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March 25, 2010

Nostalgia Comic Review: Inhumanoids #3

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Written by: Josh
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Inhumanoids #3

The Inhumanoids pretty much personified my adolescent lust for toys that my Mom couldn’t afford. These massive hunks of plastic towered above my largest toy at the time, which was the Rancor from Kenner’s Star Wars line. As a child the Inhumanoids cartoon absolutely blew me away! I remember being all hopped up on sugary cereal, and watching the cartoon’s intro. To this day, I’ve never seen so much awesomeness condensed into a thirty second clip. It was filled with exploding vehicles, giant monsters, and people falling into bottomless pits. If I hadn’t been so strictly potty trained at such an early age, I might have wet myself (mental note: make appointment with a psychologist). Also, I think part of the allure of the property was that the toy line was named after the villains, not the heroes. In general, I always thought that the bad guys made cooler characters.

One of my fondest memories as a child was flipping through the Sears Catalog and circling the items that I wanted for Christmas. When I received the 1986 catalog, I was immediately overwhelmed by the spread of Inhumanoids toys that Sears was offering that year. I circled them all, handed the catalog to my Mom, and put on my best late November/early December behavior. Come Christmas morning, I opened up my biggest box, and there he was. Metlar, the most deadly Inhumanoid of them all! It’s the only Inhumanoids toy that I got that Christmas, and to this day, the only one I’ve ever owned. Regardless, I cherished that thing, and that morning I deputized my Rancor as an official member of the Inhumanoids. I slept a little easier knowing that Metlar wouldn’t be alone in all of his massive glory.

Sears Catalog 1986

In 1987, Marvel produced a comic book under its Star imprint that adapted one of the story lines from the cartoon series. The Inhumanoids comic book was primarily a vehicle to promote the toys and cartoon. So, it wasn’t exactly Shakespeare, but what it lacked in substance, it made up for with giant monsters. The comic may have abruptly ended after only four issues, but thanks to ComicAttack.net, you get the pleasure of reliving one of my favorite childhood memories with my Nostalgia Review of Inhumanoids #3!

The basic premise of the story is that four bickering ‘super-scientists’ have assembled to become a team called the Earth Corps in an attempt to defend the world against ancient monsters that have risen from the Earth’s core.

The Earth Corps, From left to right: Eddie (Auger) Augutter, Derek Bright, Herc Armstrong, and Jonathan (liquidator) Slattery

Issue three doesn’t pull any punches, and opens with Tendril’s attack on Earth Corps headquarters. The attack is thwarted when Jonathan (aka Liquidator) pours a beaker of chemicals onto the monster, causing its tentacles to ignite and dissolve into a pile of gooey mucus.  As a result, Eddie (aka Auger) is covered in the disgusting substance, and the rest of the team laughs their asses off.  There’s nothing like a good tension breaker after a near death experience. This sets the tone for the way these guys communicate throughout the issue. When they’re not laughing at the expense of each other’s misfortune, they’re insulting one another with sarcastic passive-aggressive insults. These guys’ egos outweigh the Inhumanoids by a ton. After the attack on the base, the team suits up in their specialized armor and begins to rappel down the hole that was left in the floor by Tendril. Before the team has had a chance to descend a few yards, Liquidator gets trigger happy and accidentally hits a water pipe with his gun. The result (and I kid you not) is a tidal wave that literally carries them miles towards the Earth’s core.

Tendril

After Auger makes a few sniping remarks at Liquidator’s expense, the team begins to explore the cavernous area. This is where the team meets D’Compose, one of three Inhumanoids. Herc is quickly snatched up by the monster and placed into his chest cavity. Auger retaliates by dropping a giant stalagmite onto the creature’s back, and Herc uses his trademark grappling hook to make an escape. Auger pops a flare, which scares D’Compose and sends him packin’. One panel later, Tendril is back with a vengeance and he’s pissed! He attempts to stomp the Earth Corps like bugs, but Liquidator sprays some liquid nitrogen on the ground, and Tendril falls flat on his back. The team tries to flee while the monster is down, but are quickly stopped by an army of giant rock creatures that materialize from the cavern’s walls. As this is taking place, there’s an odd transfer between two of the team members as Derek exclaims, “The rocks are moving…Transforming!” To which Auger responds, “More than meets the eye!” At this point the characters are just short of breaking the forth wall and winking at the reader.

