Monday, April 30, 2007

Box Of VooDoo

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Tales Of Fantastic Horrors! Part Five: Johnny Is Puzzled

Well... I know that there's been a bit of a gap between this, the final chapter of "Tales of Fantastic Horrors!," and the previous installment and I can offer you no better excuse than the fact that the annual Earth Day Pub Crawl got a little out of hand this year... I don't remember anything between the time I left my house on Saturday night and 10:47 this morning when I awoke on the floor of my attic with the taste of burnt mohair in my mouth and a piercing through a part of my body that I didn't even know could be pierced. If anybody saw me over the last few days please let me know what I was up to and whether or not the phrase "Morocco 72/8/35 Apple," which was written in blue Sharpie on my left shoulder blade, means anything to you.

So where were we?

Oh, yeah.

No, it's not safety that the Four find topside but rather...

... a giant missile!

Which turns into a giant spider right before it collides with Mr. Fantastic.
Somehow I think that the missile woulda hurt more.

Someone should have tried that move about 97 pages back...

Why would you think that hurling fireballs at a magical puff of smoke would do it anymore damage than it would to a regular old puff of smoke?

"Give us the slip once, Dr. Weird... shame on you! Give us the slip six times..."

So over the course of the next five pages, Reed deduces that the only place that Dr. Weird can be hiding is in the garage out back, because that's the only place they haven't already been and everybody knows that a super villain never strikes twice in the same room of his creepy mansion.

Arriving at the garage the FF find An Unbelievable Sight!-

Stymied by a carnival attraction...

"Johnny Is Puzzled?"

A mystery for the ages why the author thought that fact needed stating aloud.

And once again the Fantastic Four save the day by ducking!

Contemplating the horror of his enemy's eternal banishment to an alien dimension a light bulb suddenly goes off over Reed's head...

And then they all went home for snickerdoodles and Donkey Kong! The End!

So what did we learn from the Fantastic Four Big Little Book, "House of Horrors?" I learned that I will never, never, never, ever, never, ever, ever, never, never, ever, never, ever, never, never again, ever, ever, ever, never again... ever, ever attempt to scan an entire Big Little Book! Ever, ever, never, ever! Never! Ever!

Ever, ever, ever, ever, ever again.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Tales Of Fantastic Horrors! Part Four: The Wild, Wild World Of Dr. Weird!

Previously on "Tales of Fantastic Horrors!"-

I'll be upfront with you all... at this point in the story we hit a bit of a dull patch. I think it was around this spot that the author realized just how many pages there actually were in a Big Little Book 'cause the next couple of chapters are padded like the maximum security wing at Arkham. There's a whole lot of wandering around hallways and pointless chit chat that I'm just going to skip right over... it's all for the best.

So, Sue sets out to rescue her teammates. She finds a slowly re-awakening Ben who explains how he came to be lying unconscious in the middle of a pile of rocks-

-I'm assuming that he leaves out the part where he got his ass kicked by a chair.

Sue frees the dampened Johnny from the den next (And towels him off, I guess.) Then it's off to untangle her idiot husband-

So, Reed... where do you think Dr. Weird might be?

"Gawrsh, Mickey! I dunno!"

Sue is totally freakin' out, man!

Flash forward through about 47 pages of corridor wandering to-

It's the Evil Study of the Evil Dr. Weird!

"One million dollars... one night... I think you know where I'm going with this."

"I'm the only one that Sue has pity sex with!"

Let's see that puff of smoke slip out of -


The wily puff of smoke conceals himself behind a steel door that is so strong even the super-human might of the Thing cannot bring it down. Only the Thing's strength combined with that of three humans of average strength can hope to break it open!

The old 'No floor behind the steel door' trick! D'oh!

"Ceiling? Break? Thing no understand stretchy man's big words!"

The FF always start their days with an extra big bowl of Sugar-Frosted Stupid Flakes!

But is it truly safety that our four heroes will find waiting for them at the end of Reed's rubbery forearm... or something much, much, much, much, much worse? You'll only find out if you show up for the mildly thrilling conclusion to "Tales of Fantastic Horrors!"

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Tales of Fantastic Horrors! Part Three: The Doctor Dances

Previously on "Tales of Fantastic Horrors!"-

Johnny's all wet...

...and Reed's a total dumbf**k.

But, what about Ben?

Ben's persecution complex and rampant paranoia lead him into single-handedly renovating Dr. Weird's basement rec room.

That's a wringer washer he's smashing there.

It's important to note that not only has the Thing been defeated by a ratty old armchair, he's been defeated by a ratty old armchair that isn't really a lame-ass super villain in disguise.

When faced by as cunning and unrelenting an enemy as a ratty old armchair that isn't actually a super villain in disguise there is no shame in strategic retreat.

This page doesn't actually repeat itself in the book, but since Reed's fight with a disgruntled snake got about twenty pages worth of coverage I figure Ben's rock punching deserves at least a couple pages.

"That final pile of boulders concealed a cylinder filled with a gas which attacked Ben's weak spot, his lungs. By smashing the tank, the Thing had defeated himself!"

Oh irony! Thou name art 'Big Little Books!'

Sue's unerring feminine instinct leads her straight into the kitchen.

"But... teakettles don't purr!"

Force fields, Susan! Use the force fields!

There's a girl...

Sue was just about to flee the kitchen when, all of a sudden, the tiger transforms into-
"... a muscular, wicked-eyed man dressed in knee high boots and a flowing cape."

No, she hasn't accidentally wandered into Drag Nite at Club Cavity, it's none other than-

And lookie, he even has an elegant walking stick to complete that fashionable ensemble of his.

Sure it is... way don't you prove it by doing something completely pointless with it.

Unaware that the Invisible Woman can turn invisible, Dr. Weird is caught off guard, baffled even, when she proceeds to turn invisible.

Helpful hint: study up on your foe's abilities and powers before issuing your 'battle to the death' challenges.

Handy hint #2: When in doubt, start tossing out the foof bombs like you owned stock in the company.

Utterly unable to handle Sue's little round of super-powered hide 'n' seek, Dr. Weird turns into a puff of smoke and takes flight.

Faced with their foe's complete inadequacy and all around non-threatening vibe Susan can come to only one conclusion-

Looks like the fate of the entire FF rests in the hands of the Invisible Woman! This shouldn't be a problem so long as this story is being written by someone who is actually able to treat Susan Storm Richards as a competent and intelligent adult with just as many years' super-heroing experience under her belt as her male teammates... in other words-

The Fantastic Four are screwed.