I am fortunate to have found today’s issue for the Deconstructed. I had no idea who, or what the Inferior Five were before I Deconstructed Justice League of America #62 back in September. The Inferior Five title consisted of only 12 issues through 1967 and 1968, making it a difficult book to find. By chance, I had run into a copy at a flea market on a table filled with old tools and sports memorabilia. It happens to be the exact same cover that was advertised in that terrible Justice League issue. Of course, I had to swoop it up and share the book with all of you.
Inferior Five had their first appearance in Showcase #62, 1966, as the children of the famed Freedom Brigade. Unfortunately, the Inferior Five all carry with them some non-heroic disadvantage. After gaining, then losing their own title, the Inferior Five have all but disappeared from DC, with only rare appearances, and references. That is until the title is in development once more with a planned 2018 release. And who else would take long forgotten characters and try to make something out of them? None other than Green Onion Blog favourite, Jeff Lemire. Is there anything that man can’t, or won’t do? Let’s see what the comic powerhouse is up against as we Deconstruct issue 8 of Inferior Five.
As I mentioned, during the late sixties this particular cover was highly advertised. It does a great job of featuring each character and their unique flaws. Leader, Merryman, is based off of Woody Allen, and while the bravest and most intelligent, lacks strength or fitness. Dumb Bunny has super strength, but is a feminists nightmare, being a stereotypical blonde. Blimp is out of shape, but as light as air. Awkward Man is precisely how he sounds, while White Feather is as brave as they come if he wasn’t afraid all the time.
The New Inferior Five
“A Little Junk Can Go a Long Way”
Cover Price: $0.12
Todays Worth: $20 – $30
Written by E. Nelson Bridwell
Pencilled by Win Mortimer
Inked by Tex Blaisdell
Lettered by Ray Holloway
Edited by Joe Orlando
In the city of Megalopolis, someone has used magic to start a junk pile to grow exponentially.
I’ll let Merryman explain-
A bloody tank for $7! They really would sell anything in the sixties! Remember the monkey? At least this tank can fit two children.
The city tries to figure out what to do with the junk as it starts to take over Megalopolis-
The government decides it’s a purposeful secret government project?
Which seems to please the citizens just fine-
All but diner owner Herman Cramer. Good thing Herman has a secret of his own, he is the Blimp, part of the Inferior Five.
Quickly the team assembles-
Everyone needs a spy pen!
The Inferior Five begins climbing a mountain of trash- with terrible jokes. There are reasons this book did not last.
And, this page is one of them-
After tearing her apart, these boys sexualize her, and that is it, the story moves forward. Why is this in here? I have no idea.
Then the tribe runs into a hippie communal living in trash?…
And they grow a monster flower?
Again this has nothing to do with the story but seems to be more 60’s social commentary.
And, its Dumb Bunny who saves the day. She seems to be the only competent member of the I-5.
Then the team is attacked by junk robots? This is all over the place.
Again, it is Dumb Bunny who saves the day.
Finally, the group reaches the top of the trash mountain to discover this junk castle. And they run into Dr. Gruesome, the first foe of the I-5. Also, don’t worry about the smoke monster things. I couldn’t make sense of that.
Dr. Gruesome reveals his plan and how he made a natural bomb in a convoluted way.
Can someone in New Jersey tell me if the Palisades Amusement park is still a thing? I have a coupon for the Batman slide that doesn’t expire.
The Inferior Five are locked away in the Junk Castle dungeons-
Luckily, Awkward Man is so clumsy he can’t even stay shackled-
They find Dr. Gruesome’s lair and Dumb Bunny rocks some more out-of-date dialogue-
Blimp uses his weightlessness to snatch the egg-bomb-
Meanwhile, the army finally shows up-
If you are running from a villain while traversing down a mountain of garbage, obviously the best person to give the bomb to is Awkward Man. Obviously.
And that ends kind of how you would expect-
Leaving the I-5 to clean up a city of garbage, and the villain to get away. The end?
The fan letters seem to be mostly filled with anger. I am not sure if this is an intentional joke by the editors, or if these were the only letters they received?
Either way, they are pretty clever with their responses.
Thanks booknerds, I didn’t say it was good. There is a reason that Inferior Five failed to push past 12 issues.