two, Spiro Agnew!

Doug said...

"...we average around 370 unique users during the week, less on the weekends."

Yup, that's what I said -- pretty clunky of me. What I meant to say was that we average around 370 unique users on weekdays ("during the week"); on Saturdays and Sundays we'll get around 320-340 each day. So that's over 2400 unique users in a week.

Sheesh, if it was 300 for the week I'd feel like a voice in the wilderness!

Clearly confusing,

Doug

Doug said...

Hot Pants Guy --

Every time I see that Superman cover with Supergirl's, um, hot pants, I think of that comment you made on that post.

You need to comment more often, fella!

Doug

Redartz said...

Quite enjoying this series of reviews on the Secret Empire arc. The time , effort and heart you both put into these reviews really shows. I'm guilty for not posting so much on weekdays; but I'm always lurking out here reading...

J.A. Morris said...

I think I speak for many here when I say that some of your reviews are so good, there's not much I can add!

david_b said...

Osvaldo, I'll give it another look.. I just prefer the Blogger style of posting (like here at BAB..), I've seen many sites use it and I'm most familar with it.

Working at a government site, I'm not comfortable when a site asks to 'share' information from either my Yahoo or Google accounts. I don't do facebook, twitter, and others. For the average IT guy, I'm a pretty low-tech, high-tech person.

No worries sir, I can always enjoy without commenting.

Anonymous said...

Doug, about your "hypocrite" comment: don't feel bad. I also frequent some of the "bloggers of a similar brain" but don't comment like I should. I mean, there's only so many minutes in a day. Then, there's that pesky matter of that 4-letter word "work".

So before any of you BABers of a similar brain get all "schmucky", thanks for all you do too. :-)

Tom

mr. oyola said...

David, you should not have to put any more info to comment on my blog than you do here! I am confused.

But enough spamming this post with my stuff - email me if you ever have any questions/problems themiddlespacesATgmailDOTcom

Edo Bosnar said...

Ha! Osvaldo gave us his e-mail address! Speaking of spamming, prepare to be bombarded with endless photos of my cats! Ha, ha, ha!!!

And back to the matter at hand: Prowler's observation about the Foom! sound effect made me go back and re-examine all those panels. Besides Foom, there's also Bom! Pow! and Tunk! It's almost like an episode of the Batman TV show.

Related Posts with Thumbnails