A force who claims to be the ghost of Malice Jiggs--an insane serial killer who was executed months before--has struck down The Warriors' resident empath, Molina. Now a bolt of living lightning, Jiggs can move through electric wires, attack his victims, harvest their souls, and escape without a trace. Can the boys stop this walking joy buzzer before he goes on a fresh killing spree in a new town?
Issue #: 305
Issue #: 29
Release Date: Aug 31, 2007
Story (out of 24 pages): 21 p.
Writers: Jean-Kate Costman
Penciller: Ethan W. "Meat" Jackson
Letterer: Jose A. Wheat
The story opens in William T. Sherman Penitentary, where Malice Nathaniel Jiggs, convicted of murdering of at least two dozen people, has been sentenced to die by the electric chair. Jiggs' final words are a cryptic Latin motto: non ominus moriar--magni nominus aere perennius ("A great name lasts longer [is more enduring] than bronze"). The executioner throws the switch, and Old Sparky sends him to immortality.
The scene cuts to the interior of Joshua's basement lab, where Molina and Josh are watching a breaking news report. The anchor is talking about the latest in a series of bizarre unsolved murders in and around Lowndes, Georgia, where William T. Sherman is located. Jon notes that all the deaths are electricity-related, and each is a person connected to the Jiggs case. While he explains his findings to Josh, a beam of electricity shoots from the TV set and engulfs Molina. She floats into the air, attacks Jon in a rage, then collapses as the spirit that possessed her leaves. Molina names her attacker--Malice Jiggs--before sinking into a coma.
Jon does some research and learns that Jiggs attacked Molina because she has the same name as one of the jurors who sent him to death row. Theorizing that destroying Jiggs will free Molina's spirit from this "walking short circuit", he and Josh prepare to fight him.
Meantime, Jiggs loots a robotics plant and creates a body for himself. He emphatically declares Malice Jiggs "dead", rechristening himself "Jiggawatt"....
The concept of an executed murderer coming back to life as living electricity recalls the 1989 Wes Craven film Shocker. A remake of the film is slated for 2009. Also, when Jiggs/Jigawatt assumes the guise of a robot with a synthetic human face, his metallic appearance and battle-damaged features suggests both The Terminator and the Superman foe Metallo.
page 1. William T. Sherman Penitentary and the legend of Malice Jiggs was mentioned in Jonathan Sweet's "Beautiful Dreamer" (Almasheol,
page 1. Jiggs' final words translate roughly to "I can never die; my fame will last forever."
page 3. Jon alludes to Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes story "Silver Blaze", in which a prize racehorse is guarded by a dog who always barks at strangers. The night the horse disappeared from its stable, the dog didn't raise a fuss and alarm anyone. Holmes realized that meant the horse was stolen by someone it knew, therefore it didn't bark during the theft.
page 4. Maury is playing on the set right before the news telecast. "You are [not] the father" is host Maury Povich's catchprase, used in the many paternity test results he gives on the air.
page 5. Jon mentions one of the alternate jurors was beheaded by a fast-moving ceiling fan. This was the same way one of the victims was killed in Sweet's short story "Virago", about a virus that infects home electrical systems in a similar manner as Jiggawatt. Also, like seen here, a large chunk of the plot revolves around a case of mistaken identity that nearly gets an innocent girl killed.
Another of the victims is named "Ima P. Brane", which was also the name of one of the sources interviewed for an article in Fulkes University's Champagne Island Dispatch. This may or may not be the same person.
page 5. A Beautiful Mind was a 2001 film starring Russell Crowe as a schizophrenic genius who looks for tenebrous conections between seemingly unrelated events in newspaper clippings. The X-Files was a popular sci-fi drama about two FBI agents investigating the paranormal. Interestingly, the show did an episode with a premise similar to this story in season three, called "The List". To carry the allusion a step further, Mitch Peleggi, who played FBI director Walter Skinner on X-Files, starred in Shocker as the biolectric killer.
page 6. Jon's line "Someone always gets hurt" was used by Darkwing Duck after being attacked by a villain during a similar verbal exchange in one episode. Also, Jon derisively calls Jiggawatt "Sparky", the same way Darkwing mocks his archfoe Megavolt.
page 10. "Harlan Cybernetics" is named for Harlan Ellison, the famed science-fiction writer. One of the latex facial skins in panel 6 is modeled after Patrick Stewart, perhaps best known for his role as Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Sweet once stated in his blog that his pick to voice Malice Jiggs would be LeVar Burton, Stewart's co-star in ST:TNG.
page 14. It's revealed that another of Jon's weaknesses is electricity. In "The Foul Stench of Doom!" it was revealed he's also weak against lead.
page 23. First appearance of the Apex Asylum for the Criminally Insane. It was inspired by both Arkham Asylum from the Batman comics, movies, and animated series, and, according to artist J.M. Sweet, by the unusual shape of one of the men's dorms on the Arkansas State University campus.
Crime boss Duke X. Machina can be seen in one of the cells. Note he is missing an arm (he lost his mechanical prosthesis at the end of "What A Drag!").
Title: "Spring Forward, Fall Back"
Story (out of 24 pages): 3 p.
Writers: Jahnesta T. Owen
Penciller: M. S. "Nat" Cohen
Letterer: Noah Jewett
Colorist: Newton E. Haas
Monty buys an APEX springboard catapult to give him an edge over Ben; however, the device repeatedly misfires, causing him injury. Frustrated, he tries to dispose of it over a cliff--but that doesn't go according to plan exactly, either.
The title refers to the popular mnemonic for remembering daylights savings time: set your clock one hour forward in spring, set it back one hour in the fall.
The use of gag scientific names for the characters is, of course, an homage to a running gag in the Roadrunner/Coyote cartoons. This is the second Monty and Ben cartoon to use Latin names, the first being "Taking a Powder" in the
Oct 2006 issue. The first part of Ben's name ("dervishus") revers to the famous whirling dervishes, a Muslim sect whose prayer ritual involves intricate twirling dances. Monty's Latin name translates roughly to "butt head", which is appropriate.
This is similar to a gag in "Beep, Beep" (Jones, 1952), in which Wile E. Coyote is slammed into the ground by a miniature catapult. Another variation was seen in "To Beep or Not to Beep" (Jones, 1963) involving a catapult and a boulder. Ironically, this last one was the first in the series to not use the Latin name joke.