Thursday, August 31, 2006

Marvel Super Hero Uncomfortable Cocktail Party Of Champions, Part Four

June, 1982: Presaging the FEMA Superdome debacle, the Grandmaster crammed every available Marvel hero (and yours truly) into hideous, spacebound Facehugger Arena. The assembled ultra-tools didn't know how to react to a fabulous-yet-manly future hero with sweet-ass facial hair, so they pretty much left me alone. Fine by me. I went into purple-and-orange "stealth mode" and evesdropped the hell out of them!

Looks like Ben Grimm found himself a backup boy toy! (Note how Quasar cringes at the Thing's touch. Speaks volumes.) Ever wonder what the Thing's "rocks" look like beneath the blue Underoos? I overheard the Human Torch and Quasar gossiping not long after this panel. Turns out our Mister Grimm is normally smoother than a slab of peanut brittle. But beware! He's a "grower," not a "shower." Also, his member has its own voice box, and it sounds a lot like Godzilla. Ew. Fashion-wise? I've never been a fan of the Fantastic Four's costumes. *dodges various bits of debris* They're pretty boring (and if some fanboy tries to tell me "They're supposed to be boring!" I'm going to reach through the monitor and pimp-slap them). Attempts to change them have usually resulted in making them even more boring. A good rule of thumb is, the smaller the logo, the more boring the costume. I'm constantly surprised by how many wonderful artists forget that. Quasar over there has a more interesting costume but it also happens to be pretty ugly. Nice headband, jerk. It could definitely use some streamlining. To the front of the panel, the Hulk is entering menopause. About his pants... I think it's freaking ridiculous how he (almost) always managed to glom onto a pair of fresh purple pants -- in a stretch fabric, no less! -- during his vagabond period. Jeremy has an issue of the Hulk comic where Bruce Banner digs in a garbage can and finds a pair of purple slacks... that used to be owned by the 3-D Man! As if that flattopped, hornrimmed square would ever wear anything that interesting. Behind the Hulk is undersea underwear model, the Sub-Mariner. I gotta hand it to him: no dialog, but the body language immediately tells you everything you need to know about his personality. Crammed in the lower right-hand corner is Doctor Strange, Lounge Lizard Supreme. (I wish he'd brought his robe with him. So I could've swiped it.) Doc's costume is one of the few old costumes out there that really doesn't need improvement, in my opinion. It's quirky but it works. Individually, the parts are quite dodgy -- liverspotted orange gloves, blue footy pajamas, undoubtedly greasy pencil-line mustache, a cape that Liberace would have dismissed as "too gaudy" -- but I'll be darned if those disparate elements don't all harmonize like the Beach Boys. Something I just noticed about the cape, by the way? It's the source of the original Byrne Doodles! You know, the scribbly crap Byrne puts all over clothing because he's too damned lazy to draw an actual pattern? Byrne's Krypton was lousy... with Byrne Doodles. Or "Ditko Doodles" I suppose I should call them. Way in the back (where she belongs) is Patsy Walker, Hellcat. Funny, I don't think of a "hellcat" as being annoyingly perky or reeking of desperation or vaguely slutty in a "high school cheerleader" kind of way, and yet Patsy somehow manages to be all of those things. Her costume is one that almost works for me, but not quite. My main gripe is that it needs something more to break up all that yellow spandex besides the obligatory 70's sash. An interesting super-logo on the chest would be nice. C'mon, Patsy, there must be dozens of teenage girls across your great nation who would send you their ideas for a logo! ("Patsy's luscious logo designed by Roberta Fleugalblatt of Parsippany, New Jersey.")

