Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Often in comics, a super-villain will have a gimmick that, if not used for robbing banks or hassling the super-hero, could be worth millions of dollars in and of itself, and possibly even change the course of human development. Cold rays, transporters, weather controllers; often the refrain is, why doesn't the villain just sell his invention and cash in? Possibly because whoever might buy the invention, might be just as big a jerk! From 1985, Blue Devil #9, "Shoe, Fly--Don't Bother Me!" Written by Gary Cohn and Dan Mishkin, art by Ernie Colon and Gary Martin.

The super-villain Bolt has been after the Flash rogue Trickster for a couple of issues now, with Blue Devil and his girlfriend Sharon trying to keep the Trickster from causing more trouble, getting murdered, or robbing a bank in mid-air. After Bolt forces their car off a cliff, the Trickster saves them, but seems overly concerned about the loss of one of his air-walker shoes; which Bolt has recovered for the scientists that hired him. Trickster admits those scientists had hired him as well, since they wanted to use his anti-gravity tech to levitate the entire state of California! (EDIT: I can't believe I forgot to make a "California Uber Alles" joke!)

The scientists' scheme isn't all that well thought out, and they had blown through all their cash on the tech and hiring Bolt--they didn't have any other staff, and their other goons were hired through the Monitor of Crisis on Infinite Earths fame! But they did build a giant replica of Trickster's shoe, and faced with Blue Devil, Trickster, and Bolt, they decide to try and lift the Santa Veronica peninsula. The duplicate-shoe has enough power to initially lift the ground, but it settles back down almost immediately, while some smaller items like the heroes continue rising. And Trickster points out, they only copied one shoe--for ascension, not the other one controlling descent! (So, one of Trickster's shoes went up, the other down; your guess is as good as mine as to if this ever came up before or since.)

Bolt seems halfway reasonable here, although he seems to have the same southern accent the X-Men's Rogue had at the time; and he alludes to knowing Blue Devil's civilian identity of Dan Cassidy by reputation. But I'm pretty sure he would be portrayed as a pretty standard villain-for-hire type later...even though he probably could've cashed in on his electrical and teleportation powers. And I want to say he was killed off in some crossover...no, apparently, Bolt was killed in Teen Titans, which strikes me as worse.


SallyP said...

Oh, I do love the Rogues. I can't tell you why, I just do.

Dale Bagwell said...

What's not to love, right SallyP?
They're blue collar criminals, and damn proud of it.

I remember the air shoe gimmick being explained in his old Who's Who entry, and I'm sure it's come up about which shoe does which.

I think Trickster was a regular in BD's series right? His entry around that time sure suggested that.

And he explains exactly why he didn't sell the patents to his inventions in that first panel you posted. But how cool would it be to see that in the real world?

Randy Jackson said...

Yes, the Trickster was most definitely a regular cast member of Blue Devil as he turned (somewhat) straight around this time. He also helped build the Devil-Mobile(I think that's what it was called).