Jul 16, 2011


So hey, remember how I was talking about Swarm, and how he successfully tapped into the '70s pop-culture zeitgeist?  Well, today I'm gonna talk about a character who tried to tap into the '90s pop-culture zeitgeist, and...wasn't quite as successful.

From the pages of 1996's Green Goblin #7, Tom DeFalco, Scott McDaniel, and Derek Fisher give you...the Steel Slammer!

Come on and slam, and welcome to the jam.

The Steel Slammer is an industrial spy (because nothing says "espionage" like a bright yellow suit of armor with lasers shooting out of its face) who has a long-standing rivalry with philanthropist Stewart Ronalds, so every now and then he busts into an art museum and steals something Ronalds donated.  This eventually brings him into conflict with Phil Urich, the heroic Green Goblin of the '90s.  Yeah, that was a thing for a while.  Anyway, Boomerang has his boomerangs, the Ringer has rings, and the Steel Slammer has flying disks - exploding disks, freeze-disks, gas-disks, what have you.

Some of you are now groaning, realizing what this guy's theme is.  Some of you are totally confused; I shake my withered, bony fist at you, whippersnappers.  A quick history lesson; in the mid '90s, little cardboard disks called "pogs" were popular with kids. Your opponent would stack up a pile of pogs, then you would hit them with a thick plastic or metal disk called a "slammer".  The ones that landed face down were yours; your opponent kept the ones that landed face up.  Eventually, everyone realized this was incredibly stupid, but before that happened, we got the Steel Slammer, pog-themed supervillain.

Slammers of darkness, slammers of light, when they come together they fight fight fight.
Now, Green Goblin was a fun, light-hearted book, and makes for good reading.  Back issues shouldn't be too hard to come by, and Marvel's putting the whole series out in trade paperback this fall if you'd like the series in a single handsome volume.  I hate to knock it, but come on, pog-themed supervillain.  I'm not made of stone.

Anyway.  Where Swarm succeeds and the Steel Slammer fails is staying power.  There's still a strong (and maybe a little unhealthy) fascination with Nazis, and while the killer bee menace didn't exactly turn out to be apocalyptic, bees are still scary.  Pogs, though?  Gone the way of the Macarena and the hi-top fade.

The Steel Slammer, however, is still less embarassing than Legend of the Hawaiian Slammers.

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