From: (Alphonso Mason)
Subject: LL:Lethargic Lad #3 Annotations - 2.7812848th Draft
Date: 1996/09/21
Message-ID: <521apt$>
organization: Erol's Internet Services
newsgroups: rec.arts.comics.misc

Lethargic Lad #3 Annotations

(umm..., corrections and additions are really, truly welcome ... )

Cover According to Greg Hyland, the cover to LETHARGIC LAD #3 is a parody of those KINGDOM COME covers. KINGDOM COME was DC's smash hit of the summer - a commentary on the "grim-n-gritty" super-heroes. This issue's cover is filled with the cast of Lethargic Lad.
First Row: Lethargic Kid, Walrus-Boy, Heckboy, Rhonda, Lethargic Lad, a startled Pastor Norman McCay, Guy-With-A-Gun Girl.
Second Row: Tor, Hay-Man the Hey Man, Food Eater Lad, Guy-With-A-Gun, Chad, Iron Fish.
Third Row: Popoca the Aztec Mummy, Guy-With-Claws, the Steel Lethargic Lad, the Cyborg Lethargic Lad, The Crab, Lethargic Lass, Criswell.
Final Row: Ghost Boy, Truck Stop, the Visor Lethargic Lad, The Profiteer, Wild Frog, Lazy-E-Boy, the "100% Lethargic" Ape, Elvis Ed, Rubber Maid, Dirty Herrold.
Pastor Norman McCay is the narrator of KINGDOM COME. KC artist Alex Ross drew him for this issue's cover. McCay "is simply what my dad looks like..." (Ross). According to Greg Hyland, DC tried to claim McCay as its trademarked creation, but Ross putted him on this cover anyway. Greg can correct me on this one.
As we'll find out, this issue of LETHARGIC LAD lampoons the KINGDOM COME mini-series.

Inside Cover

In his "ummm...!" column, creator Greg Hyland announces that Lethargic Lad and Him will appear in Maximum Press anthology title ASYLUM in the near future. I guess we'll see the Lad lampooning Image's "Saturday Night Massacre" of Rob Liefeld and the "I Quit / You're Fired" episode out of Image. Hyland noted that 4 out of 5 Diamond Distributors didn't hug him. I guess we'll also see the Lad lampooning Diamond becoming a monopoly on the comic book distribution.

p1 Ummm... a homage (or lampoon) to a classic and familiar KC scene. The "And then there was this drawing ... which had nothing to do with this comic" lampoons KC writer Mark Waid's overkill of those biblical quotes in KC. Lethargic Lad never looked so good!

p2 This is our introduction to Lethargic Lad's creator Greg Hyland. He is our resident Everyman comic creator/humorist guiding through the comic industry dystopia. Hyland's classic quote: "View-Masters are for Foo-Foo's". Panel 1 shows Hyland's home - an obvious tribute to the TV cartoon SUPER-FRIENDS' Hall of Justice, which was also used to humorous effect in that Monkey cartoon feature in Cartoon Network's DEXTER'S LABORATORY. The frog that an overworked and underpaid Greg is talking is either the "Frog Crisis" Frog or that NEW ZOO REVUE character. The Frog lampoons The Spectre's role in KC. The Frog takes Greg out to Chicago's Dinner Grill for some milkshakes. Now, Greg feels invigorated.

p3 Our guide and Greg are on a midwestern farmland. Greg says "that Lad ... looks familiar". An ironic statement since Lad is Greg's creation. He see Lethargic Lad, who hasn't been used since last issue. The Lad is now known as Larry Ladhands, clad in his overalls, standing next to a tractor. We see the "Reign of the Lethargic Lad" characters working on the farm after publishing their Lethargic Lad comic in last issue. Greg (via Lethargic Kid) gives his scathing editorial on Neil Gaiman's complaint about not being nominated for an Eisner award in THE COMICS JOURNAL. I guess we won't see Greg and Neil at next year's Heroes Con in Charlotte in the same room doing the Marcarena <g>.

