Not only is the publisher reviving some of the deepest cuts in DC history, but it's also putting the spotlight on some truly weird characters -- including a few that I didn't think would ever make a comeback. So for the benefit of those of you who haven't been obsessing over DC Comics for the last three decades, here's a quick breakdown of the three weirdest comics coming up in DC's new lineup!
Originally created by Joe Simon and Jerry Grandenetti, Prez Rickard was the first Teen President of the United States of America, and if you don't think that means that he told adults to "cool it" and fought against chess-themed assassins that attacked the White House, then buster, you need to read more comics.
The series was, as you might expect, pretty short lived -- it only ran four issues -- but in the years since, Prez has shown up from time to time in pretty weird places, from a dark Vertigo one-shot by Ed Brubaker and Eric Shanower that took advantage of the fact that Prez #1 featured one of the most genuinely disturbing villains in comics, to the Batman: The Brave and the Bold cartoon, where he made a cameo as that world's President.
Personally, I'm hoping that he's exactly what he was at the start of things, an 18-year-old in charge of the American government, and that this is now a canonical feature of the DC Universe that everyone just accepts as though it's completely normal.
Speaking of Brave and the Bold, Bat-Mite (created by Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff) is a character who really got a chance to shine on that show, and between that and a truly strange appearance in the pages of Grant Morrison and Tony Daniel's Batman: RIP a few years back, it looks like DC has finally decided to dust off the little imp and give him a shot at a solo title.
On the off chance that you're not familiar, Bat-Mite is an imp from the fifth dimension who loves Batman more than anything and just wants to hang out with him and make his adventures more exciting, and as you might expect, I identify with him quite a bit. I'm not sure how that's going to translate to a solo role, but I hope it involves him having complex plans to take down Mr. Mxyzptlk and Qwsp (the imp that used to bug Aquaman back in the '50s), just in case he has to.
All right, now this... this is the weird one. Ennis and McCrea introduced Section Eight in the pages of Hitman, one of the greatest DC Comics of all time, specifically as a team made up of the weirdest characters they could imagine. Here's the roster:
- Six-Pack, whose main power is getting drunk and passing out in the gutter with hallucinations of defeating Darkseid
- Bueno Excelente, who "fights crime with the power of perversion"
- The Defenestrator, who looks like the Terminator and carries around a window -- just a window -- that he throws people through
- Friendly Fire, who fires devastating energy bolts from his hands that only ever hit his allies
- Jean de Baton-Baton, who is French
- Flemgem, who has super-powered mucus
- Shakes, who shakes
And maybe the greatest forgotten superhero ever,
- Dogwelder, who welds dogs to people. Like, actual dogs. With a blowtorch. I have no idea how, but it is, shockingly, much less gruesome than it sounds, and it seems to bother his opponents a lot more than it bothers the dogs.
Ennis and McCrea walked away from Hitman in 2000, but the one time they returned to the character (2007's JLA/Hitman), it was every bit as amazing as the original. Seeing them come back for these weirdos, though, is both unexpected and completely welcome.