When Panta Claus came to town

January 14th, 2009

The last glass of complimentary wine is in hand, the fine cheese is either gone or at the stage where it really should be binned, and the pine needles are just fading memories, occasionally sticking in the soles of my feet. So yes, you’re right, that Santa pun’s been hanging around for a while now and, not unlike a certain pair of skids I could mention, is getting a bit ripe. Still, got to be better than ‘Pantuary’, or ‘Happy New Rear’, you’ll agree.


‘So what superhero pants did you get for Christmas?’ you yell. Yep, Saint Nick done me pretty good this year, got to admit.


This second set of Batpants is probably my favourite pair of four-colour funnybook inspired underwear. Check the front especially, the Jim Lee derived stylings of our favourite Caped Crusader. Way nu-skool, far as these things go, in an original Image quartet kind of way, and therefore in a sense doubly precious, being the first pants in my collection aesthetically based on an era of comicdom that I consider to be wholly mine.

Look at that amazing chin. A certain special someone would really rather this next bit went unsaid, but that’s not really in-keeping with the spirit of all this, so: when these incredi-pants are being worn about my person, I can, by clenching my buttocks and/or doing the same prostatey movements you do when you need to stop weeing quickly, make Brucey’s jaw move as if he is talking. When semi-turgid, the effect is really quite pronounced, giving a whole new dimension of appreciation to the more famous lines of dialogue from your favourite Batbooks:  ‘You still have one eye left’ works very well, for instance. Maybe someday videomatic examples of this will be found on Youtube, but I think I’d find myself living alone pretty quickly if that happened, so don’t hold your breath.

This genuine, spectacular manimatronic event on the pantfront does rather preclude any action round by the backdoor – the flatus is rather disappointing, a muffled ‘…TM…’, like you’d get if you were in a busy lift,  or surrounded by colleagues perhaps. There does however seem to be some bat-ears, and an excitingly non-specific explosion of highlights emanating from around my perineum, so I really shouldn’t complain.

But was that all that could be found in Poppa Xmas’ bulging sack?

Snikt. Careful where you wave those, short-arse.


Yes, you’re right: Wow. These mighty Marvel offerings are easily my favourite pant. Not only are they the first, long overdue instance of a mutant appearing to decorate my bumps and bulges; not only are they the first Spidey pants in my massive knicker wardrobe; but there’s also just something utterly, multiversally Marvel about them.

In fact, both parts of this latest crop of knicks can be read as representative of the eternal churning dynamic that exists between our beloved Big Two: The DC offering is all about concentrating on the big properties, consolidating their hugest, billion-dollar brand in a no-nonsense display of its key signifiers. DC, from Jerry Siegel’s eternal ghost to the guy who signs off on the pant designs, know that outside of Batty, Supes and Wonder Woman their properties are a joke out there in the real world. (Or at least they would be if anyone had ever heard of them. If a joke is told and no-one is around to laugh, did it ever really exist? Sorry, did you just say The Flush? Pardon me, Green Man-turd?) So the DC pant sticks to what it does best, milking the cash cows to keep the shareholders happy today – future properties, no matter how promising they seem, be hanged. (Excuse me, what exactly are the Blue Beatles?)

The Marvel skids take a different approach. They know that the shared universe that so professedly and carelessly mirrors our own is the thing which has kept their fans coming back these past forty years, so much so that they’re now carefully(-ish) plotting their summer blockbuster movies to all take place in that same happy Marvel land. They know that everyone wants to see Spidey and Logan throw down one day, that these shared-universe super-interactions are a key part of the characters’ and the Marvel brand’s appeal. Literally – look at the Marvel pant-front. The Marvel logo itself is right there on its own little tag, the star of the show. There is no DC bullet, classic or modern, to be found anywhere on the Batpants. This goes right to the heart of the Marvel pant design scheme; it’s all about reinforcing the associations that even the casual fan will have with these characters, beyond the simple sales-team tickler of ‘These are Spidey pants. If you like Spidey stuff, have you considered spending your pocket money on this Fantastic Four tat as well?’ You have the way the characters are each in their own separate but cosily connected panels, gridded out all nice like those fun comicbooks of yore childhood. Of course, this also recalls the line’s sixties New York hipster origins – the popist, Warhol influence in the sheer repetitive multitude and vibrancy of faces and colours…

Yeah I know, whatever, sorry. On with the business: these pants are mute, almost uniquely so in my unmatched experience (so sad – actually getting to the point where I’m beginning to believe that I am the world’s greatest expert on the superhero-decorated manpant. My parents are indeed proud, thank you for asking.) The singular lack of text in either dialogue or sound FX makes determining the flatus a singularly subjective, almost impressionistic activity. What do you think these valorous do-gooders make of existence so close to my anus?


Cap, honourable to the last, looks like he’s going to try to catch it in his mouth.
The Thing looks pretty unimpressed, but gives the world weary impression that this is sadly all too familiar to him.
Our Canadian friend from Dept. H looks pretty fucking pissed off about the whole thing.
Spidey’s Spidey sense is going apeshit, when surely one of the traditional five could do the job just as well.
Norrin Radd though, that spaced-out cosmic cat looks like he just learned for the infinitieth time just why life on this planet, our green and blue jewel, prize of the galaxy’s crown, is the unique and wondrous miracle it is.

For the purposes of full disclosure: The knicks have their drawbacks: no cockhole at the front; and they’re really small. Especially under the duress of my newfound Xmas belly they leaves disappointingly deep red grooves where the waistband and legholes go. Almost makes me think these pants weren’t designed for adult use at all, maybe like they’re… for kids or something? Shyeah.

Coming soon on Mindless Ones Dot Com: the Great Sock Weekender.

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