A little something different this week (thanks to the new scanner), but first who were last weeks morts?
The Marvel Mort (in Purple and Green) is the original Sin Eater, a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who became obsessed with destroying "sinners" after his partner was killed. As a little trivia, he was indirectly responsible for the creation of Venom, as Eddie Brock developed his hatred of Spider-Man when he was fired from the Daily Bugle for pursuing false leads about Sin Eater's identity.
The DC mort (in the horribly clashing purple, blue, and red) is the Protector, one of my favorite comic book stories. In the early 80's the Teen Titans was the most popular comic book DC published. This led to a series of anti-drug comics starring the Titans sponsored by Keebler products. Unfortunately, the leader of the Titans, Robin, was already licensed to Keebler's rival, Nabisco. Therefore, the character of the Protector was created to fill Robin's place.
I have read comic books for an obscenely long time, so long that I can't honestly remember the first one I read or how I started this crazy hobby. Despite this, I most certainly remember the first comic I read that made me love comic books. Ambush Bug #3 is so important to my formation as a comic book geek that when Jennifer and I traveled to Nags Head, NC last year the 7/11 where I bought the issue more than 20 years ago was one of the sites that we had to visit.
As you can see from the scan of the cover, this issue has been read extensively (a new copy would make an excellent birthday present, by the way).
If you've never read a comic book starring Ambush Bug, let me just say that he isn't a character well known for linear story-telling. Basically, each issue of the mini-series was an opportunity for the creative team (Robert Loren Flemming and Keith Giffen) to fire off as many jokes as they could in 22 pages. The rough outline of this issue, as you can tell from this splash page is the Bug introducing us to some of the more obscure characters in DC's past. In retrospect, I think this is why this book made me love comics so much. This issue showed me that, even if much of it is embarrassing, comic books have such a dense history that anyone with the desire and persistence can find a hidden treasure that the rest of the world has forgotten. Take for example:
Egg Fu, a character that was actually resurrected recently in 52, or:
Man, I miss the Super Pets! Or how about:
Bat Mite is awesome, even if he was painful to watch in the Batman cartoon. By the way, notice the fake ads at the bottom of the page. Why are fake ads always hilarious? Something for the dog lover:
Okay, Ace wasn't really that funny. Speaking of funny, Ambush Bug #3 featured the Milton Berle of Comic Book funny superheroes, The Inferior Five:
Of all of the pages in Ambush Bug #3, I think I always most enjoyed learning about Mopee. It is funny how many of the references I missed the first time I read this, but now I get every one:
I don't know if you can see the writing in the scans, but Ambush Bug soon stumbles upon a conspiracy of a fat housewife who has made all of these "classic" characters disappear. In the end of the book, we discover this villian's identity:
Unfortunately for Jonni DC, she can revel in her misdeeds only temporarily, as she soon meets her fate:
This ending was a bit of a running joke in the mini-series, as Darkseid would appear in the last panel of each issue along with a blurb that next issue would show the titanic showdown between the lord of Apokolips and Ambush Bug (therefore guaranteeing huge sells for the next issue).
Okay, I know it was a joke, but one of the most meaningful parts of Ambush Bug #3 was the column you see to your left, which appeared in the letters page of this issue. It is ironic that AB would heap praises upon his favorite comic book issue in what would become my favorite comic book issue. I guess in my own way I have "lived my whole life based on principles that I learned," in Ambush Bug #3. I've learned that it doesn't matter if you are the biggest, or best, or most popular. It doesn't matter if everyone knows your name, as long as you have an interesting story that makes someone smile for a couple of minutes. I also learned that even if your story isn't interesting, there will be someone who sits and listens to it all. After all, you're still reading, aren't you?
Okay, I know some of you only care about guessing new Morts, so here is another one for you. It also comes from Ambush Bug #3. I know I have done this one before, but who is this?
Also, if you think about it, tell me about your favorite single issue of a comic book. What made it special for you?