Monday, June 18, 2007

A plague wind fill'd with insects


a malevolent convesation with UltraMantis Black

[Editor’s note: It had been a long time since we heard from our old friend Dr. Alquimia. For those that don’t remember, we had been contracted to publish his comic book, but a number of suspicious incidents led to problems with the first issue. After we published that issue back in 2001, some more odd things happened (too numerous to mention) and we suspended publication of the book until we could talk to Dr. Alquimia himself. Well, until a few days ago, we had been unable to contact him for over five years. Shockingly, we received an email from him (or someone claiming to be him), asking if we could publish an interview he had just conducted. After we confirmed it was indeed him, we agreed and hope that this return of the Master of the Egyptian Art will not be short-lived. We still want to chronicle his adventures and hope to have news on this matter during the summer comic book convention season. Sadly, but not surprisingly, it appears that, since the last time we saw him, Dr. Alquimia has returned to his rudo roots.]

The great English visionary William Blake once said, “Active Evil is better than Passive Good.” And, to the great consternation of tecnicos everywhere, I am proud to say that I am once again both Active and Evil. I must humble apologize to my former tag team partner, El Caido, for ever abandoning my rudo ways. I hope that I will be able to earn back both his trust at some point.

But that is neither here nor there. I have not returned today to sing my own praises (hard as that may be), but to extol the virtues of another man who walks the path less chosen, the leader of the Order of the Neo-Solar Temple, UltraMantis Black.

The evil insect mastermind graciously took a few minutes out of scheming and plotting nefarious conspiracies to talk to me about his career, current plans and assorted other Machiavellian pursuits.

DA: When you began your wrestling career, you were a tecnico. What made you turn to the dark side?

UMB: I prefer to call it the light-deprived side. If I remember correctly, it had something to do with a holly-go-lightly chap known as Mister ZERO and a heated dispute over shoes and socks. I suppose it all snowballed from there although, at this point, I can't really point to any logical reason for my rudo-wing leanings.

DA: Is this when you stopped wearing boots and started working barefoot? (I apologize for only having seen a few of your tecnico matches, but noticed that you did wear footwear at the time.)

UMB: Ah, this was not the precise moment when I began this practice; however it was indeed a turning point in the journey toward my enlightenment. Most footwear is merely a tool of the multinational corporations to keep us subservient and poor -- blind to the blight of the sprawling civilization around us and the unfair wage system which keeps us in chains. No gods, no masters.

DA: Do you have any evil role models, in wrestling or in popular culture? Kevin Sullivan? Curtis Ieukea? Lex Luthor? Dr. Doom? Montgomery Burns? One imagines you must be close personal friends with Zorak from SPACE GHOST.

UMB: Hmm. When I think of evil I think of Wal-Mart, the John Birch Society, and [former] US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton. So I can not say I am influenced at all by such. However, it is interesting that you reference Kevin Sullivan. I find myself quite influenced by his work in, what they call, "the old Florida territory". Genius. Sadly I was not privy to much of King Curtis' early work. However, any man or woman who can tame both the Ugandan Headhunter as well as The Yeti is OK in my book. Plus, the forehead. I am not familiar with these other individuals of which you speak. SPACE GHOST?

DA: Do you have a favorite “giant insect” movie”? BEGINNING OF THE END with the giant grasshoppers? I’d think you would have a fondness for THE DEADLY MANTIS.

UMB: The 1954 classic THEM!, featuring a young James Whitmore and the legendary and wonderful Edmund Gwenn, star of the unforgettable MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET.

DA: In addition to your wrestling training at the Chikara Wrestle Factory, have you ever studied the Praying Mantis Kung Fu style?

UMB: I have a background in Krav Maga. I also enjoy listening to the music of Red Sovine when I take long car rides, often pretending to be navigating my big rig heading for Bear on I-10 about a mile out of Shakey Town.

DA: How and where did you discover the man-monster Hydra? Is he at all connected to the infamous Marvel Comics evil spy organization HYDRA, once led by the nefarious Baron Wolfgang von Strucker?

UMB: You are speaking of "comical books" characters, yes? Such frivolities are meaningless to The Order. But back to the question at hand, Hydra was born of fire -- a great oceanic fire, one similar to that which engulfed the engine of Oceanic Flight 815 one fateful day. Hydra is what I like to call a young, virile monster-in-training. A "twink" if you will. I foresee much greatness in Hydra's future if he remains under my guidance and continues to walk in the Shining Path of the Order.

DA: What do you think of Hydra’s chances in the upcoming Young Lions’ Cup?

UMB: I'm going to be brutally honest here -- his chances are not good. With that said, Hydra's goals are unrelated to that of gold, riches, and trophies. Hydra fights in service to The Order and while we have yet to reveal the exact nature of our own goals to the viewers, we are quite secure in our belief that our cause is a just one. However, one never knows what will happen in such tournaments. For example, if the entire roster were to be afflicted with a horrible case of food poisoning, and Hydra -- a man-monster known for his all air and water diet -- was to remain unscathed, well then I believe his chances would improve vastly.

DA: Is there an insect rivalry between you and the members of the Colony?

UMB: As my friends The West Coast Rap All-Stars so eloquently once put it – “we're all in the same gang.”

DA: Were you able to have an “evil genius” summit with Kaiju’s Dr. Cube last month when you both were in Philadelphia for CHIKARA’s Anniversario! show?

UMB: Unfortunately, no. However, Cubey has my number and he knows I anxiously await his call. Perhaps the good doctor would enjoy a delightful evening out in the Village together. I'm thinking a nice dinner of risotto and gazpacho at the Yaffa Cafe on St. Mark's, catch a show at the Winter Garden (have you seen MAMMA MIA yet??), and perhaps a nightcap of all-night canasta playing at my friend King's house.

DA: Have you patterned your commentating style on any one person? Would you say your style is more Gordon Solie or something more modern?

UMB: Solie, Lance Russell, Bob Caudle, Mid South-era Jim Ross. I always thought Ken Resnick was a good interview. David Crockett for purposes of unintentional humor only, of course.

DA: Do you have a favorite commentary partner? You seem to have quite the rapport with “Sweet and Sour” Larry Sweeney on the stick.

UMB: “The Palomino” is a true golden god amongst men. The man is a verbal Van Gogh. He paints such vivid aural pictures with his words. A genuine treat to share the commentary table with him!

DA: You know evil and you know baseball. Who is the most evil player in the show today: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Curt Shilling or someone else?

UMB: True evil is every anabolic junkie who besmirched the game with their dope shooting-enhanced on-field performances. And Billy Wagner.

I once again would like to thank the incredibly insidious insect UltraMantis Black for generously speaking to your not-so-humble servant. You can be sure the next time I see him at the International Brotherhood of Rudos, the first one is on me.

CHIKARA’s annual Young Lions Cup takes place this weekend, June 22-24, in Reading, Barnesville and Hellertown, PA, respectively. For more information, visit the CHIKARA website at Http:// You can find UltraMantis Black on the web at