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Saturday, May 12, 2007

All-Star, Senator, Fish Food...My Tribute to Neptune Perkins

I don't know if you know this, but out there, in the DCU exists a character that I truly despise with every atom of my being. A character who's very presence has me itching to destroy, maim, and slaughter helpless two-dimensional characters. A character that I hate ten times more than I hate Nightwing and General Glory combined!

This character is Neptune Perkins.

If you don't know who Neptune Perkins is, he is a character that made two appearances in Hawkman comics in the 1940s only to be ditched unceremoniously when, I'd imagine, they realized what a waste of a character he was. He then existed properly forgotten all the way until the 1980s, when Roy Thomas, in what had to have been a fit of hallucinogen induced madness, decided he was worthy of being brought back in All-Star Squadron and Young All-Stars.

To be honest, I can think of any number of Golden Age one-shot characters that deserved a second chance more than he did. Like that thug who masqueraded as Thor, or the mountain man dressed like Santa! Anyone but Neptune Perkins!!!

So what IS the problem with Neptune Perkins, you may be wondering. Aside from the incredibly stupid name?

Neptune Perkins is a DORK and a LOSER.

Now I'll preface this by saying that I've only read the first eight or so issues, so it's possible that this changes, but the man brings NOTHING USEFUL to the team whatsoever. Think Aqualad in Teen Titans except with the added indignity of not even being the best water-user on the team! He sucks in battle, he has no useful skills, and his sole purpose seems to be listening to Tsunami's speeches about peace and pouting when she goes off to do something else.

He does defend Tsunami from her critics, which is good, except there's a strange difference between when he does it and when the others do...

Okay, have you ever met one of those guys who's all gung-ho about a particular cause and you watch him and get the distinct impression that he's only doing this to score with a chick? I'm not saying that men can't take up causes sincerely of course, but there always seems to be this one guy who's sole driving motivation appears to be to get in some girl's pants. As soon as he realizes he's not going to score, or he gets dumped, all bets are off and he'll show his true colors.

Anyway, that's how Neptune Perkins tends to come across for me. And let me tell you honestly, in cases like this, we can usually tell.

Now, while I thought he was a loser before, Neptune didn't really completely earn my scorn until this little number from Young All-Stars #4:

Okay, you know what I said about how we can usually tell when a guy is gung-hoing a cause to get into our pants? One of the warning signs tend to be an extreme enthusiastic overreaction to any sort of offense. The would be feminist, for example, he might be out with the girl in question, overhear some other guy call her a bitch, march over, confront him and probably cause a huge fight when the girl would probably have been all right with just ignoring it. Or telling off the guy herself.

These are the guys who'll go on huge tirades about how Barbie ruins the country, or tell store managers, loudly and in a certain person's hearing, how the faceless mannequins in the windows demean women. Or rant loudly about how only guys who can't get laid ever read girly mags.

The key to this sort isn't what he says but the show he makes while saying it.

Now, in this situation, Sandy definitely deserved some kind of telling off or whap for what he said. Definitely. But he's also about twelve years old, and weird "camera angles" of these panels aside, he's half Neptune's size. He's a child.

I may be jumping to conclusions, but I tend to associate threatening to beat up a child to be a bit of a clue. Oh, and while she's not in those specific panels, Tsunami is of course present in the scene. You can't posture if your audience isn't there.

The fact that Sandy would totally have taken him down is irrelevant. Notice how only Fury is holding back Neptune, while BOTH Iron Munro and Flying Fox are blocking Sandy. Even THEY know who'd win that fight.

The thing about Neptune is that he's got some qualities that could have made him interesting but instead somehow conspire to make him more of a loser. I mean his sodium deficiency could actually have been something really fascinating to explore. It's actually an interesting handicap, requiring he remain in salt-water for a great deal of the time. Unfortunately the most this ever seemed to amount to was angsty whining in a giant fish tank.

I wonder if he had to have that tank when he served in Congress.

To add insult to injury, he's always believed Deep Blue to be his child. (Which...eww...Tsunami actually slept with him?!?!) but it's actually Atlan's spawn. I'm evil because this just leads me to snicker and call him a loser. Again. Even Tsunami doesn't like you!

Before you think I'm being too cruel, realize that even in the modern day Neptune Perkins is still a tool. You remember Sins of Youth? Do you know who organized "Old Justice" together to plague Young Justice and generally make everyone miserable?

That's right. NEPTUNE PERKINS.

Once a tool and a loser, ALWAYS a tool and a loser.

Neptune is no longer with us. In Infinite Crisis #3, poor Neptune met with an end as lame as he was.

I know it's not very nice to gloat about the death of a character that undoubtedly has some very upset fans out there, but this is Neptune Perkins, so all I can really say is...

BWAHAHAHAHAAHAHA. Eat it, Dolphin Boy!


  • At May 12, 2007 7:52 AM, Blogger SallyP said…

    *Gasp* mean someone worse than Snapper Carr?

    I am completely unfamiliar with this guy, but I have to admit that you've hit the nail on the head with this characterization. What a tool. And YES, I know exactly what you mean about guys that act that way.

    See? Infinite Crises was good for some things. Just like Zero Hour wiped out Kari Limbo!

    Old Neptune was actually pretty lucky that Sandy didn't wipe the floor with him.

  • At May 12, 2007 8:48 AM, Blogger Flidget Jerome said…

    I love that panel. Sure, there's always going to be some fans complaining about the death of a favourite killed just to ramp-up a crosover but, conversely, there's always going to be some fans cheering that someone they loathed just bit the dust.

