Filing Cabinet of the Damned

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


I’ve read next to nothing of their actual comics. But man, I’ve always loved the idea.

Dig it, hep cats: The Challengers of the Unknown.

They have one of the ass-kickin’est hooks in comics:

A giant monster threatens Mumbai! Space aliens are kidnapping thousands of people! Mad scientists have united to create an unstoppable robot army! Armageddon is nigh!

Who can save us?

A godlike man with amazing powers?

A space cop with a magic ring?

An Amazon princess?


All we got is four regular guys. No super-powers, no magic, no legendary gods. All they have is toughness, smarts, and courage. Lots and lots of courage.

It’s an inversion of the Superman power fantasy: rather than the readers enjoying the idea of being greater and more powerful than the rest of the world, the Challengers revel in the idea of a world that’s big, powerful, and nasty, but where the good guys win anyway.

They’re about guts and brains beating out overwhelming force, about feeling small in the face of a dangerous and powerful world and fighting like hell regardless.


The only old-style Challs story I own is an issue of the Super-Team Family where they travel to the Bermuda Triangle and save Henry Kissinger. It was beautiful seventies cheese.

The idea of the Challs has been revived three times in the last fifteen years. The first, the Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale miniseries, tried to update the original team, to mixed results. The second, by Steven Grant, was an X-Files-esque series about the paranormal. The third, by Howard Chaykin, was a weird political satire unrelated to the original idea. All of them were worth reading.

But dammit, I like the "Four Regular Humans Versus Time-Travelling Dinosaurs Bent on World Conquest" approach. There has to be a way to make that work again today. Dang it.

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Thoughts Copped from a Master

Real life has intruded, once again. In lieu of more silence, I give you a few fine quotes from the critic Pauline Kael. Because I am a jackass, I've replaced the word "movies" with the word "comics" (and tweaked the surrounding language, since we don't "go to" the comics). The ideas transfer across media nicely.

Comics are so rarely great art, that if we cannot appreciate great trash, we have very little reason to be interested in them.

When you clean them up, when you make comics respectable, you kill them. The wellspring of their art, their greatness, is in not being respectable.

If we make any kind of decent, useful life for ourselves we have less need to run from it to those diminishing pleasures of the comics. When we read comics, we want something good, something sustained, we don’t want to settle for just a bit of something, because we have other things to do. If life at home is more interesting, why read comics? And the comic world, frequented by true fanboys—those perennial displaced persons in each city, the loners and the losers—depress us. Listening to they cheer the cons and jeer the cops, we may still share their disaffection, but it’s not enough to keep us interested in cops and robbers. A little nose-thumbing isn’t enough. If we’ve grown up reading comcis we know that good work is continuous not with the academic, respectable tradition but with the glimpses of something good in trash, but we want the subversive gesture carried to the domain of discovery. Trash has given us an appetite for art.


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Friday, June 16, 2006

Impractical, But Hey, It's Not My Company

An impractical idea I've been chewing over, brought to the fore by Focused Totality's recent piece on Why Marvel Can't Reboot.

Comic companies have to clear the decks one in a while, chucking aside the past, since so much damn backstory builds up that it forms a choking mass. (e.g., "Batman can't dance the polka! It was established in Detective Comics #412, back in 1987. Doesn't this new writer know that?") It's better for storytelling sanity to scrape off the barnacles once in a while and start fresh. Or fresh-er, in the case of comics. And I say this as a big ol' fanboy.

DC just did a halfway-reboot with Infinite Crisis and the One Year Later setups, and that's groovy. Marvel's never really done one. Instead, they spawned off the "Ultimate" universe, which is what a rebooted Marvel would look like. But they left the old Marvel Universe intact.

So for both companies, there's a big freakin' backlog of backstory, the sense that it's all been done, and that everything's going in circles. (At least to me. I know a lot of fans disagree, but hey, my blog.) about this for a dumb idea:

First, have one or both of the Big Two do a full-blown reboot. It's never been done--the closest was DC's Crisis on Infinite Earths back in the mid-eighties, which was about a three-quarter reboot. This time, everything starts from issue #1, everybody. Old backstory is gone, lost, it's Casper.


Second, and more importantly, give the "new universe" an expiration date in real time. Say, seven years. At the end of the seven years of publication, the entire universe of stories wraps up and ends.

