Filing Cabinet of the Damned

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Form a Super Guy!

Once in a while, comics create true magic. For example, the mid-sixties and Archie.

The success of Marvel Comics and the Adam West Batman TV show created a brief superhero craze in the mid-sixties. Archie Comics thought they'd have their fun with it. Archie, Betty, and Reggie all became super-characters.

And so did Jughead. Oh, Jughead.

Here we see his transformation into his own super-character, "Captain Hero."

Behold the awesomeosity of this scene. You have Jughead Jones, a great character. You have a "magic beanie." You have a transformative chant that works so well it's been stuck in my head for twenty-five years.* You have sound effects that match those of a toaster shorting out. And best of all, you have the brilliant costume design.

What's Captain Hero's symbol? Look closely at his chest.

Yeah, it's a hamburger in a heart. Let that sink in. A hamburger in a heart.

Rock. On.

The symbol provides the elegance of haiku, the dynamism of the superhero comic, the charm that always infects Archie comics...ah, so good.

(My thanks to Robby Reed and his ever-astonishing Dial B For Blog, from whom I copied the image. His Archie-as-superhero week has been a riot.)

*Yes, really. As a wee bairn, I bought a copy of an Archie digest that had a bunch of the superhero-style stories. The Archie/Betty/Reggie stories didn't make an impression, but Jughead? Even as a child I knew Jughead to be my alter ego. Giving him cool-ass superpowers and a symbol I can get behind was, to my young eyes, genius. That dang "teeny weenie magic beanie" chant has popped up in my skull at least once a month since then. Aaaagh.


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