Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Lame-ass villain #7 - Slipknot

Slipknot - what a tool.

Slipknot is a guy who ties people up and chokes them. With a rope. Shit, I can do that. I can go down to Home Depot right now and buy 20 feet of rope, put on a ski mask and boom! I'm Sheep-Shank, the knot tying villain!

Behold lameness, mortal:

Slipknot first appeared in The Fury of Firestorm #28. That's right, Rope Guy vs The Nuclear Man. Slipknot must have gone through a super-villain Tony Robbins program or something, because that is setting your sights really high. Firestorm would mop the floor with him! Maybe he should have started as a Booster Gold villain, see how it goes, and then moved up to Firestorm. I'm just saying - you have to have attainable goals.

Really, Slipknot should have called himself Kick-The-Shit-Out-Of-Me Man. To be fair, his ropes are extra adhesive and unbreakable, but still. They're ropes, dude! I mean, call Slipknot if you need help moving on Saturday, but otherwise you wouldn't want him on your supervillain team. A guy with a gun is more of a threat than Slipknot. As a villain, his survival against any superhero that happens to be awake can only be chalked up to The Riddler Factor. His utter lameness is tempered only by the fact that Marvel has a guy just like him: The Hangman, a Spider-Woman villain.

To illustrate my point, which is that Slipknot is lame, I present Suicide Squad #9, part of the gripping Millennium crossover. In this issue, the usual team of super-convicts is assembled for a suicide mission - this time they have to drive a bomb into the swamp temple of a bunch of Manhunter robots. The villains on the team include Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, and, yes, Slipknot. I guess the folks who planned the mission had a sick sense of humor: "Robots, huh? Let's send Rope Guy! Ha ha ha ha!"

You can just imagine how that goes. Wait, you don't have to. Here it is:

"Fall down and die, damn you!" Slipknot. Bro. They're androids.

And look, Slipknot even gets dissed by one of the Manhunters, who rightfully calls him a fool. Hey, Manhunters call 'em like they see 'em. He's in the Manhunter No-Spin Zone.

Which begs the question: are they so mean on the Suicide Squad that they didn't even give him a heads-up that he was going to be strangling robots? "Hey, Slipknot. Just an FYI. We'll be fighting robots today. You're fucked." Or did they string him along, so to speak? "The best way to strangle a robot is by choking it here and cutting off its air supply..."

Even Slipknot can read the writing on the wall, however. He plans on deserting if his robot-strangling doesn't go as planned. But the Squad keep their super-villains in line with explosive bracelets, right? Or so they say, right Slipknot? I bet they're not real explosive bracelets... He checks with the always trustworthy Captain Boomerang:

What a tool.

Slipknot fails to cut-off the air supply of any of the Manhunter androids he fights, so he bugs out. Sloshing through the swamp, he notices his explosive bracelet flashing. "Gotta be a bluff!" he thinks, and keeps going.

Bad call.

That is some Garth Ennis-style comedy right there, courtesy of writer John Ostrander. Up until now, the reader hadn't seen one of the explosive bracelets go off, and I remember laughing really hard when I first read that, partly because it reminded me of my cousin's fireworks accident in 1982, and partly because it's just funny. Captain Boomerang's reaction is great:

That's cold, but what do you expect if you're in a group that calls itself the Suicide Squad? It's not Hug Battalion, although I would read something called that. Anyway, the Slipknot scene is actually the highlight of an otherwise awkward and forced Millennium crossover chapter, but I'll take bad Suicide Squad over, um, bad Alpha Flight any day of the week.

Here's the dope cover to Suicide Squad #9. I see Bronze Tiger, I see Rick Flag in his "stealth yellow" shirt, I see Deadshot and Boomerang... Hey, where's Slipknot? Why isn't he up there?

He didn't even make the cover.

I think I've proved my point about Slipknot being lame and all. The Who's Who entry for Slipknot (at the top of the post) is only half a page. And frickin' Space Cabbie gets a whole page in the same issue! Snapper Carr gets an entire page, too. That's gotta hurt the pride a little, huh Slipknot?


Anonymous said...

One of the (many) lame things about Identity Crisis was trying to make crap villains like Slipknot dangerous.

That was the best Boomerbutt moment in the series' history, outside from when he confessed to throwing the pies.

Is it just me, but aside from Killer Frost (well, Suicide Squad KF, not mass murderer KF), isn't Firestorm's Rogues' Gallery seriously crap?