This would not only allow for fresh starts and new takes while keeping the icons in play, it would face the problems of serial storytelling head-on. Everything would be going somewhere. The end would always be in sight. Rather than running in circles, the super-stories could have definate ends, be it a simple wind-down or a giant freakin' Ragnarok.

Then, when the old universe is wrapped up, blammo...a new one, different from the old one, though not necessarily all-new.

I like this idea. I do. Stories that end have much more power and potential than stories stuck in a status quo. Ends in sight would prevent boring-ass meandering. Old-tymey continuity could be used or ignored as the creators saw fit, without resorting to Superboy punching the walls of the universe to create time hiccups.*

There are drawbacks, of course. A healthy chunk of the fan base would have me boiled alive if somehow I made this happen. Plus, let us count the ways that this plan would be business suicide. One, two, three,, six...oh, yeah, can't leave out seven... And there's always the chance that rebooting everything time and again would simply result in tired-ass rehashes or idiotic change for the sake of change. ("It's Spider-Man! He's back! But this time...he's a drum major and a NASCAR driver!")

I still like it.

What say you, o comic fans?

*To my small non-comic readership: please don't ask. Just don't.

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The Crazy Cat Lady Test

Have you ever wondered if you qualify as a “Crazy Cat Lady” or “Crazy Dog Guy,” or “Crazy Cat Couple” some variation thereof? Lots of people do.

Through careful observation, scientific measurements, consulting dozens of monographs on Crazy Cat Ladies, and making stuff up, I’ve developed a test that resolves this long-disputed question.

Please note that in this piece, as per the conventions of Crazy Cat Lady Studies, I will refer to all variations of over-the-top pet owners as “Crazy Cat Ladies,” or CCLs, because (a) most owners of multiple cats are, in fact, women, and (b) the phrase is common parlance. Regardless, the gender of the CCL is not relevant to the findings. Also, “cat” is shorthand for any large mammalian (i.e., non-caged) pet. Could be dogs, could be pot-bellied pigs, could be ferrets. Hamsters, guinea pigs, and rabbits do not count, as they are kept in cages. Any beast that is free to roam the house counts.

First, a key explanation of my theory's differentiation: CCL status is not a simple binary situation (CCL versus normal). Rather, there are three states: “Pet Owner,” “Borderline Case,” and “Crazy Cat Lady.”

To determine into which state you fall, here’s a back-of-the-envelope basic test:

  • If the number of adults in the household is greater than or equal to the number of large mammalian pets, the people are Pet Owners.

  • If the adult(s) are outnumbered by large mammalian pets by one, the people are Borderline Cases.

  • If the adult(s) are outnumbered by two or more, the people are Crazy Cat Ladies.

  • No matter how large the house or how many adults live in it, five or more large mammals indicates a Crazy Cat Household.*

One exception to this rule:

  • If the household is in the countryside and the animals roam over large spaces, the formulation does not apply. A key aspect of CCL-ism is the confining of several animals within a single house.

I’m not sure how children would factor into the equation. For now I discount them entirely, as a two-parent family with three kids having four cats would strike me as a Crazy Cat House. But that's just an educated guess. Determining the precise figures is for future generations of Crazy Cat Lady scientists.

Also, the intensity of Cat Craziness is a separate issue. Dear friends of mine in a nearby city have three cats and two dogs. They are Crazy Pet People without a doubt. Yet the only manifestation of Pet Overload is loose fur on everything and the occasional cat underfoot. Other Crazy Cat Ladies of my experience are downright unsettling.

This test is not designed to assess the level of Crazy Cat issues, merely their existence. The most widely accepted measurement of CCL Levels, the "Mister Bootsy-Binkums-Woo-Woo Scale," though developed in 1957 and found in even the most basic textbooks on Crazy Cat Ladies, is still the tool of choice for that task. The MBBWWS is a classic for a reason.

Peace out.

*An exception may be possible for very, very large houses, since my research indicates that “cat-per-square-foot” is the true issue. Yet “cat-per-capita” is also vital, and may mitigate the effect of vast houses.

If my Genius Grant from the MacArthur Foundation comes through, I’ll be able to return to my research and answer these questions definitively.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Viva! La Procrastinacíon!

Rather than get work done or make progress on my writing, I’ve been distracted by ideas from another avenue of popular culture goodness. Consarn short attention span.

If there is a way to procrastinate, I will find it. Oh yes.

