Thursday, June 5, 2008

Why DC Comics Fanboys Love Anthro

Anthro, the first Cro-Magnon boy in the DC Universe, is one of those obscure characters from the 1960s that aging fanboys remember.  He only appeared in seven comics on his own: Showcase #74 and Anthro #1-6.  His creator, Howie Post, isn't that well known today.  So why do aging fanboys love Anthro?
It's all because of this single issue, Anthro #6 (published in 1969), which introduced a generation of geeks to the pleasures of a catfight.

Anthro 6 cover by Howie Post

This cover has everything a man or a boy (in my case back in 1969) craves to see.  Two women fighting over him.  One is a blond, the other is a brunette, the classic Betty vs Veronica dynamic exploding into physical violence.  Hair-pulling, legs tangling...even in my pre-pubescent state, something stirred in my loins.  Anthro's smirk as he watches these women fight to mate with him is just the cherry on top of the cake. 

Anthro: law

The plot is pretty simple: through a comedy of errors, Anthro is somehow pledged to marry two pre-historic women, Embra and Nima.  There is an Archie-like quality here, as Embra is depicted as blonde-wholesome, while Nima is brunette-wicked.  The elders who interpret the law declare "...the females in challenge must fight with their bare hands till one fails to rise!  She, who stands, shall be the bride of Anthro!"

Anthro: catfight

It's a nasty catfight.  As you can see, the evil-brunette Nima fights really dirty.  Wally Wood inked this issue, and you can see influence on the pencils.  I wonder if Wood also influenced the storyline?  He's the man who gave us Power Girl, after all!

Anthro: marry both bitches!

The fight comes down to a draw when both women fall off a cliff and lose consciousness.  Fortunately, when the Elders were drafting the laws of Cro-Magnon society, they spent time thinking about female catfights and their possible outcomes.  The law states that in the case of a draw, Anthro must marry both bitches!  Oh yes!

My imagination ran overtime about what we would see in Anthro #7.  Would the splash page feature Anthro waking up in his cave, with both Embra and Nima under bear-skin blankets?  Sadly, it was not meant to be...Anthro #6 was the last issue.  Anthro's Wikipedia entry states that "Embra lives to bear his child" but I don't know where that happened in DC history.

This scene probably was inspired by the classic B-movie One Million Years B.C. that came out a few years earlier in 1966.  You've probably seen the classic poster which featured Raquel Welch in a loincloth.  There was a scene where she fought another cavegirl played by Martine Beswick (who had another classic catfight in From Russia With Love). 

Women are no doubt disgusted by this, but here it is, our dirty little secret revealed, why DC Comics fanboys love Anthro.  Nuff said.

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