Ask Chris #33: Smallville’s Most Wanted Guest Star and Cobra Commander’s Second Chance
Here at ComicsAlliance, we value our readership and are always open to what the masses of Internet readers have to say. That’s why we’ve given Senior Writer Chris Sims the
punishment pleasure of stepping into the grand tradition of the Answer Man as he responds to your reader questions.
Q: With the obvious choice unavailable, what other DC character would you like to see appear on Smallville before it ends? — willwise3
A: I assume that by “the obvious choice,” you mean Batman, who was famously the subject of Smallville‘s original pitch, but the fact is that I’m perfectly happy not seeing Bruce Wayne show up on the CW. If I want to see a younger version of Batman learning the skills that he’ll use to become a hero, dealing with self-doubt and preparing to deal with a truly ludicrous plot to destroy a city, I’ll just pop in the first half hour of Batman Begins.
But since this is me you’re talking to, the obvious choice might be the guy who actually would be my number one pick: The KGBeast. He would fit in perfectly on that show — especially if played by the WWE’s Vladimir Kozlov — but as I’ve already hit my Laura Hudson-mandated limit of KGBeast content for this week, I’ve got a few other choices.It’s actually pretty hard to think up characters that I’d like to see that the show hasn’t done yet. Even before the last couple of seasons where it turned into a live-action revival of DC Comics Presents, the show had already been dipping into DC’s pretty vast reserves of characters. Over the past ten years, we’ve already seen the Legion of Super-Heroes, Zatanna, the Flash, Aquaman, the Martian Manhunter, Hawkman and the Justice Society, the Suicide Squad (including both Deadshot and Amanda Waller), Maxwell Lord and the friggin’ Wonder Twins. I mean, right now, Green Arrow is a major character on the show and they’re fighting Darkseid. They’ve covered a lot of ground.
But while there are still plenty of characters that I’d love to see shown off to a wider audience — Metamorpho, Aztek, Space Cabby –there’s only one that I think could make a pretty good go of it on Smallville: WILD DOG.
Created by Max Alan Collins and Terry Beatty in 1987, Wild Dog is the DC Universe’s version of the Punisher. And by that, I don’t just mean that he’s the DC Universe’s resident gun-toting vigilante — though he definitely is — but that he’s a gun-toting vigilante that could only exist in a universe that allows for characters like Jimmy Olsen. He’s a complete and utter product of his world, with monumentally goofy elements to him that include a secret identity, a tricked out pick-up truck named “Rover,” a secret identity that at first was even kept secret from the reader, cutting edge (for 1987) gadgetry like “taser gloves” and a mission to protect the Quad Cities from the threat of terrorism.
Yes, you read that right: He fights terrorists. In Iowa.
Admittedly, said terrorists are essentially just a crowd of Hans Gruber knockoffs and, in one story, a gaggle of right-wing anti-pornography activists, which resulted in the house ads promoting his first mini-series to be given the truly amazing tagine “Everyone talks about terrorism… He does something about it!“
And yet, for all, that, he’s treated with an absolute seriousness that comes with being a dude who kicks a guy in the face so hard that it snaps his neck within two pages of his debut, which — to me anyway — only makes him more hilarious.
What’s more, Wild Dog would actually make perfect sense in the context of the show. If the final season is going to continue the current plot line of showing the public’s growing concern over vigilantes who take the law into their own hands — which you know all about if you’ve been following ComicsAlliance’s weekly recaps by David Uzumeri and me — then introducing a character set up as a contrast to Clark and Green Arrow, one who crosses the line that separates “hero” from “vigilante” would be a pretty logical choice for a story.
They could even preserve the gimmick of the original mini-series by making his identity a mystery, because seriously? The space on the Venn diagram illustrating people who both care about Wild Dog and actually watch Smallville is pretty much occupied by me and Geoff Johns, and I won’t spoil it if he won’t.
Plus, he’s easy on the budget. Check out the dude’s costume:
Camo pants, a hockey mask, gloves and a football jersey. I don’t even think you need a wardrobe department to get that together so much as you just need to look in a drawer. The most difficult part would be getting what is unquestionably the best logo ever printed onto the jersey, and not only am I pretty sure that’s simple, it would also bump up the odds of getting an official Wild Dog t-shirt, which currently hover somewhere around zero.