    And that's just the sort of undignified, back-ground panel death that's so satisfying. No big, dramatic death scene for you, Neptune Perkins! Hahahahaha!!!

    If it were only possible to off Moondragon in the same way . . .

  • At May 12, 2007 12:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "To be honest, I can think of any number of Golden Age one-shot characters that deserved a second chance more than he did. Like that thug who masqueraded as Thor"
    Oh, Roy dragged him out for an appearance too:

  • At May 12, 2007 3:07 PM, Blogger Dorian said…

    Neptune Perkins was one of those "neccessary evils" of the post-Crisis landscape, as I recall. He takes the place of the Golden Age Aquaman, much as Fury was meant to replace Wonder Woman and Iron Munro Superman.

    It's kind of telling that he's even more annoying than the character he was meant to replace.

  • At May 12, 2007 5:07 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    j.kevin: Somehow I'm not surprised. :-)

  • At May 12, 2007 6:06 PM, Blogger Captain Infinity said…

    It makes me wonder if he was picking on Young Justice just to impress some

  • At May 12, 2007 7:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh Roy Thomas, is there anything you can't remember?

    Really, seriously, because if you were a little more forgetful, we wouldn't have Neptune Perkins on our case. ;-)

  • At May 12, 2007 10:34 PM, Blogger Will Staples said…

    Oh Roy Thomas, is there anything you can't remember?

    Brevity? Natural dialog?

  • At May 12, 2007 10:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow, Young All-Stars. My uncle gave me the first few issues of that as well as some random All-Star Squadron issues back in like 1994. They were the first and only superhero comics I ever read until last year when I started collecting, my delayed intro if you will. I absolutely loved them!

    I never really liked Neptune Perkins, however. He always seemed the like most boring loser to ever boring up a room. I still wanted him to kick the crap out of Sandy though because I hated Sandy. In fact, when I first started reading your blog, I thought "She likes Sandy? Who likes Sandy? He's a pompous ass who hates Japanese people." I was glad to see he'd grown out of that. :P

    Is it bad that when I started reading your post I immediately said to myself "Well of COURSE she hates Neptune Perkins. He threatened poor widdle Sanderson multiple times"? :)

    BTW kalinara, have you ever read that issue where the All-Stars put on a charity baseball game and Wildcat plays the intimidating tough-guy pitcher to Iron Munroe's 'Casey at the Bat'?

  • At May 12, 2007 10:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Argh, forgot to add this: I always thought Sandy was the same age as the rest of them. He seemed like it to me at least, but then, I was a wee lad at the time.

  • At May 13, 2007 12:27 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    justin: Nah, I don't hate him for hating Sand, just in trying to beat up a kid.

    They do make a point of establishing Sandy and Dan-the Dyna Mite as considerably younger than the rest.

    Actually, Sandy's racism makes a fair amount of sense when you consider two factors. First, Tsunami HAD been originally fighting on the side of the Japanese. And there was an actual battle in which she and Sandy were on opposite sides. Even though they didn't interact in that battle, it's not surprising that he remembered her.

    And really, distrusting a person who originally fought on the opposite side from you is pretty understandable. I was actually pretty pissed reading the comic that THAT little factor was generally overlooked so Sandy could be generally racist...

    Which doesn't actually make sense, as Wes studied Asian culture extensively, and given that he trained Sandy, who practically worshipped him, the anti-Asian racism doesn't make sense.

    (Especially since, having studied interactions between Japan and America, during that period, as part of my degree, it really didn't make sense that every teenage character was supportive of Tsunami, while the worldliest and most experienced one wasn't.

    Honestly, it'd be more likely that the normal, clueless, inexperienced teens would be more prone to media propoganda)

    However, if you look at it from the fact that they were LITERALLY on opposite sides, it starts to make more sense...but again, that was downplayed.

    Also, the other key is that according to Sandy, Dian was killed by nazi spies. Obviously she got better, :-p, but it does make a spy paranoia make some sense.

    I honestly have a LOT of issues with young all-stars, which is why i ditched them after my favorite (and the only character given any sort of dimensional characterization as opposed to Iron=Angry, Tsunami=Peace Pamphlet, Dan=nervous, Helena="There are no elevators in Greece") wandered off.

    heh, sorry, nothing gets me to rant like yAs

  • At May 13, 2007 4:34 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    I did like the baseball issue though. :-) It was such a shame that Sandy was dropped after that, because it really did show that after the stupid tacked on racism was taken care of Thomas COULD actually write the character.

    And dude, Neptune picking on Sandy never bothered me (aside from the fact that he's twice his size and nearly full grown to Sandy's very clearly still-childish stature.) Mostly because, as I said, if it HAD come down to a fight, there isn't really any doubt that Sandy would kick his ass. :-)

  • At May 15, 2007 10:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ouch, I got pwned. :) Well, I never had the issues where Tsunami was actually shown fighting on the other side, or fighting Sandy. Plus, I guess my 10-year-old self just didn't see Sandy as so close to my own age and more like a 16 or 17 year old. Plus I may or may not have been picked on by popular "golden boys" at school when I was a kid. :P

    I think it might have just been my sensibilities as well. First off, I kind of had a crush on Tsunami, and second, I am a total sucker for a "villain changing their ways and trying to make good" story.

  • At May 15, 2007 3:59 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Heheh, no pwnage intended. I'm just very verbal about things. :-)

    And no question that Sandy was an ass. But then, as Guy is my other favorite, that probably indicates that the occasional assholishness isn't a problem for me. :-)

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