Friday, June 10, 2011

Episode 29, Part 1: Doug's Comic Collaboration


This episode begins with the weatherman telling everyone it's going to be sunny all day. Moments later...

It's pouring rain. Stupid weather man.

Now, forced to stay inside, Doug and Skeeter have to find a new way to entertain themselves. Skeeter says something about reading the same old comic books again and Doug gets the idea for them to write their own together. This should be great.

For some reason, they decide on the villain first. They have to have a great villain. Well, since the weather man ruined their day by promising sunshine, he's the source of evil for this story. The comic-villain version of the weatherman flies around in the Blimp of Doom.

You can tell it is a blimp of doom because the evil weatherman has it scrolling across the electronic screen on the side of the blimp. And so what is the "failed comedian and arch-villain Wacky Weatherman's" plan? He plots to turn the weather into a cruel comedy routine. 150 degrees and 6 feet of snow!

I don't expect Doug and Skeeter to know everything about weather and climate, but their villain isn't going to be able to pull this off no matter what kind of machines his blimp of doom has. He's not going to make magic snow. Then again...

Anyway, who's going to stop the Wacky Weatherman!? Who is the hero of this comic!

One of these two! Doug and Skeeter start their argument.

They both think the other hero is stupid. Silver Skeeter is too powerful and Quailman is boring. Both of them are correct, but at least Quailman isn't a totally unimaginative ripoff of something else. Changing a surfboard into a skateboard, "Surfer" into "Skeeter" and making up another home planet with a stupid name ("*knock* Pfft Ahhhuuuuuaaaahhhh") doesn't mean you've created a comic book character, Skeeter. After a bit of arguing, they finally decide to make the comic about both of them.

Silver Skeeter looks kind of like Gumby. The comic begins with Quailman pitching to Silver Skeeter at a baseball field. Silver Skeeter just hit a home run when Quailman noticed that it was starting to snow.

Well fuck. It must be Wacky Weatherman! What are they going to do about all this snow? If Wacky Weatherman comes through with the other half of his plan to raise the temperature to 150 degrees (though he clearly didn't completely fulfill the first half as that isn't 6 feet of snow...only a measly 3 feet, at best), they'll simply have to wait a few minutes for the snow to melt. That's too long for them though. They've got baseball to play.

Skeeter suggests that Silver Skeeter simply use his massive metallic lungs to blow away all the snow. Doug thinks this is too easy so he adds that all of Silver Skeeter's blowing has caused a hurricane. Doug writes in that Wacky Weatherman loves what has happened. Even he never thought to have a hurricane on a sunny day! Way to turn your best friend into a villain, Doug.
Skeeter has a solution for this too!

He has stretched his metal body into a giant shield to block the wind! Brilliant! Except Doug has a problem with that too. A big metal sheet is reflective, and now everyone in town is being burned by the Silver Skeeter.

Mr. Dink is enjoying it.

Again, we have a problem. Skeeter's ideas are all terrible, and Doug easily turns him into a villain. Skeeter wants to know what Quailman would do!

Since he's intelligent, he'd go to the library, of course. How can you expect to fight weather if you don't know shit about it? Better read some books. I'm sure the town has time for that. It doesn't seem like Wacky Weatherman is going to continue with his crazy, evil plans right now anyway.

Skeeter doesn't like writing a comic book where the main characters spend time at a library. Who would? Only Doug. They're finished for the day. Their ideas are absolute opposites. Skeeter wants to easily beat the bad guy and finish the story on page 2, and Doug wants to drag the story out by showing the good guys read in the library. I imagine if Doug had continued in this fashion, we'd have seen the two of them eat a good, healthy dinner, 5 pages of dialogue about recycling, stretching exercises, 2 pages about avoiding injuries, and then a whole separate comic book where Quailman and Silver Skeeter sit down and watch an episode of Captain Planet for good reference in the ways of fighting environmental evil.

At school the next day, they're still fighting. Patti notices and asks Doug about it. He mentions that they were writing a comic book yesterday and she totally doesn't give a shit about them fighting anymore. A COMIC BOOK!? She grabs it and starts reading and loves it. She shares it with the rest of the class and everyone is obsessed. It makes you wonder why Doug never showed his previous Quailman comics to anyone.

Guess who doesn't like it? Roger. He happily points out that Quailman is just Doug with a belt on his head and mocks the entire idea. Skeeter quickly defends Doug and Quailman. Then Roger mocks Silver Skeeter and Doug defends him. They have no will to stand up for themselves, but they easily stand up for characters they hated minutes ago.

Anyway, Patti wants to know how it ends. Their encounter with Roger gives Doug an idea. You know how Roger makes a joke and then laughs at it by himself? Well, Doug pointed out that if he was really funny he wouldn't have to laugh at his own jokes. So Doug's idea for the comic is that Quailman and Silver Skeeter confront Wacky Weatherman and tell him he's not funny. Then they just don't laugh or crack a smile at any of his jokes.

Wacky Weatherman goes into a fit trying to make them laugh. He pulls a lever that throws a pie in his face. They don't laugh. He activates a hail storm inside the blimp that blows him around. They don't laugh. He turns on the lightning and fries himself.

They don't laugh. He doesn't die either, but his lightning does blow a hole in the blimp of doom and he crashes into the ground, presumably killing at least a few citizens. They laugh. And that's the end of the first, and hopefully only, Quailman and Silver Skeeter comic.

So, maybe Doug and Skeeter aren't the most compatible people ever, but at least they can unite over a shared hatred of weathermen and poor kids with vitamin deficiencies.

I can't get over how quickly Doug turned Silver Skeeter into an accidental villain twice. Skeeter never did that to Quailman. He only pointed out that he was boring, which he is if he's shown going to the library and reading. You skip that part, Doug. Just say that they went to the library and figured out a plan. No one wants to see them reading all the books that weren't any help.

I'm also amused at how totally pointless the whole plan was. Both Skeeter and Doug originally just wanted to fight the weather, like a drug that only deals with symptoms of a disease. Skeeter gets rid of the snow. Not the guy causing it. Doug goes to the library to learn about weather so he can counteract whatever is thrown at the town. Idiots. There's a guy you know is controlling this shit from a clown-blimp labeled "BLIMP OF DOOM" and your first reaction isn't to fly up to the blimp and kick his ass? How hard could that be? Their big plan resulted in the blimp crashing anyway. They could've skipped the whole "you're not funny" bit and simply disabled his blimp with a big hole. Their problem-solving skills are questionable.

3 comments:

  1. I've always considered this episode a subtle exploration of the DC Comics vs. Marvel argument. Skeeter represents Marvel (Silver Surfer) and Doug represents DC (Quailman is sort of a weird hybrid of Superman and Batman).

    Or we could look at it as an expression of the Superman/Batman argument. The case against Superman is always that he's too powerful. Whenever they need a new power, they just write one in and he's got it. Batman is "not even a super hero".

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  2. Those superhero arguments certainly do last quite a long time!

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