|A few panels of Pharus in "action."|
Okay, some backstory is necessary here. The current plot in the inaccurately-named newspaper comic strip The Amazing Spider-Man has Spidey duking it out with Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner. It's tough to know whom to root against here, since they're both dicks. As readers of the strip know, Peter Parker is lazy, selfish, incompetent, and prone to terrible wisecracks. But Namor's no prize pig himself. He has the snooty, imperious manner and flowery diction of a would-be alien conqueror from a 1950s sci-fi movie. It doesn't help that he habitually wears some kind of shiny, quilted vest-thing over his bare, hairless chest, nor that he has the most jagged eyebrows and the sharpest widow's peak in the comics business.
But it is Pharus, the sick little Atlantean boy, who has truly captured the nation's heart since he was introduced by Stan Lee and Larry Lieber on October 26, 2015. Namor dragged him up to the surface, where he can sort of breathe with the aid of special pills for a short while, as tangible evidence of the terrible effect we are having on those who call the ocean their home. And America has been in the grip of Pharus-mania ever since then. His design seems somewhat inspired by Zan and Jayna, the Wonder Twins from The All New Super Friends Hour, except that Pharus is much less prone to tomfoolery, doesn't seem to have any super powers, and noticeably lacks a monkey sidekick. With those qualities, it's no wonder he's been such an immediate sensation.The character is a non-stop delight, whether he's begging to be let go:
|Wasn't "Let Me Go (Surface Woman)" a Billy Ocean song from 1986?|
Whining like a bitch:
|Manhandled by Mr. and Mrs. Spider-Man.|
Or just lying unconscious on his pitiful little stretcher:
|Truthfully, this is 90% of what Pharus does.|
And if you're still not convinced of the character's innate lovability, just feast your eyes on this little collage, which I humbly call Big Ol' Wall O' Pharus Faces, No. 1.
|So. Much. Pharus. (And, yeah, he turns blue on the weekends. I know.)|
A star, clearly, is born. Hollywood execs, get out your checkbooks now. This kid's going places.