Scipio at the Absorbascon recently mentioned a website called “Pendant Productions.” Pendant produces new “audio dramas” and distributes them as free MP3s. They're focused right now on big-timey pop culture items, particularly comic books. Thus far they’ve created series around Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, and have made quite a few "radio" episodes for each.

Upon this discovery, my inner nerd said “Giggety!”

I haven’t listened to them much, I admit. The inner giggety arose from a desire to do it myself. I have a long-standing affection for old radio shows, four years of college radio experience, a love of nerdiana, and a damn sexy baritone voice. (Really. I do.)

Fuse comics, which I love, and radio shows, which I could make? Hell yeah!

The Pendant website explains how they do it. The key is audio mixing software, several sorts of which are freely available on the internet. Folks audition and record their lines from their own homes, sending in MP3s via email. Then, one lone sucker assembles a sophisticated radio program all by his lonesome, splicing in the lines from the actors and sound effects.


I’m already monkeying with the free software package Audacity to see how it works.* I’ve downloaded a buttload of sound effects from the internet. Shortly I’m gonna get me a microphone and headphones. I'm gonna see if I can make this jazz work.

Fans of old-time radio call it “the theater of the mind.” Any dang thing you want can be put into audio, provided you supply a few basic noises. Pteradactyls wearing top hats? Sure. A ninety-foot tall robot Spiro Agnew that spits oatmeal? Easy. Comics, with their outrageous visuals, are a natural for translation to audio.

Translating comics requires one key change in style: regular comic-style violence doesn’t work. Sounds of gunfire, clashing swords, or punch-ups don’t convey much excitement when piled one atop the other. Violence, to provide excitement, has to be brief and the result of the story’s path. Simply throwing in the odd dust-up won’t do anything beyond bore and confuse listeners. Get the listener all keyed up about a situation and then throw in a single shot or kaboom…that’s how you get ‘em to jump.

A few comic characters seem natural for radio.

Daredevil: The man is blind, for crying out loud. His superpowers are based on his super-hearing and other super-senses. You can’t see the Gladiator? Neither can Daredevil. The sound effects could put you in DD’s shoes easily and effectively. Righteous.

Shadowman: He’s a jazz musician and he works in darkness. Again, an audio bonanza. Plus zombies. Everybody loves zombies. Horror, action, mystery, drama, music--sounds like good radio to me.

Captain America: His foes would translate to radio brilliantly. Batroc’s outrageous Frrranch accent? Zut alors! What would MODOK sound like? His hoverchair? His bizarro voice? Sweet. Cap’s customary punch-ups would have to be downplayed, though.

The Question: Detective shows were common on radio, and for good reason. They provide lots of tense dialogue, plenty of story flexibility, and suspense. Throw in the basic ookiness of The Question (“My god! He has NO FACE!”) and it’d work.

The Warlord: Take one (1) standard-issue modern Action Hero. Place in one (1) whacked out fantasy world inside the hollow Earth. Oh hell yes. Audio could construct the wild, wild world of Skartaris nicely. Shrieking dinosaurs, insane landscapes, sorcerers, gunfights, slave revolts, beautiful queens, major battles…yep.

Jonah Hex: Westerns work on radio. Gunsmoke was one of the best radio shows ever made, consarn it. Plus, people’s reactions to Hex’s face would horrify listeners better than comic art could. His stories depend an awful lot on mood, something audio can provide. Hex’s sad and violent stories, coupled with fitting music, would tug hard on listeners.

But when you get right down to it, there’s one character who is custom-built for radio. Power of imagination? Rooted in visualization? Strange, alien settings?

Who fits the bill?

Who else? Green Lantern.

For yuks, I’d start it with Kyle Rayner. An artist and general pudknocker, minding his own business, is stopped by a tiny blue man who calls himself a "Guardian of the Universe." The little blue man gives Kyle a magic ring and tells the boy that he's the last of a galactic police force. The little blue man vanishes, leaving Kyle with a weird story and the most powerful weapon in the universe. Shortly, Kyle finds out that the ring can create anything he can imagine, that it is driven by willpower, that it must be recharged by a "green lantern" battery every twenty-four hours…and that the only other human to ever wield the ring was also the one who destroyed the Green Lantern Corps.

Our Hero would protect the Earth from cosmic menaces, travel in space, meet embittered former GLs (“Another human? Wasn’t the last one enough?”) rebuild the shattered Corps, and forever look over his shoulder, certain that soon the great destroyer, Hal Jordan, will come for him.

