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Dollar Bin Discoveries: Sexy Spandex Edition



Mike: [00:00:00] You keep the damn dog.

Jessika: Leave us the actual fuck alone. Yeah, exactly.

Mike: We are not morning people.


Mike: Hello. Welcome to Tencent Takes the show where we slide into our super suits, one issue at a time. My name is Mike Thompson and I am joined by my co-host the lithe lycra lady herself, Jessika Frazier.

Jessika: Man, I should wear more lycra. I don't know. It just feel I get hot really easily. I get toasty really easily. I just like, I can't regulate my body temperature like that. Like I'm impressed by people who can just be in stuff like that for long periods of time and like doing active things like super heroing even.

I don't know, that just, it seems like a lot of effort and a lot of like [00:01:00] your body not breathing. I, I don't know.

Mike: Yeah, it's uh,

Jessika: at.

Mike: it seems uncomfortable.

Jessika: It does.

Mike: How are you doing tonight?

Jessika: I'm good. I'm good. I'm glad I'm wearing something that's wicking.

Mike: Nice. Yeah, me too. Well, if you are new to the show, our main episodes drop every other week and provide in-depth looks at interesting moments in comic books and how they are tied into pop culture and history. But today is one of our dollar Bin Discoveries mini episodes that we do, in between those deep dives, we spend a lot of time rooting through dollar bins at local shops looking for interesting stuff. And while a lot of the issues that we find are fun and weird, they may not be enough for us to do a full deep dive on, but that's only for the moment.

We reserve the right to change our mind later and come back. Each episode features both of us talking about one random issue that we came across in the dollar bins and focusing on what it is, what goes on inside it, and why it's [00:02:00] interesting These are many episodes that are meant to provide you with some weekly content between our more in depth discussions about the weirder and more interesting moments of comic book history, and as we are doing themes, tonight's theme for our dollar bin discovery is Sexy Spandex. Take that as you will. So Jessika, what did you bring to the table tonight?

Jessika: Well, I found this, wanna start off saying, I found this recently at the bat cave in Santa Rosa when you and I were hanging out and Well, Sarah was there too. Yeah, that was fun. And it's a direct market issue, so that's pretty fun. It had the, , business reply mail marketing intact and everything

Mike: Oh, weird.

Jessika: Yeah, it was cool.

So it's the uncanny X-Men volume one number 320. It's Legion Quest number one of four. I know that's a mouthful, but it is also, and also,

titled The Sun Rises [00:03:00] in the East. I don't,

Mike: This sounds familiar.

Jessika: I don't know. It's from January of 1995. I'm sure it sounds familiar.

Mike: Yeah, like this was right around the time that I had stopped reading X-Men Comics and stuff like that. But Legion Quests I think was like involved with Professor X's son who has like dissociative identity. Dissociative identity disorder.

Jessika: it is. Oh, we will get into it.

Mike: Love it.

Jessika: I wrote a chunk of things about this. Just you wait. Henry Higgins. So. Plot by Scott Lobdell. Dialogue by Mark Waid. Here he is penciled by Roger Cruz. Inked by Tom Townsend. Colors by Steve Bucci, lettered by Bill Oakley, edited by Bob Harris, editor-in-chief. Our guy, Tommy DeFalco, of course.

Mike: I think this is the first time we've had Mark [00:04:00] Wade show up on the show.

Jessika: Yeah, actually you and I talk about him quite frequently, like off. You know, off mic. You're right. This is, I think this is the first time we've talked about him here. That's pretty funny and kind of weird. Like, Hey Mark Waid,

Hey

Mike: Mark Waid.

Jessika: burn ever. That's us. We're talking about you again, but this time it's on record, so Oh goodness.

So, Listen. Listen. The first thing I need to establish about this comic, very important, even before the plot, is that this is very nineties. Like I know you're thinking, Jessika, it's from 1995. It's smack dab in the middle of the nineties. Of course it's going to feel that way, but I need you to know. That it goes beyond that.

It is so incredibly nineties, like Rob Liefeld himself could have been [00:05:00] involved. It goes in that direction,

Mike: Ooh, how many pouches?

Jessika: slightly. Just so many muscles.

Mike: Well, okay. Yeah, but like we got muscles. But I'm talking about like if we want to, if we want factor in Liefeld, we gotta factor in pouches as well as we established when we were discussing things with Fabian Nicieza.

