Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Strontium Dog: 'The Brain', Part 1

NAME
Strontium Dog: 'The Brain', Part 1

FIRST PUBLISHED
Starlord No 21

DATELINE
30 Sept 78

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Strontium Dog: Search/Destroy Agency Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Johnny Alpha is hired to destroy the ultimate weapon designed by a criminal mastermind.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of a Brain Creature and Waterworts.

INFORMATION
Larg is an inhabited planet with its own government, known as the Dictators of Larg. Niblitz Square is near their briefing room. The Byknl is the Largan unit of currency. Mutants are not usually permitted on Larg, but Dictators can make exeptions.

Fauna from Planet Q17 include: Brain-creatures, humans cannot stand the smell of their slime, and Waterworts, semi-intelligent creatures which can be taught to mimic.


JOHNNY ALPHA
The Dictators of Larg summon him to their planet and offer him 50,000 Byknls to destroy the Brain's ultimate weapon. Johnny demands an extra 25,000 Byknls every time they insult him. According this raises the price to 100,000 Byknls.

WULF STERNHAMMER
He travels with Johnny to Larg. He keeps a running total of the number of times the Dictators of Larg insult Johnny and the Gronk.

THE GRONK
He travels with Johnny to Larg.

OTHER CHARACTERS
THE BRAIN
A brain-creature from Planet Q17. A criminal. He keeps Waterworts as pets and teaches them to sing for him. The Dictators of Larg receive a note asserting that he has created the ultimate weapon and demanding 1 billion Byknls in exchange for not destroying the planet. His men deliver a device to Niblitz Square causing panic.

CORNELIUS
Waterwort. He is the Brain's best tenor.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Johnny: "The trouble is, gentlemen, I'm kind of a sensitive guy...you gentlemen have been calling me all sorts of names. And when my feelings get hurt, my price goes up...Shall we say an extra 25,000 Byknls for every insult?"

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
The Gronk says "Gronkses" and "heartses".

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
The Waterworts sing "There's a bright golden haze on the meadow" from Oklahoma! (1943), the first musical written by Richard Rodgers (1902–1979) and Oscar Hammerstein II (1895–1960).

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: Ezquerra
Letters: P. Bensberg

REVIEW
The extended Oklahoma! opening takes up three fifths of the page count here and could easily have outstayed its welcome, but it's wonderful and here particularly the artwork gets to shine. The pettiness of the Dictators of Larg and Johnny sensitivity is a great scene.

Next Week: 'The Fun's Over, You Scum!'