It's another summer of Marvel Movie Mastery as their films continue to dominate the box office starring more and more obscure characters dredged up from their decades of comic book publishing. Yet as deep as they dig and as desperate as they get, there are still a few super-heroes that I don't believe we'll ever see make the transition to big-screen glory. This is one of those super-heroes. His name, which itself may give you a clue as to why they aren't making movies about him, is The Whizzer.
The Whizzer! King Of Speed! In "Terror Prison" by the well known author "Neel Nats!" Hmm, that's kind of a strange name, I wonder if it's "Stan Lee" spelled backwards. Sekowsky and Klein didn't feel the need to hide behind pseudonyms, however. They're REAL men.
Yes, I know we're all shocked to learn that a prison would be a den of avarice and crime. This bears some looking into!
Our hero poses dramatically in his new superhero outfit, and then it's off to dig up some excitement at the very harbinger of mystery and doom, Tolegate Prison, where even now the warden is handing down one of his strict "don't do it again" punishments to a three-time killer.
How you can tell this comic is from 1942: "Yassuh boss". Tolegate Prison, your one-stop shop for a full selection of ethnic stereotype prisoners!
Bursting into the warden's office and taking off his clothes, the Whizzer demonstrates the fast crime-busting action that's made him a legend among people who enjoy stories about prisons and men undressing.
The Whizzer is put into a cell with Rommdo, who harbors an uncontrollable violent streak AND an irrational hatred of blondes. He claims to have friends on the outside, but I find that hard to believe; always starting fistfights on streetcorners because he doesn't like somebody's hair color? Who wants to be around that all the time?
But enough of the splayed legs of Rommdo. It's time to check in with The Black, the evil sinister figure who, from his hidden dungeon far under the prison (yes, this prison has another prison underneath) launches his final jailbreaking masterstroke, by means of the complicated and intricate strategy of telling people to break out of jail. It's really that simple! Wear a hat and a cloak and people will pretty much do whatever you say.
And then The Black puts on his skull mask and starts posing. I can't tell if this is the 90s and he's "voguing", or if it's 2012 and he's doing that whole "Gangnam Style" thing.
Phase One of The Black's plan goes into effect as the intricate clockwork of his careful preparations pay off. You can't just wander up to jail guards and bop them on the skull without careful planning! "How easily these poor fools can be tricked!" says The Black. Dude, you came up from behind and smashed his head when he wasn't looking; you could do that to anybody when their back was turned, fool or no fool.
And as Thin Lizzy wails in the background, the convicts of Tolegate Prison burst forth in a jailbreak! Knifing guards and stealing guns are all things The Whizzer will allow, but once they threaten The Whizzer himself, then it's time to whiz into action. Super-heroes always act in their own interests, you know!
So far The Whizzer's main super power seems to be his ability to grab things out of other people's hands. Maybe he should be called "The Grabber."
"Someone going into a trap door! This bears looking into!" So that's the catch-phrase you're going to go with, Whizzer? Really? But even the mighty speed of The Whizzer cannot get him to the trap door in time. I'll tell you what bears looking into, is why this doofus is a super hero to begin with.
Here the mighty super power of The Whizzer is used to catch and throw rocks. Don't strain your imagination there, "Neel Nats".
So at this stage of the game all that's left is to reveal the startling true identity of The Black, cleverly hidden from the reader all this time. Can YOU guess who The Black is? Is he (a) New York city mayor Fiorello LaGuardia? (b) Radio funnyman Spike Jones? or (c) top Hollywood director Orson Welles?
BZZT WRONG it's the warden of the prison, who livens up his dull prison job by cosplaying as The Shadow and crawling through trap doors and encouraging prisoners to riot. This is why nowadays every job application has a section where you have to explain your feelings about dressing like The Shadow, trap doors, and rioting.
Meanwhile, the Whizzer races around the rioting prisoners, grabbing things and undressing, while Rommdo strains every muscle in his body in an attempt to break the panel border and escape from this very comic book itself. I don't blame you, Rommdo.
YES! The fiendish plot revealed! The warden will do a terrible job, the governor will just close the prison and build another prison somewhere else because that's what they do, right? And then the warden will be able to buy the land cheap and drill for all the oil! Only he won't, because the Whizzer just killed him. Because that's what super heroes do, kill people.
And thus the fundamental issues facing American penology are solved by a knotted rope and a guy who runs real fast. But what have we learned? That the greedy clutch of the petroleum industry destroys everything it touches? That potential wardens should be given psychological screening? That jails shouldn't have trap doors or dungeons? That "Neel Nats" has no future in the comic book field? Perhaps all these things are true. Remember kids, don't riot, drill for oil, or undress in prison. Whizzer out!
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