By Jim "Rant-Man" MacQuarrie
The Geekiest Thing Ever!
This is quite possibly the geekiest thing anyone has ever seen, and I get to be the one to share it with you.
As I've mentioned a time or two before, I'm a big fat geek of the worst kind. I love it all. Cartoons, movies, toys, weird music, the works, but at the top of the pile for the last 40 years or so has been comics. One of my longtime favorites is "Legion of Super-Heroes," a rather oddball series dating back some 50 years or so, a spin-off from Superboy.
For those of you who've never heard of the Legion of Super-Heroes, here's a brief and not-too-oppressively-geeky explanation:
Superboy travels to the 30th century and meets a great massed phalanx of super-powered teens who have banded together to fight for truth, justice, and the hominid way. They've formed in support of a sort of interplanetary UN, so each character is from a different planet and has a different power-set. (I will not burden you with a tedious catalog of the various characters, as it's rather beside the point.) The whole thing is basically a science-fiction super-hero soap opera, with the various characters going through personal and interpersonal crises and drama as they go about saving the world a thousand years from now.
Another really geeky thing (though somewhat more readily-accepted by the great unwashed masses these days) that I like is the Simpsons.
One thing these two series have in common is a huge extended cast of characters.
It seems that one guy noticed that there are some similarities between the casts, and took it upon himself to do something about it...
One of my co-workers, a guy by the name of Randy, strolled into the office this morning with a cardboard box under his arm. He handed it to me and asked if I recognized them. I did. Immediately. I pulled each one out and explained who they were. Eyes glazed over. Men groaned. Women looked disgusted. I geeked out. (The whole story about how they came to exist is below the pictures.) So, without further ado, Monkey Spit proudly presents:
The Legion of Simpsons Heroes!
Let's take a closer look, shall we?
I'm going to just run all the pictures in a table here. I'll allow you to decide for yourself just how geeky you are, based on how many of them you can identify. Hint: if you can identify ALL the Simpsons characters, and ALL the Legion characters they are dressed as, you... well, let's just say you feel a certain kinship to number three here.
I think this is the greatest thing ever.
After posting these pictures, I heard from the man who provided them, a mysterious figure known as "Dale." He writes:
Livermore California has two claims to fame. The Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Laboratory and the longest continually burning light bulb known to man. It's not the kind of place you would expect a killer comic store, but Fantasy Books and Games is an entertainment oasis. A 2,000 square foot store filled with CCG's, RPG's, Warhammer, die-cast, action figures, manga and comics. When I originally moved to Livermore from Southern California, I was hoping for some little strip mall comics store where I could find a few mainstream titles on a reasonably consistent basis. What I found was FBAG.
Remember the early 90's when comics were cool? Rob Liefeld was well liked, Superman kinda-sorta died and Joe Quesada was just another aspiring artist promising comic books that would never actually come out. Ah yes, I remember it well. At that time FBAG was a really fun place to visit and eventually for me, a fun place to work.
New comics showed up on Wednesday afternoons and the comic regulars would trickle in as early as they could. By five it was like an old country store with guys hanging out, talking about Thor, Batman and Spawn like normal people talk about the weather. One of the regulars was Greg White. Greg is a jewelry sales rep and one of DC comics uber-fans.
Greg had been reading comics since he was a kid and he was a voracious reader. There wasn't much in the DC Universe that he hadn't read. Superman was his main man and when he went to comic cons, he would add a few sketches of Superman to his already killer collection. His sketchbook would make comic buff's cry, it was a who's who of the industry.
Fast Forward a few years and Greg has some free time on his hands. Just for fun, he decides to paint a few of the Simpson's characters as DC Heroes. Bob Borden, the owner of FBAG challenges Greg to turn the Simpson's car into the Batmobile. The result is Greg's first custom Simpson's figures.
We upload pictures of these figures to CoolCollecting.com. and call them Springfield's Heroes, the DC Edition. I took the pix, wrote some make believe copy for them and added some lame graphics. It was a fun project for both of us. The response gets Greg revved up and he decides to try something much bigger. He's now going to paint up the characters from one of his favorite comics, the Legion.
Mind you, Greg was hunting for Simpson's figures at the height of the figure craze and finding them cheap enough to tear open and paint was no small feat. Matching the characters to the personalities of the Legion was even harder. At the time he knew that just a handful of people would get the joke but he didn't care. It became a labor of love.
I had always meant to find somewhere to upload the Simpson's Legion , but it never happened. Since he had lost interest in the whole thing, I asked him for the figures still hoping that somewhere, someone would get a big kick out of seeing his work. Enter Rant-Man Jim MacQuarrie.
Randy a mutual friend of Jim and I was showing me the Monkeyspit site and a Fourth Wall toon shows the Legion on laundry day. Now that's an obscure reference. I'm thinking maybe here's a guy who would appreciate Greg's work and get the joke so I sent the figures with Randy who shows them to Jim. From what I've heard, Jim lost his mind for the rest of the day. He was dragging people over to see the figs in a box on Randy's desk. These are people who don't know the X-men were in a comic before it was a movie and Jim is showing them Bleeding Gums Murphy and telling them why he's so funny in his gold and white suit and people would politely smile and try to find a way to leave without running.
Mr. MacQuarrie is so inspired, he takes pix and the Simpson's Legion is now online for all to enjoy. Whoo Hoo.
I have since moved and lost Greg's E-mail but on his behalf, I'd like to thank Jim for sharing these goofy figures with the world wide web and if anybody from Livermore sees these figs, let Greg or Bob know they finally made it online.
If you'd like to send Dale a note about these über-cool toys, send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By the way, I will post the other DC-Simpsons figures that Dale mentioned, probably next week. Stay tuned.
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