Lo, There Shall Come... A Bartman!!
| Lo, There Shall Come... A Bartman!!
| Comic Story information
While reading a Radioactive Man comic, Bart looks up to see Kent Brockman report that there will be a comic convention for old comic fans to buy and sell "their garish pieces of newsprint nostalgia", and also about the owner of Radioactive Man, Arnold Leach receiving a Good Guy Award for his achievements in raising the public's percption of the lowbrow entertainment medium. Bart tells Homer to give him some money to see the lowbrow entertainment, which prompts Homer to ask him whether Flip Wilson will be there. Marge interrupts and reminds both of them that it is their semi-monthly visit to Grampa. At the Springfield Retirement Castle the next day, Bart gets bored of Grampa's stories and finds a mint copy of Radioactive Man #27. Bart asks Grampa where he got the comic from, and it was given to him by his neighbor because Grampa had a letter of complaint in the comic. Then Grampa's neighbour, Morton Mankiewicz, stops by to say hello, in which then Marge asks Morton if he can show Bart his comic collection. Morton takes Bart to a closet, where several old comics lay on the shelves. Morton reveals himself as an old cartoonist of all of the comics, and tells Bart that he used pseudonyms quite often in the old days, one being Morty Mann, in which Bart's response is to exclaim that Morton is the creator of Radioactive Man.
During the car ride home, Marge tells Bart that its a shame that Morton has to sell off his comic books to pay bills. Lisa comments on how such injustices are the result of the system that keeps the ownership of the means of production out of the hands of workers. Lisa tells them to imagine that he created the cornerstone of a merchandising empire, but he was forced to sell the rights to the publisher for $250. Homer then replies saying he would have held out for at least $300. At home, Milhouse and Bart lie in-front of the TV with comic books while Kent Brockman reports on the comic convention. In an interview with Arnold Leach about a giant-sized special issue of Radioactive Man, he mentions that kids are getting bored with Radioactive Man, so he will be killed off. Bart asks Milhouse what they are gonna do, but he just mentions about buying extra copies and double-bagging them. That night, Bart reads a vintage copy of Radioactive Man #418, and from that comic, Bart realizes that an evil-doer will change his tune when a superhero drops in to see him. Thus that night, Bartman is born!
At the Ye Olde Off-Ramp Inn, where the comic convention is being held, Bart tries to get into Leach's apartment, but it is locked. Then swears Bartman, that Leach hasn't escaped him yet, and will try a technique he learned in another comic. That next day, Kent interrupts the Super Bowl to present live footage of the Springfield Comic Convention's second day, when Arnold Leach will receive his Good Guy Award. While Leach thinks about his speech backstage, Bartman intercepts and introduces Morty Mann. Arnold greets Morton in a sarcastic way, thinking he was coming to see him win the award, even though he thought he was dead. Morton reminds Arnold that he sold him the comic, and was then thrown off the strip, for Arnold to have control of the merchandising, get all the royalties, and create movies, but Morton tells him that's not what he cares about. He asks Arnold not to kill his creation. Leach reminds Morton that it was his creation, because he signed the contract that said it was Boffo Comics' creation. Leach tells Morton to ask any copyright lawyer, and that he can do whatever he wants with Radioactive Man, and he wants to snuff him. When it's time for Leach to go on stage and speak to the "moronic little fanboy geeks", Bart holds up a tape, which he ordered from the back of a Radioactive Man comic, that has the entire meeting on. He tells Leach to think what would happen if the tape got into the hands of the media or the "moronic little fanboy geeks" - no Good Guy Award.
Then, Leach is announced onto the stage, where he is pressured into saying that since the announcement of the death of Radioactive Man, the response has been overwhelming, even distributors at the convention pre-ordered a lot of comics. Bartman peeps from around the curtain, prompting Leach to announce that he met representatives of the comic's fans, who expressed affection for the comic character. Because of that, Leach announces that due to all the outpouring of support for the atomic avenger, he is pleased to announce a new limited series, The Return of Radioactive Man, to be written by the guy who knows him best, Morty Mann. Everyone cheers as Morty and Bartman enter the stage, and as the cheering quiets down, Leach announces that the series will be followed by the reappearance of Radioactive Man's continuing series, re-numbered starting with a new Radioactive Man #1, which will have eight different covers, mutant guest star crossovers and bagged with a trading card and a poster. Lisa and Bart have Radioactive Man comics next to them, and while Kent ends his news report with Arnold showing the world what good guys are truly made of, and giving Radioactive Man's tragic tale a happy ending, leaving Kent with one unanswered question, "Who was that Masked Man?", Bart reads a signed copy of an issue, signed to Bartman, by none other than Morty Mann.