I live by a few simple rules, one of the more esoteric of which is “Never play billiards with a person named after a state.” It’s a rule that some of our favorite supers live by. Welcome to Ten Things: Ten State Names!
Whooshman-Bicarbonate Films, in conjunction with An Amateur Comics Historian and Jonathan Winters in “A Game of Pool”, Presents:
TEN THINGS: TEN STATE NAMES!
10) NEW JERSEY
A college associate of the legendary Buckaroo Banzai, Dr. Sidney Zweibel is clearly excited when asked to join the Hong Kong Cavaliers in their latest endeavor. A very skilled neurosurgeon, New Jersey seems to be somewhat socially awkward and clearly prepared for a cowboy adventure rather than an alien invasion, but he’s also smart, perceptive and a key part of unraveling the Red Lectroids plan to take over his namesake state. If nothing else, the fact that a genius polymath like Buckaroo knows that he’ll make a good Cavalier is proof enough that New Jersey has the goods, even if he never gets to meet Pecos.
9) THE DAKOTA KID
The second gunfighter to take on the moniker, Cliff Morgan bumped into the Rawhide Kid and immediately challenged him to a duel, proving that, if nothing else, he’s got the proverbial guts. Rawhide and Dakota worked together after Cliff was accused of a murder he didn’t commit, bringing down a cattle-rustling operation run by Dakota’s nemesis before parting ways. This particular Dakota Kid was never seen again, but contemporary reports (Read: The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe) indicated that he became known as a noble outlaw and minor gunslinger.
8) EL CHAPULIN COLORADO
The hero and star of a sitcom that ran for more than half a decade, El Chapulín Colorado isn’t named for the state, but instead for the term for something that is red in color. (The state was named for the outcroppings of red rock found throughout the Rocky Mountain region.) Billed as “faster than a mountain, more agile than a refrigerator, smarter than an avocado,” El Chapulín makes use of shrinking pills for infiltration and can use his antennae to search for danger. By far his most impressive weapon, though, is his legendary mallet, El Chipote Chillon, which is like Thor’s hammer, only squeakier.
You did not count on his cleverness!
A native of the state whose name he bears, Jackson Brice is a good ol’ boy of high standing, working as a mafia heavy using his toughness and mastery of the lariat. When he teams up with the diminutive dandy, Fancy Dan, and the dull-witted dominator known as The Ox, they become more than the sum of their parts. Though lacking superpowers, the trio of Enforcers was capable of flummoxing street-level heroes like Hawkeye and Daredevil, but mostly united to mess with their friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
You gotta respect that kind of loyalty.
6) GEORGIA SIVANA
The daughter of the brainy-but-creepy-lookin’ Thaddeus Bodog Sivana, Georgia shared her papa’s studious nature and bulbous goblin face. On Multiversity-era Earth-5, though, Georgia was gifted with beauty, power, and the body of a Venus, thanks to her dad’s cunning. Her only real weakness was that her power word was her own surname, Sivana, leading her to be outwitted by Captain Marvel, Junior, who knows the pitfalls of having an awkward magic word.
5) INDIANA JONES
Adventurer, archaeologist, and noted academic Dr. Henry Walton Jones, Jr. has a transformation of his own, going from a nebbishy guy in a tweed suit to globe-trotting stubble-cheeked adventurer at the drop of his trademark fedora hat. Skilled with a gun, a whip, or his fists, Indy traveled the world unraveling mysteries, discovering lost civilizations, and being just generally sort of marvelous. I have personally witnessed highly stressful and emotionally charged arguments about whether or not Doctor Jones is a superhero or not, but in my unofficial capacity, the answer is simple.
Indiana Jones is an example of the pulp-inspired proto-superhero, emulating elements of The Lone Ranger, Allan Quartermain, and Zorro, meaning that yes, he is a superheroic figure, if not precisely a superhero.
4) THE MICHIGAN WOLVERINE
A member of the Uncanned X-Melmen of planet Melmac, homeworld of Gordon “ALF” Shumway is a huge fan of Earth’s college football and a student at Professor Charles Xylophone’s School for Gifted Melmutants.
Are they real Melmac Flashbacks or are they outright fabrications?
Is there a difference?
Depending on how anal-retentive you are, the adventuring chorus girl Nevada (full name unrevealed) and her ostrich pal, Bolero, debuted either in the pages of Vertigo Comics circa 1988 or as a gag in an issue of Howard The Duck a decade earlier. Like so many books of the era, the story was so complex and dense that I never really wrapped my whole head around it, but suffice it to say that a woman who first appeared beating the heck out of an animated evil lampshade didn’t feel out of place in it.
A member of the Infinite Seven, a group of assassins serving the secret REAL government that controls the world, Washington found himself charged with training a new fellow agent as the new Smash Brannigan. If he seems familiar, that’s because the Infinite Seven’s membership contains a great many familiar archetypes, including Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, Jack Burton, Rocky Balboa, The Man With No Name, and more. (There’s also Brendan Fraser in The Mummy, Danny Trejo, Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jackie Chan, but I’m not certain which character they’re meant to be, or if they’re, in fact, the actors themselves.)
Either way, things get weird from there.
1) CAPTAIN MASSACHUSETTS
A founding member of the Discotronic Funk Commandos, Captain Massachusetts (first name confirmed to be Barry, which may make his last name Gibb) has a powerful voice allowing him to make high-frequency sonic attacks as necessary. He can also fight in platform shoes and bell-bottom pants, the combination of which nearly killed my wife once. He and the Commandos traveled through time and space at the behest of the mysterious Lady Xanadu, battling the cacophonous Metalhead with the power… of DISCO!
Once again, this week’s topic, Ten State Names, is all me, but feel free to follow along @MightyKingCobra to suggest a topic of your own! There’s always more Ten Things madness on my Twitter or check out the full Twitter archive here! As with any set of like items, these aren’t meant to be hard and fast or absolutely complete, if only because even New Hampshire deserves their own super-representation. Either way, the comments section is below for just such an emergency, but, as always: Please, no wagering!