Letter From The Editor: This post is dedicated to Justin Wooley in his epic journey to finding the mustache in all of us.
Last month I mentioned that lists are a reductive and inherently ineffective way to categorize stuff. But, like everyone interesting enough to hang out with, I’m a hypocrite. Not all mustaches are created equal, and I think we’re all big enough people to cop to that. Apologies to Sinestro, Matches Malone, Pops, Asterix & Obelix, Commissioner Gordon, and The Joker when he’s drawn like Cesar Romero; There were only 5 spots and hard decisions had to be made. Here are my Top 5 Mustaches In Comics.
5. Jordan Elliot aka Superman aka You’re Not Fooling Anyone Alan Moore!
In Alan Moore’s seminal “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” a reporter interviews Lois Lane for an article about the anniversary of Superman’s death. This acts as a framing device as we’re shown the final days of Superman. But at the end of the story, as the reporter finishes up and is preparing to leave, we’re introduced to Lois’ husband Jordan Elliot. Named after Jor-El and Superman writer Elliot S. Maggin, Jordan Elliot is definitely supposed to be Superman and we all know it. Hell, only a Man of Steel could grow a John Waters’ ‘stache like that and not look creepy.
Robert Kirkman will go to his grave being remembered for The Walking Dead, but man, his magnum opus really is Omni-Man’s classic, Burt Reynolds ‘stache. It’s hard to make a dude look like Magnum P.I. and have him be this fearsome, imposing mother who attempts to commit planetary genocide like it’s his freakin’ job. But Kirkman pulls it off, and that’s because dude had the face of Bandit—THE Bandit! Woooo boy, the things that face can pull of that lesser, softer faces are simply incapable of making look cool. World domination we can all get behind!
3. (tie) Governor-General James Howlett
In an alternate universe, Wolverine has golden claws, is Governor General of the Dominion of Canada, and has the sickest mustache ever. Kid’s got sideburns to make Ambrose Burnside proud. As Hercules’ boyfriend you have to be masculine as all get out, and Captain Howlett is straight rocking some Al Swearengen levels of masculinity. And it all comes down to the facial hair! Without these wildly impressive facial adornments, James Howlett would be no more special than any of the other folks who banded together to first drive a Space Whale Evil Charles Xavier through space and time and then merge it with the Brood and then kill it (If you can’t tell X-Treme X-Men was all kinds of wacky!).
3. (tie) Hercule Satan
The first time I came across this beautiful visage, I was a young’un who’d often find myself watching Dragon Ball Z re-runs, and time has not hardened my heart to Hercule’s afro or handlebars. The World’s Champion bows down to no man, not even when that man isn’t a man or even a man-like alien but is instead a pink gooey magical demon who turns people into chocolate and then eats them and then gains their strengths. The secret to his strength is—you guessed it!—all. In. The. ‘Stache. You shave that gentleman clean and he carries none of the same authoritative swagger that makes Hercule such a laughably endearing comedy random access comedy generator. That afro is not hurting matters, though.
1. Gomez Addams
They may be creepy and they may be kooky, but they originally starred in a series of one-panel New Yorker comics by the legendary Charles Addams—he was really clever with the names and what not. The Addams Family patriarch is a goofy dude who likes his ladies pale and his money really big (seriously, go watch The Addams Family, their dollar bills are the size of my face), but he’s also always up-beat, energetic, and morbidly optimistic. My personal favorite mustache belongs to Gomez because it’s so in line with who this character is, and he looks exactly as he should to communicate the energy, the morbidity, the optimism, and the “Once More Into The Breach” style of parenting that have become cultural touchstones. Also, I really like Gomez Addams and I get a kick out of anyone trying to pull off a John Waters mustache. Additional points ‘cause Gomez actually pulls it off—even if he was so much creepier in those New Yorker cartoons than he was when embodied by John Astin.
Until we meet again…
~ Shea ~
Featured Image Credit: http://www.locustyears.com/#superstaches