365 Reasons to Love Comics #77
Well, yesterday’s was the most unpopular one ever. Man, if you guys didn’t like that one, you’ll probably hate this one. Of course, I love it, and I shall spread that love.
Today: the finale of Joe Simon Week! It’s the most bizarre stretchy superhero ever!
Jigsaw, Man of a Thousand Parts, is not the best stretchy superhero. We all know that’s Elongated Man. He is, however, the strangest. Take that, Plastic Man!
Created and edited by jazzercising Joe Simon, written by outrageous Otto Binder, and drawn by tantalizing Tony Tallarico, the co-creator of Lobo, the world’s first titular black hero, Jigsaw was a two-issue series that was part of Harvey’s superhero line back in 1966. Lt. Gary Jason, astronaut, crashlands on the moon and undergoes alien surgery that turns him into a human jigsaw with the ability to stretch because of “living tissue tape!” His girlfriend freaks out at his new and scary jumbledness, and he’s all bummed out, until Si-Krell and the other aliens scoop him back up to be their own personal superhero. They partner him with sexy human-looking Pulot, Zilla. It ain’t all bad.
The second issue was far crazier. Jigsaw gets caught up in the interplanetary olympics and decides to hold them in New York. He wins, of course, and then there’s a space race battle, but everything works out okay. After that, Jigsaw dropped off the face of comics.
It’s shame Joe Simon concepts haven’t gotten enough love, but then, look at the comments section of the last few days, and you’ll see why. Perhaps people don’t appreciate the bizarre. I admit, the execution on these stories isn’t the best, but they are rich with far-out ideas and situations that work in rip-roarin’, electrifyin’, and hilarious ways.
Look at Jigsaw. It’s a cool visual and a zany story that leads to a lot of fun. All of Joe Simon’s stuff was like that. From crazy living dummies to teenage presidents to rich boy adventurers to men of a thousand parts to perfect patriotic heroes to entire genres, Joe Simon has contributed fun and interesting ideas to the comics medium. It wouldn’t be as fun without Joe Simon, and I’m very saddened that all these wonderful, brilliant, silly ideas didn’t have longer lifespans and aren’t appreciated like they should be. Were it up to me, these ideas would be living on in current comics.