Breaking the fourth wind

July 31st, 2008

When James Joyce, modernity’s mightiest mind, was busy melting the conceptual cusp between language and music, he gave the following as the closest possible textual rendition of the melody of flatulence: ‘Pprrpffrrppffff.’ That fifteen-letter fart probably took him weeks to perfect. Cheers Jim, next one’s on me. Today, when I want to know how to capture the evanescent sonic resonance of a flatus* expelled through the anus, I have serendipity, pants, and The Incredible Hulk to help me out. Whaddayasay, big green?

Sorry mate, didn’t quite catch that, sounded like maybe you said ‘AAAAAARRRR’? Can you run that by me again?

Oh right, that’s what I thought you said. So just to check, that’s ‘AAAAAARRRR’?

The thing is readers, some mornings, when the clock’s against me, I know just how he feels. And before any of you ask, yes, that is a Gamma-sized sheet of toilet paper that he’s clutching. Very considerate of him to leave the city before doing his necessities, though I daresay the midwestern desert is in for some punishment today.

The above are probably my favourite pair of pants. Frank Miller (I think – though please correct me if I’m wrong), from an issue of Daredevil, of all places. Definitely the classic ‘Smash!’ purple trews era though, certainly the perfected model of the character as far as this pant fan is concerned. The Hulk is probably Marvel’s biggest non-team property, after Spidey of course, so it’s not a surprise that he features on fully three pairs of pants in my definitve collection, the most of anyone. No Spidey pants, oddly enough – the only Spidey ones you can get are briefs not boxers, and I don’t do briefs. I’ve never seen any X-Men ones either, although a comment was left on Tuesday’s pants post by someone saying that he has a pair of pants with Wolverine smoldering on them. Wolverine’s forever smoldering – like most of the things he does, it’s always about impressing the chicks.

Shall I talk about the Hulk’s penis for a moment? I don’t have anything to say about it really… But you know the but in Mallrats where The Skating Scientologist is talking about superhero cocks, specifically The Thing’s? I hate that bit. Reading the early Lee/Kirby FF issues, it’s very clear that The Thing’s problem is that he doesn’t have a cock at all. Honestly, being supertough and made of bricks would be pretty cool and you wouldn’t need to be all that down about it for long, after all, he’s got a hot girlfriend and a cool job and stuff. But he’s always going off stalking around town with the black dog of depression humping his leg every step of the way. Something very big is missing. His constant complaint isn’t ‘I’m made of bricks!’, but ‘I used ta be a man!’, as though his manhood is somehow entirely absent. You can certainly never see even a hint of it, weird given that he wears pants like the whole time. Ergo, The Thing has no cock – that’s my theory, anyway, and it’s far better than the one that that chap who wrote Mallrats came up with. Leave a comment if you disagree. Leave a comment anyway: Join the pants parade – the fit is snug and warm.

But I digress – I should have writen about Ben Grimm’s trouser troubles in yesterday’s post really, sorry readers. Shall we get back on topic and have a look at my favourite pair of pants?

White trimming, like most of the others, but with black panel borders nicely complementing the dominant gamma-green – very sleek, hip, no-nonsense underoos. The boss-eyed look on his face makes me think it could be Kirby again: vintage, classy – pants that say ‘this geek knows what’s what. Sleep with him.’ The crowning glory of these knicks though is the explosive onomatopaeic perfection of the sound effect on the reverse, and the precision with which it has been placed by the appropriate spot:

BROK! Now you’re talking my language, Brucie.

Tomorrow: Captain Ameripants.

*Have you ever seen the word ‘flatus’ before? I certainly hadn’t, and now I’m using it so much I’m frightened the cat might start saying it, never mind the kid. Let’s all start saying it.

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6 Responses to “Breaking the fourth wind”

  1. SanctumSanctorumComix Says:

    Oddly enough…
    those AAARGH-HULK shorts were featured on “Mike Sterling’s Progressive Ruin”
    last month.

    Funny stuff.


  2. Zom Says:

    Every morning a good old lol.

    I linked the Joyce bit just to prove you’re not an opportunistic fibber.

  3. The Satrap Says:

    In the comic which served as inspiration* for the first “incredible” pair of pants, the Hulk is overcome by sadness and despair because he’s lost (i.e. beaten to a pulp) his latest best friend, Matt Murdock. Deep down, Frank the Tank is a softie: when you’re racked by remorse, you fart.

    BTW, your post raises far more questions than it answers. It’s all well and good, to wonder about the Thing’s thing, but you’ve neglected a matter of far greater import for the security of the free world. Are the Hulk’s flatuses gamma-powered? Can the exposure to Jade-Jaws’ emanations spawn other gamma monsters? Why hasn’t Keith Giffen written a “Gamma Flatus Squad” miniseries yet?

    These are the questions that you need to answer. For us.

    *: in point of fact, I’m gradually coming around to the idea that the whole purpose of superheroes is to inspire the creation of superhero pants. It’s all part of God’s plan, you see.

  4. BubbaShelby Says:

    Flatus? I don’t know anything about that, but Flautas…those are very yummy.

  5. Lactus Says:


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