If life is a journey toward maximum geek saturation (it . . . it is, right?) then allow me to be the guy with the turkey baster full of knowledge-sauce. Lemme start again.
Geekery is passion. That’s all. I’m not going to bother to define a geek here because I hear that’s already been done, and I also don’t have Agent Aaron’s scholarly touch. I’m a “dick joke, dick joke, rake bit, Rescue Ranger reference, dick joke and I’M OUT” kind of guy.
However, if I were to chop it down to its hot core, being a geek is being enthusiastic about what you love. If you love cheddar cheese, and you read cheddar cheese magazines, and go to CheddarCon dressed like “Eddie Cheddar,” your fan-fiction version of the lead singer of “Pearl Jam” imagined as a Dairy Golem, then you are a geek. Granted, you’re a weird fucking cheese geek who is probably so blocked up with Wisconsin gold you couldn’t fit a cricket’s whisper up your bunghole, but a geek nonetheless.
And as a passionate geek, you let your passions bleed into each other. If you were a Smallville fanatic, there’s a good chance you picked up the Smallville Season 11 comic when the show went off the air. You might have a Smallville screen saver, or maybe, like a good friend of mine, you went to Canada to visit the Kent farm and the Daily Planet, and managed to take a surreptitious picture of Lois Lane from behind (Hey Shane!). The key is that as a geek, you want more. There is no such thing as too much of a good thing. The only thing better than too much of a good thing is more of that good thing you keep trying to deny us. You bastard.
If you’re going to buy comic books and movies and velvet portraits, why not sink your ears (?) into a wee bit ‘o the geek music? For your listening and viewing and reading pleasure, I give you the ballads of three superheroes, sung by the fellows who know them best. Fans, musicians, raconteurs, these gentleman are happy to crawl into the heads of two of comicdom’s finest (and one Aquaman) to croon their hero-sized pain out to the world.
Aquaman is one of the most wildly maligned super-heroes who doesn’t have the words “Scarlet” or “Spider” in his name. It’s not quite clear when Aquaman became so unpopular and crappy OH WAIT it was the EXACT SECOND of his creation. Talking to fish is not a power, and the ocean blows. You know what’s in the ocean? Water. Coral. Whale shit. There’s a reason even Cthulhu fell asleep down there. That’s okay, though – by and large, Aquaman deserves his moniker of “second most useful water-breathing Atlantis-based superhero.”
But I’m not going to spend this article’s runtime bagging on Aquaman, because that content takes up a full-sized article I already have in the pipe (no, I’m not kidding, that article is coming soon). In fact, I’m going to shock you, God, and myself by actually saying this: the song I’m about to show you is literally THE ONLY TIME I’ve ever enjoyed Aquaman. Seriously. “People Who Like Aquaman” are the Moriarity to my Sherlock, but I will still admit that the lovelorn, self-aware, slightly-drunk Aquaman in this song is seriously amazing.
If this was Aquaman’s canon characterization, I would pick up an Aquaman comic book so fast you’d would think it was a copy of “Spider-Man Kills Galactus with a Lightsaber and Then Gives Bobby Johnson Free Bacon Burgers for Life.” Part Four.
Aquaman’s Lament was written by Mark Aaron James and Michael Lille, and was performed by Mark Aaron James. Mark must be a pretty talented guy. Even if he does have three first names, a nigh-universal portent of douche. Still, if you can make even a stone-cold A-Man hater like me pause for half-a-second, you’ve just might have the universe by the ballbag someday. Aquaman’s Lament is about a love lorn super hero, and the girl he’ll never have a chance at. Take a listen.
The Ballad of Barry Allen
If Aquaman is known for his being-crappiness, Flash is known for the being the Fastest Man Alive. Flash is one of the “Big Seven” DC super-heroes, and is so damn fast that even Marvel comics admitted that Flash was faster than all of their speedster heroes put together.
Flash even had his own TV show in 1990, starring John Wesley Shipp, which went a long way to putting the Scarlet Speedster in the public eye. There have been many Flashes – Jay Garrick (1st), Barry Allen (2nd), Wally West (best), and Bart Allen (shortest). They all have a bevy of silly villains, an ability to run at skin-ripping speeds, and an incredibly lame origin story. Seriously. Jay Garrick got his original set of powers from “hard water vapors.” Yeah. That’s the stuff encrusted on your shower tiles that you never clean. I’m not even making that up.
Being able to run at the speed of light seems like an awesome super-power, doesn’t it? You never have to worry about traffic, you can punch people with the power of infinite mass, and you can even travel through time! However, the song I present to you, “The Ballad of Barry Allen” by Jim’s Big Ego, reminds us that being the Fastest Man Alive also makes you the Loneliest Man Around. Marvel’s Quicksilver, a speedster in his own right, has actually outlined this problem in the comics before, trying to explain why he’s such a massive dick. He basically said “Imagine if your entire life was waiting behind the little old lady at the ATM who has no idea how to use it.”
For your consideration, check out the Ballad of Barry Allen.
One of the Guys
When Jack Kirby and Stan Lee invented the Fantastic Four, they blew the lid off of the kind of stories you can tell in a comic book. The Fantastic Four presented heroes as a flawed family who sometimes fell to their petty problems and bickering just as often as they fell to the bad guys.
They all worked as perfect foils for one another. Empathic, caring, demure Susan Storm set against her brother Johnny Storm, a selfish, bullish showboat. Brainy, uptight Reed Richards was constantly at odds with gutsy, down-to-Earth, completely blue-collar Ben Grimm. Ben Grimm (or, the Ever-Loving Blue-Eyed Thing) also presented an entirely new kind of hero – the Thing was a monster by all outside appearances, and more over, he hated his power.
If you looked like the Grand Canyon, you probably wouldn’t be super excited about your brand new identity either. Reed gets stretchy powers, Johnny gets to fly, and Sue can even turn INVISIBLE – the only power Ben would’ve been interested in. Ben Grimm spent most of the sixties and seventies lamenting the twist of fate that turned him into a freak, and still occasionally falls into funks even now about his twisted form.
The geek-rock band Kirby Krackle decided to take a swing at the Thing, to find out just what makes Old Orange tick.