Jessika: You're right, you're right. You know what? I will go back and I will look for pouches and I will do a double check and I'll get back to all of you. But anyway, it just felt, it just felt very nineties. now that I've set the scene, here's the haps. We start off with the X-Men. They're fighting a foe in the Israeli high desert.

He's starting off strong, with Storm at the forefront. The foe is, as you mentioned, Legion or David Holler. they have been called to deescalate the situation that has arisen with him. See he has what is described as acute schizophrenia. but I believe that they are confusing that with what is now called dissociative [00:06:00] identity disorder.

It's a little embarrassing for them,

Mike: Yeah,

Like we talked about that

in the Crazy Man episode.

Jessika: yeah. Yeah, it's a little, it's a little rough. It's just very misinformed. See, cuz they have the whole different personalities or alters that exist to form more of a like personality system rather than one continuous persona. I am not an expert but from my understanding, this is caused by childhood trauma or trauma in general.

So, the idea is that each of David's personalities has its own super ability that was different from all of the other super abilities that he had, and that they had all been able to reconcile or combine into one personality again. And once he was able to control that, he was able to basically be a god. And

he was giving me X-men a holy [00:07:00] SmackDown as it were.

Mike: he's come into play a couple of times, like a, as a villain throughout the history. I remember there was one in the early nineties called the Muir Island Saga, which I think ended with him dying. There was another crossover where, He showed up as like a supporting character, I think for the new mutants.

I don't, like, it's always been real problematic. And then there was another one where like they revealed that actually he had like 80 something personalities or a hundred something personalities. That was around 2010.

Jessika: Fucking hell.

Mike: it gets weird. It's, uh, like I've always felt real off about. That character. I know that FX had a show recently called Legion that was supposed to be wonderful.

Like it's supposed to be really cool and weird. but I mean, I know that the X-men are kind of like a, a mascot for marginalized people in general, but they aren't always the best at [00:08:00] representation of, you know, people with disadvantages.

Jessika: Yeah, yeah, exactly. I agree with that. So, The X-men were then able to run a misdirection play, and they think they have him under control until he uses his powers to take himself back in time to try to recreate Charles Xavier's vision. Okay. And Psylocke psychically links everyone, and they all go back in time, like holding hands like wee to the next issue apparently.

That's it. That's it. Like, I mean, it was fine. Like as far as Comics go, like outside of the obvious, like the obvious mental health, issues that are there. Um, like, it's like it's fine.

It's a comic. It's like, you know, you know, it's, Blah, blah, blah. It's fine. Whatever. I'm not gonna like seek it [00:09:00] out.

I'm not gonna break my back to find the remaining issues surrounding it. Like it was a fine read and it was like appropriate for the nineties. Like, I get it. and also the spandex thing, I. Uh, so let's say that storm, I mean as the X-Men, first of all, it's the X-men. I really

Mike: it's the X-Men in the nineties. That's all you gotta say.

Jessika: because storm is tearing up the cover in the usual type costumed way, and Psylocke, you know, especially in the nineties, was wearing what amounted to ribbons on

her body.

Mike: We're gonna have to talk about that at some point. And how she was just that She was that Asian fetishization. Thing that was going on in like the early nineties, late eighties, where she was like a ninja. But it was weird because she was like British and then, and then they were

Jessika: was a whitewashed like yeah.

Mike: and then they did a whole thing where it's like, oh no.

She had her mind swapped with like a [00:10:00] Japanese assassin and that's why they're, it's like whatever man, like

Jessika: Yeah, no. I'll tell you why. It was to make her fucking palatable in this country, which is so gross. So fucking gross.

Mike: And.

Jessika: Thanks. I hate it.

Mike: I was

gonna say it was the male gaze.

Jessika: Yep. Oh, yeah.

Mike: oh

Jessika: yeah. Oh, so is this how fun this was too? Like the first scene is literally like, it's fucking Bishop carrying Psylocke because she had like, it was from a previous issue.

Of like something before this, like number one of four parts, whatever. I don't know. Something was wrong with her. And so he's like carrying her like fucking damsel. I was like, this is, and she's wearing ribbons. I'm like, this is gross. I don't like it. I don't

like

Mike: it was real weird when they had Psylocke show up in that Apocalypse movie a couple of years ago, and I was like, oh, so they just went for that costume. Hmm. [00:11:00] Okay.

Jessika: Hmm.

Mike: Yeah.

Jessika: Yep, yep, yep. Indeed. So, so that's me. That's me. I'm sure we're gonna post. Pictures. I'll tell you what I'll, I commit to, I commit to having us post, , pictures of not only Storm on the cover, but also of Psylocke being carried like a fucking damsel. So you're welcome everyone. Yeah. Yeah.

