During our Friday M.S.P., you’ll get a chance to hear Young Zack, Old Stephen and I discussing some of the greatest characters in the Western world, and how they work in multiple contexts.  (As for who those characters are, tune in tomorrow!)  That train of thought, along with random riffing on the Faceyspace, got Otter Disaster and I discussing stories where the characters are out of their element, and how enlightening they can be about the core concept of those characters.  Lightning McQueen’s journey in ‘Cars’ is a good example, and, even though it has been DECADES since I first saw it, I vividly remember the episode of Underdog where our hero is left powerless in a Western setting and ends up having to fight Riff-Raff in a lovely take on ‘High Noon.’

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) thinks that Magical Steampunk Batman sounds absolutely awful, asking:  What’s your favorite story where the hero plays the ‘fish-out-of-water’ role?


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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. The Alien Rangers of Aquitar. Get it? Cause they live underwater on their planet? Okay, so maybe that is either too old or too far after other people stopped watching Power Rangers.

    I’m not sure if it counts, but there was a Green Lantern annual (I think during DC’s year where all the annuals had an old pulp comics style story) where Kyle was sucked in to a fantasy painting and had to survive in there for some time. The world inside was your standard sword and sorcery fantasy/”Conan” sorta place and Kyle had to survive with a few people and rarely use his ring (as he didn’t have the battery with him when he was pulled in). At the end of the story, he got out, but only maybe a second had passed in “reality”, yet his ring was empty and the painting had changed to a happier one from the setting.

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