Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Captain America Goes to War Against Drugs

I have a pop-culture book room in my basement, and you never know what's in there.

I found this, and have no idea where it came from. It's dated 1990 and has no price, so I suspect it was some kind of freebie given out by schools. Let's take a look, shall we?

What do we learn from this cover?
--In 1990, it was apparently OK to wear maroon and brown clogs with a scary pink miniskirt that is decorated with a merkin.
--A kid with a '60s bandana around her head would certainly boast an '80s ghetto blaster, '50s saddleshoes, and the flag of Honduras as a shirt.
--Rainbow coalition! You'll want a red-haired girl to represent Ireland, an Asian girl who's giving the peace sign for no apparent reason, an angry black kid in a fuschia sweater vest, and a doughy-faced guy with hypertrichosis of the fist.

According to this awesome Cracked article, this comic is just 1 of 2 issues, apparently the first. I can give you the summary of my lone issue. Cap crashes through a skylight into some drug den (all the best drug dens have skylights, improves the resale) and the drug lords, who look like middle-aged dads on a fishing trip, start shooting him with their automatic weapons. But nothing can penetrate Cap's shield, so he saves the day and the FBI has to suck up to him big time,

"Demery"? "Kathleen"? Maybe this is explained in the other comic, but those names feel too specific to be made up. I feel like some comic artist fulfilled a birthday obligation by getting his girlfriend's name in here.

Now pages of backstory where aliens want to conquer earth, blah blah, gonna be tough, bleep bloop, but we humans have a fatal flaw, which is buying small bindles of drugs from crew-cutted dudes wearing headphones and Yale letterman sweaters.

"You couldn't get into Harvard, Yalie!"

Meanwhile, somewhere in an enormous house in the Hamptons (guessing...), Keith Wilson, a member of the Teen Brigade (let's just pretend this is explained in the other comic) whose room is plastered with posters of Captain America, is writing an email to his hero. (They must've both had Prodigy, it was 1990.)  You see, Mitch, on his baseball team was a great baseball player, back in high school. He could throw that speedball by ya, make you look like a fool, boy. But Mitch isn't passing up the speedballs, apparently, because Keith saw him talking to a cowboy-hatted dude and is convinced he's ON SOMETHING.

Which he is, kind of. Powdered Red Bull, or crushed Pop Rocks, or Pixy Stix, who knows? It made him feel better, briefly, and then he felt worse.

Off to the next day's baseball game. Mitch sucks. Some kid that they're all chanting "no batter" at (me?) hits a homer. Then Mitch beans Ricky in the temple and the other team is about to kill him when "some nut in a Captain America costume" shows up.

Then comes the absolute best panel in the comic, where the cops hear the argument and decide "protect and serve my ass," and are just going to ignore it until Captain America almost decapitates them in their patrol car with his shield. Cracked correctly dubs them, "a pair of cops who apparently have no idea what cops do for a living."

Mitch confesses he was high. An ambulance takes Ricky away. The incompetent cops do nothing. Mitch's parents and coach realize that Mitch's personal failures are all their faults for being jerks.

Mitch finds the drug dealer who sold him the Pixy Stix and pops him one and his face awesomely breaks off, BECAUSE HE'S A SPACE ALIEN. And apparently instead of space aliens just transmorgifying into human form, they have to wear those ceramic masks like your grandma bought in the hotel gift shop in New Orleans that one time and hung on her wall forevermore.

But Mitch's troubles aren't over. Turns out Ricky's entire team has somehow changed into street clothes and put those weighted donuts on their bats and are just striding around alleys looking for the guy who beanballed their teammate. They smack him lamely in the stomach and then Cap shows up. Blah blah you can't stop us old man I'm on the school boxing team (1990 schools had boxing teams?), blah blah Cap shows them what for, blah blah they run off in their stylin' puffy purple vests.

AND NOW THE BIG FINISH. With blood pouring from his nose, though he was struck in the belly, Mitch rants that he's heard all the drug speeches. But he hasn't heard this one! Cap tells him that "we're on your side," and that "drugs just destroy the gift you have." Feeling down and unhappy is normal, so suck it up, boy, because you're not gonna be happy 24-7.

Of course it works. Mitch takes all responsibility for using drugs a whole two times and he's clean, even though he tells Cap it was an "alien monster" who gave him the drugs.

SNORT. Cap decides the kid should write science-fiction. "Space monster drug pushers, what an imagination..."

And then he finds grandma's broken mask from Bourbon Street, and you can hear the sad trombone TOLD YA! back on the alien's home planet.

Well, I wouldn't believe Mitch either. He's a drug-using idiot.

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