GOODIES COR COMICS SYNOPSIS #13
(by Linda Kay)
(from C&G 84 – December 2002)
March 31, 1973 No. 36
When one thinks of The Goodies it's likely the first thing that comes to mind is the visual style of the show ... the fast-paced, cartoonish filmed sequences in which the worlds of live action and animation meld into a unique and unforgettable barrage of far out and wildly imaginative images.
But what should additionally come to mind is the fabulous wordplay and verbal humor within the series. Indeed, some of the episodes fans consider the best are those which take place within a claustrophobic set and are mainly comprised of witty and inventive dialogue.
Undoubtedly, a good amount of both kinds of humor work best not only for television but for the comic pages, and this issue's Cor!! comic we'll be reviewing includes a healthy helping of outrageous sight gags plus some of the most deliciously awful puns ever served up in the series.
Header: I SPY FUN - THE GOODIES HAVE TO DELIVER A TOP-SECRET MESSAGE!
ONE AFTERNOON, THE GOODIES' PHONE RANG ...
The Goodies are seen in their office as Graeme takes a telephone call. Much to their shock a tiny person leans out of the mouthpiece (shouldn't he be coming out of the receiver?) brandishing an envelope. In his hat is a little note which reads "Spy (Our Side)."
GRAEME: Yikes! It's a *personal* call!
TINY SPY: You must get this vital message to the secret headquarters of M.I. 13, Goodies! I can't get through myself!
The Goodies rush from their office, Bill waving a tiny British flag and racing ahead with enthusiasm, Tim looking confused and uncertain while Graeme follows, looking particularly spy- like as he carries the important envelope. None of them notice a man in a black hat who is peering at them from around the corner.
BILL: Come on, lads, the country depends on us!
TIM: Er ... where is M.I. 13?
GRAEME: I can't tell you that - it's a *secret*!
We next see the Goodies astride their trandem veering into the cycling lane of a busy motorway. Graeme is holding up the envelope proudly.
GRAEME: Foreign spies always race around in smart cars - so let's keep to the cycle track!
TIM: Good thinking! They won't be able to steal our vital message then.
Suddenly the man in the black cap (which holds a small sign that reads "Spy - The Other Side") pedals by on an old-fashioned Penny-Farthing bicycle (although this one has been updated slightly, with a small jet motor having been attached to the back wheel!) and snatches the envelope from Graeme's hand.
BAD SPY: Want to betski? Hur, hur!
GRAEME: Argh! A spy on a Penny-Farthing!
TIM: What a *cheap* trick!
The spy is seen speeding past an old fire service station (with one of their older trucks out front with a FOR SALE sign beside it). He is some distance ahead of the Goodies, who are just turning the corner a ways behind.
TIM: Hey, his bike's jet-propelled! We'll never catch him!
GRAEME: Yes we will - I've got a ring-a-ding idea!
The Goodies are next seen astride the old fire truck close on the tail of the spy. Bill is extending the ladder ahead of the truck, Tim clinging to it as it inches him closer to the spy in front of them. Graeme is happily ringing the firetruck's bell (both he and Bill are wearing fireman's hats as well).
GRAEME: What fun! I've always wanted to do this!
TIM: I'm taking *steps* to get the message back!
Tim is finally extended over the top of the spy and manages to reach out and snatch the message back (a black cat runs just in front of the wheels of the fire truck below but manages to clear their path in the nick of time).
TIM: Got it!
Bill reaches out to take the note from Tim, only he anticipates this way too soon and hits the lever which causes the ladder to rise up suddenly, Tim hanging on for dear life.
BILL: Give it here, Tim ... OOPS!
Tim connects painfully with a tree branch above and stays there as the fire truck speeds on past underneath. A startled bird flies away from the tree in a panic.
BILL: Sorry about that!
GRAEME: Hang on to the envelope!
Bill and Graeme stop the fire truck and hurry back to the tree carrying a hooped fire net. As they approach they see the bad spy hacking away at the trunk of the tree with a large axe (a rabbit nearby cowers nervously).
GRAEME: Yikes, he means to get to Tim first!
BILL: We must save the message ... er ... *and* Tim!
They hold the net out beneath the branch where Tim has been stuck and Tim jumps down. The bad spy watches this with an exclamation mark in a thought balloon above his head.
