Biggles and the Menace from Space – AT4W

Biggles and the Menace of Padding!

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About Linkara

Atop the Fourth Wall is a show about bad comic books. Linkara finds the surreal and the stupid and breaks them down page by page. You'll know why they're idiotic and how they can be improved.


  1. Conan the commenter

    So the Next review’s batman and robin. huh, I have a copy that I was always considering sending in for you to review, but I never did.

  2. VulpesHilarianus

    Quick catch: That says “Turbo Cooper S” as in “Austin Mini Cooper S.” And trust me, back in the 1970s in the UK having one of those cars was like having a new Camaro in the US today.

  3. 0:27- And now we know where Dr. Evil got the name for his cat Mr. Bigglesworth.

    4:09- Oh, those silly Europeans and their stupid sounding names.

    7:08- And this is one of the things I fear about Donald Trump’s America; more guns and less food.

    13:02- I agree. This version of the USS Discovery for the new Star Trek series looks nothing like a Federation starship. PASS.

    14:57- Holy crap, this is the weirdest argument about the Ghostbusters reboot I have seen so far.

    18:21- At least this isn’t twin clones of Hitler this time.

    This comic is damn queer. Have fun ripping apart the Batman & Robin comic adaptation next week.

    • 0:27 – That is surprisingly possible. Considering both of Mike Myers’ parents are English (in fact, his mother was in the Royal Air Force) there is a good chance he would have been introduced to the Biggles books during childhood.

  4. This bothered me, so why not correct it? Struth is pronounced “Strooth” (like Ruth, truth, etc.). It’s a shortening of “God’s Truth”, and was a fairly common curse for a long time. May still be among older people in the UK, who knows. Showed up a lot in Shakespeare and other plays from that period.

  5. In terms of damn being used in a childrens comic, in Britain damn is barely even considered a curse word. We are far more fast and loose with religious related swears.

    In terms of queer… harder to justify. I didnt live in that era and I do know that queer wasnt originally a derogatory word for LGBT folk and was more used for strange or odd circumstances, but I am not sure if the use of it as an insult was around at the time of writing or if we only relatively recently attained the use of queer as an insult.

    But, considering it was also engaging in sexism while somewhat trying to also promote equality, its also likely they didnt give a shit.

    • Snorgatch Pandalume

      In all fairness to Biggles, while his statements regarding Babe were undeniably sexist, his heart was in the right place. He wasn’t doing it to be mean, he was concerned for the safety of someone he cared about. From his point of view, he was simply trying to be a gentleman by protecting the “weaker” sex. And when that protection was shown to be unnecessary, he was big enough to admit he was wrong.

  6. I LOL’d so much at focke-wulfs.

    • Snorgatch Pandalume

      The Fokker D.VII and the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 were two of the most feared German fighter planes of WWI and WWII, respectively. Manfred von Richthofen (aka, the Red Baron) famously flew a red Fokker Dr.I triplane in WWI.

  7. Snorgatch Pandalume

    One point: radioactive fallout from a nuclear explosion in space would be minimal and so widely dispersed that it would have very little impact on life on earth.

  8. ISignedUpJustToSayThis

    At this rate you may need to change the tagline AT4W, where bad comics burn and good comics exalted.
    As far as UFO, they have twincest looking purple haired aliens babes and fishnet uniforms…How did the internet not know about it? lol

    • Snorgatch Pandalume

      The women on Moonbase in UFO are not aliens, they are human. We see two of them back on Earth at various times, and their hair is not purple there because that is not their hair, they are wearing purple wigs. As for why purple wigs are part of their official Moonbase duty uniforms…the explanation for it I’ve heard (I don’t recall where) is that they’re anti-static wigs, because the air in Moonbase is very dry (just like the air in the pressurized cabins of airplanes tends to be) and Moonbase is full of sensitive electronics that could be affected by static discharges. Of course, the more likely explanation is that Gerry Anderson just thought it looked cool.
      As for the fishnet uniforms, they are worn by the crew of Skydiver, which is a submarine with a jet fighter attached (one of my favorite pieces of Gerry Anderson hardware, with the coolest name ever). I suppose the idea is the opposite of Moonbase. The air inside Skydiver probably gets very clammy, especially when the hull cools down underwater, causing condensation to form on everything, so the fishnet uniforms are more comfortable.

