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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 39

Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we start “Catch Phrase” week! Each day we’ll examine the first time that various comic book characters used their most famous catch phrase!

We begin with the Ever-Lovin’ Blue-Eyed Thing!


Surprisingly, Ben Grimm, the Thing, did not even use the WORD “clobber” for the first ten or so issues of the Fantastic Four. Then he mentions clobbering people a few times, stuff like “Aw, you should have let me clobber them!” or “I can’t wait until I get to clobber him.” Stuff like that.

Shockingly, though, it was not until the twenty-second issue of the Fantastic Four, in a match-up with the Fantastic Four’s first foe, the Mole Man, that the Thing finally let his catch phrase loose!

Amusingly, it’s along with a phrase that I am totally unfamiliar with. I mean, I suppose from the context that it means just a general “Yeah! Let’s go!,” but I do not know where the term comes from exactly. Anyone out there know?

By the by, while I was not positive this would be the case, I had a pretty good idea that once it was used the first time, Stan Lee would be quick to use it again, and he did, in the very next issue!


Why did superheroes in the 60’s always call the people they were fighting “playmates”? It’s really specific to the 60’s and it’s kind of bizarre.

‘sort of cross between a nuclear explosion and the bellow of a lonely whale!’

THAT kids, is how you write an analogy – Smilin’ Stan Lee-style!

I can’t tell if I like “Smile playmate” or “Yay bo” better, despite the fact I have no idea what “YAY BO” means

It’s like “Yay, boy!” I THINK I’ve heard it before long ago…

Of all the catchphrases, I hope you put “Hawka” in somewhere.

I imagine “Yay Bo” is the precursor of today’s “Hey, holla atcha boy!”.

I guess that means Stan Lee created ebonics. He truly is “The Man”

The only other time I’ve seen “yaybo” used was in another Stan Lee comic (X-Men #1).

It reminds me of “fetch” in Mean Girls. “Stan, stop trying to make ‘yaybo’ happen!”

Or a precursor to “Yeh, Boi!!!”

I remember picking up this issue of FF off the rack. Even then, as a young boy with a very limited knowledge of science, I thought Reed’s instruction to Ben was ridiculous. The “wall is radioactive, if you touch it you’re doomed!”

Electrified, maybe. Sharp edges covered with a powerful poison, surely. However, if that entire wall was radioactive enough to kill Ben with just a touch, Johnny, Sue, Reed and the Mole Man were all doomed from the radioactivity as well.

I always figured it was just a contraction of “Yeah, boy!”

This was the first issue of FF that I ever read, at the tender young age of four.

Yes, Paul, but don’t forget that back then radioactivity was a magic fairy dust you could do anything with. After all, half the heroes who fought the Radioactive Man should have gotten cancer, but never did.

Yeh, I mean it was literally only a few years before that people though hiding under your school desk would be succesful defence against an atomic bomb.

My theory is it was a typo, Stan Lee meant yaboo because the Thing thinks Mole Man is a real dork.

I thought it was a sort of cheer… “Yay, Bo!” Whoever Bo is…

Actually, “Yay Bo!” goes back to at least the late 20s. Ira Gershwin uses the phrase in the lyric to “Strike Up the Band:”

Let the drums roll out
Let the trumpet call
While the people shout “Strike up the band”

Hear the cymbals ring
Callin’ one and all
To the martial swing, strike up the band

There is work to be done, to be done
There’s a war to be won, to be one,
Come, you son of a gun of a gun, take your stand

Fall in line, yay bo,
Come along, let’s go
Hey, leader, strike up the band!

It’s basically a call to action. Could even derive from carny talk.

Brian, could you please do one of these articles on the phrase “Up, Up and away!” soon?

I dunno, tanzim, can you imagine trying to find out which issue it first appeared in?

Especially since it likely debuted on the radio series.

My guess, since Stan and Jack both were in the Army during WWII, is it was an expression used a lot at one of the places one of them was stationed, kind of like the Marines’ “Boo ya!”” today.

I love how Invisible Girl is saving all of them at once and still stuttering and freaked out.

Seems to be the phonetic version of yebo (Zulu world meaning yes).

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