Mike: Okay, well I am coming at you with the Mighty Bombshells, number one from Antarctic Press, and it was published in

Jessika: Well, that sounds more fun. Uh oh. Uh

oh. Uh oh. I interrupted you for no reason.

Mike: Mmm.

Jessika: Ruh roh.

Mike: Yeah, so this was published in September of 93. Antarctic is an indie publisher. They're still around. , but they really cut their teeth in the eighties, [00:12:00] capitalizing on that Amerimanga comic genre that, you know, no one else was really doing

Jessika: Oh.

Mike: it was, you know, it was like, manga style that wasn't originally in Japanese.

It was like, you know, created by and for an English speaking, audience,

Jessika: Yeah.

Mike: I mean they were always kind of involved with. That field of manga, but I remember them really blowing up in the nineties, thanks to their Warrior Nun Areilla comic. And they also had like a couple of busty babes Comics that were getting pretty big with the preteen market at that time.

And so according to the note of the inner front cover, this was originally published. In Bandai's Japanese Language magazine, Cyber Comics. And then Antarctic brought it over here to the States, but they had to run it in black and white due to low orders.

Jessika: Bwah.

Mike: they were planning to run it in color, but they were just like, we just had really low orders.

And I was like, Ooh. Okay.

Jessika: I know Rupp.

Mike: Yeah. Right. The story in art is by Yujin Ishikawa, [00:13:00] tones and cover colors were handled by Pat Duke. Translations were done by Douglin and Kuni Kamora, and then Ben Dunn was editor-in-chief. I think he still is. I don't know. So the story starts with a fish shaped spaceship appearing over earth.

I think, but the continents don't really line up. It's kind of like a, Hmm, maybe like, it's like if you squint hard, that could be Europe. I don't know. Um, there is an alien queen on board and she reveals that she's there to find her consort, and once the wedding ceremony is complete, the planet will be hers.

And the history of the new empire will begin here. You know, um, also

Jessika: dun dun.

Mike: she looks like, a sexy version of Rita Repulsa from Power Rangers. Like, I'm just gonna throw that out there. Yeah. Like you look at her and you're like, oh, I see what they're going for. All right. So, We then cut to the New York City headquarters for the Vanguards, [00:14:00] which is a superhero team clearly meant to be like a pastiche of the Avengers, where new member Jennifer Washington is grousing to her coworker Katherine, that she joined the org but is only allowed to be on monitor duty and then suddenly, this woman who she looks, again, kind of like a, a knockoff of Captain Marvel shows up.

Her name is Lady Pulsar. She is beat to hell and she reveals, "oh, she captured the rest of the team." And then we get a flashback where we see that the Empire State Building suddenly transformed into this alien structure. The hero team investigated and then the alien queen just steps out and announces she is wait for it.

Queen Zebra, Zuta, Sonam,

Jessika: Boo. There it is.

Mike: and then she immediately took mental control of all the male heroes. She had them all, blast Lady Pulsar, and then took off with them, basically [00:15:00] following in her wake So basically the super dudes are now a threat. Zebla then chooses Captain Freedom, who is basically like a mashup of Superman and Captain America in terms of designs as her mate.

Back at the headquarters, Jennifer and Catherine figure out that women aren't affected by Zebla's mind control, and thus they decide to assemble a group of female superheroes from around the world. Catherine puts together a list and we get Red Dragon, a martial artist from the People's Republic China.

Remember, this is the early nineties. We get

Jessika: Mm.

Mike: Pyrokinetic Fireball from England. Blitzkrieg comes from Germany and has.

Jessika: There it is.

Mike: Yeah. Oh, just wait.

Jessika: Ouch.

Mike: they say, elemental powers, I'm assuming they're lightning based. And also Blitzkrieg's logo is a singular SS Lightning bolt. And that

Jessika: Oh

Mike: the most, that still not the most offensive character design in the mix.

Jessika: What? [00:16:00] How

Mike: Oh. Just wait.

Jessika: fucking hell.

Mike: Yeah, there's also Cherry Blossom from Japan. We don't learn anything about her other than she's described as one of the top mutants in Japan. And finally we get Dynamite Girl out of Texas, whose costume is, it's just a body suit with the Confederate flag printed on it, and she's got a power

Jessika: Oh no,

Mike: Yeah, it's

Jessika: didn't, none of that. None of that cherry blossom. Come on.