  9. For a while the word “queer” ONLY meant “odd” and had nothing to do with homosexuality. Really them saying queer in this is no different than when the Joker said “boner.”

    • I know. That’s why I said I wasn’t touching it.

      • In Britain, it originated as a word for “strange”. Since the idea of being gay was strange, people described it as queer. Eventually the word itself fell out of use. I’ve only heard it used recently by progressives, and I’m not even sure what their definition of it is.

    • Trust me, in 1981, at least in the US, queer was already only being used as a term for homosexual or as an insult implying someone was. I was there.

  10. The Real Silverstar

    I first learned about Biggles trough Monty Python. The character and his stories were spoofed and/or alluded to numerous times on Flying Circus. “Next week: Biggles Flies Undone”. BTW, Biggles’ other 2 comrades were Algy and Ginger (again, thanks, Monty Python.)

  11. I’m suing Adolf Rittler for copyright infringement.

  12. “Damn” isn’t really considered a curse word in the parlance of uppery-crust British, it’s just used for emphasis casually.

    While we’re on the subject, “queer” in this context just means “odd”.

  13. “Mommy, Linkara is turning evil again!”

    “Give me 3 000 000 units of a goverment backed currency or I will start WW3, which will most probably end my life and/or the existence of the nation which backed the currency which I want my bribe be payed in.”

  14. Believe it or not, during the late 70s/early 80s when they were in their “Old comics are cool” phase, releasing movies like Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon, they did a Biggles movie, “Biggles: Adventures in Time”. It’s extremely goofy and chock full of 80s badness, having come out in 1986. And yet, somehow it lost out to Xanadu for memorably bad 80s movies.

  15. I actually know someone named Biggles…

  16. Btw, 1981 (when this was published)… “damn” wasn’t considered a curse word, and “queer” just meant “weird” back then. It’s only in recent times that both have become curse and derogatory terms.

    • I can’t speak for the UK, but in the US in 1981, both were pretty much used as they are today. If anything damn was considered a bit worse than today since you couldn’t use it on broadcast TV then.

  17. I have never heard of this Biggles guy before. I was thinking the same thing about the lack of Austin Powers jokes. His full name was Bigglesworth! Wait, is Biggles always short for Bigglesworth? Do you have a favorite superhero movie? I’m glad you mentioned Tintin.

  18. Damn isn’t cursing, surely? I think it’s considered worse in America

  19. Dude, a few things about British Culture that you need to understand before tacklin Biggles:
    1) Damn is not much of a swearword in Britain. Pretty much everyone over the age of 13 is socially allowed to use it. That being said, I think it is an American thing about hypersensitivity to swearing, I mean, I didn’t even know that Cunt was a complete out of the question word in America.
    2) Biggles is a labour of love comic. It’s not really been seen as profitable since the end of WWII, meaning that the only people making it are those that actually REALLY want to make it, rather than stuff like the Marvel and DC heroes, which, for a while, was pawned off to anyone looking to make a quick buck.

  20. I own a copy of that movie on DVD. But only because it was the only way to get No Turning Back, which is the only solo song by Queen member John Deacon.

    As an Aussie, I love the way you pronounce ‘Struth!’. 🙂 (It rhymes with ‘truth’: see Rynjin’s comment).
    I love your mispronunciation because it’s part of the stereotypical Aussie accent… but I never hear it here.

    ~ Le Messor

  21. Was this actually a reprint? The sexism and some of the language seems off for 1981. Calling women “skirts” even then wasn’t OK.

    • It may have been made in 1981, but the characters are from WW1, before women had even been given the right to vote in the UK. The characters being sexist is not suprising.

  22. Does anyone else think Fake Hitler looks like he’s played by Bruce Campbell in a fake mustache?

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