PHINEUS: THE RETURN OF JOE MAGARAC Part 4: I Like Ike Bob DelBane
1) LUPEK DOUGLAS AND LASTY THE WILDCAT: Corp’s company created Lupek as a fakelore character with the intention of replacing Joe Magarac in the hearts and minds of Pennsylvanians. As Magarac is a folk hero of the steel industry, Corp intends Lupek to be a folk hero for the region’s once and hopefully future energy boom. (This is not unprecedented. See Chesapeake Charlie.)
In order to suggest he is not a brand new character, he is dressed as a nineteenth century oil field worker would, as if he were walking down a street in Titusville in the 1860s. (In my mind, he looks and sounds like Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood.)
Lupek ilasty is Polish for shale, a common target of fracking. Douglas is Scottish/Gaelic for dark, black, or gray stream. Wildcat can mean an exploratory oil well or the act of drilling an exploratory oil well.
2) BABE THE OX: Babe is Paul Bunyan’s big blue pet ox.
3) RANDOM MIDDLEMEN: Continuing the tradition of Corp’s loyal Middlemen whose names mean first, second, or third in a foreign language, one in this story is named Zweiter.
PHINEUS: THE RETURN OF JOE MAGARAC Part 3: Stuck in the Middle with You Bob DelBane
1) MR. CORP: Corp is a shadowy figure, as in, he literally always appears in shadow (like the way the film version of Morticia Addams always has an eerie glow around her eyes, regardless of the available light). He is the absolute leader of his many companies, one of which is Evergreen Industries. All of The Middlemen are fiercely loyal to him.
2) PAUL BUNYAN: Once a symbol of rugged individualism, Paul Bunyan is now a corporate shill for various products. He is not evil, although his values have changed from representing the spirit of the frontier to chasing the most money in the advertising market. He’s a metrosexual lumberjack.
3) THE MIDDLEMEN: Though their ranks include people of every creed, color, and gender, they all wear the same uniform, a gray flannel suit. Their in-office behavior is stereotypically as one would expect from white collar workers everywhere. It’s only when they suspect their goals (which are Mr. Corp’s goals) are being threatened do they become menacing.
The surname of each Middleman means either first, second, or third in a given language. Examples include Primera, Segunda, and Tercera for Spanish and Ail, Traean, and Cyntaf in Welsh.
The Middlemen surnames used in this issue include: Toinen, Erster, Traen, Derde, Pertama, Masodik, Dritter, Birinchi, Harmadik, and Kedna. Mr. Corp’s real name also follows this pattern, but instead of first, second, or third, his true name means zero in Latin: Nihil. ↓ Read the rest of this entry…