Hey there, Sleepwalkers. Things are still kind of hectic with the move, so I decided to do something a little less scanner-intensive than part five of the Complete History of the Atomic Knights. Enjoy this little detour. We’ll have content on Wednesday or Thursday as usual, and Part Five should be up next Monday. Also, no alt-text today.
With their larger than life personalities, outlandish costumes, and seemingly superhuman levels of talent, rock stars might be the closest thing to superheroes the real world has. Except, for, you know, the drug use, sex scandals, public meltdowns, and the fact their battles are usually carried out through Twitter. But maybe we can change that by introducing some superfolks into the traditional rock and roll formula. So buckle up, Sleepwalkers, and get ready to see the first supergroup that lives up to the name!
Arguably the most important factor in a band is the lead singer. This is the person that’s going to be commanding the audience through charisma and force of will. They have to have the showmanship of a magician and the kind of raw, unrestrained talent that’ll drive the audience wild. Fortunately, comics give us no shortage of nominees.
For example, there’s Booster Gold, the time-traveling security guard turned protector of the time stream, whose 25th-century technology would mean great pyrotechnics. Unfortunately, while an out-of-control ego is a sad reality for many bands, Booster’s might be a little much even for rock star standards.
Black Canary is another obvious choice, as her powerful voice and knowledge of team dynamics would make her valuable for any group. Besides, her outift–fishnets, high-heeled boots, and a leather jacket–wouldn’t be out of place at a Joan Jett concert. Unfortunately, “a voice that can bring down the house” shouldn’t really ever be literal, so Dinah is out of the running.
A more intriguing choice can be found in the Purple Man, the man who can mind control legions of people at a time–the perfect skill for a band that wants to get a lot of fans quick. Unfortunately, I don’t know how well PM’s powers work over the Internet, and with the modern music scene so focused on social media, it might be difficult for even such a veteran manipulator to hold on to anyone with a Twitter-addled attention span. Plus, having to schedule tours and recording sessions around his court-approved vacations would be a logistical nightmare. No, the best option is clearly…
I chose Dazzler, real name Alison Blair, for two reasons: one she brings invaluable real-world touring experience to the group, which is essential. You can’t just toss some newbie onto the stage and expect them to be able to handle it. The stress of a musician’s life isn’t something you want to shove at the wrong type of person, and Dazzler has proven that she can handle the shock of fame. The second reason is financial–since she can provide her own stage show, the band will save a bundle on pyrotechnics. Sure, her musical experience is disco, but I’m sure that with the right bandmates, she’ll be able to shine (pun intended) on her own merits.
In the old days of rock, the lead singer might have been the smoldering, sneering king, but the guitarist was his bloody right hand, the Destro to any given band’s Cobra Commander.
The Flash might strike some as the easy choice, and it isn’t hard to see why. He would be able to rip solos that would make Eddie Van Halen bow his head and shame and hang up his picks forever. Plus, his connection to the Speed Force means any drugs he takes will be metabolized through his system before you can say “Hot For Teacher.” The downside, of course, is the ever-present fear that he might be erased from the timestream by his nemesis, and you can’t cut a single with that kind of stress hanging on your head.
Doc Magnus’ Metal Men are an unconventional, but not unacceptable possibility; their unique affinity for shapeshifting means they could form themselves into a pretty nifty guitar. Plus, there’s the added benefit of them being able to play themselves. Unfortunately, their tendency towards destruction leads me to look for someone a little more durable.
I considered Jack Knight, Starman, for a long time, but ultimately I had to discard him. At first glance, he’s perfect. With a goatee like that, it’s impossible that he’s never picked up a guitar before, if only to pick out “Wonder Wall” at a college party. And his distinct retro sensibility and grunge style would lend his band instant hipster cred. Sadly, he was overshadowed by one woman:
Elsa Bloodstone’s raw, take-no-prisoners style is the perfect foil to Dazzler’s clean-cut high energy vocals. Between the two of them, they would introduce a pesudo-punk riot grrl dynamic that would set them apart from their contemporaries and carve out a distinct niche of their own. Besides, Bloodstone can break a guitar like no one since Pete Townshend.
Traditionally, the bassist is the steady, unsung hero of the band. They’re the support staff–their rhythm is the perfect companion to the more explosive drummer, and their strings weave a beautiful, complex tapestry when partnered with an expert guitarist. It’s only natural then, that they are the most frequently ignored members of the band.
The Martian Manhunter gets a mention here, and not only to appeal to the formality that he’s the most steadfast member of the Justice League. After all, an invisible bassist won’t hog the spotlight, and linking the bad together with telepathy is a great way to make sure everybody stays on the right track. The only problem is, one accident with the onstage pyro and he’s a puddle of goo.
The most obvious choice is Scott Pilgrim. The “best fighter in the province” could bring some of his experience to this gig, and I’m sure he’d appreciate the mainstream exposure and the chance to rock out with some real heroes. Unfortunately, he’s irresponsible, unambitious, has a tendency to re-write history, and worst of all, is Canadian. The best choice, therefore, is:
John the Skrull
John the Skrull is, as his name suggests, a Skrull that looks like John Lennon. He’s also a Skrull that plays like John Lennon, which means that in addition to rocking a six-string bass, he can offer his talents at the harmonica and piano to the mix. That multi-instrumentalism, coupled with his shapeshifting ability, makes him officially the most versatile member of the band.
My first instinct for this category was to go for The Drummer, for reasons I think will be obvious. As it turns out, he isn’t actually a drummer. Also, he’s crazy. Not in a Gary Busey kind of way, where you just throw TVs out of hotel windows and drive into rivers. Like, actually crazy. Kim John Il-type crazy.
Spiral is a more reasonable choice. With her six arms, she can play three times as many drums as anyone else. But at the risk of pissing of Laura Hudson, I don’t want to add to many ladies to this band. Besides, playing more drums doesn’t necessarily mean playing better; I mean, look at Charlie Watts. Dude has a snare and a symbol and he’s a legend.
I actually thought about Arsenal longer than I should have. After all, his improvisational fighting style would probably carry over into some pretty unique percussion sets. One second he could bang on a flowerpot, then he throws a pair of drumsticks at a gong across the stage…I think it’d be a neat show. Kind of like STOMP. But then I realized that most drummers wait until after they get famous to start their drug habit. Ol’ Roy has something of a head start, and in this game that isn’t exactly a plus. Besides, Def Leppard has already cornered the market on one-armed drummers. That leads us to…
This might seem counterintuitive, but think about it. The constant BA-BUM, BA-BUM of a Red Lantern’s non-heart would be invaluable as an impromptu metronome, and you can’t be a good drummer without at least a little bit of aggression. After all, it takes real passion to beat the hell out of something for two hours at a time–just look at Keith Moon. On the other hand, when Keith Moon throws up and passes out, you just have to splash water on his face. When Atrocitus throws up, his blood eats through the stage. And he’d be a nightmare to work for–one blue M&M in the dish, and he rips your heart out. But rage is better than depression, and the drums will probably be a good outlet for him.
So that’s it, Sleepwalkers! What do you think? Is there anybody I’ve forgotten? Any new positions I need to open up? Should the Stepford Cuckoos be singing backup? Any ideas for a name? Hit me up in the comments with your suggestions!
That’s all the time we have for today, Sleepwalkers–stay cool out there, and remember: rock on!