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!