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Monday, April 24, 2006

Profiles in Courage: Banjo

Every once in a while, a villain is created that redefines not only the hero he's pit against, but comics themselves, pushing the envelope in ways no one has ever seen before, revealing something about the nature of evil and what it means to battle it.

And then sometimes, a giant retarded inbred mutant fights Spider-Man.

Yes, lumbering in from the pages of Spectacular Spider-Man #156 comes Banjo, who somehow avoided becoming the Sensational Character Find of 1989, appearing in only one (1) comic book in his entire career. And yet he gets his very own logo on the cover. Lest I remind you, Dr. Doom only got a slightly larger typeface in yellow when he showed up, and that guy managed to stick around longer than his first appearance.

But that may be an unfair comparison. Banjo here was created by Gerry Conway--the mastermind behind villains like murderous rope expert Slipknot and lycanthropic student teacher the Hyena--and just happens to be shacking up in a shantytown full of bug-eyed, overall-wearing freaks in the same area where Spider-Man's looking for Robbie Robertson.

Since he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer, as will be made painfully clear by the time we're through here, Banjo mistakes Spider-Man for a government agent and does something that would almost ensure I'd be writing about him someday: he chucks a car battery at Spider-Man.

Auto parts being used as weapons: Always a beautiful thing.

Admittedly, retard strength or no, Spider-Man's able to hold his own against your average hulking redneck, and he does. Right up until Banjo's twin brother Bugeye shows up and handles things with what may be the worst piece of dialogue I've ever seen:

Mercifully, Spider-Man's rendered unconscious before the slack-jawed spectators before they're able to belt out a hearty "Get 'r Done," and when he comes around, Banjo's mother hips him to her son's secret origin. Surprisingly, sex between cousins isn't mentioned, and the blame gets laid instead squarely at the feet of a faulty nuclear reactor right next door to her house. The Marvel Universe: Free of Zoning Laws Since 1961!

Anyway, they give Spider-Man a head start before sending Banjo after him, and before long, Spidey's in imminent danger of being crushed to death in Banjo's powerful hands while being asked about the rabbits again. But then Banjo falls down a hole and everything works out okay.


A hole. That's how it ends.

Spider-Man's able to save him with some webs and drags him back to Possum Holler or whatever the shantytown's called, teaching Banjo's family and their six teeth a valuable lesson about not judging someone by their looks. A lesson that I, it seems, managed to fully escape.

BONUS FEATURE: Mary Jane Fights Alone!

Oh, relax. That girl's anorexic, and those people couldn't knock over a leaf.

She'll be fine.

More Profiles in Courage:
| The Haunted Tank |
| The Vagabond |
| The Tiger Man |


Blogger Daniel said...

In the interests of precision, that's not a car battery, it's an engine.

4/25/2006 8:32 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like Daniel didn't get the lesson about not judging by looks either.

4/25/2006 8:54 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i read your chuck norris super blog and i have to admitt he ownz. just so you know, that show currently airs on cartoon network at like 4 in the morning on mondays and wednesdays i believe you can contact me at dingking0@gmail.com

4/25/2006 4:10 PM

Blogger Chris Sims said...

"In the interests of precision, that's not a car battery, it's an engine."

Yeah, but see, when I was six and read my favorite comic of all time, Batman threw a battery that I thought was an entire engine. They're interchangeable in my comics.

Plus I was tired, shut up.

4/25/2006 10:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris, I'm going to dedicate Sunday as Hillbilly Day at Ye Olde Comic Shoppe in your honour.

"Can I interestchew in this here fine copy of that great horny toad, Daredevil?"

In fact, I might just start TODAY!

4/26/2006 12:01 PM

Anonymous Viagra Online said...

this always happen, the typical monster created by some evil company, but result that the monster is no evil and for that reason company abandon it in nowhere, where it come a friendly monster and...bla bla bla bla the same history.

2/16/2011 3:28 PM

Anonymous Cheap Viagra Online said...

Banjo has been one of the worst villains I have ever seen in comics. I think writers had not anything in their minds when they decided to include Banjo in the comic.

9/28/2011 1:43 PM


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