Red Scare: ComicsAlliance’s Favorite Comic Book Commies

 

 

Today on ComicsAlliance, I help celebrate the impending release of Superman: Red Son in deluxe hardcover by compiling a list of my favorite comic book communists!

As you might expect, I made sure to include The KGBeast, my affection for whom has become something of a running gag thanks to the fact that I’ve used him in at least three completely unrelated articles. And why wouldn’t I? That dude is awesome.

I’ve talked about him here at the ISB before, but the fact of the matter is that he is hilariously awesome. The story in which he first appears, Ten Nights of the Beast, is over the top to the point of being outright ludicrous. For one thing, dude straight rolls around Gotham City in a luchador mask and a leather bondage singlet, complete with thigh-high leather boots, and yet like Ben Grimm, he manages to remain incognito by wearing a fedora and trenchcoat…

 

 

even while he is carrying a bazooka.

And then there’s his truly ridiculous body count. Over the course of four issues, he ends up killing something like a hundred and fifty Gothamites (eighty at one shot!) with methods ranging from poison gas to–and I am serious–throwing cinderblocks at them. There’s even a scene where Batman goes “School Bus! FULL OF KIDS!

It is Commando starring Batman, and I can’t get enough of it.

The Beast’s most over-the-top moment, though–and the one that I reference in the CA article–is when he chops off his own hand rather than being captured by Batman. This in itself isn’t that out of the ordinary–by comic book standards, I mean–except that he clearly has the option of cutting through the rope that’s holding him instead. Here’s the sequence:

 

 

I’m not sure if there was some discrepancy between what Jim Starlin pictured when he wrote that scene and what Jim Aparo drew, but considering that Aparo was far from an amateur and there’s really no other way to set up a guy tied by the wrist and holding a fire axe, I’ve got to figure that either it just didn’t occur to Jim Starlin, or he was fully aware that the Beast could cut the rope and decided to make him seem bat-shit crazy.

Man, I love that guy.

And he’s just one of the many communist characters on the list! Enjoy, folks!

30 thoughts on “Red Scare: ComicsAlliance’s Favorite Comic Book Commies

  1. That’s not a bazooka. That’s a Stinger missile launcher.

    Golly! You’d think I’d know that, considering that it says it’s a Stinger missile in that exact panel. Why, it’s almost as though I was sacrificing accuracy for the sake of using what I thought was a funnier word! It’s a good thing I have people who take this stuff seriously to keep that from happening again!

  2. I must protest the absence of Kilowog, who briefly defected to the Soviet Union because it reminded him of his collectivist home planet.

  3. Cripes, if they’d had spandex during the Cold War, we’d all have been screwed. Super-commies are apparently awesome.

    I’m a fan of Glushko the Spaceman, myself, just because he can telepathically share his hangovers.

  4. Stinger missile launcher or bazooka? Hmmm… Both are weapons of significant destruction. But which is better? There’s only one way to find out…

    …FIGHT!! :)

    (for all you Harry Hill fans out there)

  5. On the one hand, you’re wrong not to have listed the People’s Heroes, whose ass-kicking at the hands of the Suicide Squad makes them awesome.

    On the other hand, you’re so right not to have included that tool Red Star that I’ll forgive you.

    On the third hand, you’re even more wrong not to have included Stalnoivolk.

  6. The DCU is so awesome.

    Superman + Horn-Rims = “Clark is Superman? Don’t be silly.”

    Huge man in leather luchador/BDSM gear carrying missile launcher with dangling electrical cord + bright blue trenchcoat and fedora = “Where did that missile come from? Nobody here but us concerned bystanders!”

  7. I’ve put WAY too much thought into the KGBeast story (I read it back in the day). What if the COLORIST made the mistake? I just wonder if the cable that wrapped around Beast’s arm was supposed to be a metal cable instead of rope?

    Sorry, I know it’s ruining the comedy. Just something I was thinking of.

  8. Technically they didn’t change the Black Widow’s name as much as correct it. In Russian lastnames are often dependent on gender. Romanoff is the masculine form of the feminine Romanova.

  9. Chris Sims said In any case, O[mega]-Red here was a leftover product of KGB genetic engineering that was put on ice for however long it takes for a person to grow a side-mullet, then thawed out to pit his tentacles in battle the X-Men in a comic that was apparently terrifying to small children.

    Well played Mr. Sims, well played.

    Will Eugene be featuring YOU in a future “Big Ups to all my Haters” segment?

  10. I’m a little disappointed you left out the cast of The Winter Men, Chris. Understandable, though, given how only eight people on the planet actually read it.

    While the story was crap, I also thought the decayed Soviet superheroes in The Programme were kinda funky. You’ve just gotta love The Spirit of Lenin, a Soviet marshal with a mouldy-pumpkin face who spends his time slicing F-18s in half and incinerating Vegas with his eye lasers.

  11. Though he doesn’t merit mention on the CA list, you gotta love BATTLE-ARMOR CYBER-STALIN from Fantastic Four #344. The FF versus an alternate-universe cyborg 120-year old Stalin in a massive Robotech-style battlesuit? HELL YEAH! (Robo-Stalin turned out to be a robot, commissioned by the Politburo to keep themselves in power. The robot was built by Disney.)

  12. I don’t know how anyone can mention KGBeast and not bring up NKVDeamon. I mean come on adding one letter to the acronym, a bit of satanist flair, and 10 tons of ridiculous.

  13. And let’s not forget the craziest thing about KGBeast: Batman totally freaking tried to murder him, by bricking him up in a sewer.

    Yeah, they softened it in a later story by saying that Batman told the police he was down there, but the intent of that original story was pretty clear: Batman was just sick to death of him, and decided to leave him in the sewer to die.

  14. Golly! If you have to explain a joke, it’s not funny. Batman taught us this.

    If you have to have a joke as simple as “‘bazooka’ is a funny-sounding word” explained to you, your sense of humor has been surgically removed.

  15. Was looking through the Marvel solicitations for December and pleased to see there is a comic featuring Red Ghost and the Super-Apes, as well as MODOK, The Leader, The Mad Thinker and Doctor Doom. And, er, Egghead. Written by Jeff Parker no less. I can see me buying that.

  16. Aparo actually got to revisit the point in the sequel, Ten Nights of the Demon, which is the comic equivalent of that episode of Head of the Class where they go to Moscow.

    (as if it wasn’t obvious, it turns out that the Beast had an apprentice serving in the NKVD who was called the… sigh… NKVDemon. Between that, Vicki Vale suddenly turning up in an attempt to get some buzz off her movie appearance, and the hackneyed Earth Day message, it’s kind of sad compared to the over-the-top original. But at least the Demon had enough sense to cut the rope).

  17. I posted a link to your post Chris on Jim Starlin’s facebook page and asked for his insight. Colorist’s error, I am afraid. If you are friends with Jim on facebook, his explanation is up right now!

  18. Uh “If anyone were around to hear it they would not understand.” Presumably only nobodies understand russian then…