The Adventures of JELL-O Man and Wobbly: There’s Always Room… for Justice!

May 21st, 2009 by | Tags: ,

(Gavok note: This is an article I wrote for PopCultureShock a while back. Because I’m distracted by my inability to defeat Title Defense Piston Hondo at the moment, I figured now would be a good time to start posting some of these where they belong: at 4th Letter. I snipped the first few paragraphs, since it was more of an introduction and you already know me. Which reminds me, we need to hang like old times. Let’s hit the roller rink this Sunday. They have a Wrestlefest arcade machine there. It’ll be fun.)

Allow me to introduce you to what may be the first comic I’ve ever owned. I’m not certain if I owned this before or after I was given a copy of that Luke Cage anti-smoking comic in health class. In fact, I’m really not certain why or how I had this in the first place. All I recall is one day owning a copy of The Adventures of JELL-O Man and Wobbly.

Nobody else seems to remember JELL-O Man, I’m afraid. He was a brief JELL-O mascot during the introduction of their Jigglers. As you can see from that cover, JELL-O Man’s dog Wobbly was created by the J, as JELL-O Man himself was the E, L, L and O mixed together to create some kind of horrid demon freak never meant to walk God’s green Earth. I also notice that they each have a dash for a nose. Where’d that extra dash come from?! It’s questions like this that answer why there was never a second issue. Brevoort would’ve been all over that shit.

Other than a kid’s cookbook, JELL-O Man and Wobbly were featured in a couple animated commercials that I seem to recall as being pretty sweet. I can’t know for sure until somebody puts them on YouTube.

This comic has three stories, a rather huge insert that I’ll get to in a bit, a couple pages of games and seven different JELL-O advertisements. Our first story, The Outrageous Origin of JELL-O Man and Wobbly is written by Michael J. Pellowski, a regular on Archie Comics and its spin-offs. Richard Howell does all the art here, except for Ken Steacy, who does the cover and advertisements.

Most superheroes have their own arch-villain that ties into their origins. Xavier has Magneto. Kyle Rayner has Parallax. Cable has Apocalypse. JELL-O Man has Grabby, the robot creation of Dr. Goodtaste and his assistant Snackens. I’m naming my first son Snackens. Snackens Jasper.

The two scientists are way too obsessed with JELL-O and somehow get billions of dollars in funding to make sure that stores across the world are constantly stocked with pudding. They prepare to test out their S.L.A.H.P. contraption, which stands for Secret Laser-Activated Hologram Printer. For the sake of advertising, they’re going to make 3D JELL-O logos for each package. I’d like to think that Goodtaste has already cured cancer decades ago, or else he really has his priorities mixed up.

As the laser fires at a JELL-O logo, Grabby switches the wires around and hooks it up to himself, thereby powering himself up and somehow tapping into the master computer. The laser explodes, as those things tend to do in these situations, and Grabby runs off while closing and locking every door with his mind. He’s going to have all those desserts delivered straight to him. That sounds like the sort of plan that would lead to a lynch mob at your doorstep, but what do I know?

Well, you know what that robot doesn’t know? He doesn’t know that exploding S.L.A.H.P. devices can cause letters to magically come to life with a full grasp of the English language! Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!

As confused as Dr. Goodtaste is, he follows the mutant abomination around as he comes up with the simple plan of climbing out the window. Outside, they find a conveniently-placed box of springs just lying around, which JELL-O Man and Wobbly use to hop into the air duct and ambush Grabby. By removing his O-shaped head and tossing it like a bowling ball, JELL-O Man’s rubbery skull bashes into Grabby and reduces him to scrap. He murdered his own brother! That sick monster!

Our heroes chill out with the scientists and enjoy some pudding as Goodtaste decides he’s going to rebuild Grabby as a videogame. We never will get the follow-up where the Grabby videogame inspires school shootings in his latest scheme to eat free gelatin.

Next up is The Natural History Mystery written by, of all people, Kurt Busiek. Man… Busiek. You dropped the ball by never adding JELL-O Man to the Avengers and in turn never having him fight Plastic Man in JLA/Avengers. You dropped the ball down hard.

Miss Sherman and her fourth-grade class go to the Natural History Museum to learn about cavemen and all that crap, but the real story is in the kitchen. A stereotypical French chef is freaking out because almost all the desserts have been stolen.

“Zut alors! Zee JELL-O pudding snacks I put out for dessert – it is gone! All except one serving! And it’s almost – how you say – lunchtime!”

This one panel convinced somebody at Marvel that this is the guy they needed to write Batroc the Leaper stories.

The obligatory “too cool for school” kid Jeff takes care of things by calling up JELL-O Man and telling them about their problem. JELL-O Man and Wobbly parachute nearby the museum and get the lowdown.

Wow. How sad is it that JELL-O Man has a bigger and better rogues gallery than Booster Gold?

Our hero stumbles upon the dinosaur exhibit and comes up with the idea of using his x-ray glasses on the statues. As he acts horrified in his realization, we’re given a cliffhanger. We’ll get back to the mystery later. Now it’s time for the insert. I don’t know what Kraft and Sega have in common, but I won’t let that get in the way of reviewing Sonic the Hedgehog, written and drawn by Francis Mao!