Good Lord.

Mike: So we're then treated to a montage of Catherine and Jennifer Teleporting, all of these different heroines to Vanguard's HQ with like no warning. They're all in the middle of other stuff, and then suddenly they're just like teleported out of those activities. So they're, they're basically abducted.

Jessika: Cool.

Mike: Like dynamite girl is in the middle of like some rodeo show or something like that, and all of a sudden she and her horse are both like, just they vanish and the announcer's like, I [00:17:00] guess we just saw the debut of a new superpower. It's whatever. yeah. So they're not too happy about this.

They all start to grouse about their forcible abduction, and then Catherine shouts them down, like, and it's implied that she's like, listen up, you c-words, they don't use it. So it's like, you know, it's a little bit left of the imagination, but you're like, Ooh, okay. Because they all get very quiet.

and then she basically is like, you need to, you know, go do this. They quiet down, they then assemble on the final page, and we see this new team heading out to do battle led by Jennifer in an Uncle Sam style costume, and going by the moniker, Miss Liberty. And prior to this, We don't really find anything out about her background or like what she can do.

We just know that she's, a new member of the Vanguards and that she's a teen superhero. There is one full page panel at the start of the story with her and the other bombshells, so like, I just thought it was like some weird promo art or something because the bombshells aren't a team at that point.

But like I, I genuinely [00:18:00] didn't recognize it was her until I went back and reread the issue with this in mind. Like, you don't see that she's wearing striped pants except for in two panels, and it's like really easy to miss unless you're looking for it. And then she also has a bulky, kind of like eighties power blazer for a good portion of the rest of the story.

And also the book being in black and white just kind of adds to the confusion.

Jessika: Yeah.

Mike: So after that, we're told the bombshell adventures will continue an issue too. It's only like 16 pages. So this is clearly like, you know, it, it, it was meant to be like, you know, a reprint of like something from an anthology magazine.

And then we get a center spread of character bios, which actually like explain who these characters are and what their powers are. And then the rest of the book is actually, , a backup story showing the adventure that cherry blossom was caught up in the middle of when she got teleported away. Basically, it stars her, her boyfriend, I think his name is Yoichi. He is also a superhero known as Get this Ultra Super Deluxe Golden Silver Great [00:19:00] Special Man.

Jessika: Stop. Stop.

Mike: Yeah. He,

Jessika: That is,

so many words.

Mike: yeah. so, it's clearly meant to be kind of a satire of, you know, Japanese superhero character names, and, we'll, we'll come back to that in a minute. He gets into a battle with what's called a techno yakuza. Think, a villainous version of Iron Man. And you've got a good idea of what he looks like.

But he actually doesn't do very well in the battle because he's farsighted. So he keeps on like missing when he is trying to tackle the guy. Or like

land a

Jessika: Oh

Mike: It's kind of

Jessika: no.

Mike: Cherry blossom shows outta nowhere. She lays the villain out and then we're told to check out panel three, page 13 for the next part of the story, and then turn back to here.

And then we see Yoichi getting yelled at for all the damage he caused. So the final panel is him working construction to make up for it I am genuinely not sure how I should feel about this book. There are,

Jessika: I w I was really hoping that there was actually gonna be like, You were like, oh, there's a [00:20:00] side story with Cherry blossom. I was like, oh, good. So you get to find out more

Mike: Nope. she literally, she just shows up for like two panels. That's it. She like comes streaking outta nowhere and that's it.

Jessika: Thank you. I hate it.

Mike: Yeah, like, I mean there are moments that are really kind of funny in this and the art's not bad, but it's really not helped by the lack of color. And two of the characters have extremely problematic elements to their costumes. And I mean, one of them has literal Nazi iconography, inner outfit.

I get that this was supposed to be satirical and it was created by someone from Japan, who, who you know, has presumably very little context at this point in time for, what is and what isn't problematic in America or the West. but it really hasn't aged well you know, it's interesting cuz I talked to Sarah about this because she lived in Japan for years and she was like, yeah, that's not entirely uncommon over there.

And you know, please don't interpret me as saying like, you know, [00:21:00] Nazi Sheik is a big thing in Japan, but it is a thing like, you know, they have Wikipedia articles on this

it's an interesting artifact. you can see what it was going for. I don't think it's great viewed through a lens of today, but we are also viewing it through a lens of almost 30 years later.

Jessika: Yeah. I mean there's that for sure.

Mike: I mean, back then the Confederate flag for the most part was just kind of associated with the Dukes of Hazard,

Jessika: Yeah.

