Monday, December 10, 2007
Henry Kissinger: Action Hero
Despite the fact that it features a giant dinosaur, the cover of Super-Team Family 8 (1976), starring the Challengers of the Unknown, doesn't even begin to highlight the awesomeness on the inside. For, "The Devil's Paradise," written by Steve Skeates and drawn by Jim Sherman and Jack Abel, contains what may be the greatest plot in comic book history: President Gerald Ford calls on the Challengers of the Unknown to rescue Secretary of State, Nobel Prize winner, and war criminal Dr. Henry Kissinger from an island in the Bermuda Triangle inhabited by dinosaurs, cavemen, and samurai.
I'm just going to stop writing now, forever, because I don't think I'll ever write a sentence as awesome as that.
But seriously, the story lives up to that description. Two unnamed nations go to war and threaten to drag the US and USSR out of the Cold War and into a nuclear confrontation. Sent to negotiate the peace is Dr. Kissinger (who does not, by the way, go by "Dr. K"). Before he can arrive at the peace talks, however, his plane travels through the Bermuda Triangle and is bombarded by unknown forces which push it into another dimension (and cause the doctor to resort to his native German).
The next morning (clearly, this isn't considered much of an emergency), President Ford puts out the fateful call:
After a quick recap of the Challengers' origin (thanks new-reader-friendly editorial policies of the 1970s!), the team finds themselves caught in the same vortex and brought to the island, where they unsuccessfully attempt to defend themselves against cavemen riding dinosaurs.
Once captured, the Challengers meet up with Dr. Kissinger in prison, and the peace negotiator gives them the score.
Say what you want about Kissinger, he knows his shit! He figured out a scientific explanation for everything before alleged genius Prof Haley could.
The Challengers rig an escape, which leads to an all-out battle with the island's denizens. The Secretary of State, however, seems hardly in need of rescue:
"Pinochet taught me this move, bitch!"
As the team flies off into the sunset, Kissinger manages to find a moral to the whole story.
"Yes, let's get rid of war. Now excuse me while I go offer American support to South American military leaders and encourage them to continue their human rights abuses."