Wednesday, January 26, 2011

You've Gone Too Far, Conan

Look, I've been a Conan O'Brien fan for a long time.  I've been on Team CoCo long before we were calling it Team CoCo.  And sure, I never watched a minute of his "Tonight Show", but I was still outraged when he got hosed for Leno.  And, even though I haven't watched his new show, I'm glad it's there.  But now... now I'm not so sure.  Because Conan... you have crossed the line.

Now, let's overlook for now Conan's rather baffling inclusion of longtime Flash nemesis Captain Boomerang on a list of super heroes that suck, or his declaration that the guy who came up with a magic ring that turns the bearer's thoughts into solid-light constructs was "mailing it in that day".  No, what's really stirred me up is that Conan had the audacity to call Bat Lash- Bat Lash!- lame.  And that is something for which I shall not stand.

Bat Lash is a western character (please note I said western character, not super hero, which should automatically disqualify him from Conan's list.  But I digress) created by Reuben- award winning cartoonist (which is the highest award a cartoonist can receive, not, in this case, a sandwich) Sergio Argones.  He briefly had his own series in the late '60s, written by Argones and Denny O'Neil and beautifully illustrated by Nick Cardy.  Lash was a character very much influenced by the popular James Garner tv show Maverick, and his adventures were quite unlike any other western series comics had seen.  Though short lived, Bat Lash is remembered as one of the high points of the Silver Age, and widely regarded now as a classic. One of the first things I did when I started buying Silver Age comics was put together a complete run of Bat Lash, and I was not disappointed.  They are great comics, very sophisticated for the time and well worth reading.

In short, Bat Lash does not suck.  He is awesome.  You know who sucks?  Conan!

Conan's entire argument against Bat Lash seems to revolve around the fact that he looks like a bit of a dandy.  Now, I will grant you that the illustration that Conan showed (by Dave Gibbons, which I can't seem to find online) is not the most flattering, but come on.  Just because a man appreciates the finer things in life, it doesn't make him gay!  That's like saying that recently deceased NFL Hall of Famer Cookie Gilchrist wasn't a tough guy because he answered to the name "Cookie".  And Cookie Gilchrist was plenty tough.  Tough as nails.

One of the things that's always kinda bugged me about Conan is that he's obviously a geek, but he often ridicules geek culture for the sake of Joe Six-Pack.  He's like a geek minstrel.  It's just sad.  Well, I for one am not going to take it any more.  You're dead to me, Conan.  Dead to me!  From now on, I'll stick with a geek who remembers his roots: Stephen Colbert.

I'll give you Space Ranger and Ultra the Mulit-Alien, though.  They do suck.

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