Monday, March 30, 2009

Entry: Matter-Eater Lad

I haven't read a lot of superhero comic books-- and even less DC-- but a pattern I've been noticing is that the concept for any character whose superhero name ends with "Lad" is going to be kinda dumb.

Take Tenzil Kem, aka Matter-Eater Lad, for instance: he is a lad who eats matter. Any matter. But no mere cafeteria sideshow is he; Tenzil is able to bite through and digest anything. "In his first appearance, Matter-Eater Lad explains his origins, saying that the natives of Bismoll found that microbes had made all their food inedible, and that the populace evolved their ability to eat all matter as a survival mechanism." I'm no scientist, but I would think that evolving an immunity to the microbes in question would be simpler. Then again, Immune to a Specific Kind of Microbe Lad is admittedly a step backwards in terms of crime-fighting and world-saving. Originally a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, M.L.E. was often written out of the plots because the writing staff had trouble translating making his ability useful in combat. After the Zero Hour storyarc in the 90s, when the world was rewritten, he returned as the Legion of Super Hero's chef. Because a dude who eats through fences obviously has a refined sense of haute cuisine. And he can spit acid. Great.


Best caption ever, might I add.

As alluded to earlier, Matter-Eater Lad is from the planet Bismoll, where his entire species has his ability. According to Wiki, this origin story is shared by many members of the Legion of Super-Heroes: I come from a planet where everyone does this, hand me a cape. Matter-Eater Lad isn't even the best of his kind at eating matter; Calorie Queen, another citizen of Bismoll, can convert the energy from what she eats into super strength. Why not recruit her instead? It makes me wish that some organization was recruiting Earthlings for a similar legion in hopes that we would share a "fantastic" ability that we take for granted. I could be Hair-Growing Woman, or the Salivator...

4 comments:

noiselessinfinity said...

It makes me wish that some organization was recruiting Earthlings for a similar legion in hopes that we would share a "fantastic" ability that we take for granted.

I would hope for Lilliputian aliens requiring our mere size to help them out. I've always wanted to go all Godzilla on a city of tiny little critters. And no, ants don't count.

Pooka said...

I want to point out the following: "Matter-Eater Lad is the fifteenth member inducted into the Legion of Super-Heroes, joining soon after Bouncing Boy." Bouncing Boy, as it turns out, has powers which include "inflatable body,electrical invulnerability (while bouncing) and resistance to injury", in addition to looking absolutely ridiculous.

HOW DID THESE PEOPLE GET TO BE SUPERHEROES

Regina said...

I've always wanted to go all Godzilla on a city of tiny little critters.

I think that's one of the reasons why the Sim series of computer games are so popular.

evier said...

So, surely Pepto-Bismol is somehow related to the planet of Bismoll, right? RIGHT?

I stumbled across your blog today and have been happily reading back entries all day.