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CSBG Archive

I Love Ya But You’re Strange – Fin Fang Foom Put You In His Pants

Every week, I will spotlight strange but ultimately endearing comic stories (basically, we’re talking lots and lots of Silver Age comic books). Here is the archive of all the installments of this feature. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have a suggestion for a future installment!

This week, we spotlight the first story arc from Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen’s excellent Nextwave series.

The concept behind Nextwave is that five lesser-known superheroes (Monica Rambeau, Machine Man, Tabitha “Meltdown/Boom Boom/Boomer” Smith, Elsa Bloodstone and a new hero known as The Captain) joined up with a group that they thought was a SHIELD-esque outfit called HATE. They discovered, though, that HATE was funding terrorist groups and had hid “Unusual Weapons of Mass Destruction” around the United States. They then broke free from HATE and decided to thwart the plans of HATE (which is led by Dirk Anger)…

The very first of these “Unusual Weapons of Mass Destruction” is none other than Fin Fang Foom, one of the coolest monsters of the pre-superhero Marvel age of monster titles. So cool that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby made sure to bring him into the superhero age, as well.

Here is Fin Fang Foom as drawn by Jack Kirby…

As you might notice, for some reason, Fin Fang Foom is a giant dragon who wears purple underpants.

Ellis gets great mileage out of this bizarre little bit.

And in the second issue, we get perhaps the first truly classic Nextwave line, as Tabitha Smith attacks Fin Fang Foom only to be told…

“Fin Fang Foom put you in his pants” needs to be part of everyone’s everyday vocabulary!

Luckily, the Captain saves Tabitha from being in Fin Fang Foom’s pants…

Eventually, Monica Rambeau comes up with a plan (I love the Avengers teasing here, especially Machine Man’s respons)…

It is put into action…

And we get our result…

Poor Fin Fang Foom…


“My robot brain needs beer.”

“Fin Fang Foom’s heart?…Fin Fang Foom’s heart…is broken.”

And, of course, when Aaron emerges… he comes out of Fin Fang Foom’s pants. Yeah, Ellis went there. Which makes an exchange with Tabby a few issues later (“EWWWWWW! They shot their MUCK all over me!” “Like THAT’S never happened before.”) even crazier.

God, this book was so much fun. I’m actually adding Captain Marvel to my list because they’re going to use Monica in this design; and, as far as Kelly Sue DeConnick is concerned, Nextwave happened.

Best…. comic….. ever

I miss this book. I miss this book SO MUCH!!!

“People are the Elvis of snack food.”

The world needs more Nextwave.

I love the cover of this one — it’s a boxing match motif, and I forget what it says under Machine Man, but under FFF it says “I wear underpants”.

Looking at those “factoids” about FFF and about the Captain, I wonder, was that meme about “Chuck Norris Facts” out by that time? Because it reminds me of the different “facts” about him that get thrown around. (And were nicely parodied in Weird Al’s song “CNR”)

Under Machine Man it says “My Name is Aaron Stack” — as if anyone was listening, anyway…

Bouncing around Wikipedia following Nextwave links this morning, I found that the team appeared once outside the series — in a Marvel Zombies series, they were killed off -panel by the Power Pack. This sentence has encapsulated everything possible to hate about Marvel — then or NOW!

As awesome as that is, I think it’s probably cheating to use Nextwave for this segment. ;p

Has Machine Man recovered from his Benderfication at Ellis’ hands or is he still way out of character?


Nextwave from Marvel Zombies universe were killed in Marvel Zombies. But, whatever fuels your hate and keeps you going, I guess.

Pete Wisdom, how are you contradicting anything Becca said? She said herself they were killed in marvel zombies. I’m confused?

@Jamie: Nextwave-style Machine Man showed up in Brian Reed’s post-Civil War Ms Marvel run. And Nextwave-style machine Man is the only Machine Man that I want to read.

Ivan Brandon also did a Marvel Comics Presents storyline that bridged the gap between Machine Man’s pre-Nextwave appearance and attitude and his Nextwave appearance and attitude.

T – I believe the distinction which he is pointing out is that the Nextwave of “Marvel 616″ still exists, only the Nextwave of (whatever number Marvel Zombies’ universe is) was killed.

Any chance of a column on Fin’s later appearance as leader of the Fin Fang Four? That was a hoot.
Though as someone who generally finds blank pages more interesting than Warren Ellis, this was surprisingly entertaining.

Whether the “Nextwave of 616″ ever existed is open to question, at least as far as Marvel is concerned. Aaron Stack behaves at times as if it did, but he appears to be the only one (the scans I’ve seen of his building a Monica Rambeau robot that whines about leading the Avengers are desperately unfunny). The only other time someone used the team outside of the series was to kill them in the Zombie universe, it seems.

The less said about Marvel Zombies, the better.

Tabitha also mentions being in Nextwave over in the X-Men books.

Oh? How does she treat it? I’d like to see that.

I was not a fan of Nextwave other than the issue where Forbush Man showed them their lives in alternate realities by lifting the pot on his head.

This is what I missed?!

Damn. I’ll be hunting this down soon…

What is wrong with the “benderification” of Machine Man? it’s not like anyone did anythign remotely interesting with him in years, other than make him the narrator of Earth X/Univefrse X/Paradise X…..at least they made him awesome.

….don’t even get me started on this X-51 series of ten years ago,,which tried to make him part of the “X” universe of titles

during Civil war Monica Rambeau/Captain marvel/Photon/Pulsar appeared in her Nextwave look, though I don’t think she had any speaking lines

Machine Man and Sleepwalker (of all people) were later seen in Ms.Marvel hunting down Spider woman/Arana

Ok Nextwave-Machine man appeared in the third Marvel Zombies series working for A.R.M.O.R. (an organization that still exists in the Marvel U)

He appeared in marvel Zombies 5 still “benderized” in 2010

However earlier this year, machine Man was essential a partner/side kick to the Red Hulk, and using his “classic” appearance an attitude

…hmm I suppose his personality come down to waht software he installed that morning right?

So the rule at Marvel seems to be that if you cannot speak English you are therefore of animal intelligence and can go pantsless, but if you can speak broken English and refer to yourself in the third person, you must wear at least 60% of a pants. And using the personal pronoun means you’d better be covered down to your ankles, bub. “Females”, of course, may wear g-strings regardless of language skills…and probably will, sooner of later.

Was that whole issue ‘filmed’ through somebody’s urine sample?

And FFF eats, right? So presumably, he excretes, right? So why not wear underwear, apart from Ellis’ talk of his ‘has absolutely no genitals whatsoever’ and still feeling the need to mate for some reason.
(I have to assume Ellis doesn’t know the difference between external genitals on a mammal and internal on a reptile… Though if he has _absolutely none_, he really shouldn’t have that kind of urge. I’ll give him this, though: it’s entirely ‘believable’ that in the Marvel Universe, you can get pregnant from a nuclear bomb.)

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