From: (Mean Mister Mustard)
Newsgroups: rec.arts.comics.misc
Subject: The Annotated Radioactive Man #2!
Date: 16 Jun 1994 14:09:14 GMT

And now, the annotations that aren't afraid to state the obvious again and 

Radioactive Man Issue #88 (second issue of the limited series)

Compiled by Marc Singer (
Note:  RADIOACTIVE MAN is published by Bongo Entertainment Inc, 
and "Radioactive Man" is property of Fox TV.  These annotations are 
written without their permission.  Let's just keep them our little secret, 

A few general notes:  RADIOACTIVE MAN is a six-part limited series 
published in 1994.  However, the comic RADIOACTIVE MAN, which 
was first introduced on the TV show "The Simpsons," has supposedly been 
printed continuously since the 1950s.  The current series is maintaining that 
facade, by printing each issue as if it were written many years ago.  Thus, 
the second issue of the limited series is called "issue #88," and was 
supposedly written in 1962.  It's told in the style of the first Marvel Comics 
of the early 1960s, and it pays tribute to those comics and their creators -- 
primarily Jack Kirby (who died just before this issue went to press), Stan 
Lee, and Steve Ditko.  The art is especially Kirbyish, and Fallout Boy is 
modeled closely on Lee and Ditko's Spider-Man.

In these annotations, I use the fictional numbering of the issues themselves.  
The second issue is called #88, the third is called #216, and so on...

RADIOACTIVE MAN #88, "May 1962"

"The Molten Menace of Magmo the Lava Man"

Sleepless Steve Vance:  Script, pencils
Bleary-Eyed Bill Morrison:  Co-plot, finished art
Somnambulistic Cindy Vance:  Co-plot, colors
Groggy Matt Groening:  Wrote the fake ad

Cover:  Dig those cool go-go checks running across the top.  DC Comics 
printed those along the top of their comics in the mid-sixties.  Also, the 
cover is cluttered with captions, another sixties trademark.

Inside cover:  A parody of those cheap novelty house ads.  Very, very, 
funny -- my favorite part is the "Burl Ives action figurines."

Page 1:  Radioactive Man is seen with some fellow members of the 
"Superior Squad," a super-team similar to Marvel's Avengers.  Pictured 
	PLASMO THE MYSTIC:  A magic character, a la Dr. Strange.
	CAPT. SQUID:  An aquatic character, like Aquaman or Sub-
	BUG BOY:  12-year-old Dr. Bix Bentley, Jr.  A young genius, like 
Brainiac 5 of the Legion of Super-Heroes; also a scientist with insect 
powers, like Henry Pym of the Avengers.
	WEASEL WOMAN:  She's not developed much this issue, but by 
#412 she'll be updated into a parody of a certain Marvel mutant who is "the 
best there is at what he does."  Did he mention that what he does ain't 

Page 2, panel 1:  The other two members are pictured:
	LURE LASS:  She has the power to allure others, and we'll see that 
she has much in common with the Scarlet Witch.
	PURPLE HEART:  A patriotic shield-slinger, like Captain America; 
in his secret identity of Miles Mando, he's a munitions dealer who funds the 
team, just as Tony (Iron Man) Stark housed the Avengers.  He's pretty 
conservative now, but he'll undergo a dramatic change by 1972... (see next 
	Also, Plasmo swears by the third orb of "Thannaghar," while 
"Thanagar" was the home planet of the Silver Age Hawkman.

Page 3, panel 2:  The Superior Squad HQ sits atop the Mando Building, 
just as the Fantastic Four lives atop the Baxter Building.  Mando... 
Baxter... both kinds of paper that comics have been printed on.

Page 4, panel 3:  Captain Squid has been given some classic Early Marvel 
Angst; many of the Marvel characters agonized over having a monster's 
body, or being stuck in a suit of armor, or whatever (Radioactive Man 
himself gets to agonize about having a lightning bolt in his head).  The 
mutual attraction of Squid and Lure Lass, where each loves the other but 
assumes their love is unrequited, parallels that of the Vision and the Scarlet 
	panel 4:  Some unintentional, ironic commentary on the impending 
Vietnam War from Purple Heart.
	panel 5:  The comment about recruiting "real patriots" and "Cuban 
freedom fighters" implies that the right-wing Purple Heart had a hand in 
arranging the JFK assassination.  That's what I love about those Bongo 
folks, they don't hold back.

