Thursday, December 19, 2013

J.J. Armes

A big thanks to Dorkland! for the heads up on this story.

In the 1970s, there was an action figure called "J.J. Armes."  I don't remember it personally, but see below:

Just the kind of thing I like.  The premise was that J.J. was a "man of action" so to speak who had hooks for hands and a gun implanted in one of the said hooks.  Might not sound too interesting as a toy...until you hear the next part.

J.J. Armes was a real person.  Again, see below:

As detailed by Klint Finley on

 "The first real-life superhero may have been J. J. Armes, a private detective who has been active in El Paso since 1958. His super power? A gun implanted in one of his prosthetic hook that he could fire with his biceps — without using his other hook.
Armes lives in a mansion, surrounded by lions and tigers. He always wears three piece suits, and travels by limo driven by his body guard cum chauffeur."

Like any good superhero, J.J. has an origin story.  At the tender age of 12, one of J.J.'s friends brought over a mysterious box.  What neither boy knew was that the box contained railroad dynamite charges.  J.J. opened the box and lost both of his hands.  Obviously, this didn't keep J.J. down.  He went on to excel at sports and to graduate from college with honors at age 19, holding degrees in psychology and criminology. 

In 1972, he rescued Marlon Brando's son from kidnappers in Mexico.  In 1978 he formed The Investigators Security Force.  Meant as a "mobile patrol and security service," the ISF served the community of El Paso, Texas for many years.  Today, the ISF survives as...what else? contractors to the government and corporations who can afford the multi-million dollar fee.

Oh boy is this great.

This is exactly the sort of story that shows how real life can sometimes be pulpier than fiction.  I...and many others I'm sure...planning on taking J.J. Armes as an inspiration for military or spy fiction.  Admittedly, I've been ambulating about the house since reading this story, mulling over how it can best be adapted.  Can't wait to see if I can work this into one of Jake Timber's stories.  That will make more sense when I introduce you to Jake one day.



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