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Friday, February 25, 2022

The Most Important Thing You Will Read Today

I was surfing the web this week (when I should have been working — that's what the web is for, right?), and I happened to see the following in the article about the Golden Age comic character Funnyman:

DC comics featured a cameo of the character in the series "52", as one of the heroes carrying the coffin of Booster Gold.

First, a little background on Funnyman, a very late and even more obscure entry in the Golden Age of heroes. Here he is making his first public appearance in Funnyman #1 from Magazine Enterprises Inc, January 1948:

© Magazine Enterprises Inc

So far as origin stories go, that certain is one.

If you've heard of Funnyman at all, it probably has nothing to do with his heroic takedown of rivals Laffman and Comicman. No, it's probably because of who his parents were: Funnyman was the final comic book collaboration of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the same guys who came up with Superman.

Super heroes were out of vogue by the late 40s, and Funnyman failed to find an audience. He disappeared for decades, only returning in 1977 to make a brief cameo in his civilian identity, Larry Davis, for a celebrity telethon for DC Comics' The Super Friends #5:

© DC Comics
words by E. Nelson Bridwell, art by Ramona Fradon, Bob Smith, Jerry Serpe, Milton Snappin

I see what you did there, Superman.

I recently read that issue of The Super Friends (as reprinted in the Showcase Presents: Super Friends collection), and that's what brought me to look at the Fandom Superfriends wiki.

Which is wrong.

As presented in 52 Week 18 way back in 2006, the scene of Booster Gold's funeral was a sad affair that looked like this:

© DC Comics

As you can see, in addition to mild-mannered newspaper reporter Clark Kent, the only heroes in attendence were his pallbearers, a motley group of fringe players hired by Skeets. Those heroes were, in order by their position on the casket:

  • Mind-Grabber Kid (first appearance Justice League of America #70, 1969)
  • Beefeater (first appearance Justice League Europe #20, 1990)
  • Odd Man (first appearance Detective Comics #487, 1979)
  • Blimp (first appearance Showcase #62, 1966)
  • Yellow Peri (first appearance The New Adventures of Superboy #34, 1982)
  • Honest Abe (making his debut appearance)

Though he certainly fits the theme of an obscure superhero with a silly gimmick and a desire for greater recognition, Funnyman is definitely not among the bunch.

Which is probaby a good thing. Funerals don't have much use for comedians.

© Magazine Enterprises Inc

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: 52 funeral funnyman jerry shuster joe siegel super friends

Monday, January 2, 2012

Kids, Buy Booster Flakes!

While enjoying the holiday, Morgenstern noted that while Booster Gold didn't make the roster of Fisher Price's DC Super Friends line of toys, he did make it into their cartoon. At least their cartoon billboards.

© DC Comics and Fisher Price

This 2010 cartoon, "The Joker's Plahouse," re-imagining the classic 1970s Super Friends was released with the Fisher-Price® Imaginext™ DC SUPER FRIENDS™ toy line. Despite being a toy giveaway, the quality is surprisingly high.

Fortunately for those of us who aren't buying toys for 3-year-olds, Fisher Price has uploaded the cartoon to their YouTube account. You can watch the whole cartoon here. To see Booster, you can jump to 4:15 of the above linked video. However, but those of you who are a bit more nostalgic -- or big fans of Ted Knight impersonators -- may want to watch it all from the beginning. It's mmmm... good.

Comments (1) | Add a Comment | Tags: ads fisher-price product placement super friends toys

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