Charles, I think the reason that I love HED! SO MUCH is that there's room for counterparts to every crazy character who looks even vaguely Superhero-friendly (even the Scooby Doo crew!).
Which might explain why I love this team so much - or it might just be because they're Crazy Awesome - who knows?
Time to start trying to catch up a bit on my commenting then!
The John Smith Society isn't just made of mad scientists.
Entirely true - there are eccentric engineers, Scrubs-crazy doctors, madcap surgeons and just bat$%^£ crazy Janitors!
For some reason, they have a 90% drop out rate within the first year.
It's not just the Madcap nature of the Aeon Institute and the by-products of it's Science! that drives away the drop-outs: there's also the fact that the Aeon Institute won't let them play in the REALLY interesting fields - like the Boundary between Life and Death - out of respect for the Laws of God, Man and Science.
Even if they do spend a good chunk of their careers thinking up ways to slide around them ...
Yes, she gave them a talking alien dog. Cynthia may have been ill-informed in this choice, since Professor Peabody was more freaked out by the supernatural than his pet-boy Maynard.
To be fair Professor Peabody does keep an admirably clear head in a crisis and can be relied upon to head AWAY from trouble, rather than deeper into it; on the other hand his sense of direction isn't the most acute so he often heads up heading that way in any case.
Besides, the beloved subjects of his Pet Project WILL keep meddling and his loyalty to them will always outweigh his keen self-interest in survival ... eventually, at least.
Unusually, they ended up thwarting at least a hundred of Johnny Vice's minor schemes due to that crime lord's oddball habit of disguising his minion's crimes as the work of supernatural entities.
To be fair the idea of using local superstitions to intimidate the opposition has a lot of currency in psychological warfare (besides the fact that generations of pranks mean local police departments usualy heard 'Wolf' when people tried to report some urban legend going about nefarious business)- the problems only start when the opposition considers a gruesome local legend FASCINATING rather than stomach-churningly terrfiying.
There's also the fact that the guys in the costumes weren't exactly the smartest - or most ruthless - goons in Johnny's stable. Well if they were they'd be out running numbers, gunning down his enemies or selling drugs, rather than working the sticks, wouldn't they?
Things got a bit more troublesome when the Flower Power Crew got caught up in the affairs of The Hierophant ... of all people.
Amusingly The Hierophant still remembers the Flower Power Crew somewhat fondly - they may have meddled, they might well have been Hippies and at least two of them possessed a wearisome tendency to RUN rather than listen to his instructions on how they coul fix whatever problem their meddling had wrought, but at least there was none of the SNARK so alarmingly omnipresent in todays occult-obsessed youth.
Besides, they were reasonably responsible youths, with fine enquiring minds and those biscuits they kept around to bribe the Hound were just delicious
Lucien Drake, who they would berate themselves FOR YEARS thereafter for not realizing was the Headless Horseman.
He DID seem to be in possession of a head whenver they met him, so the mistake is quite understandable; they just never checked to see if it was actually attached!
Oh, as for proving the existence of the supernatural? They did, in 1981.
Thankfully that Ghost-child was in a remarkably friendly state of mind for one of the unquiet dead ... Frank Salsberry
I imagine the John Smith Society had a paranormal removal unit whose adventures were somewhat satired in two movies starring Bill Murray in the 80s.....
After the Flower Power crew disbanded in the 80s, Frank was lucky enough to be abale to make his passion his life's work, with help from a few new friends; Ghoul-B-Gone
(PLC) became the World's best (and Freehold's only) paranormal pest control service thanks to their sterling efforts, shiny new science and a slightly skeezy interest in accumulating moolah.
The team consisted of Frank ('The Heart'), Abe ('The Mouth' AND a slightly self-centred yuppie descendant of a Victorian miser-turned-philanthropist, who received his own visit from a Yuletide institution and decided to make money by getting his own back ... that's HIS story at least), E.R. Cooper esquire ('The Brain', the only surviving member of his class - he went to Curwen U, 'nuff said - and the descendant of a rather notorious 1920s occultist who kept having peculiar out-of-body experiences, possibly drug induced. E.R.keeps having peculiar in-body experiences, but only due to being High on the sheer power of his intellect) and Del (AKA FDR Apone 'The Only Sane Man' a former Marine who wound up working with the guys because the pay was good and kept working with them because he was pretty sure they'd destroy the World if he wasn't around to help them work through any trouble they got into). Dana Hunter
A Bostonian socialite and distant relation of Jacob Hunter
Given that 'Jacob Hunter' hasn't been a real name of that particular agent for a Looooong while, it seems likely that 'distant relation' is a polite euphemism for 'Love Child.'
