Simpsons Comics #179

A comic review article by: Ray Tate
One of The Simpsons cast joins a familiar looking cult. HINT: it was created on a bet by a science fiction author. Its followers believe that the woes of humanity are caused by evil, alien spirits inhabiting the body. Perhaps the most surprising thing about Gerry Duggan's script is that Homer is actually smarter than expected. He sees right through the cult as a massive deception designed to part fools with their money.

The usually sharper Lenny falls and falls hard. Lenny's gullibility forces Carl, Homer and Moe to intervene on their friend's behalf. While Moe outwardly expresses concern for the state of his own coffers without Lenny's contribution, Carl and Homer are motivated by pure friendship, and that's rather sweet.

Upon infiltrating the Sciufology headquarters, they discover among other things that aliens can be duped just as easily as humans. However, alien tantrums thanks to advanced technology can be much more effective against those that slighted the extraterrestrial. Aliens in a non-"Treehouse of Horror" episode is a daring bend of the flexible reality The Simpsons fosters, but what's important is that the aliens and their rationales increase the comedic value.

This hilarious scathing indictment benefits from Phil Ortiz and Mike DeCarlo making Lenny bright-eyed and bamboozled and flashing back to Moe's long-haired hippie days. Despite the adventure's containment in the perimeters of Springfield, Art Villanueva still stretches his irises with dramatic night time shades, pink-iced doughnuts, alien greens and color coordinated hoboes.

In the remaining pages, Carol Lay takes a detour from her friendlier and expressionistic Simpsons illustration for the violent, gory slapstick of Itchy and Scratchy in a Duggan misery.

Ray Tate's first online work appeared in 1994 for Knotted. He has had a short story, "Spider Without a Web," published in 1995 for the magazine evernight and earned a degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh. Since 1995, Ray self-published The Pick of the Brown Bag on various usenet groups. In the POBB, as it was affectionately known, Ray reviewed comic books, Doctor Who novels, movies and occasionally music. Circa 2000, he contributed his reviews to Silver Bullet Comic Books (later Comics Bulletin) and became its senior reviewer. Ray Tate would like to think that he's young at heart. Of course, we all know better.

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