Of all the weird categories that the Marvel Folk portioned themselves into, the weirdest -- and smallest -- was the Bald Telepath Contingent. As you can see, Moondragon is trying to bullshit her way into importance with a lucky guess as to the arena's locale. ("My mental scans have done no more that ascertain that this arena is somewhere in space, Professor Xavier! Also, there are a lot of windows and I can see through them!") I gotta ask -- was that emerald swimsuit deal she wore the idea of those Titanian monks who raised her? No, honestly. It's a legitimate question, because Marvel has a rich tradition of spiritual leaders making young women dress like prostitutes. Meanwhile, Professor X, dapper as always, is subtly influencing Moondragon to remove her bra. Next thing you know, he'll ask her to wear a red wig.

Still more Contest of Champions dish tomorrow!


Anonymous said... it just me or does it look as though the Thing is reaching out to make a grab at Human Torch's ass?

As I sidenote, I hated Quasar's headband phase (though I will say that it worked better in the pantsless version used by Marvel Boy), but I think that his final costume is one of the coolest superhero costumes ever.

It's elegant in its simplicity (not to mention that it flatters his svelte physique), plus it features a wicked cape, second in coolness only to Dr. Strange's Cloak of Levitation, and it includes a big-ass logo on the upper chest.

Anonymous said...

Based only on what we've seen here, how in the name of Majestrix Lilandra Neramani does Xavier know they're in Earth orbit? If those are windows, then why wouldn't we be shown a view of Earth as seen through them? Isn't that a rule in comics? Don't tell what you can show? Bah! The whole scene inflames my evil noggin to no end!

Delicious dish BB, on all your Contest segments! Your remarks on the Thing's member may have permanently scarred my view of Mama Grimm's blue-eyed baby boy's crotchial region. Even so, the hilarity it provided was worth it, so you're forgiven. (Why? Why must I always laugh at the penis jokes?)

However, your comments on the ever excellent 3-D Man have resulted in a permanent enmity between us, thereby preventing me from telling you just how wonderfully great your blog truly is. So there! Suffer the wrath of my big evil hat size you despicable genius!


Anonymous said...

Marvel Comics! Where all the telepaths are bald, all the magicians have funky eyebrows, all the androids whine and complain, and all the Russians know each other. What a wonderful place!

Phillip said...

Hey, BB, great stuff as always! I gotta tell ya, lately I've been reading through Spider-Man chronologically from the beginning, and I'm gonna say those are definitely Ditko Doodles! He used them all over the place!

Bully said...

It's so much more obvious in this context, but I love how everybody else just pairs off in this thing with like-designed or affiliated superheroes. It's like the Buddy System, only with capes.

Do you think Cyclops is wandering around in the back looking for someone to exposite at, and everyone's sliding away whenever he comes near?

NIGHTHAWK: So, Red Raven, where do you think we are?
RED RAVEN: I haven't the slightest idea, Nighthawk. Have you ever been here before, Falcon.
FALCON: Sorry, Red Raven. This place sure ain't Harlem! Is it, Angel?
ANGEL: Shhhh! Cheese it, guys! Here comes Summers!
(they scurry away)
CYCLOPS: Hey...guys? Guys?

Anonymous said...

Ha! Nice use of boldface, Bully!

Although, allow me to suggest a small adjustment:

CYCLOPS: Hey...guys?

Wow. Making the fleur-de-lis shape with the tongue is harder than it sounds...

Jeremy Rizza said...

Justin: I loved Quasar's final costume, too! And you're not imagining things; the Human Torch really was about to get snared for some more "rock tumbling" as the Thing likes to call it.

Big Head Boy's Evil Twin: Curses!

Anonymous: Yes, the Marvel Universe, where longtime aquaintances constantly address one another by their full names, where reality is radically altered on a daily basis, and where all the monsters wear underpants (unless they've let their pubes get wildly out of control, Sasquatch).

Phillip: Thanks! Y'know, I'm tearing though a bag of nacho-flavored Ditko Doodles even as we speak!

Bully: Haw! Yup, Cyclops' costume may as well include a pocket protector (and white tape holding his visor together).

Chawunky: Keep practicing. You're nearly there.