Saturday, April 30, 2005

"Holy Jumpin' @#$%^ Jesus! Lookit the size of that monkey!"

Back in the day, besides having their own cities, DC super heroes each had their own personalized epithets. Something that they and only they shouted when, like, Superman transformed into a 50-foot tall gorilla, as he was wont to do back then. These exclamations also served an expositional function, letting the reader into the personal thought process of these wildly different characters.

Superman had quite a few. "Great Krypton!" "Great Rao!" "Great Scott!" These reminded the young reader that although Superman appeared human, he was in actuality a filthy alien, and his deepest thoughts reflected his true loyalty. I did think it was nice that all his exclamations had "great" in them, though. Even though he was an alien monster, his epithets were still refreshingly upbeat.

Green Lantern could be caught saying "Great Galaxies!" and other such cosmic-themed outbursts. Because he was too good to be satisfied with a simple "holy crap!" Ohhh no, he was a big man, wasn't he? Had to show off to everyone that he fought crime in outer space.

Wonder Woman said "Suffering Sappho!", which I have no idea what that means, but is no doubt some man-hating feminist rhetoric. This firmly placed her in the reader's mind as coming from an island of angry lesbians.

Batman never said anything because Batman was an a-hole. Oh yes, even then. Once in a while he muttered "good lord" or something if the situation was particularly shocking, but you could tell his heart wasn't in it.

Robin, of course, had a different exclamation for every situation. "Holy Nuclear Powered Cyborg Shark Booby Trap, Batman!" Which showed that Robin was a special needs child with tunnel vision, unable to think more than half a second into the future.

J'onn J'onnz had "Moons of Mars!" to remind us that he was...well, from Mars.

Hawkman's was a little more esoteric. He said "Seven Hells!", to illustrate that he was a cynical bastard from a perpetually angry, warlike race of evil bird men.

Even Aquaman got a few once in a while, like "suffering halibut!", to remind us that his place in the super hero community was predicated solely on his ability to debate with mackerel.

So this got me to thinking, as I sometimes do. What if the Marvel heroes had had their own personalized epithets? Reed Richards spouting: "Leapin' Rubberbands!" Daredevil shouting: "Holy Helen Keller!" Xavier thinking: "Great Melon-Headed Crippled!"

What other ones can you think of?


Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Ha...if only, Sean, if only.

Hey, wait...doesn't Flame On count, sorta?

Or what about Imperius Rex! That has to do with him being KING of Atlantis!!!

Boo-ya! I win!!

I also wonder if Beast actually wore garters....

5/01/2005 12:29 PM  
Blogger Scipio said...

Hm, Brian,I'd have to say "Flame On!" classifies as a Battle Cry, not a Signature Exclamation.

Dang; now I have to write a piece on Battle Cries versus Signature Exclamation as another symbol of the difference between Marvel and DC.

Darn you guys and your good ideas!

5/01/2005 10:30 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Imperius Rex wins, though, doesn't it?

He shouts that out a lot! Not just in battle!

And it has to do with him being king!!!

5/01/2005 10:53 PM  
Blogger Scipio said...

Unquestionably, the all-time greatest signature exclamation was that of Robbie Reed:


Oh, sure. Plenty of fights over who created the Joker. But when it comes time to figure out who came up with "sockamagee" the Rec Room at the Old Comic Book Writers Home gets darned quiet...

5/02/2005 12:09 AM  
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