And I would have a nifty cool '70s theme song, like this!:
Oh! Oh! On second thought, that makes me think: rather than traveling back in time from a bonk-bonk on the head, I would rather have a genie. Then I could rub the lamp (with only the best of fine brass polishes, of course!) and make all sortsa wishes! And, the first thing I'd wish for would be a copy of Tales to Astonish #8! "But why," (you're asking me) "Why Santy Claus? Why? Why are you taking our tree?" And that's a very good question if you happen to be Cindy-Lou Who. The rest of you are no doubt asking me "Why do you want a copy of Tales to Astonish #8? And that's another very good question.
Well, not only does TTA #8 feature the astonishing, mind-blowing tale of "The Floating Head"...
...but also one of the great Jack Kirby-pencilled, Steve Ditko-inked mystery/monster/morality plays with O. Henry-flavored endings of the sort you would always get in Tales to Astonish and other Marvel monster and horror mags like Tales of Suspense and Tales of Bewilderment and Tales of Mild Consternation and Tales of Itchiness: A story entitledand yes, dashes are included at no extra price"I AM THE GENIE!". Which me and my genie would probably enjoy reading together, I betcha, and I would wish for some Fritos corn chips and horseradish-bacon dip and a two-liter container of Tahiatian Treat and we'd sit down and read "I AM THE GENIE!"
Panels from "I AM THE GENIE!" in Tales to Astonish #8 (March 1960), pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Steve Ditko
Our thrilling tale opens in a perfectly ordinary high-security prison, where Freddie Sykes, your everyday jailbird, relaxes by reading fairy tales and fables. No, your guess is wronghe's not the young Bill WiIlingham, and this is not the secret origin of Ironwood. Not that I know what that joke means.
So, when he finally makes his parole (no doubt displaying his impressive knowledge of Grimm and Perrault as a plus to outside society), he ain't gonna get a job mopping up the bathrooms at the bus station, oh no no no no no. Instead, he does what so many ex-cons do after getting out of the Big House: he goes on a world-wide archeological quest to investigate, survey, and excavate a genie's lamp! (Wow, this guy's good.)
So naturally, of course, his first wish is for something eminently practical, right? Something useful, like a good working salary, or a nice new suit, or perhaps tickets to see Charlie Daniels down at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds, August 20-29, right? Well, what do you think?
Suddenly! With no regard for the Comics Code Authority or the ability of the parents of Indigo Children to see naughty words in the skies or suggestive symbols on the cases of Disney animated cartoons, the Genie conjures up a freakin' solid gold castle. Now that was his first mistake. Because if it was me, I'd be asking for a solid chocolate castle.
That oughta make anybody happy, huh? Once you got the solid gold castle, that's when fabulous leggy supermodels come rushing your way. So there's no need to ask the Genie for more wishes, you think? Oh, boy, have you got another think comin'!
I think you might be able to spot where this harmless little tale of archaeology and Middle Eastern mythology suddenly took a dark turn:
After wishing for such ultra-practical things as a winged horse and a Nixon victory in '68, Crookie decides it would be fun to make most of the world think the Rapture has arrived by turning the sky pitch black. Well, see, there's your problem. I can have that if I want. It's called "night."
Little know facts about The Silver Age of Comics #219: On his original art, Jack Kirby wrote a note to Steve Ditko in the margins by this panel: "Better buy more ink, Steve...the whole rest of the comic book is completely black panels! Haw! I'm Kirby!" To which to Ditko is known to have responded "Every form has its own meaning. Every man creates his meaning and form and goal. Why is it so importantwhat others have done? Why does it become sacred by the mere fact of not being your own? Why is anyone and everyone rightso long as it's not yourself? Why does the number of those others take the place of truth? Why is truth made a mere matter of arithmetic--and only of addition at that? Why is everything twisted out of all sense to fit everything else? There must be some reason. I don't know. I've never known it. I'd like to understand."
Right about now the Hubris Express is rollin' into the station, and when Mister Jailbird explains his next plot to the Genie, take just a moment to consider the horrifying consequences when it is granted! The universe as we know it will be destroyed! Life on all planets will perish! The Guns of Navarone will never be made!
POOF! At the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty "Heigh-ho, Genie!" the dirty deed is done! (And pretty inexpensively, too.) Now mankind must cower before the terror of an Evil Genie in his tiny yellow briefs! AIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEE!
Ah hah! The tiny yellow briefs are on the other butt now, mister!
And around that point,
And so the Genie makes his way out into the world, leaving behind Doll-Man in His Undies for the next unlucky victim to find. Later, that Genie shaved his goatee, got crippled in a mine collapse, and opened a school for gifted children in Salem Center, New York. And now you know...the rest of the story!
And then, years later, Disney bought Marvel so they couldn't be sued for completely ripping off the ending from the comic book.
Oh, and by the way...how'd they ever get rid of that Giant Floating Head?
Oh good, that's all taken care of, then.