The Adolescent Action Assassin Amphibians
Descartes! Kierkegaard! Kant! Crazy Nietzsche! Together they were the Gen X phenomenon known as the Adolescent Action Assassin Amphibians - "fighting crime from the grime!" But who were these highly radioactive subterranean human-frogs with black belts in murder and the hearts of heroes? To answer that question we go back to the late 1980s when, thanks to steady deregulation of the energy industry, toxic waste dumps proliferated across the land. The result, besides a spike in national cancer deaths, was a population explosion in the anthropomorphic vermin community. It was a time of reptile ninjas, shao-lin cockroaches, exceptionally stabby pigeon men, but none could match the intensity of the Adolescent Action Assassin Amphibians.
Close your eyes and remember... wait, what are you doing? no don't literally close 'em. Jesus how're you gonna read this otherwise. Ahem, one more time, close your eyes, figuratively, and remember. First comes the drum fury of their beloved theme song (consisting of the words "Adolescent Action Assassin Amphibians" chanted monotone until the ears bled and the tentacled face of the one true under-god appeared in children's cereal).
Now one by one the announcer calls out their name as they explode across the screen clad only in different colored loin clothes and acrobatic fury.
Descartes in red loin cloth is the stoic leader who wields a switchblade and Saturday night special. Kierkegaard is the bruiser in a blue loin cloth and packs brass knuckles on each webbed fist. Kant- the brooding loner with yellow loin cloth has a metal chain with a bunch of padlocks at the end. Then there's Crazy Nietzsche - the practical joker strapped with nu-chucks made of two sticks of lit dynamite and who refuses to wear a loin cloth, or any clothing, for is it not true that above the ape is the man and above the man is the superman but above the superman is the super-man-frog who don't got to wear no damn clothes if they don't want to?
We see a sped up version of their secret origin: four frogs ready to be dissected in an Apple City High science class who escape their fate thanks to an act of kindness by a bullied little boy. The four frogs are set free and they hop in through a sewer grate. There they're exposed to radioactive sludge and quickly grow into man-frogs.
Now we catch a montage of some of the AAAA's more notable foes spliced from scenes from previous episodes.
Dracugator - an albino vampire alligator who wears a velvet cape and is wanted for tax evasion. Murder-1 - a former pro-wrestler who has a boom-box for a head and can only speak by dialing through random radio stations. Master Rip-Off - the ninja leader of L.I.M.B. (League of Insidious Monster Beings) a small army of cybernetically enhanced rat-men.
Now we are treated a montage of the AAAA's allies. Sergeant Hamster, a homeless Vietnam vet who had his consciousness placed into a hamster and who not only raised the orphaned frogs into the AAAA but trained them in the arts of murder. Then there's Lil Jimmy - the bullied boy who rescued the four frogs and has subsequently been institutionalized by his adventures with the gang. Then there's Officer Toole, a hapless detective assigned to take down the AAAA but ends up helping them fight injustice.
The theme song dies down and we hear the AAAA shout out their battle cry - "Kill us now, please dear God, can't you see we're hideous freaks of nature living in radioactive agony!"
By 1988 the Adolescent Action Assassin Amphibians were everywhere! From comic books cranked out in a fever dream to Saturday Morning cartoons that induced not so much epilepsy but demonic possession. From lunch boxes with lead lined thermoses to action figure choking hazards built lovingly with third-world child labor. From highly flammable Halloween costumes to poorly conceived themed restaurants (let us pause to remember the animatronic mascot riots of 1989 which left 23 dead across the nation).
Yet few of us know the eventual grim fate of the AAAA.
Kierkegaard ODed at a Bulgarian rave in 1994 while candy-flipping and snorting radioactive sludge. Kant found Jesus in 2005 but found him through a suicide cult that believed the Second Coming would come after a 100 true believers committed mass seppuku. Crazy Nietzsche, as we all know from the famous musical about the issue, was murdered in his sleep by a homeless prostitute in 1993.
Only Descartes remains. His wild years now long behind him, he acts as a caregiver to Sergeant Hamster, whose mental facilities and health have declined in the later years. He works odd jobs, driving an Uber or taking temp assignments. He occasionally sells old AAAA merchandise on Ebay or make the rare convention appearance for drinking money. With all his old friends dead, his foes vanquished, Descartes is content to watch old reruns of his adventures and clicks online through dating sites in hopes of finding someone to spend his final years with.
They were the champions of a marginalized generation that came between Boom and Millennium. Weird, clever, and definitely toxic, they did their best to make a better world from the polluted sewers they were born in and from which they will inevitably return.
In the end, what more could you say, except — totally awesome.