Tag Archives: Chili

DC vs. Marvel Teenagers

Archie proposes to Veronica!

Archie has finally proposed to Veronica and in honor of this event I have written the following post about teenage humor comic books.

This is the sixth post in a series that pits non superhero genre heroes from the DC and Marvel universes against each other.  The first post looked at Westerns and Western heroes (https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/02/13/dc-vs-marvel-western-heroes/ ), the second post looked at war comics and war heroes (https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/03/21/dc-vs-marvel-war-heroes/ ), the third post looked at women’s comics and working women (https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/04/11/dc-vs-marvel-working-women ) and the fourth post looked at space operas and spacemen (https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/04/20/dc-vs-marvel-spacemen/ ).  The fifth post analyzed funny animals (https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/06/10/dc-vs-marvel-funny-animals/ )

The genre of this post is teenage humor and the heroes are the teenagers of this non superhero genre.  The ultimate comic book archetype of this genre would be Archie published by MLJ/Archie Comics.  The enduring success of Archie has created many imitators over the years. Archie was so successful that characters in his universe became spin off titles.  Some of the Archie characters that had their own titles include Jughead, Betty, Veronica, Reggie and even less well known characters such as Principal Weatherby, Dilton Doily, and Big Ethel.   Interestingly, Archie went through a superhero phase.  The Archie superhero stories were written as parodies of regular superheroes.  Archie was Pureheart the Powerful.  Jughead was Captain Hero.

The DC teenagers include Scribbly, Buzzy, Binky, Scooter and Debbie.  Scribbly the boy cartoonist was invented by comic book giant Sheldon Mayer for Dell Comics in 1936.  Scribbly moved to the back pages of DCs All American Comics in 1939.  The last appearance of Scribbly in that title was in 1944.  When Archie became popular, Scribbly returned in his own series for 15 issues between 1948 and 1952.  Binky then appeared in the back pages of DC’s other two teen humor titles, Buzzy and Leave it to Binky.

Buzzy was a hipster, unlike Archie, and one of the few none Archie clones in this genre.  Buzzy was part of a five-piece combo.  Buzzy graduated from the All Funny Comics anthology to his own title that ran from 1944 to 1958.  Buzzy became more and more an Archie clone during the run of the title.

Binky started in his own title, Leave it to Binky, immediately in 1948 in response to the success of Archie.  Binky was a teenager in high school and his title lasted until 1958.  Binky won the Shazam Award for best inker in 1970 and this is not a genre known for winning awards.

Scooter was the main character in the title Swing with Scooter that was launched in 1966 almost ten years after the demise of Buzzy and Binky. Scooter was named after his scooter that he used for transportation and was a British mod.  A mod can be considered a type of sixties British hippie.  Scooter was transplanted to Laurel City, USA.  Scooter was lucky enough to be born in an era when crossovers became more common and he met the likes of Batman and Superman.  There will be no such teen humor/superhero crossover until Archie meets the Punisher published in 1994.

Scooter is probably the only DC character of the teen humor genre that I remember.  I was born in 1957 and missed all the other DC teens due to my age but vaguely remember running into Scooter in the newsstands.  My own parents were into the whole hippie, mod, whatever thing in the sixties, and because of this, I found the character a little interesting but even as a youth was smart enough to realize this comic book was being written by people who had no idea what was going on in the sixties counter culture.  The writers were middle aged, the slang was more lame than hip.  When a 12 year old can figure this out about your dialogue then your title is in trouble.  I had been an on and off, tepid fan, of Archie since I was eight years old until I was about 14, so the problem wasn’t that I didn’t like the genre.  The problem wasn’t I didn’t like Scooter.  Scooter lasted 36 issues and for a non superhero genre that is pretty good so maybe the slang worked on other less worldly teens.

Debbi starred in Date with Debbi that ran 18 issues from1969 to 1972.  Debbi was a red head.  Debbi looked like a female version of Archie, right down to the chubby cheeks and this is not a good thing!  I am surprised the series lasted as long as it did.

I have mentioned in other posts, in this series, how the DC imprint Vertigo has consistently rebooted non superhero material from DC’s obscure comic book past.  I challenge Vertigo to do a miniseries about DC’s long lost teens.  How about a look at the teens twenty years later?  The DC teens are all working as office workers at a paper company, no, the paper company has already been done, maybe a computer support company.  They go to a bar and reminiscence about their lost youth and decide to do something crazy as a group.  Look up their lost loves?  This would give an excuse to see all their supporting casts.  Go to Thailand?  Maybe they do something even crazier.  Maybe they take acid together in Amsterdam that was accidentally mixed with alien DNA and they merge into Super Hip.  Maybe a road trip where they see their lost loves, go to Thailand and then go to Amsterdam.