p4 It's the Superhero picnic! The Lads (except Larry) drop in at the picnic. We see Food-Eater Lad, Walrus-Boy, Truck Stop, and Green Gardener. They're having potato salad, a popular picnic food item. At picnics, foods like potato salad, hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, and beans are served. We'll find out that the latter isn't such a good idea.

p5 At the superhero picnic, we see:
panel 1: Lethargic Kid talking to Blue Angel of Beef League International.
panel 2: Iron Fish, member of All Beef Society and creator of the potato salad.
panel 3: Cyborg Lethargic Lad, Lethargic Kid, Blue Angel, the Crab. In the background, we see Walrus-Boy scratching his butt and Rhonda (of No-Mutants) being served by Truck Stop and Iron Fish. BA, the Cyborg, and the Lad converse about the major publishers not showing up at the picnic - a symbol of the bad times for the major comic publishers this decade. The "Anything that Marvel does, DC has to do the same" quote from BA is a scathing reference to DC's signing of that exclusive distributing control with Diamond Distributors, following Marvel distributing their own comics. As a result, Capitol City is out of business and Diamond Distributor is the Microsoft of comic distributing.
panels 5-6: We see the Atomik Angels' motorcycle. Crusade publishes ATOMIK ANGELS. According to Greg Hyland, he was just mocking Crusade. Greg: "For some reason, Bill shipped a motorcycle to Chicago and San Diego, to have at the booth. I don't know why. But in Chicago, I had to sit next to the motorcycle, and constantly answering the question 'What's the motorcycle for?' ".

p6 The folks at the picnic wonder where Guy-With-A-Gun Girl is. A nice fade-in to the Girl tied up by the villainous Brother Scud. All seem hopeless for the Girl until the Scud gets hitted by coconuts.

p7 Island Girl, a Bad Girl (TM) creation, makes her first appearance. Island Girl is an Elton John song that rose quickly to the number one spot on BILLBOARD's HOT 100 for four weeks during the summer of 1975 until KC and the Sunshine Band's "That's the Way, I like It (Uh-Huh)" knocked it out of the top position.

p8-9 Island Girl defeats Brother Scud, frees the Girl, and jokes about the defective Scud missiles. Meanwhile, the picnic folks are seen as fearful. They see a Guy-With-Claws eating beans. All afternoon. Eating beans usually causes flatulence. Guy-With-Claws breaks wind. A tragic mistake.

p10 Chernobyl, USA. Hundreds of thousand (OK, less than that) dead - a parody of the death and destruction of Kansas in KC.

p11 Another parody of a familiar KC scene. We see Larry Ladhands watching various newscasts of the tragic events at the superhero picnic. If you can look carefully, you can see TV screens airing SPACE GHOST COAST-TO-COAST's Moltar, Zoryak, and Brak; the Robot Monster; Tor; Bart Simpson; the lead character from HATE (Fantagraphics); Adam West Batman; Grendel; Frank Milleresque Newscaster from THE DARK NIGHT RETURNS; The Brady Brunch; Vampira; Battlestar Gallactica's Cyclon Warrior; and Groucho Marx. Adds Greg: "Mexican wrestling movies - featuring El Santos (the inspiration for El Santos 2099 on p15) and the Blue Demon, Gamera, Degrassi Jr. High, Zumbie, a Japanese toy I own, Viva Las Zombies (a student film a friend of mine made), M*A*S*H, The Real World, and comic character from Oddville, Creepsville, Empty Love Stories, and Cynical Man".

p12 I found this page EXTREMELY ... lethargic. Go, Lad, go!

p13 Triumph turns to tragedy. Lethargic Lad is blamed for the Guy-With-Claws tragedy. Cake is more popular than Lethargy! According to Greg, the guy in the newspaper who is more popular than Lethargic Lad is a local comic store guy who he really hates. The Lad commits self-imposed exile. Enter obligatory new "Image-type" hero - Mr. Mimico, last seen in LETHARGIC LAD #1. Mr. Mimico is a parody of the wildly-popular, back-breaking Batman villain Bane.

