"Civilization has been upgraded......the Canadian way!"
(aka Pine Tree)
The debut of the Radioactive Canadian Supermen was not without controversy. As a faux comic book series, some felt it portrayed Canadians in a bad light. However, the intial storyline dealt with troubled French Canadian extremists who lived in an underground bunker outside of Montreal. These extremists somehow negotiated the purchase of weapons grade plutonium from a former Soviet republic that they intended to use to build weapons. At a location north of Vancouver, they made the transaction, but during the trucking of the material through Alberta, there was an accident with the unstable nuclear material. The radioactive effects turned the extremists into "radioactive supermen."
Of course comic book characters, especially those of a superhero variety, are not generally meant to be taken seriously. Although some may find it offensive, I personally feel these characters are a breath of fresh air in a world of generally vanilla superheroes.
- General Doublehead: Was originally the leader of the separatists before the nuclear accident. His power in the group became solidified when he grew a second head after the accident. Is able to think two thoughts simultaneously and see two points of view on every issue. However, often the arguments he has with himself compromise his mental stability and cause him to act rashly and without concern for the safety and lives of others. Is highly feared by ordinary humans, especially given the power of his patented "Icy Glaze."
- The Possessed Mountie: Not an original member of the separatists, the Possessed Mountie was part of an investigation of the separatists and was following them when the accident occurred. Is known by his pupil-free eyes and bone-white skin. Works independently and often "interferes" with the separatists more evil schemes.
- Blubber: He swelled up to three times his original weight and took on the features of a beached whale after his nuclear exposure. A loyal follower of General Doublehead, his special abilities include sonar and a powerful blowhole that can be used to flush enemies from a room. Never gets cold.
- Jean-Louis: Became a completely hairless and androgynous superbeing able to change height and weight as needed. The emotionally calming look in Jean-Louis' eyes helps with the seduction of any man or woman that crosses the path of the RCS. Often destroys humans by sadistic methods, but never before bringing them to orgasm.
- Stuart Martinique: Avoided most of the radioactivity that turned his associates into supermen, Stuart is their link to the "normal" world. The only adverse effect the radioactivity had on Stuart was to grossly enlarge his feet. These are generally kept under a desk or otherwise out of sight when he meets with "ordinary people." Can use his giant feet to kick enemies.
- Arctic Wolf: Radioactivity turned him into a large, glowing werewolf that takes on the shape and abilities of a wolf whenever nuclear disarmament or animal rights issues are discussed on a television he happens to be watching. Wears fur boots and a fur coat with rarely anything on beneath for comfort reasons in case of transformation.
- Pine Tree: Can become a pine tree on demand, which allows him to observe in relative silence. Despite these periods of quiet tree solitude, Pine Tree is often the spokesperson for the group and has appeared in television commercials that announce and promote the cause of the RCS. Marries Maple Leaf Woman in Edition V.
- Manon Rheum: Often pursued by the RCS because they believe she possesses a gene that will allow them to infiltrate the National Hockey League and bring the Phoenix Coyotes back to Winnipeg. Has been subjected to cruel experiments by the RCS although she has no memory afterwards. Was the cause of a potential lawsuit by Manon Rheaume, who felt the character was a rip-off and slander against her good name.
- Doctor Swifte: Former physician who takes delight in causing pain to human beings. Is able to perform complicated medical operations at high speed. Once performed a gastric bypass operation on General Doublehead in forty-five seconds without assistance.
- Rolle Guacamole: Has rodent-like features and glows a guacamole green. Brain shrunk during his exposure to radiation, so he has limited intelligence, but is physically stronger than any in the group. Name was changed to "Mssr. Brute Force" in later episodes of the comic book series.
- Baby: Mysterious and mostly unexplained character. Seems to be a very young radioactive child who was somehow caught in the nuclear incident. Rambles incoherently in Edition III about Chernobyl, which is unsettling, to say the least. Supposedly grows up into "Health Care Man" in a later episode where he forces universal health care on defenseless Americans.
The original edition (Edition I), which begins with the aforementioned nuclear incident in Alberta, takes us on what appears to be, at first, a typical comic book plot line. What seems to be missing is the usual "good guy" element. Our main characters are, for the most part, very bad radioactive supermen. While the Possessed Mountie often opposes their activities, he also has his own wicked agenda. For example, he really doesn't care for what he terms "arrogant American pigs." He will never assist American law enforcement, feeling they have all too often looked down on him in the past. However, in the pages of the first issue of Radioactive Canadian Supermen, he does purchase an ice cream for a homeless boy in Toronto.
Additional characters are added in later installments of the comic series, but the core group as mentioned above do have serious issues, especially with America. The America represented in the comic series is fighting a war on two fronts in Asia and the Middle East and this limits the ability of the American military to respond to the threat of the Radioactive Canadian Supermen. Like many of the darker comics of our time, we see a dark world in shadows. Some of the issues in the series are troubling fare, such as when Arctic Wolf comes upon a "retraining camp" for suspected terrorists in the northeastern corner of Alabama, supposedly on the former site of Andersonville Prison. There, a collection of seemingly innocent Americans are having their minds "retrained" by a former proctologist who was forced to take up brain surgery during the American Wars. With the assistance of Pine Tree, Arctic Wolf helps these Americans gain their release and flee north to Canada.
All in all, this is a very entertaining, as well as thought provoking comic book series. It seems to take a very World War II feel to a potential future war in which the United States appears to play a central role. Edition VI was recently released, but is currently only available at birth control clinics in the northeast, so I have not had an opportunity to peruse it. I hope that a comic aficionado can help fill in the blanks where I have left holes in the storyline.
Information from Editions I - V of Radioactive Canadian Supermen
Stories by Walt Fischler, Mark Walker, and Gil Peters
Art, storyboards and coloring by Gene Thomas and Isabel Polichovek
Editions due for widespread release in Fall of 2003
Currently on short run and distributed through news stands with twenty or fewer commercial publications sold,
pharmacies and birth control clinics only
Many thanks to Jet-Poop for research assistance