A Tale of Bop City, from Angel Black’s memoirs
The reason Amwerth had been so intent on Sam basing his operations in Rockville was his knowledge of the area’s peculiar history. Rockville had been one of the few small towns before or during the war with meta-heroic activity. The Mechanic was Rockville’s first powered hero, but he was soon joined by the original King Cougar, the Prophet, the Rockville Warrior and the Thunder Road Irregulars, Man O’War, and others. This heroic tradition appealed to Sam also, and led directly to some of Amwerth’s later activities. The doctor really exploited the city’s pride in its native heroes by introducing new versions of the classics and originals of his own creation by the combination of his quantum research, genetic material collected over the years of his association with Sam, and one more element about which almost no one knew.
Everyone is familiar with Wacky Ranch, the theme unlike any other. Established in 1985 on the site of Junior and Maggie Yasgur’s farm, it is the home of Hillbilly Cat, DooWop Duck, and all Bop’s other cartoon mascots. What is lost on most people, though, is that these characters are actual living beings. They were once normal household pets, farm and wild animals, but were mutated and evolved by sudden exposure to radical energies.
And those energies? Beginning in the 1940s, there was a sharp rise worldwide in reports of UFOs, particularly in the US. There was a reason for this, but I have much more to tell you about Sam and the Park before we get to that. For now, it’s important to know that this ‘flying-saucer fever’ made the reports of August 1950 much easier to dismiss. Many reports came in that night not only of a flying saucer, but a flying saucer seemingly in distress, even crashing a few miles west of the Mississippi River in Rockville. Additionally, some sharp-eyed observers reported a second craft that appeared to be following, even chasing the first, but which seemed to wink out of sight before it passed over the river.
All of that was true. The first craft was the stolen escape vehicle of the Sheb, a notorious monster of the spaceways. The Sheb was an assassin and a cannibal, six feet four inches tall, 320 pounds, and best described as a demon: short horns protruded from his forehead and a spiked tail from his lower back. The second vehicle carried the agents sent to rehabilitate him: five members of an altruistic race who did not believe in punishment, but who had developed skills and abilities enabling them to benefit the inhabitants of any world. It’s unclear if they came from another planet, dimension, time, a combination of some or all of these…we would come to know them as the Little Green Men, or Elgim (LGM).
They landed normally in Memphis and approached the site of their quarry’s crash. The Sheb’s craft had been demolished, and only the creature’s inherent resilience prevented his death. As it was, the Sheb lost an eye and a horn in the crash. In a relatively fortunate development, however, he also suffered from amnesia, so the entire question of his rehabilitation could be set aside. His crimes had already made him the scourge of the galaxy, unwelcome anywhere his reputation reached. Because the Elgim had assumed responsibility for him as part of their mission, and also because of their own nature, they promptly decided to remain on Earth.
Stars indicate locations of extraterrestrial energy release
from the Sheb’s and the Elgims’ ships and fragments.
Now what has all this to do with Sam? The reason this particular group of Elgim was sent after the Sheb was the Sheb’s one weakness: music. Particular sequences, harmonics, tempos, progressions would render him vulnerable, malleable, even unconscious. These five Elgim were not only law officials, but musicians. With their primary mission no longer one of capture or containment, they elected to pursue their melodic mission along with the Sheb.
The influence of the Elgim and the Sheb cannot be overestimated. Their music electrified the Memphis area, while the energies leaking from the Sheb’s ruined ship flowed downriver and precipitated the rhythm & blues/rock & roll revolution. The energy also spread northward to St. Louis and Chicago, west and east: the vital waves were not restricted to the flow of the river. As the music prospered, more Elgim and other extraterrestrials came to Earth. Unknown to most Terrans, this influx of alien culture radically altered the sound of the music and the face of law enforcement.
That’s how the energy from the Sheb’s damaged craft brought the Wacky Boys characters to life on the Yasgurs’ farm and how flying saucers brought rock and roll to Memphis.