From: (Mean Mister Mustard)
Newsgroups: rec.arts.comics.misc
Subject: The Annotated RADIOACTIVE MAN #3!
Date: 16 Jun 1994 15:24:44 GMT

"We underwent a startling philosophical conversion... from smugly 
complacent, smarter-than-thou Vertigo annotations to overly-redundant, 
stating-the-obvious Bongo annotations... and believe me, it feels *good*!"

Radioactive Man Issue #216 (third issue of the limited series)

Compiled by Marc Singer (
Note:  RADIOACTIVE MAN is published by Bongo Entertainment Inc, 
and "Radioactive Man" is property of Fox TV.  These annotations are 
written without their permission.  Let's just keep them our little secret, 

A few general notes:  RADIOACTIVE MAN is a six-part limited series 
published in 1992.  However, the comic RADIOACTIVE MAN, which 
was first introduced on the TV show "The Simpsons," has supposedly been 
printed continuously since the 1950s.  The current series is maintaining that 
facade, by printing each issue as if it were written many years ago.  Thus, 
the third issue of the limited series is called "issue #216," and was 
supposedly written in 1972.  It's told in the style of the "relevant comics" of 
the early 1970s, which used superheroes to tackle current social issues.  In 
fact, the issue is heavily based on the very first relevant comic, the Denny 
O'Neil-Neal Adams issues of GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW.

In these annotations, I use the fictional numbering of the issues themselves.  
The second issue is called #88, the third is called #216, and so on...

RADIOACTIVE MAN #216, "Aug. 1972"

"See No Evil, Hear No Evil!"

Steve Vance:  Script, pencils
Bill Morrison:  Co-plot, finished art
Cindy Vance:  Co-plot, colors
Shaun Cashman:  Additional inks
Matt Groening:  Unindicted co-conspirator (god, I love that guy's sense of 

Cover:  A parody of GL/GA #85 (or is it 86... help, anyone?), in which 
Green Arrow is protesting that his sidekick, Roy "Speedy" Harper, has 
become a junkie.  Yeah, that's right, they made "Speedy" into a junkie... it 
seems a little too obvious, doesn't it?

Page 1:  Nixon has appeared in every issue of RADIOACTIVE MAN to 

Page 2, panels 4-5:  Of course, if Claude hadn't thrown away that tip about 
the "third-rate burglary" at the Watergate building, Gloria would've gotten 
quite a scoop... :)  Yet another dig at Nixon, of course.  The timing is 
exactly right; the Watergate break-in really did happen in June 1972, which 
would've been around the time an issue cover-dated August 1972 was 

Page 3, panels 3-5:  The hat that blows onto RM's head (and saves his 
secret ID) belongs to Mary Richards (the woman in panel 4), the main 
character from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."  The line "She's going to 
make it after all," which RM echoes in panel 4, is from the MTM Show's 
theme song.  I think the opening titles also featured her hat getting blown 
off by the wind.

Page 5, panel 3:  Purple Heart (seen in RM #88) has become Bleeding 
Heart, mimicking Green Arrow's transformation from a run-of-the-mill 
millionaire superhero to a streetwise anarchist (or, as BH so accurately says 
two pages later, a "hipper-than-thou pseudo liberal").  The name "Bleeding 
Heart" is a pun on 'bleeding heart liberal,' and a dramatic change from the 
superpatriotic "Purple Heart."
	Also, note that this is one of the many pages in this issue to have a 
sort of Neal Adamsish layout; it breaks the six-panel form that was the 
staple of most superhero comics up through the 1960s.

Page 6, panel 2:  That angry glare from Bleeding Heart is pure Neal Adams 
ripoff; Green Arrow was always doing angry head-turns with cool little 
lines bursting out of his eyeball.  It showed you how radical he was, man.  
(There's another one on page 7, panel 4.)  Compare this to GL/GA #76, 
page 5, panel 2... the completeness of RADIOACRIVE MAN's 
homage/satire is hilarious.
	panel 3:  Some very goofy sound effects.  RADIOACTIVE MAN 
constantly parodies the sound effects of comics, and this panel has 
"KALOOTA" -- perhaps a reference to artist Michael Kaluta, though I 
don't think he did any "relevant" comics work.
	panel 5:  Miles Mando (BH's secret ID) lost his fortune, just as 
Green Arrow was bilked out of his money.  GA wasn't a defense 
contractor, though... that job belonged to Tony (Iron Man) Stark of Marvel 

Page 9:  Check out the Kirbyesque Silver Surfer poster in the upper-right 
hand corner of the picture.

