View Full Version : The Twelve #10: Jumping the Shark

Troy Wall
03-02-2012, 09:19 PM
I really enjoyed JMS and Chris Weston's 'The Twelve' when it originally began publication in 2008. So much so that I continued reading the series when it finally resumed publication last month.

Holy shit, it's been a while since I've seen a comic jump the shark the way this book did with issue #10. For those of you that haven't been reading, and I'm going to assume that's the majority as this is a somewhat obscure series with a troubled shipping schedule, here's the rundown:

The Twelve are a group of heroes who fought the Nazis during WWII. They were captured and put to sleep for decades and woke up in modern day. Yup, just like Captain America. But I promise you the characters were interesting enough to look past the fact their plight was directly lifted from Cap, Winter Soldier, and countless others.

Until issue #10. The character Dynamic Man was revealed to be a murderer, which is cool, but he wasn't just revealed as a killer...

He was revealed as a dickless android with a bad case of homophobia. I can't find a scan from the issue, but they hit you over the head with full frontal shots of Dynamic Man's lack of cock like five times. Just to make sure you understand. For some reason, Dynamic Man was hanging out in a gay bar and when one of the patrons gives him a pat on the ass, he loses it and uses a robot to later return to the bar and murder everyone.

JMS uses a lot exposition and backstory to explain why Dynamic Man hates gay dudes. And also why he's disgusted when he finds out a black man is married to a white woman. The painful part is the exposition doesn't work and it all feels quite like a funny Robert Smigel cartoon. I can just see Smigel making a cartoon about a racist, homophobic super hero android from the 1940's...that is also anatomically incorrect. If I were to make such a cartoon, of course the first thing I would have the character do is accidentally end up in a gay bar.

I think the only way this could have worked is if Dynamic Man was NOT a dickless android and was in fact a man displaced in time who experiences a severe psychotic break and lashes out against a society he doesn't understand. Sort of the anti-Captain America experience, in which Cap integrates into modern society and gets along well with his life.

At any rate, it jumped the shark hardcore. I laughed reading it, and that wasn't the intended reaction.

03-02-2012, 09:31 PM
Maybe he's making a subtle political jab at the Ken doll...

Troy Wall
03-02-2012, 09:45 PM
It wasn't very subtle!

03-02-2012, 09:57 PM

03-02-2012, 10:35 PM
Looked this up on Wikipedia.

"Dynamic Man's creator wanted to remove the cause of all vice-sexual desire-so he created a sexless man disgusted by all forms of sex."

On the surface it sounds like it could be a statement on super-hero comics and their creators in general. You know, since you rarely see a super-hero drawn with genitals.

Troy Wall
03-02-2012, 10:47 PM
Yeah, JMS included all of the backstory about Dynamic Man's creator viewing sex and vice as hurdles for human society. Ultimately, though, it appeared to be Dynamic Man's disdain for homosexuality in paticular that set him off. The point was heavily driven home with the Phantom Reporter's acknowledgement that they were men out of time who didn't understand certain aspects of modern society. That, and the panel of Dynamic Man getting his ass slapped was on the page opposite of him sneering at the interracial couple.

It did seem to be suggested later that Dynamic Man may have snapped because the guy slapping his ass reminded him that he didn't have a dick and couldn't engage in sexual activity, which frustrated him to the point of murder. If that's really what triggered Dynamic Man, then this whole scenario just became infinitely more humorous...which I didn't think was possible.

03-03-2012, 07:37 PM
Not to mention the moniker, "Dynamic Man" is obviously part of the gag.