Monday, April 21, 2014

365 Days of KirbyTech, Day 111: The Sandman's Hypnosonic Whistle

"You know how to whistle, don't you?" said the hottest woman in the universe:

But for the Sandman, whistling involves — you guessed it! — a very special piece of KirbyTech: the Hypnosonic Whistle.

Panel from The Sandman (1974 series) #2 (April-May 1975), script by Michael Fleisher, pencils by Ernie Chan, inks by Mike Royer, letters by Ben Oda

Gosh, Mr. Sandman, Miss Bacall don't need no magic whistle to do that.

Like a Swiss Army Knife but minus the corkscrew, the Hypnosonic Whistle has a multitude of uses. Most frequently, the Garrett Sanford ("Grady!") Sandman uses it to release his two assistants/helpers/companions/big blobby nightmare fuels Brute and Glob and summon them to wherever he is. Ah, so it has GPS in it.

Panels from The Sandman (1974 series) #1 (April-May 1975), script by Joe Simon, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks and letters by Mike Royer

Not just the Sandman can blow that little chiseled hunk o' tin. If you've got lips, just put them together and blow, and you too can experience the eerie sound of the Hypnosonic Whistle, a cheek-puffening tone that sounds like something out of a dream, and probably that one where you're late for a test in a class you haven't been to all semester, and you're not wearing any pants. But keep in mind that if you blow the whistle, it'll make you feel as if you eyes are very heavvvvy, and you're getting sleeeeeepy.

You'll also summon Brute and Glob, who will stand over you and taunt you with their terrible teasing. Also, their drool.

Panels from "The Seal Men's War on Santa Claus" in The Best of DC [Blue Ribbon Digest] #22 (March 1982), script by Michael Fleischer, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Mike Royer

Brute and Glob can use the whistle themselves, which is an interesting concept, seeing as they don't have lips.

Panel from The Sandman #1

Apparently the blueprints are just lying around the Sandman's Dream Dome, and not, say, locked up in a DC Universe Patent Office somewhere, because Brute makes a copy of the whistle. So they can actually get out at any time they want. Well, that's just fine. Why don't we let the gorillas have the key to the gorilla house now, why don't we? Sheesh.

Panels from The Sandman #2

Also possessing a copy of the Hypnosonic Whistle: Jed Walker, Unluckiest Boy Alive, who can use it to summon Sandman. Sure, apparently the Sandman could rescue him from his torturous, tormented life at the hands of his cruel and abusive relatives, but no, hey kid, here's a whistle. Gee thanks Sandman. I'll hit the rats who chew at my fingers every night with it.

Panels from The Best of DC #22

As befits the single object that Jed owns, his stupid and wicked cousin Dudley Dursley Bruce Paulsen, wants it. Well, frankly, on this one, I'm kind of inclined to blame Jed. The most magical item ever and you wear it around your neck on a chain, Jed? Why, you could trip and fall and that thing might get lost almost without you ever noticing. You don't think other heroic little characters suffering great hardships wear their Rings of Power around their necks and...oh, wait. Never mind.

Panels from The Sandman (1974 series) #5 (October-November 1975), script by Michael Fleischer, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Mike Royer

Like Lola, whatever Bruce wants, Bruce gets. However, we are not told in her catchy tune whether Lola gets punched in the breadbasket. I'm guessing that part would probably be in the "Weird Al" Yankovic-penned parody version.

Later (after Bruce is done puking his little putrid guts up), he steals the whistle from Jed, who, I'm gonna say once again, totally deserves to have it stolen. You already know this creep wants your whistle, Jed, why would you take it off your neck and put it someplace else while you're sleeping? geez, if I didn't know what the Corinthian was eventually going to do to Jed, I'd say that kid deserves everything he gets.

Brute very much enjoyed meeting young Bruce, although he complained that he had terrible gas afterwards, which was probably from eating him all at once.

Just for good measure, and in case you didn't think it had enough fantastic KirbyPowers, the Hypnosonic Whistle also acts as a powerful sonic weapon that works just like a melting ray or laser beam. So be certain to point it away from you and, in the absence of any of the Paulsen family, directly at enemy robots

Panels from The Sandman #5

Also: do not point it directly at Santa Claus. WAIT WHAT THE SAM SCRATCH, STORY?!?

