Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Rescue Me: The Wrench

Not all of the D-list villains assassinated by Scourge were lucky enough to have their final moments of ignominy illustrated for the approval of bloodthirsty fanboys. Some of those perfidious unfortunates had to make do with a Scourge "honorable mention." Getting name-dropped by Scourge wasn't exactly on par with a mention on "Page 6." It's more like working your ass off on a diorama of "Lab Coats Through the Ages" for the Lunar Elementary Science Fair and receiving a Certificate of Participation, while a lazy dim-bulb like Weight Wizard submits a stalk of celery with freaking googly eyes glued onto it and walks away with a goddamn red ribbon and sure, later you hold him down and threaten to force-feed him googly eyes until he gives you his ribbon but somehow it just makes you feel all hollow inside... um, but I digress.

The Wrench was one of those off-panel victims. "Who?!" you ask. Exactly. The Wrench, a.k.a. Kurt Klemmer, wasn't exactly what you'd call a "supervillain." He was just a big crazy oaf in overalls who clubbed folks to death with a big wrench. Oh, and he also carried a gun. He didn't have a costume and to be honest, he was never even called the Wrench in the one comic in which he appeared ("Omega the Unknown" #6). That comic's cover has one of those old-timey bombastic word balloons where a Hulk-sized Klemmer boasts about "THE POWER OF THE WRENCH" while he belabors Omega about the noggin with a perfectly humongous wrench that leaves a crackling energy trail. (You could always rely on a Gil Kane cover for a spicy, over-the-top rendition of a book's actual contents!) So it's unclear whether that pimped-out version of Klemmer was referring to himself in the third person and by a code name at that -- admittedly, normal villain behavior in the world of 1970's Marvel -- or if he was just really proud of that wrench!

I think it's clear that Omega's writers, Steve Gerber and (uncredited) Mary Skrenes, never intended for Kurt Klemmer to be an out-and-out "supervillain." Which is totally cool. But could he have worked as one? I think so. He had an interesting hook, in that he was a handyman who was obsessed with "fixing" his fellow human beings. Which involved bludgeoning them to death with a wrench, but hey, it's a start. He was a big, sturdy guy, so at normal strength with an ordinary wrench for a weapon he'd make a fine adversary for one of the Marvel heroes who fight street-level crime, like Daredevil or Power Man. Or a writer could go the "Absorbing Man" route with him and have some cosmic being magic-up his wrench so he could battle Thor and Iron Man. Maybe he could join the Wrecking Crew! And maybe he could dress like so:

mywrench

I thought a somber blue/gray color scheme would be more appropriate for Mister Klemmer's hypothetical villain costume than the mustard hue from his overalls. I designed a stylized "W" using the shape of a wrench, and I added stripes to evoke the overall straps. The boots and gloves have cut-outs in the shape of a wrench's clamps. (Or whatever they're called... here in the future we fix everything by waving a humming rectal thermometer over it!) The long, shaggy haircut symbolizes the Wrench's unkempt mind. I decided to bleach it out to more of a white blonde so it's more dramatic.

Previous "Rescue Me" challenges:

13 comments:

MaGnUs said...

Another succesful rescue.

LurkerWithout said...

I could see your rescued Wrench, Steeplejack 2, Annihilator and Annihilator Jr going toe to toe with the current Wrecking Crew in their desire to steal their name...

Dave said...

The dude still needs some conceptual re-tooling (heh).

Why not make him a Luddite saboteur who is obsessed unhealthily with the phrase "throw a monkey wrench in the system"? A Rust Belt mullet-wearer who got super-strength and electrical powers in an industrial accident, but the company closes up shop and cheats him out of his workers' comp.

Now he's pissed.

And he's got a wrench.

A wrench that shoots lightening!

Makes me want to smack up some Lexi , Hummers and Beemers!

Justin Garrett Blum said...

hmm...I thought the bands around the gloves were meant to be tattoos, and that he was shirtless. It could work either way, I suppose, but I sort of like the shirtless idea better. Makes him look even more like some kind of coked-out, 80s hair band front man.

Blockade Boy said...

MaGnUs: Thanks!

Lurkerwithout: That's a swell idea!

Dave and Justin: What are you waiting for? Design your own super-cool versions of the Wrench and post 'em somewhere so we can see! (And Justin, I covered up my rendition of the Wrench precisely because I didn't want to copy my Steeplejack design.)

Justin Garrett Blum said...

The gauntlet has been thrown down! I'll give it some thought...and then most likely end up watching TV instead. We'll see.

Actually, I didn't say this, but I did really enjoy this redesign and doubt I could come up with anything as cool.

Blockade Boy said...

And I should probably add that I wasn't trying to be sarcastic or pissy or anything. I really mean it when I suggest that folks with costume design ideas ought to draw them up and upload them to one of those photo sharing websites or something. It's fun! And I'd love to see 'em! You can trace or alter my artwork if you're not comfortable with figure drawing.

Justin Garrett Blum said...

Voila.

http://blog.uatu.net

MaGnUs said...

BB: You know I'm a fan...

Justin: your version looks like he's from Marvel's New Universe (or newuniversal, as it's chic to say these days).

Blockade Boy said...

Justin: Sweet! Very Japanese-y. I love it! And the boots and gloves are to die for. (Any chance you could use your cosmic interdimensional connections to pick me up a pair?)

MaGnUs: How could I forget? :)

Justin Garrett Blum said...

Glad you understood what I was going for there, though I guess it should have been obvious from the big, honkin' wrench on his back that you'd need a crane to lift.

The Watcher is sort of a bitch about any direct interference. I'd ask him to swipe the Wrench's spare gloves and boots, but he'd probably tell me that it could lead to all of the X-Men getting killed, or the Universe exploding, or something.

Anonymous said...

Tell the Watcher I said it's OK. It's only the X-Men.

MaGnUs said...

BB> I know, I don't let you forget!