Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Golden Age Idol--Airmale!!

It's time again to judge the heroes of our forefathers by today's snarky see who is worthy to be resurrected as a 21st century's time for Golden Age Idol!!

Previously, we've seen that foppish artists and their animated statues of cannibalistic titans (wearing dresses, no less) couldn't make the grade. But, we then saw how the most generic of heroic concepts could be made future-worthy by the inclusion of FIRE APES!! Damn, I still get shivers at that!

What does this week bring? Well, sometimes, our Golden Age forefathers just didn't put a lot of work into coming up with actual powers and identities and stuff. Case in point:

It's pretty much a 1940's hero Mad Libs without any  exciting adjectives or adverbsLet's see..."a professor" (whom they never even bother to name in the story!), a "secret discovery," well, you can't get much more generic than that. So he becomes:

Stripper nameOK, it's kind of a cool logo, in a kitschy 1940's way. Speaking of which, it's the 1940's, so Airmale (shudder) has to have a teen sidekick, right? True enough, he does. And that sidekick is...

OK, you might not want to see this. Move along. Protect your eyes (and mind). Don't say I didn't warn you. Airmale's sidekick is:

You HAD a sidekick...his name was LOVED himSigh...Airmale and Stampy. Good thing Peter David isn't writing this book. Oh, and Stampy talks funny and isn't very bright:

Stampy's brain is already lighter than airAnyway, what's the deal with our nameless heroes? Well, Airmale is a surprisingly responsible Golden Age scientist:

I don't test on children...yetAirmale's power? He's lighter than air.

That's it.

No, really.

Now, somehow, he's able to propel himself, and actually fly...that's the Golden Age, bro, just roll with it! But aside from that, no other powers. And there are some definite drawbacks to being "lighter than air":

Me, I've always been fond of walking on the floor...
Ha're in constant dfanger of floating away, Stampy!!In some stories, Airmale apparently had a "gravity belt" that allowed him to walk on the ground like a normal evidence of that here, though. Also, I see that our professor's name was Kenneth Stevens. Here's a Pro-Tip: Google searches for "Airmale" turn up a disquieting number of links to male strippers...

When a new diabolical villain rears his head, Airmale relents and shoots up Stampy faster than Speedy in an O'Neil/Adams story:

WERTHAM WAS RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!Who is our evil genius?

Uhhh...a 'reign of terror' IS considered bad manners, DocHmmm...looks nothing like Emil Gargunza...And yes, that is his master plan--drive around and shoot things with his "makes things heavy" gun until "the authorities" give him the keys to the kingdom or money or whatever.

As opposed to all of the normal looking rays lying around town...What a putz.

And how do Airmale and Stampy defeat him? By flying around a lot.

Like Aquaman of the air...Oh, yeah, and by getting grazed by the heavy beam, so now they're normal weight, and can punch the crap out of him, and...

And lame. Heroes we can't even bother to name and have no personal life...sidekicks who are named for stupid puns...the power to fly and that's it...there's not a whole lot of "there" there, is there? Paula, what do you think?

So dull they put Paula to sleepAgreed...Sorry, Airmale and Stampy, you've been canceled!! Return to sender!? Postage Due!! Stampy's been licked!

Dammit, somebody let Peter David in here....

This Airmale and Stampy story is from Atomic Bomb #1 (1946)


ShadowWing Tronix said...

Transformers has their own Stampy, in the Japanese "Beast Wars Neo". He turns into a rabbit. I like him better.

Siskoid said...

Atomic bomb indeed!

Booksteve said...

Weirded me out!