Second acts

For all the fun I poke at the "Bulletman" comics of the early 1940's, I have developed a real fondness for the book and characters. And although I have spent the last few months reading all of his early adventures, I was surprised to learn recently that in my childhood years Bulletman staged a comback to, of all things, join the Army:

Not only did he get a dunk in the Fountain of Youth thirty years after his apparent demise, he also got an image makeover! Next time, though, maybe he should contract with the nice people at "Project Runway" instead of the Army, because this remake doesn't fly with me.

Look, call me old-fashioned, but I think the only Bullet character with long, sexy, exposed legs should be Bulletgirl. And maybe Bulletdog, depending on the day.

As it stands, the combination of the metallic arms with the bare legs on this 1976 revamp is just odd. I also find the eye-covering helmet unsettling for some reason ... maybe it's that with the original, it looks like he's wearing a bullet on his head, but here it look like his head is in a bullet. A subtle, but vital difference, if you're the one with your cranium so ensconced.

I also liked the original color scheme better. The yellow tights and wrist bands, with the red aviator-type jacket capped with a blue helmet was striking. I find the updated version a bit dull, the red jarring against the silver and skin. Plus it's just spandex, unlike the bulkier top he used to wear, which I always thought made sense given the amount of debris he generates flinging his head through walls.

Finally, I hate the logo. Is it not clear enough that we are dealing with a projectile-based fellow here, what with the big silver bullet on his head? Do we really need a big graphic to back the point up?

I particularly find the faux explosion behind the graphic distracting. That's a comic-book convention, used to add dynamism to a panel in a static medium. But in theory this is a real guy doing actual real things, he doesn't need graphic enhancement to punctuate his wall-crushing. He just, you know, crushes the wall and the explosions take care of themselves.

In any event, I thank the GI Joe team for trying to bring Bulletman back for the Super Adventure Club (not to be confused with Scientologists; although both sometimes get involved with aliens, relatively few Scientologists fly around in underwear, dragged by the neck).

Wait, that's "Super Adventure Team", not Club.

Whatever, he needs to get a refund on that costume redesign, or else stand real close to Scruffy Beard GI Joe (later revealed to be not just a Fidel Castro lookalike, but the actual Fidel Castro) so he looks better by comparison.

(Image @copy;1976, Hasbro.)