Mike: you know, as opposed to where it is now.

Jessika: Yeah. Happy. Happy 30 year birthday, mighty bombshells, number one.

It's coming up in September. Babies.

Mike: Oh, I hate it so much.

Jessika: Oh

Mike: But yeah. this was part of the comics pile that I put together with Jeff Smith from the Comic Hunter up in Canada.

Jessika: Hmm.

Mike: I'm very glad that it's part of my collection cuz it's an interesting thing to talk about.

Jessika: Oh

Mike: But I don't think I need to find another one of these There's at least one more [00:22:00] issue out there I know of, but I'm good.

Jessika: I do think it's funny that our, our theme was really theming tonight. Like not only was it sexy spandex, but it was both from the nineties, like within a couple of years, of each other. And then, it also didn't age well. Neither of them like a surprise. It's from the nineties, didn't age well.

The nineties were a wild time. I, we had so much unlearning to do.

Mike: Yeah,

Jessika: I still have learning to do. I know that,

Mike: There's a lot of stuff that I've gone back and watched from that era, and I'm like, oh, that, mm

Jessika: oh, I've done that thing where I, like, I had like just DVDs that I think my mom gave me a bunch of DVDs when she was like, I'm, we're not gonna have DVDs anymore or pick. Whatever you want. And I was like, oh, I remember watching these, blah, blah, blah. Right? I remember throwing one in, like, I had a date over, and like, it didn't age well.

And I was like, oh no. It was one of those movies [00:23:00] where I was like, I feel like I remembered it fondly the couple of times that I saw it, like back in the day.

But then I was

like, oh no,

Mike: did you ever see the movie soap dish?

Jessika: I, it sounds familiar. And I think I've seen the, the, the cover's pink, but I

Mike: Yeah.

Jessika: seen it before.

Mike: It's like it's Sally Field. It's Kevin Klein, it's Whoopi Goldberg, it's Elizabeth Shue it's Robert Downey Jr.

Jessika: I probably have seen it and I'm just not remembering.

Mike: it is hysterically funny about the people that are involved in making a soap opera. Like it's the cast and the crew

Jessika: Oh.

Mike: like all the backroom politics that go on.

Genuinely

Jessika: talked about this before too.

Mike: Yeah. Until like the last, the, the final twist is that the villain is trans. And you're like, oh. Oh, okay. And, and that, and then they use it to like, you know, and that's the whole thing where like it humiliates her and it like demonizes her and you're like, oh, that doesn't hold up at all.

Jessika: [00:24:00] Mm. Uh oh. We're attacking someone's identity now.

Mike: Oh yeah. And it's one of those things where I remember watching it a couple of years ago and I, you know, like I kinda had vague memories of it. I thought, I was like, oh, this is really good. Fuck, this is really funny. Why don't I own this? And then I got to that scene, I'm like, that's why.

Jessika: Yeah. Yes, indeed. So, well,

Mike: Yeah.

on that highlight of a note, I think it's, uh, time for us to sign off for the evening. What do you say?

Jessika: A let's do it.

Mike: All right. We will be back with another dollar bin discovery in two weeks. Uh, next week, I don't know what we're gonna be talking about because we're recording these so far in advance that it's like, One to two months ahead of time. So who knows. But , until then, stay safe and we will see you in the stacks.

Jessika: Thanks for listening to Tencent Takes. Accessibility [00:25:00] is important to us, so text transcriptions of each of our published episodes can be found on our website.

Mike: This episode was hosted by Jessika Frazier and Mike Thompson, written by Mike Thompson, then edited by Jessika Frazier. Our intro theme was written and performed by Jared Emerson Johnson of Bay Area Sound. And our credits and transition music is Pursuit of Life by Evan McDonald and was purchased with a standard license from Premium Beat.

Our banner graphics were designed by Sarah Frank, who you can find@lookmomdraws.com.

Jessika: If you'd like to get in touch with us, ask us questions, or tell us about how we got something wrong, please head over to Tencenttakes.com or shoot an email to tencent takes gmail.com.

You can also find us on Twitter. For now. The official podcast account is TencentTakes.

Jessika is Jessika Witha, and Mike is vansau, v a n s a U. We're also on Hive, Macedon, Instagram TikTok and Facebook. The complete list is in the show notes.

Mike: If you'd like to support us, be sure to [00:26:00] download, rate and review wherever you listen.

Jessika: Stay safe out there.

Mike: And support your local comic shop.

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