Boxing Mr. T, Part Two

Bloggified by Jake on Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Last time, Mr. T found some crack under an old lady's fridge, escorted a widow to get her late husband's pension check, saved a boxer from his opponents rabid, homicidal fans, became the boxer's trainer, and wore the same shirt for a week.

Mr. T and the T-Force #6 picks up where the last issue left off, with Mr. T and Slammin' Sam Slamm wading through a crowd of fans who presumably like boxing, yet are determined to make sure there is no match tonight.

Here's my theory. O'Malley, the champ, was diagnosed with some fatal disease when he was a teenager. His greatest regret was that he'd never become a professional boxer, so Make-A-Wish set him up with the Welterweight champ, who agreed to take a dive against the 17-year-old contingent on his getting the belt back and the loss erased from his record after the kid died three to five months later.

Now, O'Malley is 26 and still champ because every few months he fights someone else who feels sorry for him and agrees to lay down with the agreement that the losses will be expunged from their records once O'Malley dies. By now, just about everyone know except O'Malley, including everyone in the crowd. When O'Malley's original opponent broke his hand, he offered the shot to Slamm, but Sam isn't in on the scheme. His fans are all afraid a legitimate fight against a professional boxer, even one as lousy as Sam Slamm, will probably leave O'Malley brain damaged, so they're doing anything in their power to stop the fight from happening, including beating Slamm and Mr. T with beer bottles.Unfortunately, before they can save his life, O'Malley stops the violence Jesus-style.You have to admit, "We wuz only lookin' out for your interests, champ," makes a hell of a lot more sense in my plot than if O'Malley is a legitimate, undefeated champion boxer.

Finally, the fight begins, giving Mike Baron a chance to break out his new thesaurus and Tony DeZuniga a chance to stop trying to draw anything of any quality one would expect from a professional.I'm not sure what the artistic decision was here, but it was clearly a stylistic decision because DeZuniga only draws the boxing match in this awful, scratchy style and the colorists threw away all their crayons except the green, brown, and yellow ones. On the walk to the ring and during the introductions, Sam's trunks are red, Mr. T's shirt is blue, both boxers' gloves are red, and Mr. T's gold is... well, gold.

And I will wager Mr. T has never said "widdershins" unless in reading this issue he asked aloud, "What does 'widdershins' mean?"

Fortunately for O'Malley's fans, Sam isn't a very good boxer and is unable to knockout the champ. While most would agree he won the bout, the judges are in on the whole Make-A-Wish fiasco.With the match over, Mr. T spots Mrs. Thibodeaux's grandson and warns him not to sell crack near his apartments any more, but then Mike Baron realizes the issue is almost half over and no one has pulled a gun on Mr. T and gotten beaten up yet.So, no really meaningful discussion on the crack sales is had nor is any compromise reached. Instead, Mr. T takes the widow to get her pension check and has his suspicions that the entire gang he beat up last issue will try to kill her confirmed."Better that your kids be orphans than for these fools to get that check!" He clearly understands this woman is about to be shot and there is nothing he can do to stop it, yet insists she keep the check. Prior to this, he refuses her request that they call the police and her suggestion he use his T-Force wrist radio to call for help, because "cops don't show fast around here" and his T-Force friends "ain't bulletproof."

Luckily, O'Malley and Sam Slamm just happen to be hanging out together half a block away and come to the rescue.The first time Mr. T beat up the entire gang for trying to steal her check, the gang decided the only way to save face was to try to kill her and Mr. T. This time, however, things will be completely different because Mr. T has taken away their guns and those are very difficult to acquire in America.

Which only leaves the Mrs. Thibodeaux's grandson storyline to wrap up. Instead, though, Mike Baron decides to mix things up a little and have someone pull a gun on Mr. T and get beaten up.For the record, this is a completely different bald black guy with a goatee wearing earrings and dressed in blue denim being beaten up by Mr. T from either of these two:You can tell because his denim outfit has orange accents instead of pink ones.

Somehow, beating the hell out his friends, threatening to beat the hell out of him, and stealing his box of money from under his grandmother's refrigerator fails to motivate Lewis to be Mr. T's friend, which completely shocks Mr. T who just can't understand why Lewis runs away, leading him to a little soliloquy about how he'll always be there if Lewis needs him and the scene we've all been waiting for: Mr. T changes his clothes!I want to see the original script for this. How was this scene envisioned? Why is Mr. T standing before a plain background with a stool, breaking the fourth wall while he changes into some bizarre uniform with "Positive State of Mind" written on it. It's like Mr. Rogers changing out of his sweater and loafers at the end of every show.

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