Saturday, February 5, 2011

Junk Man

Originally published in: Shell Shock
Publication date: December, 1989

Story and art: Michael Dooney

“Junk Man”


Outside Ed’s Electronic Salvage, Don (on a parts run) spots a fresh haul being dumped by a truck labeled “Data Tek”. Once all the people have left, Don scrounges for goodies and finds the Mother Load, though he ponders how he’ll get it all home. Amongst the junk he finds a case from the US Air Force, circa 1959, labeled “Containment module, Subject A”.

Don opens it to find a vacuum tube and, disappointed, tosses the tube to the ground. Shattering, the tube releases “Subject A”, an alien being of pure energy. Subject A mistakes Don for his jailer and, after creating a physical body from the surrounding junk, attacks the Turtle. Pummeling Don and destroying his bo staff, the odds seem stacked in Subject A’s favor. That is until Don picks up a case labeled “Subject B”.

Subject A immediately surrenders and begs Don to show him pity and not do anything rash to the containment module. Don offers to show him compassion, instead, and shatters the vacuum tube, releasing Subject B. Subject B turns out to be Subject A’s mate and the pair are reunited after forty Earth years apart. Before shedding their physical forms and returning to their home planet, they ask if there’s anything they can do to thank Don. Don has something in mind…

Back at the sewer lair, the other three Turtles are startled by a loud crash coming from Don’s lab. They enter to find Don standing amidst a humongous pile of scrap electronics. The Turtles ask their brother how he got it all home and Don simply replies that he had “help”.

Turtle Tips:

*CHET ALERT: On page two, graffiti reading “Chet” can be read on the garage door. The name “Chet” was an Easter Egg frequently snuck in by the Mirage staff because… they just liked the name!

*As revealed on Ryan Brown's and Steve Lavigne's blog, Attempts were made to have Junk Man turned into an action figure from Playmates in a number of different forms, both inspired by the Dooney design and origin and others deviating in entirely different directions. Playmates passed on the concept.


One more of the loony back-up stories where one of the Turtles has an inadvertent encounter with some bizarre otherworldly threat that’s conveniently resolved in eight pages or less. Except this one’s drawn by Michael Dooney! Sweet.

Conceptually, “Junk Man” comes off as a tad redundant to “Technofear!!!”, as both short stories contain just about the same basic plot: Don searches for spare electronics and ends up acquiring some violent creature from another planet that wants to do him harm. Between the two, I think I liked “Technofear!!!” a bit more, but they’re both pretty much on the same level as one another.

Dooney turns in some excellent pencils, which is nothing new for someone as talented as he is. There’s no credit for who did the inking and toning, so I dunno if that was the handy-work of Dooney as well or not. However, as much as I like Dooney, his women do all tend to share a similar body type and facial structure… even his robot women!

Not much else to say here. It’s nice to at least have a story explaining where Don gets all his gadgets from, even if the answer was pretty easy to come up with on your own. Other than that, well, it’s all pretty much just the Dooney art.

Grade: B- (as in, “Beings of pure energy: Invincible in every way, save for a single weakness… the dreaded vacuum tube”.)