Panels from The Best of DC #22

Especially don't let it fall into the hands of a madman who's going to use it to destroy Washington, DC. Wait, wasn't this ex act same plot somewhere in a James Bond movie?

Panels from The Sandman #5

Travel by Magic Whistle for the Vacation of a Lifetime!

Panels from The Sandman #1

Later writers added substantially to the Hypnosonic Whistle mythos, prompting all Hypnosonic Whistle purists to angrily write into DC Comics and demand that the Hypnosonic Whistle be restored to the original Hypnosonic Whistle powers. That didn't actually happen; I just wanted to write "Hypnosonic Whistle" more times in a row than anyone ever has on the internet. He's the Sandman making a unicorn for Wonder Woman by blowing his whistle. DIDN'T THINK OF THAT TRICK DID YOU JED

Panel from Wonder Woman (1942 series) #300 (February 1983), script by Roy Thomas and Dann Thomas, pencils by Gene Colan, inks by Frank McLaughlin, colors by Carl Gafford, letters by John Costanza

Dr. Destiny is a deft hand mouth at blowing the Hypnosonic Whistle, when he uses it to enslave Brute, Glob, and all the rest (who we've never seen before) and has them kidnap the Justice League. Yes, the world's most powerful heroes. And Red Tornado.

Panels from Justice League of America Annual (1983 series) #1 (August 1983); plot by Paul Levitz, script by Len Wein, pencils by Rick Hoberg, inks by Dick Giordano, colors by Gene D'Angelo, letters by John Costanza

When he later takes over the mantle of the Sandman, Hector Hall, man with a name so alliterative he probably originated in the Marvel Universe, also inherited the Hypnosonic WHOA WHAT THE HECK IS THAT UNFORM JADE IS WEARING

Panels from Infinity, Inc. (1984 series) #50 (May 1988), script by Roy Thomas and Dann Thomas, pencils and inks by Mike Bair, colors by Liz Berube, letters by Jean Simek

Hector Hall continues to use the Hypnosonic Whistle within the dreams of Jed Walker even unto the proto-Vertigo age. But from that point onwards, he won't be usin' it long heh heh heh heh heh

Panels from Sandman (1989 series) #1 (December 1989), script by Neil Gaiman, pencils by Mike Dringenberg, inks by Malcolm Jones III, colors by Robbie Busch, letters by John Costanza

That's pretty much it for the Sandman's Hypnosonic Whistle, but it's worth a brief look-see at this expy-version which is pretty much the same device, but given to Superman by dreamworld resident and Guardian of Oa cosplayer Shalox. Also on display: we can see here Superman breaking union rules and ruining the livelihood of honest human construction workers by being a super-scab.

Panels from "Who Is Clark Kent's Killer and Why Is He Doing Those Terrible Things to Me?" in Action Comics #409 (February 1972), script by Cary Bates, pencils by Curt Swan, inks by Murphy Anderson

Yep: the pre-Crisis DC Universe, where blue aliens wore green jockey hats and Superman never, ever killed anybody, not even by accident. Also: the Golden Age of editor's footnotes!

So, just like the Sandman: give a little whistle, woncha?


JonJ said...

"I'm NOT a sissy, Bruce! You just say that because I have long, perfectly groomed, shining golden hair...oh, wait."

SallyP said...

That is a very nice lipstick, he has there.

Blam said...

Hmm… Lyta Trevor, the daughter of Earth-Two's Wonder Woman and later Fury of Infinity Inc., made her debut in that WW #300. Now by the time her beau Hector Hall takes over from Garrett Sanford as (that) Sandman, we're in the post-Crisis DCU and Lyta is now the biological daughter of the retroactively introduced Golden Age Fury, raised by Miss America, but it's still interesting to note that Hec's predecessor had put the moves on Lyta's Earth-One "aunt" earlier — a connection I don't recall ever making before.

Jonathan Sargeant said...

I'm missing Kirbytech!

Bully said...

It's due back soon, Jonathan! Apologies: I've been suffering some writing blockage.