This mini-comic sets up the backstory of the first Genesis game as Sonic escapes the wrath of Dr. Robotnik and rescues his animal friends from being controlled as cyborgs. When the animals suggest getting the beloved Dr. Kintobor (get it?) to help, Sonic gives them the bad news: Robotnik IS Kintobor!

He flashes back to the time he accidentally burrowed into Kintobor’s lab. Kintobor had just created a device that absorbed all the evil on the planet Mobius and transformed it into Chaos Emeralds. All he’d need to do is destroy the Emeralds and the world would be totally peaceful.

He let Sonic try out his sonic treadmill, which he overloaded with his speed and accidentally blew up. Much like JELL-O Man, exploding experiments = superhero. The incident had turned Sonic’s fur blue and Kintobor fitted him with some new red shoes.

How many planets must suffer that which is Gerardo?

Later, while Sonic was laying back and reading a Toejam and Earl comic book (I’d love to give that a read), Kintobor asked for a soda. Shortly after receiving it, Kintobor accidentally let it slip out of his hands and it poured all over his machinery. Electricity filled with pure evil zapped him and transformed him into the sinister Dr. Robotnik. Also, the machine blew up and caused rings to fly all over the place.

With his flashback done, Sonic tells his friends that he’s going to take Robotnik down before he can get the last Chaos Emerald. Plus he needs to get all those rings for whatever reason. After a lot of chasing and showing off the different stages from the game, Sonic is faced with retaining his one last Chaos Emerald or letting his pig friend die. The pig’s name?

HA! Aw, man. That’s so horrible and dated, I love it. Does he also have a friend named Kubiek Bear? There are teenagers reading this that have no idea what the hell I’m talking about.

Robotnik gets away and Sonic insists that he’s really, really going to beat him next time. To be continued on your Genesis. Really not that bad.

Now back to Busiek’s JELL-O Man thing.

Of course! A talking dinosaur that’s obsessed with eating desserts! How did I not see that coming?

JELL-O Man tosses the one remaining snack pack into the dinosaur’s arms, which is one pudding too many. Snackosaurus starts juggling and panicking, allowing JELL-O Man to roll his own head over and trip him. The kids are excited to have their desserts back. JELL-O Man asks for a ride back to town, but the teacher says that their bus is too full, leading to a joke about how there’s always room for JELL-O. In actuality, there were about six kids on that field trip and the bus looked big enough to seat at least twelve. That lady is just racist against red letter men.

Our final story is The Outer Space Case, written by Peter David (uncredited) and his daughter Shana David. Awww… But really, how is it that The Adventures of JELL-O Man has better star power than Countdown?

Like missionaries in a third-world country, JELL-O Man and Wobbly venture onto the planet Gumongo to spread the gospel of gelatin. In the background is the Shoveler, a spade-handed villain who appeared in the actual commercials. He figures that this pilgrimage means that there is a new place to steal desserts. What a moron. If Batman’s visiting Metropolis, you don’t go to Metropolis specifically to rob a bank. You rob a Gotham bank, knowing full well that Batman won’t be around to stop you. This guy’s an amateur.

That night, the Gumongian children would go to the kitchen for some late-night binging, only to find their JELL-O missing and a huge hole in the floor. JELL-O Man hears about this on the news and figures that this has to be the Shoveler’s doing. Not only is Shoveler greedy in not paying for his own JELL-O, but he’s lazy too. He’s only stolen the JELL-O that’s been made and not the stuff still in boxes. Though I suppose I should cut him some slack, since the dude has no hands. This all gives JELL-O Man an idea.

The following night, Shoveler laughs over how they’ve left out more JELL-O for him to steal. On a nearby box, the JELL-O logo comes alive, showing that it was all a big trap. Wobbly chases Shoveler out the door, where the villain is met with a giant JELL-O Jiggler, shaped like a B. He bounces off of it and onto a Jiggler shaped like a square. Then one shaped like an L. And so on as JELL-O’s man detached head goes for the kill.

I don’t know. If I was buried under a pile of smiling, living heads, I’d be freaking out at least a little bit.

And that’s the end of our comic. JELL-O Man and Wobbly disappeared soon after, never to be seen again. Probably blackmailed by a jealous Bill Cosby.

Before I go, there’s a page called What’s Shakin’! that features, “Seven cool things you can do while you make JELL-O Instant Pudding.” They are:

1) Hop like a bunny and scrunch up your nose. Try to wiggle your ears, too.

2) Put on your dancin’ shoes and boogie all around the kitchen.

3) Pretend your container is a musical instrument. Keeping your hands waist-high, shake the container from side to side to the beat.

4) Make a fish-face by sucking your cheeks in and opening and closing your mouth.

5) Say “Peter proudly prepares perfect pudding” ten times fast.

6) Try to touch your nose with your tongue.

7) Imagine how yummy your JELL-O Instant Pudding will taste when you eat it!

What a pack of lies. None of those are cool. Well, maybe boogeying around the kitchen, but that depends.

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2 comments to “The Adventures of JELL-O Man and Wobbly: There’s Always Room… for Justice!”

  1. Hey, could you tell me who’s done the lettering on the JELL-O thing? That’s some sweet stuff.

  2. I too have the adventures of jello man and wobbly comic book. I got it with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 official movie program when I saw the movie as a kid. I’m looking to sell both together if anyone knows a price and is interested. make me an offer!