Which probably explains why she got along so well with Penny, now I come to think of it - sharing certain extra-societal circles as it were (Penny's Father had had a long and interesting career even before the 'accident' which saw him turned into a walking accumulation of gadgets).
Despite the difference in their ages, she chased after George Timons quite passionately during the time she was determined to expose Black Wing's true identity. A chance encounter with a vampire ended up switching her focus and she has spent the past two decades hunting the undead instead.
Amusingly she basically adopted the Morris Brothers as her nephews during this time period and keeps insisting on visiting them - Maynard does his best to keep adventure from ensuing, but admits that he's fighting an uphill battle which makes Mount Everest look like a molehill in that respect.
Dana and Laura the Demon Slayer keep arguing about who was more of an inspiration to a certain Mr. Whedon - both keep losing narrowly to Cynthia Van Helsing, amusingly enough. Penny Gizmo
She is also "cyber-dating" Noah Stein despite the ten year difference in their ages.
Joel keeps asking if they've Cyber-done it yet. He remains unrepentant, for he is a Birds of Prey fanboy!
The teenage daughter of Cyborg Policeman
Would he be a former secret agent of high eccentricity and fair repute, almost
fatally-injured and rebuilt into a gadget that walks like a man?
If so, would he also be the Robotic Superhero (Rent-a-Cop?) mentioned in the opening fiction to HED! (2nd edition)? Maynard Gilbert
Many believe the only reason Maynard was accepted at the John Smith Society was because it was the only college which would take him. A beatnik twenty years out of date, he was justifiably afraid of being killed but always bounced back when things were got rough.
In truth he was less 'twenty years out of date' and more 'Up to date, but time-line troubled' due to an accident with a de-aging ray (he was born in the 1930s, you know!). That sort of thing happens a lot around the John Smith Society, which can best be described as being his extended family and which rather explains his excellent footspeed and keen survival instincts.
Maynard was always smarter than he looked, he simply rebelled against his nerdy upbringing.
Less 'rebelled against' and more 'ignored' - Maynard was far too laid-back to rebel against anyone! Peabody
Passing himself off as a talking dog for reasons unknown to anyone but him
When people see a strange person they go "Aargh!" - when they see a strange dog they go "Aaaaah."
You'd be amazed how much leeway that gives a savvy pseduo-canine.
Besides, four legs means twice the footspeed, which makes running away MUCH easier!
How was he supposed to know it would prove to be so dangerous?
It involved an experiment approved of by the John Smith Society AND Teenagers - you'd think he would have taken warning from that last part alone, even before he found out about their mission in education!
perpetually stuck in the form of a golden retriever
While Peabody WAS stuck in the form of a canine, he was at least able to change his apparent breed (helpful when dealing with the questions arising from the short life-span of the terran canine vis a vis
his own much longer one). It should also be noted that he preferred the form of a bloodhound when diving into mysteries alongside the Flower-Power Crew, since Golden Retrievers are too darn CUTE to show any kind of serious reservation about enthusiastic pursuit of mystery.
On the other hand it's a form wonderfully-suited to making friends with an approaching mob, since an air of innocence coupled with all that fluffy hair is the finest means of averting wrath known to Humankind.
Just ask every puppy and kitten ever born.
No, Scrappy never existed.
True enough, but an alarming-courageous young pup did become attached to the Flower-Power crew at one point, just before the Silver Age - thankfully he couldn't speak Human AND he went away with this really nice team of Metamen he happened to meet in the course of one of his escapades with the gang.
Peabody was quite relieved, but was somewhat surprised to find that missed that little Wonder Dog when he was gone with the Future-Men, despite his better inclinations.
Founder of H.E.R.O.I.C, Complimenter-in-Chief, Co-Arch Henchman to the Grin, Servant of the Hoff!
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