Super Hip briefly appeared in the Adventures of Bob Hope DC comic book and basically could alter reality as this super power is referred to nowadays.  Mostly Super Hip displayed Superman type powers.  Super Hip’s alter ego, Tad, went to Benedict Arnold High School.  Super Hip is one of those totally obscure DC characters that didn’t even rate a mention in Who’s Who in the DC Universe.  Super Hip was drawn in a cartoony style that was reminiscent of teen humor characters.  I think Super Hip was some sort of misguided attempt to combine a super hero with a teen humor character.

The Marvel teenagers include Millie the Model, Chili and Patsy Walker. Patsy Walker was popular from the 1940s until 1967 and even supported several spin off titles.  Patsy Walker was a red head and her romantic rival was black haired Hedy Wolfe.  Betty and Veronica, of Archie Comics, of course are blonde and black haired respectively and minus super hero costumes perhaps hair color is needed to differentiate comic book characters in situations where a lack of a consistent house style can confuse young readers.  In 1973, Marvel brought back the name but totally rewrote the character, and made Patsy Walker the alter Ego of the super heroine known as Hellcat.  This is similar to what Marvel did with Night Nurse, a romance genre heroine that was remade into the nurse of super heroes.

There is some overlap between romance comics and teenage humor comics.  For example, Millie the Model went back and forth from being a romance comic to a teen humor comic.  The art on the cover lets the reader know which version of Millie they are dealing with immediately.  The romance comic version of Millie the Model issues were drawn in a more realistic fashion.  The teen humor version is in a cartoony style that imitated the Archie Comics house style.

Chili was the red headed rival of Millie and in her own series was consistently a teen humor title.  The clothes that Millie and Chili wore are a big part of both series.  Both titles featured paper dolls and outfits in the comic book.  Many of the Millie comics, the romance version, showed off very glamorous fifties type outfits.  Many covers of Millie had her sporting evening gowns and furs.  Not exactly something you would wear to the mall.  I think Marilyn Monroe might have been the inspiration for these covers.  Chili,in her own series, on the other hand, consistently wore very mod clothes with bright colors and even pant suits and wore stylish clothes you might actually see in the mall in the late sixties and seventies.

Despite the difference in art styles between the teen humor and romance genres, there are many similarities in plot lines.  Both genres highlight male/female relationships in general and love triangles in particular, but the story line of a romance comic leads to love or a broken heart while the story line of a teenage humor comic leads to a punch line.

Another interesting difference between the plot lines is that teenage humor generally portrays a young man such as Archie being pursued by two gals such as Betty and Veronica.  In romance comics, a woman is pursued by two men.  One of the men would be the wild one and one the stable one.  In teenage humor the main difference between the two gals would be the color of their hair.  Although upon further examination Betty represents the nice girl next door while Veronica is more of a vamp but the main difference between them is definitely their hair color.  A Mad Magazine parody of Archie named Starchie highlights this lack of difference between Betty and Veronica.  Starchie tells that parody version of Jughead that Betty and Veronica are drawn totally differently despite the fact they have had identical poses and are drawn exactly alike, except for their hair, throughout the parody.

 starchie1

Teens in this genre do not fight but instead compete romantically and generally win or lose via practical jokes.  The three Marvel female teens, Millie the Model, Patsy Walker and Chili go out on a group date with the DC teens, Scribbly, Buzzy, Binky, Scooter and Debbi.  There are four women and four men so someone is going to go home alone.  Millie the Model is a model!  In teen humor comics looks are everything so all the guys go after Millie, leaving Patsy and Debbie to sulk in the soda shop and reflect how unfair life is.

Patsy, Debbi and Chili decide to play a trick on the guys.  After all fellow red heads have to stick together when dealing with gorgeous blondes!  Patsy and Debbie slip some pepper and salt into the sodas of the guys while the boys all stare at Chili and Millie walking to the restroom together.  Chili is deliberately doing her sexiest walk, in her tight, oh so sixties, short, short little dress.  Did I mention that I have very fond memories of sixties styles?  The boys all choke on their foul tasting sodas and Patsy, Debbie and Chili laugh their heads off.  The boys agree this is a very funny joke and that they deserved their treatment because of how they ignored the red heads.  Scooter is a mod, with a sixties, as opposed to fifties view of sexuality and has actually been with a woman. Scooter starts to reflect that Chili is pretty mod and that the competition for Millie is just too intense.  Later Scooter and Chili will marry and then divorce.  The Marvel red heads hurt the DC men, even if they had help from a DC gal, so Marvel wins!

