I Love Ya But You're Strange - That Time Bob Hope's Nephew Became a Swingin' Mod Superhero

Every week, I will spotlight strange but ultimately endearing comic stories (basically, we're talking lots and lots of Silver Age comic books). Here is the archive of all the installments of this feature. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have a suggestion for a future installment!

Today, we take a look at the introduction of Bob Hope's nephew, a young stuck-up lad who transforms into the swingin' mod superhero known as...Super-Hip!!

In 1965's Adventures of Bop Hope #95, Arnold Drake and Bob Oksner decided to try a rather radical attempt to rescue the long-running Bob Hope comic book from cancellation. Their plan was to try to tie in with the times by introducing a hip, swinging superhero.

They introduce the character as the nephew of Bob Hope (honorary nephew, only - the boy is the son of one of Hope's old college buddies), Tadwallader Jutefruce. He is a repressed officious nerd...

While Hope's talking dog's plan was not a bad one (I love that the fact that Hope has a talking dog is not even CLOSE to the weirdest part about this issue), their attempts at getting Tad angry repeatedly fail.

It is not until he gets embarrassed by a jerk after school that things get REALLY crazy...

"Down with Lawrence Welk" is Super-Hip's battle cry (Just in case no one gets the reference, Lawrence Welk had a long-running TV show that specialized in standards and big band songs as well as sort of de-fanged versions of modern pop songs. Of course, that philosophy does not work when you don't understand what the song is about, which led to the hilarious story of the song "One Toke Over the Line" being performed on the show. In any event, a "hip" teen in 1965 would be no fan of the Lawrence Welk Show).

He has a super guitar...

And he could turn into whatever he wanted...

A fascinating aspect of Super-Hip (and perhaps a reflection upon the then-current youth movement by old pros Drake and Oksner (who were 41 and 49, respectively, when they created Super-Hip) is that he was a total jerk...

Super-Hip's Super Guitar could make anyone dance, even the police...

Tad, meanwhile, would not remember anything he did as Super-Hip...

Which made it really awkward that time he woke up covered in blood with a gun in his hand and a dead hooker next to him in a bed (sorry, that's the Vertigo Super-Hip revival I keep waiting for).

Oksner was a comedic storytelling genius as a comic book artist. His character work was outstanding.

The craziest thing about the Super-Hip concept is that there is a whole OTHER cast of characters introduced in this issue that I made a point of avoiding because they just make everything way too hard to explain, but suffice it to say that Tad's teachers in High School are based on classic Movie Monsters for, well, no reason really.

Just to keep you from missing out on these characters entirely, here is a quick appearance of the faculty being forced by Super-Hip to dance a version of the "Monster Mash" - the "Faculty Frug!"


The Super-Hip experience kept Bob Hope going for an additional 14 issues before it ended with #109.

That's it for this week's I Love Ya But You're Strange! E-mail me suggestions for future installments at bcronin@comicbookresources.com

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