Too Many Long Boxes!

End of Summer


From the Diary of Montana Maxwell Lord

Volume VI My Life With the Meta Toons

I had achieved the goals I had set while matriculating at the Wayne Day Care Center. I was a billionaire. I was Chairman of the Board of six hundred Fortune 500 corporations. I had just turned seven.

But it wasn't enough. Each new corporation, each downsized employee, each pack of Skybox cards gave me a fleeting instant of pleasure soon devoured by the emptiness within me. One weekend I impoverished my former classmates Richard Rich and Stevie Dayton and employed them as dog walkers for a paltry $6,000 an hour. On another, I bought the state of Lincoln and had my people alter every book and map in the world so that it bore my name. Politics was out of the question. I couldn't become President for another 28 years, and I already had most heads of state in my pocket. The last straw came when Marvin the Martian, in an attempt to eliminate the earth, exploded the deus ex machina bomb, stimulating my metagene. It wasn't anything cool like an instant death gaze or the ability to turn everything into gold. Instead, I could tell the most outrageous lies and have them regarded as the absolute truth. A handy ability for a businessman you might think, but it took the fun out of negotiations. Besides, whenever I told a lie I'd suffer some mishap and wind up with a bloody nose. I was hit by a baseball when negotiating with Steinbrenner, fell down the stairs in Japan and got too close to a caning in Singapore. My injuries didn't affect the deals, but I was starting to run out of suits.

Then one night it hit me. A piece of ceiling. Apparently, God didn't appreciate my trying to influence Him during my nightly prayers. But as Alfred, my manservant, ministered to my wound, I had an idea. Mere millionaires may be content to own sports teams, but I Montana Maxwell Lord must have something greater. The super rich deserve a team of super beings.

I tried to recruit the members of the Golden Age of Supertoons, but found that most were too old and decrepit, with smudged lines and faded colors. Only the Immortal Doctor Fudd remained battle worthy. He proved impervious to my advances. He wasn't interested in my money, he already owned a mansion and a yacht. He wasn't too interested in anything else I had to say. Every time I spoke he hushed me in a hollow metallic voice and told me to be "vewy, vewy quiet,"because he was "hunting Wawds of Chaos. Heh heh heh heh heh!! " I left our meeting disappointed and wondering how much I could get for a solid gold hunting cap.

My meeting with Captain Carrot was similarly disappointing. I set up interviews with The Amazing Spider-Ham and Darkfeather Duck, but my legal staff had a stroke.

I finally decided that I needed to find the superstars of tomorrow. I'd convince the old codgers like Chickenhawkman and Yosemite Sandman to train them. The kids would become heroes and I would get 50% of the royalties. That's how I founded the JLI, the Justice Looniversity International.

My first recruit was Booster Bunny, a thief from the twenty-fourth and a half century who employed weaponry stolen from Duck Dodgers. He had promise. He had a stout heart, charisma and a love of money that almost matched mine. Despite these qualities, he turned out to be more trouble than he was worth. He destroyed his costume almost every time he left the campus, and since he couldn't steal any futuristic battle suits in my time, and wasn't smart enough to build his own, I wound up footing the bill. I'd swear the guy had an aversion to clothes.

My next recruit was another rabbit. She told me her name was Bab-El, appropriate since she never shut up, but preferred to be called Power Bunny. She claimed to be the cousin of Captain Carrot, and was by far the most powerful of the bunch. Super-strength, invulnerability, flight, heat vision, she was all that and a bag of carrots. She later admitted she bore no relation to the other metagene-enhanced rabbits but instead belonged to a race of Sea Hares. As long as she pulled in the endorsement money and saved the world, I didn't care. She had her quirks. She had an annoying tendency to change her costume and sing show tunes while her teammates battled Pinky and the Brainiac, and she drank too much diet soda for her own good, but she always came through for me. That is until I discovered she was expecting. She told me it happened through magic. A likely story. At least I now knew what Booster did after he shredded his costume. Hooray for Booster, but I had to worry about the Comics Code and sponsors. Vertigo wasn't interested in a funny animals comic. Luckily, her thirty children grew to maturity in a month and I didn't have to worry about them any more.