D'Compose

I’m assuming this dialog was included because the Inhumanoids were produced by Hasbro, who also own the rights to the Transformers. I think it’s supposed to be a humorous nod to the robots in disguise, and it did arouse a bit of a chuckle when I read it. Although, probably not for the reasons the writers intended. It’s just so lame it’s awesome, end of story. Now, back to the action. Auger pulls his gun on the ‘transforming’ rock formations, but it’s quickly kicked out of his hand before he can unload a round. Without a moment of hesitation, the rock monsters begin to attack Tendril. In the midst of the melée, the team makes a break for it yet again. Before the Earth Corps has a chance to escape, D’Compose rounds the corner, ready to dish out some more punishment. Out of options, the team begins to climb a tower of rocks that lead to some tree roots. Assuming that the roots equate to the Earth’s surface, they try to dig their way through the cavern’s ceiling. That is, until D’Compose throws a bolder and buries the members of Earth Corps beneath a pile of rubble before ascending to make the kill. Before he reaches the Earth Corps, the tree’s roots  spring to life, snatch the heroes, and throw D’Compose back into the hole from which he came.

Upon reaching the surface, it’s revealed that the roots that saved them are actually the appendages of tree-people. They explain to the Earth Corps that they once  fought the Inhumanoids during the Age of Magic, but since it’s now the Age of Science, fighting the creatures  is 100% humanity’s problem. Way to pass the buck! The trees also open a trans-dimensional portal, revealing Metlar’s magnetic prison in the center of the Earth. Unfortunately, the team’s request for more information is met with silence. So, they go back to Earth Corps headquarters minus some critical details. Being the brilliant scientists that they are, the gang works overnight to build a set of high-tech demolition vehicles, and return to the caverns the next day. Upon arriving at the Inhumanoids’ lair, they’re once again confronted by D’Compose. They shoot him with a gun turret that’s mounted on top of one the vehicles, and grab him with an over-sized grappling hook. Before toppling to the ground, he turns a bunch of bats into undead bat-zombies and orders them to destroy the Earth Corps. Auger is able to peg off few of the death-bats with his gun, but it’s too little, too late. They swarm in, and surround him. The issue ends with a cliffhanger, and the tagline on the last page reads, “Is this the end of Auger? Where’s Herc? Have the forces of evil finally won over Earth Corps? Find out next issue! Same bat-time! Same bat-channel!”

These are the things my nightmares are made of.

At this point, I could care less if this is the end of Auger or where the hell Herc is. This comic is exhausting! I didn’t think there was such a thing as too much action in a comic book. Thanks for proving me wrong, Inhumanoids!

Josh Jones
josh@comicattack.net

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7 Comments


  1. Eli

    Nice piece! I remember loving the Inhumanoids, especially D’Compose. Thanks for bringing back some nice memories.


  2. Jeff Jackson

    DUDE! I wanted one of those so badly!



  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Josh Jones , John Mulder. John Mulder said: RT @ComicAttack: Nostalgia Comic Review: Inhumanoids! http://comicattack.net/2010/03/ncr2/ #comics #inhumanoids […]



  4. I remember that cartoon well! I had the four Earthcorps guys and the tree dude (Redlan?) and a rock guy. Unfortunately, none of the baddies.


  5. infinite speech

    Wow…I really tried to forget these things lol



  6. The Sears Catalogue…wow, that takes me back.

    And dude, the Inhumanoids intro ain’t got nothin’ on Bucky O’Hare:

    http://comicattack.net/2009/12/wcwbuckyohare1/

    …oh- and it’s a good thing I brought my flares! You know, just in case we need a flare.


  7. Billy

    Great stuff JJ. I remember the TV show and toys!



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