Tuesday, April 29, 2008

13 Days of D.C.F.I.S.-mas! Part 2

Welcome back. DC First Issue Special was a place to try out fresh new concepts for the DC Explosion. It was a showcase for the hits of the future! Or, you know, not. I'm your host, and fair warning, I've been drinking all night and I have NO attention span.
They got green much longer than yours, with a team much stronger than yours
Behold, The Green Team! Second-to-last gasp of the "kid gang" genre. Joe Simon, along with Jack Kirby, had pretty much created the "kid gang" comic what with The Newsboy Legion, the Boy Commandos, Young Allies, and so on. Ol' Joe went back to the well one last time, and like every other comic made during Simon's triumphant return to DC, it was a mind-buggering disaster. Meet THE GREEN TEAM, won't we?

They've got personality!
First up is Commodore Murphy (left), shipping tycoon who, when we meet him, is about to purchase the town of ROCKMUCH, Oregon. In his defense, I do admit that "Rockmuch" is a frickin' AWESOME name for a town, and despite having a population of 2, it should be in the forefront of the DC Universe's fictional cities. Wouldn't you like to live in ROCKMUCH? People could ask you, "So, where you from?" and you could say, "ROCKMUCH!" Puzzled, they'd respond, "ROCKMUCH?" and you'd say "EVERY DAMN DAY, MOTHERF*CKER!" Yeah.

I seem to have drifted from the point. Er, next we have J.P. Houston (center), the oil magnate. His job was (1) being token hick and (2) caring more about adventure than oil. Ideally, we should all care more about adventure than oil, but nobody's invented a car that runs on adventure. I bet J.P. does have a car like that, but he's hiding it from the world, the selfish bastard. YOU'RE why we're in the Middle East, J.P.--you and your damned adventu-car.

Third in line is Cecil Sunbeam (right), FABulously effeminate child prodigy Hollywood director. I like to imagine Uwe Boll before his balls dropped. Not to visualize Cecil Sunbeam, mind you; it's just a mental image I like to go to sometimes.

It's the fourth member, however, who's the true star of the show. This being 70s DC, they needed to make some attempt at social relevance and then fail utterly (see also, every DC comic published circa 1970-1979). Meet Abdul Smith (wait for it), an African-American (wait for it) SHOESHINE BOY on Wall Street. Thanks to a computer error at his bank, the $5 in his account became $500,000 overnight. He quickly invested it and more than doubled his money by the time the bank caught on--thus making the million dollars required for membership in The Green Team.

Thank you Shoe Shine Boy; you are humble and lovable
Money: It's where you want to be!
Boss screamin' in my ear about who I'm supposed to be
Getcha a 3-piece Wall Street smile and son you'll look just like me

I said "Hey man, there's something that you oughta know.
I tell ya Park Avenue leads to Skid Row."

Ah, Sebastian Bach, you make me feel young again. Where was I? Oh yes, Abdul Smith. Just imagine what Grant Morrison would do with this treasure. He'd have a metahuman gene for making money! Wealth as a superpower! Code name: Bankroll(tm)! Who's been funding Cave Carson, the Sea Devils, the Challengers, Rip Hunter, and S.T.A.R. Labs? Now you know!

Anyway. The plot of this comic, such as it was, involved something called The Great American Pleasure Machine.

I get spam for a pleasure machine at least 5 times a week
Yeah. The jokes pretty much write themselves from here on in, don't they? I don't even need to be here. Um, some bad guy tries to sabotage the G.A.P. Machine, thus depriving the 70s of much-needed happiness. But the Green Team saves the day, and guess how!

make your own joke
THEY THREW MONEY AT THE PROBLEM. So...many...jokes...fighting to get out...But let's pause a mo' to take a closer look at the Green Team super uniforms, which needed their own text page:

They sold a jumpsuit like this to Hank Pym back in 1987
To sum up, their secret weapon: POCKETS. Deep, deep pockets.

Amazingly, if it hadn't been for the DC Implosion, two more issues of The Green Team were waiting in inventory AND WOULD HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED. You dodged a bullet there, Planet Earth. High five.

So where are they now?: The GT was last seen during Karl Kesel's run in the Superman titles, funding a youth center in Metropolis' Suicide Slum.

A few chapters from now, we'll witness Jack Kirby killing off the kid gang genre for good. But next time, a beloved Silver Age character's comeback fails in the pages of FIS...get used to it, 'cause that kind of happened a lot.


Unknown said...

Ok, I really can't believe the Green Team ever even happened.

I am surprised Bob Haney didn't have some Secret Identity team up of Rich DC Heroes.

Bruce Wayne, Oliver Queen, Ted Kord, Rex Tyler and Steve Dayton and teaming up as non powered teens.

It would sell like Malt Liquor!

Joe Chiappetta said...

This is why I love comics. Nice coverage of a strange story.