Monday, August 28, 2006
Marvel Super Hero Uncomfortable Cocktail Party Of Champions, Part One
Did you know that I was part of the "Marvel Super Hero Contest of Champions?" (Above panels from issue #1, June, 1982.) That's the time the Grandmaster kidnapped what appeared to be every single super hero alive on Earth-Marvel and forced a mere handful of them into Olympic -- er, scratch that! I meant to say -- "gladiatorial" combat. (Yup, it's that super-sized special originally intended to coincide with the 1980 Olympic Games, chopped up and redone as a limited series.) I was just in the wrong dimension at the wrong time. What do you mean you don't see me anywhere? I'm that one guy in that one panel in that one crowd scene, way in the back... in silhouette.
I'll admit, the situation was giving me some nasty "Super-Stalag of Space" flashbacks but I managed to keep myself together. Before we heroes found out why we were there, we mainly just milled around and made awkward smalltalk. ("Aren't these vast, windowless rooms phony?") Sadly, there was no alcohol available to make them seem funny or interesting to me. So, I just kept my mouth shut and made notes on what everybody was saying... and wearing!
Ikaris is wearing more than the minimum amount of "flair", which is sure to please his manager, Zuras. By the way, is he wearing pantaloons? I haven't seen "overpants" that baggy since Lightning Lad's day-glo orange depends! This has to be one of Kirby's worst costume designs, which is saying something. Orion's costume may be plain and ugly, but that's better than complicated and ugly. You already know how I feel about Thor's costume, so we'll skip him -- other than saying that's got to be one of the queeniest "landing poses" I've come across in quite some time. In the background, meanwhile, Rom: Spaceknight puts the moves on Jocasta ("Oh, I'm not all robot, baby! Wanna feel?") Christ, I hope Starshine and Ultron don't run into each other at Cinnabon and put two-and-two together. By the way, I always liked Jocasta's look and I thought it was a shame when she got blown to pieces. But Rom's supposedly high-tech cyborg armor is one step removed from being a Halloween costume.
"Uh-oh! Alpha Flight!" Subtext: "I hope these losers aren't going to latch onto my awesomeness and follow me around the whole time we're here. Let's see, how can I ditch them...?" I really liked the original Alpha Flight costumes -- okay, maybe not Shaman's, which had the hideous color combo of orange and green -- but for the most part they were a good example of how to carry a design theme throughout a super-team while still keeping them looking like individuals. Behind Guardian you can see the taut buttocks of Northstar, who was totally checking me out. Sorry, pal, I don't date prettyboys.
In the final panel today, the Beast and Sasquatch argue about which one is going to be the top, before going on to share grooming trips. Sasquatch swears by "Mane N Tail" horse shampoo, and uses "Clubman" mustache wax for those tricky handlebar eyebrows. The Beast was considering changing his hairstyle. But then A Flock Of Seagulls released "And I Ran" that summer, so that delayed things quite a bit. In the background you can see Iron Fist (love his costume -- LOVE IT) standing next to... a mummy? Nope, that's just Janet "Fashion Skank" Pym, who was getting a seaweed wrap at the spa the moment she got zapped over there. Aw, now she'll never tone up those flabby arms.