I’m not a big GL fan. Still, the power ring is so obviously right for audio drama that it’d be my first choice. (Picking Kyle over Hal, well, I like the idea of rebuilding a shattered GLC and the looming menace of Jordan out there somewhere. Recast the story with Hal, and I suppose you could do it with Sinestro, but I don’t think it’d work as well. A good Hal Jordan setup would be fine too.)

Now…only to get off my ass and do this!

Herein lies the challenge.

Regular readers will notice the blistering pace I’ve maintained with The Champions Project (cough, cough). Now, I am finally happy with the story for Mephisto #2, and I will post it soon. But my self-imposed deadlines are long since dead, as are my dreams of getting this sucker done in a timely fashion.

Soy el slackass grande.

That being said, I will finish the whole freakin’ project, dammit. It just won’t be on schedule. Let us not even discuss the progress I've made in revisions to my novel.

Here's the plan. This weekend I will throw myself into the Champions Project and learning how to mix together a basic “radio show.”

Shortly thereafter I will begin work on my own audio project and offer it to Pendant once it's done.

Yes…yes, I will…I will overcome my slackassery! I will! YAAR!


Any suggestions for comic-to-radio translations? Who would work and why?

*The song "Kung Fu Fighting" plus reverb equals Mega-Rockitude. Whoa-ho-ho-hooooo!

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Friday, June 09, 2006

Evil Thought of the Day

Today's evil thought:

Marvel Comics used to exploit fads like crazy. The mid-seventies craze for martial arts led to Shang-Chi and Iron Fist. The early seventies craze for blaxploitation movies led to Luke Cage, Hero for Hire. The disco fad led to Dazzler.

What would happen if they revived this approach today? What fad would they exploit?

You know as well as I do: Poker. They would create a superhero with a No-Limit Texas Hold 'Em theme. Search your feelings. You know it to be true.

"Coming soon, BECAUSE YOU DEMANDED IT: The All-New, All-Exciting Jack of Hearts, Card Shark Superhero!"

Beware his arch-nemesis, the DEADLIEST MAN ALIVE OR DEAD: the Suicide King!

Or the other villains who vamp the virgins of Vegas: The Sandbagger, Ante Em, and Dead Hand!

Be there for our first five issues:
  • The Fatal Flop!
  • Death Rides on Fifth Street!
  • When Folds a Titan!
  • Kill Pot!
  • Dying to an Inside Straight!

Face facts, frantic ones! This is the series YOU CANNOT MISS!!

...yeah, it'd go something like that.

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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Giving in to Peer Pressure

Two of my very favorite series are ending this month: Dan Slott's humorous and charming superhero series The Thing, and the Steve Gerber/Mary Skrenes prison drama Hard Time. Even thinking about this depresses me, as both were exactly what I love in comics: entertaining, smart, fun reads that earned my cash.

I'm so cheesed. The Thing was the only Marvel book I read; as a former big-league Marvel Fiend, to find myself still reading comics but not touching Marvel is amazing. And Hard Time? Jeebus. Someday soon I'll have to write a postmortem on the series and why it gave me hope for the medium. With any luck, it'll be remembered as an unjustly ignored oasis of Damn Good Comics.

Therefore, out of solidarity with most of the other bloggers I read and because I'm running perilously low on comics I like, I'm giving a new, widely-beloved underdog a shot: Manhunter. The basic premise does little for me, but when so many smarty-pantsed bloggers rave about it and go into hysterics at the prospect of its cancellation, then fine, I'll give it a shot.

A few thoughts:

--Much as I grouse about the cheesecake covers on Dan Slott's other smart, funny book, She-Hulk, twenty bucks says that the horndog appeal of said covers keeps it alive. Betcha. -sigh-

--Hawkgirl: a letdown. A letdown with protruding nipples and what I can only describe as "comedy breasts." Man, what the hell is that about? Or did I answer that question with the previous thought?

--When I go into the shop, there's so much material now that rests in a nebulous gray zone, where it interests me enough to want to read it, but not enough to part with three bucks to do so. Stacks and stacks of stuff catch my attention, but almost never quite enough. I have a hard spending cap, not a large one, and it's ingrained in me a high standard of comic buyin'. That which is boring, derivative, or suckass must go, and it must go immediately. That which is okay but not gripping tends to stay on the shelf too. This leaves a shockingly thin field from which to draw. Also, it means I do a hell of a lot of fishing, picking up random issues of stuff I've never heard of, in a foolish hope that something will strike my fancy. Seldom does it succeed. Argh.

