The Bad Art and Storytelling of My Childhood Comics: Part Two

In part one, I introduced Blaze—the man’s man of my childhood comics. He had a thigh gap and clearly skipped leg day, but he was bad and he was big and he blazed with his fists. In our last installment, his nameless arch-nemesis took hostages at the New York Factory of Weapon and Metal Making of New York (NYFWMMNY) and Blaze was in a bar fight on a crime crackdown case. What does any of that mean? I have no idea, but I’m sure Childhood Paul did.

I’ll warn you before we go any further: this comic book is about to get bananas. And I never got to the end. What is Blaze’s identity? Why did his arch-nemesis take over the NYFWMMNY? Why is Blaze’s name so closely associated with marijuana? Will anyone kick another door down? We will never know.

Back at the factory, the bad guy asks a simple question: “Who has family?”

You see this guy?

This idiot raising his hand right here?

Look at his stupid face.

If you’re ever in a hostage situation, don’t be like this guy.

Let’s pause for a minute and ask the most logical question: what in the world was going through Childhood Paul’s head when he wrote this? I told you before that all my childhood comics don’t have an ounce of originality in them—they were blends of movies and TV I had seen before. I really want to know what Childhood Paul watched for this to happen.

Ah! The terrible plan comes out. The bad guy has strapped the pipes with bombs that will explode and cover everyone in burning hot magma! Muhahaha! I don’t think Childhood Paul understood supply chains very well. Apparently, he was under the assumption that the same factory that made the weapons is the same that made the steel.

Wait—wait a second. Didn’t the bad guy not want anyone to know about him being at the NYFWMMNY? Let’s check the tape from earlier:


The scene ends with the bad guy shooting a random person (OR JUST WOUNDING THEM). I think deep down Childhood Paul knew a random baddie just killing hostages might look terrible to his mom, you know, make her think he had a problem and was growing up to be a serial killer. So he added the “just wounded” part to soften the intensity.

We move to Blaze’s secret hideout which is a copy of the Batcave from Batman Forever but is regardless the COOLEST SECRET HIDEOUT OF ALL TIME. Look at that convertible! Look at the rings of fire!

Blaze checks his Blaze Mail system, which he later sold to High Times magazine for a hefty sum.

First, you all thought I was joking about the NYFWMMNY acronym. Just thought it was a funny little thing I made up after the fact. Not only is the acronym used in the comic (multiple times), but Childhood Paul never questioned it, even when he had to split it in half to make it fit into the frame.

So Blaze gets a ransom note and turns into a pillar of fire.

Cut to the police station where a police officer is so stressed out he is waving his arms around and making seal noises.

Blaze arrives, and the police and he have a superfluous discussion about information we already know. The police officer raises an arm out of the middle of his chest and points for him to go! Go, Blaze! Ride like the wind!

Blaze arrives outside the NYFWMMNY (you all thought I was joking) and enters a vent to get access to the building. You might ask yourself, Why doesn’t he teleport directly into the vent? Can’t he teleport anywhere? And my responses to you is this: maybe if you’re still asking logical questions of this story by this point, you just need to stop.

The bad guy knows Blaze is there. So he threatens to shoot a hostage. I’m pretty sure I got this idea from the movie Air Force One with Harrison Ford. I loved that movie as a kid.

You’d expect Blaze to get into an epic confrontation now. Look, he’s blazing a path in the last frame. He will save those people and there will be an epic showdown with bombs going off and gunfire and magma.

You’d be wrong.

We cut back to the police station where the narrator informs us that Blaze doesn’t know about the hostages. Wait? Wasn’t he looking at them a second ago? Didn’t the bad guy threaten them with Blaze right there—know what? Never mind.

I think the question in the last frame pretty much sums up this entire story.

Remember when I told you that this story was about to get bananas? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

Go back and reread those frames.

Did Blaze just shoot the police chief pointblank? What revenge is he getting at? What mask is he sick of wearing? He doesn’t wear a mask! You might say, Well maybe that’s the bad guy’s back story. I submit to you this evidence that it is Blaze:

Beefy arms? Check.

Studded belt from Hot Topic? Check. I’m sorry if this ruins Blaze as a hero for you.

But maybe it isn’t Blaze? The person right before the frame where the police chief is shot had a facial scar. I don’t know. This whole story makes no sense.

And that’s how Blaze ends. With a hostage (??) and a guy bleeding from the head. If you’re like me, you all have the same expression as the man in the last frame.

You ask, What did I just read? Why did I spend my time on this? This made no sense. Is O Negative as bad as this comic?

Well if you’re all so smart, how would you end Blaze’s story?

Will Blaze finally figure out what’s going on with the hostages? Will he shoot more police for no reason? Will the ending have magma?

Let me know in the comments here or on Facebook.

What I’m reading now:

Concussion by Jeanne Marie Laskas

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