Wednesday, January 04, 2017

A Month of... Celebrities in Comics, Day 4: We Are the World, Outside Your Window

As we all know, on December 22, 1987, Pittsburgh blowed up real good.

Panel from Star Brand #13 (March 1988); script and pencils by John Byrne, inks by Tom Palmer, colors by Andy Yanchus, letters by Joe Rosen

As we often say around here: well, that'll happen. Speaking of wells, what also will happen is following up a natural disaster with a charity rock concert. You and I both know that anytime anybody falls in a hole, big-name musicians will rush to cut a single, most or some of the proceeds of which going toward hole relief. (I should never say that phrase again.)

That's why the movers and shakers of the New Universe (except perhaps for Fred Rogers, Kurt Angle, and the Steeltown Rockers) have all...wait for it...banded together to throw a big-ass mega-concert to benefit the survivors of the Pitt! And what else could it be called but


Double-page splash spread from Justice #20 (June 1988); script by Peter David, pencils by Lee Weeks, inks by Mike Gustovich, colors by Janet Jackson, letters by Agustin Mas
(Click picture to Meat Loaf-size)

Pitt-Aid! It only sounds like the world's most disgusting drink mix. But despite the terrible name, they've actually got some pretty big-name music stars playing there. And no Dokken! But they did get Mick Jagger...

...and I'm not certain who that is to the right of Mick. I'm just guessing now: Bob Geldof? If you know better who That One Guy is, answers on a postcard in the comments and let me know!

Of course, this is clearly Aretha Franklin singing her popular hit "Think," all while doing her Grace Jones impression.

Meanwhile, Chico Marx The Edge and Bono out of U2 perform their smash single about looking for things. I should indicate at this point that author Peter David is juxtaposing the lyrics on each page with what's going on during Justice's search through the crowd for some nefarious New Universe do-badder. Here, for instance, it might possibly be inferred or detected that Justice, in his search, is unsuccessful so far, in the looking-for category.

Madonna is here, fresh from her disastrous Pepsi commercial, in which her hair was accidentally set on fire. Look out, it's still aflame! But we kid Ms. Ciccone, because her hair is actually a sentient being activated by the New Universe's White Event. "Sing 'Like a Virgin', Madonna!" "Okay, Talking Hair!" This is actually one of the incredibly rare appearances of Madonna in any comic published by Marvel, but I wish they'd done a Marvel Team-Up starring Spider-Man and her, just so Sean penn could punch photographer Peter Parker in the face.

And it wouldn't be a Peter David story without an overlabored joke, now, would it?

Kids seem to love the Peter, Paul, and Mary, and I'm sure their guest appearance here in a seldom-viewed corner of Marvel Comics did a lot to drive up sales of their homey folk LPs. Me, I like the Peter/Paul more than the Mary. Sometimes I feel like a nut, sometimes I don't.

Now, this next one gave me a lot of trouble, mainly because it's kind of a vague caricature but mostly because I couldn't identify the lyrics he's a-singin'. And no, he's not the perpetually-spied-upon-by-the-Watcher Rockwell.

I spent an afternoon searching on Google for songs with these lyrics and all I came up for a song titled "Somebody's Watching You" are African American musicians. No, this is not Sly and the Family Stone, nor is it Rufus and Chaka Khan, and I'm pretty sure it's not Little Sister, which in addition to being a black band, was all-female.

For a moment I thought I'd found it: Billy Squier has a song titled "Lonely Is the Night" which features the lyrics
Somebody's watchin' you baby
So much you can do
Nobody's stoppin' you baby
From makin' it too...
...which, at least, is no
I'm rockin' tonite — I'm walkin' on air
Gonna find me some trouble — gonna grab my share
I want ya tonite — I want ya with me
Make me guilty of love in the first degree
But it turns out Squier's "Lonely Is the Night" is not the droid song we're looking for. He doesn't elongate the "you" in that lyrics. But still, I had to watch a Billy Squier music video online, so you have to, too.

I got some suggestions: Chuck Topley from Random Happenstance huckrolled me by suggesting it might be the Guy from Simply Red.

But I'm inclined to believe Neil Bradbury's keen and incisive skill at identifying real humans in comic books:

I'm going to go with Neil's excellent suggestion that this is Sting (not actually a real bee) and that Peter David simply forgot the exact lyrics of "Every Breath You Take." Wait, didn't Synchronicity have a sleeve with the lyrics on it? Well, at least there wasn't a terrible, terrible pun at work here from Mister David.

So remember, support all those people stuck down the Pitt and buy your official Pitt-Aid music and merchandise today! Me, I've got a t-shirt. In XXXXXXXXS.


Dave said...

David obviously ran this script by Marvel legal, who must have told him "Okay, you can do this; just make sure Lee Weeks doesn't use any identifiable likenesses of the musicians."

googum said...

I wonder if I had this issue: I actually liked Justice before they did their "Everything you know is wrong" issue to reverse all the fantasy/sci-fi out of it. Which retroactively made the lead an amnesiac fed who shot death-rays out of his hand...

Johnny Bacardi said...

Robert Palmer?