--Someday, when the Comic Book Gods are less cruel, they will allow the publication of a Showcase Presents volume of The Brave and the Bold when Bob Haney was writing it. The insane Whirly-Bat, Earth-Haney, Batman-checking-out-hot-girls-on-a-sunny-afternoon days of yore. And on that day, I will do the Happy Fanboy Dance.

--Essential Defenders Volume Two, the fruit of Crazy Marvel at its craziest and best, would also generate this dance, at an even greater intensity. You should see it. The Happy Fanboy Dance is part MC Hammer, part polka, part lambada, and just a smidge of morris dancing. The ladies, they love it.

--The small-time indy comic Elk's Run got a glowing mention in Entertainment Weekly some time back. Two things should be noted here: first, Elk's Run really is excellent. It's one of the few comics I recommend wholeheartedly, even to non-comic fans. It does the medium proud. Second, EW has a circulation of over 1.6 million. Net result of this staggering publicity, the likes of which few comics could even dream? An increase of about three hundred issues sold. Yes, the distribution system for comics is powerfully messed up. Gads.

--I read a chunk of Nextwave in the shop, and to my dismay, I didn't find it funny. Absurdist humor is tough. The issue (the one with Fin Fang Foom and his giant pants) felt tone-deaf. "Giant Chinese Dragon from Outer Space + Superheroes + Giant Pants" should equal comedy gold, but it didn't pull it off. Argh. Had I the money to spend on comics I don't dig, I'd buy a few issues and dissect the crap out of 'em, see why it doesn't resonate for me.

--Conan: Fun. Loud. Interesting. But I always burn out on him after a year or two. Just can't keep that stuff up for too long before it becomes a blur of over-muscled swordsmen, monsters, and angry self-pity crafted into sullen contempt. Bored with him again.

--Thinking of this, is anybody reading the new Warlord series? Is it any good? The blogosphere, at least the part of it I read, has been silent. Bart Sears art scared me away.

--I'm so bored and frustrated with the bulk of the world-o-comics that I'm inching towards picking up another Internet Darling, in hopes that maybe it is as good as people say. The target? Scott Pilgrim. My hesitation? The last few Internet Darlings I tried were huge letdowns.

Blankets was a young adult novel written by a young adult. Reading it as a grown man felt bizarre. Polly and the Pirates never caught my imagination. Two issues of boredom was enough. Street Angel was okay, but not nearly as clever or interesting as the blogosphere seemed to think. It's a trifle, a pleasant diversion, jammed with pop culture riffs. Not the stuff of greatness. A friend loaned me the first collection of Invincible, and it was pretty good, but...I just can't work up the interest to buy it. The first issue of Fell was online, and I read it. Lemme just say that cynicism is both boring and unsophisticated, and that to shock me takes a lot more than sexual deviance or violence. Thus, I give it a pass. Leafing through the works of Internet Darling James Kochalka turned me off of his works completely. Again, I'd be more than happy to discuss it at length, but I'm not paying for one of his books. Maybe if the library has one.

Scott Pilgrim has the earmarks of another book I wouldn't much like. I was born a few years too early to catch the manga vibe. The world of small-time musicians is one I've lived, and it holds no interest for me anymore. I can't romanticize it. The video-game-esque approach sounds like a recipe for meaninglessness, and thus, boredom.

And thus I hesitate. Could be great, could be something that Everyone Loves But Harvey. Hurm.

So I throw it open to you, the comic book internet folks: what's good out there these days? Is there anything you'd call great? Right now I'm reading Action Philosophers, The Black Coat, Blue Beetle, Godland, Rex Libris, Jonah Hex, Shaolin Cowboy, Aquaman, Elk's Run, and one or two others that I can't remember off the top of my head. Oh, and 52 for the goof, at least for now. Graphic novel recommendations would also be appreciated. Assume I have the classics already.

--You know what would be cool? If ATMs dispensed not only cash but donuts. "I'll take...forty bucks...and a cruller..."

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Disrespecting the Bing

A turn away from comics for a second...kinda.

The Sopranos season ended last night, and I was horked off. What the hell was that all about? What the hell did it all add up to? Felt like squat.

It took me a while, but I think I've got it. There is indeed a single idea running through this last season of The Sopranos:

Everybody tries to change and fails. Everybody is given a look at a new life and rejects it.

