Tuesday, September 22, 2009

1982 Amazing Heroes "The Secrets of NoMan" Page

The great thing about writing a one page origin story is that it's pretty near impossible to screw it up... and yet, Dennis Savage somehow managed just that in March 1982's Amazing Heroes #9.

This should be simple. Len Brown is one of the most accomplished agents of The Higher United Nations Defense Enforcement Reserves. He's given a belt that increases his strength and invulnerability, but he turns out to be a bit of a klutz with a hard-on for one of the enemy's #1 operatives. See? Two sentences and out. Want another? Guy Gilbert was the leader of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Squad, until he was asked to become Lightning, and wear a super-speed suit that would bring him closer to death with each use. One sentence and done. With effort, I might have squeezed in his angst-ridden love interest from the Squad, Kitten Kane, but it wasn't essential.

So what does Savage do? Depends on whether you're meant to start reading from the pin-up panel that vaguely seems to lead into the second panel from the top, or the first panel, which starts with an unresolved sentence fragment and an editor's note directing readers to another biographical page from two magazines prior. Are you pulling my dick? I've got to cross-reference to fully understand something as simple as "benevolent scientist invented super-devices, but was murdered by bad guys, and all that remained were inventions given to exemplary U.N. agents that bestow upon them super-powers to combat villainy?" But wait-- just to confuse matters further, some shitty bit of retroactive continuity involving NoMan's human body still being alive gets shoehorned in! Best of all, the text is so choppy and poorly structured, it seems to have been clipped from the dossier of some foreign miscreants plotting against T.H.U.N.D.E.R. At least, that's the only excuse I can come up with. Regardless, this script should explain why Rob Liefeld has more writing credits than Dennis Savage, and deservedly so!

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