Saturday, October 18, 2008

Worst Sidekick Ever.

On my recent visit to Victoria I made a couple of purchases at The Twin's Comic Book Store. (I get the discount - it's sweeet.)

One of the purchases I made is to the right - Showcase Presents Green Lantern. I've always been a fan of the Emerald Gladiator, and a chance to get so many GL stories in one volume was too good to pass up.

Now my knowledge of the Green Lantern is from when I was a kid - we're talking 1978-79 before I was reading lots of comics. So this early presentation of Green Lantern threw me off a bit at first. Sure, everything I knew is there - Test Pilot, The Guardians, Green Power Battery, you name it - but there's something extra - Green Lantern had a Sidekick.

Looking back, it's not surprising - Green Arrow has Speedy, Flash has Kid Flash, Aquaman has Aqualad, Batman has Robin, and even Superman had Jimmy Olsen. So for GL to have a Sidekick as well made sense, except for one little thing.

His Sidekick was an Eskimo.

Not that there's anything wrong with that - if GL was an Arctic Superhero. But in the comics, he works in what would be the equivalent of California/Nevada - so the Eskimo guy seems out of place.

Oh yeah, his name? Pieface. Isn't that the most racially sensitive name ever? Combined with his trademark catchphrase, (wait for it....) "Jumpin' Fishooks!" it's about as subtle as a punch to the nose. I guess DC Comics didn't have a lot of subscriptions to the Arctic Circle, as it seems they aren't really worried about offending their customer base. (He was also Hal Jordan's mechanic, or as they called him, "Greasemonkey" - so yeah, Pieface the Greasemonkey. It works, right?)

But not only was this guy constantly getting into trouble, but he did the worst thing ever for someone who knows a Superhero's secret identity - he kept a journal. Complete with sentences like "My friend Hal Jordan (who is secretly Green Lantern..) blah blah blah". I know it doesn't seem like much in 1964, but that's like having a Facebook Group titled "Join if you want to know all my Hero's Secrets".

I haven't finished the book yet, but I'm hoping that GL dumps the Sidekick soon. I know it happens, as he wasn't there when I started reading GL all those years ago - but I want to see how these masters of subtlety handle it. My guess is they'll have him perish from choking on Whale blubber during a break from Polar Bear hunting. (In Nevada.)

And it won't be a moment too soon.


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