As unlikely as it is that we’ll ever see Wild Dog on TV — hell, it’s unlikely that we’ll see him in comics — I actually do think he’d make a good fit. And if there’s one thing that show needs — besides an appearance by Kanto, ballerest of the New Gods — it’s a guy who kicks terrorists so hard they die. And that’s something I think we can all agree on.
Q: If you could give any failed COBRA plan for taking over the world a second chance (other than Cold Slither which is the obvious choice) which plan would you go with to defeat those meddlesome Joes?
Also: Is “Morons! I’ve got morons on my payroll!” the greatest line in GI Joe history or do I have a better line to look forward to as I make my way through the series? — Michael, via email
A: Man, there sure are a lot of people jumping on my go-to answers this week, because yes: I would do anything in my power to reunite Cold Slither for a new album. If someone made a shot-for-shot remake of the documentary Anvil: The Story of Anvil starring Zartan and the Dreadnoks, I could finally die happy.
Anyway, to answer your second question first, I’m afraid it’s all downhill from here, as you have in fact hit the height of Cobra Commander’s dialogue. I will say, though, his assessment of Sgt. Slaughter — “He has the constitution of a vending machine!” — comes pretty close.
As to which non-glam-rock-based sinister plot deserves another chance, I’ve got to go with Red Rocket Burger:
Like all of Cobra Commander’s plans, this one was elegant in its simplicity:
1. Convince retired chefs to purchase Red Rocket Burger restaurant franchises.
2. Construct Red Rocket Burger restaurants, including functional intercontinental ballistic missiles disguised as decorations.
3. Hire local biker gangs, equip them with laser pistols, and order them to terrorize Red Rocket Burger locations in order to drive down business.
4. Buy back Red Rocket Burger franchises at a reduced price, making a profit.
5. Replace the non-functioning nose-cones of the ICBMs mounted on the roof of every restaurant with a Photon Disintigrator Warhead.
6. Hold world for ransom.
Now, most people would ask the obvious questions, like “why didn’t they just install the warheads to begin wtih,” or “if they had 151 Photon Disintegrator missiles, why did they bother with the restaurants,” but I think the question you should be asking is “why bother with the missiles when you have a successful fast food franchise?” Make a good enough burger and you can take over the world without ever firing a shot.
And you know, now that I mention it, I’m not sure Cobra Commander hasn’t given this one a second pass. I mean, whatever secret algorithm they used to determine when the McRib can finally come back? That definitely sounds like the work of Dr. Mindbender to me.
And now, a few quick answers:
Q: What is your favorite thing (or things) about Terry McGinnis and the world of Batman Beyond? — charpalnaut
A: I know you were looking for one of my patented million-word essays with this one, but to me, the magic of Batman Beyond is pretty simple: He’s Spider-Man (young, wisecracking, plagued with girl troubles, has to deal with his “night job” keeping him up late when he ought to be studying for tests), except that he’s also Batman… in the future. There’s nothing about that that isn’t awesome.
Q: Can you recommend a good jumping on point for the Legion of Superheroes? — BuckSolo
A: Sure! I’d say start at the beginning with the Silver Age stuff, which DC has made pretty easy to do thanks to their Showcase volumes of the series. Admittedly, I like Silver Age DC comics more than a lot of people, but the Legion captures the fun and craziness of the era better than almost anything else, and also features the beginnings of modern serial storytelling — it’s one of the first books where people die, stay dead for a little while, come back, get married, and so on.
If you’re looking for something a little more modern, I’d say you can jump on with the post-Zero Hour reboot, collected in The Beginning of Tomorrow, which kicks off my favorite era for the team. Keep in mind, though, that most of the Reboot Era remains uncollected, so if you like it, you’re going to be digging through a lot of back issues. For the current stuff, you can hop on with Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes, which I thought was a lot of fun.
Q: If you could date any fictional woman in the history of comics, who would the lucky gal be? — chrisloxley
A: I don’t know if I’d go so far as to call her “lucky,” but there’s no question about this one: I totally have a comics crush on Becky Burdock, Vampire Reporter from Paul Grist’s Jack Staff:
Not only is she smart and pretty, she’s a writer who’s mad all the time and I’m pretty sure she’d hate Twilight, so we already have a lot in common. Plus, she’ll occasionally knock a bad guy’s head off with a sledgehammer. That meets pretty much every criteria I have for a dream girl, folks.
That’s all we have for this week, but if you’ve got a question you’d like to see Chris tackle in a future column, just put it on Twitter with the hashtag #AskChris, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with [Ask Chris] in the subject line!