The following are theories as to the existence of this week's Stupid Comics feature:
1. too much time spent immersed in 1940s pre-code 'good girl' comic art resulting in brain function alteration
2. that bachelor party where the stripper showed up as a sexy police woman and the lasting impression of that first thirty or forty-five seconds thinking she was a real police woman
3. something something spike-heeled thigh-highs something
But honestly, who knows? Science is unclear on this issue. So without benefit of research we've just got to dive right in.
Yes, it's Delta Tenn, the sexy police lady who is there to defend us all against crime and villainy with her tight leather coat and little hat. Because crime is everywhere - especially crime that shoots holes in buildings. Buildings that apparently bleed. Might want to talk to your contractor, fellas
You see, it's a world ten years from "now", which would put this comic in 1997. You remember 1997, society grew cold and bitter and only thigh-high stripper boots could bring unrelenting justice (and ankle pain).
The cold and bitter world of 1997 sees many futuristic truck hi-jackings. This criminal here can shoot a guy thirty yards away with a handgun - while hanging on to the side of a moving truck! Glad marksmanship has improved in the future.
Meanwhile our titular police woman starts her day by mumbling and talking to the cat. Well, that's pretty much how it is for all of us.
And it's time to get dressed for some policing! Turns out in 1997, police forces are "pants optional!"
Put on your little hat, your thigh-high boots, and just start jogging through the city. Police... CARS? Police have cars? Not in 1997 they don't!
When investigating crime in your giant thigh-high boots, your thong, and your little leather hat, the important part is to be inconspicuous.
OH NO nerdy guy is selling Strategic Defense Initiative computer chips to a foreign power! You remember SDI, that missile defense system that was all the rage in the 1980s and was pretty much forgotten soon after the Cold War ended, and which would have cost at least $100 billion dollars, putting it out of the price range of all but the richest world powers, making nerdy guy's wish that it be distributed all over the world is kind of stupid! Yeah, *that* SDI!
What's great about 1997 is that judging by the faces of the two thugs in panel three, cloning is now widespread and everybody can have identical flunkies. Makes things easier for the artist.
Nothing's more satisfying to Evil Spy Man than to have handguns fired inches from his ears. BOTH ears please. We want maximum deafness!
But hey, the sex police are on the job, checking IDs, reading people their rights, generally maintaining order and... oh, who am I kidding, it's strangling and concussions all around!
In the future, we'll use advanced laser-etching technology to inscribe suspects' Miranda Rights onto each and every bullet fired into their bodies. Saves time!
Yeah, just shoot that fleeing suspect right in the back. The IMPORTANT thing is to show the reader those tightly rendered thigh-high spike heels.
And once again justice prevails as an evil genius who, as the story was careful to point out, never actually had any SDI computer chips but had been double crossed with a load of stuffed animals, is captured. No doubt the criminal justice system of 1997 will see he gets the punishment he deserves, or maybe aquitted by any halfway competent lawyer, whichever.
In our next story we enter the world of fine art, and classy gents in tuxedos who sell fine art, and galleries full of bystanders who try to impress us with their animation cel knowledge but only wind up convincing us they don't know what the hell they're talking about, xerography has been used in the animation industry for decades, I think what the guy is trying to say is that the cel is a reproduction and was not used in the actual production of an animated film, but he's doing so in a terribly confusing way.
Also there's a mysterious man in the basement named "Nico T. Fitt" forging old masters, because that's where you forge old masters, right in the gallery basement. Saves on shipping costs.
Two days later Delta is working her delts while expositing to Tightwad, one of the many nerdy, wimpy, effete, emasculated men that surround Delta in order to emphasize her strength and sexual potency and to give her someone to talk to that isn't her cat. I wish they'd stuck with the cat.
Turns out Nico was badly burned in a fire that destroyed all his actual paintings so he had to turn to faking old masters. One more indictment of America's failed healthcare system, circa 1997!
Lucky for justice, Delta Tenn is on the case, and they even gave her a motorcycle! Still no pants, though.
Also lucky for Delta Tenn is that she consistently chooses opponents who cannot hit the broad side of a barn. I mean seriously, how do you MISS with a FLAMETHROWER?
Here's a word of advice to the writer of this comic. Canvas and wood will NOT STOP BULLETS
Nico here roasts Tuxedo Man with ease, but Delta Tenn survives again to throw turpentine on the guy and there's a big explosion that kills everybody except for, of course, Delta Tenn. Well, it IS her comic book.
The great part about the black and white boom of the 80s is that even the most inept comics could thrive. Case in point; Delta Tenn lasted ten whole issues! How did things change as the series progressed? Coherence, logic, readability, did it achieve any of these things?
Here in a sequence from Delta Tenn #8, Delta Tenn stands in the rain, hurls dynamite, and then chases crooks by sort of leaning into the air like a ghost or something. So that's a "no" on the whole coherence, logic, readability thing.
Nope! It was just a dream. However Delta's wimpy boyfriend Biff is apparently a ghost, judging by panel 2. There's been a murder at the TV station and there are gangs and drugs and beat-up witnesses and naturally Delta Tenn investigates!
Now I know that you're thinking, a woman tied spread-eagle on a bed wearing only her underwear, that's pretty exploitative. And you're absolutely correct. What I don't get is, this comic was published in 1988, a point in time in which actual naked-woman sex-type pornography was actually widely available, why anyone would waste time on this stiff, contrived, deliberately restrained, almost fetishistic.. oh. Okay.
Here Delta again demonstrates her amazing ability to hover in the air whenever the artist doesn't feel like drawing the lower half of her torso.
Even at a distance of inches, and with all the time in the world to aim carefully and to squeeze the trigger, crooks aren't able to hit Delta Tenn. I guess the secret to her success as a police woman is in picking opponents who are clinically brain-dead and who exist only in a vegetative state, until she kills them.
Oh yeah, the story here involves a kids TV show that Biff works on and the lady producer and the guy in the cat suit are teaming up to distribute synthetic drugs (because "organic drugs are impossible to grow") in stuffed toys, and Biff was the patsy. But Biff won't be the patsy any more! Except he will and is casually knocked aside. Poor Biff. How will Delta save the day? Will she do it in the most violent fashion possible?
YES! Delta grabs some sort of spear, grits her teeth, dislocates her neck, shifts her grip, and shoves the spear right through the gut of the dude who stood there the whole time watching her do it even though he had a handgun and the other crook had a handgun and both could have easily shot her at any moment. Because when Delta Tenn gets to murderin' there's no stoppin' her!
And then the evil woman (you can tell she's evil, she's wearing FLATS) tried to run away and Delta shot her and then she crashed through the window and fell down to the street, winners don't use drugs, the end. And that's the end of our extensive Delta Tenn coverage, proving that crime cannot stand up to leather boots and a mini-skirt and a hat and a badge and a willingness to stand totally still while Delta Tenn shoots it dead or rams a spear through it. Remember to stand still and let Delta Tenn shoot you and crime will forever be eradicated!
But I hear a lot of you saying, come on, you intimated at the beginning of this piece that Delta Tenn was in some way some sort of golden-age good-girl-art inspired thing, but other than this whole Lady Blackhawk thing she got going on, we really don't see it, you're gonna have to bring something else to the table here, some sort of really blatant swipe, okay?
Okay, there you go. Enjoy! Enjoy... however you like. We won't judge.
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