David Campbell said...

It's not just you. Black Bison? Silver Deer? Multiplex? Yikes...

Anonymous said...

Plastique was kinda cool...

thekelvingreen said...

Hang on, that Who's Who entry. Is that just weird colouring, or does Slipknot have big holes in the sides of his shirt? What are those for? Nipple ventilation?

Anonymous said...

"On the up"

Is this some hip new phrase that DC knew about in the early 90's but would only put in the mouths of crappy supervillans. From context clues it appears similar to the ubiquitous "Word".

And who the hell has ever tried to kill a girder and then would later compare the the experience of trying to kill an android to the afformentioned attempt on the life of the girder?

Maybe there should be a new DC/Marvel crossover involving Scourge where he kills the worst supervillans (and maybe superheroes too) from both universes.

To freak out the non-comic dweeb populace we should probably have a call in and vote line for who you want to see killed. I was ten when they did the one for Robin and my parents were so horrified by the idea I didn't even get the TPB until I was thirteen.

Yail Bloor

Winterteeth said...

Let's not forget that Slipknot was found lying in a puddle of shallow swamp water by a gigantic female commando and carried over her shoulder back to Belle Reve like a sack of harmless, bleeding potatoes. I'll bet he got all sorts of shit in the prison hospital.
Firestorm at least had good supporting characters like the Captains of Indust...oh. Nevermind.

Anonymous said...

who penciled that cover?--it's nice.

Jeff R. said...

That cover was part of a quadryptich with the other parts of that crossover-within-a-crossover from that week of Millenium. (The four covers of Suicide Squad, Captain Atom, Detective, and Spectre link up to form one long image.)

And Slipknot managed to not show up on any of them.

Firestorm managed to beef up his Rogues Gallery by borrowing Parasite when Superman wasn't using him much. Plus, Typhoon and the Hyena were okay...

Anonymous said...

Joe S.- I think that was Jerry Bingham.

Plastique was pretty cool, but I liked her more as a tragic villain turned anti-hero in Captain Atom.

DC! Give us a new Suicide Squad series written by Ostrander with Deadshot, Bronze Tiger, Nemesis, Nightshade, and Killer Frost! THE COYLE DEMANDS IT!

Dr. Pants said...

God, I got that issue out of a quarter bin years ago and LOVED IT.

As lame as he seems now, Slipknot was cool to me back then, because I was the sort of uber-dork that really considered becoming a supervillain at one point. How I ever kissed a girl, I do not know.

But I also cry out in the darkness for more Ostrander Suicide Squad. Also because I'm afraid of the dark.

Anonymous said...

This entire blog is a Manhunter No-Spin Zone!

Anonymous said...

It seems we were at least spared the obligatory 'armoring up' phenomenon with Slipknot.

I don't know his origin (it appears 'little is known'), but maybe he was from sort of a '2000 Committee' farm team. Some 2KCom scout found this clown in a little po-dunk town and decided "this kid's got potential".

Maybe he was a big thing back in his home town. Maybe he struck terror into the hearts of the townspeople with his rope tactics, his reign of rope terror. For all I know, he was the leader of a gang called the "Legion of Rope."

Anyway, maybe he joins 2KCom, making minimum wage, waiting for the day he gets called up into the majors. He probably got to sharpen his teeth on the 90's El Diablo in some untold story, or maybe a coming-out-of retirement Golden Ager like the Whip or Mr. Scarlet. But for this Handler of Hemp, life is good.

And then the worst possible staffing decision ever made by an evil corporation occurs, and Slipknot's on the duty roster for Firestorm. "Firestorm?" he thinks. "Surely they meant Firebrand." He checks, but H.R. says the Nuclear Man is definitely on his dance card.

"Man, I don't think I've got a rope for that," he says.

Slippy gave it his best shot, but his metagene wasn't built to channel the power of his positive thinking, and he struck out. Unknown to the man with the nipple-vents, his long road toward ruin was just beginning.

Dave, we need a VH1-style "Behind the Villains" or "Behind the Evil", because this is where Slipknot would be, trying to launch a comeback.

Shon Richards said...

My grandfather was in the Marines. He said that they always gave the laziest man the job that needed doing because they figured the lazy guy would come up with the quickest way to get something done. They were counting on the guy least qualified to do something to pull of something brilliant.