Page 5, panel 2:  In 1962, the Soviets were indeed building missile bases in 
	panel 3:  Gloria Grand, RM's would-be paramour, is now sporting a 
trendy "Jackie O" hairstyle, in keeping with the 1962 cover date.

Page 6, panel 2:  Nixon has appeared in every issue of RADIOACTIVE 
MAN to date.
	panel 4:  After losing his campaign for governor of California in 
1962, Nixon told the press "You won't have Dick Nixon to kick around 
any more."  And as for Nixon always having the support of America's 
young people... :)

Page 7, panel 1:  In this issue, Fallout Boy has been strongly patterned after 
the Lee-Ditko Spider-Man.  Rod Runtledge has become a nerd, like Peter 
Parker... a far cry from the budding juvenile delinquent that Rod was in 
RM #1.  Hmmm... maybe reading those "Hartley" comics really did work!  
Of course, the "nerd" identity is a fake, to hide the hero within, just like 
Peter Parker/Spider-Man.
	The redhead bully is named Buck, and he's obviously ripped off 
from Flash Thompson, the jock who harrassed Peter Parker.

Page 8, panel 3:  Every issue of RADIOACTIVE MAN likes to parody 
comics' goofy sound effects, and this is just one shining example from this 

Page 11, panel 1:  Fallout Boy even wisecracks in battle, very similar to 
Spidey's snappy patter.
	panel 2:  Flash Thompson idolized Spider-Man; Buck likes Fallout 

Page 13, panel 4:  This panel, and the following page, beautifully parodies 
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #33, where Spider-Man is trapped under 
wreckage while his Aunt May is depending on him.  Also, note that the 
machinery comes from "Kirbyco Giant Equipment Rental."

Page 16, panels 5-7:  The Spider-Man parody at its most blatant; the 
"goofy-looking bookworm" is Peter Parker, and that was the spider that 
gave him his powers.  Yes, of course you already knew that, but I had to 
say it, didn't I?  I mean, otherwise you might realize that I'm *not* the 
world's biggest know-it-all comics fan, and that *anybody* can do these 

Page 17, panel 5:  Rod says he needs his glasses to see, yet he had no such 
vision problem in RM #1.  Either his vision got worse fast, or, as avid 
reader Tommy Bierbaum writes in, "Maybe the Rod in RM #1 was actually 
Dodd Runtledge.  And furthermore, Dodd is really a girl.  A gay girl."

Page 18, panel 3:  Another evocation of Spider-Man's origin.

Page 19, panel 2:  Peter Parker has sickly Aunt May, Rod has sickly Aunt 
June... groan...
	panel 4:  "Protect my secret identity with just a fake pair of 
glasses":  a little dig at Superman.  "With great power comes great 
seats...":  a parody of the classic Spider-Man phrase (used by every hero 
since), "With great power comes great responsibility."

Page 21, panel 2:  Spider-Man actually lifted the damn machine in ASM 
#33.  Rod had the sense to tunnel out from under it.
	panel 4:  Finger's House of Giant Props (seen in RM #1) has fallen 
on hard times, but Kirbyco is moving in.  A pretty good analogy for the rise 
of Marvel, actually.  Also, a letter in issue #216 points out that the Hidalgo 
Trading Co. seen here is a reference to Doc Savage.

Page 23, panel 2:  RM inadvertently did future schoolkids a big favor by 
removing that asbestos.  In fact, this is the only issue to date in which 
Radioactive Man himself causes his victory; usually it's dumb luck, Fallout 
Boy, or the lightning bolt in his head that saves the day.

Page 26:  I know I've seen a panel like this before, I just don't remember 
where.  I think it had a ghostly Spider-Man dividing Peter Parker and one 
of his flames, but I'm not sure.  Anyone know?

Back cover:  An ad for the early years of "Itchy & Scratchy," further 
indicating RADIOACTIVE MAN's place in the world of "The Simpsons."

(Gasp...)  That concludes another one.  Feel free to send any corrections, 
additions, whatever to me at, or just post them to 

Truly, the Big Bongo Bash has begun!  Expostfacto!!!