This way, when the hammer falls on everybody in the final season, nobody can say they were trapped. Everyone chose to return to their old ways. (Well, most everybody. This theory doesn't fit Uncle Junior, for example. Batshit crazy from episode one to episode thirteen, and it's hard to say he "chose" anything.)

Look at the character arcs:

Gets shot by a delusional Uncle Junior. Has a near-death experience. Revives and realizes "every day is a gift." Tries to abide by this policy: less violence, fidelity to Carmela, etc. Slides back into his old ways by the end of the season: sex with random women, violence, etc.

Becomes very attached to Tony during his coma. Grouses about her "spec house," the deal that got her to return to Tony last season. Realizes something's hinky about Adriana's disappearence. Awakens to a larger world when she goes to Paris. Ends up losing interest in the broader world when Tony, to keep her from digging into Adriana's disappearence, gets the spec house approved. She'd rather have her business than find out the truth.

Waffles between law school and med school. Demonstrates her willful blindness to her family's business in an argument with Finn. Takes an internship with a law firm. Moves to California to be with Finn and avoid a decision about her future.

Spends almost all season as a club-hopping loser, a wannabe gangster celebrity. Confronted with his loser-ness and the fact that his loser friends hang out with him only because of his mob ties, he gets panic attacks again. Tries to smuggle a knife into the nursing home where Uncle Junior is kept, to avenge his father’s shooting. Gets caught, and would serve jail time if not for Tony’s influence. Forced into a construction job by his father, in the last episode, he suddenly becomes a pretty decent guy, as his father insisted he was. Gets a girlfriend who is several years older than him and has a three year old son, both of whom AJ treats well.

A putz from beginning to end. Discovers that his aunt is really his mother, and his mother is really his aunt. As befits his stupid nature, he cuts off both of them in a rage. Later, he returns to the woman who raised him when he finds out he has prostate cancer, acting like a scared little boy.

Knocks up and immediately marries a new, random girlfriend. Still has dreams of Hollywood and has a dumbass mafia/slasher movie “in the works.” Falls in and out of drug use several times. Takes as his mistress a woman whom Tony nearly had an affair. They take up drugs together.

Has the biggest story arc of the season. Spotted at a gay bar by mafiosi on the job. Flees the area to save his life, ends up in a small town in New Hampshire. Discovers life different from the mob, where he can be open about his homosexuality and have a real job. Falls in love with a local fireman and moves in with him. Takes a job in construction. However, cannot deal with the difficulties of actually working for a living and being a regular guy. Ditches his lover and returns to Jersey, hoping to start again. While Tony considers what to do with Vito, Phil Leotardo, Vito’s brother-in-law, has Vito murdered for “disgracing the family.”

Johnny Sack
Spends the entire season in the joint. Runs the operation through his #2, Phil Leotardo. Attends the wedding of his daughter, gets dragged from the reception by the cops. Ends up pleading guilty to a lot of stuff to lessen his sentence, and is regarded as a traitor for doing so.

Phil Leotardo
Starts out as Johnny’s loyal retainer, grows into the job more and more. Maintains a personal beef with Tony over Tony Blundetto’s murder of his brother. Kills Vito for “disgracing his family.” Pushes hard against Tony time and again, eventually plots to kill “someone close to Tony.” (We never find out who.) Then has a heart attack. While in the hospital, had a possible rapprochement with Tony.

Bobby Bacala
Mocked for his lack of initiative and love of model trains. Eventually, due to Janice’s pushing of Tony, the possibility of promotion arose. Bobby screwed it up. Making a late-night pickup in a rough neighborhood, gets beaten up and blinded in one eye by a group of surly kids. Returns to his zerohood.

Uncle Junior
Delusional from start to finish. Has no idea what’s going on.

A pain-in-the-ass drama queen from beginning to end. Has a slight reconciliation with Tony.

Given the job of acting boss during Tony’s coma. Proves unfit for the task, has a severe asthma attack from stress. Happy to return to his toady status.

Schmuckface from the first episode whose name I forget
Gets a massive inheritance. Tries to leave the mob. They won’t let him go. The Feds are also onto him. Rather than go to jail or flip, he hangs himself.


This would also explain why the season felt so unsatisfying. What fun is it to watch a group of people run in circles, changing briefly and then changing right back?

Which, come to think of it, does make this a comic book post of sorts.

"Batman's a troubled loner who rejects his friends? Again? Jeez..."

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