Page 10, panel 2 (first inset panel):  "fluoridated water":  During the height 
of the Cold War, the government started putting fluoride in the water to 
strengthen people's teeth.  Some reactionaries suspected it was actually a 
Communist plot, and the fluoride would brainwash Americans.  Of course, 
we in the 1990s know this is ridiculous; only rap music and comic books 
can brainwash mass numbers of Americans!

Page 11, panel 4:  The Poster Pit has, among other items, a Stones poster, 
a Jimi Hendrix poster, and a copy of the Richard Avedon photo of John 
Lennon.  All of which are almost as cool as BH's "Dogs Playing Poker" 
(see panel 1).
	Also, the woman in the foreground is Brenda Boyle, who is 
presumably the Black Partridge.

Page 12:  The psychedelic effect above "Black Partridge" spells out "Hey, a 
Neal Adams Rip-Off!" which is exactly what the psychedelic lines are.
	Black Partridge is a parody of Black Canary, a superheroine who 
possessed an earsplitting sonic scream.  She was Green Arrow's partner 
and lover for many years, and she accompanied GL and GA on some of 
their "relevant" travels; Black Partridge and Bleeding Heart don't get along 
quite so well.
	BP refers to another item of 60s/70s culture, the Partridge Family, a 
TV show about one of those everyday families that's also a rock band.  BP 
basically looks like a cross between Black Canary and one of the female 
Partridges; sort of a crimefighting Shirley Jones.

Page 15, panel 1:  "Reverend Dim Sum Spoon" is a crack at the Reverend 
Sun Yung Moon, religious cult leader.  "Turn On!  Drop Out!  Spoon In!" 
is a parody of 60s guru Timothy Leary's patented phrase, "Tune In, Turn 
On, Drop Out."  Or was it "Turn On, Tune In..."?
	panel 5:  The poster shows Nixon and his first vice president, Spiro 
Agnew, dressed up as Radioactive Man and Fallout Boy.

Page 16, panel 3:  Is that the Partridge Family bus?
	panel 5:  "O'Neil's Cafe":  a reference to GL/GA writer Denny 

Page 17, panel 2:  In the background, Hal (Green Lantern) Jordan, Oliver 
(Green Arrow) Queen, and a disguised Guardian of Oa are getting out of 
the green pickup truck that they drove around the country in the Adams-
O'Neil issues.  The license plate even says "GL-GA."  BP's thought balloon 
is quite ironic, all things considered.

Page 19, panel 1:  Way over on the right... that big tall hairdo looks awfully 
familiar... of course, Marge Simpson would've been in high school around 
1972, which could put her at about the right age to be at a Spoon-In (at 
least, that's around the same age as Dodd Runtledge).  However, Marge 
didn't have that hairdo until she went to her senior prom years later... 
perhaps this is either Patty or Selma in a rebellious phase?
(Actually, for RM to be a comic in the Simpsons' world, it can't be any of 
the Bouvier sisters... just a sight gag.)

Page 22, panel 4:  Visually, this reminds me a lot of the GL/GA issue 
where some evil airport owner strapped GL, GA, and some guy named 
Isaac to three different airplane tail sections.  I think the plan was to kill 
them by asphyxiation, not shooting them with a laser, but visually the 
scenes are very similar.  Anybody knos the exact GL/GA issue?

Page 24, panel 2:  Once again, Radioactive Man only wins by Dumb Luck 
(the cannon not working properly, because it was made by a defense 
contractor) and Fallout Boy (freeing them and giving them protective 
glasses).  The third method of victory, That Darn Lightning Bolt, takes a 
breather this issue.

Page 25, panels 2-3:  More parody sound effects -- SPAT!  VOK!  I love 

Back cover:  Yeah, we all remember those "War Fun Set" ads... this one 
has some savage satire, though.  The savagest bit of all:  "This fun set is 
dedicated to our fighting heroes at My Lai!"  Brief history lesson:  in 1968, 
U.S. troops under the command of Lt. William Calley killed over a hundred 
Vietnamese civilians in the village of My Lai.  News of the massacre was 
suppressed for nearly two years.  In 1971, Calley was convicted for 

That wraps up another one... please feel free to send any comments, 
corrections, or criticisms to me at, or just post them 
to rec.arts.comics.misc.  I'd love to know what you think.

Resume your ruminations, O Radioactive Man readers!  Excommunicate!