Thursday, July 06, 2006

Ridiculous Ways To Die, Finale

In which deaths burn brightly but briefly, like so many spoiler-filled fireworks:

Eaten by, Digested in, Defecated out of Ultimate Hulk: Herr Kleiser, Chitauri commander, The Ultimates, Volume 1. Honestly, I can't think of a worse way to go than through the digestive system of a 98-pound biologist's out-of-control id.

Obliterated by Ancient Gods of Jewish Myth: The Pride plus one, Runaways, Volume 1. Nobody ever expects to get blown up in an undersea chamber by giant angels mentioned in one passage of Genesis. Just not something you factor for.

Eaten by a Man-Eating Cow: Triggerman Society goons, The Tick. Man-Eating Cow was the sole survivor of a group of similarly-trained bovines unwisely left in a pit with alligators - it seems that the alligator is the natural-born enemy of the cow. Which was good for the Tick, but bad for Chairface Chippendale (and the cows that were eaten, obviously). Imbued with a taste for both justice and human flesh, she rescued the Tick from two assassins. Unsurprisingly, Tick left The City under her watchful eye when he left for New York.
Caused to Explode by Having an Enormous Iron Nail Fashioned by Dwarves Jammed into the Sun That Powers You: Morningbright, Firstborn dragon, Smax. Every villain has a weakness. For some, it's their own hubris. For others, it's being sucked into a giant vacuum because you are made of sand. For Morningbright, it's having a large quantity of iron stuck into his body because he can't fuse that on an atomic level and use it for energy. Any time you explode because dwarves built a nail on a big, wooden wagon and rolled it into your chest, it's fairly ridiculous. And awesome.

Hurled into Space While Dressed as an Outmoded Form of Conveyance: Biplane, Invincible. A man being thrown into orbit is a pretty ridiculous way to go, but a man dressed as something Snoopy would fly being thrown into orbit is Ridiculous Way to Die GOLD.Accidentally Launching Yourself into Space By Pushing Your Robot Grasshopper Suit to the Limit: Grasshopper II, GLX-Mas Special. Getting chucked into space is funny, but ending up there by overclocking your stupid bug-themed armor is even funnier. When Iron Man uses the focused totality of his powers, evil gets punched in the face extra-super-hard. When Grasshopper does it, he kills himself. One of them is a real Avenger, and the other is on a team that basically exists as Ridiculous Ways to Die-fodder.

Talked into Suicide by Way of Walking into the Precise Type of Soundwave That Will Kill You. By a Robot: Atoman, Top Ten. This is a case where the death is really, really awesome but you've just got to feel for the crime scene investigator who has to write it up.

Lifted Several Stories into the Air Upon a Chunk of Pavement Held Aloft by a Cosmic Rod, Crushed by Said Chunk of Pavement While the Freakin' Ragdoll Looks On: Doctor Phosphorus, Starman. If I find myself where I'm in a position to choose my cause of death, it's going to be this.

For eighty-odd issues, we see the Cosmic Rod used to shoot energy blasts, make forcefields and allow flight. Not much else. Nobody was expecting Ted Knight to go Wile E. Coyote on Doctor Phosphorus' ass. Which is precisely why it's so awesome when it happens.

What totally makes it is the look on the good doctor's face in the second panel there.

You don't get to see skeletal supervillains covered in radioactive fire instead of flesh looking that terrified all that often.

One of life's simple pleasures, really.

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