That's how Amanda Waller deals with super villains. Robots? Holy crap what do you do? You take the lamest villain in the prison and say to yourself, "Here's a guy who uses a rope against nuclear powered heroes. Perfect!" They toss him against robots not because they expect him to be dangerous, they expect him to do something incredible and rise above the ocassion.

Of course Slipknot screws it up and gets an arm blown off. Seriously, who trusts Captain Boomerang?

Anonymous said...

I think we need John Ostrander on Hug Battalion.

Greg said...

It was definitely Jerry Bingham. What the hell happened to him? What a good artist.

Chris Arndt said...

To be fair, while Hangman the first may be a crappy villain, Hangman the second was pretty stinking dangerous.

For one thing his hangman's nooses apparently followed no laws of physics and he had really big superstrength.

So the second Hangman, which was a villain for the Avengers, could probably tear the head-covering off of a Manhunter android. But since I never saw him take on/out Wonder Man I'd bet money the remains would fry his anatomy.

Anonymous said...

Are you making fun of Space Cabbie? Time for me to use the Imperative Tone:


Anonymous said...

"Okay, we've got a four-part crossover within a line-wide mega-event, a host of completely unrelated-save-for-being-in-titles-written-by-me characters, and an army of weak-ass robots created by the Oan Guardians in their pre-'Greatest Weapons in the Universe' phase [honestly, they went from the Manhunters to the Green Lanterns? That's some learning curve]. There's no way I can write this...wait! Slipknot can get his arm blown off! McDonnell! Get out your maiming pencil!"

That Ostrander sure could write his way out of a box, couldn't he?

Recently re-reading my every-issue-but-the-important-ones run of Ostrander's SS, I've come to firmly believe in the primal evil of Captain Boomerang. Really, of all the villains in the DCU, he has to be the one every other villain must want to beat the $#!^ out of and every hero wants to mentally lobotomize. He's just such a weakling sunnuvanarseholebastich. And then you LOOK at the guy, with his middle-aged uppity-ginner face, his "I don't care if I look like a pimp" hair, and that dandy Boy Blue outfit with matching why-would-anyone-bother? hat. The guy is just daring--DARING, I say!!--anyone to slap him up and down the street. And then Identity Crisis comes along and makes him some kind of absent-but-well-meaning sad-sack father guy right before getting him killed by someone who didn't even know him. Y'ask me, Meltzer should have had Slipknot kill him, just to give the whole "Superman's knot-killer" angle a little more credibility. And Slipknot would have loved every second of it.

Martin Wisse said...

But everybody loves Boomerbutt...

I sort of liked Slipknot myself: the world needs crappy supervillains, or how else are heroes like Darkhawk ever going to make it to the big leagues?

Poor old slipknot was just another speedbump in Ostrander's ongoing vendetta against the entire Firestorm rogue's gallery.

Bully said...

Man, more comic book characters need logos with fonts made out of rope.

Anonymous said...

Hey, as lame as he was, the guy still managed to get a band named after him. I call that pulling off something incredible.

Mister Sinister said...

Slipknot apparently lacks higher brain functions or hasnt been around cap boom enough to know HE'S KILLED HIS SQUAD MEMBERS. HES A ARSEHOL. Hell, Boomerang somehow had a kid. Who also has the crappy Boomerang legacy. He stabs Robin's dad w/ a golden boomerang & gets shot. Dumbass, he deserved it.

Reasons Slipknot may be mentally retarded:

1. He tries to choke a robot

2. He believes Cap Boom

3. He thought a rope could stop Firestorm & has nipple vents on his suit.

If hes not dead, send Hitman to take him out and we can go see Baytor & get a drink

Mister Sinister said...

Snapper Carr & Space Cabbie both are sad reminders of the 50s comic world.

Its a worse idea then JLAntarctica

or ANY Firestorm villain

Anonymous said...

Slipknot recently showed up in a new Suicide Squad mini-series. Rick Flag Jr is actually still alive! Slipknot is one-arm short of usefulness but Waller goes there to see him and they find he's joined into a Kobra Kult, which is like a prison gang now. He even ssstrainsss hissss ssss'ssss. Oh, and he's still in jail.

Chris D. said...

Man the Suicide Squad was one my all time favorite title back then. ALMOST as good as Strikforce:Morituri. This section needs more DC villains for sure, come on, Turtle? Twister? Bug-Eyed Bandit? and let's not forget the very embodiment of ultimate evil:the sinister KITE-MAN!

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