Fish-Flavored Baseball Bat

It's a John Cleese reference.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The League of Extraordinary Gentle Memes

I just can't resist, I'm taking part in another one. On Bully's blog, Comics Oughta Be Fun, the little stuffed bull proposed his ideas for a modern-day League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, combining characters from contemporary fiction into a super-team just as Moore & O'Neill did with Victorian literature. I posted my ideas there, but I thought I'd put them down here as well.

I went with a late 60s/early 70s setting, mainly because I REALLY wanted to use Augustus Mandrell...and since Mandrell was already an assassin of great skill and repute in World War II, a present-day League probably wouldn't show him at the best of his ability. (Then again, if there's anyone who could be a nonagenarian adventurer, it would be Mandrell!)

So, here's my League, utilizing Bully's archetypes ("The Leader," "The Rogue," "The Muscle," "The Mystery Woman," "The Guy with a Boat," and "The Mastermind"):

The Leader: Billy Jack (from the '70s movies by writer/director/star Tom Laughlin). A pacifist, spiritually enlightened ex-Green Beret and master of hapkido. He strives to live in peace, but when he sees injustice or racism, well...he just goes BERSERK!

The Muscle: Shell Scott, the happy-go-lucky private eye from Richard S. Prather's series of detective novels. Thinks Billy Jack just needs to relax and stop taking himself so seriously.

The Rogue: The urbane assassin and master-of-disguise Augustus Mandrell (from Frank McAuliffe's novels "Of All the Bloody Cheek," "Rather a Vicious Gentleman," "For Murder I Charge More"). Has no scruples, but finds his colleagues amusing.

The Woman of Mystery: Miss Brunner from Michael Moorcock's "Jerry Cornelius" novels. An enigma even by the standards of Moorcock's head-trippy worlds. Has no patience for Shell Scott's womanizing and lowbrow quips.

The Guy With a Boat: Fred, the captain of the Yellow Submarine (from the animated Beatles movie, of course). He's slightly dithering and easily flustered, but oh, the psychedelic panoramas his craft can visit!

And the Mastermind behind the league: None other than the boy genius himself, Leroy "Encyclopedia" Brown, working behind the scenes because he knows his youth would keep the team from taking him seriously.

(I was tempted to propose Alan "Mollymauk" Musgrave, as played by Roddy McDowall in the 1966 movie "Lord Love a Duck," as the Mastermind, but decided that was too obscure, even for me. Besides, Mollymauk's genius was single-mindedly devoted to the betterment of one person (Tuesday Weld's shallow social-climber Barbara), so he probably wouldn't bother organizing a League unless it would somehow benefit her.)

EDIT: After a few days, I suddenly had a much better idea for the Mastermind, and it's even one who could go by the traditional nickname/title "M." The Mastermind behind my league would be...Miss Jane Marple!


At 1:09 AM, Blogger RAB said...

Jane Marple. That's brilliant!

At 6:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm, Bill Jack, even with that sappy pop tune that was his theme song? But here't so Augustus Mandrell. I've just finished Of All the Bloody Cheek, and I'm an instant fan. Read my post about him here:

Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"


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