984: Space Launch System
SLS, which stands for Space Launch System (naturally) is the new launch program being designed by NASA to replace the retired Space Shuttle launch system. In the first frame, Cueball is showing Black Hat something about the SLS, possibly a video on his phone or other portable electronic device.
As usual with his appearances, Black Hat is causing trouble. Here Black Hat would appear to be telling the truth because Nazi-Germany era scientists like Wernher von Braun, who was one of the developers of the Saturn V launch vehicle, came over to NASA and helped develop NASA's space program.
Black Hat's assumption in the last frame is obviously a bridge too far (which is where the joke is in the comic), but he gets his desired reaction out of Cueball, who is hanging his head.
Shania Twain comes into this comic in the title text because in her song "That Don't Impress Me Much", she sings: "Okay, so you're a rocket scientist / That don't impress me much". But, the title text argues that if she stood under the new SLS prototype, she would admit it was in fact, impressive.
- Cueball: Check out the SLS - 130 tons to orbit. Finally, rockets that improve on the ones we had 40 years ago.
- Black Hat: Are we getting Nazis to build those ones too?
- Cueball: What?
- Black Hat: When we first captured von Braun and his team, we had our engineers interview them, then *we* built the rockets. But our rockets kept exploding.
- [Von Braun interviewed by a scientist while under guard]
- [The same scientist in front of a spectacularly exploding rocket]
- [The Saturn V gracefully arcing across the night sky]
- Black Hat: Eventually we gave up and had the German teams do it, and they built us the Saturn V moon rocket.
- Cueball: I'm.. not sure what lesson to take from that.
- Black Hat: "If you want something done right, learning from the Nazis isn't enough. You have to actually put them in charge.
- Cueball: That's a *terrible* lesson.
- Black Hat: Then I guess you should get a Nazi to come up with a better one.