p14 Begin Guy-With-A-Gun feature, as his exile in the future concludes. He finds himself trapped in the year 2099 and quotes Ezekiel 54:40. Wow! Another biblical quote. This issue is truly highbrow. He confronts Guy-With-A-Gun 2099 and loses.

p15 We find out that the Guy-With-A-Gun's War Journal inspired Guy-With-A-Gun 2099's adventures. After founding that his ancestor is pathetic, Guy-With-A-Gun 2099 decides Gun-With-A-Gun's fate with the help of his friends: Ghost Boy 2099, Spider-San 2099, El Santos 2099, Cosmic Rhonda 2099, and Walrus-Boy 2099. Of course, this storyline parodies those Marvel 2099 books and characters. They decide that Gun-With-A-Gun must return home.

p16 The loveable aliens from LETHARGIC COMICS #14 volunteer to take Guy-With-A-Gun home. The "you hosers ... take off ... my nose is a like a heater, eh?" quotes from the fleshy headed mutants are inspired by SCTV's The MacKenzie Brothers.

p17 Cut to the Trendy Coffee Shop. We see that Mr. Mimico is no Lethargic Lad. Not even an appearance on the Hollywood Squares makes Mimico lethargic. Hollywood Squares was a highly successful TV game show in the 1970s that featured legendary celebrities like Paul Lynde, George Gobel, and Rosanna Arquette's uncle. The world really misses the Lad.

p18 Lethargic Lad is confined to the Ladcave, using his Lad-Bots to fight crime. Larry Ladhands was never much a disguise for Lethargic Lad. Otherwise, it's another parody of a popular KC scene. We see the Lad watching Three's Company (which was parodied in LETHARGIC COMICS #11), Battlestar Gallactica, The Brady Bunch, Gilligan Island (on two channels - I see the "Jim Backus" credits), Monkey (from DEXTER'S LABORATORY)?, and The Real Ghostbusters.

p19 Lethargic Lad represents the innocence, happiness, and lethargy in all of us. The world, which endured the death and the back-breaking of Lethargic Lad, and Zero Hour, has enough of the misery and sadness. They want the Lad back.

p20 We see Mr. Mimico wanting to play a game of Twister (TM) with the Lad. Twister is by Milton Bradley (TM), not the movie.

p21 Twister to the death! Mr. Mimico uses his happy foo button to pump himself up. Batman villain Bane used the drug Venom to pump himself up. According to David White, the Twister has been cliche since BILL AND TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURES. The women saying the classic words "Look! Up in the sky!" are Heidi MacDonald (comics editor of DISNEY ADVENTURES magazine and Friends of Lulu board member) and Maureen McTigue (Assistant Manager of Retailer Services for DC). Obviously, Greg lampooned the scene from KC #1, page 43 and Alex Ross' use of real characters in his books (thus the "Heidi & Maureen can be in my comic too!" quote).

p22 A parody of the scene from the movie INDEPENDENCE DAY (ID4). ID4 had a big-city covering, shadow making UFOs that proceed to destroy cities and people. Wow, Lethargic Lad is the AIRPLANE! of comic books because of sight gags and obscure references.

p23 We see the loveable alien kicking Guy-With-A-Gun out of the UFO.

p24 Guy-With-A-Gun drops on Mr. Mimico, defeating him. Lethargic Lad is the winner and hero again. The supporting cast proceeds to do a parody of the "Oh, Christmas Tree" humming from MERRY CHRISTMAS, CHARLIE BROWN. This was the first Peanuts cartoon aired in 1965. Subsequent Peanut cartoons aired on CBS and sponsored by Dolly Madison, the maker of those fruit pies.

The following folks were very helpful in correcting my errors and otherwise giving me helpful information (and maybe some psychological help): Greg Hyland (, Dave Van Domelon (, David Gabriel White (, and that's all!

A very special thanks to Jess Nevins ( and his widely popular Kingdom Come annotations for inspiring me to do this parody of the KC annotations as my review of LETHARGIC LAD #3.

Comments, criticism, additions, laughs, lethargy, anyone?