My other website at:

Fox Superpower List

Other DC vs. Marvel Posts

Big Monsters

Fourth Wall Heroes

Funny Animals

Horror Hosts

Kids

Robots

Sidekicks

Spacemen

Superpets

Teenagers

Transportation

War Heroes

Weapons

Western Heroes

Women in Refrigerators

Working Women

WereVerse Universe Baby!

DC vs. Marvel Working Women

lois068

The non-superhero genre looked at in this post is women’s comics.  This is the third post in this series.  Other posts include Western heroes (https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/02/13/dc-vs-marvel-western-heroes/) and war heroes (https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/03/21/dc-vs-marvel-war-heroes/).  This genre is defined by audience.  Comic books that are designed to appeal to women are considered women’s comic books.  In the US young boys rather than young girls read comic books.  As a comic book addict, growing up in the US, I am all too aware that you do not meet many attractive women in comic book shops and this is a stereotype that is true.  I just got done living in Japan for seven months and the situation in Japan is radically different.  A really big comic book store might be three to six stories high and one floor will be devoted to women’s comic books.  In general, romance comics are considered “women’s comics” in the US.  The vast majority of readers of romance comic books were young girls rather than young boys.  I have to admit that I often enjoyed reading romance comics even as a kid but all in all my interest is in superhero comic books and this is probably due to my gender.  However, for the purposes of this series, romance comics are useless. 

 
 

This series of posts pits on-going top characters from non-superhero genres against each other.  Romance comics do not have ongoing characters.  Romance stories after all generally describe first love and an ongoing series about first love is impossible.  There is a type of comic book that appeals to young girls and has ongoing character.  This is a type of women’s comic book that I dub the “working women” subgenre and this subgenre does have ongoing characters.  Working women comic books are about a woman and her job.  The job is generally either glamorous, dangerous or both.  The job is not “super”.  A woman who does super tasks is a super heroine.  Super heroines are often dressed in skimpy, sexy outfits like Wonder Woman and their job is to attract teenage or older males not a female audience.

Marvel has had several titles that center around a female protagonist and her job.  These titles invariably have a romantic angle that is more prominent than in the superhero titles.  Marvels line of working women includes Chili, Della Vision, Linda Carter Student Nurse, Millie the Model, My Friend Irma, Nelly the Nurse, Night Nurse, Patsy Walker, Sherry the Showgirl and Tessie the Typist.  Chili and Millie the Model inhabit the same universe and are rivals.

DC has had three titles with a woman without super powers and a career and these include Miss Beverly Hills of Hollywood, Miss Melody Lane of Broadway, and Lois Lane!  Lois Lane is Superman’s girlfriend and this is the central plot device rather than her adventures as a reporter.  In the Silver Age of comic books, every other story about Lois Lane was about Lois Lane and Lana Lang fighting for Superman’s affections.  Later, Lana Lang becomes Superman’s first love rather than a current romantic interest and in some versions Lana Lang even gets married to someone other than Superman.  I am not sure if the Silver Age love triangle actually got a lot of female readers but this certainly was one of the few DC lines that had affairs of the heart as a central theme but there were three consistent plot twists as well.

One consistent plot twist was that Lois Lane had two goals in her life.  Goal number one was to marry Superman.  Goal number two was to find out his secret identity.  Goal number one was a female goal.  Goal number two was a career goal i.e. the scoop of the century for a reporter.  Goal number one and goal number two seem to be in conflict.  How can Superman let his guard down and trust a woman who wants to expose his secret identity?  However, upon closer examination the two goals may work together.  The rationale of Superman’s secret identity is that he has the secret identity to protect loved ones and be Superman at the same time.  If the secret identity is exposed then he can no longer be Superman.  If Lois can destroy Superman’s career then she can achieve marital bliss with a retired Superman.

