As April winds to a close, we bid farewell to all the usual events that April brings: April Fool's Day, Tax Day, Easter, Shakespeare's Birthday, National Eggs Benedict Day, Eight-Track Tape Day...farewell, we shall never see their likes again. (Until next year.) I'm sure you're all sorry to see National Eraser Day go (especially this guy) but will you miss Separated at Byrne-th Month? In the words of Asia, only time will tell. So let's ring out the double-fortnight of Byrney Goodness with a pair of maple-flavored, hockey-infused, Kraft dinner-lickin' good covers from the only comic book you now need a passport to read legally: Alpha Flight!
L: Alpha Flight #11 (June 1984), art by John Byrne
R: Alpha Flight #25 (August 1985), art by John Byrne
(Click picture to Yukon-size)
Legend has it that if you place these two covers on top of each other, the universe implodes. Luckily I have them bagged and boarded separately!
A lot of things we take for granted in our everyday ordinary twenty-first century lives won't survive to the twenty-third and twenty-fourth century. Famine and poverty on Earth will be wiped on, as will Earth culture's dependence on money (tho' you can count on those wily Ferengi to see a need and fill it with slips of gold-pressed latinum). Gene Roddenberry was insistent that no one smokes in the 23rd century. And apparently by the time of Captain Kirk, slim, multi-purpose cell phones with touchscreens and computing power will be replaced by clunky single-purpose communicators. But we can always count on one constant in the universe of the future: that Starfleet captains are a total bunch of kickass problem solvers who cut through the Gordian knot of galactic problems with machismo (Kirk), diplomacy (Picard), and beagles (Archer). No, wait, make that two constants: as today, as it was in the seventeenth century, so it'll be in the 23rd and 24th: those guys love Shakespeare. Seriously, Harry Potter and Jack Ryan may no longer be read by the age of warp drive, but the Bard survives and is celebrated in that star-trekkin' future. On his 445th birthday (and looking forward to his 700th in the same year James T. Kirk takes command of the U.S.S. Enterprise), let's look at two great tastes that taste great together: Star Trek and William Shakespeare!
1966 preview for the Star Trek (The Original Series) episode "The Conscience of the King"
2006 preview for the remastered version of "The Conscience of the King," featuring 100% more usage of the word "throbbing" in relationship to James T. Kirk
23rd century productions of Macbeth and Hamlet, performed by the Anton Karidian Company, in "The Conscience of the King"
Kirk is no botanist, but he can pitch woo by quoting the Bard, in "By Any Other Name" (1968)
"The Taming of the Space Shrew," aka "Elaan of Troyius," from Star Trek (1968)
What If: Shakespeare Was a Sexy Green Orion Dancing Girl? Marta recites Sonnet 18 in "Whom Gods Destroy" (1969)
McCoy quotes from Hamlet in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
"You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon," from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
Shakespeare (and Sherlock Holmes) quoted in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
Captain Jean-Luc Picard quotes from Henry IV, Part II in Star Trek: The Next Generation "Encounter at Farpoint" (1987)
Q and Picard swap Shakespeare trivia in "Hide & Q" (Star Trek: The Next Generation, 1987)
Picard chews the scenery in "Ménage à Troi" (Star Trek: The Next Generation, 1990)
Picard reads from his Big Spacebook o' Shakespeare in "The Most Toys" (Star Trek: The Next Generation, 1990)
My favorite Shakespeare/Trek scene: Picard and Data in a holodeck version of Henry V (Star Trek: The Next Generation's "The Defector", 1990)
"I've heard you silver-tongued divvils before!" "Pickard" and crew pose as a Shakespearean acting troupe in "Time's Arrow, Part 2" (Star Trek: The Next Generation, 1992)
Doesn't anyone on the Enterprise ever put on Guys and Dolls? Data stages The Tempest and saves on his light bill at the same time! (from Star Trek: The Next Generation's "Emergence," 1994)
Garak doesn't appreciate Shakespeare, in "Improbable Cause" (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, 1995)
Evil Phlox and Evil T'Pol discuss Good Shakespeare from Star Trek: Enterprise's "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II" (2005)
And finally, the two greatest Trekspeare clips of them all
Shatner raps Julius Caesar, from Free Enterprise (1999)
One of the greatest Shakespeare soliloquies made better with the addition of Patrick Stewart and the letter "B" (from Sesame Street)
Q: Which one of these participants in the world-famous "Wacky Races" will cheat in a "dastardly" manner to get ahead and win the race?
Ppanels are from Wacky Races #2 (February 1971), pencils and inks by Jack Manning
If you answered Dick Dastardly, you're only partly right. Because the real answer: pretty much every one of them:
Is it any wonder that virtually every racer was booted out of the WASCAR (The Wacky Association for Seventies Cartoon Auto Racing) circuit for unsportsmanlike conduct, leaving only Penelope Pitstop? And you wondered why she left a lucrative racing career in order to be stalked around the world by Paul Lynde, right? Well, there you go: yet another Hanna-Barbera cartoon mystery finally solved by yours truly, Bully reminding you that cheaters never prosper!
Not to be confused with the DC Universe's Captain Boomerang, the Marvel Universe's Boomerang uses boomerangs as weapons and...um...he comes from Australia.
Oh wait, here's a good way to tell the Earth-1 from the Earth-616 model of toss-and-return supervillain: the Marvel one apparently has an interesting obsession with...um...well, let's just take a look:
Panel from Web of Spider-Man Annual #8 (1992), script by David Michelinie, pencils by Scott McDaniel, inks by Keith Williams, colors by Bob Sharen, letters by Steve Dutro
Whoa. Way too much information, Boomie. What you collect in your own time is your little secret, okay?
Well, I guess it coulda been worse. Glad there wasn't a MAX version of Boomerang where he and Blacklash fought Squirrel Girl, I guess.
(I am only six years old. Of course I find that funny!)