Another early member was Plucky Duck, Warrior. He changed his powers more often than he changed his socks. First he had a powerful magic ring he received from the Smurfs. He called himself the Green Duck until he got into a fight with G'nort. Plucky was a great talker, but that dog knocked his beak to the other side of his head and destroyed his ring. Without the ring Plucky was an ordinary white duck in a sailor suit with a bad attitude. I couldn't use an ordinary toon in my organization and for some reason my legal staff suffered a relapse. I suggested he see my cook for a career change. Instead, he went with Lobo, a foul mouthed, vicious dog toon, to Gargamel's castle and came back with a yellow power ring. I had to have salad for dinner that night, but at least I had regained a hero. Unfortunately, he tried to prevent G'nort from rebuilding a doghouse that had been destroyed by the Cyborg Streaky and wound up losing another power ring. Depressed, Plucky vacationed in South America. I warned him to drink only bottled water, but listening was never his strong suit. He returned with some sort of body altering power, which was a real hit with the animators because they could attribute any mistakes to the effects of his powers. He's back, but half my medical staff went mad after giving him a blood test for possible drug use.

Plucky, has referred to himself as the last Vulgarian, but Wally Beast, a Tasmanian Devil who calls himself the Speed Demon, shows that the Vulgarian tradition will live long after Plucky becomes a pillow. Wally's mentor burst after eating the Anti-Batter cannon during the Crisis of Infinite Girth, but despite the taunts of Captain Coldcut and Meat Wave, the new Speed Demon is just as gluttonous, rude and obnoxious as the original.

I had hoped Captain Hampton could maintain order. He had a military background and a dedication to order. Plus, his quantum energy powers made him a match for any of his comrades. Unfortunately, Hampton's passion for order kept him too busy alphabetizing his socks to serve as field commander, and despite his awesome might, they couldn't take a stutterer seriously.

I also had high hopes for J'onn D'o D'ozz, the Wackyland Wayfarer. He had been brought into this space-time continuum by a malfunction in Marvin the Martian's blender and was forced to spend the next forty years adapting to a strange world. His wisdom and experience could have guided all of us, including me, but the freak learned absolutely nothing since the Eisenhower administration. He spends his time off impersonating office furniture, and insists on eating my phones.

My core team failed miserably. When they fought Amazoo, he didn't bother to copy their powers. When Mr.Nebula showed up, he redecorated the East Coast. Worst of all, the Menudo Action Hour beat them in the ratings.

The new additions weren't any help. I thought the Scarlet Skunk would add an air of sophistication. She certainly added something to the air. She claimed her pheromones made her irresistible to men. Well, its very hard to resist when you're being asphyxiated. Besides, I never understood why a skunk had to have such long claws. The Silver Loon felt that "nukes are just, like, ewwww.... icky!!," but you can't run a million dollar ad campaign on that. She came close to shutting down some of my own plants, so I had to write her out. Miracle Kitty was a stray adopted by Darkseid, and his luck has gone downhill ever since. I've never seen anyone get chained, imprisoned or locked out of his own room as much as this guy. The only escapes he managed were from monitor duty.

The last straw came when Elmaxima joined. She came to us bawling over her lost "Supey Wupey", but soon became distracted by all the other Meta Toons and tried to squeeze the life out of them in an attempt to see who was fit to be her world's official mascot.

The bills kept on mounting. Speed Demon ate 35 species into extinction and a visit to Vault #135 sent $435 million into his gullet. Not even worth counting, but the principle rankled. The destruction caused by the Blue Coyote's malfunctioning inventions were matched only by Li'l Damage's Sneezes. The mouse belonged with the Teeny Titans, but I wanted every super powered toon to be on my payroll. The only way out was to fake my own death and start over, but that's another story.

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