TIM: Hope there's a 'catch' in this!
Tim's ends up going "through" the hoop, and he stands with the hoop stuck around his middle looking much the worse for wear. Bill and Graeme find they have other worries ... a whole gang of spies dressed in black appear in the woods nearby. Graeme quickly reaches for a rope from the fire truck.
BILL: Crumbs, re-inforcements!
GRAEME: This rope will save us ... I've been reading a book on *Eastern magic*!
The Goodies make quick use of the rope by climbing it as it floats in midair. They are soon high above the grasping spies as Graeme pulls the end of the rope beneath him clear of their reach.
BILL: Wow, the Indian Rope Trick!
GRAEME: I'll pull the rope up after us, so that they can't follow!
As the Goodies continue to climb they find they've suddenly disappeared, as has the top half of the rope. The spies below are equally confounded.
TIM: Arrrgh, where have we vanished to?
GRAEME: I haven't read that far!
BAD SPY: Bah - they've escaped!
A LITTLE LATER ...
The bad spies have all gone away and the Goodies climb back down from their invisible position toward the ground, not noticing the open manhole directly beneath the rope.
GRAEME: It's alright, they've gone! You can come down now!
TIM: Now all we have to do is find M.I. 13 "!
They discover the open manhole the hard way as Graeme continues to climb down into it until he's out of rope, then finds himself plummeting downward. Bill, in the meantime, has lost his grip on the rope and comes crashing down on Tim's head and they both head speedily toward the hole as well.
GRAEME: Someone's taken the road A ... W ... A ... Y!
TIM: Arrrgh! We're trapped!
The Goodies crash down, one on top of the other, onto a large tabletop around which several British secret service, military and government officials sit, apparently not surprised by this sudden arrival. A sign on the wall reads "M.I. 13 Secret H.Q." (the 13 has been crossed out and replaced with a 13.5, apparently having been converted to metric). The Security Service General seems quite pleased by the intrusion.
GENERAL: Ah, Goodies! You've arrived at M.I. 13 " 's secret headquarters at last! Hand over the vital information, we can't begin without it!
The General turns to an apparent scrub woman who is pouring hot water into a tea kettle. A sharp dressed minister in a bowler hat is sitting at the table with his briefcase on his lap looking quite content. The Goodies are still sprawled upon the table, looking quite pained by their ordeal.
GENERAL: Here it is - "The Minister takes *two lumps* of sugar!" At last we can begin our *tea break*!
GRAEME: All that just so they can have a cuppa!
BILL: Grr, I'm all *steamed up!*
The Goodies take over the proceedings, helping themselves to places at the table. Bill leans back in his chair with his feet on the table, sipping his cup of tea. Tim pours tea for Graeme (missing his cup by quite a bit as both are looking the other way to angrily eye both the General and an elderly Colonel respectively). The Minister cries like a baby off to the side, having been pushed aside.
BILL: If anyone's earned a tea-break - it's us! Slurp!
TIM: It's no *secret* we don't like being messed about!
GRAEME: Get the *message*?
Sign-Off Line: NEXT WEEK'S GOODIES TALE WILL SUIT YOU TO A "TEA"!
RATING (using the BLACK PUDDING RATING SYSTEM):
III - Goody goody yum yum.
A fun outing with some silly situations and painful puns that definitely inspire groans. The situation is perfect for a Goodies story ... once again they are called upon by British officials to undertake a mission for the sake of serving their country. This is brought to a smart conclusion when it turns out the mission is entirely frivolous, and for once the Goodies get their own back by quite clearly showing their displeasure to the officials who put them through so much.
As always there are subtle jokes to discover within the individual panels. For instance, when they pass the fire service station it has a sign on it which reads "Out to Lunch" and one has to wonder about the apparent wisps of smoke coming from inside! A cow (bull?) runs away startled when the Goodies fall into the open manhole. And the black cat with white paws makes yet another appearance ... it's only logical to conclude that the strips in which the cat appears were all done by the same artist. Also, it's funny to note that while Graeme is driving the fire truck his helmet comes down way over his eyes! And it appears the soldier in the background of the second to last panel is preparing to have sausage with his tea as one link appears to be stuck on the end of his bayonet!
All in all this is a good story with some fine artwork that rates as average in the overall output of the Goodies Cor!! comics.