Cosmos: Old School (2001) – part twenty-two

Welcome back to part two of the disgustingly-early (or repulsively-late?) Cosmos Christmas special! Last time, I dealt with the A-Team cast’s surprisingly brief contribution to the yuletide melee, all confusing Sunday strips, mistletoe and defective exploding Christmas lights; and the first mini-story from the B-Team cast, featuring a very unfortunate Mall-Santa who probably wishes he has never met Peter Anderson….
Now it’s all about the B-Team cast (specifically Peter, Jamie and Timmy), as they prepare for the festive season while pondering the driving issues of the day:

2001 22_1
Top: This entire story is (very loosely) inspired by a Calvin and Hobbes comic wherein Calvin, having listened to ‘Santa Claus is coming to Town’ for two panels, turns off his radio and addresses the audience “Santa Claus: kindly old elf…. or CIA spook?” You know, I’m not entirely certain how the modern pop-cultural caché of Christmas – complete with its iconic red-suited spokesperson – was transplanted to Cosmos in the first place…. or whether it’s some incredibly bizarre form of convergent evolution. But as with most things of this sort, it may be better if we simply accept it and move on….

Bottom: Oh dear, the Terrible Twosome are attempting to pull a face one on Jamie, possibly the most alarmnigly-astute ten year old since Lisa Simpson – this will not end well, mark my words. Peter also appears to be seriously mixing his geek metaphors (meta-metaphors?) in the fourth panel…. In for a penny, in for a pound, huh, Pete?

2001 22_20001
Top: Ahhh, Unicron! Welcome! Leave it up to Peter (and by extension, me) to deliberately cram a Transformers reference into an already contrived mash-up. Still, when you need an entire planet destroyed in the most horrific fashion possible, who better to call? From what I remember, the implication in these strips was that Kreepton (great name there, Peter) is populated solely by Type-two Cosmosians; being an ‘alien planet’ rather than Cosmos itself. How well this cultural statistic comes across in the story,
though, is open to debate.

Bottom: Chaos! Destruction! $50 million dollar visual effects! The great thing about comic strips is you are basically unencumbered by budgetary concerns – if you can imagine it, and you can draw it, then you can do whatever you want for no money down! In doing so, however, Peter really seems to be digging himself into a sizeable hole….

2001 22_30001
Top: The penny drops. With sufficient force to shatter concrete, by the looks of things. I’m not going to speculate on whether there actually are such things as Snow elves (I think I’ve got enough types of Cosmosians to worry about already, thanks), but Peter’s story has been exposed as the sham it truly was – a shame, really.
It was just getting interesting!

Bottom: Smarty-pants she may be, but Jamie can’t resist rubbing it in when she knows she has the advantage – which, in the circumstances, is fair enough.  Unfortunately, Peter – unable to not be a sulky eight year old – is equally determined to dig that hole he’s in just that little bit deeper, just on general principle….

2001 22_40001
Above: This is interesting – the story is about the B-Team cast, but the title bar is all A-Team cast, all the time! A very rare occurrence; and only a few small steps from the two casts appearing in the same strip together! Could you actually call it a crossover if they did, though, given that they’re both in one comic anyway? Hmm. Anyway, the story itself: Peter’s first Transformer toy (Mr. green, yellow and orange) is entirely made up, but Transformer no.2 – rather unintentionally – is a dead ringer for one of the pre-1984, Takara Toys versions of Optimus prime in terms of colour scheme (sans the red accents); although at that point in time, I had no idea any such toy existed. And Cosmos again sounds like it gets a whole bunch of TF stuff we never did – ‘Deluxe Protectobots’ only appeared on Earth in the recent Combiner wars toy series;  and there are (thus far) no such things as Mega-changer cannon mounts, Throttlebot car launchers (which would be awesome, given that the Throttlebots had nifty pull-back-action friction drive rear wheels), or an Iacon Duo-mode battlestation playset. Dangit, Cosmos, what other secrets are you hiding from us?!



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