Malibu Comics was a slipshod comic imprint from the ‘90s held together by duct tape and a stubborn unwillingness to recognize failure. Their greatest lasting impact on society was teaching Child Brockway to hate. Malibu’s entire business model was based on tricking confused grandmothers into buying the wrong comic book for their sick grandchild. It was a whole publishing line built on the cynical exploitation of dementia, and the only reason its president, Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, is not in jail today is because he has never missed a single payment of unwanted babies to Balphas, the demon who presides over Backwards Wishes.
Eliminator ran for four issues, which is what we call a ‘Malibu success.’ He was a mash-up of Iron Fist and Deathlok, which you might recognize as “the dude from the shitty Netflix show” and “I don’t.” Malibu was so low-confidence they couldn’t even steal the good characters. Buying a Malibu title was like buying storebrand ramen – don’t lie to yourself that you’re saving pennies here; you’re doing this because you hate yourself somewhere between Face Tattoo and No Note Suicide.
Eliminator’s powers were “Robot Arm” and “Maybe Karate.” His costume was a leotard, a blouse, and his secretary’s makeup but you’ll have to wait six more images for that joke to pay off. Eliminator was a mercenary, just like every generic comic book character in the ‘90s, but he was an especially shitty one who only went after Zumba instructors that stole Quickbooks passwords.
Eliminator had a motorcycle that changed into whatever was convenient at the time, so long as he techno-fingerblasted it a little first.
It was not the only finger-blasting going on in the transmogrocycle.
Eliminator was a mash-up of things the ‘90s were all about, but didn’t age well: transformers, mercenaries, cyborgs, white guys doing karate, and banging your assistant.
Either Eliminator sarcastically called her Laquita, which would make him very racist, or the author named her Laquita, which would make him very racist, or Laquita was a common and entirely accepted name in ‘90s black culture, which would make me very racist. Let’s check: A quick google first asks me if I meant La Quinta:
The ‘baby names’ robot tried to ask me if I was fucking with it, but was not programmed with the proper words to accuse:
And Urban Dictionary, as always, makes me regret looking at Urban Dictionary:
So let’s drop this whole debate and just agree on one thing: It is never acceptable to call a woman “queet.”
The whole series, all four of it, is chock full of racial stereotypes. There are two latino characters in this book: one of them is in a gang and one of them used to be in a gang. They are brothers.
Here’s one of them stumbling across a beached shark and thinking 1. “My gang would love this shark,” and 2. “We could sell sharks, that could be our gang thing.”
The central villain for the entire series was:
Malibu combed through the great bible of comic book names and couldn’t believe their crap luck: Cyborg was taken, Metalman was taken, ManBot was taken – wait for real, fucking manbot was taken??? They flipped the page in frustration and noticed one conspicuous absence: Mannequin. “Oh well” is the official Malibu slogan. It’s on their business cards. All four of them.
Thus ends the compelling origin story of Mannequin, the half-man half-robot named for an inanimate bust whose only purpose is to wear clothes. He does not wear clothes.
So yes, there’s a lot wrong with Eliminator, but nothing touches the dialogue:
Every quip was pulled from a rejected Friends spec script, “The One Where Chandler Is Maimed in a Sweater Accident and Has to Be Rebuilt With Robot Parts.”
This is what passes for wit in a Malibu title:
You traveled so far for something so lackluster and it didn’t even land. You’re like a plane crash in Auckland. That’s one of our latino characters spending yet another of his action scenes running from and fighting the police, who are only in this comic to arrest the other latino character but can’t tell the two apart. So at least Malibu did their research on real police procedure. Here’s how Former Gang Member deals with the intense fear that his brother, Gang Member, might already be dead:
I’m telling you, that’s a Chandler line. Not a good one, but that is definitely pulled from somebody’s 💖🍵F●R●I●E●N●D●S F●O●R●E●V●E●R🍵💖 GeoCities fansite. Try it, read every joke in Chandler’s voice and then pretend Matthew Perry frowns and adds “we can beat that one, surely?”
“Genie’s Weenie” is not a canonical reference to something in this comic. That is a standalone line. That is an actual thing that Eliminator yelled while jumpkicking a cruise ship samba coach. It’s not a callback you don’t get, it’s just the product of a tired and overworked brain that probably shouldn’t have been doing this in the first place, much less have been doing it nonstop for eighteen hours. That brain wanted to go back and give this a second pass, but it already wrote ten issues that day and it still needed to help brainstorm 700 new titles for Malibu before it could earn a bathroom break. “A…a magic mom?” That brain oozed. “How about like a little kid who turns into a superhero oh fuck that’s Shazam, fuck I am getting so fired and I need this Work Experience credit if I’m ever gonna graduate from DeVry’s Program for the Comical Book Arts.”
But they did publish that brain’s exhaustion-farting idea sludge, and that brain did get its credits, and it did graduate with Extra Stickers from DeVry. And that brain? Why, that brain was a little someone named Roland Mann.
You haven’t heard of him. This was the best thing he ever did.
This article was brought to you by our fine patron and Hot Dog Supreme, toasty god: duly elected mayor of uncooked bread.