Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Super Funds!


It's Earth Day, and naturally the first thing which pops into my comic-soaked consciousness was Joe Simon's offbeat blend of Richie Rich and the Newsboy Legion, dubbed in their one and only Bronze Age appearance "The Green Team".

These are four teenage millionaires who wear trippy jumpsuits filled with cash and fly the globe looking for thrills which will apparently momentarily dissolve the ennui which dominates their existences. These jet-setting one-percenters are every boy's dream and their superpower is cold hard cash.

In the face of the many hard-scrabble boy teams Joe Simon concocted with his once-upon-a-time partner Jack Kirby, these millionaire mopes are hard to love. Lacking the brashness which attaches to upstarts like the Newsboy Legion's Gabby or the Boy Commandos' Brooklyn, this team is a gaggle of over-soaked haves who evoke no sympathy and precious little empathy.


Ironically the Green Team debuted in the second issue of the awkwardly named "First Issue Special", which in its sixth issue featured The Dingbats of Danger Street, another kid gang by Simon's former partner Kirby, but this gang was much more in keeping with the classic street urchin model.

It's not fair of course to hate the Green Teamers for their money, that would be just plain jealousy. But it's hard to root for these overdogs, and that's just the way it is. I have a general rule to never feel sorry for millionaires. They of course have many if not most of the problems the vast majority of mankind faces, but then they have at least a million dollars to help them cope with it, so there.

The book was drawn by the great Jerry Grandenetti. I love his work, so that's something. 

How's that for an uplifting environmental message? Ah well, maybe next year.

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4 comments:

  1. Weren’t Simon & Grandenetti behind Prez too? Prez says ‘Cool it man, you had your chance.’ …btw the first issue of First issue Special was Kirby’s Atlas if I’m recalling correctly.

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    1. Yep. I really liked Prez at the time and scarfed up the debut issue. It took a few years before I gathered all four. It was an odd but involving comic, perhaps the best written by Joe Simon of all the stuff he did at DC at the time.

      I accept your correction on Atlas. Why I said what I did is anyone's guess. I've corrected my post to reflect actual reality.

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  2. But isn't that how the rich escape any criticism because that would be "jealousy" - I think it's a perfectly legitimate question to ask why 1 per cent of the population owns so much of society's wealth.

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    1. I think it's just to design laws and taxes and such to mitigate extreme wealth falling into so few hands and staying there, but I don't know if jealousy is the motive that should be behind such arrangements.

      As you suggest though, those who do criticize the current state of affairs, so few having so very very much, are summarily dismissed as being merely jealous, as if what was under discussion was the ball at recess and not the welfare of uncounted thousands of human beings.

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