The second consistent plot twist was that “inexplicably” Superman wanted Lois Lane to fall in love with his Clark Kent persona.  Or maybe this is not so hard to understand after all.  Superman is a Kryptonian genetically but he was raised by the Kent’s as an Earthling.  One could argue that Clark Kent is the true identity and Superman is the secret identity.  This is certainly the message of the TV series Smallville.  In Smallville, Clark Kent slowly, very slowly, eight seasons and counting slowly, becomes Superman.  Clark Kent wants Lois to fall in love with the person he really is rather than the cape/mask Superman.  I think this is a theme any successful man can understand.  A millionaire wants to be loved for who he is rather than his millions.  Superman wants to be loved for who he is rather than because of his superpowers and fame.  Would Lois Lane still love Superman minus the super and only a man?  The current Lois Lane would, and currently Superman and Lois Lane are married, but I am not so sure of the Silver Age Lois Lane would marry Superman minus his powers although she occasionally did in Silver Age imaginary tales.

The third consistent plot twist was that Clark Kent and Lois Lane both work for the Daily Planet as reporters and they compete career wise.  You would think Superman with all his super powers could easily squash Lois in the reporting game but generally chooses not to due to sentiment and very often out and out loses because Lois, despite being a mere human, is better at the reporting game than Clark.  Lois has a more realistic view of her fellow humans and is actually less naïve and more street wise.  This is similar to the Batman/Superman relationship were Superman’s idealism is a weakness when up against Batman’s realism.  Lois Lane will also use her feminine wiles occasionally and this happens more in the Smallville version of Lois Lane than the comic book version.  The Smallville version is also one heck of a martial artist in a manner similar to the Silver Age version of Lois Lane.

The Lois Lane series lasted 137 issues until September, 1974.  Lois Lane of course survived the cancellation of her series and is also the first character of the Superman family and predates Luthor and Jimmy Olsen.  The Lois Lane series was part of the Superman family series of titles that included Jimmy Olsen, Superman’s best friend.  Superman was so popular in the Silver Age that civilians in his universe rated their own titles!  These titles do not age well at all and unless you grew up reading Superman during this period then you will have a hard time reading these comic books.  DC recently reprinted the Jimmy Olsen series under the moniker Superman Family and this is one reprint that did not sell very well. 

Lois Lane is more relevant and more famous, and then some, than all of Marvel’s working women put together.  Many regard the relationship between Lois Lane and Superman to be the most important love story in comic books period.  The most powerful version of Lois Lane is the Silver Age version.  Lois Lane, like Superman, was depowered later on.  Lois Lane was not superhuman but had incredible fighting skills in the Silver Age.  Lois Lane had mastered the Kryptonian martial art of Klurkor.  I propose Lois Lane goes toe to toe with all of the working women of Marvel. 

The Marvel working women have been transported by evil aliens to the DC Universe.  All the Marvel working women instantly fall in love with Superman when they see him on TV at the apartment the aliens have deposited them in.  The group also finds out from the TV show that Superman’s girlfriend is Lois Lane.  As a group they decide that Lois Lane must be “eliminated”.  Millie the Model goes to the Daily Planet and charms the pants off of Jimmy Olsen and finds out that Lois Lane will be at the Glamour beauty parlor that afternoon. 

The Marvel women, ten strong, storm the beauty parlor.  Sherry the Showgirl and Tessie the Typist, the two most obscure members of an already obscure subgenre, guard the doors.  This is what fourth raters do in comic books.  Millie the Model and Chili have had countless cat fights and this actually makes them a pretty good tag team.  Lois is reading a copy of Cosmo in the waiting area.  Chili pulls Lois from the chair by the hair and Millie punches Lois in the stomach.  As Millie punches Lois in the stomach she reflects that she is much prettier than Lois and Lois could never be a model.  Lois head butts Chili and plants a roundhouse kick firmly in the stomach of Millie.  The two models are shocked and run for the hills.  They have never fought a gal that knew how to fight expertly.  Linda Carter Student Nurse has actually been in a real life and death tussle during her career against guys and has learned that when fighting a guy you use weapons of opportunity.  Linda grabs a can of hair spray and sprays Lois in the face.  This move stuns Lois and the other girls attack at once from all sides and Lois is on the floor being kicked left and right into unconsciousness and the final blow is delivered with a hair dryer that Chili has grabbed.  Chilis nose was broken due to the head butt.  Chili wonders if she will ever model again and wants revenge!  The Marvel girls are victorious and now must kill each other in order to decide who will be the mate of Superman but that is another story.

My other website at:

Fox Superpower List

Other DC vs. Marvel Posts

Big Monsters

Fourth Wall Heroes

Funny Animals

Horror Hosts

Kids

Robots

Sidekicks

Spacemen

Superpets

Teenagers

Transportation

War Heroes

Weapons

Western Heroes

Women in Refrigerators

Working Women

WereVerse Universe Baby!