Eye on Comics

Comics criticism and commentary from Don MacPherson

Be All That You Can Be… Eventually

Posted by Don MacPherson on October 25th, 2006

[The scene: a nondescript storefront in Small Town Main Street America.]


Man Off Street: Hi, I was wondering if I could use the can?

Recruitment Officer #1: Hi there! Welcome to the Civil War Recruitment Office.

Man: Um, hi. I really gotta take a whiz…

Recruitment Officer #1: I’m Happy Hogan, and this is Pepper Potts.

Recruitment Officer #2: Hi! I have freckles!

Man: Sure. They’re nice. You got a bathroom here or what?

Recruitment Officer #1: Absolutely! But first, why not fill out a form? Pepper’s got pens!

Recruitment Officer #2: I have blue ones and black ones, Happy! And I keep drugs in this one, just like the FBI guy on Prison Break!

Man: Who names people Happy and Pepper?

Recruitment Officer #2: Stan did! Are you finished with your form?

Man: What’s this for?

Recruitment Officer #1: Well, in case you haven’t read the TV or watched a newspaper, America’s at war!

Man: Yeah, in Iraq.

Recruitment Officer #1: No, with itself. Our boss, Tony Stark…

Man: Who’s that?

Recruitment Officer #1: Billionaire inventor slash playboy slash tycoon.

Man: Don’t know ‘im.

Recruitment Officer #1: Looks like Robert Downey Jr. … ?


Recruitment Officer #1: Iron Man.

Man: The super-hero? He’s cool.

Recruitment Officer #1: Yes! And he needs strapping young men such as yourself in the war against Captain America’s Secret Avengers.

Man: Cap? He’s cool, too.

Recruitment Officer #2: Oh, no. He’s a bad man who must be stopped.

Recruitment Officer #1: You see, Timmy…

Man: My name’s Julian.

Recruitment Officer #1: Timmy, Captain America and some other superhumans have opted to violate the law — the Superhuman Registration Act. You see, Davey…

Man: Julian.

Recruitment Officer #1: Davey, men and women with super-powers are like walking weapons of mass destruction, and the government needs to know who they are, what they do and who they vote for. That way, they can tell the good guys from the bad guys. The government gives the good guys jobs and the bad guys prison cells. Since Cap and company don’t want to register, they’re automatically the bad guys.

Recruitment Officer #2: And the government needs handsome, heterosexual boys like you to spank them! [produces riding crop and smacks her desk]

Recruitment Officer #1: America is at war, son. Won’t you help your Uncle Sam?

Man: Um, I just need to tinkle…

Recruitment Officer #1: My boss’ll pay you 10 grand.

Man: I’m in.

Recruitment Officer #2: Super! Just fill out this form, and don’t forget to check off the mainstream sexuality of your choice!

Man: OK, when does basic training begin? Do I get a gun? Do I get a super-suit?

Recruitment Officer #1: Slow down there, Billy. Yes, you’ll be given training and weaponry, but there will be delays.

Man: Delays?

Recruitment Officer #1: Yes. The war began in May, and the latest round of training was set to begin in November. Unfortunately, our drill sergeants are running a bit behind on schedule.

Man: Huh?

Recruitment Officer #1: Yeah, the next basic training session is now set to begin in January. Now, there’s a new, alternative training program being launched in the interim, but it’s not being run by our best drill sergeants. Really, you’ll still need to go the real basic training even after you go through the fill-in training.

Man: When would I see combat?

Recruitment Officer #1: At this rate, maybe the spring. Late winter at best.


Recruitment Officer #1: The toilet’s in the back.

Man: Thanks.

One Response to “Be All That You Can Be… Eventually”

  1. John Zito Says: