Thursday, December 8, 2011

Pinball Violence #3

This week's unfortunate case of pinball violence comes from issue #40 of the 1997 run of Robin.  Besides a particularly angry Robin scouling at us from the cover, the titular character doesn't appear in this issue.  Instead, the scene flips back and forth between Tim Drake talking to his girlfriend, and his girlfriend's vigilante exploits.  At first it's par-for-the-course; the girl vigilante is chasing down and beating up the bad guys.  But then THIS sequence happens.  First, she chases the goons to their getaway vehicle:

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So far this is pretty benign.  She jumps onto the back of the truck and starts laying in on this one poor bloke.  Heaving a mighty blow, he is hurled helplessly into a...pinball machine!?!

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Not just ANY pinball machine, mind you, but the rare "Gorfinator" pinball machine.  Look at those classic lines peppering the cabinet!  "I'll call you back"  "If he don't get you, his boiler suit will!" (?!?)  What in the world does that mean!?!  These goons must have been wrapped up pretty heavily in black market pinball trafficing.  They even have the uber-rare "Archie Enemy" pinball machine.  "He'll win good"   ahhhhhh, as if taken from the lips of the bard himself!  Anyway, even though the two twins (!?) with the pistols have a clear shot at our hero, they decide to hit her with the Gorfinator.

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I guess the twins reasoned that the Gorf was too damaged to part out.  Or maybe they were looking to toss it anyway since that cabinet is so gross.

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Or maybe they couldn't part it out because the Gorf is made of the most bizarre assortment of parts compiled in one wretched cabinet.  I DARE you to try and figue out what's going on on the bottom of that playfield.  This merciful machine has no outlanes, but it also has a two inch thick backbox.  My two favorite things to note:

1) The pinball machines drawn in this sequence were clearly done without reference.  Someone thought to themselves, "er...uh...pinball?  it's a box with two buttons on the side? two flippers?  a rule card?"  It's the lowest common denominator.

2) The goons are LAUGHING at her as they peel off.  They look like they're having the time of their lives.  They must have wanted to get rid of the Gorfinator for a long time.  Now they can focus on getting that rollover on Archie Enemy.

I looked at all the pinball machines released in 1997, and have no idea what the catalyst was for the Gorf and Archie.  Until next time, keep you machines safe!  Also, check out Alec's post on the Stern Blog!

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