dr_hermes (dr_hermes) wrote,

Wonder Wart-Hog goes to Heaven (surprising, eh?)

This astonishing story can change your life and the way you look at the world you live in. Not really. But it is rich in theological details they never taught me back in seminary school (where I got in trouble for my proposition that you can petition the Lord with prayer).

"Wonder Wart-Hog Meets His Maker" appeared in the first issue of WONDER WART-HOG THE HOG OF STEEL in 1968. If you bought the first and second issues and haunted the newsstands forlornly for the third issue, I understand your despair.

On the first page, it's distressing to see that Heaven charges for the robes, halos, wings etc. I always figured this worked like Social Security where you collected what was due you after putting into the system all your life. It's worth noting for the archives that Wonder Wart-Hog does have a tiny curly piggy tail. The barbed wire is inexplicable.

What an ignomininous fate for the mighty hog. If you're a longtime fan, you might wonder if that's the Bacon Brigade pulling the hearse. Thinking about the way you get into debt as soon as you get into Heaven, it adds new meaning to "you can't take it with you."

The Father of Hogs. Give me time to digest this. Some ancient Greek philosopher or other was in a skeptical mood and said that if cows had religion, their gods would look like cows. At least now we know this is true of wart-hogs. That version of Thor looks kind of familiar. And you might debate Thor fighting Superman, but Thor Vs Wonder Wart-Hog doesn't seem like much of an epic.

An interesting theological point. If you somehow manage to abduct the Lord, Heaven goes dark. It's like when a car hits the power line to your house. "...I'm about to meet my maker again!" is a great line. And the revelation that this was all part of the divine plan is a pleasant surprise. Maybe God smote Wondy with that heart attack just to fill this role.

Not the old "I've been dreaming.." bit. P-U! Are there any readers who see this gag and go, 'wow, that was clever!' Philbert is the sort of ambulance-chasing reporter who leaps delightedly in the air at hearing about a disaster. That's quite a plane crash. Judging by the angle, I doubt if there were many survivors. The copy that the editor dismisses so bluntly sounds awful familiar, like it was a once famous essay about a real disaster.

Then we learn that not only can Wonder Wart-Hog fly to Heaven under his own power (can Superman match this?) but that Heaven has a supply of rubber candy and whoopee cushions. That's a surprise. Then the dream bit AGAIN. There could be a lengthy article detailing the relationship between Philbert Desanex and Wonder Wart-Hog; mostly this is because Gilbert Shelton loved a good story better than mere continuity and he gave our hero any number of origins.

Drat! Another "dream bit." Does this mean this is not as real as the other Wonder Wart-Hog stories? I'm crushed.
Tags: gilbert shelton, undergrounds, wonder wart-hog

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