Thursday, August 21, 2008

Great Moments in DC Science--Dr. Togg!!

It's been awhile since we've examined evil scientists. I mean, after seeing Fu Manchu raise an ape's intelligence to near human levels, so he could drive it insane, just because he thought it was a cool idea, what's the point? We've plumbed the depths of super-evil science, haven't we?

Well, no. Because in the mists of the Golden Age, something new was invented, something so insane and unrelated to anything in the physical world as to have no doubt inspired Clarke's Law. I'm talking, of course, about DC Science.

While Silver Age DC Science had some pretty wonky moments, at some base level they were trying to be sort of scientific...they just weren't very good at it, and they weren't about to let that get in the way of a good story.

But the Golden Age? Man, the dudes working in the industry in those days treated science like magic...anything and everything they could think of doing, no matter how impossible or ridiculous, could be justified by plopping a "science" label on it. And since they were writing for kids, what the hell, right?

Which brings us to Doctor Togg:

Was this even a cliche yet in 1940??
The Doctor is pissed at EVERYBODY!!Come on, Doc, focus. They? The world? All its goods? The police? You're all over the place here.

So, anyway, what's Togg's deal?

And yet, you refuse to show science. Passive aggressive much, Dr. Togg?

And yet he can't cure baldnessWolves and buzzards? Dr. Togg, you've got my attention!! That's a nice start. But what else do you got?

Perfect doesn't begin to describe thisSweet mother of Minerva!! What shall you call these creations?

The number of level upon which I find this disturbing is growing by the secondGombezi? GOMBEZI? You have an upright dog with wing and claws that can talk, and you call it gombezi?? OK, what else special can they do?

A mold? What, they're made of Play-Doh? Jello?Ah, super-slipperiness...perhaps they could try out for the Legion of Substitute Super-Pets. And you can create more at a moments notice. Good, good...but really, how tough can these gombezi be?

Choking the engineer--the finest in 1940's masturbation euphamisms
Wouldn't it have been easier to get a Post Office Box?

Holy shit!!

Gombezi must be Republicans...Wait...let's take a closer look at that last panel:

Somehow, they drew my's kind of hard to tell without squinting, but the gombezi pack heat!! They are now officially the coolest things ever!! However, the media is outraged:

Aero-Midgets?!?!?!?!?!Which means it's time for Hour-Man to finally get on the job. Or, rather, THE Hour-Man, as he's constantly referred to in this story. Take that, Bruce Wayne! But is he too late to stop the gombezi raid?

The Wizard of Oz wishes that the flying monkeys were this terrifyingLike any hero, the Hour-Man calls upon a gang of adolescents to do his dirty work for him.

Newspapers seem to have no idea of what actual butterflies look like...Wait for it...

Child labor, 1940's hero styleYup, these guys pack guns and bombs, and you're going to catch them in butterfly nets (which are apparently in copious supply, and large enough to catch dog-sized creatures).

Anyhoo, the Hour-Man tracks a gombezi back to Dr. Togg's lab, but don't think the good doctor isn't ready for him. How can the Hour-man ever take on wolf-buzzards??

Caption covers for artists too lazy to actually draw an action...
'Boom' is the best you've got??
Seriously, dude, you should patent that shitDon't worry, science fans...of course Dr. Trogg escaped to menace the Hour-Man again a couple of years later, and he was resurrected for the recent Hourman series, and he even brought some gombezi with him. But it just wasn't the same. Our suspension of disbelief worked on a whole different level in 1999, and the flying dogs with claws were now merely silly, instead of sublimely brilliant. Although you DO have to love a story titled "Bride of the Gombezi."

Still, wolf-buzzards and super-slippery gombezi who talk and pack heat? Dr. Trogg, you win this round! Take that, Dr. Doom!!

Back to the drawing board, Doom!One final note: please note, from this web site covering The Hour-man's career:
Principal Adversaries
Doctor Glisten (Adventure Comics #72): unknown
Doctor Iker (Adventure Comics #64) - reformed, employed by Tyler Chemical
Doctor Togg (Adventure Comics #57): - reformed but extremely aged
Doctor Kobalt (Triumph #1) - died of cancer in prison
Doctor Darkk (Adventure Comics #65): unknown
Doctor Slight (Adventure Comics #56): unknown
That's the complete list, kids. So, Rex Tyler--problems with your HMO, or what?? Or did you just settle in a town with an excessive number of evil PhDs?

Gombezi massacre comes from Adventure Comics # 57 (1940), as reprinted in 100-Page Super Spectacular #18 (1973).


Mark Engblom said...

Ho-ly Crap. I believe you've found the Golden Age Holy Grail of wonky nuttery, Snell! I had no idea the Hourman strip was so insane!

googum said...

Awesome! My boy got the 1999 robot Hourman issue with those Gombezis--he must've zoomed right in on the cover. I think they reform Dr. Trogg for some reason, which seems kind of unlikely. Could've used more of this, though!

snell said...

Mark--neither did was just sitting there in the 100-page spec tacular I was leafing through, and zap, it smacked me in the face with its agressive insanity...gombezi forever!!